I’m a little under the weather so instead of doing an audio recap you’ll be getting my thoughts on tonight’s NXT in written form. I’m excited for Charlotte Flair’s return to her old stomping grounds.
- Dominik Dijakovic vs. Cameron Grimes: I really enjoyed this match. It started out as the typical size difference match, then it shifted to Cameron Grimes breaking DD down. This allowed DD to gain the support from the fans. Dijakovic gets the comeback capping it off with a moonsault from the corner to the ringside floor. Dijakovic May have hyperextended his knee but what made it worse was Damien Priest coming down an taking a shot at the knee with a nightstick. It look like things were going to end with a count out but DD made it in the ring by 9. The effort was for nothing as DD is met with Grimes’ Cave In and Grimes gets the win.
William Regal announces their will be a series of qualifying matches in the Women’s Division. The qualifiers will meet in a Ladder Match.
Finn Balor was set to announce who his next target was going to be but did the target reveal themselves before he could? Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel of Imperium come down to the ring to tell Balor that the NXT UK Champion Walter sends his regards. Aichner and Barthel hit the ring but Balor was waiting. Balor attacks both men with furious intent until he is stopped in his tracks by Barthel. Balor is left laying. Is the NXT Universe going to be treated to Walter vs. Finn Balor? The wrestling gods will have spoiled us if so.
- Xia Li vs. Mia Yim: I really like Xia Li. She knows how to present herself in a way that shows she brings something different to the game. The match was going along until Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez interrupted the match. Kai was on the mic taking shots at Mia who loss focus and takes the loss on a roll up. Gonzalez hits the ring and takes out both Yim and Li who was just trying to help. Remember, Yim was chosen over Kai for War Games. Kai attacked Yim in secret to act as a fill in for War Games and we all know how that went. Kai faces her former best friend Tegan Nox next week in a Steel Cage. Perhaps they’re setting up Kai’s next foe?
- Tommaso Ciampa vs. Austin Theory: Another highly enjoyable match. Ciampa gets the win with the Fairytale Ending but the takeaway from the match is just how good Austin Theory is. Everything from his in ring creativity to his instincts are on point. With matches like this one and the great performance against Strong on Christmas Night, Theory’s stock continues to rise.
- Bronson Reed vs. Killian Dain: Two big dudes just going at it, I love it. The best part about this is it wasn’t the typical slow paced hoss fight. Dain worked the ribs of Reed throughout which softened things up for Dain to hit the Vader Bomb for the win.
- Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Forgotten Sons: I don’t know if I’m a fan of the whole anti-American sentiment to build heat on GYV and possibly get Forgotten Sons over. I’m no bleeding heart rah rah American, I just feel it’s cheap and weird in today’s political climate. The crazy thing about the Forgotten Sons is they have been having some really good matches as of late, they just don’t have any lasting effect on your memory. This one was no different. I like that Forgotten Sons are a little rough around the edges. They’re not polished but they’re not supposed to be. On the flip side GYV are one of the most polished tag teams in all of wrestling. Drake and Gibson have this crazy telekinetic ability between each other you only see in some of the most legendary tag teams. Grizzled Young Veterans get the win with Ticket to Mayhem but a solid performance from Forgotten Sons nonetheless.
- Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair: There is a lot to unpack in this match. Charlotte made Bianca look like a million bucks in this match. I’m not saying Bianca needed it because she doesn’t but internally Charlotte knew her experience far exceeds Bianca’s and she could use that to make the match better. Despite this you can see the gap between the two women if you know what to look for. Still, Bianca is a star in the making. The finish was a little rushed with Charlotte hitting the Natural Selection for the win. After the match Charlotte continued her attack on Bianca. Charlotte takes a steel chair and wraps it around Bianca’s leg. Rhea Ripley’s music hits but she takes time to do her entrance deal instead of hitting the ring. Charlotte hits the chair but the quick camera cuts make me think they were rushing to make time. Charlotte exits the ring before Rhea could get her hands on Charlotte and we have a stare down to end the show.
Tonight’s NXT was another solid show. There is no other wrestling show that does a better job in storytelling than NXT. Balor is now being targeted by Imperium, Tommaso and Johnny are back to hating each other, Dakota Kai still has to deal with Tegan Nox but the seeds are already being planted for a feud against Mia Yim. The main event was solid and if you’re a long time wrestling fan watching two competitors on different ends of the experience spectrum was actually pretty cool.
Next week there will be TWO Steel Cage matches. It doesn’t get better than that.