Before heading to SmackDown, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott will have a North American Championship defense tonight.
The rivalry between Hit Row and Legado del Fantasma will culminate as Scott defends his North American Championship against Santos Escobar on tonight's NXT. It will be Scott's first title defense since winning the North American Championship from Bronson Reed this June.
In the WWE Draft, Hit Row (Scott, Top Dolla, Ashante "Thee" Adonis & B-Fab) were selected by SmackDown. The post-draft rosters don't officially go into effect until Friday, October 22.
At NXT's Halloween Havoc special episode later this month, Tommaso Ciampa will put his NXT Championship on the line against Bron Breakker. That match will become a triple threat if Joe Gacy defeats Ciampa in their non-title bout tonight.
Kyle O'Reilly & Von Wagner will team up tonight as they face Pete Dunne & Ridge Holland. Holland was also selected by SmackDown in the draft.
Plus, there will be a new edition of Lashing Out with Lash Legend. Diamond Mine's Ivy Nile will also make her in-ring debut.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
North American Champion Isaiah Swerve Scott arrives to the building along with B-Fab and Top Dolla. Scott is wearing headphones, so he is unaware when Legado del Fantasma jumped Hit Row. Santos Escobar attacks Swerve, leaving him laying. B-Fab and Top Dolla were then kidnapped by Legado del Fantasma. I personally haven't hardly ever seen a wrestling show open with a kidnapping.
Joe Gacy, sitting in a chair, cut a promo from the ring. Using a lot of buzzwords like "safe space" and such, he said a lot without really saying anything at all. Calling the fans "snowflakes," he dedicated the match to them before vowing to win. At least that's what I think he meant. The announcers acted as if they had no idea either, so I don't feel too bad being somewhat lost.
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa defeated Joe Gacy in a non-title match
Ciampa pinned Gacy clean.
While the match was decent enough, the first half wasn't all that exciting either. Ciampa is a ring general, but Gacy is able to cut him off several times. Ciampa was fired up after the show returned from a commercial break.
After trading strikes, Gacy gets a near fall. Follows that up by missing a moonsault. Ciampa looked to end it, but Gacy counters him for a roll-up and a two count. Ciampa soon cut off Gacy, and Ciampa delivers a Fairy Tale Ending. Ciampa then covers Gacy for a clean pinfall.
Ciampa was attacked by Harland, who was sitting in the crowd during the match. Gacy was grabbed by the throat, but he stroked the Harland's face, and he let Gacy live. Zero time to digest what just happened, because here comes the Toxic Attraction trio.
Toxic Attraction enters the scene for an in-ring promo. Mandy Rose challenges NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez to a title match at Halloween Havoc. Rose called herself "the baddest bitch in the game." Also, Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne vowed to win the NXT Women's Tag Team Championship. As soon as the trio was done speaking, the theme music hit for the next match.
Xyon Quinn defeated Malik Blade
Quinn pinned Blade in a short match. Nothing bad, but another unexciting match.
It was mostly all Quinn for much of the way, but Blade got to shine just before the finish. Blade delivered a missile dropkick, and he got a near fall after a roll-up. Quinn again used the flying forearm for his finisher, and kind of setting it up like Roman Reigns does the Superman punch.
Ciampa was doing a backstage interview when he was confronted by Grizzled Young Veterans. They looked to bully Ciampa, but Bron Breakker walked in to have Ciampa's back. Breakker says he stands by Ciampa's side until Halloween Havoc because he wants Ciampa at his best in their title match.
Ivy Nile (with Diamond Mine) defeated Valentina Feroz
Nile submitted Feroz in her debut match on NXT.
Not a particularly good match, but Nile looked impressive. She did a lot of power moves, showing off her strength. Nile won with a torture rack where Nile was squatting with Feroz on her shoulders. Feroz tapped out.
Malcolm Bivens cut a promo after the match as Diamond Mind flanked Nile. Bivens called her a pit bull on the loose. Bivens also put over the Creed Brothers, claiming they are the most dominate team in the promotion. Bivens then gave a grand intro to NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong.
Diamond Mine was interrupted by Ikeman Jiro, who is great by the way. The heels cleared the ring, excpet for Julius Creed. He got in Jiro's face and cut a promo on Jiro, so Jiro kneed Creed in the face. The show cut to a commercial break with a tease of a match between the two. Sure enough, they were wrestling in the show returned from the break.
Julius Creed defeated Ikeman Jiro
Creed pinned Jiro after a sliding lariat.
Creed was manhandling Jiro as the match was joined in progress. Jiro made a comeback. He and his suit jacket fired up on Creed. No Place Like Home moonsault by Jiro for a nearfall. Jiro followed up with an Asai moonsault. However, Creed caught him on a springboard. Creed then nailed Jiro with a sliding lariat, and Creed covers him for a pinfall.
Diamond Mine attack Jiro afterwards for a post-match beatdown. Kushida ran down to make a save, except Kushida was also on the receiving end of a beatdown at the hands of Diamond Mine.
A vignette highlighted Raquel Gonzalez, and she cut a promo on Mandy Rose. Gonzalez upped the stakes, challenging Rose to Spin the Wheel and Make the Deal.
Lashing Out with Lash Legend featured talk about the WWE Draft. There was a Squid Game joke. Legend put over Hit Row. Legend also wants nothing to do with Tony D'Angelo.
Kyle O'Reilly & Von Wagner defeated Ridge Holland & Pete Dunne
Wagner pinned Holland in a match that showcased Wagner. He was made to look like a killer. It sort of worked out that way.
Focus was mostly on Wagner and Holland. O'Reilly and Dunne were almost playing second fiddle to the big guys in the match. It pains me to type that last sentence.
Wagner cleaned house before the show cut to a commercial break. Holland is working over O'Reilly when the show is back from the break. Ring is cut in half as the heels keeps O'Reilly from making a tag. O'Reilly is finally able to make it to his corner, but Wagner is not there because Wagner was knocked off the apron.
Hope spot for O'Reilly, but he was soon mowed down by Holland. Wagner made a save. Hot tag to Wagner, and Wagner was a house of fire on Holland. Wagner yelled for O'Reilly to "finish him." So, O'Reilly leapt off the ring apron with a flying knee on Dunne. Wagner with a modified butterfly suplex on Holland, and Wagner covers him for a three count.
In the second kidnapping of the show, Tony D'Angelo apparently put a producer in the trunk of a car because the producer big leagued D'Angelo.
Duke Hudson defeated Grayson Waller
Hudson upset Waller with a handful of tights. Okay match, and the feud will probably continue judging by the finish.
Waller was made to look like a superstar, and he even got an in-set promo where he talking about being a boxer. On the other hand was Hudson, who got no entrance. Hudson was introduced like he was The Gambler on an episode of WCW Worldwide. That made Hudson's win all the more surprising.
Waller delivers a stunner leading into the finish. He tried to follow up with a springboard, but Hudson tripped him up. Hudson then covered Waller, hooked a leg, and held the tights to get the pinfall.
A vignette highlighted Imperium.
Spin the Wheel Make the Deal was made an official stipulation for the Women's title match at Halloween Havoc.
Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta defeated Sarray & Amari Miller
So much for Sarray getting any sort of push as this was a glorified squash match. Pirotta picked up Miller in a fireman's carry, and Miller took a facebuster from there. Hartwell then springboarded into the ring with a flying elbow drop, and Hartwell covered Miller for a pinfall.
Pirotta after the match called out the NXT Women's Tag Team Champions. Out comes the champs, Io Shirai and Zoey Starks. Shirai rants in Japanese, and she doesn't like anyone. Toxic Attraction interrupts them. Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne brawl with the champs, and a melee ensues involving all three teams.The champs cleaned house and stood tall.
Grayson Waller was backstage being a player. Cameron Grimes talked to him, and Waller gave Waller advice on dating women. Waller introduced Grimes to online dating apps. Remember when Grimes was a featured star on NXT? Those were good times.
NXT North American Champion Isaiah "Swerve" Scott defeated Santos Escobar to retain his title
Scott pinned Escobar to retain, but that would not be Scott's last title match before leaving for Smackdown.
In a receipt from earlier in the show, Scott jumped Escobar before the bell. Escobar was on rubber legs as the bout began. He took a powder, but Scott went out after him with a Fosbury Flop over the ropes the floor.
Scott worked over Escobar, and Scott looked in complete control. Escobar eventually countered Scott, and Escobar soon flew through the ropes with a tope before the show cut to a picture-in-picture commercial break.
Tide had turned when the show came back from the break. Escobar was working over Scott. A comeback by Scott led into him firing up. On a roll through, Escobar with another counter cut off Scott. Frog splash by Escobar for a near fall.
They fought on the apron, and Escobar is given a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron. Scott follows up with a 450 splash, but Escobar gets his knees up to block the 450.
Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde run in, and they jump on the apron to cause a distraction. Camerlo Hayes and Trick Williams run down to pull Legado del Fantasma off the apron. Hayes and Williams beat up Mendoza and Wilde. Meanwhile, Escobar hits an exposed turnbuckle, and Scott delivers a JML Driver. Scott then pinned Escobar to retain.
Hayes after the match lifted the hand of Scott, but it was a trap. Hayes leveled Scott with a short-arm clothesline. Hayes is cashing in his Breakout contract.
Carmelo Hayes defeated NXT North American Champion Isaiah "Swerve" Scott to win the title
Hayes quickly springboarded into a flying clothesline. Scott kicked out at two and half. Hayes floored Scott with a scissor kick, and Hayes climbed the turnbuckles. Hayes leapt off the top with a guillotine leg drop, and he covered Scott for a pinfall to win the title.