The John Report: WWE NXT 10/21/20 Review

Welcome to the WWE NXT review here on TJRWrestling. They are doing the Halloween Havoc edition of NXT next week on October 28, so they are building to that as a bigger show with two titles on the line. On this week’s show, the NXT Tag Team Titles get to main event. I’ll go summary style rather than play by play for most of the matches and then play by play for the main event.

This is episode #427 of WWE NXT. It took place at NXT’s home called the Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. Check out my past WWE NXT reviews right here.

The show began with Kushida already in the ring for the first match. As Velveteen Dream made his entrance, Tommaso Ciampa attacked him from behind and whipped Dream into the barricade and then into the ring to start the match. It’s Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett and Beth Phoenix on commentary.

Analysis: I really like starting the show with a match with a guy already on the ring. It’s something that WWE needs to do on Raw and/or Smackdown once in a while too.

Kushida vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Tommaso Ciampa

The action spilled to the floor quickly with Ciampa whipping each opponent into objects. Dream had a cast on his left hand/wrist. Ciampa hit running knee attacks on both guys. When they got back into the ring, Ciampa stepped on Dream’s hand and Kushida sent Ciampa into Dream. Ciampa hit a draping DDT. Ciampa got out of a Kushida submission attempt with a blatant eye gouge since there are no disqualifications in a triple threat match. After several minutes, Dream finally got some offense going as he whipped Kushida into Ciampa as the crowd booed Dream. Ciampa took control with a barrage of chops on both guys for about one minute straight. Dream hit a Dream Valley Driver on Kushida, Ciampa knocked Dream out of the ring with a knee and they went to break with all three guys down in the ring.

Kushida with a rising kick on Ciampa and then Kushida dove onto Dream on the floor. Kushida slapped on an armbar on the left arm, Dream was tapping while on the floor, but you can’t tap out to lose on the floor. Kushida with a running armbar on the floor on Ciampa and Kushida did an incredible hiptoss into an armbar on Ciampa. Dream got back into it with the elbow drop off the top. Ciampa got a two count on a rollup while grabbing the tights. Dream hit the Dream Valley Driver on Ciampa for two with Kushida breaking it up. They exchanged strikes, Dream and Ciampa were sent out of the ring and Kushida hit somersault dives onto both guys, plus another dive onto Dream on the floor. Ciampa came back with the Willow’s Bell DDT on Kushida, but then Dream was back in with a superkick on Ciampa. Kushida kicked Dream out of the ring, Ciampa got a rollup on Kushida for two, then Dream hit Ciampa with the cast to “knock him out” so to speak and Kushida capitalized with a bridging German Suplex to win after about 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kushida

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a great match with a lot of action while putting over Kushida in a big way. The win was a bit cheap since it was a cast from Dream that knocked out Ciampa to set up Kushida’s win, but it shows that Kushida was a smart wrestler to take advantage of it. Kushida beat Dream at the last Takeover and he won again here, so they are booking him in the right way to show that he can win some big matches. I really liked how relentless Kushida was during the whole match. It might be time to get Kushida into a title picture soon because he’s building momentum and is proving he can be a featured performer in NXT.

There was a promo from Undisputed Era with Adam Cole speaking on a screen with Cole saying he was not cleared to wrestle, but he’s getting better. Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly talked about their NXT Tag Team Title match as they showed confidence in Strong and Fish winning the titles.

A commercial aired for NXT Halloween Havoc next week on NXT with Shotzi Blackheart hosting and some “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal” matches. There were four matches advertised:

* NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae.

* NXT North American Championship: Damian Priest vs. Johnny Gargano.

* Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez.

* Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis in a Haunted House of Terror Match.

The announce team of Barrett and Joseph agreed to have a costume contest between them next week.

A video aired about Rhea Ripley.

Ember Moon vs. Jessi Kamea

This is Moon’s first singles match since returning to NXT. Kamea got some offense, then Moon came back with a standing moonsault and slapped on a Crossface submission, but Kamea got to the ropes. Moon went for an ankle lock submission with Kamea getting out of it by sending Moon to the turnbuckle. Kamea got a nearfall off a springboard elbow as Kamea showed off her athleticism. Moon came back with a double knee attack (like a Codebreaker) off the ropes and that led to a submission where she hooked the legs while pulling back on the face. Kamea tapped out to give Moon the win after about four minutes.

Winner by submission: Ember Moon

Analysis: *1/4 A dominant win for Moon, who busted out a new submission move to show she can win with something other than the Eclipse. I like when wrestlers add submission moves to their arsenal. The length of the match was fine because it allowed Kamea to get in some offense before Moon put her away.

After the match, Dakota Kai tripped up Moon and kicked her in the head. Kai told Moon that if you think you can use Kai to get back into the spotlight, she should think again.

There was a backstage scene where Bobby Fish was injured and selling a left knee injury. Fish told Strong and O’Reilly that he couldn’t see who it was, but somebody hit him from behind.

Analysis: The classic “mystery attacker” angle strikes again.

Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory

Reed dominated Theory with a corner splash along with a hard chop that rocked Theory. There was a chop block by Theory to get some offense as he slapped on a chinlock. Reed took over with a powerslam and a senton splash. Reed went up top, punched Theory down and Reed hit the Tsunami splash for the pinfall win after about four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bronson Reed

Analysis: *1/4 A dominant win by Reed while Theory’s losing streak continues. Reed is an impressive big man that moves like a much smaller man. I’m interested in seeing Reed in a meaningful feud because I think he has a lot of potential as a face that’s easy to root for.

After the match, Theory said he is the future of NXT and WWE. Theory said he’s 23 years old, he’s done more in this business than Reed has done in his 15-year career and Theory wanted another match.

Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory

There were punches and kicks from Theory, then he ran the ropes and Reed gave him a pop-up Samoan Drop for the pinfall win in about 10 seconds.

Winner by pinfall: Bronson Reed

Analysis: No point in rating that as the losing streak of Theory continues.

Xia Li and Kacy Catanzaro talked about how they had a match. Li said this is important to her, she has to win and she needs this match. Li said that this is the biggest match of her career and she has to win.

Austin Theory was shown leaving the building. Theory said that’s it, he’s done. Theory said he quit.

Analysis: I assume this will lead to Theory coming back with some help whether it’s a manager like Robert Stone or maybe he has an ally that’s a wrestler.

Legado Del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza) vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Ashante Adonis and Jake Atlas

It started as a slugfest with everybody pairing up with three fights going on at once and then Atlas worked over Wilde leading to Adonis hitting a flapjack on Wilde. Atlas hit the Three Amigos vertical suplexes on Wilde for a two count. Atlas did an impressive armdrag/headscissors combo. The heels were on the floor, so Scott hit a twisting dive onto the three guys and he barely connected with any of them, but they still sold it. That led to a break.

The Legado heels were in control with Adonis as the face in peril with Wilde hitting a splash and Mendoza hitting a moonsault off the ropes for two. Wilde hit a running elbow to knock down Adonis again. Escobar was back in with double knees to the chest as the heels continued to make quick tags while isolating Adonis from his team. After a few minutes of selling, Adonis hit a dropkick and Atlas got the tag including a German Suplex on Escobar. Scott back body drop on Wilde, a jumping kick on Escobar on the floor and Mendoza battled Scott on the apron. Mendoza tripped up Scott on the apron. They did this crazy spot where Wilde jumped over the top with Atlas turning it into a Spanish Fly on the floor! That was pretty crazy. I didn’t expect that. They probably should have done it on the other side instead of by the announce table because they needed more room. Scott got a nearfall on Mendoza with a sitout slam, but then Mendoza sent Adonis into Swerve. Escobar hit a suicide dive on the floor and Atlas hit a cartwheel into a DDT off the announce table! That was impressive. Atlas told Escobar he would be the next champion. Mendoza and Wilde hit a double team kick into a legsweep for the pinfall win with Wilde pinning Adonis. This went about 15 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Legado Del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza)

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a competitive match full of action. The last few minutes were wild with some huge spots including the Spanish Fly on the floor and that cartwheel into a DDT on the floor. While it’s not a surprise that Legado Del Fantasma won, I would have expected Escobar to get the pin for his team. Then again, having Wilde win is good for him, so it’s okay. I think if the faces won with Atlas pinning Escobar then they could have set up Atlas for a future title shot, but NXT likes booking Escobar strong even in tag team matches.

The married couple Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae had a “training” wheel at home where they practiced the “Spin the Wheel” thing on a smaller wheel. Johnny landed on Buried Alive and Casket Match when he spun it twice, so he was mad about it because he likes being in control.

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

There’s some goofy music for Dain and Drake, but Dain made them cut the music off. Parker hit a running knee on Drake and a forearm to the back. Martel sent Drake into the turnbuckle, Parker tagged in and jumped off Martel’s back for an elbow drop on Drake. Dain got the tag, he was on fire with strikes on both guys, a clothesline and then Ever Rise hit chop blocks to the leg. Martel told Drake that Dain is a loser just like Drake, so Drake fought back. Drake hit a chair to Martel’s back and a chair to Parker for the DQ finish after about three minutes.

Winners by disqualification: Ever-Rise (Chase Parker and Matt Martel)

Analysis: *1/2 Nice to see my fellow Canadians Ever-Rise pick up a win. It was done that way to have Maverick show some fire and intensity even though it cost his team the win.

After the match, Dain was actually happy with Maverick and said that was awesome. The theme song plaid, Dain left and Drake danced a bit to it.

Analysis: They are slowly starting to get along.

There was a backstage scene with Roderick Strong looking like he was knocked out because he was face first on the floor. That led to a break.

William Regal was backstage with Breezango, Kyle O’Reilly, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. Kyle suggested that Lorcan and Burch get the title match. Kyle said he was going to the hospital while Breezango was okay with facing Lorcan and Burch, so they shook hands.

Kacy Catanzaro (w/Kayden Carter) vs. Xia Li

Li got some offense going with a hiptoss along with knee strikes and a kick to the ribs. Kacy came back with strikes to the ribs, a corner clothesline and a flipping leg drop. Kacy charged in and rolled forward into a sitting pin position for the win after about two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kacy Catanzaro

Analysis: *1/4 A short match where they seemed to be off a bit, but were able to put together a decent finish.

Post match, Li hit Kacy in the back with a forearm and kicked down Carter as well. Li stomped on Kacy repeatedly. Raquel Gonzalez showed up with a clothesline on Li and slammed Kacy onto Carter. Gonzalez hit a lifting Chokeslam style move on Carter as well. Gonzalez said that this is what’s going to happen to Rhea Ripley next week at Halloween Havoc.

Analysis: Gonzalez has no storyline with any of the three women in the ring. This was about showing how dominant Gonzalez can be.

Cameron Grimes was interviewed backstage by Mckenzie Mitchell, who let him know it’s a Haunted House of Terror match at Halloween Havoc next week. Dexter Lumis showed up behind a door (Grimes never saw him), Grimes acted as if he was afraid and Grimes said he was going to the moon.

Io Shirai talked about the possible matches she could have with Candice LeRae and said that she’ll beat Candice. She kept saying “I beat Candice” repeatedly.

Timothy Thatcher Live Exhibition

Timothy Thatcher was in the ring with a student named Anthony, so Timothy called him Andrew and then Alex to disrespect him. Thatcher slapped on a headlock where he turned the neck and the guy tapped out. Thatcher countered a leg trip attempt and slapped on a double wristlock where he held onto the hold even after Anthony was tapping out. Thatcher gave his wrist, then Anthony tripped him up and put Thatcher in a tight headlock. Fans were chanting “Andrew” for the guy.

Thatcher decked Anthony with a forearm and a referee went into the ring as this became a match. Thatcher unloaded on the guy with forearms, single leg crab submission with Anthony tapping out quickly. The referee made Thatcher break it up. Thatcher kicked Anthony out of the ring to end it.

Analysis: It put over the technical wrestling skills of Thatcher as usual in those kinds of segments. Normally those segments are in a backstage setting, so it was a different feeling to have it in the ring. Anthony got in a bit of offense, but it was about Thatcher looking dominant as usual. Perhaps they’ll keep doing these segments where a “student” gets the better of Thatcher and beats him during one of the training sessions.

The North American Champion Damian Priest talked about his match with Johnny Gargano next week with Priest sounding confident that he will win.

NXT Tag Team Championships: Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch

Fandango started with Lorcan with Fandango going for a sunset flip pin attempt, but Lorcan turned it into a half crab submission with Fandango getting to the ropes. The veteran Burch tagged in with uppercuts, Fandango got a backslide into a pin for two and Breeze tagged in with a suplex. Breeze worked over Burch with kicks and a boot to the throat of Burch. They left the ring with Burch sending Breeze into the barricade. Breeze got a hold of Burch’s knee and rammed it into the ring post, which led to a break.

Lorcan was in there with Fandango with Lorcan hitting him with a forearm. Fandango got out of the challenger’s corner with clotheslines on both guys. It turned into a slugfest of sorts with both teams on the floor. Lorcan went for a dive on Breeze, who kicked Lorcan to stop him. Burch sent Breeze over the barricade where the cameras were. Back in the ring, Fandango with a Falcon Arrow slam on Burch and a top rope leg drop got a two count. Nice nearfall there. Breeze tagged in with Lorcan and Burch did a double submission on Breeze, but then Fandango tossed Lorcan out of the ring. Breeze worked over the injured left knee of Burch with some elbow drops to the knee with Burch selling it like he was in a lot of pain. Breeze went up top, Burch tripped him up and Burch hit a neckbreaker off the ropes for two as Breezango tackled Lorcan into the pin to break up the count. Breezango hit double superkicks on both opponents. Fandango went up top, but somebody with a hood and a mask on shoved Fandango to the floor. The referee was looking at Fandango to see what happened, Burch hit a low blow uppercut punch on Breeze (the referee did not see it) and Breeze was down. Lorcan and Burch lifted Breeze up for an assisted DDT with Breeze’s legs on Lorcan’s shoulders while Burch hit the DDT and Burch covered Breeze for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall AND NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with a shocking finish since Lorcan and Burch were faces that likely just turned heel due to cheating to win. The pace was slow in the first half, but then it picked up and had some believable nearfalls as the match went on. I like spots like when Fandango tackled Lorcan into the pin attempt to break it up.

Lorcan and Burch celebrated with their titles as the announced mentioned the guy in the hood that helped them win. The guy in the hood with a silver mask on his face went into the ring to hug the new champions. The guy in the hood and silver mask revealed himself to be…Pat McAfee! Pat is back! Pat was happy to announce Burch and Lorcan as the new NXT Tag Team Champions “and that my friends is Undisputed.” The trio celebrated the win.

Analysis: It’s a new stable of sorts with McAfee joining with Lorcan and Burch. They can reveal that McAfee got Ridge Holland to attack Adam Cole at Takeover and then they were responsible for the attacks on Fish/Strong earlier in the show as well.

Here’s a post-show promo as well.

Analysis: Well done there. As you can tell from that promo, McAfee and his buddies are going to reveal their plan in the weeks ahead. As I mentioned, they can easily say they took out Undisputed Era one by one to set them up for this title match and now they are the champions. It’s a devious, heelish plan from McAfee after he lost to Adam Cole at Takeover 30 two months ago. That rivalry is not over.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch – They have been a part of NXT for a very long time, so it was nice to see them get some gold.
  2. Kushida
  3. Tommaso Ciampa


Final Thoughts

I give this show a 7.25 out of 10.

This was a pretty good edition of NXT with several longer matches and a surprise ending. I loved the ending of the main event with Pat McAfee helping Lorcan and Burch win the NXT Tag Team Titles. I didn’t expect it to happen, so it’s nice of them to do a big angle like that leading to a title change. McAfee’s a great talker, so using him in this storyline is smart. It can be McAfee, Lorcan and Burch plus perhaps another wrestler or two against Undisputed Era as a major feud moving forward.

Everything else was fine. I liked seeing Kushida get the big win since he continues to be booked in a strong way and the cruiserweight tag team match was great as usual. Emer Moon winning by submission shows she is evolving as a wrestler. There wasn’t a lot of talking at all. A lot of action and easy to watch.

Next week’s Halloween Havoc show has four matches already advertised.

* NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae.

* NXT North American Championship: Damian Priest vs. Johnny Gargano.

* Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez.

* Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis in a Haunted House of Terror Match.

It’s a bigger show than normal next week, so I’m looking forward to it.


Thanks for reading. My contact info is below.

John Canton


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