Hey yo, my NXT fam! It’s Tuesday evening, and we all know what that means: time for another episode of WWE NXT.I’m Jeremy Thomas, here as always, and tonight we continue on the road toNXT Stand & Deliver.Tonight’s show will feature Cameron Grimes facing Santos Escobar for a spot in the North American Championship Ladder Match at Stand & Deliver, as well as the debut of A-Kid when he faces Kushida.We’ll also see Sarray battle Tiffany Stratton and Indi Hartwell take on her tag partner Persia Pirotta to see who the best member of that tag team is.There will also probably be some nonsense, but that’s part and parcel of NXT 2.0 so at least we’re prepped for it.
Here in Thomas Central, I’ve had a pretty chill week outside of work and have been taking it easy.I watched the documentary Lucy and Desi on Amazon Prime which is a must-see for classic TV fans, and Kevin Smith’s latest film Home Team which is exactly what you would expect of an Adam Sandler-produced Netflix movie, except perhaps a touch better (that’s not exactly a compliment).Shudder’s The Seed was an alien invasion film that got off to a REALLY rough start and almost makes up for it in the back half, while Studio 666 was the flip side in that it starts off well but then doesn’t quite know how to end itself and just drags out the finish.And finally for films, I watched Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel last night.It was a solid-enough found footage horror film if you can get past the fact that the acting is a little dire in certain parts, and I enjoyed it just enough that I’ll probably complete the trilogy in the coming week.
Outside of film, I’ve been watching Dirty Money on Netflix which is very good at getting me angry, and my read of the of the classic Forgotten Realms “War of the Spider Queen” hexology, has made it to book five, Extinction.It sags a little in the middle of the trilogy but is still standing as a very enjoyable dip into early ’00s D&D fantasy fiction.
Anyway, we’re gonna have a lot to cover tonight so let’s hop right in.
As a reminder, theGoFundMe for Larry’s daughters is still active and if you can make a donation, that would be awesome.Thank you so much to everyone who’s done so thus far.
* We start with the In Memory graphic for Scott Hall.
* Up next is a recap montage of the NXT Championship match last week, with Dolph Ziggler beating Bron Breakker and Tomasso Ciampa to win the title.
* And just like that, we’re kicking off with Miz TV!Here comes the Miz in a snazzy white suit.Miz welcomes everyone to Miz TV and hypes himself up as only he can.He says it feels good to be on NXT 2.0 and that at WrestleMania he and Logan Paul (who gets boos) facing The Mysterios.But last week, one man turned WM weekend upside down and is a good friend and archrival, but he asked Miz personally to come here for an interview and he obliged.He welcomes Dolph and Robert Roode out.
Dolph and Robert take a seat and Miz says we’re ready for it.He asks Dolph how it feels to be NXT Champion, and Dolph says it just feels right after 15 years, and welcomes Miz and Miz TV to “his” show.Miz says the title looks good on Ziggler and he loves how Dolph just waltzed in and got Bron to give him a title match.We then get video from earlier today of Bron Breakker getting a group of guys and going out to go after Dolph, but NXT officials made him back off and leave.
Miz says, “Rookies, am I right?”Robert points out that Bron agreed to the triple threat match and there are no rules in such a match, which is why we have a new NXT Champion.Ziggler says Bron was smart to leave and not come back, but he wants to talk about someone more important: him.He says he’s a fighting champion and loves wrestling.He doesn’t do it for the accolades or the money — and he has a lot of money!He’s about to continue, and —
LA Knight is here!Knight comes down to the ring and steps into the ring with a mic.He quiets the crowd and says, “Lemme talk to ya!”He says the last time he ran into Dolph and the guys at Raw, he said they could come down any given Tuesday.Good on him for doing so, but since Bron isn’t here to challenge for the title, he wants a shot.Ziggler says to get one thing straight: he is a fighting champion, but he only fights superstars.Miz says Dolph has a point; Knight is a tremendous superstar and will be a major player, just not yet.
Knight takes off the jacket and says Miz is right.He’s not a superstar; he’s a damn megastar!Which means any day of the week, he can take the title off him.Ziggler says it’s his show, but he asks the crowd who’s show it is and they say LA Knight.Which means Ziggler has something that belongs to him.Ziggler says the NXT Champ only wrestles in the main event, and once LA Knight figures out where that is, he can find him.Miz says that Knight vs. Ziggler will be the main event, and it will be AWESOME.
* Backstage, Cameron Grimes and Santos Escobar are walking backstage for their match, which is next — and here comes Carmelo Hayes out to the ring.Hayes and Trick are going to join them on commentary for the match.
* MzKenzie is backstage with Cora Jade and asks what statement she sent by attacking Mandy Rose.Cora says that the attack on Raquel put her out four to six weeks, and that she thinks Toxic Attraction will be looking for her now.She has the NXT Women’s Championship and NXT Tag Team Championship titles, and says “They’re gonna be pissed.”
Grimes grabs Esocbar’s leg to start, they go into some counter wrestling and leapfrogging and cartwheeling until stopping.Escobar with a waitslock, reversed a few times until Escobar pushes Grimes off.He trips Grimes and Grimes back up, showboating.Headlock by Grimes, Escobar sends him into the ropes and kicks Grimes.He covers for one.
Suplex attempt by Grimes blocked, Grimes chops away at Santos and strikes him in the corner.Irish whip, Grimes drops the head and gets dropkicked in it.Escobar stomps away at Cameron and steps on him before being backed off.Strikes to Grimes and Santos pushes Grimes into the corner, chop but Grimes turns it around and hits a couple of kicks until Santos cuts him off with a kick.Off the ropes, diving dropkick to the head of a kneeling Grimes and a leg choke in the ropes for four.Escobar with a big kick to the head and he goes for a snapmare, then kicks Grimes hard in the back.Cover for two.
Punches by Escobar against the ropes, Irish whip, Grimes ducks a clothesline and hits a running rana sending Santos to the outside.He leaps onto the apron but Legado is there and Escobar knocks him to the floor as we go to PIP break.
We’re back and Grimes reverses a hold to send Escobar into the corner, but Escobar turns it around with kicks.He charges in and Grimes sends him to the apron, but eats a kick to the head.Escobar with a turning axehandle to the head and a cover for two.
Escobar goes to work on the left shoulder of Grimes, Grimes gets to his feet and drags Escobar over.Ranna and he comes off the ropes, an awkward collision but he does it again and then clotheslines Grimes over the ropes.Grimes to the apron and he dives over Legado onto Escobar!Escobar rolled in, Grimes goes up top, crossbody but Santos gets the knees up!Cover by Santos for two.
Escobar with punches to a kneeling Grimes, Escobar off the ropes but Grimes turns it around with a spinning crossbody reversal for two!Both men up, Escobar with a high knee and then gets Grimes on his shoulder, Grimes slips off and superkicks Escobar twice.He goes for the Cave In but Escobar reverses into the Phantom Driver for the pin!
Winner: Santos Escobar (11:30)Rating: *** 1/4Thoughts: Damned good first match for the show.These two work well against each other and make it look casual, but there was some great work and it paid off.
Legado stare off with Trick and Melo after the match.
* We get a vignette with Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai talking about how they have common enemies and that Wendy and Dakota will be tough to beat, but they teamed up for championship gold.Shirai says Toxic Attraction’s reign will come to an end.
* Wendy and Dakota are backstage and Wendy offers Dakota some orange soda.She says no and has some doubts, but Wendy reassures her.TA show up asking if they’ve seen Cora Jade.They say no and say TA didn’t have to injure Raquel, but they say Wendy and Dakota should be thanking them.They walk off and Wendy and Dakota say Toxic Attraction are hot, but weird.
* We then get a vignette introducing A-Kid before his match, which is up next.
Bell rings and Kushida starts off with a wristlock on A-Kid, which he counters into a headscissor takedown and lock.They go into some spinning around on each other and counter wrestling acrobatics, which ends with an A-Kid dropkick.A-Kid flips out of a headlock, but Kushida flips him over for an armbar submission which A-Kid reverses.Kushida with a jackknife pin attempt, they go back and forth and Kushida transitions a backslide into a submission, which A-Kid counters into his own but Kushida gets the ropes.
Kushida with a couple of chops to A-Kid and a bodyslam, then locks in a Boston Crab.A-Kid makes it to the ropes to cause the break.Chop by Kushida, answered by A-Kid who comes off the ropes into an armdrag and dropkick, cover for two.
Kushida snaps A-Kid’s arm on his shoulder and charges in, but A-Kid ducks and hits a German suplex and Northern Lights suplex for two.A-Kid with a kick in the corner, whip across the ring.He leaps up and catches Kushida in a headscissor but gets punted.A-Kid bounces back with an arm snap and kick, he goes into a series of strikes and a springboard DDT for three!
Winner: A-Kid (4:58)Rating: ** 1/2Thoughts: Damn good match for the amount of time it got.A-Kid still needs to get over with the crowd a bit as there wasn’t much heat for the match, but this was a good start.
* McKenzie is backstage with Legado and congratulates Escobar, who says he’s the greatest luchador of all time and says Stand & Deliver is his time.He’ll be the new North American Champion — and here are The Mysterios!Escobar shakes his hand, but Dominik says the greatest luchador of all time is Rey.Rey says Dominik is the guy who will break records.DOminik says he didn’t come to NXT to talk and will face whoever Legado wants.It’s Raul Mendoza.Santos says Doninik just made a big mistake.
* We get a recap of the Tiffany Stratton/Sarray feud over the last couple weeks.
Stratton attacks Sarray during her walk backstage, so she’s unable to transform.She rolls Sarray into the ring and the bell rings, with Stratton beating Sarray in the corner.Sarray counters with a drop toe hold inthe corner, stops Stratton against the ropes and goes for her dropkick through the ropes, but Stratton moves.Handstand elbow drop and a spinning bomb off the ropes for a pin.
Winner: Tiffany Stratton (0:52)Rating: N/AThoughts: Remember when they brought Sarray back with a set-up and new gimmick, and we thought maybe, just MAYBE, she’d get at least a tiny push?Good times.
* Gunther walks up on LA Knight and says he got his title shot by talking and not by his skill.He doesn’t respect Knight.Knight says he’ll happily give Gunther the first title shot and they start insulting each other.Knight says Gunther has the sports, he has the entertainment, and walks off.
* Jacy Jayne is pissed and walking backstage.She finds just one NXT Tag Team Title belt and carefully triues to pull it down, but it shuts a door on her and Jade locks it.Okay, I won’t lie; I was amused.
* HERE COMES CIAMPA!Ciampa is looking quiet as he walks into the ring and sits on the turnbuckle.He says tonight he wants to take the opportunity to talk to them about gratitude.Ciampa says sometimes he still looks around and takes it all in.This is his life; it’s been his life.He’s been doing this now for 17 years, and he always wanted to find a place he could call home and would believe in him, giving him the opportunity to prove that he could be the guy.He says it’s hard to explain it, but he’s always had this feeling that if he got the chance to run with the ball he would and that opportunity came in WWE, in NXT.
Ciampa says that’s gratitude, and that we already know this but success didn’t come immediately or easily, but the things in life worth fighting for seldom do.He says he’s been here since 2016 and since that time — he goes quiet as the crowd chants “Thank You Ciampa!”He says if they go down that seven years it covers DIY, Blackheart, the greatest NXT Champion of all-time and more.He’d love to call it a do it yourself story, but it never was about that because he always had us to do it with him, cheer him on, boo him at his best.The crowd delightfully obliges that.He recalls NXT New Orleans and the boos, and he said at that moment they all knew they were creating a moment and Ciampa could be The Guy.
He says it’s been a crazy long journey of ups and downs, setbacks and surgeries, Black and Gold to 2.0, but he never left and the fans didn’t either, and that’s gratitude.He says he doesn’t know quite exactly where he does go from here.He thought if the chapter would close than he would know, and he thought moreso than any time before but he wonders where his Fairy Tale Ending would be.He says walking into a show like Stand & Deliver as Champion sounds like a Fairy Tale Ending, but it didn’t happen.He had a chance to get back the title and have the perfect ending, but he lost.And now these last seven days, he’s just been thinking what’s next, what he does.Is there a perfect way to close this out?The crowd chants “ONE MORE MATCH!”He says he doesn’t have that answer, but not often in life do you get the chance to say thank you before it’s too late, and he’s not going to miss it.He says for the last seven years to everyone in the arena and at home, thank you.
Suddenly Tony D’Angelo is in the ring with his tire iron.He drops the iron and backs up, getting a mic.He says he could have hit Ciampa in the back of the head, but he respects him enough to come face-to-face, man to man.He’s been thinking, who does he have to face to get into the history books?Who can make him The Man in NXT?And how he’s standing in front of him.Ciampa’s been The Man for a while now, and he thinks it would be an honor of Ciampa would throw hands with him for a while.He extends a hand, and the crowd is into it.Ciampa shakes and then D’Angelo of course knees him low.“It was always you, Tommaso!”He kisses Ciampa on the cheek and drops him.
They shake hands to start, but it tuns into Persia shoving Indi down.Persia sends Indi into the corner, pushes her into the ropes and “hits” a big boot for two.Snake eyes in the corner, clothesline and a cover for two.
Persia with a wristlock as she tries to pull Indi’s wedding wring off, knocks her down and stomps on the hand.SHe talks shit about Indi and Dexter’s relationship, and Indi fires up and fires off shots.Bulldog by Indi, cover for two.
Indi charges at Persia in the corner and gets set on the apron.Duke distracts Indi and Persia grabs her, but Dexer comes out from under the ring!Persia is distracted and Indi with a sunset flip for three.
Winner: Indie Hartwell (2:23)Rating:Thoughts: All angle.
Indi and Dexter crawl into the ring and they engage in a…makeout-off?Weird flex, but okay.
* Gigi is in the most dangerous part of NXT — the Parking Lot — and fings her title on the edge of a dumpster.She gets in to get it and Cora uses a forklift to close the lid on her.“I can’t hear you, I didn’t know trash can speak!”Two down, one to go.
Nice to see Dom finally found his way to NXT; better late than never.
Lockup to start, Dom with a wristlock into a test of strength.They trade counters and flips until Dom hits a shot to the head and another, springboard armdrag and a dropkick by Dom.Dom charges in, Mendoza moves, Dom with a kick to Mendoza and he goes up to the second rope but gets tripped hard off.Mendoza with a chinlock, but Dom armdrags out and his a springboard crossbody.He hits an awkward spinning rana, goes up top and Elektra Lopez distracts him so Mendoza can hit a leaping kick to Dom’s head.
Fallon Henley comes out and pulls Lopez off the apron and Briggs and Jensen are out here too.Rey nails Escobar, Dom puts Mendoza in the ropes and hits the 619.Top rope, frog splash, three.
Winner: Dominik Mysterio (3:04)Rating: ** 1/4Thoughts: As good as a three-minute match can be.I joked about about Dom coming in NXT, but I’m serious — he would add value to NXT, and NXT would add value to him.
* Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett talk about the passing of Scott Hall, and we get the tribute video from last night.
* Cora is in the parking lot with spray paint and the NXT Title, and says it would be a shame to do anything to her car with the paint.She then says it’s time to go for a ride, and she ets in the car and leaves the title in the passenger seat.Mandy is of course in the back seat and she attacks Cora, which spills to the outside.Cora fights back but gets kicked to the ground and beat up.Mandy mocks her as “Little Cora Jade” and says she’ll fight anyone for her title, that Cora isn’t on her level and never will be.Cora grabs the spray paint and paints on Jade’s back, nWo-style.Gigi and Jacy walk up, and Mandy says, “Game over, bitch.”
* The Creed Brothers slide into the ring and talk about how they were attacked last week, and until they figure out who did it, heads are gonna roll.They challenge their unknown attackers to come out and face them.
That brings up MSK’s music, who come out in nWo shirts.Wes Lee says he hopes the Creeds see that they didn’t attack them.They even stood up for them, but the Creeds instead ruined their Tag Team Championship match.Malcolm says there’s no more line cutting and the two sides argue until Imperium come out onto the high stage.Barthel says it’s hilarious that they’re arguing about something that’s never going to happen, and Aichner says none of them have the talent to beat them.
Bivens says why don’t they come down and get beat.Lee says MSK deserves that opportunity just as much, and that at least the Creeds are down there.Aichner disagrees that they’re deserving and want to see them fail to prove themselves.He proposes a triple threat match between them for the titles at NXT Stand & Deliver.Barthel says Bivens loves to talk about reality and perception, and perception is that they’ll be at a disadvantage in a triple threat, but reality is that Imperium fears no one.
McKenzie is backstage with Grimes, who says he’s disappointed because he’s going to be at home watching Stand & Deliver.He says the4 last thing he got to tell his father was that he signed to NXT and he was going to be champion, but he keeps disappointing.
Set For Next Week:– NXT North American Championship Match Qualifier: Solo Sikoa vs. Roderick Strong– NXT North American Championship Match Qualifier: A-Kid vs. Grayson Waller
* Edris Enofe and Malik Blade say that attacked the waiters last week because they were trying to get close to Mandy Rose, but didn’t attack the Creeds.Grizzled Young Veterans also proclaim their innocence.The Creeds run in and say there were accepts, and Malcolm Bivens suggests running it back next week.GYV agree.
Circle and lockup, Knight shot into the corner and runs Ziggler over.The crowd is hot for Knight.They go back into a lockup and jocket for position, Ziggler goes for the legs and gets Knight back against the ropes, kicking him on the break.He sends Knight into the corner headfirst, snapmares him down and locks in a chinlock.Knight back to his feet, shoots Ziggler off, he knocks Knight down but Knight with a back elbow off the ropes and cover for two.
Ziggler with a shot to Knight to get out of a wristlock, he lays in the fists to the head and goes for a back elbow but Knight lands on his feet, sends Dolph into the corner and hits a leaping neckbreaker for two.He goes for a bodyslam, Ziggler slides out and rolls Knight up for two.Knight sends Dolph over the ropes but favors his ribs, Ziggler back into a powerslam for two as we go to PIP break.
Back from PIP break and Ziggler is on top of Dolph’s back, raking his face.He kicks Knight and covers for two, then locks in a bodyscissors ands sleeper.Knight struggles and tries to get to the ropes to no avail.Ziggler rakes the eyes, and Knight gets to his knees.He stands with Ziggler on his back, slams Ziggler into the corner to break the hold.
Ziggler goes for a Famouser but Knight counters and drops him.He nails Dolph with a couple big fists, stops him in the corner and runs in with a knee to the head.Knight with a big powerslam off the ropes, and he comes off the ropes with an elbowdrop for two.In the parking lot, Bron Breakker is here by the way.
Ziggler grabs the ropes and elbows Knight, he gets shoved into the corner though.Knight sets Dolph up top and decks him, he climbs up top and goes for a superplex but Ziggler counters.Headbutt to LA and a shot to the ribs finally knocks Knight to the mat.But Knight leaps up top and hits the superplex anyway!One, two, kickout.
Knight grabs Ziggler by the hair and pulls him to his feet, he goes for the back suplex, Roode with the distraction but Knight dodges a kick and hits a reverse TKO for two, with Roode getting Dolph’s foot on the ropes.They go into an exchange of reversals of finishes, Ziggler hits the superkick for the pin.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler (11:49)Rating: *** 1/4Thoughts: Hell of a match, to no one’s surprise.Knight looked good in there with Ziggler and the finish made sense.
Bron comes out after the match and marches to the ring.He steps in and grabs a mic, saying he wants his rematch for the title at Stand & Deliver.Roode gets in his face and gets knocked TF down.He asks Ziggler for his answer, and Ziggler agrees to it.
And with that, we’re done for the night!