“Shucky ducky quack quack,” Booker T joins the NXT commentary booth as a result of WWE’s broadcast roster shakeup. While Wade Barrett, now on Smackdown, stated a valid case for being the game’s most underrated commentator during his time in NXT, the effortlessly entertaining two-time WWE Hall of Famer is giving the show some fresh personality. It’s the penultimate episode before Halloween Havoc on October 22, and the white-and-gold brand is rolling.
Bron Breakker vs Javier Bernal
One of two challengers at Halloween Havoc, JD McDonagh, sits at the announce desk for a rare singles television match from the NXT Champion. “Oh, big body Javi” chants foster ironic support for himbo Bernal, but the intense athleticism and finishing slam of Breakker puts it away quickly. McDonagh steps into the ring before the second challenger, Ilja Dragunov, enters the mix. But the former delivers a headbutt and escapes Dragunov’s Torpedo Moskau that instead leaves the champion floored.
Winner: Bron Breakker
A promo package from Alba Fyre recaps the kidnapping of Toxic Attraction that she hasn’t been charged for. Afterwards, the proceeding best-of-three series is highlighted before the break.
Axiom vs Nathan Frazer
In the final match in Axiom and Frazer’s best-of-three series, the winner will advance to the North American Championship ladder match at Halloween Havoc. They’re even in speed and agility, but Axiom gets the upper hand when countering his opponent’s top-rope hurricanrana preceding picture-in-picture. He scores with a top-rope crossbody and fisherman suplex, but Frazer recuperates on the outside. The latter snipes his opponent with a springboard dropkick, Axiom comes back with an armbar, and Frazer reaches the ropes. Axiom delivers a springboard moonsault and counters Frazer’s Falcon Arrow with a sleeper before trading blows to “NXT” chants. A combination of pinfall attempts later, Frazer picks up the hard-earned victory in an incredible matchup to advance to Halloween Havoc.
Winner: Nathan Frazer
Ilja Dragunov is interviewed in the parking lot before Grayson Waller runs in. He’s wearing thick sunglasses to cover what Apollo Crews did to his eyeballs, but his trash talk encourages Dragunov to stick around.
Sanga will be in Valentina Feroz’ corner for her upcoming matchup. But will the wholesome giant shtick continue with Veer Mahaan’s presence?
Crews’ mysterious vignette narrates a lot of nothingness, and his superpower visions feature the corporate synergy of Chucky ahead of his match with Grayson Waller at Halloween Havoc.
Valentina Feroz vs Indi Hartwell
Hartwell is the Meg Griffin of The Way family as brother, mother, father, and husband are thriving on Monday Night Raw. Veer Mahaan eventually persuades Sanga to leave ringside, and meanwhile the match plays to crickets. Hartwell pulls out a top-rope superplex that actually gains the victory like Bob Orton Jr.
Winner: Indi Hartwell
Speaking of cowboys, the NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly appear on the ringside podium in a giant cowboy hat and drinking hat in preparation for the next match while mocking Americans like it’s still 1776.
Cora Jade is interviewed backstage, talking about the “pick your poison” stipulation for her and Roxanne Perez. McKenzie Mitchell reveals that Perez is going to Smackdown on Friday with a lot of potential opponents to choose from. “Do you happen to have Ronda’s number?” Jade asks in desperation.
Edris Enofe and Malik Blade vs The Dyad vs Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs
The winners face Pretty Deadly, who are watching from above, for the NXT Tag Team Championships. “(The champs) say their royal attire last week was based off of who they believe is the greatest King of the Ring of all time… Wade Barett,” Vic Joseph tells King Booker. All three teams trade bursts of offense, but Jensen wipes out the field with a senton before break. Second-rate spooky dudes Rip Fowler and Jagger Reed gain control with Joe Gacy in their corner, but Jensen again takes over with a Tower of Doom as Briggs makes the comeback; “It’s the year of the big man,” Booker T reiterates again. A chain of strikes ends with a double-team from Enofe and Blade, who hit consecutive outside dives before Gacy clotheslines the former. In comes Cameron Grimes with a beautiful Cave In on Gacy, ultimately costing The Dyad as Enofe cinches a roll-up for three.
Winners: Edris Enofe and Malik Blade
Toxic Attraction are no longer held captive by Alba Fyre, and Jacy Jayne is interviewed about her match against her assaulter while having a surprise in store. Afterwards, in the office of accountant Kiana James, she looks into the acquisition of Chase University.
Alba Fyre vs Jacy Jayne
Vic Joseph shows gratitude for not having Wade Barrett around to drool over Toxic Attraction anymore, but Booker T is evidently one in the same. Jayne gains control with Gigi Dolin by her side, who helps her escape a top-rope maneuver, but Fyre delivers the Gory Bomb for the pinfall victory.
Winner: Alba Fyre
Fyre celebrates her victory, but a hooded figure in the crowd attacks her. It’s revealed to be Sonya Deville, who works alongside Toxic Attraction to powerbomb Fyre through the announce table.
The Schism takes out a poor cameraman in the parking lot, and Joe Gacy talks directly into the lens: he demands a three-on-one match against Cameron Grimes, who he claims has nobody on his side. The Schism, in one segment, have now subjected themselves to, not one but, two 2013 faction comparisons.
A promo package highlights the rise of the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship challengers in Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons. Hank Walker, Quincy Elliot, and the security team are watching on the monitors, and the former gives his partner a butt smack: “Now that’s chemistry,” a security guard says.
Wes Lee vs Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo
Lorenzo attempts to avenge the fallen don Tony D’Angelo after Wes Lee took his knee out. Lee makes a fiery comeback, but his own knee gives out in an act of bad karma perhaps. However, he pulls out a Spiral Tap to gain the victory before Trick Williams jumps him from behind. In comes Carmelo Hayes – “that’s that boy right there,” says Booker T, who places him in his “fave five,” and Oro Mensah evens the odds.
Winner: Wes Lee
Sonya Deville, Jacy Jayne, and Gigi Dolin are interviewed in the Toxic Lounge. Deville says Mandy Rose is still her best friend and threatens that Alba Fyre might not make it to Halloween Havoc.
Ivy Nile wheels out Roderick Strong in a neck brace and hospital gown to meet the Creed Brothers in a waiting room. “Damon (Kemp’s) gonna pay for what he did to you, Roddy. At Halloween Havoc, Julius is gonna be the one to put him in an ambulance,” says Brutus Creed. Strong finally gives his apologies and regroups with his teammates: “It’s Diamond Mine forever!”
Kiana James vs Thea Hail
Chase University representative Hail is backed by Bodhi Hayward and Andre Chase himself, but Mr. Stone comes into the ring with a microphone. He complains about Hail bodyslamming him last week, attempts to attack her, but falls victim to a back body drop. Meanwhile, James takes advantage of the shenanigans to gain the pinfall victory.
Winner: Kiana James
On crutches, Tony D’Angelo scolds a defeated “Stacks” and hints at next week’s consequence of an opponent: “Listen, I love you kid. But you’ll know when his music hits, alright?”
Mr. Stone clutches his back in the back, and Von Wagner demands that his advocate is locked in for his match at Halloween Havoc. Meanwhile, Cameron Grimes admits that he can’t trust anyone in NXT, “but that doesn’t count all of the WWE!” Cora Jade steps in, upping Roxanne Perez’ ante as Rhea Ripley invites her to RAW.
Ilja Dragunov vs Grayson Waller
“This is wrestling” chants accompany some basic back-and-forth until Waller breaks away with a cheapshot, mocking Booker T to loud jeers before picture-in-picture. Commentary compares Waller to The Miz, much like any loudmouth these days, but Waller is so much more authentic (put your stock into him before he skyrockets!). Dragunov fights back with gunshot-like blows, but Waller recuperates with a signature springboard elbow. The former hits a lariat, and Waller cinches a sleeper, but ringside, the Halloween Havoc wheel magically starts spinning. This allows Dragunov to hit two Germans and the Torpedo Moskau for victory, although the continued Apollo Crews superhero hoopla took the wind out of the sails.
Winner: Ilja Dragunov
Bron Breakker absolutely obliterates Dragunov with a spear, and in the distance, the sinister stare of JD McDonagh closes out the show.
The Apollo Crews superhero gimmick is so painfully bad and phony that he’s in a worse position than he was before coming back down to NXT. Otherwise, tonight was an enjoyable show with engaging action, and Booker T really gave it some extra oomph. NXT has a considerably talented roster – it’s just about letting them show it.