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WWE NXT 5/4: Rating and Ranking Every Match

Coming off a solid but unspectacular show last week, WWE NXT delivered a stacked card that delivered. Tomasso Ciampa and the Grizzled Young Veterans went head-to-head in tag team action. Leon Ruff and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott attempted to solve their issues in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon defended their NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles in Street Fight against Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell of The Way.

Every match on WWE NXT will include highlights, storyline progression, and a final analysis. Each match will be given a star rating and be ranked from worst to best.

Matches Ranked from Worst to Best

6) LA Knight d. Jake Atlas
Highlights: Jake Atlas gets the early advantage with an arm drag and an armbar. LA Knight gets the advantage with a knee on the apron followed by a slingshot shoulder block back in the ring. Atlas avoids a corner attack but Knight connects with the BFT cutter for the win.

Storyline Progression: Jake Atlas is a solid performer mostly seen on 205 Live. LA Knight is looking to get back on the winning track since his debut earlier this year.

Final Analysis: Jake Atlas got enough shine to avoid a squash as LA Knights gets a much-needed win, and looked good in the process. Skim It. **

WWE NXT: Grimes back on track

5) Cameron Grimes d. Asher Hale
Highlights: Asher Hale gets the better of Cameron Grimes to start until he walks into a stiff closeline. Grimes works over Hale in the corner, countering a tornado DDT. Hale is able to break free against and gets a two-count off a top rope dropkick. Grimes cuts off Hale once again, connecting on a spinning bossman slam before getting the win with the caveman.

Storyline Progression: Cameron Grimes has been on edge as of late after being confronted and mocked by Ted Dibiase.

Final Analysis: Better than expected as it was more competitive than a squash. Hale played his role well and Grimes got back on track on WWE NXT. Skim It. **1/2

Women’s action

4) Sarray d. Zayda Ramier
Highlights: Chain wrestling to start as both women fight for an advantage before Zayda Ramier connects with a stiff dropkick. Ramier is able to counter Sarray into an STF submission before a rope break causes a break. Sarrary makes a comeback, nailing a low-angle dropkick and fisherman’s suplex for a two-count. Sarray heads to the top rope and lands a missile dropkick. Strike exchange by both women before Sarray connects with another dropkick. Sarray misses on another attempt with a nasty landing allowing Ramier to counter with a sling blade for a near fall. Sarray makes another comeback and gets the win with a t-bone suplex.

Storyline Progression: Zayda Ramier picked up an upset win over Toni Storm last week, pulling off an impressive shooting star press in the process.

Final Analysis: Despite a few slip-ups, both women worked hard and Sarray continues to get the push in the women’s division. Skim It. **1/2

WWE NXT: Tag Team action

3) Tomasso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher d. The Grizzled Young Veterans
Highlights: Tomasso Ciampa starts things off with James Drake as he uses a ground attack and then a stiff chop for a two-count. Thatcher gets the tag as he continues the offense with a standing armbar until Drake breaks free to tag Zack Gibson. Thatcher keeps the offense going as he locks in a sleeper, while Ciampa cuts off Drake to head to the commercial.

Back from the break as Drake catches Thatcher off guard to finally gain the advantage. After a brief beatdown, Thatcher makes the hot tag to Ciampa but cleans house on the GYV. Ciampa lays in hard chops to Drake before Thatcher tags back in with hard elbows. Both men exchange tags as Ciampa and Drake closeline each other to the outside. Thatcher locks in an armbar to Gibson but Drake makes the save before he hits Ciampa with a suicide dive. Thatcher hits Gibson with Wade Barrett’s shoe before causing him to tap out with the armbar.

Storyline Progression: Tomasso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher have been at odds with The Grizzled Young Veterans in recent weeks. Both teams have been fighting for tag team supremacy with a potential shot at the tag titles on the line.

Final Analysis: This is exactly what I love about pro wrestling. A hard-hitting match that I don’t need to suspend my disbelief to enjoy and believe what I am watching is legit. Ciampa and Thatcher deserve to be the next challengers to MSK. Must-Watch. ****

Falls Count Anywhere Match

2) Isaiah “Swerve” Scott d. Leon Ruff
Highlights: Leon Ruff charges Isaiah Scott to start but runs into a stiff knee strike. Ruff is able to use his athleticism on offense until Scott cuts him off coming from the second rope. Scott heads outside and catches Ruff in a suicide dive and nails a death valley driver on the ring apron. Scott hits a sidewalk slam on the entrance ramp but can only get a two-count. Back in the ring, Scott goes up top and hits an elevated superplex for another near fall before the commercial. During the break, both men brawl to the backstage area via the picture-and-picture setup.

Back from the break, Ruff hits a flipping plancha from the entrance to the floor. Inside the ring, Ruff counters a superplex with a crucifix for a two-count. Scott heads to the apron but Ruff leaps from the top rope with a poisonrana to the floor. Back to the outside, Ruff heads to the top of the equipment stage but is caught by AJ Francis into a death valley driver on the guardrail. Inside the ring, Scott hits the JML for the win.

Storyline Progression: Leon Ruff and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott have been at odds for months on WWE NXT. Both men have found ways to one-up one another, but it all came to a boiling point in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

Final Analysis: If you like high spots and high impact wrestling, this match will scratch the itch you might have. Both men have great chemistry and this was their best match to date on WWE NXT. Must-Watch. ****

WWE NXT: Main Event

1) WWE NXT Women’s Title Match: Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell d. Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon (New Champions)
Highlights: Big brawl interrupts the ring introductions as the action heads to the outside. Blackheart and Moon bring plunder into the ring before a double garbage can lid bell ringer puts Candice LeRae down. Indi Hartwell makes the save and sets up multiple chairs on the outside before Moon gets involved. Hartwell is set up on the chair but LeRae breaks up a potential dive with a fire extinguisher before the commercial. Back from the break as tables and a ladder are set up in the ring as both teams continue to brawl.

Double team dominated/cutter by Moon and Blackheart gets a two count. LaRae is draped across a ladder on the outside as Blackheart leaps from the top rope to land a senton. Back in the ring, Moon goes for an Alabama Slam through a table but it does break. Back in the ring, Blackheart is put on a ladder as LaRae hits a springboard moonsault through the ladder. Moon charges at Hartwell who counters with a spinebuster on another ladder. On the outside, Hartwell is knocked onto the announce table as Blackheart climbs the scaffold and jumps off through the table. Hartwell regroups and puts Moon through a table on the outside as LeRae takes out Blackheart for the win and the titles.

Storyline Progression: Ever since Moon and Blackheart won the titles earlier this year, The Way have made it their mission to get to the top of the mountain.

Final Analysis: WWE NXT has the best women’s division in the United States and it’s not even close. This match was killer from start to finish and is highly recommended. Must-Watch. ****1/2

Robby Steven

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