Date: October 30, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Beth Phoenix, Mauro Ranallo
Things changed in a big way last week as Finn Balor turned on Johnny Gargano, likely setting up a heck of a showdown in Chicago. Other than that, it’s time to start setting up Takeover, which means it’s time to start setting up WarGames. They have a lot of ways to get there and I’m curious to see which they pick. Let’s get to it.
Poppy performs live to open things up with a recap video from last week playing on the screen. As a bonus, they play Io Shirai to the ring.
Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae
Candice knocks her outside to start but gets caught with a 619 on the apron. A heck of a suicide dive drops Candice but Io throws her in for the same dive from Candice. Back in and a hard clothesline gives Candice two but Shirai runs her over. The chinlock doesn’t last long so Candice snaps off a headscissors into a kick to the face. With her nose bleeding, Candice takes her to the apron to fight over a suplex attempt.
Shirai shoves her off the top and out to the floor as we take a break. Back with Candice hitting a tornado DDT to bang up Shirai’s neck. Ms. LeRae’s Wild Ride is broken up but Shirai’s moonsault hits raised knees. A headscissor choke goes on and Candice has to get a boot on the rope for the break. Shirai grabs a chair so Candice rolls her up for two and hits a full nelson swinging faceplant for two. Candice’s Lionsault hits chair though and Shirai gets the pin at 12:56.
Rating: C+. Evil Shirai is more than working and Candice is as easy of a face to cheer as there is outside of Team Fly Kicks. This should finish the story between the two of them though and there is nothing wrong with that, as Shirai is someone who can be even further established as a monster. Then you have Candice, who can smile her way through any loss you give her.
Finn Balor talks about how it felt good to kick Johnny Gargano in the head last week. This is the real Balor, who is glad to be back on NXT. Raw and Smackdown are Hollywood, where you can hide behind a bunch of things. NXT is Broadway, with no place to hide. The Prince is back.
Here’s Balor for a chat. Balor talks about how the hottest thing in the business is a guy who put a mask on but now he’s taken his mask off and now he’s the hottest thing in the business. Everyone has their opinions, including those tough guys on social media. The problem is there are so many fans in the locker room when they should be out there with the people. Balor does not watch the business because the business watches him. That brings him to Johnny Gargano, the so called heart and soul of NXT. Gargano is out of the hospital but if he comes after Balor, he’ll be Johnny Watches Wrestling, as he should be.
Video on the Kabuki Warriors and the two of them furthering their heel status by misting Paige on Raw.
Shane Thorne vs. Bronson Reed
Thorne dropkicks him into the corner at the bell but gets taken down by a clothesline. The running backsplash gives Reed two and it’s time to chop it out. A kick to the head sets up a belly to back suplex for two on Reed and it’s time to fire off the kicks. Reed is right back with some clotheslines and an over the back piledriver for two of his own. Thorne catches him on top and tries a super hurricanrana but gets shoved down. A top rope splash crushes Thorne for the pin at 4:21.
Rating: C+. Oh that worked, if nothing else for the splash alone. Thorne hit at Reed with everything he had but just couldn’t overcome the size and power advantages. They’re 1-1 now and even if it was just a short match that didn’t get a lot of time, I could go for a third one from them, which isn’t usually the case with a match like this.
Team Fly Kicks is ready to win the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
Video on Mia Yim.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Kabuki Warriors vs. Team Fly Kicks
The Warriors are defending and Asuka gets a heck of a WELCOME BACK chant. Asuka goes straight for Nox’s knee to start so it’s off to Sane for a hard chop. Everything breaks down for a bit and the champs are dropkicked to the floor. That’s fine with them as they easily win a brawl as we take a break.
Back with Nox hitting the running backsplash in the corner and Kai snapmaring Asuka down for a kick to the chest. Asuka goes crazy evil with a dragon screw legwhip onto the ropes to crank Kai’s recently repaired knee. The leglock is on inside and they take turns kicking at each other in a painful looking exchange. Sane comes back in to Walk The Plank for a rather cocky near fall.
The Brock Lock has Nox in even more trouble and it’s Asuka coming back in for a leg trapped chinlock. Sane grabs a Figure Four neck lock, followed by a kick from Asuka for two. It’s back to the leglock and we take a second break. Back again with Kai still in trouble as Asuka puts on another leglock. Kai gets up and fights out of the corner before nailing a scorpion kick to knock Sane down. The hot tag brings in Nox so house can be cleaned, including a chokeslam to Sane and running elbows in the corner.
The Shiniest Wizard is blocked though and Asuka grabs a kneebar in the middle of the ring. Nox reverses into a cross armbreaker with Sane making the save this time around. A series of suplexes and kicks puts everyone down and the fans are pleased. Kai gets back in with the running kick to Asuka in the corner but walks into the mist. The Insane Elbow to the back finishes Kai (with Sane covering Kai’s face to avoids the DQ) to retain the titles at 24:06.
Rating: B. This was more long than great, though it was still quite the match. Kai and Nox are a rather awesome team (the matching gear helps a lot) and they’re going to be a big deal at some point in the future, either together or on their own. It’s great to see what can actually be done when these titles are given some time and a crowd that cares, which is so often the case around here.
Post match here are Shayna Baszler and the Horsewomen for what is likely to be painful. Nox tries to fight them off but the numbers get the better of her. Baszler loads up the arm but Rhea Ripley runs out for the save. Shirai jumps her from behind though and the fight is on outside. Bianca Belair runs out to beat down Ripley as well, which draws out Candice LeRae for a failed save attempt.
Rhea gets up and takes everyone out before staring Shayna back. The fight is on with everyone getting in the ring and I think you know where this is going. William Regal comes out and orders security to break it up and the WARGAMES chants are on. That’s exactly what Regal gives them too, though Rhea and company need a fifth. Rhea kicks a guard away and goes after Shayna again but gets held back.
Tyler Bate vs. Cameron Grimes
Bate goes for the leg to start and flips away from Grimes’ attempted escape. An armdrag into an arm crank has Grimes down and his nip up only keeps him out of trouble for a few moments. The airplane spin has Grimes in more trouble and a dropkick puts him on the floor. Back in and Grimes counters a charge into a spinning sitout Side Effect for two as we take a break.
We come back with Grimes hitting his crazy cool backflip into a German suplex for two more. Grimes cranks on the arm even more but Bate fights up and throws him down with a t-bone suplex. The running shooting star gives Bate two and he reverses Grimes’ powerbomb attempt into a hurricanrana for the same.
Bate can’t hit the Tyler Driver 97 so they hit each other in the face until Grimes hits the spinning powerslam for two more. Back up and the rebound lariat gives Bate two, setting up the rolling Liger kick to send Grimes outside. The big no hands dive crushes Grimes again but here’s Killian Dain to distract Bate, meaning it’s the Cave In to finish Bate at 13:11.
Rating: B. Bate is one of those guys who can do something good against anyone in there and that’s what he did here. Then again, Grimes is more than capable of holding his own and the Cave In is one of the better finishers at the moment. I could go for Bate/Dunne vs. Dain/Grimes soon and that appears to be where we’re going. If nothing else, watching Bate throwing Dain around could be awesome. But yeah, another rather good match here.
Post match Dain drives Bate into the steps and crushes him with the Cannonball against the steps.
Video on Angel Garza.
Shayna Baszler and Rhea Ripley are officially the team captains for WarGames.
Undisputed Era vs. Matt Riddle/Keith Lee
Non-title. The champs go after Lee to start and are easily pulled into each other, allowing Lee to leapfrog both of them at once, setting up a double crossbody to put them down again. The Era’s low bridge attempt is blocked as well and that means it’s time for a breather on the floor. Riddle isn’t cool with that and kicks them down as the dominance continues.
O’Reilly gets chopped to the floor and Riddle Jackhammers Fish for two. Back from a break with Riddle suplexing O’Reilly until Fish runs him over with a shoulder. We hit the chinlock for a bit but Riddle powers up without much trouble. O’Reilly kicks Fish in the face by mistake but is smart enough to grab Riddle in a leglock before he’s anywhere close to a tag. That’s broken up but Fish uses the delay to kick Lee off the apron.
Riddle kicks and knees both of them, only to get kicked right back. Chasing the Dragon is enough to bring Lee in for the save but he doesn’t drag Riddle to the corner. Riddle flips out of a suplex though and the hot tag brings in Lee for the big elbows to the face. Lee clotheslines and backdrops them down but a legsweep cuts him down.
O’Reilly goes for the triangle choke but Lee curls him up with ease to shot off even more. The powerbomb breaks it up though and it’s back to Riddle for the strikes and suplexes. Cue Strong and Cole for the distraction though, only to have Riddle send everyone to the floor for a springboard Floating Bro. Lee Pounces Cole into Strong but it’s the High Low to finish Riddle at 14:22.
Rating: B-. Another good match here that seems to be setting up something big for Takeover (I wonder what it could be) and that’s a good way to go. Having Riddle and Lee in the main event scene is a good idea and if you get someone else in there, say Ciampa and one other person, against the Era, should be a rather good idea. That’s almost a guarantee at this point and I can more than go for the idea.
Post match the beatdown is on but it’s Tommaso Ciampa running in for the save with the crutch. Cole is left alone with Ciampa but an O’Reilly distraction lets Cole escape. O’Reilly gets beaten down and Lee throws him onto the rest of the team. Ciampa grabs the mic and says hold on a bit Goldy, because Daddy is going to war.
Overall Rating: B+. Good wrestling, awesome promo from Balor and two WarGames matches being set up. This was a heck of a show and they picked up the steam for Takeover and that is what this show needed to do. You can see the card from here and it seems that this is going to be a show focusing on the feuds instead of the titles. Unless they tie the titles into WarGames, though I’m not sure how smart that would be. Anyway, rather good show here and NXT is back on a roll.
Io Shirai b. Candice LeRae – Lionsault to a chair
Bronson Reed b. Shane Thorne – Top rope splash
Kabuki Warriors b. Team Fly Kicks – Insane Elbow to Kai
Cameron Grimes b. Tyler Bate – Cave In
Undisputed Era b. Keith Lee/Matt Riddle – High/Low to Riddle
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