NXT Recap: Episode 525

Last week on the last ever one hour NXT: Damian Priest defeated Boa in a showcase match. Johnny Gargano kicked Shane Thorne in the face and then said he was Johnny NXT 4-Life. Angel Garza and Pete Dunne had an even steven match that Dunne only won because Garza was showing off too much. Cameron Grimes picked up a win against forever enhancement talent Raul Mendoza after making an entrance like a carny. Candice LeRae demanded and received a spot in the women’s number one contender match at the first NXT on USA. Rhea Ripley threw away her championship opportunity after hitting Shayna Baszler with a chair mid-match. ALL THAT HAPPENED IN ONE HOUR! What will NXT do in two hours?!?

HHH does an extreme close up and tells us not to blink. He is telling us how cool NXT is. Turns out it was a live recording and he walked right out onto Full Sail and the crowd is it. Mauro Ranallo opened the show all by himself.

Number One Contender Match For NXT Women’s Championship

Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair vs. Mia Yim vs. Candice LeRae

  • Let it be known forever. Io Shirai is the first superstar to appear on NXT on USA. Man I am so hyped for this match and this show and everything. Been here since episode one with Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho and I feel so attached to this damn brand.
  • Candice came out ready to go right after Io. The ring mat looks different, or maybe the ring is bigger? I don’t know something seems different about the ring. IT looks fancier.
  • This is a fatal four way so there won’t be much of a story. These women can all go and have distinct personalities so it’ll be a fun watch.
  • After a tope suicida and all women on the ground. We get a commercial break, and damn I am not used to that.
  • Coming back from commercial and the women are already in a tower of doom spot. I just realized Jessika Carr is the referee, I’m wondering what first time viewers are thinking of this? These women are going all out and there is a woman ref. I hope this match blows some fans minds.
  • All four women are down and the crowd is clapping away. Bianca Belair hits an Alabama slam on Candice into the turnbuckle and now we are just getting high spot after high spot from all four women. This match is bonkers.
  • Candice hits a poisoned rana and a Asai moonsault to get the win.

And I’m Like… Candice deserves the win because she is the only one to not have a Takeover match against Shayna Baszler, but LOL the only blonde in the match wins the first NXT match. Running joke in WWE is that all the top women are blonde women. Vince loves blonde women and that’s why many are featured on the poster. So it’s funny that the first NXT match is won by a blonde. Shayna and company come out to taunt Candice, who doesn’t back down!! Candice is ready for this shit!

We get some character highlight packages to introduce us to Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream.

Then there is an AEW commercial that shows Jericho and Moxley, whoa, shots fired.

Video package about Keith Lee and Dijakovic, who put on the most bangers of a match you’ll see this year. Then a video package of Killian Dane and Matt Riddle. They are really hyping up all the feuds that are going on on NXT. I really wish I was watching NXT with someone whose never watched before. They don’t know the difference between Sean Maluta and Matt Riddle.

Cameron Grimes vs. Sean Maluta

  • Crazy that two months ago Cameron Grimes was on the indies and now he is winning in 10 seconds on NXT on USA.

And I’m Like… Well Cameron Grimes won in ten seconds.

Video package highlighting the feud between Roderick Strong and Velveteen Dream. Dream’s couch was lit on fire and now this championship feud is at another level.

Damian Priest video package. He is infamous for being an archer.

North American Championship

Roderick Strong vs. Velveteen Dream(c)

  • Velveteen is not how I assumed he would be. I figured since this was such a big match on an important show, he’d go all out with his attire and entrance. I guess not.
  • This match starts off with a draw out feeling out process. Both men working a wrist lock while the crowd duels in chanting both their names.
  • I don’t know if commercial breaks hurt or help the matches. I think NXT is acclaimed for its in ring work because we get to see the entire match, now that they are broken up, I can’t say for sure.
  • Dream is hitting moves on Strong and taunting him at the same time. Dude is in complete control and really showing why he is the breakout star of NXT.
  • Roderick ends up turning the tide of the match outside of the ring and hits a backbreaker on Dream on the guardrail. That puts the match in Roderick’s control and Roddy is picking apart Dream. Working on the arm neck and back while keeping Dream down.
  • Dream reversed a catapult by just not jumping. I’ve never seen that before and it was brilliant.
  • It seems like we are getting into the third act of the match. Both men are struggling to get a move on the other one and both men are trying to hit bigger and bigger moves.
  • Strong ties Dream up in the ropes Andre the Giant style and then runs the ropes back and forth hitting Dream in the head over and over.
  • Strong follows that up with a backbreaker and a Strong Hold. The crowd is torn and Dream is able to get to the ropes.
  • As Dream gets to the ropes Undisputed Era makes their way ringside. Dream now has to worry about Strong and the three men on the outside.
  • The referee gets knocked down. Just as Dream is able to fight off Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly. Strong hits a suplex into a backbreaker and Dream kicks out at two!!
  • Dream goes for a Purple Rainmaker and gets pushed off the top rope by Cole. Then Strong hits his suplex backbreaker and is able to secure the victory.

And I’m Like… The Undisputed Era holds all the gold in NXT. Adam Coles prophecy rang true and Undisputed Era rules all of NXT. I thought this match was pretty good. It got the result it wanted and upset me. I wanted a straight up match and it didn’t happen.

Pete Dunne vs. Arturo Ruas

  • Pete Dunne comes down and Mauro and Nigel talk about how Pete Dunne’s championship reign was 200+ days longer than Brock Lesnar’s reign.
  • Arturo Ruas we are told as undefeated for 17 years in Brazilian Jiu-Jitzu.
  • Both men are being put over hard on commentary. Dunne being likened to Daniel Bryan and William Regal.
  • This wrestling is so technical and the brawling is so good, Mauro Ranallo legitimately laughs out of joy.
  • This match is slower paced but is full of joint manipulation and limb work. It’s tough to write about because it’s just “Pete Dunne takes Arturo’s arm bends it a weird way and stomps on it” or “Dunne grabs Ruas’ toe and manipulates the joint” or “Ruas kicks Dunne’s kneecap almost bending it backwards”. But the way they do it is mesmerizing.
  • The story really is, these dudes are kicking the shit out of each other and trying to tear tendons and strain muscles.
  • Pete Dunne gets the victory after separating Arturo’s fingers while having a triangle choke on.

And I’m Like… Fuck that was a good match. If you are into that type of thing. It’s probably the closest WWE will get to Bloodsport. Just two dudes applying their craft and their craft is severely hurting dudes.

Aliyah vs. Xia Li

  • The best thing to happen to Xia Li is for NXT to become a legitimate brand. That way she won’t get Asuka’d on the main roster. Or I guess Kairi’d works now too. Vince McMahon just doesn’t like Asian’s for some reason. Xia is extremely talented and respected in NXT and that’s how she should be treated.
  • I don’t know what to say about Aliyah. She has been in developmental since 2013 or some shit like that. There must be something WWE sees in her to keep her around, but she just doesn’t click with me and it seems the NXT Universe as well.
  • Due to the fact that she got almost zero offense in and was defeated quickly by Xia Li, she might just be a well trained enhancement talent. The Raul Mendoza of the women’s division. Only difference is Raul can fucking go. Then again, I don’t know if Aliyah has ever been given the chance to go.

And I’m Like… That match showed us how deep the NXT women’s roster goes. We had a fatal four way with the top four women in NXT. We still have the champion Shayna and her friends, and then we have a mid card tier with Xia Li, Bourne and Boujee, Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox. The division is treated really well too.

Denzel Dejournette vs. Kushida

  • Denzel’s character is background hip-hop dude in an early 90’s flick about doing what’s right.
  • Imperium shows up before Kushida even comes out. Marcel Barthel looks thinner than normal.
  • WALTER’s music finally hits because his henchmen cleared the ring first. The crowd is loving WALTER right now and singing his theme song. Which they should cause WALTER is the shit, he should walk around with Pampers on him.
  • It’s crazy that Alexander Wolfe went from the most chaotic group in NXT history to the most authoritative group. Imperium is my shit though. Wrestlers that are technical and all about respect. Same as Pete Dunne and Arturo Ruas.
  • I just wish we could have seen WALTER vs. Orange Cassidy at least once.
  • The crowd did not react to Kushida like they should have, if only for the fact that they love WALTER so much.

And I’m Like… NXT UK is here and Kushida has challenged WALTER to a match. That shit is going to fuck. I really like how NXT is handling the second hour and still lining up feuds and matches by what happens in the ring.

Cruiserweight Championship Number One Contender

Lio Rush vs. Oney Lorcan

  • So the cruiserweight championship is valuable that the dude who hasn’t been on television in months and the dude who lost last night are in the number one contender match.
  • Lio Rush took time off for mental health reasons and made some music. The match started with Lorcan kicking the bejesus out of Rush.
  • Rush quickly tosses Lorcan out of the ring and does three tope suicida’s in a row. The crowd is firmly behind Lio. Rush is able to say a lot with his facial expressions. If he doesn’t talk he seems to be well liked.
  • This match is fast paced and the counter wrestling is spot on. After a near fall the crowd erupts in applause. Lio’s offense is so fast that if you blink you’ll miss it and Oney’s is methodical and painful. Slow enough for you to feel the pain of his opponent. These styles are like peanut butter and chocolate.
  • As the match slows down Nigel reminds us that Oney Lorcan had his orbital bone broken in a match one time and still wrestled for 30 more minutes.
  • Lio Rush woke the crowd up with a springboard bottom rope stunner for two. Lorcan was still laid out when Rush went off the top rope. Lorcan moved and Rush hurt his leg pretty bad. Lorcan has decided to capitalize on that by hitting a single leg crap on Rush.
  • Rush fights out of it, tries to kick Lorcan but Lorcan applies the hold again. The crowd chants “don’t tap” to Lio, so Oney puts the STF on Lio and Rush feigns passing out. This seem to be NXT’s attempt to make Lio a babyface. Talking about his mental health issues and over coming them, having him not tap out or talk.
  • Lio dodged Lorcan’s slap to the face and slapped Oney in the face instead. That fired Oney up who slapped Lio in he face three times. Oney ran at Lio and Rush hit a Spanish fly, followed that up with a frog splash and a win.
  • The crowd went wild for the win. I’d say Lio is rehabbed in one match.

And I’m Like… Six months off seems to have done Lio some good. I’ve never really been a fan of Lio outside of his most recent music, but I think I might be turning a new leaf. He’s made a lot of mistakes in his past, but humans are all about redemption and Lio has quite a redemption story on his hands.

Street Fight

Killian Dain vs. Matt Riddle

  • Kind of upset Killian’s music went from the crazy flute mash up of the Sanity theme to generic rock music.
  • Killian starts the match off by attacking Riddle as the bell rings. They are outside of the ring just as fast and Riddle is already fighting back with a kendo stick.
  • Then Killian and Riddle fight into the crowd. This match took OFF rather quickly. It’s a fight that is in constant motion. They fght backstage and The Forgotton Son were in the middle of filming a promo.
  • The fight goes outside of the arena, Dain using the production truck as a weapon.
  • Imperium is sitting outside at a table and the fight interrupts them. WALTER attacks Matt Riddle because of that. Alexander Wolfe gets to help his old Sanity buddy out. Soon every male member of the roser is fighting and the whole roster brawl went into the arena and back in the ring.
  • The crowd chanting NXT as everyone is fighting everywhere. It’s a street fight and security shows up to break up the fight. The crowd boo’s but Riddle starts taking out the security guards. Soon enough the brawl is so chaotic that I can’t even tell what is going on.

And I’m Like… That was fucking WILD!!! Regal needs to get control of his roster.

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