NXT is heading straight into action, so let’s hold the jokes for now.

Tiffany Stratton vs. Kiana James (NXT Women’s Championship Match)

Heel vs. Heel is even worse than a face vs. face match. Crowd doesn’t know who to cheer for and doesn’t really want to praise either.

Exchange of pinfalls and submission attempts goes nowhere. James fires up and more pin attempts, particularly by Stratton.

Stratton goes for James’ bag, and ends up eating a 401K for a near fall as a result. Eye rake by Stratton leads to the Log Roll and the PME for the duke.

Action was good but the character dynamics was a major detraction.

Winner: Tiffany Stratton

Before the segment ends, Becky shows up on the NXTron and challenges TS for the NXT Women’s Championship to complete her set.

Back from break, the Diamond Mine is being re-established. The champs wander in, as do Malik and Edris. Cluster of words happen. Boring.

Oro Mensah vs. Ilja Dragunov

Oro starts stronger than he has any right to.

Trading strikes and holds leads to a strong run by Dragunov, including two Germans. Dragunov continues the offensive flurry but Oro goes with some kicks. Dragunov regains the advantage and hits Torpedo Moscow for the predictable win.

Winner: Ilja Dragunov

Post match, Wes Lee comes out and he and Dragunov bicker. This leads to Carmelo Hayes coming out. End result is Dragunov vs. Lee for the Number One Contender spot and match at No Mercy against the champ.

Nathan Frazer talks to McKenzie Mitchell backstage before heading out for his match. Elsewhere, Thea Hail and Jacy Jayne chat it up. They’re interrupted by Gigi Dolin and Blair Davenport… wait, who are the faces and who are the heels here? I’m totally confused.

Duke Hudson vs. Nathan Frazer (Global Heritage Group B Match

I’m still waiting for Duke to turn on Chase U. The gimmick didn’t work from the start.

Frazer wins this shortie with a Thigh Slapper followed by the Phoenix Splash.

Winner: Nathan Frazer

Back to the Diamond Mine we go for more tag teams talking.

Dabba-Kato vs. Tyler Bate

Too many rest holds!

Bate gets to show off his power including a Helicopter Spin into a Michinoku Driver. Another shortie finishes with the Spiral Tap.

Winner: Tyler Bate

Lyra Valkyria and Roxanne Perez are chatting when Kiana comes in. Predictable pull-apart to finish.

Mustafa Ali vs. Dragon Lee (Dom Mysterio Special Ref/Number One Contender Match)

I’m understanding why we had such short matches the last two out.

Action goes in and out of the ring, including a Suicide Dive by Lee that sends Ali practically right through Booker T.

Back in the ring more crazy offense in a good tease of what these guys can do, until DumbDumb fast counts a pinfall for Ali.


Winner: Mustafa Ali

In the locker room, Dragunov and Trick Williams chat. I like the slow brew approach to what could be a very strong match here.

Alpha Academy 2.0 is backstage sparring next.

Axiom vs. Pete Dunne (GHI Match)

Meta Four are shown watching from their VIP area.

Much longer match here that goes to the 12-minute draw. I can’t do description justice. If you enjoyed NXT UK, you’ll love this one.

Winner: None

Big cluster among the tag teams to close out the final Diamond Mine segment.

Thea Hail vs. Gigi Dolin

Awesome action to start, including an Exploder from Thea.

First Kimura attempt goes nowhere as Gigi escapes. Gigi takes the rough stuff to the outside Blair Davenport gets a cheap shot while Jacy distracts the ref, leading to Kimura and tap this time.

Winner: Thea Hail

I’m still confused as to who’s a face and who’s a heel.

Backstage, Kelani Jordan and Lyra have a love-in until Dana Brooke breaks things up. So… Dana’s a heel? She implies a better friend, leading me to think we’re getting the Dana/Emma combo once again.

Still backstage Tiffany cuts a promo on Becky. Ok so Tiffany’s a heel… or… oh forget it.

Bron Breakker vs. Von Wagner

Hey remember when Von was drafted to the main roster? Pepperidge Farm remembers…

All sorts of chaos and cluster in this match. It was destined to be like this.

Top rope Bulldog onto a chair doesn’t finish it for Bron. Von tries a Powerbomb to no avail. More rough stuff follows.

Von hits a slew of power moves but can’t put Bron away. Bron ends up winning with the Spear, which may be the last we see of Von in NXT.

Winner: Bron Breakker

Well, it was a decent night of action but many of the matches were super short. Pick’em on this one.

See you next week.