NXT Recap: Episode 526

DISCLAIMER: This will be my last recap of NXT in the format that I do now. Seeing as how the Wednesday Night War are staring next week, I am going to switch the style up. It will be a work in progress since I’ve been writing in my signature “And I’m Like…” style for almost six years now. This new format will feature both AEW and NXT. It will be titled “The Battles of the Wednesday Night War” Since NXT and AEW are both two hours long, I will compare segments. Whatever the first segment is on NXT will be compared head to head with AEW’s first segment. I’m sure there will be overlap and some matches will happen on one show while promos/video packages happen on the other show. Like I said, this will be a work in progress and feedback is appreciated. After the shows are done, I think I will tally up what show won the most segment battles and then I will declare a winner of the battle that week.

Last week on NXT: The first ever weekly two hour NXT happened. The first hour was on USA Network with the second hour on the WWE Network. The first match was a fatal four way for a shot to face Shayna Baszler for her NXT Women’s championship. Candice LeRae bested Bianca Belair, Io Shirai and Mia Yim. Here is my three year old daughters review of the match. Cameron Grimes doing his best Lukas Nelson impression, defeated Sean Maluta in one move. Roderick Strong dethroned Velveteen Dream to become the new North American champion. Pete Dunne and Arturo Ruas had a Bloodsport esque match that Dunne won by breaking Ruas’ fingers. Xia Li picked up a win over Aliyah in an alright match but the worst match on the show. Kushida got his ass kicked by Imperium. Lio Rush earned the right to face Drew Gulak for the Cruiserweight championship after defeated Oney Lorcan. Matt Riddle and Killian Dain brawled into the backstage area and that caused the whole male roster to fight each other as NXT went off the air.

Cold Open

Undisputed Era made their way to a balcony to show off all their gold. They were standing above the commentary team.

Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic

  • This match is gonna fuck. Every match they’ve ever had has fucked, but these two just get better and better.
  • This match starts with a feeling out process, but Keith Lee showed his agility very quickly in the match. I love that these two know each other so well now. Usually that means there are more counters because each man is scouted by the other, but Keith Lee is so explosive and powerful that Dijakovic is already having to change his strategy.
  • Dijakovic fought to an advantage when Keith tried to dead lift suplex Dominik and Dijakovic knee’d Keith in the face then chokeslammed Lee onto the apron.
  • The story of the match is that both men are even, but Dijakovic can’t keep an advantage because Keith is just too strong. Dijakovic tries to run, tries to go out of the ring and Keith is able to hit pescados and shit. He is 340 lbs and does a corkscrew to the outside. It’s absolutely wild.
  • Dijakovic is a specimen, but Keith Lee is everything, dudes doing middle rope moonsaults. Just because Dijakovic is 6’7 doesn’t make him that impressive when faced against Lee.
  • I feel like most of the memorable moments in the match is because of Keith Lee. Dijakovic is a star but Lee is a Superstar.
  • Like Dijakovic hits an avalanche Canadian destroyer and follows that up with a moonsault. Instead of kicking out, Keith Lee just lifts Dijakovic up from a seated position.
  • Lee then does a firemans carry to a powerslam for the win. The series is tied at 1-1.

And I’m Like… These two really have only had big time matches with each other on NXT and it has yet to get old. It’s amazing how much chemistry these two have, how they both are two of the best big men in the game and are able to fly like it’s 205 Live. I can’t put it into words, I can tell you that each time these two wrestle, I text multiple friends to tell them to watch this shit.

Street Profits face Undisputed Era next week.

Taynara Conti vs. Dakota Kai

  • Dakota Kai is finally back, her theme song is my favorite theme in wrestling and she is one of the most genuine performers in wrestling.
  • Dakota almost cried coming to the ring, she really wants this.
  • The match starts with Taynara showing too much sass and getting kicked in the face by Dakota.
  • Taynara knows how to strike and fight, she had the match well in hand, but just had to taunt Dakota a bit too much.
  • Dakota fired up and just started kicking the bejesus out of Taynara. There is a reason she is the captain of team kick.
  • She hits the GTK on Taynara and wins rather easily.

And I’m Like… Taynara is growing as a performer and Dakota doesn’t seem to have much ring rust. She’s happy to be back and I am appy to have her back. Excited for the future storylines.

Street Fight

Matt Riddle vs. Killian Dain

  • Killian Dain’s theme song is very basic, his old Sanity inspired one was really good, I don’t get why WWE is taking away theme songs from some wrestlers and giving them super lame basic ones.
  • This match jump starts into strikes. These two were brawling last week, so it makes sense there is no lock up or feeling out process.
  • This street fight is a straight up wrestling match for the first 10 minutes. Hitting high impact moves for near falls, there is no disqualification, but it looks like both men are trying to win straight up.
  • They end up battling outside of the ring and into the crowd. Matt Riddle grabs a chair and hits Dain, turning this Street Fight into an actual street fight.
  • Killian Dain is able to fight back a bit but does the same thing all the heels in NXT does, talks shit and gets hit. Riddle slaps Dain a bunch so Killian runs and crossbodies Riddle through a wall!!
  • The commercial breaks really hurt this match, we come back from Riddle being put through a wall to seeing Riddle putting Dain through a table.
  • They fight back into the ring and Riddle grabs another chair so Dain just throws his big ass body into Riddle. Dain begins hitting his Vader Bomb trifecta, which got him the win against Riddle before, but this time Riddle kicks out.
  • Riddle hits a powerbomb on Dain, throws a chair at Dain and hits a running knee like it was a Van Daminator. This match has very little story and is just a fight. It really isn’t connecting with me but its a spectacle.
  • Matt Riddle beats the shit out of Dain and hits the Fujiwara armbar to tape Dain out.

And I’m Like… Next week is Riddle vs. Cole for the NXT Championship. NXT is really throwing everything at the wall to try and beat AEW in the ratings next week. It’ll be fun. Cole comes out to talk shit, but Riddle puts him in the armbar as well, Cole starts tapping like crazy and hour one comes to a close.

Adam Cole and The Undisputed Era are sitting in the ring and Cole keeps saying “I think my wrist is broken”.

A recap from last week where Imperium kicked the shit out of Kushida.

Kayden Carter vs. Rhea Ripley

  • Hey look it’s Lacey Lane… but now she is Kayden Carter. She looks very hapy when she comes to the ring. I think Lacey is best known in WWE as Kacy Catanzaro’s friend who watches Ricochet matches with Kacy.
  • Kayden starts the match by running at Rhea and dropkicking her. Ripley was dismissing Carter by saying something to the fans. After that dropkick, Rhea started fighting back and it’s basically curtains for Carter.
  • Carter shows recislliance with a roll up attempt and a couple hurricanranas. The match is built around Rhea underestimating Carter and Kayden only getting one real chance to win.
  • Ripley hits the Riptide and wins rather easily.

And I’m Like… Carer shows a lot of promise but Rhea Ripley is that bitch. She kicks Carter and says “she’s pathetic”. Shayna Baszler seems like she has to lose soon because there isn’t much you can do with Ripley if she isn’t in a feud.

  • Ever-Rise is Matt Martel and Chase Parker, formally 3.0
  • Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch are just coming off of a win on 205 Live, and on that review I was talking about how much I miss seeing Lorcan and Burch on NXT.
  • Ever-Rise has matching gear and generic music.
  • Martell and Oney Lorcan start off the match by trading wrist-locks. Burch and Parker get tagged in and trade headlocks. A feeling out process for every man in this match.
  • Martel and Parker singling out Oney Lorcan and working him over with quick tag and double team moves. Lorcan is able to actually reverse a move and get the hot tag.
  • The crowd isn’t reacting to the match once because Ever-Rise are enhancement talent and the hot tag was never really built to. Lorcan just out of no where.
  • A quick finishing move for Lorcan and Burch and that was that.

And I’m Like… The match was a super basic tag match and not the usual sprint Oney and Burch have. The high point of the match was right before the finish. Oney was laying out of the ring and Burch screamed “ONEY” and Lorcan rose up like Godzilla or some shit.

Deonna Purazzo and Chelsea Greene showed up in the crowd, I don’t think the crowd was shown that they were there and there was no spot light on the women either.

Cameron Grimes vs. Raul Mendoza

  • Ever since I saw this photo of Willie Nelson’s son Lukas, I can’t not correlate Grimes to Nelson.
  • Grimes tries to win the match like he did last week, but Raul is able to dodge the foot stomp.
  • They wrestle at a quicker pace with Mendoza having the match advantage. Mendoza does a springboard side headlock takeover and I am astonished. To take such a basic move and make it so flashy is tremendous.
  • Grimes gets in control of the match by countering a crossbody in mid-air with a type of Spanish fly maneuver.
  • Grimes slows the match down working over Mendoza’s arm. Mendoza hasn’t earned enough goodwill from Full Sail University to get them to cheer him on while Cameron wears Raul down.
  • You get the basic claps from the crowd but not much in the way of energy. As we know cheering and claps are what gives the good guy power to fight out of holds.
  • Mendoza digs deep and lands a kick to Grimes face. Cameron is shocked that Mendoza has this type of fire. Everything Grimes tries to do Raul has an answer for.
  • Grimes gets a desperation chest stomp outta nowhere!!

And I’m Like… Some boo’s from the crowd after Cameron won. That means both men did their jobs correctly. Cameron Grimes can wrestle his ass off, all he needs is a good character hook and he will be quite a star on NXT. This match was fun to watch, which isn’t surprising given the talent involved.

Kushida and Breezango vs. Imperium

  • Kushida was told to pick two partners to help him in a match against Imperium.
  • Kushida enters first, then Imperium, so at the time it seemed like Kushida hasn’t found anyone.
  • Marcl Barthel is one of my favorites in WWE and when WALTER isn’t around Barthel looks the exact part of leader. I dig the look of Imperium so much.
  • Kushida gets in the ring and presses his watch. Breezango comes out to their cop friendly theme song that doesn’t let the fans dance and sing….
  • Kushida and Aichner start the match off but within a minute all of Imperium are in and out of the ring taking on Kushida.
  • Kushida gets beat a little bit but is able to tag in Dango. This match is really showcasing team work as Breeze and Dango are able to hit some double team moves as Imperium shows how well they work as a unit.
  • Imperium have singled out Tyler Breeze and are picking his bones like a trio of vultures. They set up Breeze in a tree of woe, but where Breeze’s body is outside of the ring, then Aichner and Barthel hit a double dropkick.
  • Breeze gets hit in the face and Beth Phoenix says ” how can they do that to his beautiful face? As the crowd chants “not the face”. Which was a nice bit of synergy.
  • The crowd is getting louder as Breeze fights for the hot tag. Breeze is able to dive for the hands of his teammates but Imperium pulls Kushida and Fandango off the apron. The crowd is very upset by this and want to see Breeze make that tag bad.
  • Fandango gets tagged in and the crowd cheers, except Imperium got the tag too, which seems counter intuitive to the hot tag spot. The focus should solely be on Fandango for at least a couple of moves.
  • Kushida is able to sneak out a victory after getting an O’Connor roll into a bridge on Barthel.
  • Kushida starts celebrating on the ramp and WALTER shows up to boot Kushida in the face. Breezango is no where to be seen. WALTER isn’t even wearing his track suit as Imperium ends NXT standing tall.

And I’m Like… That match was great when it was great but the crowd took a bit to get into it. I wonder what happened to Breezango after the match was won, because they seemed to see WALTER show up and just stand there. It’s weird that NXT does very little in terms of promos and character building. They let the wrestling and commentators do the talking. I wonder how much longer that will last.

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