The October 16, 2019 episode of WWE NXT aired live on the USA Network from the Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University. Here are 5 takeaways from this week’s show:
Tommaso Ciampa Returns To The Ring
Former WWE NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa made his long-awaited return to in-ring action on this show when he took on Angel Garza in a singles match.
It was a perfect match for Ciampa’s return and actually opened the show with the right man to go over, which was Ciampa. The former champ looked good and didn’t miss a beat. It was a short match, which is exactly what should’ve happened.
Ciampa had been out of action for several months after he was dealing with an injury that resulted in him getting neck surgery.
After Ciampa returned on the first full two-hour broadcast of the show, he made his intentions very clear, which were to get what he calls “Goldie,” which is the NXT Title that is currently held by Adam Cole.
This appears to be the big feud for the NXT brand that will likely lead to a match at the next NXT TakeOver special, which will be over Survivor Series weekend.
No Winner In Rubber Match
Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic was booked again as it was hyped as the Rubber Match between the two stars. It was exactly what fans thought it would be and it delivered.
This was a big match for both stars as they were fighting for an opportunity at the NXT North American Title. The match ended in a DQ when Roderick Strong hit Lee in the head with the title.
These guys have been wrestling each other for years now as they had a fantastic match under the PWG banner a few years back prior to signing with WWE. This was a fun back and forth match that appears to be the blow-off contest between the two stars.
It will be interesting to see where these two stars go from after next week considering that both are extremely talented. Dijakovic appears to have a great upside for his tenure in WWE and it will be entertaining to watch his growth.
While Lee is talented, I do wonder how far WWE will let him go up the card especially if he makes it to the main roster.
The Velveteen Dream Has Title Shot Taken Away
The Velveteen Dream was supposed to be next in line to challenge Roderick Strong for the NXT North American Title. However, it wasn’t meant to be in storyline.
Earlier in the night, a video was shown of The Undisputed Era attacking Dream in the backstage area. NXT General Manager William Regal later revealed in a backstage interview that as a result of the assault by the group that saw them lay out Dream, he’ll no longer be medically able to compete.
Thus, with Lee vs. Dijakovic ending in a DQ thanks to Strong, they will both challenge Strong for the NXT North Amercian Title in a triple threat match on next week’s show, which should make for a great match.
Although I was looking forward to Dream vs. Strong, it appears that WWE wants to build more to this storyline with the idea of Dream getting his revenge on Strong. Perhaps, WWE saves it for the NXT TakeOver special over Survivor Series weekend next month.
Finn Balor Sends Message
Former WWE NXT Champion Finn Balor sent a message on this show.
He did so by cutting a promo in a video package about how he has gone back to the drawing board and teased that next week will mark how his future will be his past.
It appears that Balor is wrestling on this show next Wednesday but there’s no word yet on what WWE has planned for Balor.
Balor, who had taken off from the WWE main roster after losing to Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam, made his grand return on the October 2nd episode of NXT. He did so once he confronted NXT Champion Adam Cole, which led to many thinking that he was gunning for the NXT Title.
However, that mindset changed when Tommaso Ciampa made his return and that program started.
Balor is slated to make his in-ring return under the NXT banner this coming weekend when he works NXT’s Pacific Northwest house show from Thursday – Sunday. As of this writing, WWE has yet to confirm his opponents.
Pete Dunne vs. Damian Priest Headlines
Pete Dunne vs. Damian Priest was one of the more higher profile matches on the show as both stars are on the rise in the brand.
The match was great with Dunne coming across as a big star just like he portrays every time that he steps through the ropes. In the end, it was Priest, who went over. The fans were very much into the contest.
This match served as the main event and actually had another overrun, which was wise considering the drama that was built into the contest.
Dunne did what he could with NXT UK to the point that he was the top champion in the brand and had a lengthy title reign.
I thought it was a good move to move him over to the NXT brand where he can show off his talents to a bigger audience while at the same time becoming a bigger star.
He can play a heel or babyface so where the company needs him, he’ll be. This was a great way to close the show.