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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 10.12.21

October 12, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE NXT Carmelo Hayes
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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 10.12.21  

Welcome, NXT fans! It’s Tuesday night, so it’s time for another episode of NXT. I’m Jeremy Thomas as always, and tonight we have an interesting show as the road to Halloween Havoc continues. Tonight has Isaiah “Swerve” Scott defending his North American Championship against Santos Escobar before Hit Row heads to Smackdown (gee, wonder what happens here), while Joe Gacy tries to earn a spot in the NXT Title match at Halloween Havoc by facing Tommaso Ciampa. We also have Ivy Nile’s in-ring debut, Kyle O’Reilly teaming up against Von Wagner and more.

For my part, I’ve been continuing along in my Hooptober viewing challenge for 2021. This week I saw a few solid films in Shudder’s V/H/S/94 and the 1971 erotic vampire horror flick Daughters of Darkness, as well as 2009’s culty exploration of grief Wake Wood and the bonkers, Twilight Zone-esque Dead End. I also watched the new season of Slasher on Shudder and highly recommend it, rewatched the 2018 Halloween to prep for Halloween Kills this Friday as well as Ban the Sadist Videos!, the documentary on the UK’s infamous “video nasties” era. They’re all worth checking out.

Anyway, we’re gonna have a lot to cover tonight so let’s hop right in.

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry’s daughters is still active and if you can make a donation, that would be awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who’s done so thus far.

* We start off with a recap of Hit Row walking into the arena and Legado attacking them. Swerve is stomped down and the others are abducted, with Santos Escobar laughing and wishing Swerve good luck before driving off.

DOWN SOUTH SLANG! (a.k.a. INTRO MUSIC)

* We’re kicking off with Joe Gacy vs. Tommaso Ciampa — but of course Gacy is in the ring beforehand. He says that with the NXT Championship comes untold unbalance. Tonight, in this safe space, Gacy says he’ll be victorious over that walking example of toxic masculinity and championship privilege. He represents all of his snowflakes and will bring transparent inclusively when he gets into the NXT Championship match at Halloween Havoc.

Joe Gacy vs. Tommaso Ciampa

The bell rings and Gacy offers a hand, but Ciampa kicks it away. Lock up, and Gacy backed into a corner and then kicks hium in the head. Strikes by the champion and a while into the ropes — short arm clothesline. He sends Gacy into the ropes, Gacy with a body block and cover for one. Gacy with a quick healock but Ciampa powers out, takes him down and locks in a shoulderlock.

Both men to their feet and Ciampa snaps the arm against his shoulder. Gacy fights out and sends Ciampa into the ropes, bit shot and a backbreaker for one. Stomp on the champ in the corner, and now Harland is in the stands watching with a dead stare. That distracts Gacy and Ciampa takes back over, delivering chops and stomps in the corner. Running knee smash to Gacy’s head and Gacy escapes to the outside, but Ciampa rolls him back in. Gacy quickly rolls back out and grabs Tommaso’s foot, pulling him down. He tries to send him into the commentary desk but Ciampa reverses.

Back in the ring, Ciampa ducks a clothesline, batters Gacy and hits a drop toe-hold off the ropes. Elevated overhead forwarms by the champ and then a takedown and stomp right to the jaw! Harland watches as Ciampa chops Gacy, whips him acorss the ropes and runs into a back elbow. Gacy with a splash in the corner, spinning uranage and a cover for two. Gacy to the apron and drops an elbow on Ciampa as we go to PIP break.

Back from PIP break and Ciampa is back in control on the outside. He rolls Gacy into the ring and clotheslines him in the corner several times off the ropes, ducks a clothesline and hits a leaping one. Gacy nearly gets a roll-up but Ciampa rolls through and they trade blows, with Gacy hitting a big powerbomb for two. Moonsault off the top misses, Ciampa with the Fairy Tale Ending countered with a jackknife. Gacy tries for his springboard handstand move but Ciampa cuts it off. Fairy Tale Ending and that’s it.

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa (10:44)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: You know what, I’m starting to appreciate Gacy’s character a bit because he seems to more represent the white liberals who claim to speak for progressive causes and marginalized cultures but is really just using them for good press or to feel good about themselves. I’m not 100% sure that’s intentional, but it’s coming off that way for me. Anyway, this match was not bad at all. Gacy got more offense than I expected and that’s important to him not being a failed gimmick, but the expected win happened.

After the match, Harland takes out Ciampa and grabs Gacy by the throat, but Gacy soothes him with a brush of the hand and Harland runs off. O…kay? Gacy tries to help Ciampa and gets shoved to the mat.

* And here comes Toxic Attraction! Good gods, Mandy. Gigi says that TA came out last week with one purpose: put an end to Raquel Gonzalez. But Io and Zoey wanted to come out and play hero and ruin their fun, so they were unsatisfied. Jacy says if Io and Zoey want to lead the division by example and play by the rules, Toxic Attraction couldn’t care less about the rules. They do what they want when they want, and what they want are the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships. She says their days as champions are numbered, and their times are up at Halloween Havoc.

Mandy says they won’t be the only ones successful at Halloween Havoc, because she’s challenging Raquel for the NXT Women’s Championship at the show. She says Raquel got lucky last week but at Halloween Havoc, TA will all be wearing gold. And says it doesn’t matter what hair color she has, she’s still the baddest bitch in the game.

* TA hasn’t even left the ring yet before Xyon Quinn comes out for his match.

* Back from break we get a quick vignette about someone burying the past so they can start again at Halloween Havoc.

Xyon Quinn vs. Malik Blade

These two start off with a lockup that ends in a draw, Blade is shot into the ropes and knocked down. Bodyslam by Quinn, and he grabs Blade, shoving him into the ropes and hitting him with a kidney shot. Blade with a back elbow but Quinn takes back control and drives him into the corner, then Irish whips him hard into the opposite corner for a two-count.

Chinlock by Quinn, Blade gets to his feet and shoves Quinn back into the ropes. He hits a dropkick and charges in for a leaping clothesline. Up top for a missile dropkick, cover gets two. Rollup by Blade for two more but then he gets picked up and chokeslammed right down. He sets it up: leaping forearm for three.

Winner: Xyon Quinn (2:43)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: Squash match was squashy.

* McKenzie asks Ciampa about his match with Bron Breaker at HH. Ciampa doesn’t know what to think about Gacy but it doesn’t matter; he’s dialed into Breakker. He starts to cut a promo but the Grizzled Young Veterans come in and mock him, saying they can’t wait to see him lose to a rookie. Breakker comes to CIampa’s defense and the GYV back off. Breaker says he’s standing by Ciampa’s side until Havoc because he wants to beat him at his best.

* Here come the Diamond Mine!

* Swerve is backstage with McKenzie, who says no one has seen or heard from Ashante and Swerve says his people are soldiers and they’ll want him to focus on Santos. He sats Santos is trying to bring the demon out of him and it worked. He promises he’s taking the North American Title to Smackdown, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

Ivy Nile vs. Valentina Feroz

Feroz and Ivy circle and Feroz with a waistlock, reversed by Nile and pulled to the ground. Both back up, Feroz withan arm drag and a dropkick. She comes off the ropes and gets caught with a fallaway slam, then pulled into suplex position and dropped! Ivy kips up, whips Feroz stumblingly into the corner and then yanks her own by her feet. Boot choke against the bottom turnbuckle for four, then she yanks Valentina into the middle of the ring.

Feroz with kicks and strikes but gets knocked down, then bodyslammed. Nail with a somersault into a reverse fireman’s carry and a squatting Torture Rack. Feroz taps.

Winner: Ivy Nile (2:43)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: RIP Valentina’s spine.

After the match, Bivens says that was a message to every woman here and says the Pitbull has been released. Ivy Nile is here and she didn’t come to play, nor has the Creed Brothers who are putting in work day in and day out. He calls them the most dominant tag team in NXT today before moving onto the Cruiserweight Champion in Roderick Strong.

Strong gets on the mic and starts to speak until Ikemen Jiro’s music plays! Here he comes in his snazzy jacket, and he wants a title shot apparently. Jiro slides into the ring and one of the Creeds gets a mic and asks if Jiro is for real. He says in the Diamond Mine everything is earned, and he’s always strapped so what is Jiro gonna do about it? Jiro decks Creed and slides out and we’re off to break.

Ikemen Jiro vs. Julius Creed

We’re back from break with the match in progress, and Jiro is in control but Creed quickly changes that by spearing the knee. Creed with a double underhook suplex and picks Jiro up, driving him into the corner. Big powerslam and he picks Jiro up for a gutwrench suplex. Jiro kicks Creed from his back but then eats another gutwrench suplex. Jiro is fighting back but Creed grabs the leg and picks Jiro up for a slam. Jiro with the jacket-assisted strikes now, he takes Julius down! Irish whip reversed but Jiro counters and takes Creed down, Vader bomb and cover for two.

Julius rolls out of the ring and gets hit with a sprinboard moonsault from Ikemen! Creed rolled back in, springboard leap caught by Creed for a wheelbarrow slam and then diving clothesline for three.

Winner: Julius Creed (3:27)
Rating: ** 1/4
Thoughts: Pretty solid match for the brief time it got that gave Creed time to shine. I’d like to see Jiro pick up a win at some point, but this went as expected and that’s fine.

The Diamond Mine assaults Jiro as a group after the match but Kushida is here! He takes out everyone until he nearly hits Ivy, that stops him and the Diamond Mine takes over and leave Kushida down.

* Raquel says her title means she’s queen of the mountain. She’s never ducked or dodged any champion, taking out champions, her former best friend, and future HOFers. She tells Mendy that it’s on for Halloween Havoc but it has to be in Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal.

* It’s time for Lashing Out with Lash Legend! Lash is there and is getting straight to it. She brings up the WWE Draft and says next year it’s just going to be called WWE Squid Games. She reveals that the legends of the week are Hit Row for being drafted to Smackdown and talks up their theme song, giving it two snaps and a clap. Up next is the Lashing Out of the Week and takes suggestions, with one mentioning Tony D’Angelo wanting to get on the show. Lash says “Forget about it!”

Thoughts: Yeah, that segment is already wearing thin.

Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner vs. Pete Dunne & Ridge Holland

Von and Dunne in, Von goes super-aggressive from the bell and pounds on Dunne. The ref calls for a break and Dunne leaps onto Wagner, trying to do his joint manipulation thing but Von suplexes him and covers for two. Von goes up but Dunne gets the fingers. KOR tagged in and he kneelifts Dunne off the ropes. Holland tags in and O’Reilly gets taken down and has a knee dropped on his head. KOR with a wristlock and he snaps the arm against his shoulder, but Holland with a belly to belly suplex.

Ridge with a smash onto KOR and Dunne tags in, locking in an inverted surfboard. He ends it with a stomp to Kyle’s knees and continued to work the knees, tagging in Ridge for a knee to the knee. Euro uppercut by Holland and a cover for two, followed by a seated abdominal stretch. KOR up but gets run over by Ridge. Dunne tags in and he snaps the leg back, then stomps the knee and hits a cheap shot on Von. KOR with a dragon screw leg whip to Dunne and then one to Ridge. Kicks and a legswep to Dunne, and KOR charges in for a shot to the head in the corner. KOR with an arm snap, Dunne gives one of his own and they knock each other down. Tags to the fresh men and Von and Ridge are trading blows. They both stagger each other with bodyblocks, Von takes Ridge down and knocks Dunne off the apron before sending Holland to the outside. Ridge pulls VOn out and Irish whips him, but Wagner reverses and Ridge hits the steps as we go to break.

We’re back and Ridge is in control of Kyle with a nerve hold. Overhand punch to Kyle, who locks in a front facelock. Holland tags in Dunne, who pulls Kyle off and throws him into Holland for a slam. Dunne with a cover, broken up by Wagner. Wagner is sent to the outside and KOR goes for the tag but he’s not there. Dunne takes over, he goes for a kick but KOR counters with an anklelock. Dunne manages to get the tag to Ridge, who goes in hard with punches. O’Reilly sent to the outside, Holland gets him on his shoulder but Wagner runs in with the save! He gets to his corner, Kyle is crawling for the tag; Holland grabs his foot but he’s too late!

Von in hot and he batters Holland, then hits a big back suplex! He swats aside a Dunne clothesline and tags him down, then yells at KOR to finish Dunne. Leaping knee lift off the apron! Von and Ridge trade move attempts, Wagner with his finisher and the pinfall!

Winner: Von Wagner & Kyle O’Reilly (12:40)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: Wagner is okay, if not spectacular, and giving him the pinfall was key here to get him the rub. Holland is the right guy to take the pinfall as the guy going to the main roster. Solid match that had the time it needed, though these guys are largely capable of better.

* Andre Chase University time, and Chase’s lesson today is on ring awareness. He points out his costing Jones the match last week, saying that he should have put his foot ON the ropes and saying Jones lacks the veteran skill to be in NXT. A student named Brandon asks isn’t thart illegal? Chase says he doesn’t give a fuck and tells Brandon to get out and go hang with Steve in the dumbass room.

* Tony D’Angelo talks about his successful debut and gives some half-hearted props to Malik Blade without remembering his name. He talks about how he was booted from Lashing Out due to a “scheduling conflict” but says he does things on his own time anyway. He says the producer is a nice guy and walks away, as someone (the producer) is stuck in his trunk.

Duke Hudson vs. Grayson Waller

Waller and Hudson lock up, with Waller pushed into the corner before he ducks a shot. Waller with a headlock and a shot to the jaw, he goes for an armdrag but gets caught by Hudson. There’s a little chasing before Waller hits an armdrag. Hudson, however, powers out of a wristlock and hits an overhead belly-to-belly, then pounds on Waller in the corner.

Hudson manhandles Waller and applies a waistlock, which Waller gets out of before a bear huge is applied by Duke. Waller with a big forearm and he coes out onto the apron, springboard in for a Stunner and rolls him up for two. Hudson catches Waller off a springboard into a rollup with the tights held.

Winner: Duke Hudson (2:37)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: Hudson is not super impressing me yet. He’s not bad, he’s just kind of…there. Waller has potential but is already on a losing streak.

* Legado mocks Swerve for Hit Row’s abduction, but Santos promises it’s just them as Legado will stay in the locker room.

* Indi and Persia are in the back, and Indi kisses Dexter’s cheek before they head out.

* Imperium talk shit about MSK and millenials and say that they’re going to claim the tag team champions because something about cell phones and honor.

* Set for Halloween Havoc:
– Raquel Gonzalez vs. Mandy Rose
– Bron Breakker vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Persia Pirotta & Indi Hartwell vs. Sarray & Amari Miller

Sarray starts against Persia, who catches Sarray off the ropes and picks her up on her shoulders. Sarray slides off but gets grabbed and put in the corner, Indi tagged in and takes Sarray down for a quick pin attempt. Sarray turns it around and kicks Indi in the corner, then tags in Amari for kicks to Indi and a cover for two.

Shoulderlock from Amari, Indy gets to her feet and Amari jumps on her shoulder for a sleeper and forarms to the face. Indi dumps her and tags in Persia, who clotheslines Miller down several times and hits a Snake Eyes in the corner. Big boot and a fireman’s carry, Indy tagged in and Persia kicks Sarray, then hits a F5-style facebuster before Indi jumps in for a splash and gets the pin.

Winner: Indi & Persia (2:25)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: Yeah, it was a match.

Persia gets on the mic after and suggests a tag title run, only for Io to come out with Zoey. Io says she doesn’t like them and Zoey says she knows Io doesn’t like her either. Gigi and Jacy come out and say they don’t give a damn about any of them and just want the titles. It turns into a three-way brawl. TA have the advantage but Io wipes out Gigi and Zoey kicks Jacy out of the ring to stand tall.

* Waller is backstage and hits on Cora Jade, then walks over to sit down with someone and says that they should go out. Grimes walks up and asks how he’s got so much game? Waller tells him he needs to clean up a bit. He suggests online dating apps and shows him one.

* We get a vignette for Solo Sikoa coming soon.

NXT North American Championship Match
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Santos Escobar

Swerve attacks Santos on his way out and throws him into the ring steps, then rolls him into the ring. The ref rings the bell and Santos bails, only to have Swerve come off the ropes with a leaping moonsault to the outside on Escobar.

Swerve throws Escobar into the steps and then rolls back in to break the count, then leaves to trap Santos and try to remove the turnbuckle pad. He gives up for now and steps into the ring, stomping Santos and sending him into the ropes for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and cover for two. Swerve with a kneedrop off the ropes and cover for two again.

Swerve goes for the JML Driver, Escobar blocks it. They jockey and Escobar slides out of the ring, he catches Swerve on his way out and then gets back in for a dive onto Swerve over the commentary table as we go to PIP break.

Back from PIP break as Santos is wrenching Swerve’s arms back. He whips Swerve into the ropes and hits a big spinebuster, then comes off the ropes with a big kick to Swerve’s back. Bow and arrow submission, Swerve stands up to escape it and manages to fight out. They start trading blows, with Escobar taking over and then coming off the ropes, but Swerve sends him back into it and hits a spinning clothesline on the rebound. Diving elbow to Santos’ back off the top rope, Escobar counters a Rolling Thunder with a Flatliner for two.

Escobar takes aim and runs across the ring for a BIG double knee to the chest. He sets Swerve on the top and climbs, super rana! Escobar is climbing back up, Five Star Frog Splash! Cover, but Swerve kicks out at 2.9! Santos is frustrated now, he comes off the ropes with a diving dropkick to send Swerve to the apron. Top rope, but Swerve slaps him down and Santos gets crotched on the top. Death Valley Driver onto the apron and JESUS YOU GUYS. Swerve goes up top, 450 but Santos gets the knees up! Small package for a nearfall.

Escobar is shocked — and here come Legado! They distract the referee — and here comes Carmelo Hayes and Trip Williams? Okay sure, I guess. In the inside, Santos with a big kick and goes for the Phantom Driver, but Swerve counters. Swerve with the driver slam and that’s the win!

Winner: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott (11:14)
Rating: *** 1/2
Thoughts: Great match by both men, and a surprising result because I didn’t expect Swerve to retain. Well worth checking out.

After the match, Hayes takes Swerve out and cashes in his contract. Okay, that makes sense.

NXT North American Championship Match
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Carmelo Hayes

Hayes with the forearm off the ropes and a cover for thr–NO! Swerve kicks out! Swerve with a back kick to Hayes and a big right. He runs in but eats a pump kick, Hayes to the top and he leaps off with a Super Axe Kick for the win and title!

Winner: Carmelo Hayes (0:56)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: There you go. Strong way to elevate Hayes and end the show with a new champion.

And with that, we’re done for the night!

7.0
The final score: review Good
The 411
There was a lot of skippable stuff on this week's NXT to be sure, as they build toward Halloween Havoc. But there were also a fair number of moments that came off really well. The main event match was a banger and Hayes cashing in to win the title was a great moment, while Gacy vs. Ciampa was better than it should have been and the tag bout was solid. I'm not ready to say NXT 2.0 is finding its legs yet, but it's starting to get there. My score might be overgenerous, but I thought this was a solid show.
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WWE NXT, Jeremy Thomas