This week’s show started off with Mauro Ranallo presenting footage that was recorded one hour before NXT went on air. The footage showed an injured Damien Priest in the parking lot, laid up next to his personal vehicle. Priest looked to be seriously hurt as he went on to tell the medics that it was his back that was causing him pain. The camera then shot to a smiling Cameron Grimes who was walking away from the scene grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Back inside the arena, Grimes had made his way down to the ring, still smiling like an idiot. Grimes went on to mock Priest for how he was not going to show up on this week’s episode of NXT and, in Grimes’ words, for how he continues to make excuses for himself such as ‘slashing his own tyres last week’ and ‘pretending to be beat up in the parking lot’ this week. Grimes continued to taunt Priest, up until Priest was seen refusing to listen to medics and referees and limping into the Performance Centre in hopes of confronting Grimes. Priest got into the ring and was quickly met with a big-boot to the face, courtesy of the most annoying superstar on NXT television. Priest’s torso was bandaged up so he was clearly not fit to be in the ring. However, I suppose Priest felt he needed to redeem himself. The bell soon rang and this match was made official.
Cameron Grimes vs Damien Priest
Priest gained the advantage early on. However, Grimes kept targeting the injured ribs of Damien Priest. Grime went on to attempt to tear the bandages from Priest’s body, adding insult to injury. Priest managed to get his hands on Grimes once again when the two had made their way outside the ring, attempting a razor’s edge to the floor, but Grimes slid out of the way. In a matter of moments Grimes managed to get Priest back into the ring and successfully delivered his finishing move, the ‘Cave-In’ and picked up the One-Two-Three! pin fall victory.
Winner: Cameron Grimes
Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez
The first tag-team match of the night was a women’s tag between Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. The match started off with Kayden Carter staring off against Raquel Gonzalez. The sheer size difference between these women was immense. Gonzalez towers over every woman that she squares off against. Gonzalez maintained control over Carter until she very quickly tagged in Dakota Kai. Carter gained so much momentum in this match, bringing a fast paced atmosphere with her quick style and strong kicks to the head and torso of Kai.
After getting her ass kicked for a few moments, Kai made the desperation tag to Gonzalez and in this time Carter had also tagged Catanzaro back in to the match. Gonzalez ran right through Catanzaro, completely deflating any momentum Catanzaro may have had. Gonzales then made a quick tag back to Kai, who picked up the scraps and forced Catanzaro to tap out to her submission finisher move. This was a quick but impressive tag-team match.
Winners: Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez
Bronson Reed vs Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett
Now, here was match involving two participants who tend to destroy their opponents in a matter of moments in one sided matches, simply due to the fact that they are both very dominant, destructive and dangerous men.
Kross made his way to the ring with Scarlett, in what has to be one of the best entrances of all time. Reed made his way to the ring very quickly. In moments, these men were face to face. Reed brought the attack to Kross straight away, driving Kross into the turnbuckle. Kross somehow got Reed into position for an exploder suplex, where Kross lifted the 300 lb Reed and slammed him right down to mat. Usually, a move like that would have ended the match but Bronson Reed is not a regular human being. His power is something than you and I cannot fathom.
Reed retaliated with strong forearms to the face of Kross, following up with a German release suplex to Karrion Kross. Kross landed on his feet and roared! The two men were brawling by this stage of the match, throwing forearms to the face of one another. The two were exchanging blows that would leave a regular man unconscious, but once again: THESE ARE NOT REGULAR MEN! Kross hit Reed with a northern lights suplex as if from out of nowhere and leapt right back up to his feet, deflecting any offence that Bronson Reed had to deliver. Kross then locked in his submission move, the ‘Kross Jacket’ on to the large frame of Bronson Reed and Reed submitted instantly. Kross remains undefeated and is running through every NXT superstar that stands in his way.
Fall and Pray.
Winner: Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett
Rhea Ripley vs Aliyah
Earlier in the night, Ripley was confronted by Robert Stone in the parking lot. Stone was desperately trying to get to Ripley to sign on to the ‘Robert Stone Brand’ and allow him to become her manager. Ripley responded in possibly the best manner that you could imagine. Ripley threw Stone atop her shoulders and lunged Stone into a pile of garbage. Aliyah, who has been trying to win over Stone in recent weeks, took offence to Ripley’s actions which led to this match. Ripley made her way to the ring first, where she calmly waited for Aliyah to get to the ring. Stone had now agreed to manage Aliyah, and he now accompanied her to the ring. This match started off in favour of Rhea Ripley. Ripley overpowered Aliyah during this match, completely clobbering Aliyah with multiple knee strikes to the head. Ripley locked in a submission move that she calls the ‘Prism-Trap’ and it looked like she was seconds away from picking up victory. Robert Stone, though, took his shoe off and lobbed it at Ripley’s face. Now, we know that Stone is going through some stuff at the moment, but has he lost every ounce of sanity that he apparently once possessed? You do not disrespect Rhea Ripley.
Ripley literally dropped Aliyah by throwing her to the ground while not taking her eyes off Robert Stone. Ripley slid out of the ring and the chase was on. Stone ran around the ring before sliding into it, quickly followed by Ripley who caught him straight away and, while trying to hold him down, Stone slid right out of his suit jacket like the snake that he is. Aliyah was looking to take advantage while Ripley’s back was turned. Ripley was having none of it and simply kicked Aliyah in the face, followed by her finishing move the ‘Rip-Tide’. One-Two-Three!
Winner: Rhea Ripley
Roderick Strong vs Dexter Lumis
Undisputed Era member, Roderick Strong has been traumatized since his first encounter with Lumis many weeks ago. Strong has been living his life in fear since. With the help of the Undisputed Era over the past number of weeks, Strong was ready to face his fears this week on NXT in a singles match against the ominous Dexter Lumis. Bobby Fish accompanied his fellow Undisputed teammate to the ramp, for some moral support. Strong, though, immediately regretted his decision to take part in this match before he even walked down the ramp. Fish had to physically stop Strong from heading back to the backstage area. Strong then mustered up the strength to make his way to the ring, still clearly terrified. Strong was stood in the ring across from Lumis and appeared to be preparing himself for the match up until fear kicked in and Strong scurried out of the ring saying that he wasn’t ready.
Bobby Fish was on the outside trying to give Strong the pep talk of a lifetime. Strong entered the ring multiple times before the match could even start but kept running away. The mind games had really taken over and Dexter Lumis had gotten into the head of Roderick Strong. Lumis, however, was getting tired of waiting as he calmly left the ring and approached Strong, who was still trying to get away from Lumis. The mind games were too much for Strong, who ran into the glass panel at ringside in attempts to get away from Lumis. Strong was too freaked out and literally ran away from the ringside area. The referee rang the bell and declared Lumis as the winner of the match. Lumis slid next to Fish who was still at ringside and locked in a submission move onto Bobby Fish. Fish slipped out of the move and decided to run away from Lumis, just like Strong did. Dexter Lumis is clearly in the heads of The Undisputed Era. Will Strong ever get over this fear of Lumis? It remains to be seen…
Keith Lee (c) vs Johnny Gargano vs Finn Balor
Main event matches on a weekly professional wrestling show do not get any better than this, in my opinion: Keith Lee vs Johnny Gargano vs Finn Balor for the NXT North American Championship. Not only is that already an incredible main event, but due to a stipulation enforced by NXT General Manger, William Regal, the winner of this match would earn a match against Adam Cole (Bay Bay) for the NXT Championship in a Champion vs Champion match: winner takes all. Lets get into it!
Johnny Gargano made his way to the ring, ready to become the first two-time North American Champion. Finn Balor was next to make his way to the ring. Balor made it clear upon returning to NXT than he was there to reclaim the NXT Championship. However, Balor has never held the North American Championship and this match may have been his opportunity. Finally, North American Champion Keith Lee made his way to the ring to defend the Championship he loves so much.
The match started off with Gargano sliding out of the ring, allowing Lee and Balor to fight it out. Once Lee’s back was turned, Gargano leapt into the ring, looking to attack Lee from behind. Lee was one step ahead, however, as he side-stepped Gargano and threw him to the mat with a hip toss. Lee wasted no time in bringing the fight to both Lee and Balor by taking them both out at once with a double ‘clothesline from hell’. When NXT returned from commercial, Lee was dominating both Balor and Gargano, swatting them away like flies. Lee was not going to let this match go without a fight. As Lee was working on Balor, Gargano decided to take advantage by jumping Lee from behind, but no avail. Lee delivered what looked to be an effortless double suplex to both opponents. Lee was living up to his ‘Limitless’ moniker. As Lee decided to work on Gargano, Balor jumped Lee and locked in a headlock. Nice try, Finn: Lee threw Balor down in mere seconds.
The match made its way outside of the ring where an unlikely alliance was formed, only for a moment as Gargano and Balor joined forces to send Lee flying into the steel ring steps. When NXT returned from commercial (again) it seemed that Keith Lee was still MIA. Balor and Gargano were going at it, one-on-one in the middle of the ring.
Balor threw Gargano out of the ring and, at that point, we saw Keith Lee standing up outside the ring. Balor wasn’t going to let Lee get in his way of becoming the new NXT North American Champion, though, and he ran towards the ropes and leapt over them with an aerial assault, once again talking out the Champion. Gargano rolled back into the ring and Balor hit him with his signature ‘sling-blade’ Just when it looked like Balor was closing in for a victory, Keith Lee resurfaced and was back in this match.
Keith Lee was stood on the apron and delivered a spring-board cross body slam to both Balor and Gargano. Lee continued his attack by flattening Gargano and then focused his attention back on Finn Balor. Gargano once again made his way to his feet and delivered his ‘one final beat’ DDT to Finn Balor, planting Balor in the process. Gargano went for the pin straight away but Lee was close enough to save this match by interrupting the pin fall. Gargano and Lee began exchanging right hands. Lee retreated outside of the ring but Gargano followed up with a suicide dive in a matter of seconds. Balor, who knew he needed to do something, took Gargano out, while brawling on the outside. Balor and Lee made it back into the ring, where Balor hit Lee with the double foot stomp and may have been building up some momentum. Gargano, somehow made his way back to the ring and swiftly hit Balor with a super-kick to the jaw, dazing the former NXT Champion. Gargano continued with a super-kick to the face of Keith Lee. Balor got himself back in the match by hitting Gargano with a thunderous running drop-kick to the chest of Gargano, driving him back-first into Lee, who was leaning against the corner turnbuckle. Balor’s power forced Lee to fall on top of Gargano.
Balor was looking to hit his ‘Coup de Grace’ signature move as he jumped atop the top turnbuckle pad. Lee countered, though, with an attempted choke-slam to Balor. Balor fell to the mat with the force of Lee’s choke-hold alone. Gargano then tried to steal a victory by rolling up Lee for the school-boy pin fall attempt with his feet on the ropes. Lee kicked out and got Gargano in position for a pop up power-bomb and slammed Gargano’s frame against Balor. While still holding onto Gargano, Lee propped him back up and slammed him right back down to the mat for a pin fall attempt. Gargano kicked out at two and half and Balor, who had propped himself back atop the turnbuckle, hit Gargano with the ‘Coup de Grace’. Balor was mere seconds away from winning the NXT North American Championship, until Lee grabbed Balor and hit his finisher, the ‘Big Bang Catastrophe’ slamming Balor to the mat to pick up the One-Two-Three! pin fall victory to retain his North American Championship and also earning an NXT Championship match against Adam Cole.
Winner: Keith Lee (c)
This week’s NXT had a lot of positives. The Rhea Ripley and Robert Stone story-line has really developed and now we have learned that Rhea Ripley will be facing Aliyah and Robert Stone in a handicap match next week on NXT. Karrion Kross ran though Bronson Reed in what was a spectacular showing. Roderick Strong tried his best to face his fear of Dexter Lumis and is officially scheduled for a rematch next week on NXT. Finally, what a main event we had this week. Now we know that the North American Champion, Keith Lee will be facing Adam Cole in two weeks time for the NXT Championship. Can Lee become a double champion? All will be revealed.
Once again, thank you for joining me for our weekly NXT review. If you have any questions about the show, feel free to get in touch and we can have a discussion. As always, stay safe and I will catch up with you next week.