Mark Freitas
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Johnny Gargano vs. Leon Ruff for the North American Championship


This week’s NXT began with newly crowned NXT North American champion Leon Ruff taking on Johnny Gargano in a rematch for the title.


This match was short to start off the show. Johnny Gargano was in charge for basically the whole match. Damian Priest came out to once again distract Johnny. As Johnny hit a big DDT on Ruff, Johnny went for the pin, but Priest pulled Ruff out of the ring.


Priest tells Ruff he is sorry and punches him in the face. This causes a DQ finish and Ruff got the win.


There’s really not much to get into here it was a pretty weak start to the show, and they could have gone a different route on this one.


Dexter Lumis vs. Cameron Grimes in a blind fold match


In our second match of the night we get a blind fold match between Cameron Grimes and Dexter Lumis. The match beings and Cameron Grimes tries to get an attack early, but since he can’t see he accidently mistakes the referee in the match as Dexter Lumis and beats him down.


Grimes takes the blind off and realizes he attacked the wrong person. Grimes tries to take advantage of having no blind fold on, but Dexter moves out of the way and gets his on Grimes. As that goes on Grimes pulls Lumis’s blind fold off.


Lumis then continues his attack and the fight gets taken to the outside. As Lumis continues his offence he throws Grimes into the barricade, but Grimes climbs over it and gets away. This was the end to their “match”


To me I did not like this as it was a waste of time if they were not going to have a proper match. It was just here for comedy purposes, but I didn’t find any comedy to it.


Backstage segment


We then go backstage to Damian Priest talking with NXT General Manger William Regal. Regal asks Priest what he was thinking out there. Priest responds saying he got “carried away”. Leon Ruff appears and he is upset with Priest because he thinks Damian treated him like a joke. Priest says he is sorry, and then Ruff says he is sorry too then he follows up by slapping Damian in the face. Regal tells Priest he had that one coming.


War Games Ad


We get a video of Shotzi Blackheart telling Candice LeRae that she knows that LeRae doesn’t and that is on December 6th they will be going to war. As Wargames will be coming.


Candice LaRae and Indi Heartwell vs. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter


We get a tag team match next with Indi Heartwell and Candice LaRae taking on Kacy Cantanzaro and Kayden Carter.


Heartwell and LeRae got in most of the offence in this match it was short as well. Catanzaro and Carter tried to comeback with offence, but it wasn’t really enough for them. Heartwell and LeRae got back on the attack and didn’t look back LeRae hit a Wicked Stepsister on Carter and got the victory.


Kushida vs. Arturo Ruas


This match was a hard hitting one between Kushida and Arturo Ruas. The offence went back and forth. And I was enjoying this match, I thought it would a little longer, but it wasn’t. Ruas tried landing more strikes. Ruas tried to get Kushida in the ankle lock, but Kushida countered and got Ruas in a bridge pin and he got the victory. Kushida continues his winning streak.


Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai vs. Ember Moon and Toni Storm


We get another tag team match. Toni Storm and Raquel Gonzalez start off the match. Gonzalez lays in a big boot then tags in Dakota Kai. Kai picks up where Gonzalez left off. Toni Storm began to get going as she did she tagged in Ember Moon, Moon entered the match and both ladies hit their opponents out of the ring as head to commercial.


We return from the break with Raquel Gonzalez laying a butt whooping on Storm. Strom came back with offence hitting a head scissors. Toni got the hot tag and Ember Moon entered the match again, Moon laid a fantastic superkick on Gonzalez, but she got a two-count due to Dakota Kai breaking the pin. Moon chased Kai outside the ring only to get a boot in the face from Gonzalez.


Gonzalez tagged in Kai; Kai continued a little bit of the attack but not much as Moon tagged in Toni Storm who laid in some big suplex’s on Dakota Kai. Both ladies traded shots at each other with Storm getting a little more offence in.


Raquel Gonzalez threw Toni Storm into the ring post, Ember Moon followed that with a suicide dive taking out Gonzalez. Dakota Kai tried taking advantage of a weak Toni Storm, but Toni got her into a roll pin and got the three count. Strom and Moon got the win.


After the match, Candice LeRae and Indi Heartwell attacked Ember and Toni from behind throwing them into the ring as Raquel Gonzalez finished them off with a one arm powerbomb.


The question is was this an invite from LeRae and Heartwell to Kai and Gonzalez to join their team for War Games?

Timothy Thatcher vs. August Grey


This match was a filler for time. It was face pace to start off with a Timothy Thatcher brought the pain to August Grey.


Grey couldn’t get anything going as when he tried to get shots in Thatcher came back with harder hits.


Grey began to get a fury of strikes in followed by a superkick, as he climbed the top rope, he jumped down to hit Thatcher, but Timothy caught him with another heavy uppercut. Thatcher then locked Grey in the Guillotine choke. Thatcher won by submission. After the match Thatcher got Grey in the Guillotine choke again but was interrupted by Tommaso Ciampa. Thatcher tells Ciampa he doesn’t have a problem with him. During the commercial Ciampa says he wants to fight Thatcher.


Damian Priest “match”


We were supposed to get Damian Priest in attack, but as he was making his entrance Johnny Gargano decided to try and get revenge on Priest. Both men had a brawl. As that was going on Leon Ruff, came down and joined the mayhem. Ruff took out both men, he sent Gargano and Priest to the ground. Ruff stood tall in the ring. He escaped the ring after both men tried to go back at him. After that Priest and Gargano look at each other. During the break William Regal confronted Ruff, Ruff said he isn’t a joke and to prove it he said he will face them.


Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai for the NXT Women’s Championship


It is main event time and you can feel that tensions were high. You knew this match was going to be good from the get-go.


The bell rings and Ripley show off her power fast as she slams Shirai to the mat. After that Shirai shows off her quickness.


Both women went back and forth, but the powerhouse that Rhea Ripley is took advantage as she slammed Io on the apron.


During the picture and picture break Ripley was still in full control of the match. Every time Shirai would try to attack, Ripley would just keep countering. Ripley was very dominant since the bell rang.


Ripley continued to control the pace of this match. Shirai finally got it going as she hit Ripley with a German suplex from the middle rope. Shirai continued her attack with stomps and kicks. One of the kicks caught Ripley in her ear and cut her open.


Shirai began working on Ripley’s arm. Ripley was screaming in pain. Both ladies went pound for pound throwing strikes. Ripley got Shirai in a cloverleaf submission, Io was screaming in pain as well. Shirai got out of the submission as she got to the rope.


Ripley went for the Riptide, but Io countered into an armbar, Ripley used her feet to get to the rope

Shirai went for a moonsault, but Ripley moved out of the way, Rhea followed up with a big clothesline.


As Ripley was on the apron, Shirai dove through the ropes and caught Ripley and slammed her through the announce table with a massive powerbomb. This was an amazing spot. Ripley made it back in the ring at a nine count but as she slide back in the ring Io Shirai connected with the moonsault and got the one, two, three for the victory, Shirai retained her title and at the end of the match both ladies embraced with a hug.


Finn Balor Promo


A returning NXT Champion Finn Balor is now in the ring. He says he has three plates in his jaw that was broken in his last title defense. He then gets interrupted by Pat McAfee and his boys. McAfee tells Balor that everyone they took out is dead. As McAfee is talking Pete Dunne, Oney Lurcan and Danny Burch surround Balor. McAfee tells Balor he is going to hand his title over to the men that have ran NXT for the last few weeks or he will be like the others and that is dead. Balor tells McAfee that it is easy for the mice to play when the cat is away and to look at what the cat dragged in. The lights go out and The Undisputed Era make their return. A big brawl ensues and the show ends.


This week’s NXT in my opinion was a weak show. I really only enjoyed the Women Championship match, that was match of the night and I was entertained from start to finish. I also loved the return of Finn Balor and Undisputed Era as now the seeds have been planted for War Games. I hope next week’s show will be better.