Hey gang! Well, this is it. Since its inception, NXT has presented itself as a stripped-down and frankly simply designed show, so that we as fans will focus on the wrestling in the ring instead of the razzle-dazzle outside of it. And it worked too! NXT was a destination for fans who wanted to see underseen potential big stage stars from everywhere in the world and for a good few years, it featured the best big stage wrestling in the United States. It was the only arm of WWE in this generation where it genuinely felt like the wrestling quality mattered above all else and we as fans reaped the benefits.
But next week, that might all change. With a new "flashy" look to the show and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard taking a more hands-on role with the brand, where in the past they had nothing to do with producing it, fans are feeling a bit uneasy about the promised changes ahead starting next Tuesday night. Ultimately, we'll have to just wait and see what happens with all that and how it turns out. But for one more night, let's look in on "The Black and Gold Brand".
Ember Moon vs Kay Lee Ray
A very nice hard-hitting match here between two of the toughest women in the wrestling business today. Moon seems to get progressively more aggressive and violent as the match goes, which is some good storytelling as her character has had more of an edge as of late, due to her not being featured as much and Kay Lee Ray calling her out last week.
It's a solid length too, as they're given 20 minutes to work to open the night. But all good things come to an end, as Kay Lee Ray hits the KLR Bomb to pin Moon for the win.
Winner: Kay Lee Ray
We now go backstage to find Ridge Holland and Pete Dunne looking on as Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch get ready for their Tag Team title match tonight. McKenzie Mitchell interrupts them for an interview and Lorcan & Burch make it clear they're ready to take their titles back. Holland & Dunne tell them it's not enough to win; they need to end MSK tonight.
Next, we go to Indi Hartwell's bachelorette party from over the weekend, where many of the NXT ladies are at a nice classy restaurant with her. Candice LeRae makes backhanded comments that she doesn't have any friends and had to coerce them all to come there, as ladies around the table gossip about Hartwell's relationship with Dexter Lumis.
Carmelo Hayes vs Santos Escobar
There's a lot of feeling out to start here until both men get more comfortable and lean into their arsenals to have sequences of control over the other. Escobar firmly takes over after a bit though and gets several near-falls, including one after a top-rope Hurricanrana.
Escobar gets a bit cocky though and Hayes Hulks Up and takes over. As he's in full control after hitting a vaulting DDT onto the apron, Hayes is slammed on the outside by Elektra Lopez as Mendoza and Wilde distract the ref.
Hayes beats the countout but is immediately hit with a Fantom Driver by Escobar for the pinfall.
Winner: Santos Escobar
We now go backstage to Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro doing some uh, very unique exercises to get ready for their Tag Team title match tonight.
Next, we head to Diamond Mine's training facility, where Malcolm Bivens does a promo hyping up Julius and Brutus Creed and going over their accomplishments pre-NXT.
McKenzie is now in a backstage interview with NXT GM William Regal as he announces that next week, Tommaso Ciampa, Kyle O'Reilly, LA Knight, and Pete Dunne will compete in a Fatal Four match to determine the number one contender to face Samoa Joe for the NXT title.
The Creed Brothers vs Chuckie Viola & Paxton Averill
Debut match for the Creed Brothers here on NXT! Commentary leans heavily into the brothers' amateur wrestling accomplishments, with Julius placing fifth in the U.S. Olympic trials and a two-time All American at Duke University, while Brutus is an undefeated amateur wrestler and was the number one ranked wrestler in the NCAA while at Otterbein University.
The brothers wear traditional wrestling singlets and wrestling shoes, but they are total powerhouses in the ring. Lots of hard slams, takedowns, and suplexes here. Both Creeds are huge and intense as hell in the ring, screaming and taunting as they pull off feats of strength and absolutely dominate their poor opponents.
Obviously, this is a quick squash, but a damn impressive one. A great debut for these two young monsters that you have to imagine WWE management was drooling over while watching this match.
Winners: The Creed Brothers
We now go backstage to Zoey Stark and Io Shirai getting ready to defend their NXT Women's Tag Team titles tonight. Stark is working out, but Shirai appears to just always be ready.
McKenzie is now interviewing Ember Moon backstage and Ember goes over how the last couple of months have been very hard and her match tonight was a wake-up call. She says she knows what she has to do now, so stay tuned.
It's Hit Row time as we find the group in their recording studio as Swerve cuts a promo on Legado del Fantasma, making it clear it's not over between them.
Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro vs Zoey Stark & Io Shirai – NXT Women's Tag Team Championship
Really good match here with a great mix of styles and speed. Everyone is complimenting everyone else in this match and it doesn't feel like there's a lull at any point. You have the speed and creativity of Carter & Catanzaro mixing very well with the strength of Stark and obviously, Shirai makes it all look great, as she's arguably the best wrestler in the world.
The storytelling here also never gets lost to the action, with Stark and Shirai keeping up the conflict between them the entire match and Shirai acting like she doesn't need Stark, while Carter and Catanzaro feel like extensions of one another.
There's a spectacular near-fall moment where Carter and Catanzaro hit a big double-team splash on a grounded Stark and as Catanzaro goes for the pin, Shirai hits a vaulting dropkick off the ropes into Carter, who breaks the pin at the last moment. The timing really couldn't have been better here.
The champs rally though and start working together, leading to Shirai hitting the big top rope moonsault on Catanzaro for the pinfall.
Winners and still Champions: Io Shirai & Zoey Stark
After the match, Gigi Dolin, Jacy Jayne, and a now masked Mandy Rose jump Carter & Catanzaro on the stage and stomp them down.
Next, we go to a pretaped interview with Kyle O'Reilly, where he talks about all he's been through over the past year and about putting everything behind him and challenging for the NXT title.
Next, we head to Dexter Lumis's bachelor party with Johnny Gargano, Odyssey Jones, Cameron Grimes, Drake Maverick, and the zombie referee. We learn that Grimes is footing the bill for the whole thing (including the wedding) and the boys head to go-kart racing, ax-throwing, a trampoline place, and laser tag, with Lumis helping Gargano win at everything and earning his respect in the progress. Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae are spying on them at each place trying to see what's going on between Gargano and Lumis.
This stuff is actually really funny, with each guy getting moments to showcase their personalities. It all comes to a head when Gargano actually high-fives Lumis (and we learn that the zombie ref is Canadian) and welcomes him to The Way.
We now go backstage to Franky Monet and Jessi Kamea being mean girls about the wedding next week when they're interrupted by Robert Stone, who tells them that next week Monet will face Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women's title.
Virginia Ferry vs Mei Ying
Mei Ying finally competes in NXT for the first time instead of just being a mystical witch or something in a chair on the stage.
It's a very short, but effective squash here that makes Mei Ying a viable threat as a wrestler, instead of just a weird mostly offscreen character.
She grabs Ferry with a throat hold of some kind and drags her to the mat for the pinfall.
Winner: Mei Ying
Next, we go to LA Knight's sports car, where he's driving around and cutting a promo about his Fatal Four Number One Contender match next week. He guarantees he'll win that match and that Samoa Joe's time as Champion is over after that.
And now it's Ciampa's turn, as he cuts a backstage promo on how he's motivated and that makes him scary. He says he has two goals: to take out Pete Dunne and to get the NXT title back. He wants "Goldie" back!
Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs MSK- NXT Tag Team Championship
A fun one here, with a good mix of the snug, hard-hitting style of Lorcan & Burch clashing with the speed and excitement of MSK.
Lorcan & Burch are clearly out-toughing MSK through most of the match by taking whatever they throw at them and responding with more and more heavy brawling.
Things change when Lee gets the hot tag and comes in to wipe out both opponents and hitting Lorcan with a bridged German Suplex for a near-fall. MSK then hits both men with diving strikes on the outside.
Back in the ring, all four men hit big strikes on each other, but MSK is able to hit the double top rope neckbreaker to Lorcan for the pinfall to retain.
Winners and still Champions: MSK
After the match, Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland enter the ring and turn on Lorcan and Burch, demolishing both men and leaving them knocked out in the ring as NXT comes to an end.
So if tonight was the last night of the NXT we've known and loved, then they went out strong.
The focus of the show was squarely on the wrestling matches here and every match was good. There was a minimum of silly stuff, but even that wasn't bad, as the bachelor party segments didn't overstay their welcome and were actually funny.
Now all eyes go to next Tuesday, as we wait to see what the new era of NXT holds. Hopefully, most of the differences are only on the surface and NXT remains WWE's destination for great wrestling that takes importance over everything else. In case you didn't know, here's a preview for what we can expect next week on the September 14 show:
Till next time friends!