WWE NXT – Shawn Michaels Moderates an NXT Championship Debate

In the second hour of WWE NXT this week, Adam Cole puts Austin Theory in his place, Kayden Carter takes on Xia Li, and Damian Priest and Io Shirai face the Garganos! Welcome to Bleeding Cool's WWE NXT report, where we watch wrestling, so you don't have to!

The official logo for WWE NXT.
The official logo for WWE NXT.

WWE NXT Report for September 30th, 2020 Part 2

Adam Cole is in the ring. For three years, the Undisputed Era has dominated NXT. No one could stop them. The prophecy came true. They won all the belts. And more importantly, people in the locker room knew not to cross them. But then the prophecy ended. They lost the belts. People felt the Undisputed Era changed, and they could say whatever they want to them with no repercussions. But Cole says nothing has changed. They're the same Undisputed Era that won War Games. The same one that dominated the brand, unlike anybody ever has or will. So if Austin Theory wants to run his mouth about Kyle O'Reilly, he should come to the ring and say it to Cole's face.

Theory comes out but doesn't get in the ring. Cole gives him two options: bring his stupid face through the ropes and fight Cole like a man, or just stay where he is because the Undisputed Era will beat him where he stands. Theory chooses option one.

Austin Theory vs. Adam Cole

  • This match is pretty much a nonstop asskicking by Cole. Theory gets only a few spurts of offense.
  • Cole wins in basically an extended squash.

After the match, Cole says nobody deserves a title shot more than Kyle O'Reilly. At Takeover, he's gonna shock the world, but he's not gonna shock Cole. Guys, find a woman who talks about you the way Adam Cole talks about Kyle O'Reilly. NXT goes to commercials.

Sarah Schreiber asks Damian Priest and Io Shirai how confident they are about going up against the Garganos. Priest says they can keep that title, but tonight will be a preview of them getting their asses kicked at Takeover on Sunday. Io Shirai says something in Japanese and then has a bonding moment with Priest.

Kayden Carter comes out with Kacy Catanzaro. Xia Li comes out.

Kayden Carter vs. Xia Li

  • Now, I've been watching NXT regularly for a while now. Since I started recapping it. So since April or so? I don't really feel I have been given any reason to care about any of these wrestlers. Their in-ring work is fine. They've just been neglected as far as character development goes.
  • So it's a fine match, but with little reason to get invested.
  • Carter wins.

She wants to shake hands with Li after the match, but Li shoves her instead and leaves. Hey, I guess my request has been answered. NXT goes to commercials.

Shawn Michaels hosts a pre-recorded face-to-face between Kyle O'Reilly and Finn Balor. The two men shake hands and sit down at a table with Shawn. Balor congratulates O'Reilly for winning the gauntlet match and respects him. O'Reilly respects Balor too. Shawn says Finn has been saying he's the best Finn Balor ever right now, but O'Reilly may be the best-kept secret in wrestling. How does Balor prepare? Balor says O'Reilly isn't a secret. Finn knows this business, and he knows how good Kyle is. He's proven himself all over the world. But this is too nice, so they each start getting a little more condescending and arrogant toward each other. Each thinks they will win at Takeover.

HBK asks O'Reilly if there will be a power struggle in the Undisputed Era if O'Reilly wins the title. O'Reilly says no, but Balor interrupts him to say he'll slap the freckles off his face. O'Reilly talks some trash back–they both talk trash. O'Reilly calls this not only the biggest match of his career but the biggest moment of his life. He says he's not the underdog in this match. Balor says O'Reilly is witty, has charisma, and is good in the ring. He has what it takes to be NXT champ, and he would be if the title was on anyone else other than Balor. This debate was 100 times more civilized than the presidential debate this week.

NXT takes another commercial break before the main event. Then Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae come to the ring. Then Damian Priest and Io Shirai. They charge the ring. This show, which started off strong, has been dragging, so let's just get this over with.

Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRea vs Damian Priest and Io Shirai

  • Have I ever told you how much I hate WWE's mixed tag match format? Just do an intergender match if you want to have the men and women tag. It's not like it happens all that often. And it's not like this is the 80s or 90s. With the exception of outliers like Damian Priest, most of the men in NXT are the same size as the women.
  • Anyway, within the confines of this match type, it's a decent main event, and it works to sell the PPV on Sunday.
  • Gargano gets the pin with One Final Beat after LeRae kicks Priest in the nuts.

Shirai yells at Gargano after the match, and then LeRae hits her with a backstabber. The Gaganos pose with the belts to end the show.

Final Thoughts on WWE NXT

There was some good stuff this episode leading into Takeover. I'm ready for the Shotzi Blackheart push. The Cruiserweight Championship match should be good. Balor vs. O'Reilly has my interest, and I'm always happy to see HBK. And I thought the commentary was less annoying than usual tonight. On the other hand, I feel like Adam Cole has nothing left to do in NXT but is kinda stuck hanging around there with the Undisputed Era at the moment. Maybe if O'Reilly wins the title, Cole can leave. I'm skeptical about the payoff to these promos of a mystery superstar returning at Takeover. And this show dragged a lot in the middle.


This post is part of a multi-part series: Wednesday Night Wars for September 30th, 2020.

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