WWE NXT results, recap, grades: AJ Styles faces off with Finn Balor after The O.C. invades
A wild edition of NXT saw Styles and The O.C. make their first appearance in NXT, among other developments
NXT has been delivering surprises since it debuted on USA Network, and that is certainly what happened to open Wednesday's night show as a group from the "main roster" of WWE decided to try their hand at the third brand and Full Sail University. The main event that followed delivered in a major way, setting up a number of questions for fans of the WWE and NXT brands as they move into Survivor Series and NXT TakeOver: WarGames 3 later this month.
The two WarGames matches seemed to solidify with only two of the 16 combined entrants remaining unannounced. There is not much in the way of additional matches announced for that show at this time, though there are still a couple of weeks remaining. So what went down Wednesday night on NXT? Let's take a look with our results, analysis and highlights below.
AJ Styles and The O.C. invade NXT
At the onset of the show, The O.C. attacked Undisputed Era outside of the arena before entering and claiming now that they had taken out all the champions, they were taking over. Tommaso Ciampa took issue with that, saying that NXT is now the "main roster" and he had backup. Out came Matt Riddle and Keith Lee to have his back and setup a six-man tag team match for the main event.
The O.C. vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Riddle & Keith Lee ended in a no contest: The two teams brawled at the start. Styles opened by leaping out of the ring and hitting Riddle with a Phenomenal Forearm on the outside, but Ciampa caught him with Willow's Bell. Riddle got the hot tag and hit Styles with a Final Flash, Bro to Sleep and Everest German suplex only for his pinfall to be broken up. A Styles DDT took Lee out, and Styles flipped out of a Riddle German to hit him with a Pele kick and brainbuster for a 2.8. A Pounce from Lee took out both Styles and the referee, and Riddle got caught up in a tope that splashed most everyone in the match outside the ring.
As Ciampa was set to nail Styles with Fairytale Ending, Finn Balor's music hit. Styles took out a distracted Ciampa with a Pele kick, and Balor hit Riddle with a spike DDT. Styles stood in the ring and held up Too Sweet as Balor pointed finger guns at him. But as Styles was ready to hit Ciampa with Styles Clash, Adam Cole ran into the ring and superkicked Styles before knocking out Ciampa with the Last Shot. Cole stood in the ring as Balor stared back at him from the entrance ramp.
Simple, well-booked angle to started the show with excitement, and the main event delivered on that promise. There was a lot going on here mixing feuds and storylines along with the Bullet Club tease featuring Styles and Balor. The match was great action for a six-man tag, and even without a finish, the cliffhanger left me wanting more. The one disappointment from the show was that there was not more WWE invasion, which I normally would not want but felt warranted given what happened on SmackDown and Raw. Grade: A-
What else happened on NXT?
Pete Dunne def. Damian Priest: via submission Dunne nearly got taken out with a crucifix bomb, but with the referee pushed into the corner by Priest, he connected with a low blow before locking Priest in a rolling cross arm breaker and snapping his fingers for the tap out. Killian Dain attacked Dunne after the match, but Priest took exception, so Dain headbutted him out of the ring and hit a Vader bomb on Dunne. Dain then ran Priest into the steel steps and hit a cannonball outside the ring. Hot return bout between these two, which evens the battle at 1-1 and either sets the stage for a rubber match in the future or alludes to an upcoming triple threat, possibly at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. Grade: B
Taynara def. Santana Garrett via pinfall: Taynara concentrated on Garrett's head during the match and hit a V-trigger in the early going. After Garrett missed a handspring moonsault, Taynara took advantage with a brutal inside kick to Garrett's face for the easy 1-2-3. This continued the elevation of Taynara into a woman to watch and was a nice showcase for two women who have not to this point gotten much air time Grade: C
Shayna Baszler (c) def. Dakota Kai via submission in a non-title match: Baszler worked on Kai's injured right knee and nearly took her out with a gutwrench superplex. Every time Kai found some offense, Baszler was there to knock her down. A step-up knee to the jaw made Kai woozy, and Baszler then caught her opponent flying midair, locking her in the Kirafuda Clutch for the win. The Horsewomen attacked Kai after the match, but as Rhea Ripley and Candice LaRae tried to save her, Io Shirai and Bianca Belair took them out. That brought out Mia Yim with a kendo stick; she ran through all the heels and looked as strong as ever. Good work here as Kai contrasted with Baszler well, and the result was a dejected Kai not being chosen for Ripley's team with Yim being chosen instead. Grade: C+
Angel Garza def. Tony Nese via pinfall to become No. 1 contender for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Neese powerbombed air after he attempted to grab Garza off the top rope but instead ripped off his tearaway pants; Garza followed with a missile dropkick. It took a while, but Neese got the upper hand with a pumphandle Falcon's Arrow, however, Garza followed by reversing another pumphandle into a lungblower. Neese hit a 450 splash that would have ended the match, but Garza got the toe of his boot on the bottom rope. A springboard powerbomb from Garza nearly ended it, but a Wing Clipper and matchbook cover did the job. Lio Rursh hit the stage to shake Garza's hand after the match but instead was slapped in the face. Fantastic match between these two with Garza's innovative style feeling fresh and impressive. Grade: B+
Dominic Dijakovic def. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott via pinfall: Though he countered Feast Your Eyes into a pinning combination that nearly got the 1-2-3, Scott got caught with a big boot and sit-down chokebomb. A furious Diajakovic grabbed Swerve by the throat and yelled in his face, but when he lifted him, Swerve hit a poisonran and then double stomp onto the ring apron. A lariat turned Dijakovic inside out, but he followed suit before catching Serve in midair for Feast Your Eyes and the win. Swerve looked fantastic in defeat, and Dijakovic got the necessary win to continue his build. The match was a bit robotic due to the contrasting styles, however. Grade: B
What you need to know ahead of the WWE Survivor Series 2019 event in Chicago
WWE continued its build to Survivor Series with a nonsensical angle involving two of its top...
The universal championship switched brands and got a new strap
Jericho ate the pin in the main event, suffering his first loss in an AEW ring
NXT TakeOver: WarGames 3 got a major shakeup as the WWE main roster invaded NXT again
What you need to know ahead of the third edition of NXT TakeOver: WarGames