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NXT recap & reactions (Aug. 23, 2022): The British are coming!

NXT sets up its version of a Crisis with two title unification matches set up for World’s Collide. Plus InDex!

Shoutout to Sean for filling in last week. Truly love that guy.

Claire is still here being the best in the world at what she does. And what she does isn’t very nice...for other bloggers.

Let’s talk NXT!


No Way Out

Bron Breakker is on his way out of NXT. Don’t quote me on that since but call it a hunch. Tyler Bate told Bron why he showed up at Heatwave: title unification. With NXT Europe becoming a thing and NXT UK going the way of the Dodo, Bates believes in one belt to rule them all. Bron, always itching for a fight, agreed. Therefore, it’s title for title at Worlds Collide.

Since I don’t foresee Bron defending that belt across Europe or repping the continent as great as someone like D’Lo Brown did, this might be the start of his ending on the paint splat brand. And you know what? I’m cool with that. Bron’s running in place as champion. Whatever that thing was with Joe Gacy showed there’s really nothing interesting for him to do as champ in the territory. Or at least WWE can’t find anything creative for him to do. There are a few cats on NXT ready for the main roster and if Bron isn’t at the top of that list, he’s definitely near the top.

This is a great time for it too, because the company as a whole is going through a lot of changes. The men on SmackDown and Raw need more competition because Reigns is running out of challengers, therefore making the main event scene a bit stale at the moment. Bron obviously brings a whole bunch of big booty uncle energy to the proceedings, along with a desire to punch any and everything that moves. It also transitions the entire NXT brand to its next phase, whatever that looks like. Plus, the segment set the tone for the rest of the night, as the show’s overarching story set the table for World’s Collide.

This is a lot of words to say I think this is a great move if it’s happening and in fact, I think it should happen. Bron moves on, Tyler moves up, and it clears the board everything creatively. This is Haitch getting up and hitting that reset button on the Super NES—or Sega Genesis—that is NXT. No blowing necessary.


Hard Core

The best moment in the Lights Out match between Tiffany Stratton and Wendy Choo was Wendy pouring lego blocks out of her pillowcase. After hitting Stratton with the loaded pillowcase, Choo showed us why Stratton hit the mat with a thud. the pain from stepping on a Lego is universal. Thumbtacks are one thing but very few of us can say we never stepped on a Lego or saw someone step on one. It’s a pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Making it even better, it was perfectly in character. Wendy is a big kid with a mean streak so it’s only right Lego is her weapon of choice. And it’s perfect storytelling inside of a match that delivered beyond anything I thought possible with the premise.

Stratton and Wendy quietly built one of NXT’s most compelling rivalries. They’re diametrically opposed forces and those differences turn their dislike for each other into straight up hatred. This Lights Out match is presumably the end of their beef and the best way to do it. Wendy showed a more serious side of her persona. She let everyone know what time it was when she ditched her onesie on her way to the ring. Subtle storytelling that says a lot! Tiffany used hair spray! There was a spot using Wendy’s bed! Tiffany even brought out the tennis racket!

The match just worked from start to finish. Saying anything more about it feels like a disservice to the match itself. Jus know that Wendy won—which shocked me—and this came after she survived several slams into the lego pit she created. The match was fun, violent, character-based, and came with a surprising ending. What more can you ask for?

Oh, and Tiffany? No cornrows ever again. Ever.


Extracurriculars

Ironman

Apollo Crews represented himself incredibly well this week. He guested on an episode of The Grayson Waller Effect and verbally jousted with Waller. Yes, he called him a low budget Miz, yes he repped for Nigeria regardless of his accent, and he thanked the NXT crowd. But the best moment was taking Waller’s most poignant barb and making it sound like a boss move. Waller asked Apollo what he tells his kids when he goes home and tells them he couldn’t cut it on Mondays of Fridays so now he works Tuesdays. Crews’ response was perfect: “I tell them daddy was a champion on Monday, a champion on Friday, and now he’s soon to be a champion on Tuesday.”

When he puts it like that, it sounds like the best thing ever. Right? And just like that I’m intrigued by a feud between these two.

Hard to Earn

Jiggs & Brensen can’t catch a break. Thankfully, no sex jokes this week, but they had their hands full with two teams from across the pond who want what they have. During their match with Gallus, Pretty Deadly attacked them. Before they even got to the match, Lash Legend got in Fallon Henley’s face! Those country boys got a lot of beef right now. Those championship belts are really just targets, and a bunch of people are practicing their shots.

Gallus has their own set of problems with Diamond Mine. The Mine showed up to repay Gallus in kind, then stood tall as the boys from the UK went running.

Okay match with logical action at the end of it. Although, really weird it took the ref that long to call for the bell once Pretty Deadly interfered. Dude...that’s a DQ.

Extinction Level Event

It looked like the story of Blair Davenport vs. Indi Hartwell was the latter taking another L. Seriously, the woman’s life is a roller coaster. Pray for her.

Anyway, the actual story is Blair Davenport, after winning, calling out the NXT Women’s champion. Out came Mandy to demand respect on her name. Before she got the next few words out of her mouth, Meiko Satomura walked to the ring, with her NXT UK championship in hand. Let’s just cut to the chase here: Mandy wants respect on her name so she wants to kill a legend. Meiko wants to further her legend, while Blair is the rightful number one contender. What’s that equal? A triple threat title unification match at World’s Collider.

All of it logical, all of it on point.

Ill Na Na

True love conquers all...except arrest warrants.

Remember that whole about Indi not catching a break thing? Guess who showed up to literally give his estranged wife a pick me up? Dexter Lumis! After her loss, Indi bore her soul on the mic in front of the crowd. She was a mess. She was beside herself. Then along came her favorite psycho. He carried her out of the ring and to the lobby of the building. Gave her a...goodbye note, walked out of the building, and surrendered to the keystone cops who told him to put his hands behind his head.

So that’s the official end of Index? And was Dexter arrested for kidnapping Miz on the most recent episode of Raw? Also...where is Miz?!

While it’s a kick in the gut for fans of romance and Indi, it’s great seeing these brands connected.

Roc La Famila

While I wasn’t a huge fan of the match between what’s left of Legado del Fantasma and the Dyad (it was okay), I popped for Santos Escobar showing up at the end. LdF walked out of the building dejected after losing their match and just being aimless. An SUV pulled up—that parking lot is always dangerous—and Santos Escobar was behind the wheel.

“You think I’d leave without you?”

So subtle and so good. LdF is out of NXT and finally ready for the main roster. I cannot wait to see Santos and crew on Mondays or Fridays.

Good Kid, M.A.A.D City

Tyler Bate looked great tonight. Von Wagner continues his role as a charisma and fun vacuum. The fact Bates got something decent out of Wagner is a testament to his skill. An okay way to build some momentum towards his fight with Bron, if only because Wager isn’t exactly the threat he thinks he is. And there’s no reason for the audience to believe in him on that level either.

Capital Punishment

We’re still doing this Joe Gacy and Cameron Grimes thing? Le sigh. Grimes defeated Javier Bernal with, you guessed it, The Schism perched up high. They’re just distracting at this point and I’m not interested.


The main event really boosted this show for me. It trended solid this week and then that happened. That, plus the set up for future matches that will legitimately change the fate of the territory? All part of a winning formula. NXT balanced introducing the audience to a lot of NXT UK talent they may not know while advancing their own storylines. Not an easy thing to do.

Grade: A

That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.

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