WWE NXT 7th December 2021
Is this the last NXT with Johnny Gargano? Read on to find out...
Pixc here, back with another NXT. Forgive me, but this could be an emotional night so I’ve got my NXT 4 Life T-shirt on for Johnny Takeover. We start with a recap of War Games, the failed attack by Von Wagner, the Team 2.0 victory, and for me the best match of the night, Cora Jade winning War Games!
Wow! We are kicking off with the steel cage match between two former tag team partners.
Kyle O’Reilly vs Von Wagner (Steel Cage match)
O’Reilly attacks his opponent before the match starts and is pretty aggressive to start. Von Wagner manages to get some offense in next but O’Reilly uses his technical skill to take hold of his arm. Kyle has a nice sequence of running strikes on a downed Von Wagner. Once backed into a corner Von Wagner uses his power to force his way out, taking O’Reilly down with a big boot. He continues to use said boot as O’Reilly is down up against the cage.
Von Wagner has O’Reilly down and gets a near fall but O’Reilly rolls through to lift his shoulders. He then fights his way to his feet and throws elbows back before snapping Von Wagner’s arm over his shoulder. Sharp kicks next but Von Wagner drops him out of nowhere. He then drives him into the steel, powerbomb position and looks set to drop him in the ring when O’Reilly reverses it.
Picture in picture looks to be mostly Von Wagner as I squint at the action. He returns to the ground game, keeping O’Reilly down. They slug it out as full screen returns with O’Reilly looking like he is hulking up after each knock down. Finally, he gets a brutal knee in and then he squashes Von Wagner in between the ropes and cage, running in for the kill each time!
Von Wagner powers out of a submission, hits a high knee but it’s not enough as O’Reilly remains in this one. A nice chop block from O’Reilly and he’s definitely all about the strikes tonight. Von Wagner follows him to the top rope but falls back in to the ring. He hits his signature knee but somehow Von Wagner kicks out.
O’Reilly was looking like he wanted to finish things, lifting Von Wagner up but he gets a low blow for his troubles and Von Wagner finishes things quickly from that with what looked like a poor imitation of an X-Plex or something, the crowd booing as he picks up the win via pinfall.
That finish was a bit weak, in fact I’m just not impressed by Von Wagner, but it's easy way to make a heel. He attacks O’Reilly after the match hanging him upside down in the cage door and slamming it on him a few times. Wonder if O’Reilly is going then?
Winner Von Wagner
Sam Roberts sent us some footage of Johnny Gargano from War Games and he will set us straight on his future tonight it seems.
Bron Breakker is coming up next but before we get to that, Joe Gacy is telling us it was all about division and it seems he is bringing us Haarland’s debut next week. “Together we can change the world” always intriguing stuff from Gacy.
Bron Breakker comes out and wants his match vs Tommaso Ciampa. He doesn’t get an answer but Malcolm Bivens and Diamond Mine, minus Roderick Strong, come out interrupting him. Bivens says Strong has his eye on Bron, even refers to him as Le Bron, asks for permission to call him it but doesn’t wait for a response, funny guy. Then Bron looks around for Strong, reminding me of Big Show “Which way did he go?” but in the end he accepts Roderick Strong’s challenge. Nice way of keeping Bron away from the title a little longer and slowing things down for Bron.
Before we get to that tag match, we get teased about the Shamen.
Jensen & Briggs vs Diamond Mine
As we look to get started here, Imperium are looking on from the raised platform in the crowd. Jensen looks to be going strong against Brutus as he drags him over to his corner. Grizzled Young Veterans are joining us on commentary too which makes for a very confusing time. Jensen & Briggs look in control, they hit a nice double team. As they celebrate Brutus comes in and suplexes Jensen. They both hit knees on Jensen and Julius scoops him up for a slam. Another tag is made and they hit a nice double team and then Jensen is deposited to the outside.
For some reason James Drake undoes the tag rope on the tag corner of Jensen & Briggs. Brutus tags Julius and a stretch muffler is applied to Jensen. Jensen manages to stop the momentum of Julius and looks for the tag, somehow though even without making the tag Jensen steals the victory and the con from Grizzled Young Veterans was all for nothing. Jensen gets the win!
For me this match was good, I feel like it put a spotlight on the tag team division and new contenders for Imperium potentially. I like the Grizzled Young Veterans getting involved but the fact that it backfired I did not see coming, sometimes that is exactly what you need.
Winners Jensen & Briggs
Von Wagner is backstage, “War Games is over, Kyle is over but My War Games has just begun!” bit much for me, what about you guys?
Xyon Quinn responds to Santos Escobar’s comments and he hopes Elektra Lopez is watching. This is followed by Duke Hudson coming out in an obvious bleach blonde wig. He talks about not believing everything you see on the internet, he isn’t bald blah blah blah. Grimes comes out to call him on his bullshit. Says he can’t handle losing and offers to take it no holds barred, Duke accepts! They have a little brawl, but Duke escapes with his head gear intact.
Jensen & Briggs are celebrating their win when Kushida & Ikemen Jiro come and join in and Grizzled Young Veterans claim they only won because of them, Kacy & Kayden walk past offering two tickets to a concert so the winners leave the scene. Ikemen Jiro mocks Grizzled Young Veterans “very sensitive operation” and the two teams brawl as the scene ends. Funny stuff but seems Jiro’s escapades at War Games won’t quite split Jacket Time just yet.
Grayson Waller is in the parking lot next chatting to a young lady, trying to convince her to come out by showing her War Games clips, in the end she already has plans with LA Knight, he leaves with her asking Grayson “How do you like this view?”
Carmelo Hayes vs Dexter Lumis
Supposed to be Trick Williams apparently. Carmelo looks to use his speed and agility but runs into a strike from Lumis. Carmelo doesn’t back down in the corner and strikes his way out before Lumis drops him on those injured ribs. Lumis pulling at the bandages then scoop slams him. Lumis turns his attention to Trick who is ringside, but has to refocus on Carmelo who has joined them outside the ring, a quick strike and then they return to the ring.
Carmelo turns things around from here using his speed, a springboard dive does allow him to try a pinfall, even if it doesn’t get the job done. Carmelo then works on the previously injured hand of Lumis, eventually Lumis fights his way up to his feet though. A nice Thesz press from Lumis. He eventually tosses Carmelo outside the ring. Then stalks Trick but Carmelo comes in with a strike, obvious move.
Carmelo works on the hand, slamming it into the mat, he looks a lot more comfortable at this point. Lumis is down thanks to Carmelo and Trick takes the time to talk some trash but has a shock when Lumis just stares at him out of nowhere. Carmelo intercepts him but Lumis reverses into a suplex and the momentum shifts in his favour. Lumis manages to get The Silence locked on Carmelo and they fall towards the ropes where Trick smashes him in the face to cause the DQ. They scarper to the ramp.
Good match but I’m personally not keen on the constant interference and focus on injuries in this one, I get it can be used to build a match around but with these two I just feel they don’t mesh so well and that’s why they had to use it. That being said, I hope Lumis gets a shot at that North American title.
Winner Dexter Lumis
Next we get the big reveal: Who is MSK's guru? it’s Riddle, Riddle is the Shaman. They talk about their concerns making it to the top, so quickly, do they need to change? Riddle assures them they don’t and it seems we may see a little more of him going forward. On one condition he says “what’s in the bag man? You know sharing is caring.” that is funny. Beth shout out to you, still don’t get to see what’s in the bag, sorry.
Mandy Rose interrupts Vic Joseph and tries to hype up Toxic Attraction who have some business to take care of. She tells him to stop drooling at the end to Wade Barrett’s delight.
Persia is giving Indi a serious talk backstage, now that Dexter is back she hopes Indi will focus on the team. She is just getting her response when Dexter comes in, Indi jumps into his arms and then Johnny comes in and it’s all about the family. I smell a turn coming.
Toxic Attraction vs Yulisa Leon & Valentina Feroz
Jayne starts this one off with Feroz, she quickly tags Leon in and it isn’t long before the momentum switches as Gigi makes a tag. Jayne back in and she screams at Feroz before cannonballing into Leon. Leon comes back with an impressive running Death Valley driver looking move. Feroz comes in, she looks great and hits a nice crossbody. She then rolls up Gigi but she’d made a tag at the ropes and Jayne comes in. She quickly gets control and pins her off a kick to the jaw.
Not much to say about this, more pushing of Toxic Attraction, not a fan yet. Mandy grabs the mic next and she hypes them claiming they can handle anyone. Cora Jade comes out and is definitely giving Paige or AJ vibes. Mandy asks her to step in and they can finish it right now but Raquel Gonzalez comes out with a chair to even the odds it seems. Nothing really happened here and it fell a bit flat for me, maybe it was a bit rushed or Mandy talked too long, maybe Vince got cold feet on Cora Jade or someone was confused, it just didn’t work.
Winners Toxic Attraction
A promo video next. Tiffany Stratton, still coming soon. How soon is soon, come on, when guys? Followed up by Tony D’Angelo telling McKenzie about his rivalry with Pete Dunne, still love how he calls him “Petey Poppins”, he is interrupted by Andre Chase who claims if he’d followed his advice he would have ended up looking the star not Grayson Waller. D’Angelo challenges him to a match next week as he’s busy this week. Andre talks on but the segment is cut short. Poor cutting him off like that, commentary referencing it was cool though.
Before the next match we cut to Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzalez chatting backstage. Cora thanks her for having her back and Gonzalez is keen to simmer down any overenthusiastic chatter from Cora, more Paige vibes here from her. Kay Lee Ray offers up her baseball bat to Cora Jade, saying you will need it more than me. After she's left, they both call her crazy. Loved this segment, shows a bit of humour and seems to develop the characters a little more.
Xyon Quinn vs Santos Escobar
Quinn using his strength early on but he definitely seems to be looking toward Elektra. Escobar looks to pick up the pace but Quinn stands his ground like a brick wall and Escobar crashes and burns. Quinn follows up with a very dramatic snake eyes. Interesting that Elektra is on the opposite side to Legado del Fantasma at ringside. Quinn works on Escobar in the corner with Legado looking on and the referee trying to keep them at bay.
Escobar fights back but Quinn does honestly seem too much for him. Raul Mendoza distracts Quinn and Escobar gets a little offense in as a result. Picture in picture now, so bear with as I squint into the action. Escobar looks to gain a foothold here, all I can think about is a garlic butter bacon burger, damn adverts! As we return to full screen action Escobar is in control with the double knees to the back of Quinn. He fights back though and Quinn throws Escobar across the ring before diving into his mid-section in the corner. Escobar looks to power up and dives at Quinn but he overpowers him in no time and the match swings back in his favour.
Quinn looks for a high risk move from the top with Escobar sat up there. Escobar slithers free though. Escobar manages somehow to hit a hurricanrana on Quinn. Elektra seems to put brass knuckles on Quinn, when he realises he gets caught by the referee and throws them to Wilde, this is enough of a distraction for Escobar, as he capitalises with a high knee then his Phantom Driver, cheap win for Legado del Fantasma there, genius play by Elektra Lopez, commentary arguing over who she wanted to win. I don’t think she cared, but in my opinion she wanted Legado del Fantasma to win but if Quinn had won, she would’ve been switching teams, maybe next time.
Winner Santos Escobar
Diamond Mine minus Roderick Strong are in the parking lot, evidently not sticking around for Johnny’s leaving speech, they talk about Strong being the champ on NXT when Carmelo and Trick interrupt them, Carmelo is spouting his usual respect plus I'm the A champion, honestly feels a tad like we’re going to be expected to acknowledge him soon, get some new writers Vince!
Don’t forget next week Bron Breakker vs Roderick Strong and Duke Hudson vs Cameron Grimes no holds barred!
Candice is backstage tonight, Gargano is coming out next, but first Boa is waffling on about his ascent and power, see him next week too it seems, nobody cares.
Here we go, I'm sure the majority of fans will join me in saying a big Thank You Johnny! There are a few favourites of mine from my time watching NXT, Johnny Gargano is definitely one of them. This is a big loss for NXT fans but what a journey it was.
We start with chants of “please don’t go” he talks about wishing he enjoyed it more, seems he has confidence issues but he clearly gave his all! He gives us a history lesson and gives some credit to William Regal and the fans. Definitely some teary fans in the crowd. He gives out some thanks to lots of names. Then he says “change is scary but sometimes it needs to happen” and leaves us with a big message, “you will never fail if you bet on yourself”, finishing on reminding us that in February he starts the most important job of his life, he is going to be a dad! Grayson Waller interrupts him by smashing a chair into his back, classless, tactless, Vincified, bullshit decision, he puts Gargano in a chair, smashing him into the steps then powerbombs him through the announce table. The crowd chanting “you're still shit!”
I have to admit that was a decent NXT, some questionable decisions, cutting promos short and Vincified stuff that is best forgotten; besides that, it was a solid show. I just wish we got to see the aftermath because I have seen footage elsewhere of Ciampa and Kyle O’Reilly coming out for a moment with Gargano, so this Waller crap just feels a bit tactless to me, force feeding the new guys because you can’t convince the wrestlers you have their best interests at heart because they will all be fed to boring Roman Reigns eventually anyway.
Once again Thank You Johnny, Pixc out!