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[TV Review] ‘NXT’ 10.21.2020 – NXT Tag Team Title Match, Thatch as Thatch Can, Scott/Adonis/Atlas vs. Legado del Fantasma

COMMENTATORS: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, & Beth Phoenix

The NXT Tag Team Championship is on the line this week in the main event as Breezango defends against Roderick Strong & Bobby Fish of The Undisputed Era…OR DO THEY? Also on the show we’ve got a triple threat match, a six-man tag, a little Halloween Havoc hype but not a lot, and Timothy Thatcher with a live Thatch as Thatch Can demonstration.

CHAMPIONS

  • NXT CHAMPION: Finn Balor
  • NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION: Io Shirai
  • NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION: Damian Priest
  • NXT CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION: Santos Escobar
  • NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)

LINEUP

  • KUSHIDA vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream (***)
  • Ember Moon vs. Jessi Kamea (**)
  • Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory (*1/2)
  • Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory (NR)
  • Isaiah Scott, Ashante Adonis, & Jake Atlas vs. Legado del Fantasma (***1/4)
  • Drake Maverick & Killian Dain vs. Ever-Rise (*1/2)
  • Kacy Catanzaro vs. Xia Li (*)
  • Anthony Greene vs. Timothy Thatcher (NR)
  • Breezango [c] vs. ??? for the NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**3/4)

*****

KUSHIDA is already in the ring as the show goes live. Velveteen Dream is second out and gets immediately trucked by Tommaso Ciampa during his entrance, sent into the plexiglass and rolled into the ring so the match can properly start.


KUSHIDA vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Velveteen Dream

Dream immediately gets tossed to the floor, then sent back to the floor via back handspring kick. Ciampa goes on a rampage, tossing his two opponents into the plexiglass and caving their skulls in with running knees. KUSHIDA hits a flatliner on Dream, rolls up Ciampa for a two-count. Ciampa hits both with a hanging DDT of sorts but both men kick out when he tries to make the pin. Ciampa slows KUSHIDA with a thumb to the eye, Dream tries to take advantage with a surprise cover but only gets 1. Dream gets a bit offense, a loud “YOU SUCK” chant from the few in attendance which he plays to by gyrating his hips…and honestly I can’t tell if he’s doing that on purpose given why people are against him now. Dream hits a Dream Valley Driver on KUSHIDA, Ciampa wipes him out with a knee as the show goes to commercial.

Back live as KUSHIDA hits Dream with a seated splash off the apron. He locks in an armbar on the casted wrist, Ciampa stomps both parties. Back in the ring KUSHIDA turns a hip toss into a cross armbreaker, Ciampa keeping his fingers locked to save his arm, Dream breaks it up with a Purple Rainmaker. Dream hits a Dream Valley Driver on Ciampa, KUSHIDA makes the pinfall save. Ciampa and KUSHIDA beat the hell out of Dream, KUSHIDA sends both to opposite side of the rings and connects with back-to-back splashes on both, an extra to Dream because f*ck that guy. Dream superkicks Ciampa and gets sent to the floor, Ciampa rolls KUSHIDA up with an O’ Connor Roll for the 1…2…KUSHIDA kicks out, sending Ciampa into Dream’s cast and KUSHIDA takes advantage with a bridging German suplex for the 1…2…3.

KUSHIDA defeated Tommaso Ciampa & The Velveteen Dream via pinfall (12:13 shown)

  • Good way to start the show. Dream got the absolute sh*t kicked out of him and that was glorious to watch, and I appreciate that he was still getting involved like a cockroach that wouldn’t go away. Ciampa losing thanks to Dream will probably lead to a singles match between the two eventually and I fully expect it to be a slaughter. I wonder where KUSHIDA goes from here though. (***)

The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish, Roderick Strong, & Kyle O’Reilly) are backstage, their leader Adam Cole joining them via Zoom. Cole says he hasn’t been cleared yet and prophesied that Undisputed Era will win back the titles tonight. 

-VIDEO: Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal next week at NXT Halloween Havoc.

-VIDEO: A look at the Rhea Ripley/Raquel Gonzalez feud heading into next week’s show.


Ember Moon vs. Jessi Kamea

Moon flips out of a cravat and connects with a dropkick followed by other various kicks. Standing moon(HA)sault, Kamea kicks out and is immediately trapped in a crossface. Moon grabs an ankle lock, Kamea rolls through to send her into the buckles and go on brief offensive control including a spinning heel kick and springboard dropkick. Moon, however, regains control with a flying Codebreaker and and a Ram-Paige-looking bow and arrow hold for the tapout.

Ember Moon defeated Jessi Kamea via submission (3:58)

  • Good showcase for Moon in her first singles match, showing off a more grounded submission-based style instead of her old high-flying offense. Man I’ll miss the Eclipse if that ends up going away forever. Kamea was no slouch either and although she only got fleeting moments of offense it was crisp. (**)

Dakota Kai attacks Moon after the match in retaliation for getting pinned two weeks ago.


-BACKSTAGE: Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly help an injured Bobby Fish to his feet, a victim of a sneak attack. He does not know who is behind it.


“The Colossal” Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory

As the match starts we go to picture-in-picture where McKenzie Mitchell announces that Kyle O’Reilly will take Fish’s place in the main event tonight. Reed in control to start, Theory shifts the momentum his way with a float-over into a rolling dropkick. Reed escapes a chinlock and connects with a powerslam, then caves in Theory’s chest with some thunderous strikes. Reed heads to the top, Theory tries to superplex him off but he’s too big and gets sent to the canvas, Reed coming off with a top rope avalanche and the 1…2…3.

Bronson Reed defeated Austin Theory via pinfall (3:29)

  • We all knew what this was when we found out Austin Theory was involved. I haven’t seen a lot of Bronson Reed but I loves me a good top rope splash. P.N. News would be proud. (*1/2)

Theory gets on the mic and says he’s the future of NXT and WWE, and has done more at 23 than Reed has ever done in his 15 years in the business. Theory wants some more of Reed, Reed is happy to oblige.


“The Colossal” Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory

Theory clobbers Reed as he rolls back in but Reed easily fights him off and connects with a Samoan drop for the 1…2…3.

Bronson Reed defeated Austin Theory via pinfall (0:16)

  • K. (NR)

-McKenzie Mitchell is with Xia Li and Kacy Catanzaro backstage. Li thanks Kacy for the match tonight, Kacy says she’s always up for a challenge. Li is VERY emphatic about this being the biggest match of her career and one she must win. 

-DURING THE COMMERCIAL: Austin Theory quits and drives off.


Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Ashante “Thee” Adonis, & Jake Atlas vs. Legado del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Jaoquin Wilde, & Raul Mendoza)

Bell rings and Legados immediately bail to the floor; they try to circle their opponents but they’re ready, Scott flipping to the floor to meet Escobar face to face and throw him into the ring steps. Things settle into a match, Atlas going ham on Wilde with chops and forearms, absolutely FIRED UP. Adonis tags in and flapjacks Wilde for a one-count. Atlas tags back in for Three Amigos, then takes down both Wilde and Mendoza with an armdrag/headscissor combo when he tries to run interference. Legados bail again, Adonis fakes them out then Scott flattens them with a torneo as the show goes to commercial.

Back live and Legados are in control, working Adonis over. Mendoza hits a springboard moonsault, Scott breaks up the pinfall attempt. Escobar tags in and connects with double knees in the corner, Mendoza tags back in and applies an armbar while staring DIRECTLY at Scott and Atlas, arrogant AF. Adonis manages to fight his foes off and Atlas gets the hot tag, everybody getting a piece of the man. Scott tags in and hits a rolling thunder flatliner for a two-count, Mendoza tags in and runs right into a backdrop. Scott and Mendoza fight on the apron then to the floor, Wilde charges at Atlas who hits a SPANISH FLY onto the duo below. NICE. Mendoza sends Adonis into Scott with a rana, Escobar sends Scott into and over the announce table with a well-placed tope suicida. Atlas hits Escobar with a cartwheel DDT on the floor but takes too long trash-talking, allowing Wilde and Mendoza to connect with a kick/Russian legsweep combo on Adonis for the 1…2…3.

Legados del Fantasma defeated Isaiah Scott, Ashante Adonis, & Jake Atlas (11:20 shown)

  • High-energy six-man with two teams who hate each other and you could feel that in every move. Cool spots as well, Atlas hitting a standing Spanish Fly to the floor was amazing and I’m shocked he didn’t trip on the ropes and break his neck or something. I would NEVER have the balls to do something like that. I really dug Atlas through this whole match and I kind of hope he’s next in line for a title shot. (***1/4)

-GARGANO HOME: Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae have themselves a “training wheel” to get ready for next week’s Spin the Wheel Make the Deal matches (Gargano against Priest, LeRae against Shirai). Gargano spins it and it lands on Buried Alive which he is NOT happy about, LeRae spins it and it lands on Trick or Street Fight which she’s confident about. Gargano gives it another spin and it lands on a Casket Match. Gargano accuses the wheel of wanting him dead and walks off to go to bed, telling LeRae to get rid of it.

  • I snorted.

Drake Maverick & Killian Dain vs. Ever-Rise (Chase Parker & Matt Martel)

Someone on Twitter said Martel looks like a dollar store version of Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks and now THAT’S ALL I CAN F*CKING SEE. Twitter ruins everything. Ever-Rise attacked Maverick last week, prompting his reluctant partner Dain to fight them off since no one is allowed to hit Maverick except him. They’re bonding?

Ever-Rise in control at the start, putting Maverick through all sorts of double-team moves like a backbreaker/running knee combo. Dain manages to get the tag and wrecks Parker & Martel for a bit until his knee is clipped and he’s chopped down to size. Maverick snaps, attacking Ever-Rise with a chair and…giving them a win? THEY WON?

Ever-Rise defeated Drake Maverick & Killian Dain via DQ (2:54)

  • A match to further a story so not a ton here, though Ever-Rise actually got to show off some tag team moves to remind everyone they’re actually okay. Maverick losing his cool and attacking with a chair was fun, as was Dain’s look of utter excitement. (*1/2)

Dain stalks towards Maverick, who apologizes for costing them the match, but to his surprise Dain is SUPER PUMPED, saying what he did was awesome and asking where this Drake Maverick has been. Maverick ruins it by trying to get Dain to dance to their happy theme song, but he continues to wear the big man down by being just so goddamn charming.


-BACKSTAGE: Roderick Strong is laid out. After a commercial William Regal, Kyle O’Reilly, Breezango, and the team of Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch have joined the chaos. Regal says he’s in a bind because he promised the people a Tag Team Title match, O’Reilly gracefully bows out saying that Lorcan & Burch should get the title shot instead. They protest but only a little bit. O’Reilly leaves to go to the hospital, Breezango and their new challengers shake hands.


Kacy Catanzaro [w/ Kayden Carter] vs. Xia Li

Li fights dirty and desperate, acting like if she loses this match she’ll be murdered. Catanzaro fights back with chops and stomps, and rolls Li up for the 1…2…3.

Kacy Catanzaro defeated Xia Li via pinfall (2:26)

  • It was a match, I guess. I did appreciate the desperation that Li put into every strike. (*)

Li attacks Catanzaro after the match, saying she should’ve won, and also attacks Carter when she tries to intervene. All three ladies then become the victim of Raquel Gonzalez who lays everybody out then vows to be La Diabla for Rhea Ripley next week at Halloween Havoc.

  • I’m genuinely intrigued at whatever is going on with Xia Li right now and I did not expect to be. Too bad they were turned into cannon fodder so Raquel Gonzalez could look menacing heading into next week. Is Carter actually friends with Catanzaro or did they just have her show up just to get bodied after the match? It felt real…weird to have her out there.

-McKenzie Mitchell walks with Cameron Grimes, who’s all excited and nonplussed about facing Dexter Lumis next week until he founds out it’s a “Haunted House of Terror” match. Grimes then gets shakey-voiced pretending not to be afraid, unaware that Lumis watches the whole time behind a door.

  • GIVE DEXTER LUMIS A HORROR MOVIE ALREADY, COWARDS

THATCH AS THATCH CAN

Timothy Thatcher is in the ring, along with his “student” Anthony (Anthony Greene, who also appeared on 205 Live last week). He repeatedly calls him the wrong name and shows off various holds, eventually holding on for too long. Greene gets mad and locks in a front facelock, Thatcher escapes and calls for a referee before decking Greene.


Anthony Greene vs. Timothy Thatcher

Thatcher beats on Greene, wins via tapout with a Liontamer-looking half-crab.

Timothy Thatcher defeated Anthony Greene via submission (0:58)

  • Not really worth calling this a match but it happened so I’m counting it. Thatcher being a “grappef*ck bully” fits the guy perfectly but I don’t really know where it could go or what it’ll lead to. (NR)

-VIDEO: Cool guy Damian Priest is ready for Halloween Havoc next week. So cool.


Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) [c] vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch for the NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

Fandango controls Lorcan with a headlock to start, Lorcan rolls through a sunset flip attempt and countering with a half-crab. Burch tags in, Fandango counters a European uppercut with a backslide for a two-count. Breeze tags in and works Burch over in the corner, Burch bails to the floor and sends Breeze into the barricade but Breeze gets the last laugh, smashing Burch’s knee into the post as the show goes to its final commercial break.

Back live and the champs are now on defense, Lorcan and Burch working over Fandango. Brawl breaks out between the four on the floor, back in the ring Fandango hits a Falcon Arrow followed by an Alabama Jam for the 1…2…Burch kicks out! Breeze goes after Burch’s knee, having hurt it earlier, and heads to the top but gets crotched across the top buckle. I looked down and missed it but Burch did SOMETHING to bring him to the canvas for the 1…2…Fandango spears Lorcan into Burch to break the count. Nice save. Breezango hit stereo superkicks, Fandango goes to the top but a MASKED MAN shows up to shove him off the buckles. Burch hits Breeze with a low-blow behind the ref’s back, hanging DDT for the 1…2…3!

Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch defeated Breezango [c] via pinfall to win the NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (10:12 shown)

  • I honestly didn’t expect Breezango to have a long reign as champions so them losing it this fast wasn’t surprising. I enjoyed the match for the most part, and I’m glad Lorcan & Burch got the win and the titles after all these years. They deserve it, even via heel turn. (**3/4)

The Masked Man embraces the new champs then reveals himself to be…PAT MCAFEE. OF COURSE IT IS. McAfee introduces the new champs and says “now THAT’S…undisputed” and does the UE hand taunt mockingly to end the show.

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: Can’t believe I didn’t think of Pat McAfee being the man behind the Undisputed Era attacks, it was so damn obvious. How embarrassing. Fine show, not a lot of build to Halloween Havoc next week honestly but I’m sure the show will coast enough on nostalgia to make it work. I hope there’s orange ropes. Show ending with new heel champs and MASTERMIND MCAFEE was a good way to conclude the episode and I’m interested in seeing where it goes. Does Ridge Holland get his push back when he returns from injury? Most importantly WHAT WAS IN THE LETTER XIA LI GOT A FEW WEEKS BACK? I can’t believe I’m that into the story.

  • MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Scott/Adonis/Atlas vs. Legado del Fantasma
  • MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Pat McAfee reveals himself to be the mastermind behind the attacks on the Undisputed Era.

 

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