Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. The calendar has flipped over to October and as we all await who will step into War Games at the next Takeover, we’re also still waiting to see who is revealed to be Aleister Black’s attacker. There are a lot of feuds taking black in NXT right now, so let’s see what this week has in store for us.

We open with Nikki Cross in an undisclosed location and she talks about how games are fun and she wants to play again with Bianca Belair. They’re going to get to have fun again. She hopes Bianca isn’t scared because last time they broke the rules. Speaking of bad behavior… she knows.

Candice LaRae vs. Lacey Evans

New theme music for Candice. Don’t know why, as I really enjoyed her previous theme and this one is much more generic. Lacey has quite the size difference on Candice. Strong tie-up to start and enither woman wants to break it. They finally let go and Candice rams Lacey’s head into the top turnbuckle. Lacey goes to the apron and comes through the ropes with a facebuster. Big boot from Candice and then goes to the top rope but Lacey moves and comes back with a big shoulder tackle. Lacey gets Candice in the corner and goes for her propelled bronco buster. Lacey then does a nice headscissor takedown, doesn’t let it go, and does pushups in the middle of the ring at the same time. That looked impressive. Big knee by Lacey that gets a two count. Lacey has a submission move, but is also pulling the hair of Candice, at an angle that the ref can’t see it. Candice escapes and dumps Lacey to the apron. Lacey tries a slingshot elbow drop over the top rope but Candice moves. Candice with a step up enziguri. Candice finally getting some offense in. Nice front dropkick and then a back elbow in the corner. Candice to the second rope and comes off with a spinning flatliner, but Lacey manages to kick out. Candice going for the Unprettier but Lacey fights it off. Lacey calls Candice a loser just like her husband. Candice goes nuts on Lacey in the corner after that. The ref pulls Candice off and Candice goes for more but she ends up walking right into the Women’s Right. That knocks her out for the 3 count.

Winner: Lacey Evans

K-Tank’s Take: Lacey is on quite the roll lately with some nice wins. I would not be surprised to see her be Kairi’s next challenger for the Women’s title after her feud with Shayna is complete. I think Lacey has it all and has worked really hard to continually improve.

We get a video package to hype up the NXT North American Title Match next week between Ricochet, Pete Dunne, & Ricochet. Great video package and we should be in for something special next week.

We then get a vignette for The Forgotten Sons, who are in action next.

We then get another “backstage interview” with Tommaso Ciampa. He says when you’re at the top, they will always try to chop you down. They will speculate and lie, to steal the spotlight for themselves. Or maybe it’s to cover their tracks or hide their guilt. Velveteen Dream’s name is interesting because it seems he’s living in a dream. A dream that Ciampa attacked Aleister Black. They both know what the reality is though and what “experience” Black went through. So Dream needs to keep Ciampa’s name out of his mouth and stop spreading rumors. Ciampa ended the fairy tale, exposed the mystique, and if Velveteen isn’t careful, he’ll be the guy who turns the Dream into a nightmare.

Torry Kirsh, Vinny Mixon, and Cesar Rise vs. The Forgotten Sons

Steve Cutler is sporting a nose guard after their previous encounter on NXT TV where he broke his nose against the Street Profits. Ryker and Rise will start. Ryker obliterates Rise and sends him right back to his corner. Mixon comes in and gets a urinagi for his troubles. Cutler tags in and as Ryker sets Mixon up in the tree of woe, Cutler comes with a dropkick. Then Ryker tosses Wesley Blake into Mixon with a cannonball. Blake is now the legal man as he locks on an armbar. Mixon escapes Blake and tags in Kirsh. Kirsh doesn’t budge Blake with a clothesline and instead gets turned inside out with a Blake lariat. Cutler tags in and goes to the second rope, where they do a double team curbstomp and reverse DDT. Ryker comes in and there’s the slingshot Jacknife powerbomb and that’s a decisive win.

Winners: The Forgotten Sons

K-Tank’s Take: I really like these guys. They look believable, their characters make sense, and their offense looks great. Loved some of their creativity. I’m a HUGE fan of Ryker’s finisher, as I’ve always been a sucker for Tully Blanchard’s slingshot suplex. This is a nice twist on that.

We go to a recap of last week where Kairi Sane accepted Shayna Baszler’s rematch for WWE Evolution. That leads to a video package of how Shayna is training for her rematch.

We then go to the lovely Cathy Kelley, who is interviewing Tony Nese. He’s asked why he’s in NXT. He wants competition. He’s the premiere athlete and will take over NXT. If you need anything more than that, he’s got 8 more reasons, so just watch. He said that as he looked at his abs.

After a commercial, Cathy is now back with Bianca Belair. She’s asked about Nikki wanting to “play again”. Bianca says she’s not here to play. It doesn’t matter what Nikki wants, it’s what Bianca wants. She’s still un-de-feat-ed. So since she’s beat Nikki once, she’s now just going to have to embarrass her.

Johnny Gargano vs. Tony Nese

This could be sneaky good if they get some time. Nese starts things off with a shoulder tackle. Gargano tries to come back with a leapfrog, but Nese catches him. Gargano slides out and comes back this time with a hurricanrana. Nese goes to the floor and Gargano is thinking about a dive. As he runs to the opposite ropes, Nese rushes in and bumrushes Gargano. Both men avoid top rope attacks and then Gargano with his rolling kick. Gargano clotheslines Nese over the top rope, and then this time he’s able to dive through the ropes to take Nese out. Nese is sent back in and Gargano goes to the top, but Nese swipes the legs out from Gargano. Gargano falls hard on the top turnbuckle. Nese grabs Gargano and brings him down over his knee with a gutbuster. Nese now starting to work the midsection of Gargano. Gargano works hard to get out of a bodyscissor. Nese takes out the legs of Gargano again and then tries a golden triangle moonsault in the ring, but Gargano moves. Nese lands on his feet, but Gargano is on the apron and slingshots over the top rope and lands a DDT. Gargano with an enziguri. Nese dumps Gargano to the apron and runs to the opposite ropes, but Gargano comes flying through the ropes with his spear for a two count.

Gargano all over Nese but Nese comes back with a big forearm and then a knee strike. Gargano comes back with a kick to the head though. Gargano tries another one, Nese ends up rolling Gargano up and then lifting Gargano for a one arm powerbomb. Gargano slides out with a sunset flip for a two count. Gargano now trying for the Gargano Escape but Nese rolls through it and throws Gargano into the ropes with a one arm buckle bomb. Gargano caught more of the ropes than the turnbuckles, but still a very good sequence. Gargano to the floor and Nese tries a dive but Gargano moves. Both men back in the ring and Gargano tries his slingshot DDT again but Nese catches him in mid rotation and dumps Gargano back to the floor. Nese with an incredible dive over the top rope to take out Gargano. Gargano thrown back in, Nese to the top rope with a pictur perfect 450 Splash, but Gargano is able to kick out! Nese with a face wash in the corner. Gargano gets up and hits an enziguri. Nese grabs Gargano though and drills Gargano with a German suplex buckle bomb. Good Lord. Nese runs to the ropes, Gargano gets up and nails a superkick, followed by a massive lariat. Nese is down and Gargano now locks on the Gargano Escape. Nese has to tap out!

Winner: Johnny Gargano

K-Tank’s Take: Like I said, give them some time and this could be sneaky good. This was a hell of a match. It’s a shame how underutilized 205 Live is, as guys like Nese are phenomenal competitors. I wish we could see more of them here in NXT. Gargano after the match, held a sign that said, “Johnny Freaking Wrestling”. So the story is that he’s going back to who he’s always been.

We get a video package highlighting the history of Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan coming from opponents to a tag team, along with the injury Lorcan suffered to his orbital bone at Takeover: Chicago and his recovery. I love these guys and this was a great package to reintroduce them.

In two weeks, it’ll be the rematch between Nikki Cross and Bianca Belair. Next week will be Keith Lee vs. Kona Reeves along with that Triple Threat North American Title match.

Lars Sullivan vs. EC3

About 9 minutes left in the show. EC3 doesn’t even bother going through his full intro before charging the ring and attacking Lars. They brawl to the floor and EC3 drives Lars into the steel steps three times. Lars finally stays down after the 3rd one. Lars’ back has been sliced open by those stairs. It looks almost like the infamous Hardcore Holly cut after the table spot against RVD. EC3 avoids a charging Lars, who hits the ringpost HARD. The ring literally moved. EC3 with a bodyslam and elbow drop for a two count. Lars grabs EC3 and drives him hard into the turnbuckles. Lars then tosses EC3 across the ring and then charges him with an avalanche splash. EC3 comes back with a back elbow and a dropkick off the second rope. EC3 with a leg sweep takedown for a two count. EC3 just clubbing at Lars, but Lars comes back with a body splash. Lars with a toss back suplex. Now his massive crossface shots to EC3, which leads to only a one count. Neck vise by Lars and then tries for a bodyslam but EC3 slides out. EC3 then manages to hit a release German suplex on Lars!

EC3 to the top rope with an ugly cross body and Lars kicks out at two. Almost looked like EC3 slipped on the ropes. EC3 tries to pick up Lars to no avail, and Lars comes back with a short arm clothesline. Lars tries for the Freak Accident but EC3 fights out and then a Cactus clothesline over the top rope sends both men to the floor. EC3 is bleeding from the eye and mouth. Lars grabs EC3 and hits a Freak Accident on the apron! He rolls EC3 into the ring, goes to the top rope and lands a big falling headbutt, which is enough for the 3 count.

Winner: Lars Sullivan

K-Tank’s Take: Well the story here was that EC3 gave Lars the biggest fight of Lars’ career and took it to Lars more than anyone else has. That may be true, but they crammed a ton into barely 8 minutes, so I don’t know that anyone will remember that, more so than just Lars winning cleanly. Based on the story the announcer’s told though, I’m sure this is designed to continue. Obviously a hard hitting affair, as both men had visible battle wounds.

That’s it for this week. Don’t forget that next week will be what is surely an epic Triple Threat Match for the North American Title. Ricochet vs. Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me!