Five title matches, with three of them being unification matches, bridge the international gap between NXT 2.0 and the remnants of NXT UK. As NXT Europe is scheduled to launch next year, which version of the WWE developmental system reigned supreme?
–NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes w/ Trick Williams defeated Ricochet to retain the title
A great opening contest that is one of the top five matches of the weekend. Both wrestlers shined as the crowd was hot for the action Hayes and Ricochet produced. The final moments saw Ricochet land on his feet out of a shooting star press and get caught in a small package by Hayes for the final fall. Excellent action that didn’t come off as a spot fest or a dance.
–Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) defeated The Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed w/ Damon Kemp, Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen w/ Fallon Henley, and Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) w/ Joe Coffey to unify the NXT UK Tag Team Titles and NXT Tag Team Titles.
This match was contested under fatal four-way elimination rules.
It was a refreshing surprise to see the NXT UK Champions Briggs and Jensen as the first team eliminated. Typically, WWE puts emphasis on protecting title holders in these types of matches. However, seeing one set of champions taken out first raised the drama and intrigue of the match.
The match kicked into second gear when the Creeds delivered the cannonball Doomsday Device to eliminate Wolfgang. Damon Kemp turned on The Creeds and laid out Julius with a chair shot followed by a uranage backbreaker.
I think Kemp will be revealed as the perpetrator who laid out Roderick Strong in the parking lot, destroying Diamond Mine from the inside.
Pretty Deadly are the new champions who have the tools to do big things. They’re great in the ring and exhibit good character work, which makes for a well-rounded act. Julius Creed is going to be scary good someday.
Oh, and Lash Legend complements Pretty Deadly quite well.
-Tony D’Angelo makes an offer that Cameron Grimes can refuse
Tony D’Angelo and Stacks discussed family business until Cameron Grimes walked by. D’Angelo stopped Grimes and asked him to consider joining the family. Grimes didn’t want to talk and walked away.
D’Angelo is one of the most entertaining personalities in NXT but has a long way to go with his in-ring work. A good performer can often outshine a good mechanic. However, WWE will get very little out of D’Angelo long-term if he has nothing to offer once the bell rings.
Cameron Grimes feels like he’s on a hampster wheel. Even though he hasn’t won the NXT title, It feels like there is nothing left for Grimes to do in Orlando. You don’t want to put Grimes on the main roster with no direction, and he’s still valuable as a veteran player to the younger talent in NXT.
–NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose defeated Blair Davenport and NXT UK Women’s Champion Meiko Satomura in a triple threat to unify the titles.
Mandy Rose unifying the titles was the least surprising thing on the show. That’s not a bad thing, either. NXT is the best thing to happen to Rose. She’s turned into a solid worker and will only get better. Plus, WWE often protects her when booking her in programs.
Rose pinning Davenport in this single elimination showdown leaves an opening for a Rose vs. Satomura match since she lost her UK title without being beaten. As for the match, there is nothing to write home about but nothing to complain about.
–Kayden Carter & Katana Chance beat Doudrop & Nikki A.S.H. to retain the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles
This match didn’t do anything for me. Not much of a story going in, and it came off as filler more than anything else. It was good for Carter and Chance to get some reps with experienced wrestlers like Nikki and Doudrop.
Toxic Attraction ran in near the end of the match and was met with Nikki jumping on them off the apron. All three women brawled outside the ring, leaving Doudrop in the ring by herself with Carter and Chance, who hit a neck breaker/450 splash combo for the win.
–NXT Champion Bron Breakker defeated NXT United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate to unify the titles
Breakker pinned Bate in a match that was a tale of two cities. The first half was akin to Breakker’s in-ring style with an array of power moves. The second half of the match was wrestled more at Bate’s pace, which allowed him to come off as a legit threat.
The last two minutes of the match were an excellent blending of the two styles.
Breakker kicked out of the Tyler Driver 97 and delivered a gorilla press slam for a near fall. Breakker went for another gorilla press, but Bate countered into a victory roll for another near fall. Bate went for the rebound lariat and bounced right into a perfectly timed spear by Breakker for the deciding fall.
Bate placed both title belts on Breakker as a sign of respect, and they embraced in the middle of the ring.
Breakker is improving as he’s worked with a well-rounded tally of opponents in size and style. Bate is main roster ready. He’s also only 25 years old, so there is no rush to move him to Raw or SmackDown. However, if you go by the notion that more people watch NXT than NXT UK, Bate essentially has a new and increased viewership to ingratiate himself with.