This week’s WWE NXT featured Natalya vs. Cora Jade in the main event while the Women’s Breakout Tournament began. It was a show full of women’s wrestling.
I am back to normal this week after dealing with COVID last week. I had mild symptoms for a few days and that’s pretty much it.
The opening video package showed Bron Breakker beating Joe Gacy to keep the NXT Title last week. After NXT went off the air, Bron was attacked by some mystery guys in hoods and they left with Joe Gacy on a stretcher. They showed Gacy riding in a car with Bron saying that this is not how the story ends. Gacy was out in some field saying they are on this journey together, then Gacy kicked Bron and told him to be alone.
The Toxic Attraction trio of NXT Women’s Champion and NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne made their entrance for some tag team action. The babyface team of Wendy Choo and Roxanne Perez entered as the opponents. The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett as usual.
NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Toxic Attraction – Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne (w/Mandy Rose) vs. Roxanne Perez & Wendy Choo
Choo hit a cross body block off the top on the three Toxic ladies. Choo with a drop toe hold on Dolin along with a punch to the arm and Perez tagged in for a double kick to the gut. Perez got a rollup on Dolin for two. Jayne tagged in with a neckbreaker on Perez. Jayne sent Perez into the turnbuckle, Dolin tagged in and delivered a hard kick to the back along with another whip into the turnbuckle. Jayne was back in with a submission pulling back on the arms. Perez broke free, so Choo the sleeper tagged in with a clothesline, belly to belly suplex and cartwheel clothesline in the corner. Choo sent both opponents out of the ring and Wendy held the ropes so that Perez could hit a suicide dive onto both opponents on the floor. They went to a picture in picture break.
Jayne was in control of Choo with a chinlock that looked very gentle, but at least she was making angry faces. Dolin tagged in, Choo was ready with a forearm, Choo with a jawbreaker and Perez tagged in with two forearms for Dolin. Perez with a Thesz Press followed by punches, a corner attack and a running uppercut. Perez with a Russian legsweep for a two count. Perez with a standing moonsault, Choo tagged in with an elbow and Jayne broke up the pin. Perez threw Jayne out of the ring. Perez tagged back in with a kick to Dolin’s face, Rose got into the ring lifted Dolin up and Perez jumped over both women. Choo punched Rose. Perez went for a move on Dolin, but Jayne hit a superkick (while the referee was looking at Choo beating up Rose), so Dolin covered Perez for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne
Analysis: **3/4 A good match with the faces selling very well, making the comebacks with cool moves and also looking credible while the heel champions found a way to win thanks to Mandy’s interference. I think Mandy going into the ring to help Dolin stand up is going a bit too far, but they did it that way to have Choo tackle Mandy for a pop. Anyway, the champs retaining makes sense. The next champions should probably be the babyface team of Carter & Chance, but Choo & Perez are very likable too.
After the match, Choo went after Jayne and Dolin, but then Rose went into the ring to hit Choo in the back with her title. Rose told Choo: “You will never look like me.” They called Choo a loser.
Analysis: I like you Mandy, but I don’t think Choo is trying to look like you. Anyway, it’s possible they are building Choo as the woman to beat Mandy although I think there are better choices.
They showed Grayson Waller and Tiffany Stratton going shopping together earlier in the day. They complained about things in NXT.
Analysis: I don’t know if this means they are an on-screen couple or just heels that get along.
Joe Gacy was shown backstage for a promo up next.
This Friday on Smackdown: Find out what’s next for The Bloodline and Naomi/Sasha Banks vs. Natalya/Shayna Baszler with the Women’s Tag Team Titles on the line.
Roderick Strong was show working out with Diamond Mine when The Creed Brothers showed up with Julius complaining about Roddy helping them beat Viking Raiders. Brutus said no more shortcuts when they face The Viking Raiders next week and Brutus said they’ll beat them the right way. Strong introduced a new member of Diamond Mine saying he was a Pan Am Champion, he was a NCAA wrestler and now he’s the newest member of Diamond Mine – Damon Kemp. Julius said that new members are a group decision and they can talk about this later.
Analysis: Kemp’s real name is Bobby Steveson and he is the older brother of Olympic gold medallist Gable Steveson, who is going to be on the Raw roster some day soon. Kemp is a talented amateur wrestler that has been in WWE training, so we’ll see what he can do with a bigger spotlight going forward.
Let’s Hear from Joe Gacy
Joe Gacy made his entrance with two unknown followers wearing hooded ger and masks on their faces. Gacy said that he left Bron Breakker in the wilderness last week while telling him that he must face the next chapter of his journey all alone. Joe said that he opened the door of inclusion to everybody, no matter who they are and they can be a part of real change. Gacy said that two men separated themselves from the pack. Gacy said they proved themselves to him, they committed to his cause and took that extra step. There were “shut the hell up” chants as Gacy said that his cause and message has been received. Joe said that they are the faces of change, their expansion has begun and change takes place one person at a time. Gacy gave Bron a personal invitation to join them, be a part of their movement, be a part of this change and he added that the result is eternal joy. Joe said that affliction and hardship awaits those who resist. They zoomed in on his face to end it.
Analysis: More of creepy Joe Gacy trying to gain followers with his unique promos about wanting to change the world. I don’t necessarily love the gimmick, but he is a good talker.
Andre Chase was getting ready with Bodhi Hayward, Sarray went in there and complained about Tiffany and Grayson. Bodhi translated for Chase saying that she wanted to have a mixed tag match with Chase against Tiffany and Grayson. Bodhi said he learned Japanese at Chase U, which led to Chase being shocked they had that program. Anyway, Chase said he would ask for the match to be official.
The first-ever Women’s Breakout Tournament was up next.
They showed the Ivy Nile challenge for push-ups. There were a bunch of guys there as Ivy did push-ups. They showed clips of Nile up to 90 push-ups, some guys dropped out and Nile said she’ll be the last one left.
They showed the brackets for the 8-woman NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. The winner earns a championship match for any title they want.
Analysis: I think Nikkita Lyons will win it all. She’s pretty much a lock on the left side to make the finals. I think Perez or Legend will make it on the right side. Since Legend has had a feud with Lyons, they might put Legend in the finals. Perez is better as a wrestler, though. Anyway, if Lyons doesn’t win the tournament I’ll be surprised.
They introduced all the women on the stage while noting their ages as well. Nikkita Lyons is 22, Ariana Grace is 25 (daughter of Santino Marella), Roxanne Perez is only 20 years old, Kiana James is 24, Lash Legend is 25, Tatum Paxley is 25. The first two competitors were in the ring: Sloane Jacobs is 19 and Fallon Henley is 27, so she’s the oldest while Jacobs is the youngest.
Women’s Breakout Tournament: Fallon Henley vs. Sloane Jacobs
Jacobs got a couple of pin attempts to start the match. Henley came back with a running dropkick. Henley held onto the ropes to avoid a dropkick, but then Jacobs managed to come back with a dropkick for two. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen showed up to support Henley. Jacobs with a running kick. Henley with a head slam to the mat, then a running kick and a punch while Jacobs was against the ropes. They did spot where they each grabbed the hair for a takedown, so they were both down. Henley charged, Jacobs got her feet up and did a hurricanrana. Jacobs with a back elbow followed by a neckbreaker for two. Henley with a backbreaker into a clothesline combination. Hanley hit a running knee as a Shining Wizard for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Fallon Henley
Analysis: ** It was okay for a TV match. Henley looks more polished of the two since she’s older and has more experience. Kudos to Jacobs getting hired as a 19-year-old. That’s impressive. She sells well while she also has some moves that look good.
Henley moves on to the semifinals. Henley and Jacobs celebrated together in the ring.
Santos Escobar with Legado del Fantasma were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Escobar said that AJ Galante shouldn’t have been at that meeting last week. Escobar said that Tony D’Angelo’s crew will learn you can’t just walk away, much less walk again. Escobar told Cruz to start the car.
A video featured the newly renamed Alba Fyre, who suddenly has a fire obsession and she was in action after a break.
They showed Cruz del Toro of Legado getting into his car, but Tony D’Angelo was standing in front. Cruz was attacked by two of two Tony’s guys. Tony said that Santos did this to him, not Tony, Tony opened his trunk and they tossed Cruz in the drunk. Tony and his crew took off with Cruz in the trunk.
Alba Fyre (formerly Kay Lee Ray) made her entrance with some orange/red light as part of her entrance. She brought her bat with her. Fyre had red hair while dressing in all black attire.
Alba Fyre vs. Amari Miller
Amari Miller was hurt in a match two months ago and now she’s back in action. Good for her. Miller grabbed a tight headlock while they showed Ivy Nile’s challenge. Miller got a hiptoss takedown for a two count. Fyre came back with a hard slap, Miller with a knee to the ribs and Miller hit a neckbreaker for two. Miller charged, Fyre moved out of the way, got a kick to the body and a DDT out of the corner. Fyre with a superkick for two. Miller got a sunset flip for two, then a trip and a running kick for two. Fyre with a kick, headbutt and a Fyre Bomb sending Miller face first to the mat. Fyre went up top and she hit a Senton Bomb for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Alba Fyre
Analysis: **1/4 A solid match with Fyre looing impressive for her first match using the new name. I think Fyre should stick with the Fyre Bomb (formerly KLR Bomb) as the finisher instead of a Senton Bomb, but it’s up to her. Miller got more offense than I thought she would get. Miller is very athletic, but they need to work on her personality and help her stand out more.
The duo of Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams was shown arriving to the building in a convertible. Solo Sikoa was at the door, he said “not today, boys” and shut the door. Carmelo said they had to find another way to get in.
Cora Jade was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Cora said she’s nervous because it’s a main event, but she is ready because she is going to prove to Natalya and everybody else that she can hang in the ring with a future Hall of Famer.
Analysis: A very basic promo by a confident young babyface woman.
Let’s Hear from Solo Sikoa
Solo Sikoa made his entrance to a pretty good reaction with the fans chanting “Solo” for him. Solo said this was supposed to be Carmelo and Trick’s time, but it’s not because it is Solo’s time now. Solo said they would talk about the North American Championship, but you know what happened last week. There were “Uso” chants. Let the man talk a bit. Solo said that if Melo wants that one on one title shot, he’ll be right there watching. Solo wanted the world to know that he’s got next and he doesn’t care if it’s Cameron Grimes (the champion) or Hayes.
Cameron Grimes walked out with the NXT North American Title saying he respects Solo just like the crowd does. Grimes said that at In Your House, it’s going to be Hayes against Grimes one on one. Grimes said that after he beats Hayes, Solo has his word that if Solo wants the title then he has Cameron’s word that Solo will be next. Solo did not shake hands, but he did walk out of the ring.
Hayes and Williams went into the ring to attack Grimes. Solo was walking away from the ring as Hayes hit a springboard attack on Grimes. Solo turned back to see what was happening in the ring. Solo went into the ring, he punched Hayes and Solo gave Williams a superkick. Solo did a running hip attack on Williams and Hayes avoided a hip attack. Solo picked up the North American Title to look at it, but Grimes grabbed the title from him.
Analysis: The fans were solidly behind Solo in the segment. Grimes is a babyface too, but they really want Solo to be the next champion. Grimes facing Hayes at In Your House is fine with me. They always have good matches together.
The Legado members Santos, Wilde and Lopez were wondering where Cruz was. Escobar called Tony D’Angelo saying that whoever did this to Cruz is in big trouble and it was a big mistake. Tony said that last week his consigliere AJ Galante is in rough shape. Tony said if Santos let’s his guy go, then he’ll let Cruz out if they settle this in the ring next week. Santos agreed to the match. Tony said that he’s going to beat him so bad that nobody will recognize Santos. It led to Santos saying “f**k you” although it was bleeped. Tony flipped over the table in the room he was in.
Grayson Waller and Tiffany Stratton entered for a mixed tag team match.
Nathan Frazer was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell about Frazer’s win last week. Xyon Quinn walked up to Frazer telling him to “run it straight” so Frazer asked what that means. Wes Lee walked up to interrupt, Quinn threatened both guys and Frazer left. Lee wanted another match with Quinn, so I guess that is going to happen.
Andre Chase & Sarray (w/Bodhi Hayward) vs. Grayson Waller & Tiffany Stratton
The men have to wrestle the men and the women have to wrestle the women. Chase with an armbar, Waller got out of it and flipped Chase over. Chase with a shoulder tackle followed by a hiptoss. Chase mocked some Waller mannerisms while the Chase U section was excited. Stratton tagged in, so Sarray went after her, but Stratton hit a forearm to the head. Sarray with a drop toe hold, then some butt slapping and Sarray bridged back for a submission hold. Stratton pulled the hair to get out of it. Waller into the ring, Chase knocked her down and Chase did the repeated stomps (so did Sarray) so they could spell CHASE U. Chase yelled that it was a teachable moment.
Waller was in control of Chase with a forearm to the head. Stratton got the tag as she kneed Stratton off the apron, then Waller slammed Stratton onto Chase. Waller tagged back in leading to an elbow drop off the ropes. Sarray broke up the pin. Chase got an inside cradle for two. Waller avoided a kick and Waller grabbed a chinlock. Chase got out of it leading to a belly to back suplex. Sarray tagged in with a back body drop on Stratton followed by a dropkick. Stratton came back with a forearm, but Sarray was able to return fire with a running dropkick. Chase tripped up Waller and held him against the ropes as Sarray hit a dropkick to knock Waller out of the ring. Good sell by Waller there. Stratton was back in with a body slam followed by a twisting splash off the ropes. The uniquely dressed Hayward blew an airhorn to distract as Sarray got out of the pin attempt. Stratton jumped over the top onto Hayward. That was impressive by Tiffany. Back in the ring, Sarray did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Tiffany and then used her body to make the cover for the pinfall win after 11 minutes. Chase held Waller to prevent the save.
Winners by pinfall: Andre Chase & Sarray
Analysis: *** It was pretty good for a mixed tag, which is not always an easy match due to the rule limitations. Chase is fun to watch as a face, Sarray is talented and I like the heel mannerisms of the Waller/Stratton duo. The way Waller sold the dropkick by Sarray was so great. The fans were into it, the wrestlers worked hard and it was fun to watch.
The Ivy Nile Challenge continued as Ivy led the male trainees in lunges with Bulgarian Bags. Some of the guys dropped out while Nile kept on going.
Von Wagner and Robert Stone were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Stone said if you step to Von Wagner you become like Ikemen Jiro, who was tossed into the crowd by Wagner and like Brooks Jensen, who is eight weeks on the shelf. Jiro appeared to fight with Wagner, but it was quickly broken up.
The next Women’s Breakout Tournament was coming up after a break.
Indi Hartwell was checking her phone with Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne showed up to talk to her. Mandy sounded compassionate as she talked to Indi, who said that she lost everything. Rose said that she can’t imagine what Indi is going through because no man has ever left Mandy, so they laughed. Jayne said go find Wendy Choo crying in a corner. They left while Indi made angry faces.
Analysis: Perhaps this is a tease that they are going to push Indi as a singles wrestler leading to a challenge against Mandy. I don’t know. Indi was associated with Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae, they are gone, then she was married to Dexter Lumis and he’s fired. Indi’s tag team partner Persia Pirotta was also fired, so Indi has lost everything. That’s why I think they will push her as a singles wrestler.
Women’s Breakout Tournament: Nikkita Lyons vs. Arianna Grace
Grace is the daughter of Santino Marella, but they don’t say that. Grace did a pre-tape promo about how she’s going to pull off the upset. Grace got a takedown with an armbar, but Lyons was able to power out of it. Grace sent Lyons’ left shoulder into the turnbuckle. Grace applied an armbar submission while on the mat. Grace with a forearm to the back, Lyons whipped Grace into the turnbuckle and another corner whip by Lyons. Jumping elbow by Lyons, then two kicks by Lyons and a German Suplex across the ring. Lyons with a spin kick to the head. Lyons hit the split legged leg drop for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nikkita Lyons
Analysis: *3/4 It was fine for a shorter match. I haven’t seen much of Grace before this, but she looked solid in terms of the fundamentals as well as her use of submissions. Lyons does a nice job of using power moves as well as her kicks and the finisher that a lot of people like for obvious reasons.
The win means that Lyons goes on to the semifinals of the tournament and will face Fallon Henley.
The Ivy Nile Challenge continued with Battle Ropes/Pull-Ups and she told some guys not to stop. Nile told one of the guys to keep going until you can’t anymore. Nile and a taller guy did pull ups while a chain was around their necks. Nile was able to do it longer than the guy.
The Viking Raiders, who are from Smackdown, said that they respected that The Creed Brothers didn’t want to accept a tainted victory. Erik said they never tasted defeat in NXT and they never will again. Ivar said that next week, the raid is coming.
Next week on NXT:
* Tony D’Angelo vs. Santos Escobar
* The Creed Brothers vs. The Viking Raiders
* Solo Sikoa & Cameron Grimes vs. Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams
* NXT Champion Bron Breakker returns to answer Joe Gacy
Cora Jade entered for the main event match. She has a tattoo on her upper chest that says: “Starve The Ego Feed The Soul.” I understand liking tattoos, but that’s a weird spot for a phrase. Anyway, Cora has a very bright future. Natalya made her entrance wearing some purple/blue attire. She gets a Women’s Tag Team Title shot with Shayna Baszler against Sasha Banks and Naomi this Friday on Smackdown.
Natalya vs. Cora Jade
Big age difference here with Natalya turning 40 later this month while Jade is 21. Natalya has shown no signs of slowing down and she has 22 years of experience. Natalya shoved Jade into the ropes leading to a side headlock takedown. Jade got a headlock, Natalya used her legs and got out of it. The fans were chanting for both women as they tend to do. Natalya got a rollup for two, Jade slipped out of it and got her own rollup for two. Natalya went for a ground submission, but Jade got out of it. Jade got a headscissors takeover, then she wanted a submission and Natalya managed to slip out of that attempt to leave the ring. They went to a picture in picture break.
Jade was in control with an abdominal stretch, but then Natalya did a hiptoss to get out of it. Natalya did a surfboard submission, Jade got out of that and hit a low dropkick. Natalya with a shove, so Jade got right back up with a hard slap to the face. Natalya lifted Jade up to her shoulders, so Jade did a hiptoss to get out of it. Jade did a springboard hiptoss, then a running knee and Jade hit a Tornado DDT for a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them as Jade climbed to the top. Natalya met Jade with punches and Natalya wanted a superplex off the middle rope, but Jade fought it off. Jade jumped over Natalya, then Natalya went for a Sharpshooter, but Jade kicked her way out of it and Jade got a rollup for two. Natalya came back with spinning clothesline for two. Natalya was frustrated, so she punched Jade repeatedly and delivered a suplex that led to Jade’s legs hitting the ropes. Natalya with a chop block to the back of the left knee and Natalya yanked on the left knee. Natalya rammed Jade’s left knee against the ring post. Natalya tried a ringpost Figure Four Leglock like uncle Bret Hart, but Jade fought out of it and sent Natalya’s head/neck into the ring post. Back in the ring, Jade got an inside cradle for two. Jade with a kick to the knee followed by an enziguri kick to the leg. Jade was selling the left knee well as she hit a double stomp to the back for two. Jade hit the Sliced Bread neckbreaker off the ropes for a two count. Jade went for a pin, Natalya got out of it and got her own two count. Jade applied a Sharpshooter that looked decent, but I wouldn’t say it was perfectly applied and Natalya powered out of it. Jade was selling her left knee again. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them again. Natalya charged, Jade got a boot up, Jade tried a jump off the ropes, but Natalya avoided it and got a hold of her. Natalya applied the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring, Jade crawled to the ropes, so Natalya pulled her closer to the middle of the ring, Jade got close again and Natalya pulled her to the middle again while Natalya sat down in a low position in the ring. Jade sold it like she was passed out, so the referee called for the bell and Natalya was the winner of the match after 14 minutes.
Winner by submission: Natalya
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a great match. Natalya has always been one of my favorites and this is probably the first time in months or even years where she got to have a lengthy singles match like this. If you needed a reminder of how good Natalya can be, just watch this match. She showed how talented she is. They probably did it where Natalya got to call the match, Jade followed along well and I liked the story they told. Jade even came close to winning a few times. I’m also impressed with how well Jade sells because that’s so important. I liked the final Sharpshooter spot because it wasn’t a quick win. Jade fought it as much as she could, so Natalya had to pull her from the ropes and that led to Jade tapping out. I thought maybe Jade would win with some rollup or something like that, but having Natalya win is cool with me. They can certainly go back to it in the future with Jade getting the big win.
The replays showed that Jade didn’t quit with Vic making the point that Jade didn’t quit. It was just that her body couldn’t take anymore and she passed out.
Natalya looked over Jade, who was grabbing her left knee and the fans were chanting “Cora” in support of Jade. Natalya picked up Jade by her hand, then hugged her and that was the end of the show.
Analysis: It was a bit out of character for Natalya to do a handshake and hug since she was a heel going into this match while also being a heel on Smackdown. Clearly, the NXT decision makers see a lot in Jade and want her to be a big star, so having that moment with Natalya likely means a lot for Jade’s career.
Three Stars of the Show
- Cora Jade
- Nikkita Lyons
This week: 6.75 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
It was a pretty good show. There was a heavy focus on the women’s division this week with six matches and every single one of them had a woman involved. There was one mixed tag team match while the other five matches were women’s singles or tags. Clearly, NXT 2.0 is trying to build up the women’s division and I think it’s working pretty well. It’s hard not to be impressed by Roxanne Perez, Cora Jade and Nikkita Lyons to name a few. Those three women are all under 22 years old, so they are the future of NXT and the women’s division in WWE.
I thought Natalya and Jade had the best match with Natalya getting the win with the Sharpshooter because Jade passed out. Lots of good counters, nearfalls, submissions and drama leading to the finish. The mixed tag team match was good too with Sarray and Andre Chase getting the win. Other matches were kept short, but nothing was that bad.
There were a lot of skits and shorter interviews to build storylines, which is fine. They consistently do a nice job of getting a lot of different people on the show.
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