Find out everything that happened on Wednesday’s episode of WWE NXT.
Previously on WWE NXT, new NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura addressed the NXT Universe. He said he’s still sore from his battle with Samoa Joe in Brooklyn, but he fought the pain to become champion. How will his reign proceed from here.
Elsewhere, NXT returned to its roots, in a way, with several matches that screamed “WE’RE DEVELOPMENTAL” at the top of its lungs. First, a pair of former Marines battled it out, with Steve Cutler earning the victory over Kenneth Crawford.
On the women’s side of things, pride of New Jersey Liv Morgan got her first victory in NXT, defeating Aliyah in a match that showed more green than a Bob Ross painting of happy little trees. Both ladies will be fine if given the time to grow, and NXT showcasing that growth is for the best in the long run.
We also got to see No Way Jose return to his winning ways over Angelo Dawkins, and Tye Dillinger stayed hot with a win over Buddy Murphy. And Tommaso Ciampa tried to stand up to The Revival by himself, but it was ill-advised. A two-on-one assault left Ciampa in a bad way, though he refused to quit until hit with a Shatter Machine by Dash and Dawson.
What does this week’s episode of NXT have in store for us? Asuka’s return following TakeOver: Brooklyn has been advertised. What will the NXT Women’s Champion have to say to everyone?
And tonight’s main event has been announced. Nakamura will take on Steve Cutler in a non-title match. Cutler picked up a victory last week, but will that momentum carry over to a match with The King of Strong Style?
Please continue reading to find out everything that happened on Wednesday’s episode of WWE NXT.
TM61 (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller) vs. Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari
Result: TM61 defeated Tony Nese & Aryia Daivari via pinfall
Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars
TM61 had the best shot at defeating the Authors of Pain we’ve seen yet, but they fell short. Tonight they look to get back on track as they take on Nese and Daivari, a pair of competitors from the Cruiserweight Classic.
Bryan’s Thoughts: Brief editorial to get things started: I am 100% unapologetic in being a big mark for Tony Nese. I’ve been a fan of his for a while (LONG ISLAND REPRESENT), and I was thrilled when he was chosen for the CWC. Seeing him in a match on NXT is kind of surreal. He’s the perfect competitor for Raw’s cruiserweight division, with tremendous speed and the exact physique that spawned a million Vince McMahon memes. Hopefully he gets signed.
The match here was much more of a showcase for Nese and Daivari than one would expect. They had great chemistry despite never teaming together (to my knowledge). TM61 spent most of the bout on the receiving end of punishment. By extension, this was also a great opportunity to display the talents of the cruiserweights ahead of next week’s CWC finale.
Following a brutal encounter against The Authors of Pain, perhaps Miller and Thorne were still feeling the effects. It would be one plausible explanation for the disparity of offense. The “experience” factor for TM61 was the deciding factor, as they withstood to earn a hard fought victory. Great opener for the episode.
Asuka says she was excited at Brooklyn because the crowd was crazy. She said respects Bayley, who was the heart of NXT. Bayley fought hard, but Asuka fought harder.
Phillips runs down the competition Asuka has faced in NXT, like Nia Jax, Carmella, Alexa Bliss and others gone up to Raw and SmackDown. Asuka says they should be glad that they no longer have to face her.
Tom mentions that NXT’s two singles champions are from Japan – Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura. When asked how important it is to represent one’s country, Asuka says it’s very important. She then speaks to her fans in Japan.
Tom’s final question is if she thinks anyone is ready to challenge her for the NXT Women’s Championship. Asuka answers first in Japanese, then catches herself and says no one is ready.
Bryan’s Thoughts: I hate to say it, but Asuka needs subtitles. It took me a couple of runs through this interview to make sure I had her points correct, and I’m still not totally sure I have them all. It’s a small gripe, because it’s clear that she’s alone at the top of the division. The one-on-one interview time is good for her “becoming Raw/SmackDown-ready” development, so overall it works.
Steve Cutler Backstage
Cutler wants to know what Nakamura has sacrificed to get to where he is. But Cutler knows that he himself has sacrificed, giving four years of his life to the Marine Corps. Cutler doesn’t care if people like him or hate him, but they have no choice but to respect him.
Moon had a successful NXT debut at TakeOver: Brooklyn, defeating Billie Kaye with relative ease in her introduction to the NXT Universe. Tonight she looks to go 2 for 2 by taking on Von, a newcomer to NXT herself.
Bryan’s Thoughts: This one was all Moon, as it should be. She’s the new kid on the block, and needs every opportunity early on to connect with crowds.
I’ll reiterate what’s been said by many since Brooklyn: Ember Moon has the greatest finishing maneuver in professional wrestling. It hasn’t been officially named on NXT, but I’m sure it won’t be the “O-Face” like it was for the pre-NXT Moon. Corey Graves said that Moon “eclipsed” Von tonight. I’d be okay with the move being dubbed “The Eclipse.”
I don’t think the juxtaposition of an Ember Moon match immediately following a sit-down interview with Asuka is lost on anyone. Especially with said interview ending with the NXT Women’s Champion mentioning that no one is ready to challenge her yet. Stay tuned, folks.
Jose admits that Bobby Roode had nice clothes, but is a little put off by the way Roode disrespected him last week. He says Roode isn’t the first to put him down, and he won’t be the last. But he won’t stop being who he is. He won’t change anything – even wearing all white after Labor Day. It was later announced that Jose and Roode would face each other next week.
Result: Austin Aries defeated Andrade “Cien” Almas via submission
Rating: 2.4 out of 5 stars
Almas is coming off a tough loss at TakeOver: Brooklyn to Bobby Roode. Aries, on the other hand, defeated No Way Jose on the same show. Aries is, however, nursing a ruptured eardrum at the hands of Hideo Itami.
Aries made a concerted effort to avoid Almas, who spent the match in pursuit. A double flip moonsault earned Almas a two count.
The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived proved the moniker tonight, however. Almas went for a springboard rana, but Aries reversed into a powerbomb. A seamless transition into a Last Chancery led to a submission victory for Aries.
Bryan’s Thoughts: It’s an incredibly bad sign when the plucky, exciting luchadore is getting booed in a match against the smarmy, weasel of a bad guy. But such is life for Andrade Almas. Aries got his fair share of cheers, though I suspect that’s more the smarks in Full Sail who can’t stand Almas.
The match itself was perfectly fine. Nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary, just fine. Hopefully, this is the impetus for a repackage of Almas, who desperately needs something new to do.
Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa Backstage
Ciampa is being looked at by the trainer. Gargano asks about his ribs, and Ciampa questions Gargano’s knee. Both men say they’re fine. Gargano reveals the duo will have a tag match at the live finale of the Cruiserweight Classic, as per William Regal. Ciampa wants another shot at The Revival, and the two vow to put on a show next week to earn that.
Result: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Steve Cutler via pinfall
Rating: 2.2 out of 5 stars
I guess a single victory is enough to get you a match against the new champion? Cutler beat Kenneth Crawford a week ago, and now he goes up against Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match. Oh, former champion Samoa Joe is on commentary for this one. Not that anything will come of that, I’m sure.
Bryan’s Thoughts: After Brooklyn, I don’t think I can watch a KINSHASAAAAAAAAAA without cringing and praying that no one breaks a jaw. Nakamura is great, but I am consistently terrified of his matches ending now.
And, hey, Cutler was okay here. I mean, his only job was to take a convincing beating, and mission accomplished, so that’s a plus. His quick barrage of offense in the corner looked impressive, too. Granted, it was my least favorite match of the night, but it was basically a squash, so it’s no big deal.
In a shocker, Samoa Joe on commentary was relatively uneventful. I’m guessing his medical condition doesn’t allow for physicality at the moment. His commentary itself was almost wistful – like he was fondly remembering better days. He freely admits that Nakamura was the better man in Brooklyn, which is a little surprising. The eventual rematch is going to be a tremendous bout.