NXT recap & reactions (Nov. 2, 2021): Leaders of the new school

Cheap trick

New school vs. old school was the theme of the evening. The young cats mark themselves after Halloween chaos, are not afraid of NXT’s legends. How else can you explain that Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams interrupt Tommaso Ciampa without fear? While Ciampa wanted to take a victory lap and tell all his doubters about eating crows, Hayes and Williams had their own message to deliver. After telling the NXT champion that Hayes is the rainbow brand champion and a new day is approaching, Ciampa walks out of the ring for a brief interaction with his old friend, Johnny Gargano, who happened to be on his way to the ring for tonight’s main event. And that was the segue I needed.

Hayes x Williams wanted revenge on Dexter Lumis x Gargano for last week’s haunted house harassment. And they dominated for the most part. Lumis and Gargano got a couple of spots in, and it was adorable when they both put on slasher gloves to do psychoting, but the young boys were always one step ahead of them. The end of the match kept that tale alive as Hayes clocked Lumis with his shoe as the referee was distracted.

Trick x Melo wins, allowing Melo to support his claim to be “the leader of the new school.”

Ciampa, even as he dripped with sarcasm, was right in one thing: Halloween chaos was a shift change in NXT. Trick x Melo, interrupted Ciampa and hit a legitimate psychopath in the head with a shoe, two things that were unthinkable many months ago.

Times are changing.


Extra courses

The master is here

Mandy Rose, NXT’s new women’s champion, took the lead this week. Her promo was both “told ya so” and prediction as she rejoiced in her victory, Toxic Attractions dominance, and promised it would not stop. While the further established Mandy, ahem, 2.0, set it up for her beef with Io Sharai. Their back and forth, if one can do it all, established a theme for the night: the new school is not afraid of the old school. Mandy-sucker hit Io to advance her point, leading to a full-on-Toxic Attraction attack. Gigi Dolin, Jacy Jayne x Mandy were chased off when Kayden Carter x Kacy Catanzaro made it to a fair fight. I’m curious to see how this plays out and like the players involved.

Surring w / D’Angelo

Finally got an answer as to why Tony D’Angelo wanted to be on the Lash Legends talk show. Apparently he just wanted to call some names. Dexter Lumis, Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne and even the champion himself, Tommaso Ciampa. Not sure he needed to go to the talk show to do that, since everyone on NXT can take a microphone whenever they want and push. So what exactly was the point? They still need to figure out the right way to use Lash’s venue.

Dakota dominates

Dakota Kai confirmed himself this week. She not only needed the victory; she was to speak. In wrestling, it often means doing something vicious and cruel to his opponent, so that’s what Kai thought of doing to a beaten and defenseless Cora Jade after winning their match. Something prevented her from going all in with her attack, and I do not know why. But it feels like a beginning and not an end.

No one puts Xyon in a corner

Robert Stone wanted trouble with Xyon because of an embarrassment last week. Stone challenged Quinn to a dance competition, and Quinn even came down to “Sexy Boy,” which I did not see coming, even though I had bifocals. Of course, Stone got too big for his little shorts and threw and interrupted the big man’s dance with one blow. Big mistake. You know what happened from there. This led to a brief interaction between Quinn and Legado del Fantasma that can bear fruit. Consider me a sports entertainer.

LDF 4 Life

Kyle O’Reilly x Von Wagner got into it with the boys from Legado del Fantasma on Twitter recently. So you know, that means a fight should happen. It was a solid affair designed to make Von Wagner look animalistic and give LDF – shouts to LWO – some much-needed momentum. By hook or crook, the latter was achieved when LDF got the pin with a handful of rope.

LA Knight is an idiot

Boa x Grayson Waller got it with the LA Knight ringside for offering “impartial” comments. It was all based on Knight interrupting, and that was probably what he did. Not thrilled with Knight and Waller. Actually not excited about anything Knight is doing in NXT 2.0 right now because he does not fit and should be Monday or Friday.

FU, Chase

Bron Breakker broke the rating curve this week. Andre Chase, upset people, called him “scared” after he ran out of the haunted house last week. You know, like scared people. He called out to the locker room and Bron answered. After doing a quick job with the dean of Chase U, Bron gave his respect to Tommaso Ciampa. But promise to get that belt sooner rather than later.

Solo Act

Solo Sikoa – do not call him Uso – made his actual debut this week. Sikoa turned Jeet Rama into minced meat. The boy moves like his brothers and even uses the same concluding move. It served its purpose.

Poker stinks

No, that’s not my opinion on poker, but it’s my opinion on this segment. Duke Hudson’s poker match with Cameron Grimes was one thing for several moments this week. And it was all based on Grimes housing Hudson, getting a perfect moment to use his slogan and an angry smoldering look from Hudson. I’m not sports entertained.

Empire loves the ladies

NXT does an interesting dance where they present Toxic Attraction as a force, but make sure we remember that men are attracted to them. This week, it was the Empire’s turn to stare when Gigi and Jacy interrupted their backstage interview. Empire was not outraged, but commented that while the mat must remain clean, America has its benefits. Someone signals the high hat and drum. It’s not because I do not like it as much as I think it’s unnecessary.


Shocker, but NXT delivered a good show. Not a great show, not a show packed with “wow” moments, but just solid wrestling and solid storytelling. We even almost found out what MSK means but alas, it will have to wait until another day. Not everything worked and the brand is still finding its foothold. But things get less slippery with each passing week.

Grade: B

That’s my character, and I’m sticking to it. Your trip.

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