By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live October 19, 2021 on USA Network
[Hour One] Highlights from last week’s NXT show aired, which featured Carmelo Hayes pinning Isaiah Scott to become the new NXT North American Champion…
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…
Alicia Taylor introduced Carmelo Hayes as the new NXT North American Champion. Hayes made his entrance with Trick Williams. Williams asked Taylor to announce Hayes as new champion again and Taylor obliged. Williams said tonight was a “Melo Bration” to celebrate the new champion. Melo talked about showing up in NXT 4 months ago and how he proved he was the final boss of the Breakout Tournament. He talked about how he waited for the right opportunity and how he pulled a swerve on Swerve. Melo said his “I don’t miss” catchphrase and added that he’s calling the shots now.
Melo said he was the leader of the New School. Melo said the North American Championship as long as it’s around his waist. He said he doesn’t care what management, Ciampa, or the fans think. For the first time in a good while, Johnny Gargano made his entrance. Gargano said the energy of the room changed. Gargano got a “welcome back” chant. Gargano introduced himself to Hayes. Gargano noted that he held the NA title more than anyone in terms of reigns. He said he was here to congratulate Hayes. He said he’s been gone having a lot of fun with things like weddings, honeymoons, and bachelor parties.
Gargano said with Theory on Raw, Indi married, and LeRae pregnant he’s done with all the fun. He said he’s lost his way and he’s going to get back on track. He said he’s here to compete against someone like Hayes. Hayes challenged Melo to a match. Williams said Gargano better check on his daughter, Indi, because she’s shooting in Melo’s DM’s all week. Gargano said he sees his son-in-law behind them. Dexter Lumis was in the ring and choked out Trick Williams. Lumis and Gargano cleared Melo and Trick from the ring. Lumis and Gargano did a thumbs up to end the segment with The Way’s theme playing…
The announce team hyped upcoming segments…
Odyssey Jones made his entrance to the PC arena…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Cool seeing Johnny Gargano back on TV. With him being gone and even out of the intro video, I was afraid that we might have saw the last of Johnny on NXT. Gargano wasn’t the best on the mic before his run with The Way, but he’s developed so much confidence ever since becoming the suburban dad character. It looks like he might have landed as a babyface now and I’m intrigued in his oddball pairing with “son-in-law” Dexter Lumis. Trick Williams improved a bit in this segment too. At least he’s saying coherent sentences. Melo was okay, but it felt like he was trying to stuff in a bit too many catchphrases and idioms as opposed to talking naturally. Melo and Trick sound like they’re playing characters at times as opposed to them sounding like we’re watching their true selves.
1. Odyssey Jones vs. Andre Chase. Chase took down Jones with a missile dropkick. Jones came back with a whip and corner splash. Jones hit Chase with a standing splash for the victory.
Odyssey Jones defeated Andre Chase via pinfall in 2:54.
John’s Thoughts: Simple squash. Jones continues to get better every showing. There’s no reason for Chase to be pushed with such a one-dimensional gimmick. There is a part of me that feels like Jones needs to develop a bit of a mean streak though to take the next step. So far he’s just a bit too happy go lucky.
Malcolm Bivens and Diamond Mine were backstage. Bivens cut a promo about everyone asking for championship opportunities. Bivens said they aren’t going to ask for opportunities, they are going to take them. Diamond Mine made their entrance to new music…[c]
An ad aired for the Spin the Wheel Make the Deal gimmick at Halloween Havoc…
2. “The Creed Brothers” Julius and Brutus Creed (w/Malcolm Bivens, Roderick Strong, Ivy Nile, Hachiman) vs. “Imperium” Marcel Barthel and Fabien Aichner. Barthel dominated Brutus early on with chain wrestling. Brutus came back with a Belly to Belly Suplex. Barthel hit Brutus with a snapmare and PK. Brutus tackled Barthel to his corner and tagged in Julius who worked on Barthel with leg takedowns. Barthel came back with an enzuigiri. Roderick Strong distracted Barthel by grabbign his leg, which allowed Julius to suplex him off the top rope. Brutus tagged in and The Creeds traded quick tags and tandem offense to cut the ring in half on Barthel.
Barthel got a nearfall after a rollup which allowed him to tag in Aichner. Aichner took down both Creeds with chops. Aichner hit Brutus with a Fireman Carry Senton for a two count. Julius tagged himself in. Julius hit Aichner with a gutwrench suplex for a two count. Kushida and Ikeman Jiro ran to ringside to brawl with Strong and Hachiman. The distraction allowed Barthel to roll up Julius for the victory.
Imperium defeated The Creed Brothers via pinfall in 5:35.
MSK, Wes Lee and Nash Carter showed up and blindsided Imperium. They hit Imperium with Hot Fire Flame and a Tope Con Hilo. MSK signaled that they want to defend their titles against Imperium next week. It seemed like the crowd was booing MSK…
John’s Thoughts: Dirty loss, but I’m surprised that The Creed Brothers took the loss here because they were initially pushed as unstoppable. To Imperium no less, who is in line for their latest match against MSK. Imperium has to go over right? Or else, how many time have they lost tag title matches to MSK?
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in on commentary. Vic noted that Beth Phoenix was on vacation…
The show cut to a Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner nature bonding skit. Wagner took O’Reilly to a hiking trailer. They bonded over carrying a log. Wagner gave O’Reilly a beer at the end of the night…
A Cora Jade hype video aired to hype Jade appearing after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Wagner is still awkward as all hell on the mic, but I did like that skit. Wagner’s awkward promos make him seem a bit like a caveman or something and now it looks like Kyle O’Reilly trying to befriend a caveman. Honestly, if NXT wanted their version of Jungle Boy, Von Wagner might be perfect for that role?
Joe Gacy cut a promo backstage where he said that NXT 2.0 may not actually be a safe space. Gacy continued to throw buzzwords, without context. Gacy put his hand on a plexiglass barrier and Harland was on the other side. Gacy said “follow me, my little snowflake”…
John’s Thoughts: Ok, I’m intrigued that this can be very interesting if done right. Gacy is playing his role really well and it looks like there might be some depth to his character. There’s a little bit of the old cult-leader Bray Wyatt in him and I wouldn’t minds seeing a different take on the character.
Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza, and Elektra Lopez were in the ring. Escobar talked about how Carmelo Hayes is a lucky son of a bitch for walking out of last week with the title belt. Escobar hyped up Elektra Lopez. Lopez couldn’t get out a word because Cora Jade made her entrance.
3. Elektra Lopez (w/Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza) vs. Cora Jade. Lopez dominated Jade with a whip and power moves. Jade got a one count off a victory roll. Lopez came back with a power bomb. Jade got a rollup. Lopez kicked out, but after the three count.
Cora Jade defeated Elektra Lopez via pinfall in 1:51.
John’s Thoughts: I haven’t seen too much of Cora Jade before WWE, but I’m totally sold on her being a potential future top star based of the way WWE’s presented her over the past few months. Personally, I really like that she’s a punk rock skater girl. I also think she comes off as genuine as opposed to trying to play a character. I really liked the way Jade won too. You don’t see too many finishes like that where the kickout happens but after the three. Why not have that be a way some people can win a match? Anyways, punk rock skater girl! I’m all in on this!
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Tommaso Ciampa and Bron Breakker about facing GYV on this week’s show. Breakker said he knows the wrestling cliche of reluctant partners costing each other the match and that’s not going to happen tonight. Ciampa said he’s not worried and is just going to follow Breakker’s lead. Ciampa said that in a sarcastic tone…
Entrances for the next match took place…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Between Raw and Smackdown over the past few weeks, there have been a ton of that cliche that Steiner brought up. I hope NXT breaks that trend and this is not just WWE lampshading an overdone trend.
After showing a few twitter videos of each man wanting to be the host of Halloween Havoc, Vic Joseph advertised LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller for later in the show where the winner becomes the host of Halloween Havoc…
4. Io Shirai vs. Persia Pirotta vs. Jacy Jayne for a chance to spin the wheel? Shirai took out both opponents with a missile dropkick. Persia hit Shirai with a front slam. Shirai dumped Pirotta to ringside. Jayne botched a suicide dive by getting her feet caught in the ropes. She fell on her head. Shirai hit both opponents with an Asai Moonsault heading into picture-in-picture.[c]
Vic Joseph noted that Jacy Jayne was dragged to the back due to not being medically cleared to wrestle off the suicide dive. Vic Joseph noted that Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis’s kiss broke 10 million views on YouTube. Pirotta dominated Shirai for a stretch. Shirai got a two count off an inside cradle.
[Hour Two] Shirai worked on Pirotta with forearms. Pirotta hit Shirai with a sitout power bomb for a two count. Shirai rallied back with forearms and a 619. Shirai hit Pirotta, slipped a bit, and hit Pirotta with a slingshot dropkick for a two count. Shirai locked in a crossface on Persia. Persia powered out. Shirai hit Persia with a German Suplex. Shirai walked over Persia and hit Persia with a moonsault for the victory.
Io Shirai defeated Persia Pirotta via pinfall in 11:22.
Shirai and Stark spun the wheel and the wheel landed on “Stairway to hell” Ladder Match….
John’s Thoughts: Uhm? What advantage does spinning the wheel give you? Like? If Shirai, Jacy, or Persia spun the wheel, how would that make a difference. Who backstage pitched this match idea. This stipulation was stupid! Anyways, the match also had to be improvised because Jacy Jayne fell spike on her head on the botched suicide dive (there was also a botched dropkick by Shirai later on when Pirotta may have been out of place). Prayers out to Jayne and hopefully she didn’t get hurt too bad off the trip.
The camera cut to backstage where Legado Del Fantasma was putting the boots to someone. It might have been Trey Baxter because Elektra Lopez was taunting Cora Jade. Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs ran in to brawl with Legado. Referees ran in to pull apart the teams…
The show cut to a Tony D’Angelo promo where he talked about his successful debut. He was hyped as appearing “up next”…[c]
A Solo Silkoa (Joseph Fatu, Jimmy and Jay Uso’s brother) vignette aired…
Ikeman Jiro walked in on Kushida taking a piss in the urinals. For some reason, Jiro forced Kushida to put back on his Marty McFly gear. Jiro told Kushida to go back to the future…
Tony D’Angelo made his entrance…
5. Tony D’Angelo vs. Ru Feng. D’Angelo took down Feng with a tackle and shoulder tackle. D’Angelo gave Feng a noogie. D’Angelo put the boots to Feng. D’Angelo hit Feng with a Fisherman Suplex into a Fisherman Backbreaker for the win.
Tony D’Angelo defeated Ru Feng via pinfall in 1:44.
Samantha Irvin interviewed Tony D’Angelo in the ring and noted that Lash Legend’s producer went “missing” and if D’Angelo knows anything about it. D’Angelo asked Irvin if she’s a snitch and that he knows nothing. D’Angelo gave Irvin a wad of cash and told her to get something nice for herself and to “forget about it!”…
The show cut to Duke Hudson’s Poker Room. Hudson beat random people at Hold’Em….
John’s Thoughts: Generic Poker player? Really? This is worst than Swinger’s Palace!
Briggs and Jensen were supposed to make their entrance but Jensen was lying in teh hallway behind Gorilla Position. Joaquin Wilde hit Josh Briggs with a steel chair. Legado Del Fantasma walked out and Vic Joseph wondered if Briggs and Jensen vs. Legado Del Fantasma is gonna happen…[c]
6. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen vs. “Legado Del Fantasma” Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza (w/Santos Escobar, Elektra Lopez). The match was joined in-progress. The replay showed that Brooks and Jensen agreed to have the match continue after they beat up a few security guards. Santos Escobar was hitting Brooks and Jensen with cheap shots at ringside. Mendoza and Wilde traded quick tags to cut the ring in half on Briggs. Jensen managed to get the hot tag as he cleaned house.
Jensen hit Mendoza with a power slam. Jensen backdropped Wilde. Jensen shoved Escobar at ringside. Legado Del Fantasma hit Jensen with their Legsweep-Enzuigiri combo to give Mendoza the win.
Legado Del Fantasma defeated Briggs and Jensen via pinfall in 5:15.
The show cut to a promo package where Mandy Rose and Raquel Gonzalez hyped up their upcoming Women’s title match at Halloween Havoc…
LA Knight made his entrance…[c]
The random, presumably female, wrestler was shown throwing things into a hole in the ground. They threw in cards, crutches, and a television. The person hit a mirror with a sledgehammer. The person said”reflection leads to reincarnation”…
John’s Thoughts: Based off the accent? The return of Dakota Kai?
The show cut to Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes looking for Melo’s title belt. One locker had an invitation from Dexter Lumis for Halloween Havoc…
John’s Thoughts: Presumably, this will lead to a Lumis vs. Hayes haunted house match like last years’s cinematic match.
7. LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller to become the host of Halloween Havoc. Waller got a few rollups for two counts. Knight hit Waller with a suplex for a two count. Waller came back with a discus forearm and a few lariats. Waller hit Knight with a reverse STO. Knight recovered and hit Waller with a pump kick and Blunt Force Trauma for the victory.
LA Knight defeated Grayson Waller via pinfall in 2:43 to become the host of Halloween Havoc.
John’s Thoughts: Why did Io Shirai have to spin the wheel? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for the host to spin the wheel? Just sayin.
The commentary team ran through advertised matches for Halloween Havoc. Wade Barrett noted that Solo Sikoa will debut next week at Halloween Havoc…
Tommaso Cimapa made his entrance…[c]
The rest of the entrances for the main event took place…
8. NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa and Bron Breakker vs. “The Grizzled Young Veterans” James Drake and Zack Gibson. Breakker took down Drake with a shoulder tackle. Breakker hit Drake with a few suplex slams. Breakker caught a leapfrogging Drake with a power slam. Ciampa forcefully tagged himself in. Gibson tagged in. Ciampa took down both opponents with lariats. Vic Joseph hyped up Crown Jewel by noting that former NXT Champion Finn Balor competing in the King of the Ring tournament. Wade Barrett noted he is a former King of the Ring. Ciampa taunted Breakker heading into picture-in-picture.[c]
Drake was dominating Ciampa. Ciampa hit Drake with a back suplex. Gibson distracted Breakker to prevent Ciampa from tagging him in. Joseph noted that Ciampa never lost a title defense for the NXT Championship because he relinquished the title due to injury in the past. Drake and Gibson worked on Ciampa with methodical offense. This lasted for a few minutes. Ciampa got a window of opportunity with a DDT on Drake. Ciampa slapped Breakker in the face when Breakker almost got distracted by Gibson again.
Breakker hit a rally of moves on Drake and Joseph noted taht it looked like Breakker might have gone after Ciampa. Breakker locked Drake in the Steiner Recliner. Gibson broke up the submission. Breakker dumped Gibson to ringside. Breakker hit Drake with the Military Press power slam for the victory.
Bron Breakker and Tommaso Ciampa defeated James Drake and Zack Gibson via pinfall in 10:58.
Ciampa walked to the ramp hugging “Goldie”, the title belt. Ciampa turned around when Breakker dared him to come to the ring. The show ended with Ciampa and Breakker facing off in the center of the ring…
John’s Thoughts: Standard hype for Ciampa vs. Breakker next week. I’m happy they didn’t go with the cliche partners breaking down trope that Breakker mentioned earlier, especially since WWE has been doing it with title matches over the past few weeks leading up to Crown Jewel. It wouldn’t have been worth it to put the GYVs over either because they’ve already been so discredited as a tag team where being fodder is fine. I hope Ciampa keeps the title somehow and they don’t rush the title onto Breakker. I can see Breakker pick up the title someday, but let’s not rush the title on him to build Breakker up a bit. Breakker looked good in the ring again by the way. He comes off as a natural amateur wrestler (and he was an NFL football player right?).
Solid episode of 2.0 NXT. Not as good as last week’s, but it looks like NXT is starting to revert to their old booking style of character development and in-ring storytelling. What’s hurting the show are the acts that aren’t clicking. Things like the random poker player and Josh Briggs’s low budget attire stand out as things that don’t belong on TV. Hopefully NXT starts to weed out and extricate some of these lame gimmicks and hopefully they get back to compelling TV. Hey, at least Johnny Gargano is back!
I hope Jacy Jayne is good to go for next week. I guess they could book it in a way where she is “taken out” before the match.
I agree on Cora. Given how she is playing this character, I am assuming this isn’t too far off of her actual personality. Having the heels work her over only for her to pull out the win out of nowhere is simple and effective if the character is likable.
Overall, very good show,