Lio Rush def. Drew Gulak to Win the NXT Cruiserweight Championship
Well, it certainly looks like the Cruiserweight division is about to be merged into NXT based off how the belt's new name is the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. I think that's the best move seeing as how 205 Live has slowly been dying a death for the past three years. It's only a matter of time before it's made official. At any rate, this was an excellent opener and exactly what we need to see from the Cruiserweights more often. Gulak was the perfect foil for Rush, who is a tremendous babyface (why has he been miscast as a heel this entire time?). Considering Gulak has already beaten most of the 205 Live roster, transitioning the title onto Rush was the right call and ushered in a new era for the Cruiserweights in a way, assuming they stay put on NXT.
Rhea Ripley def. Aliyah
I guess Ripley will be pulling double duty in NXT and NXT UK for the foreseeable future and I am all for it. I've talked about this before, but she just has that star presence about her, which is exactly why I fear for when she inevitably gets called up to the main roster. Nonetheless, this squash was short and sweet. Ripley then called out Shayna Baszler again, so I'm glad their bad blood hasn't been forgotten about.
The Forgotten Sons def. Breezango
Are Breezango going to switch up their entrance with a new theme every other week? Not that I'm complaining. At any rate, Breezango was supposed to face off with Ever-Rise, but Jaxon Ryker's attack on the team led to Forgotten Sons taking their place. Their match was perfectly fine but nothing special. Breezango already beat Forgotten Sons two months ago, so this evened the score.
Cameron Grimes def. Boa
It's well documented that Grimes does nothing for me. I have no idea why they had Jordan Myles win the NXT Breakout Tournament if they were going to feature Grimes on NXT TV way more than him, other than giving Adam Cole a babyface challenger to his championship. On the bright side, he beat Boa in a matter of seconds, so at least I didn't have to sit through an uninteresting squash from him. Killian Dain showed up afterward to attack Boa, seemingly sending a message to Grimes in the process. That honestly isn't a feud that intrigues me in the slightest.
NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong def. Isiah "Swerve" Scott (Non-Title)
Scott is another individual who is a star in the making. I was already aware of his work pre-WWE, but he's impressed me with every one of his performances so far in NXT and on 205 Live. He had yet another outstanding showing here and pushed Strong to his limit. This was a very fun back-and-forth match that made Scott look great in defeat. There was a ton going on afterward with Adam Cole addressing the returns of Finn Balor and Tommaso Ciampa and then Velveteen Dream announcing that he'll be facing Strong in a rematch for the NXT North American Championship in two weeks on NXT.
Bianca Belair def. Dakota Kai
I don't often question NXT's booking because things tend to make sense most of the time, but having Kai lose in her second back match was highly debatable. Don't get me wrong, she and Belair produced a solid matchup and it wasn't as if she was steamrolled by Belair, but I really thought she was being built up to dethrone Shanya Baszler as the NXT Women's Champion given their history. It would have been one thing if she lost to someone such as Candice LeRae or Tegan Nox or even Rhea Ripley, but Belair had her shot earlier this year and lost, so she was a weird choice to beat Kai this early into her return.
WWE United Kingdom Champion WALTER def. Kushida (Non-Title)
I had high hopes for this and it did not disappoint. Granted, the early goings were slow, but once they picked up the pace, this was an absolute treat that the crowd ate up. Kushida was an amazing babyface and posed a bigger threat to WALTER than practically anyone else, while WALTER was his usual excellent self and dominated Kushida with his hard-hitting offense. I don't think anyone actually thought WALTER would lose here, but they tried to convince you he might with some of those nearfalls down the stretch. WALTER remains undefeated, but Kushida lost nothing from this.
Wednesdays have to be considered the most exciting night of the week for wrestling fans. I gave NXT the nod over AEW Dynamite following their amazing effort, but I thought Dynamite was the superior show this week (and no, I'm not just saying that because I was there in attendance). NXT was still an enjoyable episode with an above-average main event and a notable title change. Everything in the middle served a purpose but felt like filler before more important matches are held in the coming weeks. That said, next week's show looks stacked on paper with Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic, Pete Dunne vs. Damian Priest, Tommaso Ciampa vs. Angel Garza, and Tegan Nox returning.
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