SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
SAMOA JOE CALLS OUT KARRION KROSS
To start the show, Samoa Joe stormed to the ring and called out the NXT Champion leading Regal to come out and say that as per their agreement, he couldn’t be calling out wrestlers. Joe said that the agreement said he could if he was provoked, and consider him provoked. I think this is a great way to shoehorn Joe back into active competition and even potentially get the belt around his waist. With Kross looking to move to RAW, he needs to drop the belt. Who better than Joe?
DIAMOND MINE (Tyler Rust & Roderick Strong) vs. KUSHIDA & BOBBY FISH
I’m still not entirely sure why Fish and Strong have beef with one another, but it definitely makes sense to pit the former Undisputed Era members against one another. I just wish they told a better story to get us to this point. While the angle is hooking me, I don’t feel like Diamond Mine is nearly the threat they want us to believe it is. Maybe because its still fledgling, maybe because it’s a mid card stable. I’m hoping it kicks into a higher gear as time goes on.
That said, this match was on the higher end of good. A lot of action and technical wrestling, though the parts of the match I probably enjoyed the least were when Strong and Fish would touch. They have much better chemistry together than across the ring from one another.
From what I’ve heard, Diamond Mine was formed to add life to the Cruiserweight Division. So far, I think they’re succeeding.
FRANKIE MONET vs. JACY JANE
Another easy win for Monet against the jobber, Jacy Jane. What I’m still questioning is Mandy Rose’s inclusion in this story. My guess is that she’s going to be the first real opponent for Monet, but I’m not understanding why they are shaking the roster up so close to the Draft? With all of this NXT cross over on RAW and Smackdown and now John Cena showing up on whatever show he wants, it cheapens the roster split. I understand that they are trying to draw ratings and I fully understand that I truly have no idea how to book a successful show. But why not keep the rosters separate not just to hype the draft… but to also, you know, help prevent the spread of COVID in your company?
Not a whole lot to say about the match, but I am digging Monet. Even if I’m not quite digging the inclusion of Rose.
Verdict: (mild) HIT
KYLE O’REILLY vs. AUSTIN THEORY
This match was set up after KOR interrupted a backstage interview with Theory and Johnny Gargano, and what a match it was. Two fantastic technical wrestlers doing what they do best. Ultimately, I think this is to lead to KOR vs. Gargano and I’m totally fine with that. KOR is still on a mission to take out Adam Cole and this is merely a detour.
HIT ROW INTERRUPTS LEGADO DEL FANTASMA
This feud has to be my favorite thing on NXT right now, with LA Knight and Grimes a close second. Legado has held on to this cool factor for over a year now where they seemed untouchable. Hit Row are the new cool kids in school, looking to put the old guard in their place.
ANDRE CHASE vs. ODYSSEY JONES – BREAKOUT TOURNAMENT
What do you get if you cross the look and strength of Mark Henry with the size and speed of Keith Lee? Odyssey Jones. While it shows that he’s only been wrestling for a couple years, I see potential in the big man. Some more time between the ropes, and I feel like he could be a major player in the business. Andre Chase, formerly known as Harlem Bravado in Evolve, was probably a good first opponent for Jones. He’s been wrestling for years and could lead Jones through a good match while making him look like a monster. I think he succeeded.
LA KNIGHT vs. DRAKE MAVERICK
Earlier in the night, LA Knight and butler Cameron Grimes showed up at the arena and Knight ordered Grimes to get his bags from the trunk. There were quite a few of them and Grimes was having trouble with all of them. Drake Maverick happened to see and offered to help. That’s where he went wrong. LA Knight wound up challenging him to a match for persistently trying to be a nice guy.
Maverick hasn’t been seen on TV since Killian Dain was let go, and I was starting to get a bit worried about the state of his WWE career.
Maverick got an upset win after Knight was paying more attention to humiliating his butler rather than the match. But after the match, he was beat down by Knight. Grimes was forced to punch Maverick as well, unable to say no due to having to be the butler.
Fantastic, fantastic story telling. Grimes looks sympathetic, Maverick got a win and TV time, and LA Knight looks like more of an a-hole than ever.
RAQUEL GONZALEZ (w/Dakota Kai) vs. XIA LI – NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Talk about a David vs. Goliath story. Not only does Gonzalez have nearly a foot on Li, Gonzalez had backup in Dakota Kai. Xia Li declared earlier in the night that she would go to the ring by herself and not under the watchful eyes of Boa and Mai Ying. The odds were certainly not in Li’s favor.
Outside of the ring, I was really wondering how this match would look. Both Gonzalez and Li are still very new to the business even though they both have a few years under their belts. They’ve only been in the spotlight for a cup of coffee. Putting two fledgling workers in a main event title match, albeit a TV match, can be risky.
Honest to goodness, I had those first two paragraphs typed before Li’s injury occurred. While I don’t know if the injury happened due to inexperience or bad luck, it’s awful to see that happen to someone, especially during their big moment.
What really bothered me though, is the fact that the officials and medical staff allowed Xia Li to take a powerbomb from Gonzalez not knowing exactly the extent of the injury. She may have felt fine, but why not call an audible and have Gonzalez slap on an ankle lock or some other submission that won’t put torque on the midsection, and have Li tap?
Again, I’m not experienced ringside. But, that just seemed like an unnecessary risk when you could have easily changed the finish to be safer, and have the same desired outcome.
KROSS TAKES OUT REGAL
After the main event match, Joe stormed the ring and called out Kross. Kross was shown in the parking lot with Regal laying unconsicous. Joe ran to the parking lot but was too late, Kross took off in a car.
Maybe this doesn’t even lead to a match? Maybe Kross winds up stripped of the title due to such a heinous attack on a WWE official as a way to get the belt off of him so he can be called up to RAW to job to the stars as he did Monday night.
The angle, however, is perfect. Nobody attacks Regal in NXT, at least not that I can remember. This means war for Joe in his mind. If Regal is out next week, presumably Joe runs the show. What does that mean for Kross?