This week’s WWE NXT featured Grayson Waller facing Apollo Crews in singles action plus two six-person tag team matches on the road to Worlds Collide.
As usual, I’ll go summary style for the matches on most of the show. There was no main event match this week.
Grayson Waller made his entrance for the first match. The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett as usual. Waller was about to speak, but they played the music of Apollo Crews instead to make Waller angry. They exchanged words last week leading to this match.
Apollo Crews vs. Grayson Waller
I’ll go play by play for this match. Crews showed off his athleticism to avoid Waller, then Crews hit an arm drag and turned it into an armbar. Waller got a takedown into a pin attempt followed by some taunting. Crews sent Waller into the turnbuckle pads, then some punches and a back body drop. Waller with a punch, Crews did a leapfrog as Waller ran the ropes and Crews hit a dropkick followed by some taunting by Crews to mock Waller. Crews hit a back elbow. Crews hit a delayed vertical suplex into a slam. Crews with a slingshot senton over the top onto Waller for two. They did a spot where Crews was selling like he got poked in the eye and the referee called for help form the back. They went to a picture in picture break.
They showed a replay of the inadvertent eye poke by Waller as Waller had Crews down in a headlock. Crews was sent to the apron, Crews with a punch and he went for a senton attack, but Waller caught him with a sleeper. Waller delivered forearms to the back of the head area for a two count. Crews with a jumping kick to the head two times followed by two clotheslines and a leaping clothesline. Crews hit a corner splash followed by a Blockbuster neckbreaker for a two count. Waller with a neck snap across the top rope. Waller jumped into the ring with the Stunner for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Grayson Waller
The finish was replayed showing that Crews tried to counter the move, but Waller raked the eyes on purpose and turned it into a Stunner for the win.
Analysis: ***1/4 A good match that told a story with Crews selling the eye injury and Waller took over after that. The younger guy that’s the rising star gets the win here. Waller did the blatant eye poke to get the win at the end of the match, so it’s going to lead to Crews wanting a rematch. This felt like it was the start of a series of matches between them.
A video aired about Meiko Satomura wrestling for 27 years while showing highlights of her early in her career in WCW, then all of her success in Japan and becoming NXT UK Women’s Champion. Meiko said she’s going to unify the NXT and NXT UK Women’s Titles because she’s the final boss.
The Diamond Mine group was shown training backstage. It was The Creed Brothers and Damon Kemp. Roderick Strong walked in saying he’s got security footage while Julius told Strong that he doesn’t trust him. Strong left leading to Kemp saying he doesn’t trust Strong anymore. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley (with a facemask) walked in with Ivy telling the guys to get it together.
Kayden Carter and Katana Chance entered as the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. The Toxic Attraction trio was shown in the Toxic Lounge on a couch watching them. It’s always good to see them.
Bron Breakker was shown in the locker room with his NXT Title. Finn Balor walked in telling Bron he was the guy that held that title more than anybody. Finn said he liked Bron saying Finn has beaten guys twice as big as him, so he told Bronn not to underestimate the moment and don’t underestimate your opponent (Tyler Bate). Balor wished him good luck.
Analysis: A nice surprise appearance by Balor there. Some other main roster superstars that were in NXT in the past were on later as well.
Kayden Carter & Katana Chance vs. Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley
Carter started with Nile with Carter getting a kick to the head. Chance tagged in and Carter hit a running dropkick on Nile. After Carter tagged in, Nile powered her down into a slam. Paxley was wrestling in a face guard to protect some injury. Paxley hit a twisting splash on Carter. Impressive springboard dropkick by Carter. As Chance tagged in, they showed that Dolin & Jayne left the Toxic Lounge. Chance and Paxley did a double clothesline spot. Dolin tripped up Nile on the apron, Jayne distracted Paxley and Carter hit a superkick on Paxley. Nile was punching Jayne on the floor as Chance tagged in with a 450 Splash while Carter did a neckbreaker and Chance covered for the win. It went about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance
Analysis: ** It was average for a shorter match. I was impressed by the athleticism of Carter & Chance as usual. The champs got the win thanks to Toxic Attraction causing a distraction.
Katana Chance & Kayden Carter talked about how at Worlds Collide they were going to throw a party to celebrate their title reign. The Raw tag team of Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. interrupted the promo. Doudrop and Nikki got into the ring where Doudrop challenged the champions to a tag team match at Worlds Collide. The champs accepted.
Analysis: That’s fine with me. There’s really no storyline or anything like that, but having a Raw tag team challenge for the titles is better than nothing. Since it’s called “Worlds Collide” they had to bring in a team from another roster instead of just making it another NXT women’s tag team.
Kiana James was shown in some office getting an envelope while yelling at some guy on the phone. James criticized Zoey Stark for blowing her title opportunity against Mandy Rose, so she’s a liability.
Analysis: Kiana seems talented enough, but I don’t know why NXT needs characters that have gimmicks where it’s like they have a job other than being a wrestler.
They showed the Schism group led by Joe Gacy and friends with Gacy talking about how Cameron Grimes has to decide his future while saying the offer is Cameron’s to accept.
Carmelo Hayes, the NXT North American Champion, and Trick Williams were shown arriving earlier in the day.
Let’s Hear from Schism
Joey Gacy was in the ring with Rip Fowler and Jagger Reid doing a promo. The fans were swearing during a chant, so they were muting it. Gacy talked about how Fowler & Reid got a victory recently, so for that, they will be rewarded. Gacy gave Fowler & Jagger some pins with happy faces on them to represent the strides they have made. Fowler & Jagger thanked Gacy, so then Gacy invited Cameron Grimes to join them.
Cameron Grimes made his entrance saying he didn’t want to be part of a celebration. Grimes said they’ve been following him everywhere and Grimes has an answer about if he should join them. Grimes: “I don’t need you.” Grimes said he didn’t need anybody to go to the moon (the fans shouted the phrase). Gacy claimed that Grimes is full of misery while telling Grimes that he’s one of the toughest superstars in NXT, but he wears a mask to hid his insecurities. Gacy pointed out that Grimes lost the North American Title and fell victim to Bron Breakker. Gacy said if Grimes admits that he is lonely then Gacy will leave him alone. Grimes said he got himself in those situations and he can do it again. Grimes said he’s out of there, then Gacy said that it was another night without a championship, without a family and without a father (Cameron’s dad died several years ago). Grimes knocked Fowler and Reid out of the ring with punches. Gacy hugged Grimes, but then Grimes left and Gacy made his guys stand back.
Analysis: That was what I thought they would do here with Grimes in a babyface role while rejecting the creepy heel Gacy. This might lead to some sort of match where if Grimes loses then he has to join Gacy. That’s probably going to happen at some point in the coming weeks.
A video was shown of Roxanne Perez walking alone while looking out at some water and talking about things that happened to her. Perez talked about losing to Cora Jade. They showed Perez send a text to Cora Jade to watch her back and then she clicked on “Block This Caller” to show that her former friend Cora was out of her life.
Tyler Bate was shown backstage with the NXT UK Title with Fit Finlay there to shake his hand. Fit handed Bate a tablet for a video call from Butch (former Pete Dunne). Butch talked about their great match in the past in Chicago, then told Bate to unify those titles, do it for the future of NXT Europe and do it for British strong style. Bate thanked him.
Analysis: That was cool. There’s a lot of heat there.
Josh Briggs, Brooks Jensen & Fallon Henley vs. Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) & Lash Legend
Legend used her power to slam Henley to the mat. Legend hit a back body drop. Henley got some offense going with a clothesline over the top to the floor and a cross body block on the floor. The guys tagged in with Briggs running over Wilson with a shoulder tackle. Prince, the white-haired guy, tagged in and was greeted by a double team back body drop by the faces Briggs/Jensen. Henley with a jumping kick and then Briggs/Jensen tossed Henley over the top onto the heels. Good spot.
Briggs was in control against Prince with a slam and splash. Wilson tagged in with an impressive DDT as the heels took control. The heels continued to isolate Briggs for a few minutes. Jensen tagged in with an atomic drop, corner splash, bulldog and a Fameasser as well. After Jensen punched Wilson to stop him from getting involved, Prince and Jensen did a double cross body block spot. Prince pulled off Jensen’s boot. Gallus showed up, so Briggs jumped on them to try to fight them. The referee apparently didn’t see that because he was looking at Henley/Legend and then Joe Coffey hit Jensen with his own boot so Prince rolled up Jensen to pin him while sitting on top for the win. This went about 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) & Lash Legend
Analysis: **3/4 It was okay. I wouldn’t say it was a great match or anything like that. They have been booking a lot of those chaotic finishes in NXT lately. They told a typical story for a tag team match with the heels in control for the second half. The NXT UK Tag Team Champions Briggs & Jensen were on the losing end for this match, so it gives Pretty Deadly some momentum.
After the match, the tag teams got into a brawl in the ring as security showed up to try to break it up.
Mandy Rose, the NXT Women’s Champion, was in the locker room talking to somebody on the phone asking where some people were. Shayna Baszler from Smackdown showed up with Mandy saying that soon she was going to have a title reign longer than Baszler. Shayna said that everybody knew she was the baddest bitch in the game. Shayna told Rose that she better unify those titles for this brand and for herself. Shayna said that if Rose doesn’t’ win on Sunday then everything she has said for the past year is garbage.
Analysis: There’s another cameo appearance from somebody that’s on the main roster. The interesting thing about that one is that Mandy was on the main roster before Shayna was, but then Mandy was moved to NXT where she has had a lot of success for the last year. I think Mandy might lose the title unification match. I’ll save that for my prediction article about the show in a few days.
There was a video about WWE’s work with the Connor’s Cure charity for pediatric cancer research.
Andre Chase made his entrance with his Chase U “students” for a match up next.
JD McDonagh was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. JD mentioned that Wes Lee called him creepy. JD talked about his resting heart rate as well as some other things. JD talked about how he’d rather be like himself as a creepy guy instead of an emotional guy like Wes Lee.
Andre Chase (w/Bodhi Hayward & Thea Hail) vs. Charlie Dempsey
This was set up last week when Dempsey beat up some of Chase’s guys. Dempsey is the son of William Regal. Dempsey trapped Chase in a submission early on and he wanted a surfboard, but Chase got out of it. Chase did a hiptoss followed by Chase yelling that this was a teachable moment. Dempsey hit an uppercut to take control and a bridging suplex. Chase got some offense going with an atomic, a Russian legsweep followed by Chase doing his stomp routine with the fans shouting out “CHASE U” for every stomp. Chase hit a sitout slam. Dempsey applied a movie similar to an STF or his dad’s Regal Stretch. Dempsey kicked Bodhi Hayward and suplexed him on the floor. Chase managed to with a surprising pin attempt for the win. It went about five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Andre Chase
Analysis: ** That was a surprising result because I thought Dempsey would win in his NXT debut. It’s obvious that Dempsey has a lot of technical skill while also selling moves really well. They have to work on the character moving forward. Chase won because Dempsey lost his focus looking at Hayward on the floor.
The NXT UK Women’s Champion Meiko Satomura was shown walking backstage. Alba Fyre walked up saying that the title looked good on her. Meiko said that she won this from a great champion referring to Alba. When Alba told her to win on Sunday, Meiko said she would.
Zoey Stark entered for singles action.
Tyler Bate, the NXT UK Champion, walked down a hallway where the Intercontinental Champion Gunther was standing. They had a great match on WWE Network a few years ago. Gunther said that he is the longest reigning NXT UK Champion ever and reminded Bate of their 45-minute match in Cardiff. Gunther said that European wrestling depends on Bate unifying that title with the NXT Title. Bate simply looked at the title while nodding in approval.
Zoey Stark vs. Kiana James
Stark started on offense and then James managed to get some offense going. Stark managed to get a rollup, but James came back with an armdrag takedown. Stark made the comeback with strikes, a kick to the leg and a sliding knee for two. James got a hair pull takedown leading into a standing moonsault for two. Stark with a superkick followed by the flip around into the knee strike for the pin after about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Zoey Stark
Analysis: *3/4 A simple match to give Stark a win. I think James is certainly capable in the ring, but Stark is a level above her. This was just a way to give Stark some momentum back after her recent title loss.
Post match, Kiana James went for an attack with her bag, but Nikkita Lyons ran into the ring to spear James. That led to James retreating while Lyons celebrated with her friend Stark.
Blair Davenport was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell, who said that she’s going to unify the NXT and NXT UK Women’s Championships. Rhea Ripley walked up saying she’s a history maker saying she built both brands and made those titles hers. Ripley said that Blair looks confident, so she told Blair: “Don’t screw it up.” That was it.
Analysis: Good to see Rhea. She was very direct as usual.
The Gallus trio made their entrance.
Nathan Frazer and Axiom were reading WWE comic books. Frazer was reading a Seth Rollins comic book, which is fitting because Seth trained Frazer, so Frazer said he’s somewhat biased. Frazer talked about being on both brands, then said it’s a shame that Axiom didn’t experience it. They had a chat about how maybe they should have a match where their words may collide. Axiom suggested a 2/3 Falls match and Frazer agreed. I don’t think it’s at Worlds Collide because it’s not on the WWE.com page for the show.
Analysis: The joke there is that Frazer kept saying Axiom didn’t know what NXT UK was like, but Axiom is the former A-Kid with a mask on. A-Kid was in NXT UK. That’s why they kept mentioning it as a tongue-in-cheek thing.
The Diamond Mine trio of NXT Tag Team Champions The Creed Brothers and Damon Kemp entered for tag team action.
Diamond Mine – Julius Creed, Brutus Creed & Damon Kemp vs. Gallus – Wolfgang, Joe Coffey & Mark Coffey
The Gallus boys were in control against Brutus a bit early on. Brutus managed to come back with a gutwrench suplex across the ring. Kemp tagged in with a fallaway slam. When Wolfgang tried a hiptoss, Brutus managed to land on his feet. The three Gallus guys went into the ring so the Diamond Mine guys hit them with forearms from a standing position. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
The match returned with Julius hitting a shoulder tackle to the knee and an impressive suplex. Julius managed to go from being on the mat to a body slam on Joe. That was an impressive power display. They did an apron spot with Julius slipping on the apron because of Mark, so Mark tagged in with a powerslam. Wolfgang got a tag with a running splash for two. Julius managed to break free while tagging in Kemp against Mark with a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. Kemp picked up Mark for a body slam, so Roderick Strong showed up with a cell phone and Kemp stepped on the phone. Security wanted Strong to go to the back. Kemp got a spinebuster, but then Joe was the legal man with a discus lariat for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Gallus – Wolfgang, Joe Coffey & Mark Coffey
Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good with Gallus picking up the big win thanks to Roderick Strong “accidentally” costing Diamond Mine yet again. The Creed Brothers keep improving every time I see them. Julius is going to be a huge singles star some day and I think Brutus is rapidly improving as well. Kemp is talented as well. The Gallus guys work well together. Since Kemp was in the match, I assumed he would take the pin since he is not a champion like his brothers.
After the match, there was a wild tag team brawl with Pretty Deadly along with Briggs & Jensen going into the ring for a big fight. There was a lot of security and officials there to try to break it up. There were wrestlers from the locker room that went out there to try to break it up.
Analysis: That would lead to a match announcement later in the show. It was obvious they were building to a fatal four-way match from a few weeks ago.
Bron Breakker was shown watching some TV (perhaps watching wrestling film) when Raw’s (no longer Tommaso) Ciampa sitting with him. Ciampa talked about doing a lot of things in NXT and spoke about Goldie the NXT Title. Ciampa said that the NXT Title and the NXT ring means the world to him. Ciampa told Breakker it’s his title now. Ciampa said that it’s normal to have anxiety. Ciampa told Bron to embrace it because he can add to his legacy and their legacy as NXT Champions. Ciampa told Bron to win. That was it for Ciampa.
Analysis: That was cool. Lots of history there since Breakker beat Ciampa to win that title the first time Breakker won the NXT Title.
The commentary team of Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were shown on camera. They mentioned Worlds Collide and Clash at the Castle. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were shown walking backstage saying Melo will address not being on Worlds Collide as of that moment.
There was a video featuring Quincy Elliott, who said he was coming to change the game. Elliott said that life ain’t perfect, but you don’t live the life of Quincy, The Super Diva. Nice Spice Girls shirt.
There was a rundown of the Worlds Collide lineup for Sunday afternoon on Peacock/WWE Network.
* NXT & NXT UK Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championships Elimination Match: The Creed Brothers (c) vs. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen (c) vs. Pretty Deadly vs. Gallus
* NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance (c) vs. Doudrop & Nikki A.S.H.
* NXT & NXT UK Women’s Championship Unification Match: Mandy Rose (c) vs. Meiko Satomura (c) vs. Blair Davenport
* NXT & NXT UK Championship Unification Match: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Tyler Bate (c)
There was one more match as we would find out.
Let’s Hear from Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams
Hayes and Williams went into the ring with Williams talking about how Melo puts on banger after banger (meaning a great match) every time he’s in a match. Williams wasn’t happy about Hayes being off the Worlds Collide show. Hayes said he’s broken a rebel heart, this ain’t a dream, you can’t swerve him and he already unified a title eight months ago (the North American Title with the Cruiserweight Title). Hayes said that he was the greatest North American Champion of all-time. Hayes talked about how this isn’t a secondary title because he’s never been secondary to nobody. Hayes says he’s not going to take his talents to Worlds Collide or defend his championship. Hayes said there’s nobody on his level or below him because that is all it is and that is all it’s going to be. The lights went out…and here’s Ricochet.
The former NXT North American Champion and current Smackdown superstar Ricochet made his entrance to a big pop with the fans chanting his name. The fans chanted “welcome back” for Ricochet, who said for the sake of everybody, can they shut the hell up for five seconds? The fans chanted “shut the hell up” because they chant a lot of things. Ricochet said he doesn’t see why NXT Worlds Collide has to be just NXT and NXT UK, so let’s throw some Smackdown on it. Ricochet said that Melo is great, but he can’t do it like Ricochet does it. Hayes said that Ricochet is one of many to step up and get stepped on. Hayes said that they can see what’s good because there ain’t enough room for both of them. Ricochet congratulated Melo for his success. Ricochet claimed that what’s amazing is that nobody remembers any of those title defenses. Ricochet said he thought he would give the crowd something to remember. Ricochet said that he’s held that title before and plans to hold it again at Worlds Collide to be a two-time NXT North American Champion. Williams went for a clothesline, Ricochet ducked and hit a spin kick. Melo jumped off the ropes for a move, but Ricochet countered with the Recoil knee to the face. Ricochet held up the NXT North American Title over Melo. Ricochet told Melo he’s going to take his title. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: That was a very entertaining segment to set up a match. Hayes was confident as usual while Ricochet tried to put him in his place. What I didn’t like is when Melo had a chance to attack, he went for a springboard move just to set up a cool spot with the Ricochet counter. Do the counter but do it after Melo lands or something resembling what a guy might do in a fight. It’s just too silly looking to go for a springboard move like that. Anyway, the crowd’s response for Ricochet was strong. Good segment overall.
After the show, this match became official:
* NXT North American Championship: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Ricochet
Analysis: That’s going to be awesome. I think it will be the best match at Worlds Collide although in terms of story it only had one promo to build it up. That’s okay. Some of the other matches don’t have much of a story either.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Carmelo Hayes-Ricochet
2. Grayson Waller-Apollo Crews
This week: 7 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
It was a pretty good show for the most part with a heavy dose of promoting Worlds Collide on Sunday. The match quality wasn’t that great, but there were a couple of matches I’d call above average that were also given plenty of time. Ricochet showing up for the main event to confront Carmelo Hayes was a nice surprise. That should be an amazing match at Worlds Collide. Two awesome athletes right there.
I liked all the cameos from Finn Balor, Gunther, Ciampa, Rhea Ripley and others that talked to some of the current NXT champions while putting over how big their Worlds Collide matches were. I think most of those wrestlers lived in Orlando anyway, so I doubt it meant a lot of travel for them.
I’ll have a preview of Worlds Collide up before the show. I may not do the review until Monday just because a lot of other shows going on this weekend.
The next NXT Premium Live Event is Worlds Collide on Sunday, September 4. Here’s what we know so far:
NXT & NXT UK Championship Unification Match: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Tyler Bate (c)
NXT & NXT UK Women’s Championship Unification Match: Mandy Rose (c) vs. Meiko Satomura (c) vs. Blair Davenport
NXT & NXT UK Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championships Elimination Match: The Creed Brothers (c) vs. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen (c) vs. Pretty Deadly vs. Gallus
NXT North American Championship: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Ricochet
NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance vs. Doudrop & Nikki A.S.H.
You can watch NXT Worlds Collide on Sunday, September 4, at 3 p.m. ET, streaming live exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.
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