WWE NXT Recap – Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley Lay it All on the Line

On WWE NXT this week, Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley have the match of the night, Tomasso Ciampa makes a face turn, and Finn Balor brings back Undisputed Era.

I'm Jude Terror, and this is The Shovel: Wednesday Night Wars Edition. I used to write about comics, but comics basically imploded, so now I'm doing this. They're not that different, really. Muscular people in their underwear, solving all their problems with violence, and the biggest companies in each (Marvel and WWE) are deep in bed with the Trump administration. So I feel I'm uniquely qualified for this pursuit, you know? Anyway, I watch the wrestling — four hours of it in this case, for AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT –, and then I tell you what happened. That frees you up to like, have a life or something. And in exchange, I get your clicks. Fair? Okay, let's do this then.

The Shovel - Weekly TV Recaps of WWE Raw, WWE Smackdown, Impact Wrestling, AEW Dynamite, and WWE NXT [Photo: Shutterstock]
The Shovel – Weekly TV Recaps of WWE Raw, WWE Smackdown, Impact Wrestling, AEW Dynamite, and WWE NXT [Photo: Shutterstock]

WWE NXT Recap for November 18th, 2020 Part 2

Just another hour of this, and I can get some sleep.

Timothy Thatcher comes to the ring. August Grey is already there. Grey is Thatcher's former student who got sick of his bullying and abuse. They have a match. Sadly, the student has not become the master. Despite a spunky showing by Grey, Thatcher makes him tap with a headlock.

Timothy Thatcher defeats Austin Grey via submission.

Thatcher puts the headlock on again. Tomasso Ciampa comes out. Is this… a face turn? Thatcher says he has no problem with Ciampa and leaves the ring. Ciampa stares him down. Damian priest is walking backstage as NXT goes to commercials.

McKenzie Mitchell talks to Tomasso Ciampa backstage. She asks what that was all about. Ciampa looks at her like she's an idiot. He explains he wants to fight Thatcher.

Damian Priest comes to the ring. Well, almost. Johnny Gargano jumps him before he gets there. They brawl into the ring, and I guess Priest's match is canceled? They brawl for a bit, and then Leon Ruff comes out and attacks both Priest and Gargano. He manages to take them both out, and Leon Ruff is looking like a star, no matter what Dave Meltzer says. I still think he should have a dog-themed gimmick, though. Maybe he could paint his face with a. dog nose and whiskers. Or he could incorporate some kind of bark or howl into his taunts. Ooh, or he could bring a dog to the ring! Maybe all of those things.

Gargano and Priest try to team up on Ruff, and he slips away.

Wade Barrett informs us he'll be out of town next week, and Kevin Owens will fill in for him. We see a video of the weird stuff with Boa from last week and then a video of William Regal visiting him at his home. Apparently, he hasn't been at work in a week. Xia Li hasn't been there for two weeks. Boa keeps saying, "she's coming." He and Xia Li are clearly both terrified of whoever it is.

Rhea Ripley is warming up backstage. NXT takes a commercial break. William Regal asks Leon Ruff what he thought he was doing out there. Ruff says he's not a joke, and he wants a match with both Gargano and Priest. Yes! I booked that earlier!

Rhea Ripley comes to the ring. Io Shirai follows. This is sort of the main event, but the final segment of the night is gonna be Finn Balor, it looks like. We get another voice report from McKenzie Mitchell letting us know Finn Balor is almost here during the match. Yeah, we knew that since the show's almost over! Also, during the match, Finn Balor is seen walking in the parking lot. Somehow, no one attacks him. The NXT parking lot is losing its touch.

While all this Finn Balor drama is going on, Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai fight for the NXT Women's Championship. It's a good match, as far as backdrops to videos of Finn Balor walking in a parking lot go. Ripley gets a nasty cut on her ear, and it looks gruesome. Shirai puts a crossface on right over it. Ripley notices the blood and loses her temper, but Shirai takes advantage and goes hard after Ripley's left arm.

After a commercial break, Ripley is in control again. This is a damn good match. Maybe the best of the night on either show, and that's saying something because there were some really good matches tonight. It's so good I've almost forgotten to wonder about whether Finn Balor is standing or walking somewhere backstage. Where is McKenzie to report on his status?

Okay, Rhea Ripley may be dead after Shirai powerbombs her hard through the announce table off a sunset flip to the outside of the ring. God damn. Ripley barely makes it back into the ring in time to eat a moonsault from Io Shirai. Shirai gets the three-count.

Io Shirai defeats Rhea Ripley to retain the NXT Women's Championship.

Without a doubt, that was match of the night. The powerbomb and finish put to rest any question about it. Ripley and Shirai hug after the match. It's a touching moment spoiled by WWE piping in a fake NXT chant.

Finn Balor comes out of the crowd and gets in the ring. He congratulates Shirai on her win. Balor talks about the steel plates he has in his jaw, but he's quickly interrupted by Pat McAfee and his posse. McAfee does what he does best and runs his mouth. He cuts a killer promo on all the people he and his group have taken out. They surround the ring and get up on the apron. McAfee tells Balor to hand over the belt, or he'll end up like the others.

Balor says it's easy for the mice to play when the cat's away, but the cat is back. "And look what I just dragged in." Undisputed Era's music plays. They charge the ring and brawl with McAfee and crew. They quickly clear the ring, and Adam Cole hits a big boot on McAfee outside the ring, laying him out. The brawl continues. The show goes off the air with the chaos still happening.

You know what? I have no complaints about NXT tonight. It was a good episode from start to finish—a great night for wrestling all around. But you know what's even better? A night of no wrestling at all for Thursday. Breaks are good. That's all I'm saying.


This post is part of a multi-part series: The Shovel: Wednesday Night Wars Edition for November 18th, 2020.

About Jude Terror

A prophecy once said that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Sadly, that prophecy was wrong. Oh, Jude Terror was right. For ten years. About everything. But nobody listened. And so, Jude Terror has moved on to a more important mission: turning Bleeding Cool into a pro wrestling dirt sheet!

twitter   envelope   globe