Three title matches will be taking place on tonight's episode of NXT.
Johnny Gargano has vowed to break his title defense curse and successfully defend the NXT North American Championship tonight. Gargano promised to face a "worthy opponent" that will be determined by the Wheel of Challengers.
The NXT Tag Team titles will be on the line as Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch defend against Breezango. Breezango are getting their rematch for the titles after losing them to Lorcan & Burch three weeks ago. Lorcan & Burch aligned with Pat McAfee and got help from him to win the titles. McAfee, Lorcan, Burch & Pete Dunne are now calling themselves the Kings of NXT.
Santos Escobar defends his NXT Cruiserweight Championship against Jak
e Atlas. Atlas has been out for vengeance against Legado del Fantasma since Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde cost him a non-title match against Escobar two weeks ago.
After Candice LeRae got involved in her match last week, Toni Storm will face LeRae tonight. Storm defeated Shotzi Blackheart last Wednesday after Blackheart was distracted by LeRae appearing on the video screen. LeRae then destroyed Blackheart's tank.
Plus, Raquel Gonzalez vs. Xia Li is set for tonight's show. Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The show opened with a Veteran’s Day video.
Gargano opened the show in the ring. He revealed a wheel of challengers, telling people in the crowd to “respect the wheel”. He admitted that the first time he won and defended the title, he lost. But then he became NXT Champion. He eventually spun the wheel and somehow, it landed on a spot with “Leon Ruff” written hastily on white paper. And thus, the match began.
Leon Ruff defeated Johnny Gargano to win the NXT North American title
This was kind of a squash match (until the finish) but Ruff looked good in the spots he was given. This was far more about Damien Priest and Gargano.
Gargano dominated early, chopping Ruff in the corner. Ruff avoided a charge, switched positions around the turnbuckles and dropped Gargano with a dropkick. Gargano regained heat by throwing Ruff off the apron into the steel steps.
Gargano continued the assault outside the ring, throwing Ruff into the cage containing the crowd nearby. Damien Priest then appeared. Gargano initially mocked Priest, but when Priest emerged outside of the cage area, Gargano re-entered the ring.
Ruff tried to gain on this by rolling up Gargano, but Gargano kicked out. Gargano instead lawn-darted Ruff in the corner. He mocked Priest long enough for Ruff to counter with a crucifix bomb to pin Gargano and in the title. Yes, Leon Ruff has won the title.
Gargano was stunned by this development, to say the least. Ruff put the championship around his waist to celebrate, but as the referee held his hand up, the belt fell down, as you see, he’s very skinny.
Leon Ruff was being interviewed when Damien Priest came up to him and told him to take the black Challenger outside. Ruff exited as Gargano came in pissed and had to be restrained. Gargano acted like he never came up with the wheel stipulation in the first place.
In a WWE Network exclusive, Jake Atlas said he was tired of the numbers game. He got out of his car and attacked Legando del Fantasma with a pipe.
Santos Escobar defeated Jake Atlas to retain the NXT Cruiserweight title
This was perfectly fine, but nothing overwhelmingly great. A really good TV title match. There were a lot of things I liked about Atlas that seem lost in translation when going into the WWE Universe, and I will leave it at that.
Escobar controlled early. Atlas made a comeback. One of Legando del Fantasma tried to use the crowbar while Atlas was on the apron, but Atlas fended off both men. He got a nearfall with a springboard blockbuster.
Back from commercial, Escobar was back on offense as Legado del Fantasma tripped up Atlas during the break, and were thrown out. Escobar propped up Atlas and hit a hurricanrana off the top rope, followed by a frog splash. Atlas made a comeback, hitting a hurricanrana of his own. Escaobar, however, got heat back after pushing Atlas off the top rope and into the announcer’s table ringside. Escobar then threw Atlas into the steel steps.
Atlas came back with a dive, then followed in the ring with a rollup for a near fall. Escobar dropped Atlas into the middle rope then cut him off with a superkick. Atlas came back and tried for the cartwheel DDT, but Santos blocked it, double hooked the arms and drove Atlas face first into his knee, pinning Atlas to retain the championship.
Dexter Lumis was shown completing a drawing of Cameron Grimes running away from a zombie referee while Raquel Gonzalez was walking to the ring.
A video package was shown of Candice LeRae destroying Shotzi Blackheart’s tank. Blackheart said she wasn’t looking for payback or revenge, she was looking to kick Candice’s ass.
Gonzalez came out to the ring, but when it was time for Xia Li to come out, Boa arrived instead. Boa told Gonzalez that Li would not be able to wrestle her. Gonzalez was pissed and kicked Boa straight up in the temple. She threw him around ringside before throwing him back into the ring and delivering a big boot and a one-armed powerbomb.
The lights then went out and an image of a Chinese dragon appeared. An old guy came to the ring and delivered Boa a note. He then put black marking on his hand before leaving. Boa sold his hand like the marking had some sort of power on him.
August Grey was about to explain why he confronted Timothy Thatcher last week when Thatcher jumped him and applied a front facelock. He then threw Grey into Lumis’ drawing. Lumis stared at him.
Candice LeRae defeated Toni Storm
This was one of the better matches of the night. There was some good wrestling, save for the cheap finish.
Things started off with some chain wrestling. Storm held on and applied an armbar. Storm continued to build up momentum until she went for a running hip toss, but instead went into the steel steps, giving an opening to LeRae.
Back from break, Storm cut off LeRae as both tried to recover. Storm hit a fisherman’s suplex, She went to the top rope, but LeRae met her there and went for a twisting neckbreaker, but didn’t catch her. Storm countered with a legdrop off the top rope, but LeRae dodged. LeRae tripped Storm into the turnbuckle then rolled her up, pinning her using the ropes for leverage.
Storm attacked LeRae after the match when the Scream person came out and helped her assault Storm. Blackheart came out to even the odds, but the Scream person laid her out with a kick. The Scream person then took off the Scream mask, revealing....Indi Hartwell. Hartwell and LeRae posed in the ring, cementing her alliance.
Breezango said it would not be fun Breezango coming out. Breeze promised they would regain the titles.
Timothy Thatcher defeated Dexter Lumis
This was fine. I was expecting a lot worse, but it was just your typical WWE TV match.
Lumis immediately took down Thatcher with a Thesz press as Thatcher recovered on the outside. Lumis gained control, putting Thatcher in a submission. He then laid out Thatcher with a spinebuster, but favored his arm after. He hit a dropkick and sent Thatcher to the floor. Thatcher regained control outside of the ring, but Lumis started to make a comeback until Thatcher shoved Lumis bad arm first into the post.
Back from commercial, Lumis cut off Thatcher and went to the top rope slowly. Thatcher cut him off with a European uppercut, but Lumis shoved him off and hit a swanton bomb. Thatcher shoved Lumis into Cameron Grimes, who was on the apron, then rolled him up for the win.
Grimes jumped Lumis after the match, but Lumis rose and stared down Grimes. He went for the attack, but Grimes cut him off and choked him with a burlap sack. He then connected with a knee into the corner. Lumis tried to fight back with a chair, but ended up sitting in it as Grimes laid him out with a double foot stomp. Grimes told Lumis that he wasn’t scared of him.
Gargano told William Regal he had calmed down and wanted to reverse the results. Regal told him no. Gargano was mad and said it was a goof, a joke. Regal said the decision stood and Leon Ruff is the new North American champion. Gargano didn’t like hearing that.
Ciampa promo. He mentioned that he has been in this business for 16 years and remembers being trained by the likes of Harley Race and Killer Kowalski. He said times have certainly changed, and everyone is talking. Bark enough and people begin to feel to their bite. He never thought he would be the last of a dying breed, but this culture, the 2020 locker room culture, is going to change. Ciampa is that change.
They aired a Prime Target segment covering the rivalry between Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley. That match will take place next week.
Pat McAfee. Pete Dunne, Danny Burch, and Oney Lorcan came out. McAfree put over Pete Dunne attacking Roderick Strong and Killian Dain. He talked about getting text messages from Tom Brady and others as he headed to Florida, thinking about what he was going to say. He buried the announce team and finished the promo by saying “let’s do this”. He's really great in this role.
Cameron Grimes was elated about laying out Dexter Lumis. He said he was afraid of him, but then he covered him up Lumis’ creepy eyes. He said he was going somewhere where he’s gotta be, very happy about his actions.
NXT Champion Finn Balor, who has been out with an injured jaw, will appear on next week’s show.
Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan defeated Breezango to retain the NXT Tag Team titles
Good main event. The McAfee stable act immediately has some good main event level presence. After months of feeling forgotten, the tag team division in NXT seems to be shaping up.
Burch and Lorcan immediately started by taking Breezango outside of the ring to the floor. Fandango manages to get the upper hand on Burch as he tagged in Breeze. He hit a snap suplex and tagged in Lorcan, who was taken to the corner and worked over by Breezango. Burch was thrown into McAfee, who was at the announcer’s table, as they headed to the break.
Burch worked over Breeze while commercials ran. McAfee was at ringside as Breezango regained control. Fandango went for a sunset flip powerbomb on Lorcan, but when McAfee tried to catch the referee’s attention, Drake Maverick came in and laid out Lorcan, letting Fandango hit the top rope leg drop for a nearfall.
Dunne came in and sent McAfee into the ring so he could send Breeze off the apron. Burch it tagged in, which Fandango didn’t see. Burch headbutted Fandango, allowing him to be set up for an elevated DDT, giving the win to the champions.
Everyone came in to celebrate, but Drake Maverick came in for the attack. He was quickly cut off as Dunne lifted him up and slammed him on the announcer’s table. Breezango came in for the save, but were both cut off. They set it up so McAfee could connect with a running knee into the face of Breeze, who was propped up on the announcers table. The show ended with McAfee adjusting the camera to show what was left of Breezango and Maverick.