NXT Review: May 13th

In this weeks NXT, we were set to see a major announcement being announced via Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Rumours and speculation would suggest that perhaps NXT UK would be merging with NXT, in terms of Championship cross-overs, however as our featured image shows, that is not the case. The classic ‘In Your House’ pay-per-view event will be returning to WWE TV, specifically for an NXT TakeOver. There will be more to add t this great news below, but for now, lets get to Sports Obsessives NXT Review: May 13th edition.

NXT Tag-Team Championship match:

Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher vs Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel)

Now, you talk about an opener. In my eyes, NXT has not failed to deliver entertainment during the Covid-19 period. This match was a great example of that. As you may know, Thatcher had been handpicked by Pete Dunne, to assist Riddle in defending their Championships whilst Dunne in stranded in Britain during this time period. Thatcher’s mantra is ‘Riddle will knock them out, Thatcher will tap them out.‘ Things were looking good for the Championships staying with Riddle and Dunne. However, Imperium are no local enchantment talent, they are brutal, and this week on NXT, the Tag-Team Championships were up for grabs. This match started of with Thatcher locking up with Barthel. Thatcher was quick to pick a limb and target it, working on the left arm of Barthel. The pair displayed the fact that they are both very unique technical wrestlers during the early moments of the match, however Thatcher was in full control of the 11 year veteran and second generation wrestler, Marcel Barthel. Barthel got to his corner in a desperation attempt and tagged Fabian Aichner into the match. A fresh Aichner was ready to inflict damage upon Thatcher in hopes to win the NXT Tag-Team Championships for Imperium. Thatcher was reaching out, trying to tag Matt Riddle into the match. Marcel Barthel had ulterior motives though as he had run around the ring to pull Riddle off of the apron, avoiding Riddle to make the tag. Understandably, Riddle was furious and began to fight off Barthel. However, in the ring, Thatcher was looking our at Riddle, with a clear sense of frustration on face.That distraction allowed Aichner to take advantage, slamming Thatcher to mat.

The NXT Tag Team Championships were up for grabs.

Aichner grabbed Thatcher and grappled to the corner of the ring, where Riddle tagged himself into to match. Going by the look on Thatcher’s face, he was irate! Now, that’s not kind of chemistry you want when you are defending the Championship’s but lets see how this turned out. Riddle and Aichner were battling it out, in the middle of the ring. Riddle over-powered which led to Aichner tagging Barthel back into the match. Riddle attempted to deliver a running senton to Barthel, in which, Barthel got his knees up in time to counter the move, driving his knees into the back of Riddle. Aichner was then quickly tagged back int the match. Momentum was now on Imperium’s side. At this point Riddle was desperate for a tag to Thatcher, but Imperium were not going to allow it. Imperium were making good use of this Tag-Team match, with another quick tag, as Barthel was tagged back in. Riddle was fighting off Barthel as best he could, all the while attempting to tag Thatcher back into the match. Riddle managed to kick Barthel right in the side of the head, knocking Barthel to the mat. Riddle needed to tag in his partner. Barthel was quick, and pounced at Riddle, Riddle reversed the attack my hitting Barthel with a monkey-flip. This last ditch effort by Riddle had inadvertently back-fired, because Barthel  was flung onto Thatcher, knocking Thatcher off the apron! Things were not looking good for Riddle. That was the last straw in the mind of Timothy Thatcher, as he furious, and walked away from Riddle and away from the match, leaving an already weakened Riddle in a 2 on 1 handicap situation. Imperium were quick to attempt a double team move to end the match. Riddle reversed and hit one of his opponents with the GTS and hit the other with a running knee attack. Riddle was not going down without a fight! Barthel was the legal man in this match. Aichner took our Riddle then propped him up, while Barthel was scaling the ropes. Imperium then hit the double team move, the European Bomb. Barthel quickly covered Riddle. One-Two-Three!

Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel are the new NXT Tag-Team Champions!


Winners: Imperium

Backstage Segment #1

After the commercial, McKenzie Mitchell was backstage, interviewing Timothy Thatcher, asking why he abandoned Matt Riddle. Thatcher went on to say that he’s sick and tired of Riddle putting on a show. Thatcher felt that the match should be a brawl, not flip-flops and in-ring acrobats. Thatcher said that he wants to be a Tag-Team Champion, but not with the hot mess, that is Matt Riddle. Riddle then emerged from the background to confront Thatcher. Thatcher attempted to walk away but Riddle wouldn’t allow it. All hell had broken loose and the two performers were then brawling in the backstage area. A bunch of referees then arrived to break up to carnage. Would we see a continuation of this during the night?

Why, Thatcher, Why?

Tegan Nox vs Indi Hartwell 

The second match of the night was a singe match between the Welsh, Tegan Nox and the Australian, Indi Hartwell. This match started of with the impressive Hartwell locking up with Nox and seemingly over-powering Nox at first. Hartwell was well aware that a victory of Tegan Nox would be amazing for her at this early point in her NXT career, and Hartwell definitely had momentum on her side during the early moments of this match. Hartwell continued to control the match, with multiple pin fall attempts and ruthless aggression being delivered to Tegan Nox.

Tegan Nox takes on Indi Hartwell 

Nox, however, manged to counter an attack from Hartwell to deliver the Choke-Slam, paying homage to one of her favourite wrestlers, The Big Red Machine, Kane. Nox followed up with some chops to the chest of Hartwell along with some kicks right to head, for good measure. Nox then embodied the spirit of the welsh dragon and leapt from the top turnbuckle, delivering a diving cross-body to Indi Hartwell. Nox finished up with the Shining-Wizard to pick up the One-Two-Three!

This was great match from both performers, and I’m sure that we will be seeing Indi Hartwell again very soon. Tegan Nox continues to be more and more impressive as time goes on, and was victorious this week on NXT.

Winner: Tegan Nox

Backstage Segment #2

Former NXT Womens Champion, Rhea Ripley was backstage, and had something to say. Ripley went on to say that WrestleMania did not go as she planned, and that she has not had much rest since losing her Championship to Charlotte Flair. Ripley vowed that she will be the woman to bring the NXT Womens Championship back to NXT. Ripley went on to say that the thought of seeing Charlotte holding the Championship sickens her. Ripley expressed that she will beat this message into any women that gets in her way.

Rhea Ripley is not done with Charlotte Flair.

Rhea Ripley has a message for Charlotte Flair

Backstage Segment #3

Once NXT returned from commercial, McKenzie Mitchell was once again backstage. This time, Matt Riddle was face-timing with NXT General Manager, William Regal. McKenzie Mitchell was there to get the scoop. Riddle revealed that William Regal authorised a match between himself and Timothy Thatcher, on this very edition of NXT. Riddle was in the process of insulting Thatcher, until Thatcher came out nowhere and attacked Riddle once again. This was getting very interesting.

Still to come: Matt Riddle vs Timothy Thatcher in the Main Event

Triple H and Shawn Michaels deliver a major announcement 

Directly after commercial, We had D-Generation X members, Triple H and Shawn Michaels, were set to deliver a major announcement to the NXT Universe. The duo announced that this year is the 25th anniversary of the retired WWE pay-per-view event, ‘In Your House’. At that point, none-other than the Road-Dogg, appeared behind Triple H and HBK. The announcement was then made that with many countries still being on lock-down and unable to leave their homes,that on June 7th, live on the WWE Network, In Your House will return, specifically for an NXT TakeOver.

DX announce that 'In Your House' returns to WWE.

Finn Bálor vs Cameron Grimes

This match came about in relation to the mystery attack that Bálor was victim to. Last week on NXT, Grimes was running his mouth about how he would slap the head off of Finn Bálor. Bálor was quick to confront Grimes last week and bring the attack to the loud mouthed, Cameron Grimes. This week on NXT, we had an official singles match between the two. Grimes started the match with an attempt to put Bálor away early. Grimes ran towards Bálor with an attempted jumping double-knee to the face. Bálor was definatley not going to allow that. Bálor was incredibly aggressive from the offset of this match.The backstory was clearly evident during this match, as Finn Bálor was clearly making a statement to whoever attacked him week’s ago.Grimes got a couple of good shots in during this match but in the end, it was not a clean victory. Damien Priest appeared at ringside with his led pipe in hand and just clobbered Bálor in the back of the leg when the referee was not looking. Grimes took advantage of this sly attack and stole a pin-fall victory from Bálor.

Damien Priest attacks Finn Balor

The question is now, was Damien Priest the one who attacked Bálor of NXT a couple of weeks back? After the match ended, Priest slid a steel chair into the ring. He then placed the chair over the neck of Bálor, sat on the chair, looked into Bálor eyes and admitted it was he who attacked Bálor.

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for Bálor to get his hands on Damien Priest, It is gonna be a straight up fight between The Archer of Infamy and The Prince.

Winner: Cameron Grimes

Kayden Carter vs Aliyah

So, this was a good match for what it was. I feel that Kayden Carter is an established performer in the eyes off the higher ups within NXT. Aliyah however, is trying her damn best to get the attention of Robert Stone, who manages Chelsea Green. Its seems that Aliyah believes that if she could join the Robert Stone brand, along with Green, that could elevate her career here in NXT. Maybe shes right. Aliyah’s attempts to get Stones attention have really shown us a darker side if Aliyah, one that we don’t usually see. Aliyah was so aggressive in the match. It’s great to see different sides of performers and wrestlers alike, because change, is what it takes to elevate your character to the next level, and I believe Aliyah is on to a winner with her new found attitude. Its wasn’t long until Robert Stone actually made his way out to the ringside area. Aliyah notices stone, got distracted, and Carter attempted a roll up pin, Aliyah kicked out at one.

Aliyah vs Kayden Carter

Now, that’s not the kind of impression you want to make, is it Aliyah? Aliyah got a little too full of herself, as she jumped up to the top turnbuckle, and it looked as if she was going to attempt a diving attack from the top rope. Once again, spent too much time caring about what Stone was seeing, Carter was able to regain control of the match. Carter hit Aliyah with a super-kick right to the face, followed up by a death lock submission, and Aliyah tapped out straight away! Aliyah spend too much time focusing on Robert Stone when she should have been focusing on her opponent.

Has Aliyah blown her chance to join the Robert Stone brand? Let me know, I would love to hear your opinions.

Winner: Kayden Carter

Dinner with the Gargano’s

This was an interesting segment. It was so different to everything else that it had me hooked right away. Johnny Gargano and his wife Candice LeRae, were in their home, conversing over everything that has happened over the past few weeks. From Gargano’s brutal fight with Tomasso Ciampa, to taking on Domink Dijakovic last week on NXT and calling himself a stud whilst watching his match on an iPad with his wife, LaRae.

Dinner with the Gargano's

Everything went from cocky and arrogant to dark and twisted very quickly, the screen went black and white, and very distorted. Gargano then said the following:

If you speak my name, there will be consequences. If you stick your nose in our business, if you get in our way, you will find out that it is our way or none.

After Gargano’s twisted message, LeRae chimed in, telling Johnny that he wasn’t the only one that has a match recently and that undeserving awards continue to be dished out. LeRea went on to say that Mia Yim got the biggest award them, by being in a Championship match against Charlotte. LeRae continued by saying that on that same night, all she got was a match with Kacy Catanzaro. LeRae said that with such disdain, as if it were punishment to face Catanzaro. LeRae had more t say about Catanzaro. Once again, the screen went black and white, and very distorted. LeRae said that Kacy Catanzaro was:

An example, of what we will do to any undeserving, NXT imbecile. An example, that Mia should take heed of, because time and time again, Mia has lost. And yet, she’s given opportunity after opportunity, reward after reward. Give Mia the world!, why? because she panders to them? I refuse to be that pathetic. They deserve nothing, just like Mia.

Gargano then chimed in, to insult the company that Mia Yim keeps. This being the fact that Mia Yim is engaged to NXT star Keith Lee. Gargano spoke about how he relates with Lee. How Lee panders to the audience, soaking up the praise and the cheers. Gargano said that ‘It’s great when they love you, until they don’t’, referring to the audience. Gargano followed up by saying that the glory that Keith Lee is searching for, does not even exist, It’s just a fancy catch phrase to get the fans on his side, and that it works for a little bit, but it wont last and it will leave you feeling empty, hopeless and betrayed.

This was incredible! I am 100% for this situation. Give me Gargano and LeRae vs Keith Lee and Mia Yim, right now, please!

Matt Riddle vs Timothy Thatcher

This match was brewing all night long. Since Thatcher walked out on Riddle and cost Riddle the NXT Tag-Team Championships. No word of a lie, from the opening bell, Riddle was irate! Riddle was ready to choke Thatcher out. The thing was, that both of these guys were very evenly matched. Riddle brought his experience from the UFC Octagon into this match, with a lot of matt grappling. This was not just a wresting match, it was a fight. Riddle landed a Muay Thai style kick to the side of the head of Thatcher, that dropped his opponent instantly. Riddle was not messing around in this match. This match was a display of chain wrestling between the two.

Riddle vs Thatcher

This match was all about submission moves as each guy wanted to humiliate the other. Thatcher locked a brutal looking ankle lock submission move onto Riddle, that looked like it could end the match. Riddle managed to roll Thatcher over, mid submission, with Thatchers shoulders pressing on the mat, allowing the referee to count the One-Two-Three! Giving Matt Riddle the victory, granted by the skin of his teeth. However, a victory is a victory, no mater how it happens.

I’m sure we will be seeing more from Thatcher and Riddle next week on NXT.

Winner: Matt Riddle

Final Thoughts:

What an episode of NXT that was. As I’m sitting here, just thinking back over everything that transpired, I feel that this was one of the more entertaining episodes of NXT in the past number of weeks. We now know who attacked Finn Bálor, so we can look forward to Bálor gaining retribution. Tegan Nox is finally rising back up the ranks within the women’s division, which is more than deserved. Robert Stone has his eyes on Aliyah. Rhea Ripley is not done with Charlotte, and wants the NXT Womens Championship back. Finally, we are getting the return of ‘In Your House’ as an NXT TakeOver! There is so much to look forward to at the moment.

I’d love to hear your take on everything NXT at the moment, so feel free to reach out, and we’ll have a discussion!

Thank you for joining us here at Sports Obsessive. Stay safe and we will see you next week.


Written by James Corcoran

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