Date: September 27, 2022
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett
Things got shaken up in a big way last week as Ilja Dragunov debuted to add quite the wild card. JD McDonagh is the new #1 contender to Bron Breakker’s NXT Title but Dragunov is going to be put into a top spot rather quickly. This should be interesting on top of everything else around here so let’s get to it.
Here is Ilja Dragunov to get things going. He has beaten a monster to win gold before and now he is ready to do it again. This time it isn’t Gunther though, but rather Bron Breakker. Cue JD McDonagh to call Dragunov a sneaky, dirty little rat and to say that he hopes Dragunov’s ankle is healed.
McDonagh offers to end Dragunov’s career but here is Breakker to interrupt. Breakker says the title isn’t going anywhere but McDonagh has an idea: Dragunov vs. Breakker with McDonagh being there for to face the winner. That doesn’t work for Breakker, who says if his math is correct, McDonagh has a 33 1/3 chance of winning (BIG pop for that). Breakker will see them at Halloween Havoc.
Gallus and Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen are in a fight in the back.
Mandy Rose hopes Alba Fyre is watching.
The Schism is ready to hurt Cameron Grimes.
Fallon Henley vs. Mandy Rose
Non-title and the rest of Toxic Attraction is here too. Rose knocks her into the corner to start and grabs an abdominal stretch before grabbing an abdominal stretch. Henley hiptosses her way out of it and hits a swinging faceplant for two. Back up and Rose shoves her off, setting up the running knee for the pin at 5:35. Barrett: “Rose keeps knocking them out with those American thighs.”
Rating: C-. This was kind of a dry one as Rose spent a good chunk of time on the abdominal stretch. Henley is still one of the most energetic and charismatic women on the roster but she isn’t in the title hunt and shouldn’t have been any kind of a threat to Rose. There are bigger challengers for Rose out there and this was a way to keep her looking strong before she gets to them.
Post match Rose says this is Alba Fyre’s last warning. Fyre pops up on screen to say she’s more of a visual person, and then lights the words AND NEW on fire. Good thing she had that ready.
Apollo Crews has a vision of Grayson Waller with terrified eyes.
Ilja Dragunov runs into Xyon Quinn, who says Dragunov has a lot of hype. Quinn wants a chance to run with the ball but Dragunov doesn’t think he’s that bright. A match seems likely for later tonight.
North American Title Ladder Match Qualifying Match: Wes Lee vs. Tony D’Angelo
Stacks is here with D’Angelo. Feeling out process to start with D’Angelo getting the better of things. Lee knocks him to the floor though, where Stacks says give him some time to cut off Lee’s dive. That earns Stacks a dive instead so he gets inside, where the referee ejects him as we take a break. Back with D’Angelo grinding away on a chinlock but Lee fights up and sends him into the corner…..and D’Angelo is hurt. The referee calls the match at 8:42 with Lee winning via stoppage.
Rating: C. That’s never something you want to see and hopefully D’Angelo is back to full health very soon. The match leading up to the injury wasn’t all that great and the result means very little, as I can’t imagine either of these two being a major threat to winning the title. Kind of a run of the mill match here until the ending took everything they had away.
It isn’t clear what happened to D’Angelo but commentary thinks it is a knee injury.
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams don’t care about Wes Lee but here is Oro Mensah to interrupt. Hayes thinks they can do good things for Mensah but at Halloween Havoc, it is every man for themselves. Works for Mensah.
Sol Ruca is still coming.
And now, a day in the life of Pretty Deadly. They wake up at 10am and have breakfast in bed, then choose their wardrobe at 11am. Then at 2pm it’s time to spend an hour working on their hair. After some tea, they go to the gym (wearing their titles of course) where they keep working out. Then they sleep next to each other. For you old OVW fans, I had no idea that the Heartbreakers were still a thing.
Amari Miller vs. Sol Ruca
Ruca is a rather athletic surfer. Miller takes her down by the arm to start but Ruca is back up with a headscissors. A sunset flip gives Ruca one and a dropkick gets two as the fans aren’t exactly thrilled here. Miller takes her back down and grabs a cross arm choke but Ruca is back up. A knockdown out of the corner sets up a flipping legdrop to the back to give Ruca the pin at 3:44.
Rating: C-. Ruca is a very athletic woman and has a good look. That is the extent of what could be said about her based on this and that isn’t enough to get much from yet. So far, the only thing I know about Ruca is she surfs and is athletic. One of those things makes her stand out and she is going to need something else to make me interested in her.
Gallus and Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen are still fighting.
Cameron Grimes vs. Joe Gacy
The Dyad is here with Gacy. Grimes kicks away at the ribs to start so Gacy heads outside, where he rams Grimes into the apron. That’s enough for Grimes, who fights up and hits a flip dive to take the Dyad down. Back in and Gacy grabs a swinging Rock Bottom for two on Grimes but he slips out of a second one. The superkick drops Gacy but the Dyad offers another distraction. That’s enough for Gacy to hit the handspring lariat for the pin at 3:15.
Rating: D+. Nothing to see here, other than Gacy getting another win because of course he does. For the life of me I do not get what WWE sees in him but we are going to be seeing him for a long time to come. I would hope that this doesn’t lead to Grimes joining the team, but maybe he can find a friend to help deal with the numbers game.
Grayson Waller is frustrated with Apollo Crews, including what was wrong with his eyes in that vision. So Crews’ visions are now able to be seen by everyone? Doesn’t that mean it isn’t his vision? Anyway, Waller is going to have extra security for his talk show next week because that isn’t going to happen.
Nikkita Lyons vs. Kayden Carter
Zoey Stark and Katana Chance are here too. Feeling out process to start with Carter taking her down and shaking a bit. Back up and Lyons knocks her into the corner, setting up the running headscissors out of the corner. Something like a Michinoku Driver gives Lyons two but Carter knocks her down. The running kick to the face in the ropes gets two on Lyons but she is right back with a spinning kick to the head. The splits splash finishes for Lyons at 4:14.
Rating: C. Lyons and Stark are likely to get the next Women’s Tag Team Title shot and that means one of them needs to pin one of the champs on the way there. It would not surprise me to see Lyons move up to a much higher level on her own one day, but the Tag Team Titles makes enough sense. Keeping Lyons matches short is a good idea as she gets to be flashy and get out, which works well for her.
We look back at Chase U beating Carmelo Hayes/Trick Williams last week.
This week at a pep rally, Chase told his students that he has a North American Title qualifying match next week against Von Wagner. He’s ready to move on to win the title and opens the floor for questions. Someone named Dave (ahuh) asks why we should believe that Chase can beat Wagner. Chase: “YOU THINK THAT’S A FIVE STAR QUESTION???” Chase promises to win. So there is WWE’s take on the AEW media scrums.
Nathan Frazer talks about being tied up with Axiom and compares it to his soccer career.
Xyon Quinn vs. Ilja Dragunov
They fight over a headlock to start with Dragunov getting the better of things with a headlock takeover. The abdominal stretch goes on but Quinn slips out and sends him into the corner for a running shot to the face. There’s a backbreaker to Dragunov and a splash gets two. Dragunov hits a jumping enziguri and muscles him over with a suplex, setting up a hard right hand on the mat. The Torpedo Undisclosed Location finishes Quinn at 4:54.
Rating: C+. What matters here is getting Dragunov in the ring and giving him a win to establish him. The fans knew who he was but he needed to beat someone to get his feet wet around here. Dragunov is such a ball of energy in the ring and he’ll get over through pure energy, while Quinn….dang he seemed like a solid prospect and then just fell apart.
Wendy Choo doesn’t like Lash Legend’s voice and won’t apologize for standing up for herself. Legend doesn’t like her either so next week they’ll try to shut each other up.
Brutus Creed vs. Damon Kemp
Brutus starts the brawl in the aisle and they head inside for the opening bell. They fight over some grappling to start with Kemp grabbing a cravate. Creed fights up and gets two off a cradle, which is enough for Kemp to grab a chair and unload for the DQ at 3:03.
Rating: C. This was more about moving a story forward as Kemp is getting ready for the big showdown with Julius Creed. That being said, the more I see of Kemp, the more I like him. He has the amateur style and is becoming a rather nasty heel so this was a nice beatdown for the ending. Brutus got beaten up, but there are bigger deals for Kemp coming down the line.
Kemp wants Julius Creed too. Where is Julius for the save anyway?
Quincy Elliott gives Sanga a pep talk in the back, which Sanga appreciates. With Sanga gone, Xyon Quinn comes in but Elliott doesn’t see the X Factor in him. Then Quincy leaves.
Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons are ready to win the Women’s Tag Team Titles but Toxic Attraction comes in to laugh at them. A fight is teased and here is Alba Fyre to even things up (and start a fire). Toxic Attraction bails.
Gallus vs. Brooks Jensen/Josh Briggs
Pub Rules match, meaning street fight, with Joe Coffey banned from ringside. It’s a brawl to start with a fight on the floor and another inside. Gallus feels the need to bring out a table as I feel the need to praise Jensen’s Badstreet USA shirt. Jensen grabs his own table but instead it’s time for s a bunch of chair shots to drop Gallus as we take a break. Back with Gallus in control and a bunch of weapons in the ring.
Some belts are brought out to whip Jensen and Briggs, with a few fans being rather terrified. Jensen and Briggs fight up and get in their own whipping but since it’s pub rules, some glasses are broken over Gallus as well. Mark is put upside down in a trashcan so here is Joe Coffey, who gets booted off the apron and through a table. Wolfgang goes through a table as well and it’s a High/Low to Mark (still in the trashcan) for the win at 11:34.
Rating: C-. This felt like a low level house show main event where they had a street fight for the sake of saying they had a street fight. There was nothing here that hasn’t been done better elsewhere and Gallus got beaten up pretty easily. I don’t know what kind of a future Briggs and Jensen have, but it’s better than whatever Gallus has to look forward to. Dull match and really not worthy of a main event spot.
Gallus is held back by security and punches a referee. Cops come in to arrest the trio to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This was a very up and down show and I wasn’t getting into a lot of it. There was nothing on here that was particularly good or worth seeing, but it did move a lot of things forward. That is one of the places where NXT shines: it feels like they know where they want to go and how they want to get there, which is a lot more than some shows can say. Halloween Havoc is over a month away and you can see a lot of the matches from here. If they can find a better way to set things up then great, but for now, they are at least doing something right in the areas of structure. Not a great show, but it was well put together.
Mandy Rose b. Fallon Henley – Running knee
Wes Lee b. Tony D’Angelo via referee stoppage
Sol Ruca b. Amari Miller – Flipping legdrop
Joe Gacy b. Cameron Grimes – Handspring clothesline
Nikkita Lyons b. Kayden Carter – Splits splash
Ilja Dragunov b. Xyon Quinn – Torpedo
Brutus Creed b. Damon Kemp via DQ when Kemp used a chair
Brooks Jensen/Josh Briggs b. Gallus – High/low to Coffey
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