NXT – October 21, 2020

Date: October 21, 2020
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett, Vic Joseph

Things continue to be in a weird place around here as we are still needing a big star. Finn Balor is still out injured and I’m not sure how things are going to go without something to focus on. Next week’s Halloween Havoc should help, but you can only get so far with so little to build around. Let’s get to it.

Kushida vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream

The show takes a page from Dynamite’s playbook by starting with Kushida in the ring and Dream making his entrance, only to be jumped by Ciampa to start fast. Everyone gets in for the bell and it’s Dream being double teamed with a toss out to the floor. Back in and Ciampa sends Kushida into the corner before stomping on Dream’s hand. Kushida sends Ciampa head first into Dream’s ribs/lower than his ribs before going for Ciampa’s arm.

Ciampa takes them both down for two each and frustration starts early. A snap suplex hits Dream but Kushida is back up with a sunset flip for two on Ciampa. Dream sends them into each other in the corner but Ciampa is back with a bunch of chops. The Dream Valley Driver hits Kushida and Ciampa sends Dream outside as we take a break. Back with Kushida slapping on the cross armbreaker on Dream on the floor with Ciampa making an illogical save.

Kushida comes back in and kicks Ciampa in the arm until the Purple Rainmaker hits Kushida for two. Another Dream Valley Driver gets two on Ciampa with Kushida making a save of his own. Dream starts swiveling his hips so Kushida sends them both to the floor, setting up back to back flip dives. Kushida loads up another dive but charges into Willow’s Bell from Ciampa. That brings Dream back in to kick Ciampa in the face but Kushida kicks Dream to the floor. Willow’s Bell doesn’t work on Dream and Kushida sends both of them together, setting up a bridging German suplex to pin Ciampa at 15:33.

Rating: B. Aside from having Ciampa take the pin here, this was a good way to start things off. Kushida seems to be getting a nice push at the moment and if Johnny Gargano wins the North American Title, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him as the first challenger. Ciampa is just kind of floating here at the moment and Dream….yeah he’s still there too.

Adam Cole joins the Undisputed Era on a monitor and says the team is getting back on track, starting tonight.

Video on Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez.

Jessi Kamea vs. Ember Moon

Moon takes her down to start but Jessi switches places and hits a running elbow. The cravate doesn’t last long and Moon says Jessi screwed up. A running dropkick sets up a standing moonsault for two and it’s off to a crossface. That’s switched into something like an ankle lock but Jessi sends her into the corner for the break. Moon’s backsplash misses and Jessi is right back with a spinwheel kick. Moon is right back with a middle rope Codebreaker and something close to an STF makes Kamea tap at 4:00.

Rating: C. I can certainly go for Moon having something other than the Eclipse as an alternative finisher so that’s a good idea. Moon still doesn’t feel like a top star but if she is just here for a short term run before moving back up to the main roster (which may not be the best move) then it’s fine, but I’m not sure how well this current setup is going to work out.

Post match here’s Dakota Kai to lay Moon out.

Bobby Fish has been attacked backstage.

Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory

Theory grabs a headlock as we’re told Fish is officially on his way to a hospital (!) and is out of tonight’s title match. Reed shoves him off with pure power but Theory is right back with a dropkick. It’s time to get smart with a shot to Reed’s knee but Reed is out of the chinlock in a hurry. A powerslam into a backsplash crushes Theory so Reed goes up, only to get caught with some chops. That’s broken up as well and the Tsunami finishes Theory at 3:26.

Rating: C-. The more I see of Theory, the more confused I am by what NXT is doing with him. You would think that he would be tailor made to be one of the next stars but for some reason he keeps losing over and over. It is turning into the losing streak deal that tends to happen over and over again which tends to just make the person losing look like a loser. The match was short too, with Theory being little more than an inconvenience for Reed. I don’t quite get it.

Post match Theory says we’re doing this again because he is the future around here.

Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory

Pop up Samoan drop finishes Theory in 14 seconds.

Xia Li thanks Kacy Catanzaro for agreeing to face her tonight because she needs to win. Kacy is cool with some competition.

Post break, Austin Theory quits and leaves.

Legado del Fantasma vs. Isaiah Scott/Jake Atlas/Ashante Adonis

Legado bails to the floor at the bell before diving up to come in from different sides. Everyone pairs off and Atlas hammers away on Wilde as they settle down to a regular match. Adonis adds a shot to Wilde’s back and Atlas is back in with Three Amigos. Atlas manages to get up top while holding Wilde’s hand, kicks Santos down and headscissors Mendoza/wristdrags Wilde at the same time in a rather nifty display. Adonis teases a dive so Scott can hit the real dive as we take a break.

Back with Adonis fighting out of a chinlock but getting sent into the corner for an assisted moonsault from Wilde. The assorted villainous beatings continue with Mendoza cutting off a crawl towards the corner. Adonis finally kicks him away though and the hot tag brings in Wilde to clean house. Everything breaks down and it’s Scott coming in with the rolling Downward Spiral for two on Escobar. Mendoza and Scott slug it out on the apron and both wind up on the floor until Atlas and Wilde crash down onto them in a somewhat scary landing.

Scott throws Mendoza back inside for two off a flipping slam with Wilde making the save. It’s back to Adonis, who is hurricanranaed into Scott, leaving Escobar to dive onto Scott onto the announcers’ table. Atlas is right there with the cartwheel DDT to drop Escobar, leaving Adonis to take a running kick/Russian legsweep combination for the pin at 15:27.

Rating: B. This started off a bit slow but turned into some great action by the end. They had me wondering who was going to win in the last few minutes and that is a heck of a trick to pull off. Legado winning by beating one of the newcomers is a fine way to go, though I’m curious to see if Atlas is going to become the next challenger for the title. Good stuff here and it got that much better near the end.

We go to the Garganos’ house where they are practicing Spinning The Wheel To Make The Deal with a training wheel. Johnny is panicking and keeps spinning because he hates wheels and doesn’t like the outcome. He even storms off as Candice is left sitting there.

Ever Rise vs. Drake Maverick/Killian Dain

Dain orders the whistling music cut off this time. Maverick gets caught with a backbreaker/running knee to the head combination and some shots to the back make it worse. A step up elbow to the back keeps Maverick down but he makes a tag so Dain can run them over. Ever Rise cuts him off at the knee to set up a half crab, leaving Martel to shout that Dain is a loser, just like Maverick. That’s too far for Maverick, who sends him into the barricade and then hits Parker in the back with a chair for the DQ at 2:55.

Post match Maverick cleans house with the chair (without hitting anyone) as Dain is stunned. Dain loads up the right hand…..and then says THAT WAS AWESOME. The music plays and Drake dances, but that’s too far for Dain, who walks off.

Roderick Strong has been attacked as well.

Post break, Kyle O’Reilly says he isn’t wrestling tonight, even when Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch offer to team up with him. They can have the shot instead though, which is fine with Breezango.

Xia Li vs. Kacy Catanzaro

Kayden Carter is here with Catanzaro. Li grabs a rollup for two but Kacy is back with a running dropkick for the same. A chop knocks Catanzaro into the ropes and Li kicks her down for two. Back up and Catanzaro kicks away even more, setting up a quick rollup for the pin at 2:27. That was sudden.

Post match Li shoves Kacy down and says she should have won but here’s Raquel Gonzalez to wreck both of them, plus Carter. Gonzalez says this is what is waiting for Rhea Ripley next week.

Cameron Grimes is ready for his match next week against Dexter Lumis…until he finds out that it’s a Haunted House of Terror match. Grimes isn’t scared, despite a lot of stammering and Dexter watching through a window.

Video on Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae, with Shirai saying she can win any match on the wheel.

It’s time for a live edition of Thatch As Thatch Can. The student is Anthony Greene, who Thatcher thinks is named Andrew. Thatcher demonstrates how to hurt someone when they go for your leg and doesn’t like Greene glaring at him. Greene takes him down and grabs a front facelock, which seems to get on Thatcher’s nerves. Thatcher has a referee come in, decks Greene, and says ring the bell.

Anthony Greene vs. Timothy Thatcher

Thatcher drops him in a hurry, pounds away in the corner, and finishes with a half crab at 54 seconds.

Damian Priest is getting a new tattoo and is ready for Johnny Gargano next week.

Tag Team Titles: Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan vs. Breezango

Breezango is defending. Lorcan and Fandango start things off with Fandango grabbing the headlock. A shoulder puts Lorcan down and Fandango gets in a quick dance, only to get caught in a half crab. That’s broken up so Burch comes in for a double chop but it’s off to Breeze for a snap suplex. Some shoulders to the ribs in the corner have Burch in a bit of trouble. They head outside with Burch sending him hard into the barricade, only to have Breeze wrap Burch’s leg around the post.

We take a break and come back with Lorcan uppercutting Fandango for two but some clotheslines get Fandango out of trouble. Everyone brawls on the floor until Lorcan’s suicide dive is cut off with a kick to the head. Back in and the Falcon Arrow into the Last Dance gets two on Lorcan, with Fandango not being able to follow up. A half crab/Crossface combination has Breeze in trouble until Fandango makes the save and everyone is down.

We settle down to Breeze dropping elbows on Burch’s knee but getting crotched on top. Lorcan and Fandango come in without tags and everyone is down again. Double superkicks put both challengers down…and here’s a masked man to shove Fandango off the top. Burch hits Breeze low and the assisted DDT gives us new champions at 12:53.

Rating: C+. This wasn’t so much a good match as much as it was a necessary change. Breezango aren’t exactly the most serious team and the Tag Team Titles have long since been an important part of NXT. You aren’t going to get that potential show stealer out of Breezango most of the time so switching the titles was the right move. Lorcan and Burch needed to win something at some point too, or otherwise they’re just two guys who aren’t serious threats to anyone. This is what needed to happen and that’s a good thing.

Post match the masked man celebrates with the new champions and it’s….Pat McAfee. After praising Lorcan and Burch, McAfee throws up a mocking Undisputed Era pose to end the show. I usually don’t care for celebrities in wrestling but McAfee more than impressed in his limited time so this should work.

Overall Rating: B. The wrestling was better than it has been in recent weeks, though I’m not sure on some of the booking choices. What matters here is they made some moves that have me a little more interested and I could go for some more of this kind of show. It was one of the more well put together NXT’s in a good while and hopefully it is the start of a change, because NXT has been needing one for a bit now.


Kushida b. Tommaso Ciampa and Velveteen Dream – German suplex to Ciampa

Ember Moon b. Jessi Kamea – STF

Bronson Reed b. Austin Theory – Tsunami

Bronson Reed b. Austin Theory – Pop up Samoan drop

Legado del Fantasma b. Ashante Adonis/Isaiah Scott/Jake Atlas – Running kick/Russian legsweep combination to Atlas

Ever Rise b. Drake Maverick/Killian Dain via DQ when Maverick used a chair

Kacy Catanzaro b. Xia Li – Victory roll

Timothy Thatcher b. Anthony Greene – Half crab

Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch b. Breezango – Elevated DDT to Breeze



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