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The Wednesday Night War Begins! Finn Balor Returns To NXT! And Tomasso Ciampa makes his comeback! Hot damn what an episode.
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I’m El Fakidor Laurie Blake, click the thumbs up, leave a comment and give us a subscribe because we have so much wrestling content for you this week!
For instance Oli and Luke’s review of the first ever AEW Dynamite which went up earlier today. Watch it right after this, because though it’s not a competition, we are having our very own Wednesday night war. So watch this, watch that, and let us know whether AEW or NXT won the Wednesday war. It’s not a competition though.
And click the ‘i’ above my head to give your rating of this week’s NXT – where you can choose from: An EST NXT, Undisputed-ly Good, The Fine-est, 2 Out of 5 Live, and Cameron Grimes’ Hat – as I review the October 2nd episode of NXT.
Don’t push your fingers into your eyes because the show opens with a highlight reel and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor telling us that if you’ve been looking for something more, welcome home.
We then get the subtle combination of the NXT logo in flames and a big fat NO BS flashing up on screen.
And someone in the crowd genuinely has a Forgotten Sons sign. Immediately undermining the NO BS warning.
Matt Riddles NXT Championship Dream Brover?!
Broceedings begin with an absolute barn stormer between Adam Cole and Matt Riddle, so don’t change the channel, please don’t change the channel, for the love of god pleeeaaasssee.
The challenger to Cole’s NXT championship walks in from backstage and fist bumps his Blackpool Bro big Willy Reegs. Before decanting his flip flops into orbit.
Cole is said to be slightly injured from last week’s Fujiwara fiasco and though cleared to compete will be wearing a cast.
Things start off hot right out of the gate and don’t let up from there. If the idea was to dazzle with an indie style spot fest then this absolutely delivered.
After some genuinely jaw-dropping crowd-popping exchanges and near falls for Riddle, Cole cleans his cock with the cast, hits the Last Shot and just about manages to retain his NXT Championship.
Good golly miss molly this was a heck of an opener and really set the pace for an amazing night of NXT.
Unfortunately for Cole though the queue of contenders is long and somebody is pushing to the front of the line.
Finn Balor Returns To NXT!
Finn Balor is back at Full Sail! ‘Ahhhhh my god!’
He gets a reaction that makes Jesus coming out of the cave on Easter Sunday look like his disciples were just like oh hey man.
Face to face with Cole in the ring he says ‘as of now Finn Balor is NXT!’
And he’s got a new close cropped haircut! Can’t wait to see what they do with Finnhead Balor.
Shayna and Candice Hype!
We get a great little promo to hype Shayna Baszler vs Candice LeRae where the Queen of Spades says that people don’t just lose matches against her they lose days off their career.
That’s Rhea Ripley’s gimmick surely? Isn’t that right Tegan Nox? She got a promo package later in the show and a Ripley feud feels like it’s ready made.
Velveteen Dream’s Got A New Couch!
Velveteen Dream appears in a purple haze flanked by a bevy of beautiful furniture removal specialists.
He says what you are feeling is the Velvetten Dream Experience, the climax of life, which is probably why Roderick Strong tried to steal it.
The thrust of the conversation was he wanted a North American title rematch, but it was all wrapped up in penis patter.
Lio Rush vs Drew Gulak Next Week!
A quick but great package hypes Lio Rish vs Drew Gulak, their Cruiserweight Championship match will go down next week.
Io Shirai vs Mia Yim
Io Shirai arrives to square off with Mia Yim.
Io and Mia were putting it all out there for this, we had suicide dives, a superplex, Io’s incredible dropkick, and then Chalupas.
The finish comes when Io spins away from Mia on the mat planting a kick plum on the side of her mouth. Then the moonsault seals the deal.
I liked this and it keeps Io Shirai in the conversation as one of NxTs top women.
nWo Is In The House!
The Outsiders were inside Full Sail to wave to the crowd. Which is too sweet.
Johnny Gargano vs Shane Thorne
Johnny wrestling/takeover/NXT/Gargano took on Shane Thorne in a re-run of a match that was filmed at the last set of tapings but never aired because NXT went live in a totally planned, totally non-knee jerk not competitive way, nosiree.
While Thorne wasn’t an opponent I’d hoped for on my Gargano feud wishlist, this was actually an awesome match, with the Aussie action hero putting on a showcase of top level leg lariats.
But things finish up when Johnny does the meet in the middle superkick and realises he’s been stood up. Because Ciampa ain’t there… yet.
Candice Comes Close Against Baszler
Next up we got to see a new side to Candice LeRae in her NXT Women’s championship Match against Shayna Baszler.
LeRae was fired up and unafraid of NXT’s resident bully and for much of the match it felt like Candice was the escape artist to the submission magician.
The final stretch was legitimately thrilling with the pair trading kirafuda clutches, before Baszler locks hers in and LeRae fights, tries to stand but eventually has to tap.
This was a star making performance from LeRae, and just goes to show that she should have been in the position long long ago.
Random Assortment Of Talent!
The odd faction of Mark Henry, Stephanie McMahon and Alundra Blayze aka Sexual Corporate Carnage were in the crowd.
Walter vs Kusida Next Week!
It was announced that Kushida will suffer death by chop next week at the giant gammon hands of Walter.
Pete Dunne Puts A Bitter End To Danny Burch
Pete Dunne and Danny Burch’s bout started off as wristlockapalooza, before descending into flips, kicks and heabutts.
This British strong style confrontation made both guys look hard as nails and kept Pete Dunne’s momentum up with another victory – before the lights go out and who should appear like a Las Vegas magician vampire? Damien Priest.
NXT’s Big Damo then hits the Reckoning and does his arrow thing to light up his own name. I am into this feud.
Cathy Kelley Chats With Cole
Cathy Kelly confronts Adam Cole about using his cast to save his championship. He says he used the last shot actually.
Roddy interrupts babbling about Balor, but Cole says they need to concentrate on the Profits and the prophecy.
Undisputed Era Eke Out Victory Over Street Profits
To close the show The Undisputed Era’s Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly defend their NXT Tag Team Championships against the when I say Street you say Profits.
The You Say Profits were accompanied to the ring by Wale, who wants the smoke, like a lot. Fortunately the crowd were hyped enough to go along with this, but I feel like he forgot to prep some lyrics or something else to say.
Then we got the second big return of this episode.
Kyle O’Reilly’s air guitar!!! Excellent! *air guitar*
The match itself was built around a hot tag spot with Dawkins that saw him run wild, leading to a closing stretch where the when I say Street you say Profits were closing in on the titles after Ford flipped over the corner to land outside!
But just was he goes up for the frog splash follow up, Roderick Strong interferes grabbing his leg, setting Fish and O’Reilly up for a high low and the win.
The ref was looking right at him! This definitely should have been a DQ.
Tomasso Ciampa Returns!!
Undisputed celebrate their underhanded tactics with their signature pose as Adam Cole walks onto the ramp to pose right back at them.
Then Ciampa’s music hits and the Blackheart walks out onto the stage. He circles Cole like a shark, but keeps his eyes on Goldie the entire time. This was so good, and just a tiny example of the character work Ciampa was doing before his surgery.
The episode goes off air as the two stare down.
What an episode of NXT! This felt like a mini-Takover with three amazing, high-stakes matches. Two huge returns. And some set-up for future feuds: namely Priest vs Dunne, and Cole under siege from Balor and Ciampa.
And I think the coolest thing about this is, and not to sound like a Velveteen Dream promo, they didn’t blow their load.
No titles changed hands, the returns were amazing but more teasing than anything and everything left you wanting more.
This NXT is an EST NXT!
Now over to Pete with some news.
Great review Laurie!
Man, the war really has started hasn’t it? Two great shows to kick off the first week of AEW vs NXT.
Next week on NXT, we’ll get to see Drew Gulak defend his Cruiserweight Championship against newly returned Lio Rush, however they won’t be fighting over the WWE Cruiserweight Championship anymore.
In the promo for the match coming next week, it was revealed that the title is now called the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, confirming it will now be defended on the gold brand moving forwards.
Where this leaves 205 Live is anyone’s guess at this point, but this can only be a good thing for fans of the purple belt, as the top quality matches put on by the cruiserweights will now be seen by a lot more eyes.
Not so long ago, one of the rumoured names heading over to 205 Live, though thankfully not anymore, is Daniel Bryan. Despite fitting the weight requirements of the brand, Bryan’s superstardom exceeds that of the purple show, though I wouldn’t say no to a brief trip to NXT for him…
Bryan recently appeared on the Bellas Podcast…The Bellas Podcast? What do they talk about? Where he took part in a Q&A section. He was asked about his time in WWE, to which he responded:
“My retirement from full-time wrestling which will be coming up sooner rather than later in the next couple of years…”
He went on to talk about focusing more as a parent after his full-time retirement, so we may only have a couple of years left of Bryan full-time in WWE. So don’t screw it up.
Speaking of screwing things up, and CM Punk was just a little mistreated wasn’t he? Everyone knows the story by now, and a return to WWE seemed out of the question. Despite this though, there were rumours circulating this week that CM Punk had a tryout to become a host for FS1’s WWE Backstage show, alongside Renee Young.
Well now, those rumours have been confirmed, by none other than Triple H and CM Punk himself. Interestingly, this lead on to both men saying they’re open to a CM Punk return to WWE at some point, though admittedly, Punk said he’s open to anything, just not wrestling. But that’s the one thing we want to see you do!
When asked about a Punk return by Sports Illustrated, Triple H said:
“If the opportunity is right for everybody and it’s right for our fans, then we are willing to put the past behind us and move forward.”
While in an interview with Collider, Punk said of the situation:
“I’m very much in the position in my life where I’m like ‘Well, talk to me.’ I’m open to anything, and if they come at me and they’re like ‘We want you to wrestle’, I’m not interested.”
As we all know, Punk is the best on the microphone, in that ring, even at commentary, nobody can touch him! …so CM Punk as commentator, authority figure (despite those not existing anymore) of some sort of backstage influencer would be amazing.
I can’t believe I’m saying this and it actually has a real chance of happening now but…
CM Punk back to WWE…confirmed?
Thank you for watching and a special thank you to our lovely pledgehammers on Patreon, some of whom you can see scrolling below me right now! Press the videos to the right to be taken to the latest WrestleTalk and ScreenStalker things, and leave us a comment letting us know what you thought of NXT! I’ve been Chopper Pete Quinnell, and that, was wrestling.