Hey gang! So after a kickass show on Sunday in NXT TakeOver 36, it's back to the grind for the black and gold brand. We've got a new NXT Champion in Samoa Joe and other changes are apparently on the way as well. And what are those changes? Well, tonight is allegedly the first night of the "newish" NXT (though more roster changes and a total revamp of the arena are on the way soon) so let's take a look and see how it goes.
We open the show with new Million Dollar Champion Cameron Grimes and his mentor Ted DiBiase rolling up to the arena in a stretch limo. Grimes hops out and is all celebration after his victory last night.
The two hit the ring and the crowd gives them a big ovation. DiBiase tells Grimes that he was here in NXT to search for who was worthy of being a Million Dollar Champion and that Grimes has pulled it off. Grimes tells him that while he drove him nuts at first, he's learned to be a Champion from DiBiase. They both then say Grimes is going to the moon and cash sprays out over the crowd.
Timothy Thatcher, with Tomasso Ciampa vs Ridge Holland, with Pete Dunne
A total brawl here as they open the match trading uppercuts over and over and testing each other. Wrestling moves are at a minimum in this one, as it's all about who can beat their opponent up.
They go back and forth, with each having some prolonged advantage over the other and each focusing on specific body parts to target, but it never strays from being a fistfight between two guys that hate each other. Holland eventually uses his size and strength to send it home as he headbutts Thatcher and hits him with a big slam to get the pinfall.
Winner: Ridge Holland
After the match, Ciampa is checking on his partner when Holland attacks him. Ciampa fights back, which brings in Dunne and they're brawling. Ciampa is then dragged out of the ring by Oney Lorcan and the returning Danny Burch, who proceed to beat him down at ringside. They toss him in the ring and Holland headbutts him to knock him out.
Thatcher then pulls Holland out of the ring to beat on him, but Dunne gets involved and Holland hits Thatcher with a club.
We now go to a sit-down interview with Carmelo Hayes, where he speaks about his feelings heading into the finals of the NXT Breakout Tournament tonight.
Next, we have a backstage interview with Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis where they talk about their engagement and they show off their Save The Date Invitation. Their wedding will be on the September 14 show, so we'll start guessing about what kind of calamity will occur that night because as you know as wrestling fans, wrestling weddings have about the same success rate as the Spanish Announce Table during the Attitude Era.
Short and sweet here, which is a good thing cause the comedy schtick has been way too much lately.
Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne
It's nice to see new faces featured consistently week to week here and seeing them find their personalities.
Dolin and Jayne dominate most of the match with quick tags and a lot of chemistry. Eventually, Catanzaro gets the hot tag to Carter and Carter takes over. She and Catanzaro get it together and hit their double team 450 splash finisher for the pinfall.
Solid short match, as it was very fast-paced and everyone involved looked passionate.
Winners: Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter
We now go to a backstage interview with the NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez, who says it's not over between her and Dakota Kai, and she also addresses Kay Lee Ray. She's then interrupted by Franky Monet, who threatens to take her title. A program with Gonzalez and Monet… yay…
Now we have a sit-down with Odyssey Jones, who talks about his positivity and his approach to the finals of the NXT Breakout Tournament tonight.
Valentina Feroz vs Kay Lee Ray
Ray plays with Feroz for a little bit, but ultimately dominates and puts her away quickly with a Gory Bomb.
Winner: Kay Lee Ray
Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne are walking around backstage, nursing their wounds when they're approached by Mandy Rose, who offers them an opportunity for her to take them under her wing. Yeah, cause it looks really good to learn from someone who was just demoted.
The champ is here, as Samoa Joe hits the ring now.
Joe talks about vanquishing Karrion Kross at NXT TakeOver 36but says he realizes he's now the hunted and notices everyone looking at him differently. He then asks who will challenge him and is immediately taken up on that by Pete Dunne, who hits the ring.
Dunne tells Joe he isn't the baddest around NXT and demands Joe tell William Regal to make the title match. They're then interrupted by LA Knight on the stage, who throws his hat into the ring and says he deserves to be the number one contender.
A limping Kyle O'Reilly now makes his way out and makes his case why he should be the number one contender, but he's jumped on the stage by Ridge Holland. Ciampa then hits the ring to beat on Dunne but is headbutted by Holland. LA Knight tries to get Joe from behind, but Joe catches him and takes him out. Fun segment, with LA Knight killing it on the mic and O'Reilly having some fun making fun of everyone's names.
Next, we go outside to see Cameron Grimes and Ted DiBiase exiting the building, with Grimes still all excited. DiBiase tells him that this needs to come to an end now though and Grimes agrees and says the Million Dollar title should be with him and gives the belt to him. DiBiase says Grimes should keep the belt to remind himself of everything and hands it to him, but Grimes realizes something doesn't feel right and sees it's a toy, as DiBiase gives a big laugh and his limo pulls away. Grimes gives us one last "that damn Ted DiBiase!"
Kyle O'Reilly is backstage now and as he's about to be interviewed, Duke Hudson struts up and makes fun of him for having a rough few days. O'Reilly slaps him in the face and Hudson slams O'Reilly's head into the locker over and over, before telling him "don't do that again!" casually. O'Reilly gets up and they start brawling and have to be separated by security.
Hudson is going to be a star I think. He has size and natural heel charisma.
Carmelo Hayes vs Odyssey Jones – NXT Breakout Tournament Final
NXT GM William Regal is sitting ringside for this one with a contract for the winner to get an NXT title shot.
Both of these guys are very over with the crowd, but it's a really good showcase here for both young stars. Lots of good storytelling and charisma are on display here as they work the situations and the crowd. Hayes gets to display his speed and creativeness, while Jones gets to show his immense size and strength
Hayes targets Jones' legs to try and chop down the big man, while Jones tries to absorb all of Hayes' onslaught.
Both men throw it all at each other and both are bleeding, but after Jones hits a standing splash and goes for the pin, Hayes reverses it into a crucifix roll-up for the pinfall.
Winner: Carmelo Hayes
After the match, Regal presents Hayes with the title shot contract and Hayes pays respect to Jones and cuts a short promo.
We now go to Pete Dunne, Ridge Holland, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch backstage, where Dunne says he's the only one true number one contender and Joe knows it. Lorcan and Burch say they never lost the NXT Tag titles, so they are the real champions. Holland says that he and Ciampa will finish what they started.
Xyon Quinn vs Boa
It looks like a quick squash here, with Boa just completely dominating Quinn. But when Boa looks to Mei Ying for approval, Quinn hits him with a running strike and pins him.
Winner: Xyon Quinn
After the match, Quinn goes up the ramp to leave, but Mei Ying starts doing some voodoo shit and he decides to get out of dodge and just exits through the crowd.
We now go to Regal's office, where Johnny Gargano is trying to kiss his ass and asks Regal to cancel the Hartwell/Lumis wedding and they argue over whether or not it'll be good tv. They're then interrupted by LA Knight screaming about Samoa Joe and everyone starts arguing. It's a pretty funny segment actually.
Next, we go to Malcolm Bivens cutting a promo from a training room with Diamond Mine working out behind him. He says that next week, Roderick Strong will be issuing an open challenge to anyone to prove to Kushida that he is a true champion.
Hit Row vs Legado del Fantasma – Six Man Tag Match
Lots of good fast-paced action here. Everyone works well with each other in this one and you can really feel the hatred between the two factions, so that's good.
Top Dolla gets some nice moments to showcase his strength as a powerhouse in this one, carrying around all three opponents on his shoulders at one point and hitting a triple slam on them.
Everything turns into a brawl on the outside eventually and after B-Fab throws Escobar into the ring post, she's confronted by Elektra Lopez, who beats her down with a pipe. She then tosses the pipe to Swerve, who argues with the ref about it, allowing Escobar to dive in and roll him up for the pinfall.
Winners: Legado del Fantasma
After the match, Escobar, Wilde, and Mendoza celebrate on the stage with Lopez, who appears to be the newest member of Legado del Fantasma as NXT ends for the night. Looks like we have an inter-gender eight-person tag match coming.
Kind of a boring show that had moments of excitement. It didn't really feel like an all-new NXT though, so maybe this will be a slow evolution. We'll see.
Till next time friends!