Date: October 12, 2021
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett, Vic Joseph
It’s another big night this time around as we have Santos Escobar challenging Isaiah Scott for the North American Title. Given that Scott and company have been Drafted to SmackDown, there might not be the most drama on this one. Maybe they have a curve ball for us, but that might not be a good idea. Let’s get to it.
Earlier today, Legado del Fantasma jumped Hit Row and kidnapped everyone but Isaiah Scott.
Joe Gacy is in the ring and says that Tommaso Ciampa holding the NXT Title means untold unbalance. Tonight, Gacy will beat the walking example of toxic masculinity and championship privilege. He represents all of his Snowflakes and is ready to inject himself into the championship match at Halloween Havoc.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Joe Gacy
Non-title but if Gacy wins, he is added to the NXT Title match in two weeks. Ciampa knocks him around to start but Gacy hits a shoulder for two. The chinlock doesn’t last long but here is Harland (the man who looked at Gacy last week, better known as Parker Boudreaux) for a distraction.
Ciampa is back with a running knee in the corner and they head to the floor, with Gacy bouncing off of the announcers’ table. Back in and Ciampa hits him in the nose, only to get taken outside again. This time it’s a drop onto the apron to put Gacy in control as we take a break. Back with Ciampa running him over again but what looked to be White Noise is escaped. Instead they slug it out with Gacy getting the better of things, only to have Ciampa come back with the Fairy Tale Ending and the pin at 9:49.
Rating: C. The match was fine but what were you expecting here? I know NXT has gone a bit nuts but they aren’t going to put Gacy in a spot like that. Ciampa beating him up was nice to see, but it wasn’t like there was any real doubt about the winner. Now we sit back and wait for Bron Breakker to win the title and hopefully one day remember that he is a Steiner and really get into the new era of NXT.
Post match Harland jumps Ciampa and then chokes Gacy (Fans: “WHO ARE YOU???”), who rubs Harland’s face to get him to let go.
Here is Toxic Attraction for a chat. They want all the titles and they left last week very unsatisfied. They aren’t going to play by the rules and they get what they want. The three of them are getting their title shots at Halloween Havoc and leaving with all of the titles. Mandy Rose doesn’t care what color her hair is, because she is always the baddest b**** in the business. The fact that the team lost their first title shot and the fact that it’s Mandy Rose trying to sound tough makes this kind of hard to take seriously.
Someone is at a graveside and starts shoveling dirt, saying he will bury the past to start anew, apparently at Halloween Havoc.
Xyon Quin vs. Malik Blade
Toxic Attraction seems impressed by Quin during his entrance. Quin powers Blade around to start and whips him hard into the corner for two. Blade gets thrown around again and plants with a spinebuster. The running elbow to the face finishes for Quin at 2:48. The more I see of Quin, the more I like him.
Tommaso Ciampa is ready for Bron Breakker in two weeks, but here are the Grizzled Young Veterans. They are ready to see him lose, but here is Breakker to say he’s ready to fight right now. Breakker will have Ciampa’s back until Halloween Havoc because he wants Ciampa at his best. Worked for John Cena and Shawn Michaels in 2007.
Isaiah Scott says his friends are warriors and if Santos Escobar wanted to bring out the evil spirits in him, IT WORKED. He is taking this North American Title to Smackdown and there is nothing Escobar can do about it.
Ivy Nile vs. Valentina Feroz
The rest of the Diamond Mine is here with Nile, who is the first female champion of the Titan Games. Nile catches Feroz’s crossbody and muscles her up into a delayed vertical suplex. Some kicks in the corner have Feroz in trouble as Barrett says he is getting Glamazon vibes from Nile, which he means as a compliment. As Beth tries to get her head around that, Nile muscles her up into a torture rack and does a squat to make it even worse. Feroz (eventually) taps at 2:43. Nile is an athletic machine, but you can tell she is just doing power/athletic stuff rather than knowing how to string a lot of this together (fair enough).
Post match Malcolm Bivens praises the Diamond Mine, but here is Ikemen Jiro to cut Roderick Strong off. Julius Creed cuts him off but Jiro hits him in the face.
Ikemen Jiro vs. Julius Creed
Creed throws him around to start and scores with a powerslam to plant Jiro again. There’s another suplex to send Jiro flying again as this is a total squash so far. Jiro fights up and kicks him down, setting up a delayed splash off the top. A Lionsault to the floor drops Julius but he pulls Jiro out of the air and plants him down again. The basement clothesline finishes Jiro at 3:30.
Rating: C. This was just beneath a total squash and Creed looked impressive. His gear needs more than a few upgrades, but wins like this will get him noticed. The fans like Jiro, but I can’t imagine he goes much further beyond where he is not. There is nothing wrong with being a low level, less than serious guy, and that’s about all he’s going to be for a good while.
Post match the beatdown is on but here is Kushida to make the save. It doesn’t work and he is beaten down as well, but at least he tried.
Raquel Gonzalez talks about how great her title reign has been and is down to face Mandy Rose. Let’s just make it Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal.
It’s time for Lashing Out With Lash Legend. She liked the Draft, misses Hit Row, and didn’t have time for Tony D’Angelo.
Kyle O’Reilly/Von Wagner vs. Pete Dunne/Ridge Holland
Holland and Dunne didn’t get an entrance, but Lash Legend needed the time more. Wagner jumps Dunne to start and muscles him up for a vertical suplex. It’s off to O’Reilly, who kicks Dunne over to the corner a tag to Holland. That goes a bit better for the Brits, as some knees to the back have O’Reilly in trouble. An overhead belly to belly takes O’Reilly down again and Dunne gets in his own shots.
Holland uppercuts him down to set up an arm trap chinlock, followed by a hard clothesline. O’Reilly manages to knock Dunne away and brings Wagner back in to clean house, including sending Holland into the steps on the floor. We take a break and come back with Holland holding O’Reilly in a chinlock as the fans give him a YOU DON’T GO HERE chant. Dunne comes back in to work over O’Reilly as Holland takes Wagner down off the apron.
Everything breaks down and Wagner takes out both villains on the floor. O’Reilly brings Wagner back in off the hot tag to clean house, including a jumping knee and an Angle Slam. Dunne gets dropped by a running knee from O’Reilly and Wagner hits a double underhook spinning slam to finish Holland at 12:42.
Rating: C+. This is a good example of one of the biggest problems with NXT right now: we haven’t gotten an explanation of who Wagner is and now we likely won’t, because he is a regular around here. It’s more lazy writing from NXT and that is not something I’m used to seeing. The match was fine, but I have little reason to care because I have no connection to Wagner. I’m sure it won’t be a problem though, because it’s not like he is one of about half a dozen characters with that problem.
Andre Chase points out how Odyssey Jones should have had his foot over the rope instead of underneath it last week, but hit low ring awareness prevented it. One of the Chase University students asks if that was illegal and gets thrown out by Chase. Several F bombs ensue.
Tony D’Angelo is proud of his win last week but isn’t happy that he was bumped from Lashing Out With Lash Legend. It seems that D’Angelo has kidnapped Legend’s producer.
Grayson Waller vs. Duke Hudson
Waller talks about being a former Golden Gloves boxer and since he’s facing a poker player, he’s all in. Waller goes right after him but charges into a suplex, setting up a waistlock. The fans chant for “Dukie” as Waller makes a comeback, including snapping Hudson throat first across the ropes. A running Stunner gives Waller two but Hudson rolls him up with tights for the pin at 2:38.
Santos Escobar promises that Legado del Fantasma will stay in the back for tonight’s title match.
Imperium doesn’t like MSK and want the Tag Team Titles.
Indi Hartwell/Persia Pirotta vs. Sarray/Amari Miller
Commentary talks about the Queen’s Crown and Beth actually brings up the fan complaints about the matches being short. Sarray kicks Hartwell down to start so it’s off to Miller, who gets run over by Pirotta. Miller gets kicked into the corner, setting up a sitout F5. Hartwell drops Pretty Savage (rope walk elbow) for the pin at 2:26.
Post match Pirotta says she wants the Women’s Tag Team Titles, but here are Io Shirai and Zoey Stark to interrupt (WAY too fast, as the music hit maybe half a second after Pirotta mentioned the titles). Before they can agree that they don’t like each other, here is Toxic Attraction to say they want the titles too. The brawl is on with the champs clearing the ring.
Grayson Waller hits on a woman but Cameron Grimes interrupts. He’s impressed by how Waller did despite losing, but Waller says it’s just the accept. Waller shows Grimes a dating app and has Grimes’ attention.
Solo Sikoa: coming soon.
North American Title: Isaiah Scott vs. Santos Escobar
Escobar is challenging but gets jumped in the aisle as Scott gets going fast. Scott runs him over at ringside and hits the big running flip dive to take him out again. They get inside where Escobar has to block the JML Driver and knocks Scott back to the floor. There’s a suicide dive to send Scott over the announcers’ table and we take a break.
Back with Scott fighting out of a double arm crank and blasting Escobar with a clothesline. Scott’s rolling cutter is countered into a Downward Spiral to give Escobar two and a frog splash gets the same. Scott catches him on top though and a Death Valley Driver onto the apron plants Escobar again. The 450 hits knees though and Escobar rolls him up for a very near fall. Cue Legado del Fantasma for a distraction but Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes come in to take them out. Escobar gets dropped into the corner and the JML Driver gives Scott the pin to retain at 11:15.
Rating: B-. Scott is a heck of a star and the more I see of him, the more sure of that I am. There is something to him that makes you want to keep watching and in a way, it’s a shame that he is in Hit Row. Good main event here and the match of the night, though something seems up with a certain pair of interfering people.
Post match, Hayes jumps Scott and it’s time for another title match, via Breakout Tournament cash in.
North American Title: Carmelo Hayes vs. Isaiah Scott
Hayes is challenging and gets in a springboard clothesline for a close two. The top rope Fameasser gives Hayes the pin and the title at 1:14.
Celebrating ends the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This is a good example of a show where all of the problems are in the presentation. There are talented people and some of the wrestling is high quality, but the way the material is being presented is killing the show. Above all, there is WAY too much going on here. For two hours, this is a show that is just throwing stuff on the screen, hoping that it catches your attention, and then moving on. Nothing has a chance to develop, nothing has a chance to make an impact and nothing has a chance to stay in your mind, because it’s all about getting the next act out there.
It also doesn’t help that some of the stuff on here just isn’t good. Gacy is a way for some of the writers to poke fun at people they don’t like, Hudson is suddenly a poker guy, Grimes just kind of hangs out backstage looking for women, Toxic Attraction is supposed to be taken seriously, and Von Wagner just…kind of is. What “is” you might ask? Just is, period.
NXT took a long time to define itself and it turned into its own thing. Suddenly deciding that everything that once was is now gone and replacing a bunch of the wrestlers with new ones (Why? Just go with it.), while some (certainly not all) of them wrap up their stories is going to be really jarring. This show is NXT in name only and that is becoming more and more obvious every week. It might be good, but don’t expect me to just drop everything that I cared about and suddenly love a bunch of new gimmicks and characters who we are learning about on the fly. That’s insulting to the fans, but I doubt WWE really cares at this point.
Tommaso Ciampa b. Joe Gacy – Fairy Tale Ending
Xyon Quin b. Malik Blade – Running elbow
Ivy Nile b. Valentina Feroz – Torture rack
Julius Creed b. Ikemen Jiro – Basement clothesline
Kyle O’Reilly/Von Wagner b. Pete Dunne/Ridge Holland – Double underhook spinning slam to Holland
Duke Hudson b. Grayson Waller – Rollup with tights
Indi Hartwell/Persia Pirotta b. Sarray/Amari Miller – Pretty Savage to Miller
Isaiah Scott b. Santos Escobar – JML Driver
Carmelo Hayes b. Isaiah Scott – Top rope Fameasser
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