By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Aired October 14, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] Highlights from last week’s NXT show aired…
Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Vic Joseph checked in from the crow’s nest, but Wade Barrett was at the table so he was also on-site…
Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish made their entrance to start the show. O’Reilly took a mic and noted that he’s still out for one more week, but he’d be fine. O’Reilly then talked about how someone put Ridge Holland up to attacking Adam Cole. O’Reilly then hyped up Fish and Strong potentially becoming Tag Team champions again…
1. “Undisputed Era” Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish (w/Kyle O’Reilly) vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch to become number one contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championship. Strong and Lorcan started off the match with chain wrestling. Lorcan managed to take advantage of Strong with Joint Manipulation. Fish and Burch managed to tag in with Burch having the upper hand with European Uppercuts. Lorcan tagged in. Lorcan and Burch double suplexed Strong onto the prone body of Fish. Lorcan cut the ring in half on Fish. Fish managed to get a blind tag to Strong. Strong backdropped Lorcan and Burch heading into picture-in-picture. Fandango and Tyler Breeze were shown watching the match from crowd.[c]
Fish and Strong traded tags to keep Lorcan isolated from his partner. Lorcan used boots to shove away Strong. Fish crash and burned on a headbutt dive. Lorcan got the hot tag on Burch. Burch cleaned house. Burch hit Strong with a pop up bomb for a two count. Fish tagged in and hit Burch with a Samoan Drop. Burch fended off both UE member and hit both of them with a missile shotgun dropkick. Lorcan hit both opponents with a running blockbuster. Burch locked Strong in a crossface and Lorcan locked Fish in a half crab.
UE escaped, but Burch hit Strong with a lariat. Fish was dumped to ringside. Burch hit Strong with an assisted DDT. Fish pulled Lorcan to ringside to break the pin. Fish shoved Lorcan into Burch to knock Burch off the apron. Roddy hit Lorcan with a high knee for the win.
Undisputed Era defeated Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch via pinfall 13:26.
UE taunted Breezango from the ring…
McKenzie Mitchell cut to pictures of Finn Balor’s jaw surgery. Mitchell noted that they initially thought that Balor didn’t need surgery but then he was advised to get it by a specialist. Graphic photos were shown of the actual surgery. Mitchell said William Regal decided to give the surgery a few weeks to see if he would have to make a decision on the NXT Championship in regards to keeping the title on Finn or not…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Burch and Lorcan tag matches are always fun, especially with the frantic and hard hitting pace it gets to near the end of them. This match was actually set up by that odd Fandango detective segment from a few weeks ago (when there may or may not have been a outbreak at the PC). Breezango vs. UE should be fun. Interesting note, Roderick Strong hasn’t been winning matches with End of Heartache recently and instead been winning via a high knee. I’m all for establishing multiple finishers as credible. Helps for the nearfalls in bigger matches with false finishes (I always go to Sami Zayn and Eddie Edwards’s Blue Thunder Bomb as the opposite example where
An Ember Moon promo package aired. Ember Moon talked about 2019 being terrible for her. She said she found out during that time who she wants herself to be. She said when she got the ok to come back, she decided that she was NXT. She said she was supposed to be a part of the WWE Draft to Raw or Smackdown, but she decided to go home. She said she was coming home to the best women’s division in all of wrestling. Moon talked about leaving NXT on top last time, but it’s a different game now. She said you don’t get title shots here based off your past or who you know. You have to prove yourself in the moment. Moon named off her potential opponents in the division. She said all roads lead to NXT, but Ember’s Law will lead Ember back to the title…
John’s Thoughts: Now that’s more like it. A much better promo compared to last week. She was happy, but not so happy go lucky as she was last week. She was a bit more badass. If they’re having a hard time making her look badass with a live mic, then go with the pretape approach.
2. Ashanti The Adonis vs. Jake Atlas. The match started off with a cruiserweight stalemate sequence. Adonis managed to ground Atlas with a missile dropkick. Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza ended up walking to ringside which distracted Adonis. Atlas rolled up Adonis with a schoolboy for the win.
Jake Atlas defeated Ashanti the Adonis via pinfall in 1:51.
Mendoza and Wilde beat up on Adonis in the ring. Jake Atlas fought away Mendoza and Wilde and Adonis joined Atlas in the ring. Santos Escobar walked to the stage and teased running down the ramp to attack Atlas and Adonis, but Isaiah Scott brought a chair to the ring to join the babyface duo. Legado Del Fantasma backtracked with Escobar smiling…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae about LeRae challenging Shotzi Blackheart later in the show for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship at Halloween Havoc. LeRae said she’s the uncrowned NXT Women’s Champion. Gargano complained about Dexter Lumis getting a NA title shot and noted that Lumis once kidnapped a man. McKenzie wondered if Gargano was looking past his opponent Austin Theory tonight. Gargano talked about being ready despite Theory being young and talented…[c]
Back from the break, Austin Theory was already in the ring…
3. Johnny Gargano vs. Austin Theory. Gargano dominated the chain wrestling early on. Theory reversed Gargano into a headlock. Theory took down Gargano with s shoulder tackle. Gargano hit Theory with a dropkick and then chopped him around the ring. Gargano went for a GargaNo Escape, but Theory quickly crawled to the bottom rope for the break. Theory caught Gargano’s arm and hit Gargano with a lariat. Theory hit Gargano with a standing moonsault for a two count. Wade Barrett noted that Theory is on a losing streak, but he’s been losing to all the main eventers of NXT. Barrett said that it’s better to lose to credible opponents than to win against lesser opponents due to the learning experience.
John’s Thoughts: Well, that’s pretty much the definition of “jobber to the stars”.
Theory countered Gargano’s whip and hit Gargano with a dropkick. Gargano used elbows to block an ATL attempt. Gargano hit Theory with a slingshot spear heading into regular commercial.[c]
Gargano had Theory locked in an abdominal stretch back from the break. Gargano went for a huracanrana, but Theory reversed it into a flapjack. Theory hit Gargano with a slingshot stomp and vertical suplex. Gargano escaped Theory’s suplex attempt. Theory caught Gargano with a superkick. Theory hit Gargano with a leg-trap Ushigoroshi for a two count. Gargano tried to fend off Theory with punches, but Theory hit Gargano with another thrust kick. Gargano escape another ATL attempt. Theory reversed a dive into a Fireman Carry. Gargano went for a rollup, but Theory sat down for a great nearfall on Gargano.
Gargano blocked a superkick and then responded to Theory with his won superkick. Gargano lawn darted Theory into the second buckle. Gargano hit Theory in the back of the neck with a diving forearm. Gargano hit Theory with One Final Beat for the victory.
Johnny Gargano defeated Austin Theory via pinfall in 10:44 of on-air time.
They cut to Raquel Gonzalez cutting a promo backstage where she addressed Rhea Ripley. Gonzalez challenged Ripley to a confrontation at Halloween Havoc. The promo was cut off by Rhea Ripley barging in and trash talking. The backstage staff pulled apart the women from a potential fight…
Beth Phoenix hyped Shotzi Blackheart vs. Candice LeRae in a number one contenders match for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Another loss for Theory; but it’s another loss in a long match where he was made to look really credible. I’m wondering if Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae are putting together a stable? They brought up potentially mentoring Indi Hartwell last week and I wonder if they’re going towards mentoring Austin Theory as well.
[Hour Two] Tommaso Ciampa was shown watching match footage from his match with Kushida last week, which also had Velveteen Dream interfering. Ciampa left the room saying “he’s dead!”…
Shotzi Blackheart made her toy tank entrance…
4. Shotzi Blackheart vs. Candice LeRae for a women’s championship title shot at Halloween Havoc. Blackheart dumped LeRae to ringside early on. Blackheart hit LeRae with a suicide dive (I honestly gasped a bit due to her history, but thankfully it was really safe this time). Blackheart hit LeRae with a facebuster on her knee. LeRae gained control and slammed Blackheart to the mat. LeRae worked on Blackheart with methodical offense. Blackheart got a moment of respite after hitting LeRae with a suplex.
Blackheart caught LeRae on the apron with a roundhouse. LeRae reversed Sliced Bread with a shove. LeRae hit blackheart with a facebuster on the apron heading into regular commercial. [c]
Blackheart hit LeRae with a corner splash and reverse Sling Blade. LeRae hit Blackheart with a switchblade kick and imploding cannonball. LeRae got her knees up when Blackhart went for her Senton finisher. LeRae got a two count on Blackheart. LeRae escaped a superplex attempt by Shotzi. LeRae hit Blackheart with a German Suplex and superkick for a nearfall. Blackhart hit LeRae with a Butterfly Suplex with a bridge for a two count. LeRae escaped a fireman carry with a backstabber. LeRae hit Blackheart with a Lionsault for a two count.
Blackheart reversed LeRae and locked LeRae in a modified Cattle Mutilation. LeRae got to the bottom rope for the rope break. LeRae and Blackheart brawled to the top rope. Blackheart shove LeRae off and dove at her. LeRae rolled to ringside to avoid Shotzi’s senton attempt. Indi Hartwell showed up and handed Candice LeRae brass knuckles. Wade Barret joked that Hartwell gave LeRae a pep talk. LeRae hit Blackheart with the power of the punch for the pinfall win.
Candice LeRae defeated Shotzi Blackheart via pinfall in 12:05 of on-air time to earn a women’s title shot at Halloween Havoc.
They cut to Killian Dain and Drake Maverick antics backstage. Maverick tried to convince Dain on potential swag and merch. Dain didn’t like the cartoon version of him in the graphics that Maverick was showing. Maverick wanted their tag team name to be “The Furry and the Fury”. Drake then surprised Dain with another tag match for later in the show. They were challenging Imperium…
A Toni Storm re-debut vignette aired. Beth Phoenix hyped that Toni Storm was returning after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good match between LeRae and Blackheart and Blackheart didn’t nearly kill herself off a move this time. All is well in the world. Interesting that they’re going back to LeRae for the title so soon after LeRae lost so decidedly. They’re adding Indi Hartwell to LeRae’s act, so let’s lee how they implement her in the title match.
Robert Stone and Aliyah were already in the ring. I’m assuming Aliyah’s jobbing to Toni Storm here…
5. Toni Storm vs. Aliyah (w/Robert Stone). Beth noted that Toni Storm is only 24 years old. Storm took down Aliyah with a headbutt. Storm then hit Aliyah with a dropkick for a two count. Aliyah hit Storm with a leg lariat in the corner. Aliyah hit Storm with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Storm escaped a submission with a armdrag. Aliyah kicked out of a pin at two. Storm hit Aliyah wtih an atomic drop. Storm hit Aliyah with a German Suplex. Storm hit Aliyah with a hip attack in the corner. Storm hit Aliyah with the Storm Zero for the win.
Toni Storm defeated Aliyah via pinfall in 2:32.
John’s Thoughts: A much better debut for Toni Storm this time around. They gave her a simple vignette and a simple enhancement win. It’s simple! It was so odd the last time around where she showed up out of nowhere with no intro and expected people to treat her like a big deal (the live crowds were sitting on their hands). Storm has the potential to be the face of WWE if treated right. This is a good start.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed William Regal about the Candice LeRae vs. Shotzi Blackheart match. Regal said he didn’t like the finish, but we were still getting Candice LeRae challenging Io Shirai next week. Regal also booked Raquel Gonzalez vs. Rhea Ripley for Halloween Havoc. Xia Li and Boa walked up to Regal. Li demanded that she have a match at Halloween Havoc. Boa said some words in Mandarin (my mandarin is very rusty, so don’t count on me to translate much). Regal said he’d take the request under consideration…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Regal not liking that match finish? Wasn’t his finisher the “Power of the Punch”? I joke I joke.
Imperium came out first. Drake and Dain were about to come out to their awesome whistle theme, but Dain waved off the entrance theme. Maverick yelled “we didn’t even get to the whistle!”…
6. “Imperium” Marcel Barthel and Fabien Aichner vs. Killian Dain and Drake Maverick. Dain started off with a body slam to Aichner. Dain tagged Maverick in and threw him on Aichner. Maverick got a two count. Aichner recovered and body slammed Maverick to his corner. Barthel tagged in and beat up Maverick with precision punches. Maverick managed to pull down the rope to send Barthel to ringside. Maverick got the hot tag to Killian Dain. Dain had a bit of a rally, but Aichner planted Dain with a spinebuster. Dain countered Aichner with a vertical suplex. Dain made the hot tag to Maverick.
Maverick sent Barthel to ringside. Maverick dropped Aichner to the buckle. Barthel tossed Dain into the steps which distracted Maverick. Aichner caught Maverick’s crossbody attempt and hit Maverick with a Brainbuster. Imperium hit Maverick with the European Bomb to give Aichner the victory.
Imperium defeated Drake Maverick and Killian Dain via pinfall in 3:50.
Ever Rise ran out to taunt Drake Maverick. Killian Dain beat up Ever Rise and sent them into retreat. Beth was shocked that Dain was sticking up for Maverick. Dain told Maverick that no one is allowed to beat up Maverick other than Dain. Dain walked to the back to his awesome whistle theme…
Dexter Lumis and Damian Priest were shown walking to the ring before the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: More fun stuff from Maverick and Dain in the continual slow burn towards their tag team. I was actually really afraid that Imperium were going to job to Dain and Maverick so soon after they had their tag team title run. I’m glad they decided to keep Imperium looking credible (though there is still some work that has to be done in presenting them). The weekly Dain and Maverick segment is becoming a guilty pleasure for me, if anything, the most guilty of the pleasure is their whistle entrance theme.
Beth Phoenix hyped Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez in two weeks at Halloween Havoc. Joseph announced Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae for the women’s championship on the same night. The commentators advertised Breezango vs. Undisputed Era next week for the tag team titles…
Entrance for the North American Championship match took place. Vic Joseph noted that Lumis earned this title shot right before his ankle injury (he was supposed to wrestle for the title in a multi-man ladder match)…
7. Damian Priest vs. Dexter Lumis for the NXT North American Championship. Lumis and Priest had a stalemate during the collar and elbow struggle. Priest used a armdrag to lock Lumis in an armbar. Lumis went for a wristlock, but Priest reversed with a Old School into a crossbody. Priest dared Lumis to come at him. Lumis came at him with a Thesz Press. Lumis fought Preist back with throat punches. Priest came back with a Tae Kwon Do combination. Priest hit Lumis with a back elbow and Broken Arrow for a two count. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Lumis countered Priest with a bulldog. Lumis hit Priest with a spinebuster for a two count. Priest used elbows to escape a Kata Gatame. Priest hit Lumis with a cyclone kick and Flatliner for a two count. Priest locked Lumis in an ankle lock. both men traded counters. Lumis hit Priest with a back suplex and a flying elbow drop. Lumis crash and burned on a Swanton attempt. Priest recovered and hit Lumis with a stiff lariat. Lumis ducked a cyclone kick. Lumis hit Priest with a sitout Uranage. Lumis locked Priest in the Kata Gatame. Priest got to the bottom rope for the break.
Lumis stood up on the apron. Cameron Grimes showed up and hit Lumis with a Cave-in. Priest hit Lumis with a sitout chokeslam for the victory.
Damian Priest defeated Dexter Lumis via pinfall in 12:12 to retain the NXT North American Championship.
Grimes tried to attack Priest after the match, but Priest planted him with the Reckoning. Johnny Gargano attacked Priest after the match with a steel chair and left him lying. The Garganos backtracked up the ramp into William Regal, who introduced Shotzi Blackheart. Blackheart was on a podium and announced that the Garganos matches at Halloween will end up being “Spin the Wheel” matches. NXT Closed with Blackheart doing her wolf howl…
John’s Thoughts: A good television main event and Priest continues to put on good performances as a babyface champion. He’s really putting in good work in the end of matches with his flurries of offense. Lumis is flying under the radar as a solid in-ring guy too. This might have been Lumis’s next best match after his match with Roderick Strong. I still wonder how high his ceiling is with the weird ass serial killer gimmick. Speaking of Serial Killing, they should really use his gimmick at Halloween Havoc given that his gimmick is very Halloween adjacent.
A solid episode of NXT as usual with the goal being to build towards Halloween Havoc. I’m intrigued to see how this show ends up. Make sure to check out my member’s exclusive audio review tomorrow. Jason Powell will also be by with his hit list once he gets to watching the show.