By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Aired October 21, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] NXT immediately started off in the arena. Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary…
1. Kushida vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Tommaso Ciampa. Ciampa attacked Dream during Dream’s entrance. The bell rang once all three men were in the ring. Ciampa cleaned house at ringside. The commentators pointed out that Ciampa and Kushida were focused on Dream in particular. Kushida gave Ciampa a STO into Dream’s gut. Kushida managed to recover and hit both opponents with a DDT to get nearfalls on both of them. Ciampa worked on Kushida in the corner with chops. Kushida came back with a whip and flying back elbow. Ciampa held on to the rope to prevent Kushida from locking in a Hoverboard Lock. Ciampa escaped the corner with a rake to Kushida’s eyes.
Ciampa nailed Dream with a vertical suplex. Kushida got a two count off a sunset flip. A fresh Velveteen Dream worked on Ciampa and Kushida with methodical strikes. Ciampa recovered and cornered both opponents. Ciampa gave both opponents corner chops. Kushida blocked a Ciampa chop and came back with slaps and a kick. Dream and Ciampa backdropped Kushida. Kushida hit Ciampa with a haymaker punch. Dream hit Kushida with a DVD. Ciampa hit Dream with a high knee. All three were left lying heading into the regular commercial break.[c]
Kushida hit Dream with a leaping senton into a Juji Gatame. Ciampa broke it up at ringside with boots. Kushida bulldogged Ciampa arm to the mat ringside. Kushida went for a Juji Gatame on Ciampa in the ring, but Ciampa kept his hands clasped. Dream broke it up with a Purple Rainmaker. Ciampa broke up Dream’s pin attempt on Kushida. Ciampa rolled up Dream for a two count. Dream hit Ciampa with a superkick and DVD. Kushida broke up the pin attempt. Dream tried to taunt Kushida and Ciampa, but that angered his opponents who pummeled him with strikes.
Kushida tossed both opponents at ringside. He hit both opponents with Tope Con Hilos, with two on Dream. Ciampa caught Kushida in the ring with Willows Bell. Dream went for another DVD on Kushida. Ciampa broke Dream and Kushida apart, tossing Dream outside. Dream tried to pull Ciampa to ringside. Dream ended up nailing Ciampa with a cast first strike to the head. This allowed Kushida to hit Ciampa with a German Suplex for the pinfall win.
Kushida defeated Tommaso Ciampa and Velveteen Dream via pinfall in 12:10 of on-air time.
Cut to a Undisputed Era promo backstage. Adam Cole was available via computer tablet. He noted he was not medically cleared to wrestle. He then hyped up Strong and Fish possibly winning the tag team championships. O’Reilly brought up the “Golden Prophesy” of UE being draped in gold. Fish and Strong promised to bring the titles to Undisputed Era. Cole ended the promo by saying that was Undisputed…
Beth Phoenix hyped Ember Moon’s first singles match since returning for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A bit of a frantic opening, but I like the change of pace to mix things up. It’s still a bit odd to see Dream here. Not because of the outside issues (which continue to be a distraction), but moreso the Kushida vs. Dream match at Takeover seemed so conclusive with Dream’s crying in the end and Kushida looking like he should be moving on. That said, maybe the explanation is behind the cast shot to Ciampa? The match, it was fun by the end where the frantic pace helped it and weaved well into the finishers and pin breakups. I also wonder, if they’re considering turning Ciampa babyface. Just in case they have to take the belt of Finn due to Finn’s jaw injury.
An ad aired to hype up the NXT Halloween Havoc show, hosted by Shotzi Blackheart…
A hype video aired to hype up Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez at Halloween Havoc…
Jessi Kamea was already in the ring…
2. Ember Moon vs. Jessi Kamea. Ember Moon’s video wall had hazmat symbols and it looks like she’s going for a Mad Max type look. Moon used a few drop toeholds to take down Jessi. Jessi hit Moon wiht a hip toss. Jessi hit Moon with a basement uppercut for a two count. Moon blocked a snapmare with a handstand. Moon hit Kamea with a kick and jump kick. Moon hit Kamea with a standing moonsault for a two count. Kamea escaped a crossface by rolling up Moon for a one count. Kamea used boots to fend off Moon, but Moon reversed into a reverse Half Crab.
Kamea rolled forward to escape the submission. Kamea avoided a running senton and gave Moon a leaping palm. Kamea gave Moon a spinning heel kick. Kamea gave Moon a springboard spin elbow drop for a two count. Moon got Kamea to the mat and locked Kamea in a Sharpshooter-STF hybrid submission for the submission win.
Ember Moon defeated Jessi Kamea via submission in 3:58.
Dakota Kai ran out and tripped up Ember Moon on the apron. Kai gave Moon a big boot. Kai taunted Moon and then walked to the back, looking salty…
Vic Joseph talked about there being commotion backstage. Bobby Fish was shown limping and struggling to put weight on his foot. Fish implied that he was attacked and that he couldn’t see the attacker…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A nice singles return for Moon and Moon hasn’t shown much ring rust in her two return matches. Cool to seem them adding new moves to her moveset as it keeps her fresh. It looks like they’re going fresh all across the board with her going with a Mad Max motiff as opposed to the mage/werewolf gimmick she had before. With Ember Moon and Toni Storm roaming around, NXT might be able to throwback to the early Takeover days where the women’s matches were the spotlight matches over the show, which outshadowed the mens matches. Poor Dakota Kai is probably going to be the gatekeeper for Moon (and I’m assuming Toni Storm will run over her in a month or two).
Austin Theory was “already in the ring”. One can assume that he’s going to get his ass beat (unless they move foward with making him Johnny Gargano’s protege)…
3. “The Colossal” Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory. McKenzie Mitchell cut in and talked about how Bobby Fish was sent to a local medical facility, and that he’s out for the main event. Mitchell noted that Kyle O’Reilly is medically cleared and will be replacing Fish in the main event match. Wade Barrett was excited at this development, but Joseph wondered if O’Reilly was 100%. Theory ended Reed’s momentum with a chop block and chinlock. Barrett reiterated that Theory has looked good despite being on a losing streak. Reed ended up slamming Theory to the mat and hitting him with a top rope splash for the win.
Bronson Reed defeated Austin Theory via pinfall in 3:26.
Austin Theory grabbed a mic, while still struggling to get to his feet. He called himself the future of NXT and WWE. He talked about doing more at his age than Reed has done in 15 years as a wrestler. Theory asked Reed to get in the ring so he can beat him…
4. “The Colossal” Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory. Theory got a few punches in, but Reed quickly gave Theory a Samoan Drop for the win.
Bronson Reed defeated Austin Theory via pinfall in 0:13.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Xia Li and Kacy Catanzaro on a match they are having later in the show. Li talked about being grateful for this important match. Catanzaro said she’s willing to help out a friend. Li laid it on thick that she has to win and this was the most important match of her career…
Vic Joseph hyped Legado Del Fantasma vs. Isaiah Scott, Jake Atlas, and Ashanti Adonis for after the break…
John’s Thoughts: After weeks of Theory enhancing wrestlers higher on the card, it looks like the losses are now making Theory the focus. WWE, historically, hasn’t taken advantage of the storyline potential with losing streak stories, but NXT is usually good with subverting wwe traditions and trends. I’m curious to see what they do with Theory because they are laying it on thick with him being extremely talented.
The cameras caught up with Austin Theory in the parking lot. Theory went into his mini-van. He said “I’m done… I quit…”
Legado Del Fantasma got a televised entrance. The babyface team was already in the ring. Vic Joseph noted that Shawn Michaels tweeted out that this was the must-see match of tonight…
5. “Legado Del Fantasma” Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza vs. Isaiah Scott, Jake Atlas, and Ashanti Adonis. Escobar and Scott brawled at ringside while the other four men brawled in the ring. Atlas and Wilde were the first two legal men in the match. Atlas worked on Wilde with some ground and pound. The commentators noted that the first few minutes of the match were completely dominated by Atlas and the face team. Atlas kicked Escobar and hit both Mendoza and Wilde with a arndrag and headscissors. Adonis teased a flip dive, but did a fake out. Scott hit all three opponents with a corkscrew senton heading into the PIP commercial. [c]
[Hour Two] Legado Del Fantasma traded quick tags to isolate Adonis from his partners. After a few minutes, Adonis managed to tag in Atlas who cleaned house. Atlas tagged in Scott. Scott hit Escobar with a punch flurry. Atlas hit Escobar with a Rolling Thunder Paydirt. Mendoza tagged in and ate a backdrop from Swerve. Mendoza dragged Scott to ringside. Wilde hit a scary looking Blockbuster on Atlas, onto the pile of people outside. Mendoza blocked a JML driver with an armdrag. Scott slammed Mendoza to the mat for a two count. Mendoza huracanranad Adonis into Scott.
Escobar hit Scott with an Arrow from the Depths of Hell. Atlas hit Escobar with a Rainbow DDT at ringside. Meanwhile, Wilde and Mendoza hit Adonis with a jump kick and Russian Legsweep combination for the win.
Legado Del Fantasma defeated Ashanti Adonis, Jake Atlas, and Isaiah Scott via pinfall in 14:56.
They cut over to the Gargano House where Candice and Johnny were sitting next to a “training wheel” to practice their spin the wheel make the deal night. They spun the wheel the first time, and got a buried alive match. Gargano complained about getting dirt on him. The next spin was a street fight. LeRae liked that because she is undefeated in street fights. Gargano then spinned it over to Casket Match. Gargano yelled that the wheel is predictable and wants him dead. Gargano said he was done and going to bed…
Killian Dain and Drake Maverick were shown heading to the ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A fun trios match to keep the feud moving forward. I do think NXT needs to showcase Santos Escobar a bit more as he’s starting to fade into the background a bit. The guy is way to talented in the ring and on the mic to not be given at least a few minutes of promo during the week.
As usual, Dain quickly got the whistle entrance music cut off…
6. “Ever Rise” Matt Martel and Chase Parker vs. Killian Dain and Drake Maverick. Ever Rise had the upper hand over Maverick early on in the match. Maverick managed to tag in Dain. Dain hit Parker with a senton. Parker and Martel then got Dain to the mat with two chop blocks. Parker had Dain in a submission. Martel taunted Maverick at ringside. Maverick ended up hitting both Ever Rise guys with a chair for a DQ.
Ever Rise defeated Killian Dain and Drake Maverick via DQ in 2:53.
Dain teased beating up Drake, but then praised Drake for being awesome and showing rage for once. Dain was then turned off due to the whistle theme. Drake Maverick did his strut dance to the theme…
Vic Joseph cut to backstage, where Roderick Strong was left lying…
William Regal, Kyle O’Reilly, and the tag team division were backstage. Regal wanted to know who attacked Strong, but nobody saw who attacked Strong. Lorcan and Burch offered to have one of them team with O’Reilly for the main event, but O’Reilly said Lorcan and Burch can just have the match themselves. Lorcan and Burch then shook hands with Breezango after O’Reilly left…
7. Xia Li vs. Kazy Catanzaro (w/Kayden Carter). The commentators noted that Li has seemed more distressed after getting that letter from Boa. Li hit Catanzaro with a backdrop and chest chop. Li hit Catanzaro with Muay Thai knees and a roundhouse for a two count. Li went for more pins, to no avail. Catanzaro came back with chops and punches to Li’s gut. Catanzaro put the boots to Li in the corner. Catanzaro hit Li with a Kappou Kick and a rollup for the win.
Kacy Catanzaro defeated Xia Li via pinfall in 2:26.
Li ended up attacking Catanzaro and Carter after the match. Raquel Gonzalez came ou tof nowhere and attacked all the women in the ring. Gonzalez military pressed Catanzaro onto Carter. Gonzalez gave Kayden Carter a delayed chokeslam. Gonzalez took a mic and said this carnage is what awaits Rhea Ripley…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Cameron Grimes about his match next week against Dexter Lumis. Grimes wouldn’t let McKenzie get words out. When McKenzie got to speak, she said that Regal announced that Grimes’s match next week is a “Haunted House of Terror Match”. Grimes started acting nervours. Dexter Lumis could be seen behind the door, staring at Grimes. McKenzie said that Thatch as Thatch Can will be airing after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Very odd. I have no clue where they’re going with Li now or if it’ll even be interesting. I do like that they’re putting steam behind Ripley vs. Gonzalez which should be an awesome match between two powerhouses. It’s just odd to see them just sacrifice Xia Li, Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter to hype that feud.
An ad aired to hype Halloween Havoc…
Timothy Thatcher was in the ring for a live “Thatch as Thatch Can” segment. He said this week’s lesson was about “success”. Thatcher had a trainee named “Anthony” (I think he’s that Anthony guy from EVOLVE). Thatcher showcased a guillotine choke on Anthony. Thatcher then reversed a leg takedown into a wrist lock. Thatcher went over the martial arts science of the move. Thatcher held on to the move for longer than he should have. Thatcher went into the science of a Double Wrist Lock.
The crowd started cheering for “Andrew” (wasn’t he anthony?). Thatcher asked Andrew to take him down again, and Andrew managed to get the upper hand on Thatcher. Thatcher then demanded a referee show up to make this a match.
8. Timothy Thatcher vs. “Andrew/Anthony” (Anthony Greene?). Barrett wondered if this guy was named Andrew or Anthony. Thatcher managed to get Anthony to the mat in a single leg crab for the tapout win.
Timothy Thatcher defeated Anthony via submission in 0:54.
John’s Thoughts: I’d be fine if they do a few more live Thatch as Thatch can segments to give Thatcher a series of wins before he gets to beat someone important. Hopefully he ends up beating someone important because I think Thatcher’s unique pseudo-shoot style can really differentiate himself in the world of pro wrestlers. On a side note, this also reminds me of the hilarious Double-J Jeff Jarrett Double M A segments. Can we see Timothy Thatcher beat up a bunch of elementary school kids like Jeff did?
They cut to a Damian Priest promo segment where he was getting tattoos at a tattoo parlor. He said nothing has changed about Johnny Gargano. Gargano is still good, but Priest is here now. Priest said he can take the pain, “can you?”…
Breezango made their entrance for the main event. No stripper entrance this week (which I’m okay with). The commentators noted that Breezango expected to face Undisputed Era and wondered if they’d be ready to face Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch…[c]
Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions for the Tag Team Championship match. Wade Barrett noted that Lorcan and Burch were backstage on standby and are now in the main event of NXT…
8. “Breezango” Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Dango took down Lorcan with a side headlock early on. Dango chopped Lorcan to the corner. Lorcan got a single leg crab on Dango. Dango got to the bottom rope for the break. Barrett noted that Lorcan and Dango are from the same hometown. Burch tagged in and hit Dango with European Uppercuts. Dango got a two count off a backslide. Breeze tagged in and hit Burch with a suplex followed by a cravate. Burch gained a bit of momentum after tossing Breeze into the plexiglass barricade.
Breeze turned the tide again after slamming Burch’s thigh into the ringpost. The show cut to picture-in-picture commercial.[c]
All four men traded stiff chops at ringside. Breeze blocked a Lorcan tope with a enzuigiri. Burch backdropped Breeze to the crowd area. Dango hit Burch in the ring with a Falcon Arrow and Last Dance. Burch kicked out at two. Lorcan put Breeze in a Boston Crab while Burch had a crossface locked in at the same time. Dango dumped Lorcan to ringside to end the submission. Breeze kept Burch in the center of the ring with forearm drops to Burch’s knee. Burch crotched Breeze on the top rope and hit Breeze with the Tower of London.
Dango broke up the subsequent pin attempt. Breezango took down both opponents with two sets of stereo superkicks. Dango went to the top rope but was shoved off by a hooded man in a mask. Danny Burch hit Breeze with a low blow while the referee was distracted. Lorcan and Burch hit Breeze with their assisted DDT finisher for the victory.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch defeated Breezango via pinfall in 12:50 to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
The man in a steel mask joined Lorcan and Burch in the ring. The man in the steel mask revealed himself to be Pat McAfee. McAfee announced Lorcan and Burch as new tag team champions and then ended the show with Undisputed Era’s “Undisputed” catchphrase…
John’s Thoughts: I had a feeling that Pat McAfee was behind the backstage attacks given that they were targeted on Undisputed Era, but I had no clue (at least during the show) that it would lead to a Lorcan and Burch heel turn. I actually thought that O’Reilly might be the one teaming up with McAfee, but I’m okay with O’Reilly remaining babyface and Lorcan and Burch could really use a reboot. It’s very cool to see Pat McAfee still in the picture on NXT because his in-ring debut and heel work was so stellar in his feud against Adam Cole. This already has me looking forward to McAfee’s next singles match, I’m guessing either against Cole again or Kyle O’Reilly.
I actually thought the main event tag team match was a really fresh match. It wasn’t full of athleticism. It was gritty. NXT still has a lot to do to rebuild their decimated tag team division, but it’s matches like this that are a good start. Overall this was a solid week of NXT. Lots of in-ring and less promos. Don’t wanna see this every week, but the in ring stuff was solid this week. I’ll be by tomorrow for dot net members with my weekly audio review of the show.
McAfee is a bigger star and better worker than everyone on the AEW and NXT rosters. He’s also the best heel in the business not named Roman Reigns.
No, he’s not.
He is, and it’s not even that close. There are others that can do more moves, especially meaningless flippy shit, but nobody on either of the Wednesday night rosters can work like Pat. Nobody on either Wednesday roster has the natural heel charisma or mic work of Pat.
In a world full of flippy midget wrestlers and bad sideshow gimmicks, he’s an old school worker with modern athleticism, and that sets him apart from damn near everyone.
McAfee is really good for the time he has been doing it, but you let me make a top 25 list off of the two Wednesday night shows- he isn’t on it.
You keep saying old school, but most people don’t want to watch 5 minutes of the chinlock of doom. Your taste in wrestling and opinions are sorta in the minority.