Preview by Joseph Currier
A ladder match with WarGames implications is set for tonight's episode of NXT.
Mia Yim and Io Shirai will face off in a ladder match on NXT tonight. It will decide which team gets the advantage in the women's WarGames match at TakeOver.
Team Ripley (Rhea Ripley, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae & Yim) will face Team Baszler (Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair, Shirai, and a partner) at TakeOver: WarGames on November 23. The men's WarGames match will be Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, and a partner vs. The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish).
After The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) appeared last week, WWE is teasing whether or not tonight's show will feature any involvement from Raw or SmackDown wrestlers.
A Cruiserweight Championship match is also set. After Angel Garza defeated Tony Nese in a number one contender's match last week, he'll challenge for Lio Rush's Cruiserweight title tonight.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The show is opening with a title match.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush defeated Angel Garza to retain his title
Rush pinned Garza after two frog splashes in a match that was action packed. This was a typical WWE match in many ways, and in other ways in was unlike most WWE matches on the main roster. They did some unique spots, but the match followed a WWE pattern. Still a really good match.
Rush's wife and childern were sitting front row ringside for the match. Garza heeled on them in the early portion of the match as he hopped the guardrail, and then he did the Latin Lover gimmick where he rips his pants off. He did this in front of Rush's wife and kids. Rush torpedoed through the ropes with a tope suicida seeking revenge.
Rush was a house of fire, but Garza countered a second tope into a powerslam on the floor. The show cut to commercial, and Garza dominated through the break. He did a slingshot reverse suplex at one point, but we only got to see with in small split screen with no sound as a commercial blared. This split screen gimmick during commcerials is really so annoying.
Garza dashed some hope spots during the break, but Rush made a comeback when the show returned from commercial. Rush did a handspring back elbow for a two count. Garza soon cut him off as they began trading strikes. Rush springboarded off the bottom rope attempting his finisher, and Garza got him with a vicious shotgun dropkick for a close near falll.
Garza missed a quebrada, and Rush capitalized with a cool swinging Unprettier for two and half. They did an avalanche spot where Garza did a fallaway slam moonsault. Rush moments later cut off Garza with Rush Hour (running Spanish Fly).
Rush hit his finisher -- the Come Up -- and then he went for second attempt. Garza countered that into his finisher -- the Wing Clipper. Rush still managed to kick out.
Garza was going for an avalanche version of his finisher when Rush countered into a Frankensteiner. Rush then executed a frog splash for two. With Garza draped in the ropes, Rush did a second frog splash to score the pinfall.
Rhea Ripley and Tegan Nox were laid out in a hallway selling an attack by mystery assailants. Officials poured in to check on them as they show went to commercial.
Xia Lee defeated Aliyah (w/ Vanessa Borne)
Lee pinned Aliyah after a roundhouse kick in a short match. This was as showcase for Lee, but not sure it accomplished what they wanted it to. accomplish. They seemed green.
Borne caused a distraction at one point. That allowed Aliyah to gain a momentary advantage, but not for long. Lee fired up. Aliyah raked the eyes -- only to get mowed down with a roundhouse kick.
Aliyah was treated in the ring for a bloody nose, as a towel was brought into the ring and held to her face. The announcers played it up so not sure if that was work. The kick sure looked legit.
The next segment established a new feud and furthered existing feuds. First there was Finn Balor coming to the ring to cut a promo on NXT. He asked condescending questions about what happened to his NXT. He used to love this place, and now he thinks its a joke.
Balor claimed he built this place, and then a "bunch of little boys moved in." They cry on social media about being injured. Balor name dropped Matt Riddle. Suddenly, Riddle ran in to attack Balor. They brawled around ringside and Balor fled the scene through the crowd.
Riddle cut a promo on Balor and called him a "putz".
Undisputed Era like a pack of wolves came out to surround Riddle. Tomasso Ciampa and Keith Lee stormed out to have Riddle's back.
Adam Cole started cutting a promo on them when Lee shut him up. Lee then called out Cole. Roderick Strong chimed in and said Cole needed a night off. Strong then told Lee to fight him. Lee accepted the challenge, and the match was on after a commercial break.
Keith Lee defeated NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong in a non-title match
Lee pinned Strong with a jackhammer in a really good match with a lot of run-ins.
Lee dominated the match at the outset using his power advantage. Strong cut him down with kicks to the legs, but he couldn't knock down Lee with shoulder tackles. Lee rose to his feet and absorbed some chops. He then laid out Strong with a double overhead chop.
Strong cut off Lee before a commercial. After the break, Strong had Lee reeling as he brought the fight to him. They fought at ringside where Strong delivered a wrecking ball dropkick. A sick kick netted Strong a two count. Strong grounded Lee briefly until taunts fired up Lee.
Lee mounted a comeback as he bieled Strong across the ring. Strong still kicked out. Moments later they did a superplex, and Lee kicked out.
Strong went for the Boston crab, but Lee powered out. They traded strikes. Strong was hitting his running forearms when Lee turned him inside out with a lariat.
Undisputed Era came to ringside. They were attacked by Ciampa and Riddle. Cole hit Ciampa with a dropkick on the floor. Riddle did a flying forearm on the floor. Balor ran in to attack Riddle as he gave him a slingblade on the outside. Balor stomped on him and dropkicked him into the steps.
Lee was distracted by the run-ins. That allowed Strong to deliver a jumping knee strike followed by an Olympic slam for two. Lee then countered to deliver the jackhammer for a pinfall.
Undisputed Era jumped into the ring to attack Lee after the match. Ciampa and Riddle rushed into the ring to make the save, but the babyfaces were still outnumbered by the heels.
Dominik Dijakovic ran down to even the odds. He cleaned house on Undisputed Era. He executed a double chokeslam, and then he picked up Cole to deliver Feast Your Eyes. Dijakovic insinuated that he wanted on the War Games team. Dijakovic and Lee had a brief staredown teasing their ongoing rivalry, but they put their differences aside for the sake of War Games.
Candice LeRae was apparently attacked outside the building by an assailant(s). The who-done-it mystery continues.
Isaiah "Swerve" Scott defeated Bronson Reed
Swerve pinned Reed after the House Call.
Reed used his size advantage to ground Swerve. He suplexed Swerve out of the ring at one point -- only for Reed to get posted before a commercial break.
Swerve made a comeback after the break. Swerve popped up into a leaping flatliner for a near fall. They teased doing an avalanche tombstone, but Swerve countered into a draping DDT.
Reed cut off Swerve for a two count on a piledriver. They were trading counters until Swerve delivered the House Call to score the pinfall.
Cathy Kelley made an announcement that changed the TakeOver card. Finn Balor now faces Matt Riddle in a singles match at TakeOver. Also on that card, Dominik Dijakovic replaces Riddle in the men's War Games match.
A vignette hyped The Forgotten Sons.
Pete Dunne vs. Killian Dain never started
Damian Priest attacked Dain on the stage during his entrance. Priest was wearing pants that looked to have came out of Diesel's closet in 1994. There was even silver and black fringe. Real nice.
Dunne joined the fight and all three brawled around ringside. During the pull-apart brawl, Priest springboarded into a flip dive that wiped out everyone. This continues the build towards a triple threat.
Cathy Kelley was interviewing Mia Yim when Dakota Kai confronted her to stay she had Yim's back no matter what happens tonight. Kai also said there was no hard feelings between them after Yim was chosen over Kai for the women's War Games team.
Announced for next week is a men's ladder match for the War Games advantage with Adam Cole against Dominik Dijakovic.
Io Shirai defeated Mia Yim in a ladder match
Shirai won the match to give her team the numbers advantage at War Games. Kay Lee Ray ran in to help Shirai win the match. Yim was busted open during the match,
Early on they both went for the ladder. Shirai did a tope to the outside. She was also the first to take a bump on the ladder as Yim dropped her with a wheelbarrow. As the fight continued on the floor, Shirai kicked the ladder into Yim face.
Yim targeted a hand, but Shirai soon cut her off. Shirai charged forwards with the ladder, but she missed. They brawled at ringside as each fought to grab the ladder.
Yim suplexed Shirai onto the ladder before a commercial break. The split screen was back for the main event. They teased throwing each other into the ladder that was propped in a corner. This led into a double down.
They were trading strikes when the show returned from break. Shirai did the Tiger Feint Kick as they cotinued fighting over the ladder. Yim countered a charge by suplexing Shirai, and Shirai clipped the ladder taking an ugly bump.
Yim was the first to set up the ladder in an attempt to climb it to victory. Yim seconds later was sent crashing into the ladder. Shirai sandwiched her between the ladder. Shirai then brought a second ladder into the match.
Shirai springboarded into a missile dropkick into the ladder that Yim was holding. Yim was busted open, and she bled heavily. The match ground to a halt as referees came into the match to direct traffic while also checking on Yim.
Slightly off-camera, a trainer tended to Yim in the ring. Meanwhile, Shirai slowly set up the ladder and even more slowly she began climbing. Yim rushed in to pull her off the ladder. The Baddie was back. Shirai gave her a suplex off the ladder.
They fought while perched on the turnbuckles, and Yim was shoved off as she tumbled to the floor. Dakota Kai came down to ringside to check on Yim. Just as Kai helped Yim to get back on her feet, Shirai leapt off the middle turnbuckle with a moonsault to the outside.
Shirai was climbing the ladder when Kai jumped into the ring to cut off the climb. Kai gave Shirai a sit-out powerbomb, and then she rolled Yim back into the ring.
NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray suddenly ran in to attack Kai. She sent her crashing into the ring steps. Kay Lee Ray then pushed over the ladder, and Yim took a bump over the ropes onto a ladder bridge. Ray helped Shirai climb the ladder, and Shirai pulled down a briefcase to win the match.
Kay Lee Ray appears to possibly be the unnamed fourth member of the heel women's War Games team. She was celebrating afterwards with Shirai and Bianca Belair when NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler walked on to the stage to take in the scene.
Smackdown Women's Champion Bayley suddenly appeared for a sneak attack on Baszler, and Bayley proceeded to hit her with a chair shot to the back. The show abruptly went off the air with Mauro Ranallo shouting about the ambush.
The theme tonight on NXT was sneak attacks. Everybody is doing them!