In an understatement that opens the show, Vic Joseph on commentary opens the show saying "it has been newsworthy few days in WWE." Tonight the show begins with someone that made news on NXT last week.
Zoey Stark comes to the ring with fanfare after she won a battle royal in her return match on the previous episode. Stark is amped as she says it feels good to be back in the ring.
Stark was not sure she could ever feel this moment again. She tore her ACL and MCL "straight off the bone" in a match last year at Halloween Havoc. Doctors told her she would out well over a year, but she knew deep down inside she could beat that timetable.
There were also hard times physically and mentally. Would the fans remember her? Would they still care? The live studio audience chants her name. They remember.
She points backstage in the direction of the trainer's room. She lived in that room, and she busted her butt to return. She went on to return four months ahead of schedule.
Then came the night of the battle royal. That made all of the pain and hard times worth it.
"Look at me now!" Stark is now the number one contender for the NXT Women's Championship after winning the battle royal.
Stark says the only thing that stand in her way is Toxic Attraction. The same women that nearly ended her career. Stark in turn vows to take the title from Mandy Rose.
With that, Cora Jade interrupts Stark's monologue. Jade begins to talk trash, and Stark responds by pointing out she threw Jade out to eliminate her from of the battle royal.
Jade says everybody else teamed up on her. She accuses Stark of stealing her moment.
Stark tells Jade she saw her "moment," alluding to the heel turn. Stark says it was "disgusting" that Jade threw the NXT tag title in the trash can. They begin to bicker about that when the Toxic Attraction trio interrupts them.
NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose says it's cute they are bickering over, when Rose herself could easily beat both of them. Rose notes that tomorrow she becomes the fourth longest reigning NXT Women's Champion in history.
"Put some damn respect on my name!" Rose is quite proud of her accomplishment.
Stark has the "perfect way" to put respect on the champ's name. Put the title on the line tonight, dares Stark.
Gigi Dolan chimes in to instead accept the challenge, setting up Stark against Dolan for tonight on NXT.
Tony D'Angelo addresses his family while they are gathered in the locker room. D'Angelo brags on them, but he reminds them must keep proving their loyalty. He says they will "crack skulls" tonight in the eight-man tag. It is not personal. It is just business. "Tony D. business."
Grayson Waller defeats Wes Lee
Waller pins Lee after outside interference by Trick Williams.
Early on, Lee was too quick for an overconfident Waller. Eventually cut off by Waller, a quick rally by Lee leads into a commercial break. When the show returns from the break, Waller is in control.
Waller grounds Lee and works him over. High impact sit-out fireman's carry slam by Waller for a near fall. Waller goes on the slap Lee.
The slap lights a fuse. Lee then slaps Waller across the face. Slaps turn into chops. Lee soon dives through the ropes with a tope suicida. Lee jumps on the turnbuckles.
Waller shoves Lee off the turnbuckles, and Lee falls to the floor. Lee gets up looking to get back into the ring. Someone stands up in the front row with a face covering, a trench coat, and wearing boxing gloves. That is Trick Williams in disguise. He then clobbers Lee in the back of the head, and Lee crumbles in a heap at ringside.
Meanwhile, the referee is counting to ten. Lee teases a countout, but he leaps back into the ring at the last moment at nine. Waller then does his flippy floppy cutter finisher, and he steals a pin from Lee.
Williams reveals himself as the assailant after the match, and he stands over a fallen Lee, posing with the boxing gloves. Williams was also wearing a cap that read "Trick Willy."
McKenzie Mitchell interviews Schism. Joe Gacy is there with Jagger and Rip. Asked about Cameron Grimes, Gacy again invites him to join Schism.
Apollo Crews defeats Xyon Quinn
Crews pins Quinn clean after a chokeslam.
Another loss for Quinn. His push has cooled considerably. It is downright cold. He does get some heat on Crews during this match, but Crews makes a comeback to derail Quinn.
Quinn bumps and feeds into the rally. He takes a Stinger splash, and Crews follows with a short-arm clothesline for a two count. Crews then climbs the turnbuckles. An awkward high cross follows where they fall to the match like tall timber falling in the forest.
They trade near falls in the closing moments. Quinn then takes a backstabber and chokeslam from Crews. A three count immediately follows.
Sarray confronts Toxic Attraction backstage, where Sarray challenges Mandy Rose to a title match. Rose accepts the challenge, seemingly setting up a match for next Tuesday.
A video package hypes Solo Sikoa against Von Wagner. Sikoa, in a very well produced pre-tape promo, calls out Wagner for a match next week.
Zoey Stark challenging NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose in a title match in made official for a show dubbed "NXT Heatwave" that is three weeks away.
Zoey Stark defeats Gigi Dolan (with Jacy Jayne and Mandy Rose)
Stark cleanly pins Dolan. Cora Jade attacks Stark in a post-match angle.
Dolan works over Stark, including trapping her in a bow and arrow submission hold. Stark escapes and fights back, leading her getting a two count.
Things are going along when Stark hits Dolan with a superkick. Stark points in the direction of Rose before executing a modified GTS. Stark then scores a pinfall on Dolan.
Jacy Jacy tries to ambush Stark after the match, but Stark knocks her out of the ring. Starks turns around in time to thwart a sneak attack from Rose, and Rose bails out of the ring.
Stark is glaring at Toxic Attraction as they slink away. Cora Jade suddenly appears in the ring standing behind Stark. Jade hits Stark with a kendo stick, swinging it like a wild Sandman. Roxanne Perez rushed to ringside, running in to make a save. Jade hightails out of the soundstage.
JD McDonagh arrives to the building, and he has a ticket. He says tonight he is a member of "paying public."
Wendy Choo losing to Tiffany Stratton is giving Choo's nightmares. That is especially bad because Choo's gimmick is she sleeps a lot.
NXT Champion Bron Breakker confronts JD McDonagh
McDonagh is now in sitting among the live studio audience. He has a microphone, so he must have some sort of VIP ticket. He proceeds to insult people in the crowd, and he bullies the timekeeper. McDonagh tells ring announcer Alicia Taylor she has a lovely voice. He has a snarky comment for Wade Barrett. McDonagh then bullies Vic Joseph.
McDonagh gets into the ring. What the heck kind of ticket did he buy? Anyway, McDonagh calls out NXT Champion Bron Breakker, daring him to come meet the "Irish ace" face-to-face in the ring.
Out comes Breakker, with the NXT Championship belt on his shoulder. Breakker says he will face McDonagh at NXT Heatwave, revealing another match for a the supercard in three weeks. Next week, Breakker says we're make this thing official."
McDonagh with a cheap shot heatbutts Breakker, and Breakker strike him back. McDonagh gets back up with a bloody lip, and he flashes a maniacal smile.
A wacky, yet entertaining, skit with Andre Chase and his Chase U students is a teaser for a match this is up next.
But first, a video package on Axiom. The wrestler formerly known as A-Kid debuted under the mask last week.
Alundra Blayze cameo announces tag title match for next week
Roxanne Perez, still holding her NXT tag title belt, has a message for Cora Jade. Perez says if Jade wants to throw away their friendship, "that is fine!" What Perez cannot stand for is Jade throwing her half of the titles in the trash. That is apparently a step too far. Perez then says someone else agrees with her.
In walks Alundra Blayze carrying a trash can. Jade bulls the other women's tag belt in the ring. Blayze announces a fatal four way elimination tag team match for the vacant NXT Women's Tag Team Championship next Tuesday.
Giovanni Vinci defeats Andre Chase (with Bodhi Hayward and Thea Hail)
Vinci pins Chase. The wrong guy won this match. Nothing against Vinci, but the Chase character is really starting to get over with the live audience.
This is the match where the Andre Chase character finally won me over. I guess Chase U is infectious.
The match is going along when Chase eats a kick from Vinci. Chase gives him a receipt. Vinci grabs a Chase U flag from Hayward, and Vinci breaks the wooden flagpole across his knee in a show of strength. Vinci hurls the flag onto the floor. That fires up Chase, just as the show cuts to a commercial break.
A pep rally from the Chase U students leads to a comeback for Chase. He stomps on Vinci as the live studio audience spell out Chase U in unison with each stomp.
Near fall for Chase as the crowd is solidly into the match. They love Chase. Yet he is suddenly cut off, and Vinci executes a sit-out Last Ride powerbomb. Vinci then covers Chase for a pinfall.
Vinci attacks Chase again aftr the match. Frazier jumps in to make a save, and Vinci powders.
Pep talk time for Diamond Mine. Julius Creed is hyping up the faction. Notably, Roderick Strong is not leading the pep talk. Likewise, the faction appears more united than in previous weeks where they have teased dissension.
Elektra Lopez exchanges words with Ivy Nile, leading to a pull-apart brawl that also involves Kayden Carter & Katana Chance.
Indi Hartwell defeats Arianna Grace
Hartwell pins Grace. Not particularly good. Grace tries to cheat by putting her feet on the ropes for an illegal advantage, but the referee catches her in the act. Grace then walks into a high kick, and Hartwell pins her.
Promo with Von Wagner and Mr. Stone. There is a brief mention of Sofia Cromwell having left them to go be a model. Wagner says he doesn't care, although he instead uses an expletive that is bleeped on the air. Vogner dares Solo Sikoa to fight him next week.
Kiana James, doing an educator gimmick, cuts a promo on Nikkita Lyons.
The ongoing feud between Alba Fyre and Lash Legend is the subject of a video package. Fyre and Legend meet in a match against each other next week.
The D'Angelo Family (Tony D'Angelo, Channing "Stacks" Lorenzo, Joaquin Wilde & Cruz Del Toro) defeats Diamond Mine (Roderick Strong, Julius Creed, Brutus Creed & Damon Kemp)
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Down
D'Angelo pins Julius Creed, after Roderick Strong accidently hits Creed. The match got pretty good by the end with a lot of action.
Ivy Nile and Elektra Lopez are barred from ringside following their pull-apart brawl earlier in the show.
The match gets going, leading to a stalemate as both factions square up. A slugfest erupts into a Gordon Solie Pier Sixer. The smoke clears and the D'Angelo Family is huddled together, which is a perfect target for cannonball off the apron from Brutus Creed. The heels are mowed down like bowling pins.
Brutus is in trouble when the show returns from a commercial break. Hot tag to Kemp, and he runs wilds with explosive moves. Kemp is hoisting up Del Toro when Wilde jumps to clip Kemp's knee with a chopblock.
The heels work over Kemp. Quick tags as they also keep Kemp in their corner of the ring. Working the leg, the heels target Kemp.
Kemp is finally able to crawl over and tag out. In comes Julius off a hot tag, and he cleans house. That includes a giant leap onto the top turnbuckle for a superplex on Wilde, and a German suplex on D'Angelo.
D'Angelo cuts off Julius, but Julius counters him to apply an ankle lock. Stacks jumps in to break up the submission hold. Brutus then levels Stacks with shoulder tackle that sends Stacks airborne. Wilde and Del Toro then strike with a double team move on Brutus. Kemps knocks Wilde out of the ring, just before Kemp takes a missile dropkick from Del Toro. Jumping knee strike from Strong hits Del Toro, and Julius follows up with a sliding lariat. Same knee and lariat combo on Wilde, as Julius and Roddy look to one-up the other.
Julius holds D'Angelo so Strong can deliver a jumping knee strike. However, D'Angelo moves, and Strong instead hits Julius with a jumping knee. Stacks then knocks Strong out of the ring. D'Angelo grabs a prone Julius Creed, and D'Angelo uses a fisherman's buster as the finishing move. D'Angelo then scores a three count on a laid out Julius.
Alundra Blayze is leaving the building with the NXT women's tag belts. Blayze is asked who she thinks will win the tag titles in the fatal four way. She says all four teams are excellent, but "the last team standing will earn the right to be called champions."
Blaze is confronted by Jayne & Dolan. They Blayze to hand them the titles. She teases handing the belts to them, but sike. Blayze snacthes the belts away, and she says win them next week if they want them. The show closes with Dolan & Jayne ranting to Blayze as she walks away.
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Down
Nothing particularly wrong, just no reason to invest time energy in this shoe most of the times. This was one of those times.