NXT is scrambling to book its next PPV. Does anyone in the company even know what they're doing at this point? Let's find out.
WWE NXT Report for September 23rd, 2020 Part 1
Like Dynamite, NXT begins with a graphic honoring Road Warrior Animal. Then it's right to the ring, without even the opening theme. The NXT women's roster is mostly in the ring for the Battle Royal already. Candice LeRae comes out. Tom Phillips, Beth Phoenix, and Vic Joseph are on commentary tonight because Wade Barrett is out. COVID? We see that Candice LeRae attacked Tegan Nox before the match, injuring her knee and presumably keeping her out of the match tonight.
NXT Women's Championship Number One Contender Battle Royale
- It's basically chaos with everyone starting in the ring at once. But the good news is it takes hardly any time at all for a bunch of people to get eliminated.
- Eventually, it narrows down to a much more manageable eight women left: Indi Hartwell, Raquel Gonzalez, Shotszi Blackheart, Candice LeRae, Rhea Ripley, Kacy Catanzaro, Dakota Kai, and Kayden Carter.
- Kacy Catanzaro does the get knocked out but avoid landing on her feet spot right before a commercial break, and through the break, and after the break, as Indi Hartwell prevents her from getting back in. She's climbing all over the ringside area and jumping around. It's one of the best Kayden Carter tries to help her, but Gonzales eliminates Carter. Even still, Carter helps Kacy get back in the ring.
- Ripley and Gonzales eliminate each other.
- Katanzaro eliminates Hartwell.
- LeRae and Kai eliminate Catanzaro.
- Blackheart eliminates Kai.
- Now it's just Blackheart and LeRae. They battle outside the ropes and onto the stairs, where LeRae finally manages to eliminate Blackheart.
Johnny Gargano comes out to celebrate with LeRae. Backstage, Sarah Schrieber asks Damian Priest about his match with Johnny Gargano. Priest says as long as he's champion, the North American Championship will continue to slide through Gargano's fingers. As to Austin Theory, who Priest is fighting tonight, he's gonna beat him too. He invites Sarah to the after-party tonight. NXT takes a commercial break.
Fandango is dressed like Sherlock Holmes and explains some matchup he's come up with to determine who gets to face Breezango for the tag team championships to William Regal. I hope Regal understood it because I didn't. The bottom line is Roderick Strong, and Danny Burch will fight Fabian Aichner and Raul Mendoza tonight.
Tommaso Ciampa comes out for his match with Jake Atlas.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jake Atlas
- Atlas is fired up in this match to prove he's not just a "happy to be here" guy. He tries early to catapult Ciampa into the metal bottom of the ring, but Ciampa escapes.
- Atlas is going hard after Ciampa for most of the match with Ciampa barely escaping, but…
- Ciampa hits Willow's Bell on Atlas, but instead of pinning him, he decides to punish him some more instead. After some trash talking, he hits Fairy Tale Ending for the win.
We get a video package for Ridge Holland. Isn't this guy the loser who lost his first big match in NXT?
Then more commercials. Then a video package for the Gauntlet Eliminator match. Cameron Crimes, Timothy Thatcher, Bronson Reed, KUSHIDA, Kyle O'Reilly are the competitors.
Roderick Strong comes to the ring, meeting Danny Buch halfway down the ramp. Fabian Aichner and Raul Mendoza are already in the ring.
Roderick Strong and Danny Burch vs. Fabian Aichner and Raul Mendoza
- Apparently, after one of these two teams wins, then the winners' respective tag teams will face each other, and the winner of that gets a shot at the belts. The match is halfway over by the time I wrap my mind around this concept.
- It's an alright match, but the gimmick doesn't really make up for the lack of story.
- Burch gets the pin on Mendoza.
Strong leaves Burch hanging on a handshake after the match–this match didn't work for me. I'm not sure that NXT really knows what they're doing with the tag team division. Sarah Schrieber talks to Austin Theory backstage, but Johnny Gargano interrupts. He says Theory has all the talent to be a major player, but he needs to be a little smarter out there. Priest is big, so bring him down to Theory's level. Sarah wishes Theory luck in his match, but he laughs at the concept of luck.
NXT takes a commercial break. Then Austin Theory comes out. Then Damian Priest. They'll have a match… and I'll tell you about it in part two of this NXT report.
This post is part of a multi-part series: Wednesday Night Wars for September 23rd, 2020.