It’s been a while. Don’t ask any questions. I sure won’t!
Welcome back to the Rogues Portal Wrestling recap of NXT.
Long Live Cien
When Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega enter to kick off their championship victory celebration, they spend a solid couple of minutes circling the ring to taunt the front row. Zelina and Andrade look amazing. “Embrace the legend!” I’m in, Zelina. Embrace away.
One persistent man tries to get a “what” chant going during Andrade’s victory speech, but kudos to the Full Sail crowd for restraining themselves from joining in until he starts speaking Spanish so they can get maximum racist mileage out of it. Surprisingly, Andrade manages to get through his speech uninterrupted … or maybe unsurprisingly, with so many folks out for injury.
Lars Sullivan Is So Nice
“He is a handsome guy, isn’t he? He looks like he could be on the cover of a fitness magazine.” I love Lars Sullivan so much. It’s really courteous of him to speak so highly of Roddy Strong before inevitably destroying him in his 4-way contendership match. Lars Sullivan has some Silas Young vibes about him. I’m looking forward to being emotionally devastated when he inevitably destroys all of my faves.
Fatal 4-Way Forever
The four singles matches to determine the four men who will be in the fatal 4-way to determine a new NXT champion kick off tonight … that’s a lot of fours. Killian Dane vs. Trent Seven and Kassius Ohno vs. a “suitable replacement,” since sadly the Velveteen Dream is out with injuries. Better be Donovan Dijak.
Battle of the Best Beefy Boys
Why is Trent Seven competing for the NXT Championship? Why didn’t Killian Dane compete for the U.K. title? Does Killian Dane have the best Sanity remix theme?
Answers: I don’t know. I don’t know. Definitely yes. Seeing guys like Dane and Seven — extremely handsome and very beefy dudes — get the spotlight repeatedly in NXT really warms my heart. WarGames was really Dane’s breakout moment as the powerhouse of Sanity. He continues his uh, strong showing, making short work of Seven in a fun brief match. When the big beefy dudes throw each other around … chef kiss emoji.
As an aside: from a stable perspective, this fleeting period where Killian Dane gets to be a contender for the championship and it’s not a source of tension within Sanity is excellent.
The Undisputed Era have come up with their own presumably already-copyrighted hand gestures and show them off after bragging about their WarGames win and reDR, err, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly’s upcoming tag team championship match. Why are they so good at making me want to punch them in the face?
The Farewell Tour Continues: Sonya DeVille (W) vs. Ruby Riott
Sonya DeVille and Ruby Riot(t) face off again tonight in a No Holds Barred match. A woman in the front row very aggressively boos Sonya. I’m sorry, but boo to her, I gotta support one of the last LGB folks standing at WWE.
This match is great in the sense that both of these women are great wrestlers. I love seeing Sonya look mean as hell every time she locks in her ankle lock, but it is kind of confusing. Who am I cheering for here? Didn’t they both wander into Raw and Smackdown and beat people up? Y’all don’t work here anymore!
Sonya drags Ruby around the ankle til Ruby gets her by the neck with her feet and sends Sonya into the ropes so they can go to commercial break. The show returns with Sonya in a submission hold. Reevaluate your editing, NXT.
Despite the confusing circumstances, this match is rad. Ruby and Sonya put each other through hell. I can’t wait to see them clash again, uh, next week? Or maybe at Survivor Series. Honestly, if they just showed up once or twice a month at NXT to remind us they hate each other, I’d be into it. Sonya wins with a sick submission, leaving Ruby gasping on the mat. Shoutout to Sonya.
Let Me Subscribe to the Iconic Times
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay interrupt Ember Moon’s press conference to remind her that she did not actually pin Peyton, so Peyton deserves to beat Ember Moon up again. Peyton and Billie’s wires get crossed about exactly who’s going to be facing Ember Moon next week, but after the Iconic Duo have a best friends chat they get things worked out: Peyton’s up first and Billie Kay will finish her off. Let me tell you this, WWE: if you break them up I’ll fight you.
Kassius Ohno vs. … Johnny Wrestling!
Mauro says Kassius looks “nonplussed” about his surprise opponent, but Kassius looks a little distressed in my opinion. They’re buddies! I’d be sad too. The crowd, unsurprisingly, is extremely into this match from the get-go and I am too. NXT’s resident nice boys start off with a handshake, but Kassius lets Johnny know he’s not fooling around, scooping him up and giving him a good toss just to show him who’s boss.
I don’t do a lot of play-by-play because I’m a color commentator not a play-by-play kinda dude — I know what I’m good at — but there’s a sequence in this match that begins with a senton bomb and ends with a tornado DDT that you should absolutely watch this match for. Shoutout to the woman in the front who looks absolutely horrified for the last moments of this match — big mood, ma’am.
This match is honestly so good I almost don’t even want to spoil the ending, but “a recap you can read to catch up” is one of my goals for this exercise. So: Johnny Gargano gets the win by submission. If you only get to catch one match from this week though, make it this one. Wow. Wow.
Next week is already shaping up to be a great show — Aleister Black versus Adam Cole, Peyton Royce versus Ember Moon, maybe Shayna Bayzler … soon? Maybe?