Who will rise up to face the NXT Women’s Champion?
Rhea Ripley is back and wants HER title, but she’ll have to get through Io Shirai! Will either prove themselves worthy of the NXT Women’s Championship?
- Karrion Kross w/ Scarlet Bourdeaux VS Liam Gray; Kross wins.
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Group B: Akira Tozawa VS El Hijo del Fanstasma; Fantasma wins and advances to the finals.
- Mia Yim VS Santana Garrett; Yim wins.
- Roderick Strong VS Dexter Lumis; Strong wins.
- Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS Ever-Rise; Lorcan & Burch win.
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Group A: Kushida VS Drake Maverick; Maverick wins and forces a Triple Threat Group A Finals.
- Rhea Ripley VS Io Shirai; Shirai wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE mourns the loss of Shad Gaspard.
Karrion Kross w/ Scarlet Bourdeaux VS Liam Gray!
Time is up on the doomsday clock! The one man Armageddon is here, and you can only FALL AND PRAY! Will this be the fate of yet another foe?
The bell rings, and Kross catches Liam for an EXPLODER! Liam writhes and flounders but Kross just grins. He picks Liam up for a NORTHERN LIGHTS, and then rolls through to a DOOMSDAY SAIDO! Kross looms over Liam and drags him up into the KROSS-JACKET!! Liam taps, Kross wins!!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by submission
Scarlet celebrates the slaughter of another lamb! Liam Gray is very black and blue, but will Kross continue to see red as he continues to hunt the NXT roster?
But wait! That heartbeat! Tommaso Ciampa returns! He stares at Kross from the stage then grabs a mic. “Allow me to officially introduce myself. My name is Tommaso Ciampa. This, that ring you’re standing in, all of this, is my home.” But Kross knew that, didn’t he? Of course he did. That’s why Kross went after the main attraction! And Ciampa gets it. Part of him respects that. Standing in Kross’ presence, feeling that aura, and seeing that 6’4″, 265 pound frame of special in a locker room full of the absolute best today. That entrance is special! It’s killer. Ciampa climbs onto the apron and Scarlet holds the ropes open for him. Ciampa enters and gets a closer look at Kross.
Does Kross know what else is special? Ciampa is special. That is why he had to come out, look Kross in the eyes, and let him know that on June 7th, at TakeOver, it will be Ciampa VS Kross. That’s special. “Welcome to the main event.” Ciampa drops the mic and backs away slowly. But will he be able to walk away when #TheEndIsNear #InYourHouse?
Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Group B: Akira Tozawa VS El Hijo del Fanstasma!
For this block, it all comes down to this! Jack Gallagher spoiled things for Swerve, so either the Stamina Monster or the second generation lucha libre icon moves on to the tournament finals! Who takes Group B by the reins on the way to a title reign?
The bell rings and Fantasma circles with Tozawa. They tie up and Fantasma waistlocks to roll, ONE! Tozawa gets the legs, floats to a headlock and grinds Fantasma, but Fantasma headscissors. Tozawa pops out and the two back off. They circle and tie up again, and Fantasma trips Tozawa to a double wristlock cover. ONE as Tozawa brings up a shoulder, but Fantasma mounts. ONE as Tozawa bridges! Fantasma brings Tozawa up to trip up again, but Tozawa bridges to resist covers. Tozawa fights up and bends Fantasma back, but Fantasma bridges now. Tozawa brings Fantasma down, TWO! The two roll, go shoulder to shoulder, and Fantasma shifts to a facelock and suplex! Float over but Tozawa bridges out right away. The two nod respect and circle again.
Fantasma sweeps, covers, ONE! Tozawa sweeps, covers, ONE! Fantasma arm-drags but Tozawa springs up and arm-drags right back! Tozawa dropkicks but Fantasma dodges, and the two stand off again. Things cool off as the two circle. Fantasma lunges in to waistlock and slams Tozawa down! He flips Tozawa over, but Tozawa kips up to CHOP! Fantasma CHOPS back, and now we have a CHOP fight! CHOP for CHOP, but then Tozawa fakes Fantasma out to JAB! Tozawa dodges, runs, Fantasma pops him up but Tozawa huricanranas! Fantasma bails out but Tozawa builds speed. Tozawa stops short when he sees Fantasma move, and he goes to the apron to FLYING HURICANRANA instead! Fantasma flounders at the ramp and Tozawa goes back to the apron. Tozawa aims and CANNONBALLS Fantasma into barriers! Both men crash down and a ring count begins as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as Tozawa tries to get Fantasma in the Iron Octopus. Fantasma fights back but Tozawa clubs him down., Tozawa runs but Fantasma trips him up! Fantasma drags him to the apron and spins him around for a KICK! Fantasma adds on with an apron SPLASH! He puts Tozawa in the ring to then slingshot senton! Cover, TWO! Fantasma keeps on Tozawa with a facelock and drags him up. Fantasma clubs Tozawa then back suplexes. Tozawa lands on his feet and shoves to back kick, spin and slide under. Waistlock and GERMAN SUPLEX! Tozawa has Fantasma in a drop zone and heads to the top rope. Tozawa takes aim but Fantasma trips him up! Fantasma climbs up to join him, throws forearms on Tozawa, then goes for the suplex. Tozawa fights back and turns Fantasma around.
Fantasma elbows back and Tozawa hops down, only to springboard back up! But Fantasma blocks the steiner for a fireman’s carry! BUCKLE GUTBUSTER DROP! Fantasma drags Tozawa off the top for a cover, TWO!! Tozawa grits his teeth as he survives and Fantasma can’t believe it! Fantasma vows to end this and he CHOPS Tozawa. Fantasma whips but Tozawa dodges and wheelbarrows, for a BULLDOG! Tozawa has Fantasma in a drop zone again and heads up top. TOKYO TOWER SENTON!! But Fantasma flops out of the ring! Tozawa pursues, puts Fantasma back in and covers, TWO!! Fantasma survives but Tozawa keeps focus. Tozawa throws forearms over and over on Fantasma at the ropes, then runs, but into a dropkick! He’s sent out of the ring! Fantasma aims and builds speed, ARROW FROM HELL!! Direct hit at the ramp! Fantasma gets Tozawa back in and goes corner to corner, for a big back elbow! Then fireman’s carry, but Tozawa fights out!
Tozawa changes the fireman’s carry to the IRON OCTOPUS! Fantasma fights out again, gets the carry back, and hits the PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Fantasma wins!!
Winner: El Hijo del Fantasma, by pinfall (moves up to 2-1; Tozawa drops to 2-1)
The Stamina Monster does NOT go undefeated! And despite the tied records, because he lost to Fantasma, Tozawa is OUT! Fantasma is the Group B Finalist! Will Fantasma skyrocket to the top of the Cruiserweight Division with just one more match?
NXT hears from Timothy Thatcher.
“Last week, I left the Matt Riddle circus.” He enjoyed wrenching Riddle’s arm and tearing at his leg. But he wants more. Pinfalls won’t be enough. No fluke pins! Riddle wins by knockout or tap out! Those are the rules Thatcher puts before The Bro. Riddle can choose the time and place, because Thatcher is ready. Will we see these battle tested warriors go all out at TakeOver?
NXT hears from Shotzi Blackheart.
The wild child from Oakland, California has a motto in life: #TCB, “Take Care o’ Business.” She is balls to the wall! Who’s your daddy? Shotzi is! Some people like cars, Shotzi loves TANKS! The 105 Howitzer is the “Dirty Blonde.” Like tanks, Shotzi don’t give an ISH! Tanks make their own path, so Shotzi will do that, too. Her dad was a motorcycle badass who introduced her to rock ‘n’ roll, punk rock, and wrestling. There’s a synergy of ballsy rebellion. Shotzi feels like she can do anything to anyone at any time. And do you want to see what she does to the NXT Women’s Division? Watch her demonstrate with the help of her Howitzer! Shotzi knows how Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez look at her. Shotzi makes no apologies for who she is. What you see is what you get, and what you get is something you can’t handle! Crunching cars is music to Shotzi’s ears. Dakota and Raquel are gonna feel that, too. Even Chelsea Green, Candice LeRae and anyone else who gets in her way! Get out the way or get crushed by the real-life Tank Girl!
Mia Yim VS Santana Garrett!
The Head Baddie in Charge and her Limitless lover are the new targets of #TheJohnnyGarganoWay. Will Mia show Candice LeRae why she ain’t nothin’ to mess with? Or will the Wonder Woman of Wrestling make big waves of her own in the ever intensifying Women’s Division?
The bell rings and Mia circles with Santana. The two tie up, Santana waistlocks and whips but Mia reverses. Santana goes up and over and arm-drags Mia down. Mia gets up fast and arm-drags back, and both women dropkick! Mia nods respect but Santana knees her low! Santana whips Mia to a corner then runs in, to handspring back elbow! Santana smiles as she drags Mia into a facelock and snap suplex! Roll back to a cover, TWO! Mia runs into a waistlock but elbows and switches. Mia full nelsons for a DRAGON SUPLEX! She drags Santana up for Kowata kicks then a step through, PROTECT YA NECK! Cover, Mia wins!
Winner: Mia Yim, by pinfall
The HBIC redeems herself after that loss to Charlotte Flair, but then Johnny Gargano comes out mocking the theme song. He and Candice want everyone to give it up for “Mia! Mia!” But there’s no fans to cheer along. Candice “congratulates” Mia for winning, but what happened to that match with the NXT Women’s Championship? Mia was handed a chance on a silver platter, but dropped the ball because she was too busy pandering to “them.” Candice would’ve loved that same opportunity! Loved it! She would’ve thrived in that match! Thrived!! Too bad Mia took that from Candice. That’s a tragedy. Johnny knows Candice wouldn’t have blown her chance like you-know-who. But while they’re all out here, how about the Garganos show what happens to someone undeserving? Johnny gets on the apron but Mia BOOTS him down!
Candice attacks from behind with hammering fists, but Mia KNEES back! Mia runs but Candice and Gargano dump her out! Johnny and Candice laugh, but here comes Keith Lee! The NXT North American Champion scares Gargano off to regroup with Candice. Keith helps Mia up, and they both storm the ring! The Garganos run away, but are still cocky as before. Mia says the Garganos just messed with the wrong duo. Will #TheJohnnyGarganoWay have to protect their necks? Or will they #BaskInHisGlory?
NXT hears from Cameron Grimes.
The Carolina Caveman laughs it up as he notes last week’s “greatest moment in NXT history!” The greatest NXT Champion ever and original WWE Universal Champion, Finn Balor, lost to Cameron Grimes! Grimes used to look up to Balor. But after that Cave-In, Balor was looking up at Grimes for the 1-2-3. That may be an upset or a surprise, but Grimes doesn’t care what y’all think. All he knows is, it’s #GrimeTime! Of course, that win was given to him by Damian Priest. We will hear from Priest later tonight, but will there be a response from The Prince?
Backstage interview with Drake Maverick!
Tonight is his last match in the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament. He must defeat Kushida in order to even stay alive in the standings. Maverick says hope seems to be all anyone thinks he has. Not to mention all the cliches, like his back is against the wall, fighting from underneath in this underdog story. Maverick has heard them all in his life. The reality is, Maverick is up against perhaps the greatest Junior Heavyweight wrestler, best Lightweight wrestler, best Cruiserweight wrestler, whatever terminology you want to use. Kushida is just the best! So Maverick has two options: beat him by pinfall, or beat him by submission. But the last time Maverick checked, he’s NOT Bret Hart. So y’know what? Maverick admits he is tired. He is tired of second-guessing himself. He is tired of asking, “What if?” And he’s tired of feeling sorry for himself, having people give him pep talks, and people trying to give him advice. He has ONE thing to do tonight, and one thing only: WIN. Can Maverick do it?!
Roderick Strong VS Dexter Lumis!
The Undisputed Era dislike a lot of wrestlers in NXT, but they’re starting to dislike the lethal, lurking and outright loony Lumis most of all. Can the Savior of the Backbreaker break Lumis and get him out of their way? Or will Lumis be the one doing the breaking tonight?
As Strong makes his entrance with the Undisputed Era, Adam Cole makes sure we remember he is the longest reigning NXT Champion of all time. Maybe next week, he and the fellas celebrate the one year mark! One UNDISPUTED year! But Strong goes into the ring alone and the rest of the Era go back to the back. Will Roddy be okay being all alone with “the creepy dork”?
The bell rings and Strong is wary of Lumis. They tie up, Strong wrenches and clamps onto the shoulder as he spins Lumis around. Lumis wrenches back and brings Strong down to the mat. Strong gets up, wrenches and headlocks, but Lumis wrenches out. Lumis has the keylock but Strong gets the ropebreak. The ref counts and Lumis lets go. Lumis turns away but turns right back to catch Strong creeping up on him! Strong freaks and bails out of the ring. Lumis watches as Strong takes his time returning. The two circle and tie up again. Strong gets a leg but Lumis stays standing. Lumis facelocks and gut wrenches but Strong switches to a waistlock. Lumis reaches back to headlock and throw Strong down. Strong scrambles away again in frustration. Strong wants Lumis to stop staring but Lumis doesn’t. Strong rushes in but into a drop toehold! Strong gets up fast but Lumis throws uppercut after uppercut!
Lumis brings Strong up to scoop and slam! Then he drops a leg, brother! Strong gets up again but Lumis runs corner to corner for another uppercut! Strong knees back and throws haymakers! Strong CHOPS then brings Lumis around for forearms. He whips Lumis corner to corner but Lumis reverses and runs in. Strong BOOTS and ROCKS Lumis! He whips but Lumis reveres and runs to BULLDOG! Strong bails out again but Lumis pursues. Lumis kicks, Strong kicks back and runs away! Lumis grabs him and pulls him from the corner but Strong boots. Lumis uppercuts but is sent into the steel steps! Strong gives Lumis a back suplex to the apron! Lumis is down and NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as Strong fires off fists in the corner. Strong runs side to side to forearm smash, then again! He wrenches and reels Lumis in for a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Strong clamps onto Lumis with a chinloick, then traps the arms for a seated cobra twist. Lumis endures and even glares at Strong in the eyes! Strong hammers and clubs Lumis, and tells him to stop with the staring. But again Lumis powers against the forearm in his face to stare in Strong’s soul! Strong pulls Lumis’ nose! The ref reprimands and Strong stops to put on a chinlock. But Lumis looks at him again and it creeps Strong out. Strong lets Lumis go to stomp him, but Lumis hits back. Strong clubs and knees Lumis, then drags Lumis up for forearms. Lumis forearms back! Strong hits back, but Lumis DECKS him! Lumis whips, Strong reverses and knees! Then OLYMPIC SLAMS Lumis down! Cover, TWO!! Lumis lives and Strong is frustrated.
Strong pushes Lumis around but Lumis doesn’t look away. Strong stomps Lumis then fish hooks the face to elbow him in the head. Strong grabs a leg and stomps Lumis in the stomach. He turns Lumis but Lumis grabs at Strong. Lumis kicks Strong away then gets up to ROCK him again! Strong clubs back, and again! Lumis finally falls to his knees, but he slips out of the second Olympic Slam to shove and THESZ PRESS! Lumis throws fast hands then DECKS Strong over and over! Uppercut! Lumis whips and back drops Strong! Lumis keeps throwing hands on Strong at the ropes, then drags him up for a rebound suplex! Cover, TWO! Lumis drags Strong up to look him in the eyes, but Strong elbows back! Strong leans on the ropes, but he BOOTS and ENZIGURIS! He CHOPS Lumis, but Lumis seems to welcome it. Strong CHOPS again, but Lumis silently eggs him on. Strong CHOPS and CHOPS and forearms and elbows and clubs away! Lumis wobbles, but he SPINE BUSTERS Strong down!
Lumis drags Strong up, but Strong elbows out of the slam! Strong grabs the legs, yanks Lumis up, and even anticipates the twisting body scissors! Strong sits on that for a cover, Strong wins!!
Winner: Roderick Strong, by pinfall
Lumis may be calculating, but he didn’t see Strong pulling that one out! Strong celebrates ringside, but Lumis slithers up to grab him! The Anaconda Vice in the ropes!! Strong flails but Lumis drags him down to the ground and puts him out! The ref shouts at Lumis but Lumis doesn’t care. The Undisputed Era return and kick away but Lumis doesn’t let go of Strong! Fish holds Lumis in place, but Velveteen Dream CLOBBERS Cole! Dream throws Fish into steel steps, and then SUPERKICKS Cole over the barriers! Dream climbs up to mock the UE hand signs-for that matter, he’s mocking the entire faction by wearing their merchandise-and then LEAPS! SUPER PURPLE RAIN MAKER onto Cole on the floor!! Dream just crushed Cole, and Lumis pets Strong while he sleeps. Are these two equally yet very different eccentrics the perfect combination to take down the Undisputed Era?
Fantasma finds Tozawa in the parking lot.
He pulls up alongside the Stamina Monster to thank him for that great match tonight. Tozawa is crazy, but he has Fantasma’s respect. Tozawa thanks Fantasma back, but then those mystery luchadors attack him!? Fantasma hurries to help but the golden masked men get away again! Just what is going on around Full Sail?!
Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS Ever-Rise!
The One Two returns to NXT, hoping to punch their ticket to the tag team titles! But will they be able to get the 1-2-3 on the ever eager Matt Martel and Chase Parker?
The teams sort out and Parker starts with Burch. They circle, tie up, and Burch headlocks. Parker powers out but Burch runs him over! Burch speeds things up, and catches Parker out of the air! Parker ends up in the enemy corner and gets a clothesline and enziguri! Burch hops up and hits a missile dropkick! Parker tags Martel in but Martel gets ROCKED! Tag to Oney and the brawlers wrench and CHOP Martel down! Oney brings Martel up for EuroUppers and CHOPS! Martel headlocks, Parker tags in, but Oney fights them both off! He elbows Martel down and Dragon Screws Parker! Running EuroUpper! Running BLOCKBUSTER! Oney is fired up and drags Parker into a Half Crab! Burch catches Martel for a CROSSFACE! Ever-Rise taps, Burch & Lorcan win!
Winners: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch, by submission
Fast and furious! The BritAm Brawlers get it down with technical holds! But will they step up to Imperium’s Barthel & Aichner and finally take over the tag team division?
NXT Superstars react to this new Candice and Johnny.
Tegan Nox asks Candice, “Who are you lately?” Dakota says Candice is someone who doesn’t need to explain herself to anyone. Then Dakota mocks Tegan by saying she should go make another comeback story. One that’s “Emotional. Gripping. Repetitive.”
Backstage interview with Keith Lee.
The Limitless One asked for this time to speak. And before anyone asks, yes, Keith saw the Gargano “dinner party” last week. Who in the bluest of blue hell records themselves eating dinner? But moreover, Keith doesn’t care what the Garganos think about him. What he has a problem with are the antics from tonight. This “Gargano way” is what he has a problem with. #TheJohnnyGarganoWay reaches its limit at TakeOver. Go tell the world. Will Keith and Mia show Johnny and Candice how things are really done in NXT?
Matt Riddle speaks.
“Trashy Tim, I bet you think you’re pretty cool taking a walk on me, Pete and the tag team titles.” And then he attacks Riddle from behind with a TV monitor. But then Riddle came back and beat him. But then Thatcher tried to clip The Bro’s wings. Thatcher isn’t a stallion, he’s a putz. And then Thatcher challenges Riddle to a knockout, tap out fight. Riddle’s down for that, bro. But any location? Riddle has an idea. It’ll be somewhere they’re both familiar: a steel cage! NXT might have some true MMA on their hands with this one!
Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Group A: Kushida VS Drake Maverick!
We’ve heard and seen the emotional roller coaster Rockstar Spud has been riding lately. This match could be his very last chance not just at this title, but being a wrestler in the WWE at all. Can Maverick force a huge tie in the group and really turn this tournament upside down? Or is it only a matter of time for the Time Splitter to add another title to his resume?
The bell rings and Maverick circles with Kushida. They tie up, Kushida puts Maverick in the corner, but lets up at the ref’s count. They go again, Kushida headlocks, but Maverick powers him to ropes. Kushida lets go and Maverick gives a push as they break. The two circle again, Kushida waistlocks to a headlock and grinds Maverick down. Maverick endures, fights up and powers out. Kushida reels Maverick in, but Maverick tilt-o-whirls to sunset flip! TWO, Kushida avoids Mavericks lunge and wags his finger, “No, no, no.” The two go around again, knuckle lock but Kushida drags Maverick into an armlock. Maverick rolls, Kushida pushes him away, and then Kushida runs Maverick over. Things speed up, Maverick drops down but Kushida basement dropkicks him! Maverick gets up to throw haymakers on Kushida! Kushida KICKS back, but Maverick kicks, too! Maverick CHOPS and has Kushida on the ropes. Maverick whips, Kushida back handspring elbows Maverick down! Kushida drop toeholds and goes after the arm!
Maverick resists but Kushida pushes him down. Kushida hammerlocks the arm around a leg, then pulls the other arm! Kushida steps through to have both legs, for a snap deathlock on them both! Maverick clutches his elbows but Kushida looms over him. Wait, Jake Atlas appears ringside? He’s cheering Maverick on as Maverick throws body shots. Kushida wrenches and hits a shoulder breaker! Kushida stalks Maverick to the corner and dropkicks him down! Maverick hits back with clubbing forearms, but Kushida wrenches and wrings Maverick to the mat. Kushida digs a knee into the shoulder but Maverick resists. Kushida stays on top of Maverick as he wrenches and SLAMS the arm! Then he cartwheel dropkicks Maverick down! Cover, TWO! Maverick is still in this as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Maverick brawls with Kushida! They go forearm for forearm but Kushida KICKS the arm! But Maverick fires off more forearms! He whips Kushida but Kushida reverses. Maverick goes up and over and Kushida crashes into buckles. Maverick baits Kushida into a drop toehold and he crashes into more buckles! Atlas cheers Maverick on as Maverick KNEES Kushida out of the corner! Maverick hops up, leaps, and missile dropkicks Kushida down! Then he hops on, for a SUNSET BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Maverick grows desperate but Kushida PENALTY KICKS the bad arm! Kushida dodges Maverick’s clothesline to hit the FAST BALL! Maverick grits his teeth but he gets a SHOTEI! Maverick flounders to a corner, Kushida runs in, SHOTEI!! Kushida drags Maverick out, wrenches the arm, and drops a knee on it! Maverick clutches the elbow but gets to his feet. Kushida throws Maverick out of the ring and gives him a breather.
The ring count begins and Maverick drags himself up. Maverick stands at 5 and gets in at 6. He refuses to quit, and he throws hands on Kushida! Kushida scoop SLAMS Maverick down, then backs off. Maverick sits up but Kushida stands on the arm. He hammerlock STOMPS it! Then wrenches with the double wristlock! Maverick refuses to give up and he gets to the ropes! Kushida lets go and the ref asks Maverick if he wants to stop. Maverick will NOT stop, and he throws haymakers on Kushida. Kushida uppercuts Maverick back down, then goes after the arm again. Kushida cranks on the wrist and elbow but Maverick screams “NO!!” Maverick is taking the Hoverboard Lock, but he doesn’t say die! Atlas cheers Maverick’s determination, but Kushida hits another SHOTEI! Maverick eggs Kushida on, and Kushida gets the arm again. Kushida starts the tornado but Maverick sits him up top! Maverick ROCKS Kushida with a right, and Atlas is encouraging Maverick to finish this.
Maverick climbs up top, but Kushida has the bad arm again! Top rope Hoverboard! The ref counts, Kushida lets go at 4, but again Maverick ROCKS him! Maverick climbs with one good arm, brings Kushida up, and wheelbarrows, only to be blocked! Kushida hits a SUPER TAKEDOWN into the CROSS ARMBREAKER!! Maverick fights but Kushida pulls on the arm! Maverick makes it a cover, MAVERICK WINS?!?
Winner: Drake Maverick, by pinfall (moves up to 2-1; Kushida drops to 2-1)
Incredible!! Was this the #MiracleontheMat? Maverick brings about the unbelievable THREE WAY TIE in Group A!! Maverick beat Kushida, Kushida beat Atlas, but Atlas beat Maverick! Atlas joins both Maverick and Kushida in the ring as Byron Saxton tells them the news. NXT GM, William Regal, says that this three-way tie brings about one more match in Group A! Next week, it is a TRIPLE THREAT to determine Group A’s finalist!! Maverick’s win keeps himself and Atlas alive in the tournament, but will there be one more miracle in store for Rockstar Spud?
NXT hears from Damian Priest.
“The key to infamy: multiple targets.” The Archer of Infamy clearly wants to be champion, and championships will come. But Finn Balor returning to NXT was a possible target that turned into an opportunity. Balor put NXT on the map. For that reason alone, Priest is coming for Balor. And not just on any stage. He will do it on the stage Balor made a name for himself: TakeOver. This TakeOver, Balor’s name will turn to ash, while Priest’s name will #LiveForever. Is Priest going to end the reign of The Prince In Your House?
Rhea Ripley VS Io Shirai!
The Queen took the NXT Women’s Championship from the Mosh Pit Kid at WrestleMania, then cheated the Evil Genius out of it in their first-ever showdown. However, the two contenders ended up turning on each other because they both want Charlotte Flair all to themselves. Will one clear their path of the other and go after Charlotte’s throne soon enough? Or is this benefiting Charlotte most of all?
The bell rings and Shirai dropkicks Rhea right away! Shirai and Rhea brawl, then Rhea knees low. Rhea whips, Shirai hols ropes and kicks back! Shirai grins at Rhea and things speed up. Rhea catches Shirai but Shirai slips out and CLAWS the back! Rhea is mad, blocks Shirai’s punches and CLOBBERS her! And again! And again! Shirai dodges but Rhea dropkicks her out! Shirai gets to the apron and tells Rhea to back off. Rhea does, only to come right after her with stomps! Rhea drags Shirai up to slam her down! Then again! Rhea eggs Shirai on before dragging her up again. Shirai fights free but Rhea reels her in for a waistlock. Shirai wheelbarrows, rolls and STOMPS! Cover, ONE!! Shirai can’t believe Rhea got out so quickly, but NXT goes to one last break.
NXT returns once again and Shirai tries to whip Rhea. Rhea blocks with power to whip Shirai the other way. Shirai dodges, handsprings but Rhea gets clear. They both run, Shirai huricanranas but Rhea blocks! Rhea brings her up but Shirai sunset flips and covers, TWO! Shirai headlocks and gets a crossface! Rhea endures as Shirai cranks on her neck, and she fights her way up to her feet. Rhea drags Shirai up and RAMS her into buckles! Shirai lets go and Rhea sits her up. Shirai boots back and then goes up top! Rhea staggers over and SWATS Shirai! Rhea throws more haymakers then climbs up top. She clubs away on Shirai’s back then brings her up. Shirai resists the superplex and fights back. Rhea headbutts over and over and over to sit Shirai down! Then Rhea drags Shirai to the very top, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Shirai survives and Rhea is furious! Rhea gets up and looms over Shirai. She drags Shirai up by her hair, but Shirai UPPERCUTS! And again! And SHOTEI! But Rhea DECKS her!!
Rhea drags Shirai up again, back suplexes, but Shirai lands on her feet. Shirai baits Rhea into a takedown! CROSSFACE! Rhea crawls and claws over, reaches for the ropes, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Shirai lets go fast, but she is growing frustrated. Shirai runs, and TIGER FEINT! She springboards and missile dropkicks Rhea out! Then DIVES! Tope suicida at the ramp! And here comes Charlotte! The hardest working woman in the WWE mocks her contenders as they throw hands on each other. Rhea clubs away on Shirai, then glares at Charlotte before throwing Shirai to the ring. But Shirai tiger feints again, and tilt-o-whirl headscissors Rhea into Charlotte! Down goes the Queen! Shirai drags Rhea up and into the ring, then aims from across the way. Shirai runs in, to METEORA! Cover, TWO! Rhea survives and Shirai is shocked!
Shirai clubs Rhea on the back but Rhea pushes her away. Rhea pops Shirai up but Shirai hits a DDT! Cover, TWO! And Charlotte BOOTS Shirai down!!
Winner: Io Shirai, by disqualification
Once again, Charlotte gives Shirai a win, but not the way Shirai would want it! But Charlotte isn’t done, she watches Rhea stand up, and SPEARS her back down! The Mad Queen laughs as she leaves her contenders down for the count. She holds the NXT Women’s Championship up as she stands over them. Will the Queen have to face the consequences of her actions soon enough?
A great episode for NXT with some great progress towards TakeOver: In Your House. First, the opening segment was pretty good. Kross wrecks another jobber, but then Ciampa returning was a good surprise. That match is going to be great for TakeOver. Mia gets a quick win off Santana Garrett, but the main thing was the quick little brawl with Candice. Since TakeOvers are usually concise with its match card, I would think Keith VS Gargano for the NXT North American Championship is the TakeOver match, but the go-home to it really should be the Mixed Tag of Johnny & Candice VS Keith & Mia. Also I like that Tegan and Dakota were able to get their feud in through the Candice Heel Turn. Shotzi had a somewhat corny but fairly good promo, keeping all of her feud options fresh on the table. We got a filler tag of Oney & Burch winning, but I’m sure they’ll be contending for the NXT Tag Team Championship again during Empty Arena Era.
The Cruiserweight story is going great, but I do understand the controversy of Maverick being in this position. I said before that in a vacuum, this is actually great writing. In the context of the “Black Wednesday” releases, it’s poor taste and bad timing. But either way, Maverick is nailing every part of this, and I am impressed that NXT pulled off the three way tie. I can’t be sure which is the better move: Maverick uses the Triple Threat to sneak a win, only to lose to Fantasma; or the inevitable happens, and Kushida wins. I feel like there’s a lot for Maverick to still do either way, I’m just not sure which the fans would go crazy for since they aren’t live to react. Meanwhile, I have a feeling those gold mask luchadors might screw Fantasma out of the title, regardless of who his finals opponent is. Thatcher and Riddle in a Cage Match is going to be awesome next week! And it’s not a Steel Cage match, in that you can win by escaping. The cage is there simply to give the match that MMA feel. Riddle won last week but Thatcher stood tall, so it’s anyone’s guess who wins the rematch.
Grimes has a good promo, as does Priest. Balor VS Priest is going to be really good, but I would think Balor wins. Lumis and Strong had an incredible match, and Lumis’ character work is so strong right now! Dream making the save and that epic (though most certainly edited) Purple Rain Maker was all great stuff. Lumis and Dream make quite the combo and I would think we get another tag match of them against the Undisputed Era. There is still a chance one or even both of them challenge Cole for the title at TakeOver to see if that one-year-plus reign continues or stops. But I swear we better get a Triple Threat for the women’s title. Rhea and Shirai had an amazing match, even with Charlotte busting it apart. But I felt that was coming, so it’s all fine. And I believe I also said before that a Triple Threat is the perfect way for Shirai to get the title, especially if she pins Rhea and not Charlotte.
My Score: 9.2/10