The Brawling Brutes Interrupted NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly
Pretty Deadly have been quite the entertaining act since arriving in NXT earlier this year. Granted, they were already entertaining in NXT UK, but I'm happy they're finally getting to showcase their skills to a bigger audience. I enjoyed this segment before Brawling Brutes even showed up, and that was a pleasant surprise as well. This set up the main event for the evening nicely.
Carmelo Hayes def. Oro Mensah
Both of these guys already qualified for the NXT North American Championship Ladder match at Halloween Havoc, so it didn't really matter who won. Mensah is the new guy on the block with potential, but I don't mind Hayes winning because he was coming off two losses to Solo Sikoa and Andre Chase. Why not have him beat Chase but lose to Mensah? That makes no sense to me. Nonetheless, this was a quality contest while it lasted.
Von Wagner def. Andre Chase to Qualify for the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match at NXT Halloween Havoc
This was a lose-lose situation for me, personally. The Chase U stuff seems to have grown on a majority of the NXT audience, but I remain against the whole thing. The dude is a goof and should be nowhere near the North American title in my opinion. As for Von Wagner, he's better than he was a year ago, but is that really saying anything? He isn't interesting and his in-ring work is mediocre at best. This was whatever, but the crowd was into it. Wagner will be the resident "giant" of the Ladder match as we've seen in the past with Big Show, Kane, Mark Henry, Braun Strowman and Omos.
Wendy Choo def. Lash Legend
Choo vs. Legend was never a feud I had the slightest desire to see. Choo's character sucks and Legend remains a work in progress in the ring. Maybe Legend will benefit from working with Choo from an in-ring standpoint, but as a television program, there's no need for it to extend beyond this bout. This exceeded expectations by being perfectly fine and thankfully was kept short and sweet, but let's please move on from this.
Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons def. Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jane) in an NXT Women's Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
As I've said before, Lyons works so much better in a tag team than she does on her own. That isn't to say I want Stark and Lyons to become the next tag champs, but it's a wise way of hiding Lyon's weaknesses as a performer and giving her someone experienced to team with. The match itself was decent, and with Toxic Attraction likely being main roster bound, the result wasn't surprising whatsoever.
Roxanne Perez and Cora Jade Brawled on The Grayson Waller Effect Hosted by Grayson Waller
This was certainly a segment. It wasn't entirely awful, but some of the verbal exchange between Perez and Jade wasn't particularly great. Most of their segments have been hit or miss so far, and I'd probably put this in the latter category (though I applaud their effort). The important thing was that they established they'll be having a rematch at Halloween Havoc and Pick Your Poison matches in two weeks with anyone from the WWE roster. The worst part of the segment was when Waller emerged from the under the ring with bloody eyes. That was just dumb.
Julius Creed def. Duke Hudson
Poor Hudson. The dude just can't seem to catch a break. I didn't think he'd beat Creed here with The Creed Brothers being in the midst of a storyline with Damon Kemp, but the dude was straight-up squashed here in under a minute. I think the writing is on the wall as far as his future in NXT goes. At any rate, I loved the performances by Creed Brothers and Kemp in the post-match segment. Creed Brothers' intensity was excellent and Kemp was exceptionally well-spoken during his promo. They effectively set up Julius vs. Creed with stakes for Halloween Havoc.
Xyon Quinn def. Hank Walker
Walker is the "security guard" who earned himself a contract by beating Javier Bernal three weeks ago. It went over well with the audience in attendance, but this was his first match since then. I thought he might go on a winning streak, but he was beaten pretty decisively by Quinn here in what had to be Quinn's first televised win (not on Level Up) in many months. Quincy Elliott made the save afterward, so Quinn will be Elliott's next opponent.
NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly def. The Brawling Brutes
I didn't legitimately think Brawling Brutes would win the tag titles, but hey, Solo Sikoa won the NXT North American Championship three weeks ago and defended it on SmackDown that Friday, so anything is possible. Despite the lack of uncertainty surrounding the outcome, this was a well-worked main event with the two teams having good chemistry together. We've seen a lot of interference/distraction finishes lately in WWE, but I did think Imperium costing Brawling Brutes the belts to further their SmackDown feud was cool.
I was anticipating this episode because it was NXT's first live show in three weeks and the first show since the new logo was unveiled. We were all hoping the brand would revert back to what it was to a certain extent, but beyond Brawling Brutes showing up and Veer Mahaan reuniting with Sanga backstage, there wasn't anything worth noting about this edition of NXT. In fact, it didn't feel much different than most editions of NXT from the last few months. It was adequate but hardly must-see television. I understand NXT will always be developmental (now more than ever), but they need to put more of an effort in making NXT feel worthwhile on a weekly basis.