WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from October 21
The October 21 edition of WWE NXT had a promising foundation as a lead-in edition for NXT Halloween Havoc.
No match on the card was bigger than the NXT Tag Team Championships clash between Breezango and Undisputed Era. Tyler Breeze and Fandango have wanted to prove themselves against the best, and few are better than Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish.
After ruining their match, Velveteen Dream was set to face the wrath of both Kushida and Tommaso Ciampa. These two dangerous men had a score to settle, knowing a win would push them toward NXT Championship contention.
Legado del Fantasma has walked around NXT and 205 Live with pure arrogance, and only Isaiah "Swerve" Scott has been able to step up to them. That was until this week when Jake Atlas and Ashante "Thee" Adonis joined him in a six-man tag to fight Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde.
The black-and-gold brand also had plenty of work to do building toward next week. This was a night to watch as NXT promised huge matches and hinted at bigger stories to come.
Kushida vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream
Tommaso Ciampa isolated Kushida early, but Velveteen Dream slowed down their physical offense.
The Japanese Superstar forced Dream to tap out on the outside, but the win could only come inside the ring.
Kushida ran over both men in a flurry, but Ciampa stopped him with Willow's Bell. Dream knocked out Ciampa with his cast, before Kushida took the win off a German suplex to The Blackheart.
Kushida def. Ciampa and Dream by pinfall.
This was an action-packed match in which all three men brought their A-games. While the pacing was uneven, the action was mesmerizing at its best. Ciampa vs. Kushida needs to happen again sooner rather than later as they have electric chemistry.
In the end, the right man won. Kushida is building momentum with each match. Defeating Ciampa should make him a front-runner to challenge for the NXT Championship soon, but he's likely not done with Dream yet.
Ember Moon vs. Jessi Kamea
With Adam Cole on video, Undisputed Era explained backstage why Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish would defeat Breezango. A video package was shown selling Rhea Ripley vs. Ember Moon.
The War Goddess then showed a technical focus that was a complete change from her past work. She made an example out of Jessi Kamea, putting on a submission clinic that ended with a leg-trap crossface.
Afterward, Dakota Kai attacked Moon to show she would not be used as a stepping stone.
Moon def. Kamea by submission.
While an enhancement match is never going to be too exciting, it was interesting to see Moon take a new approach. She had a few unique submission options. Hopefully, this will keep her from injuring herself too bad with high-flying offense.
Moon vs. Kai is a great pairing. The War Goddess can test The Captain of Team Kick in the ring while elevating both of their standings in NXT. This keeps them relevant outside the title scene.
Austin Theory vs. Bronson Reed
Austin Theory showed his arrogance early when he thought he had the edge against Bronson Reed.
The Aus-zilla dominated the 23-year-old Superstar, knocking him off the top rope then hitting the Tsunami.
Afterward, Theory demanded a rematch, sure he was too good to lose twice. Reed caught him with a Samoan drop and won in seconds.
Theory left NXT early afterward, saying he was done with WWE.
Reed def. Theory by pinfall twice.
While Reed is certainly the star in this pairing of Superstars, it was unusual to squash Theory like this. He was embarrassed to the point that it needs to lead to a story. For the moment, this just makes the young Superstar look terrible.
The match was nothing to write home about, either. Theory and Reed have much better in them, but the time they got only led to a complete squash.
Hopefully, something will happen with Theory after this. A manager may be good for him, similar to Andrade's pairing with Zelina Vega.
Legado Del Fantasma vs. Isaiah 'Swerve' Scott
Jake Atlas got the action moving quickly in this fight, and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott and Ashante "Thee" Adonis followed suit.
However, Legado del Fantasma showed off why they have become such an effective team. They stayed one step ahead at all times.
Santos Escobar hit a suicide dive on Swerve before Atlas took out the NXT cruiserweight champion. This left Adonis alone to take a double-team Russian leg sweep/leg lariat finish from Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza to take the win.
In a video promo, Johnny Gargano was angered by the random nature of a wheel deciding his match for Halloween Havoc.
Legado del Fantasma def. Swerve, Adonis and Atlas by pinfall.
While this six-man tag did its job, it continues the trend of Legado del Fantasma holding too much power to ever look vulnerable. This was always in sight clearly as a win for the heels. There was no true drama throughout the contest.
Swerve is still immensely talented, but hopefully this leads to others getting a shot at Escobar. Atlas vs. Escobar is a match that should be given a serious spotlight.
Drake Maverick and Killian Dain vs. Ever-Rise
Ever-Rise taunted Drake Maverick right from the start, and it set something off in him. After they told him Killian Dain was his only friend, he battered them with a steel chair to cause the disqualification.
Maverick finally cooled down, and The Beast of Belfast congratulated him after being impressed with his fire.
Ever-Rise def. Dain and Maverick by disqualification.
This wasn't much of a match, but the story was great. Maverick finally got through to Dain by allowing his emotions to boil over. The two have found their chemistry, and NXT has done a wonderful job building them up to greater challenges.
Ever-Rise may only be the well-established jobber tag team of the brand, but they have done a great job working as foils to Maverick and Dain. Chase Parker and Matt Martel have found their role as loudmouth jobbers.
Xia Li vs. Kacy Catanzaro
Xia Li fought with mad focus in this contest, but Kacy Catanzaro was a little too fast for the Chinese Superstar. She caught Li with a surprise roll-up for a quick victory.
Li lost it after the match. She attacked both Catanzaro and Kayden Carter. Raquel Gonzalez arrived and destroyed everyone. She called out Rhea Ripley, promising to be "la diabla" of her nightmares.
Backstage, Cameron Grimes wasn't happy to hear he was fighting Dexter Lumis in a Haunted House of Terror match at Halloween Havoc.
Catanzaro def. Li by pinfall.
Li vs. Catanzaro was as uneven as one would expect of a match between two women still finding their footing in the ring. Even with limited time, they struggled to get anything going. Li's story of desperation is growing, though.
It felt wrong for Gonzalez to take away Li's moment. Her heel turn should have been allowed to rest on its own. Instead, the heavyweight of the women's division came in to make her statement, even though her story with Ripley is already set.
Thatch-as-Thatch-Can: Timothy Thatcher vs. Anthony Greene
Timothy Thatcher tried to show off the importance of proper leverage on a variety of technical submissions.
His student, Anthony Greene—whom he only called "Andrew"—got too physical with him, and Thatcher demanded a match. He caught his protege in a half crab for the quick decisive submission.
A pre-taped interview was shown for Damian Priest, who was not afraid to fight Johnny Gargano again in any match.
Thatcher def. Anthony Greene by submission.
This was a natural way to give Thatcher a victory that did not feel like a squash. He continued his Thatch-as-Thatch-Can school of wrestling and showed a wannabe tough student what it means to step up to him.
It would be nice to see the technical wrestler get back into serious action soon, though. He needs some wins against major opponents, but he can keep relevant with his school until the right rival comes along.
NXT Tag Team Championships: Breezango vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
Bobby Fish was hurt backstage, and Roderick Strong and Kyle O'Reilly helped him to the medical staff.
Strong was then also found laid out. O'Reilly refused to wrestle on behalf of either and chose Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch to face the NXT tag team champions instead.
The physical style of the brawlers was tough for Fandango and Tyler Breeze to match. However, Breezango persevered. Prince Pretty managed to injure the left leg of Burch to give himself an opening.
Burch slowed as a result, while Breezango found a second wind. Someone attacked Fandango from behind, and as the referee was trying to find the attacker, Burch caught Breeze with a low blow uppercut to set up the win.
The mystery man held up the hands of the new NXT tag team champions. Pat McAfee revealed he was the mystery man and mocked the crowd.
Lorcan and Burch def. Breezango by pinfall to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
While the match was good, the ending was a true shocker that changed the complexion of NXT. McAfee helping Lorcan and Burch steal the NXT Tag Team Championships after likely working with them to take out Undisputed Era was an incredible twist.
McAfee is the perfect heel to help Lorcan and Burch take the next step. They are physical and intense, but they are not great promos. This group could be especially formidable. This is likely a pivot after the injury of Ridge Holland, but it definitely makes the tag team division more interesting.