Reviews by Dave
Show air date: September 23, 2020
NXT on USA just never got out of second gear for me this week. Started slow, stayed there, ended well but not great. They do some half-ass booking for who gets title shots on this show.
Women’s Battle Royal for #1 Contender Winner, Candice LeRae
Candice LeRae won a battle royal to determine the next challenger for Io Shirai and the Women’s title. Nothing special but they let Raquel Gonzalez really do her “Lady Diesel” thing.
I was tired quickly of the Kacy Catanzaro stuff. Her spot with Kayden Carter summed up the relationship between Black and White women in America for the last 150 years.
Damian Priest defeated Austin Theory
Remember when North American champion Damian Priest used to be fun? His promo this week will not be a reminder. He then has a match with Austin Theory that went on way too long just to get to the predictable outcome (Priest wins by pinfall). It wasn’t even that good.
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Jake Atlas
Tommaso Ciampa beat Jake Atlas. It was okay but…yawn. Why did the ref threaten to DQ Atlas if he ran Ciampa into the underside of the ring apron? So if he ran him into the ring post, that’s legal but not this? And why did they have Ciampa, the much bigger star, come out first?
Danny Burch and Roderick Strong defeated Fabian Aichner and Raul Mendoza
Danny Burch (tag partner of Oney Lorcan) and Roderick Strong (of the Undisputed Era)beat Fabian Aichner (of Imperium) and Raul Mendoza (of Legados del Fantasma) in a match where the winning team will pair with their normal partners next week to decide on the next challengers for the NXT tag champions, Breezango. Appropriately awkward match with some good work.
Ridge Holland defeated Antonio DeLuca
Ridge Holland squashes Antonio DeLuca. Mostly impressive exhibition with the worst Pounce I’ve seen in a long time.
Kyle O’Reilly Wins the Gaunlet Eliminator Match
Kyle O’Reilly pulls off a huge career win, winning the Gauntlet Eliminator to determine the next challenger for Finn Balor and the NXT Championship. I think O’Reilly vs KUSHIDA or Timothy Thatcher, who were both in the match, would have been better matches but this was fine. None of these guys have been used in a way that says they should be top contenders but…WWE.
Notable moments were Velveteen Dream interfering and costing KUSHIDA. Since it’s a no-DQ match, what was the point of the referee “missing” it? After O’Reilly eliminated Thatcher, Cameron Grimes hit the Cave In standing stomp but then he looked like a fool thinking he got the three count when he didn’t. Dude, Grimes is an 11-year world-traveled vet. He can’t hear the ref slapping the mat twice by his ears? O’Reilly’s Undisputed Era mates come out to congratulate him (sans Adam Cole) and Balor comes out to point at him as they go off.
Not a “must-see” show in any way.