WWE NXT – Who Won the First Ever Gauntlet Eliminator Match?

With the women's championship match decided and the tag team championship match almost decided, here in the second half our NXT report, we'll learn who will face Finn Balor at NXT Takeover in October.

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

WWE NXT Report for September 23rd, 2020 Part 2

Austin Theory and Damian Priest are in the ring for a North American Championship match.

Austin Theory vs. Damian Priest – NXT North American Championship Match

  • I get the hype for Damian Priest. He's got size, a good look, and he's incredibly agile for his size. I don't really get the hype for Theory, though. He's like generic NXT wrestler #5.
  • Luckily, it's entertaining to watch Priest kick THeory's ass.
  • Priest hits a Razor's Edge on Theory on the apron and then hits the Reckoning for the win.

Johnny Gargano attacks Priest after the match.

There's a promo video for someone returning on October 4th, which would be at NXT Takeover.


NXT takes a commercial break. After the break, we see a video package for Isaiah "Swerve" Scott in which Scott challenges Santos Escobar to another match.

Then Ridge Holland comes out to fight a jobber named Antonio de Luca.

Ridge Holland vs. Antonio de Luca – Squash Match

  • For the first time since I've been watching NXT, someone explains who Ridge Holland is. Apparently, he had a long undefeated streak on NXT UK. See, to me, he's a guy who had some teasers, showed up, and then lost his first big match, which is not a great reason to care about someone. Maybe they should have talked up that undefeated streak more.
  • Holland wins with Northern Grit.

Holland looked good here, as one would expect. A backstage interview segment goes off the rails when Candice LeRae starts yelling at Io Shirai, Johnny Gargano shows up, and then Damian Priest shows up and decks Gargano.

Kushida and Kyle O'Reilly are seen walking to the ring as it looks like it's finally time for the main event. This show has felt like it's ten hours long tonight.

Gauntlet Eliminator Match

  • Kyle O'Reilly and KUSHIDA start this match off.
  • So apparently, this is like a hybrid of a gauntlet match and a Royal Rumble. New competitors come out on a timed basis, rather than only when someone is defeated.
  • Since neither O'Reilly nor KUSHIDA are able to eliminate each other, Bronson Reed comes out.
  • Reed kicks both guy's asses for a while until the ref gets distracted by O'Reilly bumping to the floor, at which point Velveteen Dream sneaks in the ring and gives KUSHIDA the Dream Valley Driver. Reed splashes him for the pin.
  • Timothy Thatcher comes out next as NXT takes a commercial break.
  • Cameron Grimes comes out after the break, so that's everyone. I'm not sure what the point of the gauntlet part of this match was.
  • O'Reilly eliminates Reed with an elbow drop.
  • They do a spot where O'Reilly has Grimes in an ankle lock while Thatcher has O'Reilly in a sleeper. It was probably the most interesting part of the match.
  • O'Reilly manages to roll up Thatcher for the win.
  • Grimes hits the Cave In on him right after that, but O'Reilly gets his foot on the rope.
  • O'Reilly makes Grimes tap with a leglock.

Well, at least the show is over. But does anyone believe Kyle O'Reilly has a shot against Finn Balor, himself just a placeholder champ until Karrion Kross is back?

This was an entire show based around NXT trying to figure out who will fight for its championship belts. In the case of the women's division, they had a battle royal with pretty much the entire roster in there. For the tag belts, they took four teams (which I'm pretty sure constitutes the entire roster) and put them in a partner-switched tag match to decide who gets a shot. Then there was the Gauntlet Eliminator to decide who fights for the NXT Championship. And then Damian Priest was left to defend the North American title in a feud against whoever happened to be left, which is Johnny Gargano. I get that Karrion Kross getting injured screwed up some plans, but it feels like NXT has no direction and is making all of this up as they go along. I can see having one of these matches where you're just throwing everyone in the division into it to set up some new stories, but not every match on the show.

This post is part of a multi-part series: Wednesday Night Wars for September 23rd, 2020.

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