- Xavier Woods def Ricochet (King of the Ring Tournament Quarterfinal Match) – **¾
- Hurt Business (Benjamin & Alexander) def Mustafa Ali & Mansoor – **
- Shayna Baszler def Dana Brooke (Queen’s Cup Tournament Quarterfinal Match – *½
- Omos w/ AJ Styles def Riddle – *¼
- Austin Theory def Jeff Hardy – *½
- Jinder Mahal w/ Veer & Shanky def Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods (King of the Ring Tournament Quarterfinal Match) – **¼
- Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks – Double DQ – **¾
- Doudrop def Natalya (Queen’s Crown Tournament Quarterfinal Match) – **
- The Usos def Drew McIntyre & Big E – **½
We get Drew McIntyre coming to the ring to kick us off for the night and after running down some of the matches at Crown Jewel he says that his match against Big E will be the match everyone is talking about because he will win back his WWE Championship. McIntyre says this is his last chance to win the WWE Championship before going over to SmackDown and he is not going to let the opportunity slip through his fingers. Big E comes out and says he understands why McIntyre wants to be WWE Champion once again as he tasted the sweet nectar of being champion and that juice is dripping down his chest and between his nipples. Big E then says McIntyre is very accomplished, but he is not taking the WWE Championship from him. McIntyre says the reason why he wants to win that WWE Championship is because with both of his prior WWE Championship wins he never got that adrenaline rush of the fans going crazy, he follows up by saying he lead the company through uncertain times and he’s proud of that but he still wants that moment of glory and that time will come at Crown Jewel. McIntyre says he is going to beat Big E and take the WWE Championship and there isn’t a damn thing he can do about it.
We then get a surprise appearance from The Usos and they debate who will win at Crown Jewel and then they say they are on Raw to fire warning shots at both Big E and Drew McIntyre. The Usos warn McIntyre not to come for Reigns when he comes to SmackDown and if Big E is still WWE Champion by the time Survivor Series comes around he will fall to Reigns in the champion vs champion match. The Usos then start to leave the ring but Big E tells them to slow their roll and then on behalf of himself and McIntyre he challenges them to a tag match, after a moment of conversation between Big E and McIntyre we see The Usos jump them and then they lay both men out with stereo superkicks as a way to show they accept the match. Later in the night, McIntyre confronts Big E backstage about what happened but Big E stops him and says that they can beat the crap out of each other at Crown Jewel, but for tonight they need to be on the same page because if they don’t it’s going to be a long night against a talented team like The Usos. McIntyre agrees with Big E and then we get a Mega Powers style handshake between the two Crown Jewel opponents.
In the main event of the show, we see Big E and Drew McIntyre take on The Usos and for the majority of the match they are on the same page, but towards the end, we see Big E tag himself in when McIntyre counts down for the Claymore as payback for what McIntyre did to him last week. We see Big E hit Jey Uso with the uranage out of the corner, but when he goes for the pin McIntyre pulls him out of the ring and they brawl around ringside until they are counted out. After the match, Big E and McIntyre take out The Usos and then McIntyre hits Big E with a Claymore. The show ends with Big E and a busted open Drew McIntyre staring each other down.
You have to love the WWE trope of opponents having to team up in the weeks leading to their big match and their competitiveness between each other costing them the match. I did like the reason that McIntyre gave for wanting to win the WWE Championship again with him still clamoring for that big moment that he has yet to really get seeing as both of his WWE Championship wins came without a crowd.
We got our other two King off the Ring Quarterfinal matches which saw Xavier Woods beat Ricochet in a really fun match, but the possibility and intrigue of what would happen if the members of New Day were forced to face each other didn’t come to pass as for some reason they needed to have Jinder Mahal beat Kofi Kingston. They really could’ve had a really exciting match and moment next week with Xavier Woods beating Kofi Kingston and Kingston being fine with it because he knows how much Woods wants to be King of the Ring, but instead, we are going to get a yawn-inducing match involving Jinder Mahal.
We get a backstage segment with RK-Bro where Riddle tells Orton he has challenged Omos to a match for tonight which Orton thinks was a stupid idea and then he tells Riddle he is on his own tonight, but Riddle thinks Orton is just saying that to throw off Omos and Styles and he really has a plan for the match. As the Riddle vs Omos match is fixing to begin Riddle gets on the mic and talks some nonsense trying to distract Omos as he thinks Orton is going to come from behind and hit him with an RKO, but there is no Orton to be seen, so Riddle continues to babble on until Styles gets on the mic and tells the referee to ring the bell as Riddle is clearly stalling and once Styles gets off the apron the referee calls for the bell. Riddle is dominated by Omos who lays him out with a chokeslam and then he puts his foot on Riddle’s chest but Styles tells Omos to take his foot off as they can punish Riddle all they want and then he tells Omos to show some of his karate skills and hit Riddle with a roundhouse kick and that is exactly what he did. Styles then tells Omos to hit the ol’ CB (chokebomb) and after Omos hits the move he pins Riddle for the easy win.
After the match, Styles looks to hit Riddle with a Styles Clash, but Orton’s music hits, and Styles is waiting for a sneak attack and he tells Omos to go outside the ring to get ready for Orton, but Orton slides in behind Styles and hits him with an RKO. This was a fun segment and I like how Orton continues to outsmart Styles and Omos despite how much they try to prepare for him.
Hurt Business beat Mansoor and Mustafa Ali in under two minutes and Ali is not happy. We get an interview with Mansoor later in the night which is interrupted by an irate Ali who calls him a waste of time and tells Mansoor he doesn’t belong in the WWE because he is too concerned with making friends and dancing. Ali tells Mansoor that without him Mansoor is going to get eaten alive, but that is his fault as he should’ve just told Mansoor he was a loser the day they met. Ali walks away but then comes back to beat down Ali and with that, we have our mandatory Mansoor match for Crown Jewel where he is guaranteed to win.
We get our two Queen’s Cup Quarterfinal matches as Shayna Baszler beats Dana Brooke and Doudrop beats Natalya in two matches that are less than five minutes combined just like we saw with the matches on SmackDown. While Shayna squashing Dana in less than two minutes makes sense given the two competitors in the match a match between Doudrop and Natalya should be going longer than three minutes. If the semi-final matches are of the same length then we can definitely call this first edition of the Queen’s Cup Tournament a complete disaster and it shows clear as day that unless you are a Horsewoman those in charge don’t give two shits about you nor do they care about the fans of these women because if they did they would allow them to have more time especially when the show is 3 hours long. I will say that at least with these Raw tournament matches they had the right person go over in both as Shayna and Doudrop moving on was the right call and while I like Doudrop I think Shayna needs to win the tournament.
Bobby Lashley comes out and cuts one of his best solo promos since his return to the company as he talks about Goldberg continuously mentioning that he wants to kill Lashley and how that is not befitting of a WWE superstar, a WWE Hall of Famer, or a father. He says that Goldberg has become a rabid dog that needs to be put down and that is why he made the match No Holds Barred so that he can finally end Goldberg’s career and this time it won’t be a case of Goldberg prancing in to beat someone up and then riding off into the sunset. Lashley says that just so there are no misunderstandings Goldberg cannot beat the Almighty, he can’t hurt the Almighty, and he damn sure can’t kill the Allmighty. I really liked this promo a lot and I am surprised people were actually chanting for Goldberg as I understand he is the babyface in the feud, but nothing he has said or done in the past two or three times he has come back should give the fans a reason to still cheer for him as he has been horrible both in the ring and on the mic. Hopefully, the match at Crown Jewel is relatively quick to prevent any kind of injury happening to Lashley at the hands of Goldberg.
We got a quick match between Jeff Hardy and Austin Theory after what happened last week with Theory attacking Hardy after taking a selfie with Hardy. I don’t get why they needed to have the 24/7 guys run through in the middle of the match to throw off the pace of what was a decent match, at least Theory ends up with the win after he got his knees up on a Swanton Bomb and Theory rolls him up in a small package.
Throughout the night the women featured in the big tag match got their own promo time backstage here are some of the highlights of those promos.
Charlotte – Charlotte doesn’t care about Shayna Baszler which hopefully is a tease to a feud between the two on SmackDown. Charlotte says Bianca doesn’t have killer instinct, Becky talks the talk but can’t walk the walk, and then questions how many times she has beaten Sasha. Charlotte wants Sasha to win at Crown Jewel so that she can beat her for the SmackDown Women’s Championship and become a double champion.
Sasha – Sasha says that Charlotte may think she is in charge but really the SmackDown Women’s Champion is in charge and she will hold that title after Crown Jewel. Sasha tells Bianca to follow her lead in the tag match because there is a reason she is called “The Boss”
Bianca – Bianca says that Charlotte may think you need to be ruthless and cheat to win matches, but she is going to prove that is not the case when she wins her SmackDown Women’s Championship back at Crown Jewel. Bianca then says she beat Sasha in the main event of WrestleMania and she will never forget what Becky did to her at SummerSlam. Bianca says she enjoyed putting Becky and Sasha through the table on SmackDown and maybe at Crown Jewel she will pin them both but tonight perhaps she start by pinning both Becky and Charlotte.
Becky – Becky says she has beaten the other three women in the match and raised the bar higher while doing it. Becky then says the thought of teaming with Charlotte is as repulsive as the lingering smell of piss in an alley, but she will lead her to victory because that is what she does.
We eventually get to the match itself which is supposed to be Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks, but Bianca and Sasha start bickering about who is going to start the match for their team and eventually we get a wild brawl between the four women that had to be broken up by the referees and agents. Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville come out and they are not going to stand for this as they demand the referees gain control as this match will happen, at this point, I realized Adam and Sonya are idiots for trying to keep this as a tag match rather than making it a four-way after seeing that these four women are not going to be able to work together. We get a match for about five minutes until Becky and Charlotte start arguing and then Bianca runs into Sasha and once again we get a brawl forcing the referee to throw the match out. The brawl continues after the match until Becky finally stands tall after hitting Sasha with the Manhandle Slam.
While the match was only five minutes if you add in the pre-match and post-match brawls they probably got close to a ten-minute segment and that shows that if the Horsewomen are involved more time is going to be given to the segment they are involved in which is not fair to all of the other women on the roster and I would like to hope the Horsewomen would step up and say something on behalf of the other women in the locker room as its clear they have more pull with those in charge. It’s crazy how the first couple of Saudi shows you would never think about having a women’s match but going into Crown Jewel we are set to have two women’s matches involving five women, I just pray they stay safe while being in a country that hates women.
Outside of the fun brawl between the women and the promo by Bobby Lashley I thought this was a pretty underwhelming episode of Raw.
NXT 2.0 Results
- Tommaso Ciampa def Joe Gacy (If Gacy had won he would be added to Halloween Havoc match) – **¾
- Xyon Quinn def Malik Blade – **¼
- Ivy Nile w/ The Diamond Mine def Valentina Feroz – ½*
- Julius Creed w/ The Diamond Mine def Ikeman Jiro – **½
- Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner def Pete Dunne & Ridge Holland – ***
- Duke Hudson def Grayson Waller – **
- Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta def Sarray & Amari Miller – **
- Isaiah Scott © def Santos Escobar/ Isaiah Scott © vs Carmelo Hayes w/ Trick Williams (NXT North American Championship) – ***½
The show opens with Hit Row walking into the PC, but Legado del Fantasma rolls up and attacks them and then stuffs all but Swerve into the vehicle and drive off.
We go into the arena where Joe Gacy cuts a promo on how he is going to beat Tommaso Ciampa tonight and then he says he will bring transparent inclusivity to the NXT Championship for the fans which he calls snowflakes. Ciampa comes to the ring and our first match of the night is underway.
Gacy offers a handshake but Ciampa kicks his hand away and then backs Gacy into the corner, but instead of breaking clean, he hits Gacy with a kick to the head. Gacy comes back with a shoulder block off the ropes and then he tries to ground Ciampa with a reverse chinlock, but Ciampa fights out and takes Gacy to the mat with an armbar. Gacy fights out and sends Ciampa into the ropes where he connects with a forearm followed by a backbreaker. Gacy stomps a mudhole into Ciampa and then looks into the crowd where Parker Boudreaux who is now going by Harland is sitting and Gacy starts smiling. Ciampa starts a comeback as he fires away with strikes and then hits him with a running knee strike in the corner. Gacy tries to roll out to the floor for a breather but Ciampa throws him back into the ring where Gacy starts begging for mercy and then he rolls back out to the floor where we see Ciampa bounce his head off the announce table and then he throws Gacy right back into the ring.
Gacy rolls under a clothesline and then misses a dropkick which allows Ciampa to take control as he takes Gacy to the mat with a drop toe hold and then he delivers some strikes to the face, Ciampa throws Gacy into the corner only to meet an elbow to the face and that is followed by an avalanche and a uranage for a 2 count. Ciampa rolls over to the ropes with his upper half sticking out on the apron and that is where Gacy hits him with a senton splash. The show then goes to a picture-in-picture commercial break where we see some action on the floor between Gacy and Ciampa until Gacy throws Ciampa back in the ring. Gacy stays in control as he puts Ciampa in an abdominal stretch until Ciampa eventually hits Gacy with a hip toss to escape the hold, but Gacy takes him right back down with a back elbow. Ciampa almost fights out of a rest hold but Gacy slams him to the mat and tries for a senton splash, but Ciampa rolls out of the way. Both men are slow to get to their feet, but when they do they have a strike exchange and then Ciampa throws him out to the apron where he nails him with a running knee strike knocking him to the floor and that is when the commercial comes to an end.
Ciampa throws Gacy back in the ring and hits him with the repeated corner clotheslines followed by the jumping clothesline in the middle of the ring. Ciampa looks for the Air Raid Crash, but Gacy escapes with an attempted schoolboy but Ciampa rolls through and we get another strike exchange which ends with Gacy hitting a gutwrench powerbomb for a 2 count. Gacy goes for a second-rope moonsault but Ciampa rolls out of the way and then goes for the Fairy Tale Ending, but Gacy reverses it into a jackknife pin for a 2 count. Gacy looks for his handspring back elbow, but Ciampa catches him with a baseball slide to the face and then he hits the Fairy Tale Ending for the win.
After the match, Ciampa is standing near the entrance when he is attacked by Harland. Joe Gacy walks over and grabs him by the face until Gacy rubs his hand across the face of Harland, this causes Harland’s demeanor to change and he releases Gacy and then runs away. Gacy looks to help Ciampa to his feet but Ciampa shoves him on his ass and Gacy smiles.
I thought the match was fine but nowhere near Ciampa’s best. I am intrigued as to what the deal is between Gacy and Harland, and why did Harland run off when Gacy rubbed his hand on his face.
Toxic Attraction comes to the ring for a promo and Gigi starts off talking about how they planned to take out Raquel Gonzalez last week but Zoey Stark and Io Shirai ran down to make the save and thus Toxic Attraction left unsatisfied. Jacy talks about how Zoey and Io want to play by the rules but Toxic Attraction couldn’t care less about the rules as they do what they want when they want, and right now what they want is the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship and then tells them their days as champions are numbered and their time is up at Halloween Havoc. Mandy takes over and says she is challenging Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Championship at Halloween Havoc and at Halloween Havoc Toxic Attraction will make history as all three of them will be wearing gold around their waists. Mandy then says it doesn’t matter what hair color she has she is always the baddest bitch in the game.
Yeah, they need to go ahead and put all the gold on Toxic Attraction at Halloween Havoc because they are on fire right now and I’m not just talking about their looks. I knew Mandy was good when she was on the main roster, but ever since returning to NXT she has stepped up her game and is excelling right now and along with Jacy and Gigi she is one of the hottest and most exciting acts on the entire brand. Xyon Quinn makes his way to the ring and Toxic Attraction gives him a look over as they head to the back.
We get a vignette video of a mysterious person carrying a shovel and then in a distorted voice, he says he had to bury the past so he can start again, and then we are shown the person will be revealed at Halloween Havoc. I have to wonder if this could be Elias given that we last saw him in vignettes killing the Elias character.
Our second match of the night sees Xyon Quinn take on Malik Blade. Quinn easily breaks a wristlock and then he sends Blade into the ropes where he takes him down with a shoulder block and then he hits him with a big slam followed by a forearm to the back. Quinn tries for another forearm but gets hit with a back elbow but that barely phases Quinn as he drops Blade with a punch. Quinn drives Blade into the corner and delivers a series of shoulders to the gut and then he sends him hard into the opposite corner for a 2 count. Blade fights out of a chinlock and then drives Quinn into the corner and then catches him with a dropkick and a clothesline in the corner, Blade goes up top and connects with a missile dropkick for a 2 count. Quinn catches Blade with a big spinebuster and then hits the running forearm for the win.
They are definitely going to make Xyon Quinn a star as he has a very impressive look much like another Samoan on their roster who may or may not be the chief of a tribe. I was once again impressed by Malik Blade and am glad we got to see him once again and hope we continue to see him as he has just as much potential as the two guys he has lost to for the past two weeks.
Tommaso Ciampa is interviewed backstage and he doesn’t know what to think about what happened with Joe Gacy, but he is focused on Bron Breakker in two weeks at Halloween Havoc. The Grizzled Young Veterans walk up and they can’t wait to watch Ciampa lose his NXT Championship to a rookie after waiting 900 days to get the title back. Ciampa gets in their face and just when it seems like a brawl is fixing to break out we see Bron Breakker walks up ready to fight alongside Ciampa but GYV back down and walk away. Breakker says he is going to stand by Ciampa’s side until Halloween Havoc as he wants to beat Ciampa at his best and Ciampa just stares at him. I bet we get GYV vs Ciampa & Breakker next week.
We get an interview with the NXT North American Champion Isaiah Scott and he says the other members of Hit Row are going to be fine as they are soldiers and they want him to focus on Santos Escobar. Swerve says that Escobar is trying to bring out the evil within him and it has worked and that Escobar doesn’t want to face him one-on-one. Swerve says they left the wrong member of Hit Row standing and that he is taking the North American Championship with him to SmackDown.
The Diamond Mine come out and this week we are going to get the in-ring debut of Ivy Nile as she will be facing Valentina Feroz. They trade waist locks early in the match and then Valentine tries for a single-leg but Ivy blocks and rolls Valentina across the ring but she comes back with an arm drag and a glancing dropkick, which Ivy barely sells. Ivy catches Valentina off a crossbody attempt and then powers her up into a vertical suplex and then she goes to send Valentina into the corner but she trips and falls into the bottom turnbuckle and then Ivy stands on the back of Valentina. Ivy tries to drag Valentina into the middle of the ring but gets kicked away only to come back with a knee to the gut and then she hits her with a big slam. Ivy tries to roll into a fireman’s carry but Valentine nails her with elbows only for Ivy to pick her up in a rack position and after doing some squats we see Valentina finally tap out.
If there was still any question as to whether NXT 2.0 was a developmental brand or not you should look no further than this match to realize that it absolutely is as this match was not good at all. While both women had their faults in this match it was Valentina that really stunk up the place as she hit a terrible dropkick and then she falls during a whip into the corner. This was not good at all and probably one of the worst women’s matches in NXT in quite a while.
After the match, Malcolm Bivens gets on the mic and hypes up the members of the Diamond Mine, and then turns the mic over to the NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong, but before he can finish getting out two words he is interrupted by Ikeman Jiro. Jiro makes the motion that he wants the title but as he gets in the ring everyone from Diamond Mine leave the ring except for Julius Creed who says that in the Diamond Mine everything is earned and you don’t have to get ready if you stay ready and then reveals he is wearing his singlet under his shirt and threatens Jiro, but Jiro knocks him on his ass and escapes the ring. After a commercial break, we see that Jiro vs Creed is in progress.
We see Jiro take Creed down and hit him with the twisting neck crank sending Creed rolling into the corner where Jiro looks to charge at him but before he can Creed explodes out of the corner with a chop block and follows up with a delayed gutwrench suplex. Creed drives Jiro into the corner and then hits him with an exploder and a gutwrench suplex. Jiro tries to make a comeback but Creed picks the leg and at the same time he lifts his knee under the leg of Jiro to take him back down to the mat. Creed misses with an elbow drop and this gives Jiro an opening as he nails Creed with several forearms followed by some punches with his jacket which knocks Creed off his feet. Creed sends Jiro into the corner but he steps up onto the bottom rope and catches Creed coming in with boots to the face and then hits a handstand splash out of the corner, but it only gets a 1 count. Julius rolls out to the floor where he is hit with an Asai moonsault. Jiro throws Creed back in the ring and looks for a springboard but Creed catches him with the rolling spinebuster and follows with the basement clothesline for the win.
After the match, the Diamond Mine hit the ring and put the boots to Jiro until Kushida runs out for the save and he starts clearing the ring, but when he stops when he is about to hit Ivy Nile and that hesitation allows Diamond Mine to attack him and Strong hits Kushida with the End of Heartache and the Diamond Mine stand tall.
I was really surprised to see Jiro get in so much offense during this match as I really thought they were making the Creed brothers look like unstoppable monsters but in this match, Julius didn’t look as unstoppable as someone like him shouldn’t be letting someone like Jiro get the best of him. It looks like we are continuing with the Kushida vs Strong feud which I am fine with as nobody else has really been built up as a challenger.
We get a video of Raquel Gonzalez where she talks about her reign as champion so far and all the women she has beat and then she decides to raise the stakes in her match against Mandy Rose as she wants it to be under Spin the Wheel Make the Deal rules.
It’s time for the second edition of Lashing Out with Lash Legend where she first talks about the WWE draft and then makes a joke about it becoming the WWE Squid Games next year which made no sense. Lash then calls Hit Row her legends of the week which leads to her singing Hit Row. We then get Tony D’Angelo trying to come on the show mentioned by a guy off-screen and she tells D’Angelo to Forget About It and that is it for Lashing Out with Lash Legend. This was not good as her jokes were not funny and the whole forced laughter by the extras acting as audience members just don’t work either. It is clear that Lash has charisma but this talk show gimmick just isn’t doing it for me personally.
Our next match sees Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner taking on Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland.
Dunne goes right at Wagner with forearms but Wagner turns it around as he takes Dunne to the mat and hits him with clubbing blows to the back until Dunne places himself between the ropes, as Wagner backs away Dunne charges and latches on with a bodyscissors where he tries to target the arm, but Wagner blocks and hits Dunne with a suplex. Wagner hits a jumping headbutt, but when he walks over Dunne grabs his arm and snaps it, Wagner walks over to his corner and O’Reilly tags himself into the match. O’Reilly hits Dunne with a kitchen sink and he tags out to Holland, but O’Reilly lights Holland up with strikes and then goes for the leg only to be powered down to the mat where Holland drops a knee to the back of O’Reilly’s head.
Holland looks for a head and arm suplex but O’Reilly elbows out of it and then looks to make a tag but before he can Holland nails him with a forearm and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Holland tags Dunne back in and then teases a Mexican surfboard but instead decides to stomp on the knees and then he tags in Holland who drops a knee onto the leg of O’Reilly. Holland drops O’Reilly with a couple of uppercuts followed by a short-arm clothesline and then he tags Dunne back into the match. Dunne works on the leg of O’Reilly and tries to takes O’Reilly looks for a kick, but O’Reilly catches the leg and hits a dragon screw and then he sees Holland stepping through the ropes and hits him with a dragon screw as well. O’Reilly hits Dunne with a striking combination and then hits a running forearm in the corner and then both men trade over-the-shoulder arm breakers they hit each other with close-range forearm strikes with the last blow knocking both men into their respective corners and that brings in both of the bigger men.
Wagner and Holland collide into the center of the ring with neither man backing down until Wagner eventually hits a flying shoulder block which takes Holland off his feet and after Wagner takes Dunne off the apron he clotheslines Holland out to the floor as well. Holland pulls Wagner out to the floor with him, but that ends up being a mistake as Wagner sends Holland into the steps. After a commercial break, we see that Holland has O’Reilly down in the ring with a nerve hold until he decides to release it. Holland shoves O’Reilly into the ropes and drops his head which allows O’Reilly to lock in a guillotine choke but Holland is able to walk over and make the tag to Dunne. Dunne grabs the arm of O’Reilly causing him to break the choke and then he slings him into Holland who hits a big spinebuster and that is followed by a dropkick to the back of the head by Dunne for a 2 count when Wagner breaks up the pin.
Wagner throws Holland out to the floor but turns around into an enziguri by Dunne only for Dunne to be hit with a knee by O’Reilly. O’Reilly wants to make a tag but Wagner is not in the corner. Dunne takes O’Reilly down and stomps on his hands, but O’Reilly catches the roundhouse kick and turns it into an ankle lock only for Dunne to walk on his hands over to the corner where he tags in Holland who comes in with a big clothesline and then hammers him with forearms. Holland throws O’Reilly out to the floor looks to slam him on the steps, but Wagner dives off the steps with a shoulder block to Dunne who falls back into Holland causing him to drop O’Reilly. O’Reilly gets back in the ring and Wagner is back in the corner and a tag is made, Wagner fires up on Holland as he takes him down with a jumping knee and an Olympic slam. Wagner drops Dunne with a boot sending him rolling to the floor and then O’Reilly dives off the apron with a knee strike to Dunne. Wagner goes for another Olympic slam but Holland escapes only to be hit with the twisting butterfly suplex which is enough to give Wagner and O’Reilly the win.
I thought this was a good match as O’Reilly and Dunne always deliver in the ring and this time was no different, but clearly, this match was used to further the push for Wagner who was decent in the match but out of the four men in the match he was the one I cared least about.
It’s time to go to school with Chase University and this week we are learning ring awareness and we see a video from last week where Chase pushed Jones’ foot away from the ropes to help LA Knight pick up the win. Chase then asks if anyone has a question and someone named Brandon does and he questions if what Chase did was illegal and should’ve caused a disqualification, this leads to Chase telling him that is a great question if he gave a fuck and then tells him to get out of his class and join Steve in the dumbass class and when he gets there he wants Brandon to give Steve a big fuck you and that ends today’s lesson at Chase University. For some reason, I find this gimmick of the University professor who cusses out his students to be amusing and while I don’t expect it to get Chase into the main event picture it is a lot of fun for the mid-card.
We get a video from Tony D’Angelo about his debut last week and he gives props to Malik Blade even though he doesn’t know his actual name. He then talks about not getting on Lashing Out with Lash Legend with the producer telling him about a schedule change, D’Angelo says the producer was a good guy and walks off and we stay on the trunk of D’Angelo’s car where we hear a muffled voice and the car starts rocking as D’Angelo has thrown him into the truck.
Up next we get Grayson Waller taking on Duke Hudson and as Waller makes his way to the ring we get an inset promo where he talks about being a former Golden Gloves champion and then calls himself a predator who love the thrill of the hunt and then says tonight in his match against Duke Hudson he is all in.
Hudson backs Waller into the corner and goes for a punch but Waller ducks and then grabs a headlock which leads to Hudson grabbing a handful of hair to break the hold but he ends up paying for that as he gets hit in the face. Waller comes off the ropes and looks for an arm drag but Hudson blocks it and then pulls Waller back to his feet with one arm, Hudson sends him into the corner where Waller goes up and over a charging Hudson, and then he springs off the middle rope with an arm drag. Waller locks in an armbar until Hudson hits him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex and then Hudson works Waller over in the corner with some big strikes and drives his shoulder into the gut of Waller. Hudson sends Waller sternum-first into the turnbuckle and then he grounds him with a reverse bear hug which Waller fights out of only to turn around and be caught in a regular bear hug for a moment until he hits Hudson with a jawbreaker. Waller lands some body shots followed by a discus forearm and then he charges at Hudson who passes him out to the apron where Waller drops Hudson throat-first across the top rope. Waller takes a running start from outside the ring and hits a big rolling stunner which allows him to roll up Hudson in a schoolboy, but Hudson somehow finds a way to kick out. Waller goes for a springboard move, but Hudson kicks the ropes causing him to fall and then Hudson covers Waller with a very tight pin and that ends up being enough to get him the win. This was a fun little match to showcase both guys and that rolling stunner was pretty impressive by Waller.
Santos Escobar is backstage getting ready for his match and he cuts a promo saying it’s a shame what happened to Hit Row and that his family is always around, Escobar then tells Swerve not to worry because tonight Legado del Fantasma is staying in the back as it will be him vs Swerve one-on-one.
We get a vignette from Imperium where they are talking in their respective native language and they talk about how MSK are disrespectful kids and how they are going to take the NXT Tag Team Championships from them.
Indi Hartwell gives Dexter Lumis a kiss on the cheek backstage before she and Persia make their entrance for our next match of the night which will see Indi and Persia take on the team of Sarray and Amari Miller. As Indi and Persia come out we see Indi try to hand her ring over to Persia like last week, but Persia reminds her that she can’t take it because she is in the match as well, so Indi puts the ring back on her hand and kisses it.
Sarray ducks a clothesline and then tries for a crossbody only to get caught and powered up into a fireman’s carry position but Sarray escapes and tries for a sunset flip, but Perisa picks her up off the mat and throws her into the corner where she tags in Indi. Indi whips Persia into the corner for an avalanche and then Persia whips Sarray toward Indi who hits her with a side slam. Indi hits Sarray with a clothesline in the corner and then looks to hit a bulldog, but Sarray pushes her off, and then she escapes a fireman’s carry by shoving Indi into the corner, and then Sarray makes a tag to Amari. Amari hits some kicks to the leg and then kicks the knee causing Indi to drop down to one knee where Amari delivers a kick to the chest for a 2 count. Amari jumps on the back of Indi but gets thrown off and then she tags in Persia who comes in with clotheslines and then she follows those up with snake eyes in the corner. Persia gets Amari up in a fireman’s carry and allows Indi to tag herself in and after taking Sarray down with a boot we see Persia hit Amari with a modified sitout F-5 and then Indi brings the match to an end when she hits a springboard elbow drop to the back of Amari for the 3 count. I really wish this match had gotten more time as these four were putting on a pretty good match for the time they did get.
After the match, Persia gets on the mic and says that she and Indi want the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship and this brings out the champions Io Shirai and Zoey stark. Io comes to the ring speaking Japanese and when she gets in the ring she does her schtick about not liking the people standing in the ring across from them and then Zoey goes ahead and finishes it for her because she knows Io is going to say she doesn’t like Zoey either, but Io tells her not to speak for her so Zoey asks her if she suddenly likes her and Io says no. Gigi and Jacy of Toxic Attraction come out and say they don’t give a damn about who likes who the only thing they are concerned with is the tag titles. We then get a brawl between the three teams with the champions standing tall when it is all over. As expected a triple threat match between the three teams is made for Halloween Havoc.
We go to the back where Grayson Waller passes by Cora Jade but she doesn’t give him the time of day and then Waller walks up to a lovely lady who it seems he is going to meet up with later. Cameron Grimes walks up and wants to know how Waller is able to attract ladies so easily and he says that he got her without even trying. Grimes says he is still upset about his loss last week and Waller tells him it’s not about wins and losses its about likes and swipes and then he tells Grimes if he shaved his chest and beard he could easily get a girl, but Grimes questions where to find these girls and that leads to Waller introducing him to dating apps as he says they have any kind of girl Grimes may want and then swipes through his phone and Grimes is amazed at what he sees.
Ok, they could easily do a sweet love story with Cameron Grimes being the rich but socially awkward guy who finally finds that special girl which I would be completely fine with, but I wasn’t a fan of this segment as it made Waller look like the biggest douchebag and a character bragging about how easy he can pick up girls just doesn’t feel like it fits in 2021. I am intrigued by who that special girl that falls in love with Grimes will end up being.
We get a vignette about another new name coming to NXT 2.0 named Solo Sikoa who is actually the younger brother of The Usos, so welcome the newest member of the Anoa’i family to the WWE.
It’s time for the main event as Isaiah Scott defends his NXT North American Championship against Santos Escobar.
Santos Escobar sends Legado del Fantasma to the back and then we see Swerve attack him on the floor as he sends Escobar into the steps before throwing him into the ring so the match can officially begin. As soon as the referee calls for the bell Escobar rolls back out to the floor not wanting any part of Swerve, but Swerve dives out onto Escobar and then sends him into the steps for a second time. Swerve throws Escobar onto the apron and then pulls off the padding for the turnbuckle, but Escobar rolls into the ring before Swerve can cause any kind of damage using the buckle. Swerve sends Escobar into the ropes where he hits him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker followed by a knee drop for a 2 count. Escobar uses the ropes to try and help him to his feet, but Swerve grabs him in a half-nelson looking for the JML driver only for Escobar to block it and send Swerve out of the ring with an arm drag. Escobar slides out to the floor and trips up Swerve who had made it back up to the apron and then he hits Swerve with a hellacious tope suicida which sends Swerve flying over the announce table as we go to a picture-in-picture commercial break.
Escobar pulls Swerve out from under the announce table and then he sends Swerve into the steps before throwing him back into the ring. Escobar tries up the legs of Swerve and hits him with punches to the kidneys and then he pulls back on the neck which he releases in order to lock in a Boston crab, but Swerve reaches the ropes to break the hold. Escobar puts Swerve in the corner backward and hits a running shoulder thrust to the back of Swerve which causes Swerve to drop to his knees. As the commercial comes to an end we see Escobar put Swerve in a surfboard and when that doesn’t work he sends Swerve into the ropes where he hits a spinebuster and then he sits up Swerve so he can hit a penalty kick to the back, Escobar is feeling very confident as he goes back to the surfboard but this time Swerve fights out it. We get a strike exchange in the middle of the ring with Escobar hitting repeated forearms and then he runs to the ropes, but Swerve causes a misdirection which allows him to nail Escobar with a clothesline.
Swerve starts to fire up as he hits Escobar with a running back elbow in the corner followed by a diving uppercut to the back of a seated Escobar. Swerve tries for a rolling clothesline but it is turned into a flatliner by Escobar which gets a 2 count. Escobar hits Swerve with a running knee in the corner and then sets him up top where he hits an avalanche hurricanrana and that is followed by a frog splash for a very close 2 count. Escobar hits a baseball slide sending Swerve out to the apron and then he grabs Swerve by the hair and goes up top, but before he can hit whatever he was looking for Swerve crotches him on the top rope and then hits him with a death valley driver on the apron and Swerve looks to follow that up with a 450 splash, but Escobar gets his knees up and then rolls Swerve up in a small package for a very close near fall. Legado del Fantasma hit the ring to argue with the referee, but they are beaten down by Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams. In the ring, Escobar hits a knee strikes, and then sets up for the Phantom Driver but Swerve escapes and as Escobar charges at him, Swerve propels him face-first into the exposed turnbuckle and then hits the JML Driver to pick up the win to remain NXT North American Champion.
Hayes and Williams come into the ring to celebrate with Swerve until Hayes decks him with a clothesline as he is cashing in his Breakout Tournament contract for a guaranteed title shot.
Hayes immediately hits the springboard crossbody, but Swerve still has life left in him as he kicks out at 2 much to the surprise of Hayes and Williams. Hayes tries to pull Swerve back by his tights but Swerve uses his leg to break his grip and then nails him with a big right hand. Swerve charges at Hayes but is dropped with a running bicycle kick and Hayes follows that with a top rope leg drop and that is enough to finally put Swerve down for the 3 count and we have a new NXT North American Champion. The show ends with Hayes holding his newly won title high.
First off, Swerve and Escobar put on a really good match and if this is Swerve’s last full match in NXT then he went out with a banger. I like the misdirection they pulled on us as we were so sure that Escobar was going to win the title that we didn’t even think about the possibility of Hayes cashing in after the match and I should’ve known something was up when they came down to help Swerve as they have been being heels for the past 2 weeks, so why would they come out to help a babyface. I think Hayes is a great choice for the next North American Champion as he can go both in the ring and on the mic and is more than ready to take this next step in his NXT 2.0 career.
While I enjoyed the main event I thought the rest of this show was pretty lacking in anything that really got me interested to see what happens next week. This week’s show also had a couple of bad segments with both Lashing Out and the segment with Cameron Grimes and Grayson Waller being cringeworthy while Ivy Nile vs Valentina Feroz was one of the worst matches we have had in quite a while on NXT. I am looking forward to Halloween Havoc in two weeks as the card is starting to look pretty solid with Ciampa vs Breakker, Toxic Attraction vs Indi & Persia vs Io & Zoey, and Raquel vs Mandy and in addition to that, we get the reveal of the mysterious guy carrying the shovel from the vignette we saw this week.
NXT UK Results
- Blair Davenport def Stevie Turner – **¼
- Sha Samuels def Flash Morgan Webster – **¾
- Ilja Dragunov © def A-Kid (NXT UK Championship) – ****½
We open the show with a brand new video and theme song and then we go into the BT Sports Studio where for the first time in nineteen months we have fans in attendance for an NXT UK show. Andy Shepherd and the voice of Nigel McGuinness welcome us to the show and they hype up the NXT UK Championship main event between Ilja Dragunov and A-Kid.
We then go to our first match of the night which will see Stevie Turner trying to get revenge on the newly reinstated Blair Davenport.
Blair goes on the attack a soon as Stevie slides into the ring and as soon as the referee calls for the bell she unloads with forearms as she has Stevie backed up against the ropes, but Stevie reverses a whip into the ropes and takes Blair down with a Thesz press and then she drops Blair with a series of boots to the face and a running knee lift for a 2 count as the crowd gets behind Stevie. Stevie hits a running back elbow in the corner and then looks for the 10 punches in the corner but Blair trips her up sending her face-first into the turnbuckle. Blair hits Stevie with a shotgun dropkick in the corner followed by a kick to the head for a 2 count. Blair hits Stevie with a couple of clubbing shots and then she snapmares her into the middle of the ring where she hits a dropkick to the back of a seated Stevie. Stevie blocks a suplex attempt and then starts to make a comeback as she hits a couple of clotheslines (while releasing a primal scream) followed by another boot to the head and then Stevie hits a series of rolling neck breakers for a 2 count.
Stevie tries for another running kick while Blair is against the ropes, but Blair sidesteps her causing Stevie to roll back into the center of the ring where Blair blats her with a roundhouse kick to the head. Stevie continues to fight as she catches Blair with a side effect for a 2 count. Stevie hits Blair with a few close-range boot scrapes to the face only for Blair to break her grip and hit Stevie with an enziguri. Blair grabs the wrists of Stevie which can only mean one thing Kamigoye and then Blair hits the Falcon Arrow to pick up the win. After the match, Blair gets on the mic and says that Sid Scala made the right decision in reinstating her, and then she wants to make it clear to the other women in the locker room that she is back.
I really wish this match was given more time as they were having a good match and I wanted to see more, but then the finish just came out of nowhere. I look forward to seeing what Blair does next as she is my new favorite lady in NXT UK. I still am not sure what Stevie Turner is supposed to be as it seems like she switches between babyface and heel every time we see her, but for this night she was definitely a babyface as the crowd loved her and booed Blair.
We see a video from earlier in the week where Sha Samuels was going to throw Noam Dar a surprise party for winning the tournament but the banner says Happy Birthday instead and this upsets Samuels as he thinks he has failed, but Dar calms him down and says this can just be the practice party before the real party when he wins the NXT UK Heritage Cup Championship. Samuels says he is right as Dar is going to beat Tyler Bate while he is going to beat Flash Morgan Webster.
We get a video where Teoman and Rohan Raja are sitting at the table and Teoman is upset about losing in the Heritage Cup Tournament, but Raja tries to comfort him by saying they were outnumbered. Teoman slams the table and says Raja is a good man but as the Babo of the family it is his responsibility to take care of them and he promises Raja that their family will soon grow.
We see footage from earlier this week where Sid Scala is presumably on the phone with Johnny Saint (the worst General Manager of all time as he never shows up for the job) and he says in three weeks there are some pretty big matches happening. Jinny and Joseph Conners barge into his office and he tells them that after Jinny’s actions last week Meiko Satomura has accepted her challenge and that match will take place in three weeks. Jinny says the final boss is the final piece to destroy before she gets what she wants and in three weeks there will be a new NXT UK Women’s Champion.
Sha Samuels vs Flash Morgan Webster is our next match on the show after Flash Morgan slapped Samuels last week and ran off like a coward.
Samuels tries to corner Webster but he keeps missing him leading to Webster landing the first offense as he works over Samuels in the corner, until Samuels throws him out to the apron where Webster connects with a kick, and then he goes up top where he jumps over Samuels and rolls through before landing a series of strikes in the corner on Samuels. Samuels is eventually able to land a punch to knock Webster off his feet and just when it looks like Webster could be right back in the match he is hit with a knee to the gut and then he drops Webster with a back elbow when Webster tries to run off the ropes. Samuels goes to work on the leg of Webster and then decides to drive his elbow into the shoulder of Webster and that is followed by a kick to the back for a 2 count. Webster staggers to the corner where he is hit with a chop and then Samuels drives his shoulder into the gut of Webster. Samuels charges toward the corner but Webster flips over him and runs to the ropes only to be taken back down with a clothesline and Webster rolls out to the floor.
Samuels goes to the floor where he drops Webster face-first onto the apron and then he drops him midsection first onto the barricade. Samuels gets back in the ring looking for a count-out win, but Webster gets back in the ring at the very last second. Samuels hits Webster with an avalanche in the corner and then turns him inside out with a clothesline, Samuels hits Webster with a Michinoku Driver for a 2 count. Samuels continues to beat him down until Webster finally starts to fight back and we get a bit of a strike exchange until Webster runs to the ropes and takes Samuels down with a clothesline followed by a couple of dropkicks and a moonsault off the middle rope to a standing Samuels. Webster floats over a suplex attempt by Samuels and then low bridges him out to the apron where he hits Samuels with a triangle dropkick sending Samuels out to the floor and then he takes Samuels down with a tope suicida. The match returns to the ring where Webster comes off the top with a crossbody which Samuels rolls through into a pin but Webster kicks out at the very last second.
Webster hits Samuels with a running knee and then goes up top, Samuels rolls out to the floor but that doesn’t stop Webster as he dives off the top onto Samuels. Webster rolls Samuels back into the ring at the last second and covers him for a 2 count. Webster tries to go for a Tiger driver but Samuels blocks it and backdrops Webster, but Webster is able to catch Samuels in a victory roll moments later for a 2 count. Webster nails Samuels with a headbutt and then goes for a springboard crossbody, but Samuels catches him in mid-air with a spinebuster and that is enough for The Butcher to pick up the win.
This was a fun match and I have to say that Sha Samuels has slimmed down quite a lot since the last time he was in the ring which was back in June. I’m glad to see Webster get what he had coming to him as you can’t go around slapping people and not expect to get your ass kicked.
It’s time for the Nina Samuels show as she is in the NXT UK PC and she walks up to Xia Brookside and asks her what it feels like losing to Amale, Blair Davenport, & Dani Luna, and Xia reminds her that she has lost to those same three women. Nina then tells Xia she is the star here and Xia couldn’t even beat Aleah James and that leads to Nina calling Aleah over, Xia tells Aleah they have never faced each other so why don’t they have a match and Aleah is down for that and then they walk off together to train.
We get a replay of the brawl between Symbiosis and the team of Jack Starz and Dave Mastiff and we find out that match will be happening next week.
Gallus barge into Sid Scala’s office where he is talking to Jordan Devlin and Devlin tells Joe Coffey that he just came in as he was getting a rematch with Joe where Gallus are barred from ringside. Devlin then says the difference between the two of him is that Joe had two Takeover main event title matches and came out with nothing but he had one shot at a title and cemented his name in the history books and Joe will find out very soon that an Ace beats a King every time. They still have Gallus coming off as total assholes despite being the babyfaces in this feud.
It’s now time for the main event as Ilja Dragunov defends his NXT UK Championship for the first time against A-Kid.
After some feeling out we see A-Kid take Dragunov to the mat with a leg pick and then he grabs a headlock only for Dragunov to escape with a headscissors which he isn’t letting go of easy, but eventually A-Kid twists his body to escape the hold and applies a bow and arrow for a moment until Dragunov rolls out of it and we get a stalemate between the two competitors. Dragunov tries for a double leg but A-Kid blocks it with a front facelock but is slammed to the mat and then both men trade front face locks until Dragunov breaks free and goes for a waistlock and when that doesn’t work he nails A-Kid with a chop to the chest. A-Kid gets pissed off and starts firing away with kicks to the leg until Dragunov hits a leg kick of his own and then plants Dragunov with a German suplex and he tries to hang on so he can hit a second one, but A-Kid breaks his grip and takes Dragunov to the mat with an arm wringer.
A-Kid goes for a waistlock of his own but Dragunov escapes and hits A-Kid with an armbreaker followed by a dragon screw which he tries to transition into a half crab, but A-Kid pulls Dragunov down into an armbar only for Dragunov to roll through where he tries for a leg submission once again only for A-Kid to kick him away which leads to Dragunov spinning through the ropes and coming back with a discus clothesline as both men are down. Dragunov gets back to his feet first and he goes after the leg of A-Kid dropping his knee onto it. Dragunov picks up A-Kid who switches behind him with a waistlock and Dragunov runs towards the ropes to break the grip of A-Kid and then he tries to roll through into a kneebar, but A-Kid fights him off and tries for a jumping kick but Dragunov back bridges to dodge the kick and then Dragunov spins around and hits a jumping kick of his own for a 2 count.
Dragunov goes back to working on the leg of A-Kid with spinning toe hold knee drops until A-Kid lands a chop to gain some time to gather himself. A-Kid uses the ropes to help him get back to his feet but as he does Dragunov sweeps the leg out from under him. A-Kid rolls over to the corner and lands some kicks for the defensive position and then he tries for a German suplex, but Dragunov holds onto the ropes and then trips A-Kid up with his leg. Dragunov sits A-Kid up top and when A-Kid tries to kick him he catches the leg and pulls him off the top using that one leg sending him crashing face-first into the mat. Dragunov hits a wrist-clutch back suplex for a 2 count. Dragunov goes back to trying for a leg submission, but just like last time A-Kid pulls him down for an attempted armbar but this time Dragunov leans back into a pin for a 2 count.
A-Kid ducks a clothesline and catches Dragunov with a kick to the arm but Dragunov comes back with a clothesline using the other arm. Dragunov tries for a German but A-Kid switches and shoves Dragunov into the ropes where he tries to spin through, but the injured arm won’t allow him to hang on as he falls to the mat. A-Kid takes advantage as he starts working over the arm and when Dragunov slides on his knees he gets met with a knee to the head and that is followed by a release German suplex. A-Kid gets to his feet very slowly and as Dragunov raises up to his knees we see A-Kid unleash a series of rapid-fire kicks to the chest until Dragunov catches the leg and slaps the shit out of A-Kid. Dragunov dodges another kick with a back bridge only to be caught with a kick to the bad arm moments later. A-Kid blocks a takedown with a front facelock and then goes back to the arm until Dragunov hits him with a blow to the gut which drops A-Kid to the mat.
A-Kid comes back with a jumping kick to the head followed by a bridging fisherman’s suplex for a 2 count as the injured leg causes him to not be able to plant both feet on the mat. A-Kid fires away with forearms as both men are on their knees and continues to hit them as both men get to their feet and then A-Kid goes for a suplex but Dragunov counters it into an arm drag and then he grabs a knuck lock and starts delivering chops to the side of A-Kid’s neck, but is unable to hit as many as he wants because he is using the bad arm and as he winces from the pain A-Kid takes that as the time to land a series of kicks to the chest only to be pulled into a knee to the midsection for a 2 count. At this point both men are exhausted and are slow to follow up, but once Dragunov gets to his feet he hits A-Kid with a couple of rolling German suplexes, but A-Kid grabs the arm to prevent a third suplex from happening.
Dragunov hits some elbows to the back of A-Kid and then he batters A-Kid with elbows to the side of the head and that is followed by a wrist-clutch suplex for a very close 2 count. Dragunov slowly makes his way up top as he can only use one arm to help him climb and that allows A-Kid to have enough time to move out of the way when Dragunov dives off with a senton splash. A-Kid hits a penalty kick and then goes for an armbar but Dragunov blocks and is able to get to his feet where he looks to drive his elbow into A-Kid, but A-Kid dodges and then applies a sleeper hold for a moment until he releases it and hits Dragunov with another penalty kick for a 2 count. A-Kid goes back to the sleeper hold and this time as Dragunov gets to his feet A-Kid jumps on his back until Dragunov backs him into the corner to break the hold.
A-Kid catches Dragunov with a boot as he charges at him in the corner and then he hops up to the top rope where Dragunov tries to knock him off, but A-Kid catches the arm of Dragunov and falls back into a hanging armbar over the ropes. Once A-Kid is forced to break the hold he tries going back up top but once again Dragunov is there to stop him and he hits A-Kid with an exploder off the top rope. Dragunov looks to hit Torpedo Moscow but as he charges in, A-Kid catches him with a superkick for a 2 count as Dragunov gets his shoulder up at the last second. A-Kid and Dragunov exchange strikes from their knees and once they get to their feet the exchange continues as Dragunov lands a chop to the leg of A-Kid and then he fires away with repeated forearms only for A-Kid to come back with a palm strikes and kicks and then he lands a jumping kick as they both fall to the mat. A-Kid locks in a triangle choke and is able to keep it locked in after Dragunov hits him with a couple of powerbombs and then A-Kid tries to transition into an omoplata, but Dragunov rolls out of it and lands a couple of falling elbows and as A-Kid gets back to his feet Dragunov hits him with a running chop block and then he finally hits Torpedo Moscow and that is finally enough to keep A-Kid down for the 3 count.
After the match, Dragunov and A-Kid shake hands and then the show closes with Dragunov holding the NXT UK Championship up high.
I knew when A-Kid vs Dragunov was signed they were going to have one hell of a match and I am pleased to say that they did not disappoint and while it wasn’t on the level of Dragunov vs Walter it was pretty damn close. It is pretty amazing how Dragunov has yet to have a bad match since joining NXT UK and when it comes to these big matches he just kicks into another gear that nobody else in WWE is able to reach. While A-Kid was unsuccessful in his first shot at the NXT UK Championship I have no doubt that we will see him challenging again sooner than later as he is going to be a big star for the brand and will for sure be a future NXT UK Champion. It will be interesting to see who Dragunov’s next challenger will be and I’m sure no matter who it is he will have a fantastic match against them.
These fans in attendance for the first NXT UK to have fans back lucked out with a really good show as not only did the main event over-deliver, but both Blair Davenport vs Stevie Turner and Sha Samuels vs Flash Morgan Webster were really good matches as well, overall this was a really good episode of NXT UK from start to end.
- Finn Balor def Sami Zayn (King of the Ring Tournament Semi-Final Match) – **¾
- Sonya Deville & Shayna Baszler def Naomi (2-on-1 Handicap Match) – ½*
- Zelina Vega def Carmella (Queen’s Crown Tournament Semi-Final Match) – *¼
- The Usos © def The Street Profits (SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Street Fight) – ***
- Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks – ***½
The show opens with Michael Cole and Pat McAfee hyping up the show and then we get Edge coming to the ring, but before we hear what is on his mind we see a lengthy video package of the Edge vs Seth Rollins feud.
Edge is sitting in a chair and he talks about how all of this started back in 2014 when Rollins threatened to stomp his head into the mat, but now seven years later it has gone way past that the moment Rollins went to his home. Edge makes sure to emphasize that Rollins went to his home and not to his house, because a house is just four walls, but his home is where he and his family laugh, cry, and where he puts his little girls to bed every night and Edge pissed all over it (I hope that is metaphorical and not literal). Edge says he should’ve realized that Rollins would stoop to that level because it is right out of the Edge playbook just like when went into the Cena home and slapped John Cena Sr.
Edge says he underestimated Rollins which he shouldn’t have as that is like underestimating himself which he never does. Edge says he and Rollins underestimated each other and that is what led to them trading wins at SummerSlam and MSG. Edge says Rollins is the only one who can come close to matching his intensity, passion, and obsession in the ring and then admits he was wrong by calling Rollins Edge-lite as he is his own man. Edge says he has to end this because if he doesn’t their families are going to pay the price. Edge says he could go to Rollins’ house and perhaps run into Becky but he isn’t, instead he is going to channel his anger and after Hell in a Cell he is going to leave Rollins a husk of the man he is now. Edge says that Rollins made a mistake when he said he felt sorry for Edge because you never feel sympathy for a devil and that is what both he and Rollins are, Edge says he won’t hesitate to put Rollins under his boot. Edge says it’s fitting their trilogy ends inside Hell in a Cell because he is going to scar Rollins’ soul and that will be a scar Rollins never heals from.
Fast forward to later in the night and we get Seth Rollins coming to the ring who is either dressed as a deck of cards or is doing his best Harley Quinn cosplay. Rollins starts out his promo with a maniacal laugh because it’s a Seth Rollins promo and that is what he does. Rollins says that Edge came out trying to convince both the fans and himself that he has a chance at Crown Jewel, but he is not afraid or intimidated to face Edge inside Hell in a Cell. Rollins says hell has frozen over because Edge finally admitted he was wrong and that Rollins isn’t Edge-lite. Rollins says that Edge is finally realizing that Seth Rollins is better than Edge in every possible way which means he has gotten into Edge’s head and he has out manipulated the master of mind games. Rollins says he is going into Crown Jewel with both a mental and physical advantage because there is no way Edge can be 100% after what he did to him at MSG.
Rollins says that Edge may have thought he had an ace up his sleeve when he put their match inside Hell in a Cell, but once again he states he isn’t afraid or intimidated to face Edge inside Hell in a Cell. Rollins says that Edge was right about them being two devils cut from the same cloth, but the difference between them is that Rollins has spent more time inside the Cell than Edge has (Rollins has been in 3 against Ambrose, KO and The Fiend whereas Edge has been in 1 against The Undertaker). Rollins says he knows what the Cell can do as he has experienced it first hand as he has been calloused and scarred by it and he is the man he is today because of Hell in a Cell and this trilogy between them will end at Crown Jewel but not the way Edge wants it and he knows that because he is the visionary and the revolutionary and he is Seth Freakin’ Rollins.
If the fact that this match is inside Hell in a Cell didn’t get you hyped up for this final Edge vs Rollins match then the promos cut by both men sure will as they both did a tremendous job selling the match and the viciousness we might expect from the match. Edge’s promos are always great but Rollins is hot and cold on his delivery, but I thought he knocked it out of the park with this and I can’t wait for their match at Crown Jewel.
We saw Finn Balor vs Sami Zayn in our first match of the night and they had a really good match and after repeated tries at trying to hit the Coup de’ Grace Balor finally hit it on his third try and beat Sami Zayn to advance to the finals where he will meet either Xavier Woods or Jinder Mahal.
Throughout the night we got several hype videos for the new additions coming to SmackDown next week; these included Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Hit Row, & Charlotte Flair.
Naomi makes her way to the ring and she gets an inset promo where she is happy to finally be having a match on SmackDown. Sonya Deville comes out in her suit and she tells Naomi that last week she didn’t let her finish her sentence as she will be having a match against her, but it won’t be against her alone as she will be teaming with Shayna Baszler. This would lead to the first of two sub three minute women’s matches on the show as it only lasted two minutes. The match consisted of Naomi getting a few shots in including a springboard roundhouse kick, but for the most part Shayna dominated the match and allowed Sonya to take a few shots before she locked in the Kirifuda Clutch to choke out Naomi and then Sonya pins her with one foot on the chest.
First off I hated this because it was only two minutes, but outside of that I didn’t like how they made Sonya out to be this weak authority figure that needed Shayna to be her enforcer that has to hold Naomi in order for Sonya to get in any offense. Sonya is just as much of a badass as Shayna is and should be treated as such, they should be equals who both can handle their own, not one needing the other to fight her battles. I know that I have said that I want Shayna to be on her own, but if this were to lead to a team of Sonya and Shayna I wouldn’t be that mad, as they could be an unstoppable badass team. As this feud continues I hope Naomi finds an ally to help her against Shayna and Sonya, perhaps she could team with B-Fab from Hit Row as teaming with a veteran like Naomi could really help B-Fab learn and improve at a quicker pace.
We then get our second sub five minute match of the night as it’s Carmella vs Zelina Vega, but before the match we see the two women in Gorilla position and they talk about how they are better than the women they beat in the quarterfinals. Zelina says she has no intention of harming Carmella’s face so she doesn’t need to wear the mask and then they make a deal to have a good clean match. As Carmella gets into the ring she tells her ladies at ringside they are not needed for this match.
Carmella and Zelina are putting on a decent match when suddenly Carmella kicks Zelina in the face and thus breaks their deal and even though Carmella tries to apologize Zelina takes her down and starts firing away with punches to the face. Carmella rolls out to the floor where she is about to have the mask put on, but she has to turn away to make sure she doesn’t get counted out and when she turns back around Liv is holding the mask and then she threatens to punch Carmella which sends her running back into the ring where she gets rolled up in a small package by Zelina which scores her the win.
Wow, not only did we get a less than three minute match, but Zelina got a super cheap win thanks to Liv Morgan. The booking of this tournament is absolute genius and I think Gedo has met his match when it comes to expert booking of a tournament (this is sarcasm if you can’t tell). I would like to think this feud between Liv and Carmella is going to end soon, but considering they were both drafted to Raw I wouldn’t doubt it continues until the end of the year. Congratulations to Zelina on making it to the finals she will meet the winner of Shayna Baszler vs Doudrop.
We get another Happy Talk with Happy Corbin and it consists of Madcap Moss making horrible jokes and the two of them talking crap about Kevin Owens until they are finally cut off by Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs. Nakamura and Boogs circle the ring and then go back up the ramp where Boogs introduces The Street Profits and they dance.
OMG, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, why did we need this damn meaningless segment, and why couldn’t they have given this segment’s time to something that mattered like a semi-final match in a tournament to crown your first Queen’s Crown winner? This fucking company takes me on such a roller coaster every week as they give me segments like the Edge and Rollins promos which I loved and then turn around and give me a meaningless segment with time that could’ve been better used elsewhere.
Up next we get a pretty big match that wasn’t advertised ahead of time as we got The Usos defending their SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The Street Profits in a Street Fight. These poor guys got dealt a bad hand as they were going head to head with the Brian Danielson vs Minoru Suzuki match on the Buy-In for AEW Rampage and I had to rewatch this match as my concentration during this was fully on Danielson vs Suzuki which kicked all kinds of ass. This match was good but nothing really spectacular as it was pretty much a run of the mill WWE style hardcore match, the finish comes when Ford gets put through a table with a spinebuster and The Usos beat down Dawkins until they hit him with stereo top rope splashes for the win.
Going into the main event match we got promos from both Sasha and Becky earlier in the night.
Sasha was up first and she said that she was born great, achieved greatness, and had greatness thrust upon her, Sasha says she is just six days away from making history when she regains her SmackDown Women’s Championship at Crown Jewel. Sasha says making history is nothing new to her as she has been doing it since day one. Sasha says she came back to right some wrongs and two weeks ago she did just that with Bianca and tonight she will do the same with Becky because she is laser focussed and she is ready to conquer all because she is The Boss, The Standard, The Blueprint, and after Crown Jewel she will be the SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Becky says that if Sasha wants to talk about greatness, greatness is her being undefeated for three years in singles competition, greatness is going off and having a baby and then coming back and winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship in record time. Greatness is her beating Sasha Banks tonight and then going on to Crown Jewel where she will defend and retain her title. Greatness is Big Time.
Becky Lynch has to stand in the ring through a commercial break and a video package hyping the triple threat match at Crown Jewel and finally we get the entrance of “The Boss” Sasha Banks, but before the match can start Bianca Belair comes out as she will be on commentary during the match.
So, I have to say that I watched this match when it aired and had one rating but then I rewatched it with nothing to distract me and my rating went up significantly higher and I have to say this match was one of the best women’s matches we have gotten all year and one of the best SmackDown matches of all time. While I will bitch and complain about the Horsewomen getting more time in their matches over the other women in the company I have to say that when they are put in the spot to have a classic match they deliver more times than not, I just wish the other women in the company got those same opportunities. I think the fact that this match didn’t have to worry about commercial breaks helped it immensely as it had a pace to it that would’ve been completely thrown off had the show went to a commercial. I thought Dragunov vs A-Kid was going to be hands down the best match in WWE for this week, but this match definitely gave it a run for its money and I wouldn’t be surprised if people rated this higher than Dragunov vs A-Kid. If this match is any indication of what we are going to see at Crown Jewel then buckle up because we are in for one hell of a ride.
After the Becky vs Sasha match was over they were rushed out of the ring because there was no commercial break to allow the crew to set up the table for the big contract signing between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. Once both men get in the ring we see Paul Heyman tell Reigns that the contract has everything he asked for and says it’s ok to sign it and that is just what Reigns does. Adam Pearce hands the contract to Brock Lesnar and he signs the entire piece of paper without looking. Reigns laughs at Lesnar and calls him a dumbass for signing without looking at the contract, but Lesnar tells Reigns he already looked over the contract early that day with his advocate Paul Heyman. Lesnar laughs and then leaves the ring while Reigns stares at Lesnar from inside the ring and that is how the show comes to an end.
I absolutely loved this as it was short and sweet and told the story that it needed to tell and I can’t wait to see them finally fight it out at Crown Jewel.
Aside from the two criminally short women’s matches and the unnecessary Happy Talk segment I thought this was a really good episode of SmackDown as we got two really good promos between Edge and Seth Rollins, a good match between Finn Balor and Sami Zayn, a short but sweet contract signing between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, and to cap it all off a classic match between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks that will be remembered for years to come. Had they dropped the Happy Corbin segment and gave more time to the other two women’s matches this could’ve been an all-time great episode of SmackDown.
In the News
It looks like the heel turn for Roman Reigns is working out better than anyone could’ve expected as not only is he the current highest merchandise seller in the company, but he has become the top merchandise seller of all heels in the history of the company. With this news coming out don’t expect “The Tribal Chief” to be turning back babyface anytime soon.
Fightful Select reports that there is frustration among both talent and staff at how the women’s division has been booked lately with the lack of time being given to them as the major focal point. It feels like the division is starting to slip back to where it was during the Divas era. Several women have concern for the future of the division given the recent turnover in Talent Relations earlier this year when John Laurinaitis took the job back over once Mark Carrano was released from the company and some predicted months ago that the division would head in the direction we are now seeing.
Fightful Select also reports that Liv Morgan was originally scheduled to win her Queen’s Cup Quarterfinal match against Carmella, but I guess Vince McMahon or someone else decided that it would be better for Carmella to win because that would be the decision that makes the least sense and that is what WWE booking is a lot of the time booking that makes no sense, but at least it makes the boss man happy.
Dave Meltzer says that he wouldn’t be surprised if this “Super Sized SmackDown” is a test run to see how a permanent third hour on FS1 would do.
The Observer reports that Gable Stevenson’s likely debut in WWE won’t happen until the spring of 2022, although I personally wouldn’t be surprised if they made him a surprise entrant into the Royal Rumble.
Wrestlevotes reports that there were initial plans to split AJ Styles and Omos in the draft until certain people in power (including a top star on Raw) spoke up and said that Omos isn’t ready to go on his own just yet.
Sports Games Online reports that WWE’s releases over the past few months really affected the DLC plans for WWE 2K22 with the release of Bronson Reed really having a big impact as one of the DLC packs was going to be based around him. Over the last four months, two different DLC ideas were scrapped due to the releases. You can read the really interesting article including what 2K may do when it comes to DLC for 2K22 here.
It looks like for the first time since 1994 WWE will not be holding a December PPV this year as they have decided to scrap the TLC show they had planned for 12/12 in Chicago, IL, their new PPV titled Day One which will occur on 1/1/22 in Atlanta, GA will be its replacement.
Andrew Zarian reports that The Rock is no longer being scheduled for Survivor Series nor does it look like the rumored Roman Reigns vs The Rock match will take place at WrestleMania 38 as they are thinking it would be better to have the match happen at WrestleMania 39 which will be taking place in Los Angeles, CA.
The Wrestling Observer reports that WWE is well aware that they have an issue with there being so many names on their main roster that are 40+ and that is a major reason as to why WWE decided to change the landscape of NXT as they are aware they need to start getting guys and girls in their 20s ready to be stars on Raw and SmackDown.
Coming up this Week
- Roman Reigns © vs Brock Lesnar (WWE Universal Championship)
- Big E © vs Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship)
- Becky Lynch © vs Sasha Banks vs Bianca Belair (SmackDown Women’s Championship)
- RK-Bro © vs AJ Styles & Omos (Raw Tag Team Championship)
- Edge vs Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell Match)
- Goldberg vs Bobby Lashley (No Holds Barred Match)
- Finn Balor vs Xavier Woods or Jinder Mahal (King of the Ring Tournament Finals)
- Zelina Vega vs Shayna Baszler or Doudrop (Queen’s Crown Tournament Finals)
- Mansoor vs Mustafa Ali
- Xavier Woods vs Jinder Mahal (King of the Ring Tournament Semi-Final Match)
- Doudrop vs Shayna Baszler (Queen’s Crown Tournament Semi-Final Match)
- Charlotte Flair © vs Bianca Belair (Raw Women’s Championship)
- Tommaso Ciampa & Bron Breakker vs Grizzled Young Veterans
- Andre Chase vs Odyssey Jones
- Tony D’Angelo in action
- Symbiosis vs Dave Mastiff & Jack Starz
- Fallout of Crown Jewel
- Drafted SmackDown Roster is in effect.