The NXT Tag Team Championships are VACANT!
Even after the Viking Raiders retained them against the Street Profits, Erik Rowe & Ivar Hanson have left NXT for Raw. What will GM William Regal say about the tag titles’ future?
- Mansoor VS Sean Maluta; Mansoor wins.
- Candice LeRae VS Reina Gonzales; LeRae wins.
- Johnny Gargano & Matt Riddle VS reDRagon; reDRagon wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Raid moves on.
After dominating the NXT Tag Team Division since showing up almost a year ago, and then appearing on Monday Night Raw in the Superstar Shake-Up, The War/Viking Raiders are leaving WWE’s premier developmental behind. Though, they did get egged into one last match with the Street Profits for the titles. Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins gave Erik and Ivar a fight, but that fight was interrupted by the jealous and bitter Forgotten Sons! Jaxson Ryker, Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake didn’t get much done before being downed by War Beard Ivar, then Ford & Dawkins jumped in, and then so did Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch!
Four teams fought, one team stood tall! The Street Profits got the “pin” on the Raiders, but they’re not the champions! And then the champions wrecked everyone who was left, but they still gave up the belts! What does that mean for the future of the titles?!
NXT General Manager William Regal speaks.
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to NXT.” He knows last week’s finish was rather chaotic, and that leaves us without champions. The Street Profits pinned the Viking Raiders but not during a match. There are many deserving teams, so Regal has the solution. At NXT TakeOver: XXV, it will be Street Profits VS Forgotten Sons VS Oney Lorcan VS The Undisputed Era’s reDRagon, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish, in a LADDER MATCH!! Which duo ascends to new heights to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions?!
The Undisputed Era is here!
And all four of them, at that. Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly are united again after Strong took out Matt Riddle on Cole’s behalf. And now they’re even more excited because Fish & O’Reilly are going for tag title gold! The four hit the ring, hitting their Undisputed team pose, and Cole takes up the mic.
“We’ve heard the whispers in the NXT locker room. All you morons probably wondering if the rumors are true.” Guess what: the Undisputed Era is going nowhere! They’re stronger than ever, and they’re all on the same page. This is a statement to everyone else on the roster: it may say NXT superstar, but the Era owns you! And they won’t stop until they’re running Full Sail. They will take what they want, when they want, and as they said before, they’ll be draped in gold. In fact, that begins at TakeOver. Bobby & Kyle WILL regain the NXT Tag Team Championships while “yours truly” will take the NXT Championship off Gargano. The Undisputed Era- is interrupted! Johnny Gargano makes his way out, belt on his waist and mic at the ready.
“I’m gonna save you some time, Cole, okay.” Cole wants the title shot? He has it. But Gargano wants Cole to do something: tell the truth. The real reason the boys are back together is because Cole can’t win on his own. Cole wants a time-out. What kind of idiot is Gargano? Cole beat Gargano in that first fall! Yes he keeps saying that. But what kind of idiot is Cole to not understand math? He didn’t shock the school system, that’s for sure. So Gargano will explain this very, very slowly: In a 2 out of 3 Falls match, you need to win 2 falls. Cole only won 1. Gargano won 2, which means he is the champion. “Do you understand, buddy?”
Cole tells Gargano to shut up and listen! Gargano can be as cocky as he wants, but it eats Gargano up that Cole still got that pin by himself! And in two weeks, Cole Baybay does it again. As far as tonight, though, the Era is celebrating. But Matt Riddle attacks from behind! The Bro wants revenge! And the champ helps him out! Gargano and Riddle fight and SUPERKICK the Undisputed Era! They get 2v2 with Cole and Strong! Riddle Bro-Triggers Strong out while Gargano clotheslines Cole! Referees hurry out to stop all this, but that’s easier said than done. Gargano and Riddle bro fist, but will they and the Undisputed Era settle this on the Road to TakeOver 25?
Mansoor VS Sean Maluta!
The Saudi Stud has his second match on NXT TV after losing his debut to the “Rare Breed”, Dominik Dijakovic. Meanwhile, the “Samoan Dragon” makes his NXT return! Who uses this newest opportunity to make the biggest impact?
The bell rings and Manny circles with Maluta. They tie up and Maluta wrenches to a wristlock. Manny rolls and hooks Maluta, but Maluta breaks free to bring Manny to the mat. Manny rolls to his feet then handsprings and cartwheels to then climb Maluta and break free. He runs and huricanranas Maluta to a corner. He dropkicks Maluta down hard! Manny brings Maluta up but gets a spinning heel kick! Maluta runs and boots Manny, then Samoan Drop! Maluta gives Manny a hellova kick then climbs up for a flying Code Breaker! Cover, TWO! Manny survives but Maluta’s on him with a neck wrench.
Fans rally up as Manny endures. Maluta wrenches hard but Manny fights his way up. Manny pries free but gets forearms. Maluta runs but into a forearm! Manny runs but knows Maluta follows, so he stops and boots Maluta, to a waistlock and snap German Suplex! Fans fire up for Manny as he runs in at Maluta. Manny hits a running kick, then blocks to forearm again. He slingshots for a neckbreaker! Maluta fires up as Maluta staggers up. Dragon sleeper, inverted suplex to twisting facebuster! Cover, Mansoor wins!
Winner: Mansoor, by pinfall
Mansoor breaks even in his NXT TV career, but is this first win just the beginning of a Saudi Stud win streak?
NXT Media overhears the Undisputed Era complaining to William Regal.
They’re obviously upset after getting jumped by Matt Riddle and then ran off by both him and Johnny Gargano. Cathy Kelly is there as they storm out, but none of them stick around to talk to her. She talks with Regal instead, and asks how the situation is being handled. Regal informed the Undisputed Era’s recent conduct is not becoming of NXT. Therefore, at TakeOver: XXV, we’re getting Riddle VS Strong! As for tonight, we’re also getting Gargano & Riddle VS reDRagon! Will the NXT Champion and The Original Bro be able to take down one half of the Era before getting the other at TakeOver?
Velveteen Dream returns to NXT!
The NXT North American Champion walks to the ring waving and blowing kisses to the fans while carefully carrying his title. Dream picks up a mic to address the crowd.
“Well I guess you could say the Dream is in high demand.” People want to feel the Dream. People want to touch the Dream. And people want to hold the Dream. But the Dream is the NXT NAC, so you can’t just feel it or hold it. He’s too big to hold. And when you say the name Dream, you better say it right. But wait, is that… It’s TYLER! Tyler Breeze returns to NXT, too! Fans go nuts for Prince Pretty as he struts to the ring while on selfie cam. And Dream is unable what to make of this. Tyler picks up a mic and fans duel between “Breeze is Gorgeous!” “Velveteen!” But fans do give him a “Welcome Home!”
“Prince Pretty is home!” And like The Dream, when Breeze was here, he had everyone talking. But ever since the fashion left NXT, it just feels… lifeless and dull. There’s wannabe impersonators and cheap knock-offs. As flattering as that is, and Dream, it really is, there can only be one Prince Pretty. Dream welcomes Breeze home to Dream’s NXT. And things are different here now. The spotlight wants a real man. Yes, a real man, and not some boy. Especially not some boy who plays cops ‘n’ robbers. “Besides, just because you couldn’t cut it on Monday and Tuesday nights, doesn’t mean you can come to NXT and demand a spotlight.” So run along, Breeze, to where you belong.
Okay, okay, Velveteen. But let’s not confuse “couldn’t cut it” for “uninspired.” Dream inspires Breeze. The North American Championship inspires Breeze. And an inspired Breeze is too much, too big for Dream to handle. “Listen here, dollar store detective.” Maybe he forgot while sitting in catering, but things are very different in NXT. And the line to the title starts way way way outside! But Dream won’t leave a bad taste in Breeze’s mouth. How ’bout a selfie? Hmm, a selfie with the champ… This is a monumental moment, first time these two have been in the ring together. Make up your mind, Dream ain’t got all day. Okay, yes, let’s do one.
The two get close together and the phone feed is on the titantron. Before they take the pic, Breeze has a piece of advice. When you right your phone number on your trunks and no one calls, it’s because no one’s interested. And Breeze DECKS Dream! Prince Pretty gives Dream a five knuckle makeover, but will he be adding that North American title belt to his own wardrobe?
NXT Media finds Tyler Breeze making his exit.
Cathy asks Breeze about his motivations for attacking Dream just now. For those who don’t know, Breeze is an NXT OG, an original guy. And all Breeze wanted to do was introduce Dream to the #Inspired Prince Pretty. Will William Regal be inspired to give us a match?
Candice LeRae VS Reina Gonzales!
Mr. Johnny Wrestling has a match tonight, and at TakeOver, but what about Mrs. Candice Wrestling? The NXT Women’s Championship is already spoken for, but can Candice climb her way to being the next up?
The bell rings and the towering Texan taunts Candice for being comparatively tiny. Candice doesn’t appreciate it, and shoves Reina. Reina shoves her back then shoves her down! Reina drags Candice up but Candice goes for a roll up! But Reina’s too tall and shoves Candice off. Reina walks into Candice’s body shots but swings clotheslines. Candice ducks one but not the other! Reina puts Candice in a corner to stomp and punch. The ref counts and Reina shouts she gets the rules! She scoops Candice for a spinning powerslam! Cover, TWO! Reina keeps on Candice with a grounded keylock. She thrashes Candice but fans rally up. Candice fights her way up but is put in a corner. Reina walks into a kick, then misses as Candice slips out. Candice grabs an arm for an arm DDT!
Candice runs but into another scoop! Reina swings Candice around then back the other way, but Candice school girls Reina out of the ring! Candice takes aim as Reina staggers to her feet. Candice wrecks Reina with a dropkick, then springboards, but into Reina’s arms! Reina pops Candice up, but Candice slips out and shoves Reina into steel steps! Reina crawls into the ring and Candice follows. Candice shoulders Reina away then climbs up top. Candice leaps for flying headscissors! And she fires haymakers and chops! She backs Reina down to a corner! Fans fire up with Candice, as she runs in and hits a back elbow. Candice climbs again and leaps for a missile dropkick! But Candice isn’t done, LIONSAULT! Cover, Candice wins!
Winner: Candice LeRae, by pinfall
The smaller star wins with her bigger heart! But wait, the Horsewomen storm the ring! Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir owe Candice for her part in Io Shirai’s ambush during training. They flank the ring, but Candice takes the fight to them! But that’s a 3v1 fight and it doesn’t favor her! Io Shirai comes to the rescue, with a kendo stick! Io SMACKS away on all three Horsewomen! But especially Jessamyn and Marina! Then she has Shayna all to herself! Shayna tries to run but gets SMACK after SMACK! The Horsewomen save the Queen of Spades but the splintering damage has been done! Will the Genius of the Sky get the best of Shayna once and for all at TakeOver: XXV?
Johnny Gargano & Matt Riddle VS reDRagon!
The rematch from NXT TakeOver: New York is on the horizon, as is a battle between Original Bro and backbreaker master. But before that, #GarganBRO takes on Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish as they reunite ahead of their tag title ladder match! Who gets major momentum towards the momentous 25th TakeOver?
The teams sort out and Gargano reasons with the less than 100% Riddle. Kyle waits impatiently for a “victim,” but Gargano gets Riddle to let him start. Gargano and Kyle circle, and Kyle drops to a floor guard. Kyle stands back up to tie up with Gargano. Gargano gets tthe wristlock but Kyle grinds his forearm in Gargano’s face. Kyle then spins to a drop toehold but Gargano slips out to a facelock. They roll around as fans duel and Gargano goes for a cover. Kyle’s out at zero and keeps his feet guard up. Gargano stands and avoids a kick, and Full Sail applauds. Kyle talks strategy with Fish and comes back. He and Gargano tie up with knuckle locks and go shoulder to shoulder. Kyle body scissors but Gargano stays up. Kyle still pulls Gargano in and gets a triangle! But Gargano rolls and escapes, to a crossface!
Kyle manages to escape before it becomes a GargaNo Escape, then trips Gargano up. Gargano pushes Kyle off and arm-drags him around. Kyle kicks low and brings Gargano over. Tag to Fish and Fish mugs Gargano. The Infamous One snapmares Gargano to a chinlock, but Gargano endures. Fans rally up and Gargano powers out. Fish holds the ropes and baits Gargano into a body shot. Fish throws Gargano by his hair then swings on Riddle. Riddle glares at Fish, but sees Kyle’s flying knee coming! Riddle roundhouses Kyle but Fish clobbers Riddle! The ref reprimands reDRagon, but then Gargano apron SUPERKICKS Fish! Fans fire up for Johnny Wrestling as he fetches Fish. Gargano puts Fish in the ring, and fans chant for the Bro. Gargano tags Riddle in!
Riddle CHOPS Fish as Gargano holds him! Palm strike after palm strike and another big CHOP! Riddle takes aim and gives “Bro Kicks”! RIddle hits Kyle off the apron, then comes back to forearm Fish! Then he goes the other way for another forearm! And an exploder! Kyle runs in but gets caught to a PELE! Riddle drags Fish up but Fish throws forearms. Riddle returns them but Fish spins Riddle to fire off strikes. But Fish gets caught into a gut wrench suplex! Riddle holds on and gut wrenches again! He still holds, but drops him as Kyle runs in! Kyle gets caught, and Kyle gets a gut wrench! Riddle holds on still, but his bad ribs stop that. And then Fish runs Riddle over with an elbow! Fish puts Riddle in the reDRagon corner and tags in Kyle.
Kyle fires off on Riddle’s ribs, then tags Fish back in. Fish brings Riddle up for a boot and body shots of his own. The ref counts but Fish lets up at 4, to taunt Gargano. Riddle gets caught by Fish again, and Kyle tags in. Kyle runs in for a big forearm, then rolls Riddle with a waistlock. Kyle drives in elbows and knees, then runs to slide and knee the ribs! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Riddle but Kyle puts him back in the reDRagon corner. Tag to Fish and reDRagon double snap suplex Riddle down. Cover, TWO! Fish keeps on Riddle’s ribs with forearms, but fans still rally for the Bro. Riddle fights back but gets knees and forearms from Fish. Fish snapmares Riddle to then slingshot senton! Cover, TWO! Riddle toughs it out but Fish stomps Riddle back down.
Fish drags Riddle up for crossface forearms, then brings Riddle back to the corner. Tag to Kyle and Kyle gives Riddle more shots to the rib. Kyle snapmares and laces the legs for a modified abdominal stretch. Riddle endures as Kyle pulls him back. Fans rally up again but Kyle makes it a cover, TWO! Riddle CHOPS Kyle so Kyle forearm back. They go back and forth, but then Riddle fires off palm strikes. Kyle blocks the roundhouse to kick and roll Riddle. Riddle rolls through to powerbomb lift, but Kyle slips out to a guillotine facelock! But Riddle slips out and wristlock ripcords Kyle for a Bro Trigger! Riddle flounders while Kyle crawls, hot tags to Gargano and Fish! Gargano slingshots and rallies on Fish! Gargano also hits Kyle with an overhead suplex!
Kyle and Fish end up in opposite corners, so Gargano starts a CHOP train back and forth! Gargano gets the bulldog-clothesline combo! Fish stands to get a mule kick, then Gargano uses Kyle as a step for the tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Fish survives but fans fire up with Gargano. Gargano hits Kyle off the apron but Fish spins and fireman’s carries. Gargano slips out but Kyle tags in. Fish mule kicks, Kyle suplexes and Fish adds a roundhouse, brainbuster! #ChasingtheDragon!! Cover, TWO!! Gargano survives with his superhuman heart, and Kyle grows frustrated. Kyle tags Fish and reDRagon prepares the other finisher. But Gargano fights out to enziguri Fish! Kyle gives Gargano Ax ‘n’ Smash! Riddle waistlocks Kyle but Kyle standing switches to hit a German Suplex!
But Riddle stands right up! Riddle German Suplexes Kyle! But Kyle stands up for a roaring elbow! Riddle rebounds to Penalty Kick! And all four men are down! Fans are loving this as the team regroup. Gargano dodges Fish and Riddle tags in. School Boy Kick misses, as does the Penalty Kick and standing moonsault. But Gargano SUPERKICKS Fish, and the Bro-Ton is dropped! Riddle climbs, Floating Bro! Cover, but Kyle breaks it up! Gargano goes at Riddle and hops the sweep to buzzsaw. Riddle roundhouses Kyle, and then Gargano long darts Kyle into the Bro-Trigger! Fish runs Gargano over but Riddle fires off those palm strikes. Fish blocks then roundhouses Riddle back. But Riddle blocks the next one to lift Fish in a BOMB! Then flip over, Final Flash knee! Cover, but Kyle drags Fish out!
Riddle goes to the apron to Penalty Kick Kyle! Riddle fetches Fish but here comes Cole! Gargano DIVES on him! Gargano fires hands off on Cole, but that leaves Riddle alone to get Strong’s strong knee! X-Plex to the apron! Strong feeds Riddle to TOTAL ANNIHILATION! Cover, reDRagon wins!!
Winners: reDRagon, Kyle O’Reilly pinning
The Undisputed Era cannot be stopped when it’s always four opponents at once! And now they can’t be stopped from beating down Gargano and Riddle! They stomp and stomp and stomp, and then Strong picks Gargano up for Cole. Cole aims, Last Shot shining wizard! “Time’s almost up, buddy.” “This is the Undisputed Era. That NXT Championship is going to be mine!” Is this just a preview of a golden Undisputed Era?
A great episode with a lot of progress made towards TakeOver: XXV. A lot of people, including myself, were hoping we’d get a Fatal 4 Way for the NXT Tag Team Championships, and not only are we getting that, we’re getting that with LADDERS! Now obviously the Viking Raiders have officially left NXT to be on Raw, but it was great to add O’Reilly & Fish in their place. Basically any team other than the Forgotten Sons will be a choice fans will accept, but it’d be even more explosive a cheer if it’s between Profits or reDRagon. We got a good match of Mansoor VS Maluta, it will be interesting to see where Manny goes post-XXV.
It was great to see Breeze return, and he and Dream had a great back and forth. Those lines were just so good. For those wondering what happened to Dream VS Dijakovic, Dijakovic’s out with injury which is unfortunate because he was likely going to have a great match with Dream. But at the same time, Dream VS Breeze is going to be a great match, too. If Breeze is sticking around for a long time, it’d be quite the move if he won the title, but I’m thinking Dream retains. We got a good match out of Candice VS Reina, but clearly there’s a lot of story with the Horsewomen involved. Io did and looked great in her save, but it’s a shame we’re not getting a Six Woman Tag go-home. Hopefully Candice keeps Jessamyn & Marina from ruining Shayna VS Shirai, and Shirai needs to get that belt.
Speaking of the go-home, we’ll be getting great though also filler matches with Yim VS Belair II and Kushida VS Gulak. I’m pretty sure Mia Yim wins to keep their feud going, while I’m thinking Kushida wins as Gulak might just be doing another quick one-off in NXT. The story of Gargano, Riddle and the Undisputed Era was great. Starting the show with the Era getting jumped to end with them standing tall was a good move, it keeps them strong going towards all three matches. The Era might not be able to help each other with their own match concerns, so there’s a good chance Riddle and Gargano could both win against Strong and Cole respectively.
My Score: 8.5/10