The road to NXT In Your House is a rough one!
Adam Cole negotiates terms with William Regal, and Kurt Angle returns to referee NXT’s first ever Cage FIGHT between Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher!
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Group A Triple Threat: KUSHIDA VS Jake Atlas VS Drake Maverick; Maverick wins and will face El Hijo del Fantasma in the finals.
- Johnny Gargano Invitational: Johnny Gargano w/ Candice LeRae VS Adrian Alanis; Gargano wins.
- Shotzi Blackheart VS Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai; Gonzalez wins.
- Rhea Ripley & Io Shirai VS Charlotte Flair & ???; Charlotte Flair & Chelsea Green win.
- Tommaso Ciampa VS Leon Ruff; Ciampa wins.
- NXT Fight Pit: Matt Riddle VS Timothy Thatcher, special guest referee Kurt Angle; Thatcher wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT’s own superstars are tonight’s crowd!
The other wrestlers and prospects of the black ‘n’ yellow get to cheer on their fellow superstars in action tonight!
Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Group A Triple Threat: KUSHIDA VS Jake Atlas VS Drake Maverick!
So far, it has been a rather miraculous run for Rockstar Spud as he scratches and claws to stay in the WWE. But it took so much for him just to pull off the win on the Time Splitter, does he have enough left to take down Kushida and Atlas at the same time? Or is someone else going to live his dream of becoming Cruiserweight Champion?
The bell rings and the three approach. Kushida wristlocks Maverick and kicks Atlas but Maverick hits Kushida and CHOPS Atlas! Maverick shakes out the bad arm but Atlas CHOPS back! Atlas whips and pops Maverick up, but Maverick dropkicks Kushida down! Maverick dodges Atlas but runs into a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover but Kushida breaks it! Kushida throws Atlas out and goes after Maverick’s bad arm! Atlas hurries back in and throws Kushida out. Atlas goes up and out and MOONSAULTS! Direct hit takes Kushida down! Atlas hurries back up and shoulders into Maverick. Atlas springboard BLOCKBUSTERS! Cover, TWO!!
Kushida hurries in, Atlas goes Matrix and handspring neckbreakers! Cover, TWO! Atlas drags Kushida up while Maverick goes to a corner. Atlas CHOPS Kushida then whips. Kushida reverses and hip tosses Atlas down to handspring dropkick! Kushida KICKS Maverick’s arm! Then SHOTEIS Atlas in a corner! SHOTEI for Maverick, too! Kushida hoists Maverick up but Atlas CLUBS Kushida on the back. Atlas Electric Chairs Kushida and Maverick stands up. Kushida slips out the back and shoves Atlas into Maverick’s boot! Kushida O’Conner rolls but Maverick runs in! GERMAN SUPLEX! Double cover, TWO!! Kushida has control over both opponents as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns Maverick throws a forearm at Atlas. Atlas forearms Kushida but Kushida forearms Maverick. Maverick hits Atlas but Atlas uppercuts Kushida. Maverick goes after Atlas and Atlas hits back. Maverick backs Atlas down, whips but Atlas reverses. But Maverick goes up and over and baits Atlas into buckles! Kushida runs in but is sent into Atlas! Maverick kicks them both out of the corner! Maverick hops up to missile dropkick Kushida! Atlas runs in but is put on the apron. Kushida runs in but the handspring kick takes Atlas out! Maverick runs into a boot! Kushida goes up to LEAP onto Atlas! They crash into the barriers but Kushida hurries to enziguri Maverick! TORNADO DDT! CROSS ARMBAR!! Maverick rolls it to a cover, TWO!!
Atlas returns as Kushida and Maverick go to opposite ends. Atlas KNEES Maverick down at the ropes! Kushida runs in but Atlas spins him around for the inverted suplex! Cover, but Maverick breaks it! Maverick gets space as the crowd rallies up. Atlas runs in but only gets post! Maverick hits the climbing bulldog! Cover, but Kushida breaks it! Kushida kicks away on Maverick’s face, but Maverick roars! Only to get a FAST BALL! Kushida brings Atlas up but Atlas ROCKS him! Atlas whips, Kushida handsprings but Atlas catches him for a GERMAN! Atlas stalks Maverick and brings him around. Scoop and slam and Atlas goes up top. Atlas aims and cartwheels, RAINBOW DDT! Cover but Kushida drags Atlas out!
Kushida and Atlas brawl on the outside, and Atlas BOOTS the Fast Ball away! Atlas hurries back up to the top rope, aims at Maverick again, but Kushida anchors him! Kushida and Atlas brawl as Kushida climbs, and Maverick adds on! He ROCKS Atlas off the top! Atlas crashes down and Maverick goes up after Kushida. Atlas returns as Kushida wrenches the arm! SAKURABA but Atlas BOOTS Maverick down! Atlas goes after Kushida with clubbing forearms but gets a shoulder breaker! Kushida adjusts and brings Atlas up, SUPER ARMBAR TAKEDOWN!! Maverick crawls over and covers Atlas!! MAVERICK WINS!?!
Winner: Drake Maverick, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Unbelievable! Kushida thought his armbar was going to finish Atlas, but it was not faster than the three count! Maverick is not done yet, and here comes El Hijo del Fantasma! The tournament final is finally set, and Fantasma shakes hands with Maverick. They both vow to be the champion, but who wants it more?
But wait! There might be controversy in the decision!
The referee may have counted three on Maverick’s pinfall, but what he couldn’t see was Atlas’ right hand underneath Maverick. Atlas tapped out just before the referee counted three! The decision is final, but will this give Kushida reason to be first in line after the finals?
Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae head to the ring!
Mr. and Mrs. #AllHeartNoSoul are here, and telling the booing NXT superstars that they only have their jobs because of them. But people are also putting words in their mouths. The Johnny Gargano Way isn’t about getting rid of people, it’s about making everyone better. There are some “good hands” out in that crowd. But opportunities are given to those who deserve them. It’s how Gargano got his job, and now he is the face of NXT! But please, hold your applause. But tonight is the first ever Johnny Gargano Invitational! For the first time ever, a young superstar will have the honor of stepping in the ring with the greatest performer of this generation. Keep working hard, crowd stars, because one day it could be you. But tonight, drum roll please… It’s Adrian Al- Wait, how do you say this last name? Adrian Alanis!
Johnny Gargano w/ Candice LeRae VS Adrian Alanis!
The crowd wants Alanis to “Kick His Ass!” but this is the first NXT Triple Crown winner we’re talking about. We will all see things go #TheJohnnyGarganoWay?
The bell rings and Gargano offers Alanis a handshake. Alains takes it, and Gargano DECKS him! Gargano rains down fists and the crowd boos. Gargano grins and celebrates but Alanis DECKS him back! Alanis runs into a SUPERKICK! Now Gargano is upset and he clamps onto Alanis’ face with hooking fingers. And then the GargaNO Escape! Alanis taps, Gargano wins!
Winner: Johnny Gargano, by submission
Gargano pushes Alanis out of his ring, and then takes his time putting his #TJGW shirt back on. But wait, on the titantron. “What a great picture. I loved kicking Little Boy Skinny Jeans.” Keith Lee concurs with Mia Yim. That was excellent form. How nice to have dinner together. And a nice little centerpiece, too. Trash and cheap, just like the Gargano’s! Oof. Mia is feeling it boiling up. She’s ready to pop off! You ready for this? Mia mocks twisted Candice by saying she’s “an angry little pixie that don’t know how to tone my hair. I am 4′ 7″ but I think I’m a pitbull. I’ve been in NXT for 25 years with no titles to show for it, and that’s because I love living int he shadow for my sad excuse of a husband.” Ready to eat? No! What was that? Talking to Keith and then talking to something else, with weird lights and sounds. What was that? Mia says Keith should try!
Keith takes the flashlight and does the same spooky face. No this is too bright. Just try! “Hi, I’m Johnny Gargano. I have something in common with my action figures, as we are the same size. I carried the imaginary flag for NXT, even though nobody asked me to. And in the morning when I wake up, I spend more time looking at myself in the mirror than I do my own wife.” Hmm… That worked up an appetite. What did Mia cook? The same thing Candice does: take-out! Knock knock! How conveniently timed. Tegan Nox is here with Gargano’s Pizza! Sorry, she kinda got hungry on the way, so enjoy what’s left. Well alright. One slice?!
But to get serious, Candice and Gargano should’ve just sat there and ate their food. But they had to put Mia’s and Keith’s names in their mouths. Their attempts to put hands on Mia, that has consequences. So here’s a real toast. It’s not the Gargano way. It’s about making them pay. Keith supports that. Cheers. The crowd laughs and mocks Candice and Johnny. Will Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling soon #BaskInTheirGlory?
Backstage interview with Drake Maverick!
The replay shows Maverick got away with the win, and he said he wants to compete fairly. He could compete in another match with Kushida or something. But Kushida comes by to say Maverick is going to fight for the title. Go win. Good luck. Maverick tells Kushida that he has all the respect in the world for him. So when Maverick wins, Kushida will get that first shot. They shake on it, but that’s a tall task for Maverick. But Maverick can finally celebrate just a little, knowing he’s in the finals. Will he be able to celebrate even bigger after taking on Fantasma?
NXT hears from Imperium’s Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner.
“And new NXT Tag Team Champions, the Pride of Italy, Fabian Aichner, and the Impeccable German, Marcel Barthel.” Imperium has official taken over NXT’s Tag Team Division! For any team that dares step in the way, these titles are not coming off their shoulders. Just like the NXT United Kingdom Championship is never coming off Walter’s shoulders. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch want to disrespect Imperium, but they are a disgrace to their home countries and to the sacred mat. Now Imperium dictates the pace and sets the rules! Welcome to the Era of Imperium!
Shotzi Blackheart VS Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai!
The wild child is ready to #TCB, Take Care o’ Business! But with all the other women in the division in her sights, how many can she shoot down on the way to the title before emptying the tank?
The bell rings and Raquel powers Shotzi right to the ropes. The ref counts and Raquel lets up but Shotzi shoves back! Shotzi gets around and waistlocks but Raquel pries free to run her over! Raquel drags Shotzi up to run her over again! Raquel pulls Shotzi up bu her hair but Shotzi hits an arm code breaker! Shotzi kicks from the mat then spins around to wheelbarrow. Raquel dead lifts Shotzi but Shotzi fights free. Shotzi boots and springboards but the headscissors are stopped! Raquel pops Shotzi up but Shotzi sunset flips! Raquel stays up, drags Shotzi up but Shotzi tries again! Shotzi avoids the elbow drop counter, and hits a BIG knee! And then a rolling elbow! Question Mark Kick! SHotzi roars and enziguris Raquel down!
Dakota panics and coaches Raquel, and then saves her from the body attack! Raquel throws Shotzi down and drops an elbow! Cover, TWO! Dakota confiscates the tank!? Raquel makes Shotzi watch as Dakota vandalizes the toy. But then Tegan Nox appears and DECKS Dakota! Raquel shouts at Tegan but Shotzi rolls Raquel up, TWO! Raquel BOOTS Shotzi down and paces about as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Raquel grinds forearms into Shotzi in the corner. The ref counts and she lets up at 4 to whip Shotzi corner to corner hard! Raquel is on Shotzi with stomps and forearms but the ref counts. She stops at 4 again as Tegan protests. Tegan coaches Shotzi up but Raquel is on Shotzi with a scoop and POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! The crowd rallies as Raquel drags Shotzi up for a bearhug! Shotzi endures as Raquel squeezes tight. Raquel thrashes Shotzi around but Shotzi fights with elbows. Shotzi is free and throws more forearms, but runs into a scoop and backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Raquel drags Shotzi around and says they want more. Shotzi kicks back from the mat and gets up. Raquel blocks a kick but Shotzi gets a takedown! Raquel boots Shotzi away but SHotzi goes up and around to springboard and wheelbarrow to throw Raquel onto ropes! Shotzi runs and CANNONBALLS!
Raquel bails out to regroup with Dakota, but Shotzi goes to the apron. SPRINGBOARD TRUST FALL!! Shotzi takes Dakota and Raquel out, but she almost does herself in! Tegan helps Shotzi but Candice appears! Candice has beef after Tegan played a role in Keith’s and Mia’s smear video. They argue and distract the ref while Shotzi goes for Sliced Bread. Dakota trips Shotzi up! Raquel drags Shotzi off the top for the POWERBOMB! Cover, Raquel wins!
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez, by pinfall
The Candice LeRae Way helps Dakota help Raquel, and that only hurts Tegan and Shotzi. Will there be more twists and turns in this fairy tale turned sour?
NXT makes it TakeOver official!
The Archer of Infamy has already taken shots at The Prince, and they will do battle at TakeOver: In Your House! Finn Balor says that if Damian Priest wants to live forever, he’s going about it in a very stupid way. Balor is “20 years towards eternity,” and Priest has been treading water for a year. Balor is not a lifeline. Priest will meet the Prince, kneel before the altar, and be buried alive! Will Balor make sure Priest does anything but #LiveForever?
Rhea Ripley & Io Shirai VS Charlotte Flair & ???
Before what will be an incredible Triple Threat at TakeOver, the Mosh Pit Kid and Evil Genius will have to put their differences aside for this tag match. But given The Queen’s behavior is always braggadocios, was there anyone willing to put things aside to stand beside her?
After Rhea and Shirai, Charlotte makes her entrance and is joined by… Chelsea Green! The Robert Stone Brand is moving up in the world if they managed to swing this. Will the Hottest Commodity be an asset to Charlotte tonight?
The teams sort out and Rhea starts against Chelsea, even though she thought it’d be Charlotte. Green and Rhea tie up and Rhea throws her down! Rhea wants Charlotte but Chelsea says she’s her opponent. Chelsea then dodges Rhea and struts about. Rhea swipes at Charlotte but goes back to Chelsea. Chelsea gets around to SLAP Rhea on the back! Rhea is seething as she blocks the punches and ripcords Chelsea to a mule kick! And then a facebuster! Rhea swipes at Charlotte again but Charlotte gets clear. Chelsea rolls Rhea and grabs her hair! The ref reprimands but Rhea HEADBUTTS free! Rhea staggers and Shirai tags in! Shirai throws forearms on Chelsea and CHOPS! Shirai whips but Chelsea reveres. Shirai dodges, handsprings and dropkicks! Then kips up!
The crowd rallies as Shirai goes corner to corner to uppercut Chelsea! She sweeps the legs and stomps away but the ref backs her off. Shirai goes back for more then digs her boots in. Shirai stops at 4 to swinging meteora! Chelsea sputters and crawls but Shirai goes to tiger feint. Chelsea dodges and then DIVES! Direct hit into barriers! Chelsea gets Shirai up and in and Charlotte wants in. Charlotte and Chelsea stand on Shirai as they tag. Charlotte takes Shirai and stomps away in the corner! The ref counts and Charlotte lets up, but then smothers Shirai in the corner while Chelsea tags back in. Chelsea drags Shirai up and whips but Shirai reverses. Chelsea slides out but Shirai DIVES! Direct hit with the payback! Shirai is fired up and so are the superstars in the crowd as she stomps Chelsea.
Shirai rams Chelsea into barriers and stomps away! The ref counts and Shirai lets off. Charlotte lurks but Rhea hurries over to keep her back. Shirai whips Chelsea into barriers, then again. Chelsea reverses a whip to send Shirai into barriers now! Chelsea puts Shirai in but NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Charlotte grinds Shirai down with a chinlock. She mocks Shirai to reach for Rhea but Shirai elbows back. Charlotte throws Shirai down by her hair and ignores the ref’s reprimanding. Charlotte brings Shirai up to CHOP to the corner! Chelsea taunts Shirai as Charlotte CHOPS more! Shirai moves and the CHOP goes into Chelsea! Shirai hurries but she’s still crawling, and Charlotte stomps her down! Charlotte pushes Rhea and then gets away with Shirai to the corner. Charlotte and Chelsea mug Shirai and Rhea can’t do a thing about it! Chelsea tags in and taunts Rhea, but turns around into Shirai’s crossbody! Hot tag to Rhea! The Aussie Nightmare rallies with big forearms and lariats! She spins Chelsea for cravat KNEES! Snapmare and basement dropkick!
The crowd rallies with Rhea as she Electric Chair lifts Chelsea, for a FACEBUSTER! Cover but Charlotte BOOTS Rhea down! Rhea storms after Charlotte but Chelsea waistlocks. Chelsea tags Charlotte before the O’Conner roll, and Charlotte BOOTS Rhea again! Charlotte grabs the legs, drags Rhea around, and Figure Fours! But Shirai METEORAS Charlotte down! Shirai hurries back to her corner and tags in! The Evil Genius dodges, tilt-o-whirls and headscissors Charlotte to a corner! Shirai runs in to METEORA again! Cover, TWO! Charlotte survives but Shirai is still on her. Shirai underhooks but Charlotte resists and even back drops out. But Shirai lands on her feet to victory roll and STOMP! Charlotte sputters to the ropes and Shirai runs over, TIGER FEINT!
Shirai fires up as Charlotte and Chelsea regroup. Chelsea saves Charlotte from the missile dropkick! Charlotte swings on Rhea, but dodges and Shirai BLASTS Rhea by accident! Charlotte rolls Shirai and even uses the ropes!! Charlotte and Chelsea win!!
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Chelsea Green, by pinfall
Shirai is shocked, but Charlotte used her contenders against each other to win! Will she do it all over again to keep the title at TakeOver?
Backstage interview with Candice and Johnny.
After Mia and Keith mocking them in a fairly entertaining- ENTERTAINING?! Aren’t reporters supposed to be impartial!? How was that entertaining? There is no place for this level of unprofessional-ism in NXT. Johnny and Candice are the one true power couple! But for all the jokes Keith is making, just see if he laughs after Gargano takes the NXT North American Championship off him at TakeOver! Candice won’t even wait that long! She wants after Mia next week! And Tegan Nox should be ashamed of herself. Will all of this come to a head In Your House?
Adam Cole and William Regal negotiate via video call.
The NXT Champion requested this time, and NXT General Manager Regal gets to the point: What does Cole want? First and foremost, Cole wanted to negotiate a better intro, but hey. But as the longest reigning NXT Champion in history, he was supposed to have a well-deserved celebration. Sadly, that has been put on ice with the champagne all because of Velveteen Dream! Despite that condescending tone, Regal considers himself a fair man yet will suffer no fools, and certainly not Cole’s whining. What does Cole want? Right, of course, Cole has to keep this very simple so it won’t go over Regal’s head. First, the Undisputed Era deserves a fair shot at the NXT Tag Team Championships. They had to fight a team they were not prepared to fight when Matt Riddle suddenly had Timothy Thatcher.
Second, concerning Dream, Cole doesn’t want that man to ever set foot in Cole’s business, building or ring ever again. Goodness gracious, Cole, it’s just all about him, huh? Regal feels Dream deserves another chance, and that will happen at TakeOver. Cole wants to ask a genuine question: Where does all this charity come from? Especially for a guy like Dream, a complete and insane narcissist! He has his own personal spotlight and personal couch. It’s disgusting! Regal does agree Dream craves the spotlight, but so does Cole. Cole will not stand for being compared “to that charade!” Like saying a Lamborghini is the same as a toy truck! It is especially insulting because Cole has been the cornerstone of NXT for some time. Whether Regal wants to admit that, the Undisputed Era has made Regal look very good.
Does Cole not understand negotiating? There needs to be common ground, a discussion of terms. But if Cole wants to forgo those discussions, then keep acting like a baybay. Bravo, Mr. Regal, that was a good joke. That has to be the first one since he was a man’s man. But after Cole beats Dream at TakeOver, Regal needs to say that Dream will never get another shot, so long as the title is with Cole. Regal agrees to those terms. Cole VS Dream will happen In Your House. But he adds his own stipulation: It will be a location that can shine the spotlight on both their talents and is also worthy of the title match. Cole accepts this deal, but just what will Regal have planned for what could be the final #UndisputedDreamMatch?
NXT takes a closer look at Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch.
For Lorcan, growing up on the streets of Boston, “you had to be tough to survive.” Oney got a different education. He has a Masters in bar fighting. Meanwhile, the Govenah grew up in Bethnal Green, East London, where you had two choices: you either put on football (soccer) boots, or you used your fists to fight. Burch fought his all life to get to the WWE, as did Lorcan. And things really changed when the two first faced each other 1v1. The best way to explain how hard Oney hits, is like getting hit with a hammer. On the flip side, Burch is like getting hit with a brick. It was weird for these two to face off, only because it was like looking in a mirror. Going to wary like they did, you gain respect for the other. And that brought about their team. They had a good start, but now, they’ve been on a roll.
Burch invites Oney to a pub to have a pint. They talk about fighting, connecting, and sending a message to Imperium. They’re not going to let Imperium just sit back and have a long title reign. Oney & Burch are going to take over and take those titles. Throw ’em up! Will the second chance be just what the One Two needs to finally grab the gold?
Tommaso Ciampa VS Leon Ruff!
The Psycho Killer was ambushed by Karrion Kross while the Evolve prospect was brutalized head-on. Before going after Mr. Doomsday at TakeOver, will Ciampa show anything Kross can do, he can do better?
As Ciampa enters the ring, Scarlet Bordeaux appears on the ramp! The heartthrob harbinger stares at Ciampa and Ciampa stares back. Ciampa is wary of where Kross might be but he bell rings. Ruff rolls Ciampa up, TWO! Ciampa rushes Ruff but Ruff dodges. Ciampa puts Ruff on the apron but Ruff forearms back! Ruff springboards , hops around, and gets under Ciampa, only to get a KNEE! Ciampa throws off his shirt while staring Scarlet down. Ciampa drags Ruff to a corner and then grinds him into the buckles. He CHOPS Ruff while staring Scarlet down, then hits the PSYCHO KNEE! Ciampa won’t stop staring but neither will Scarlet. Ciampa brings Ruff up, underhooks, and blows a kiss, for the FAIRY TALE ENDING! Cover, Ciampa wins!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by pinfall
Was that better or worse than facing Kross? You’ll have to ask Ruff when he wakes up. Kross is on the titantron and congratulates Ciampa on that win. Kross takes a moment to validate a series of statements Ciampa made last week. Yes, Ciampa is special. And TakeOver: In Your House, that is special. But Kross promises Ciampa that Ciampa will feel something he has never felt in his life! Ticktock, the clock is counting down. The end is here, but for who?
NXT Fight Pit: Matt Riddle VS Timothy Thatcher, special guest referee Kurt Angle!
This isn’t a Steel Cage Match, this is a steel cage fight! History is being made, and not just because the Olympic gold medalist is back to officiate. No ring ropes, no buckle pads, and an elevated platform for additional officials to watch the action from above, it is truly a unique structure. The Newly-Bros turned archenemies will surely have the most knockdown, drag-out fight in NXT History, but who will be the first man to survive the #FightPit?
Each man is checked before climbing up onto the platform. Riddle jumps and rolls and times his forearm smash with the bell! The fight is on and against the cage! Riddle SPINE BUSTERS Thatcher down then rains down hands! Riddle wants the sleeper hold but Thatcher slips around. Thatcher tries to ground ‘n’ pound back but Riddle pushes him away. Riddle kicks but it’s caught and Thatcher uses that to get around for a sleeper of his own. Riddle pries free and uses the cage to go up and around! Riddle waistlocks but Thatcher blocks the lift, but only for so long! Riddle GERMAN SUPLEXES Thatcher, and drops a BROTON! “That’s what’s up, bro!”
Riddle paces while Angle checks on Thatcher. Thatcher sits up but gets another Broton! Riddle kicks but Thatcher SLAPS him! Riddle comes back with a wall jump enziguri! Showtime becomes Bro Time! Riddle gets up to PENALTY KICK Thatcher in the head! Angle has Riddle stay back for the ten count. The cage fight can only be one by submission or knockouts, so much like a Last Man Standing match, if Thatcher is still down, Riddle will win. But Thatcher gets up, blood pouring from his mouth! Angel and other refs move over to check, and Thatcher just lost a tooth!! Thatcher gives the teeth to Angel and demands this fight continue! Medics come by and check for a concussion. Thatcher is good to go, so this match continues, after the break.
NXT returns and Riddle has Thatcher down again, but Thatcher is holding Riddle back with body scissors. The two move around, hitting where they can with furious fists. Riddle brings Thatcher to the cage and digs him into the steel as they throw hands. Riddle gets up higher and rains down rights! Thatcher covers up and grabs a hand to drag Riddle in! Thatcher wants the Kimura but Riddle hammers away in the meantime. Riddle rolls free and the two men get to their feet. They brawl with palm strikes, body shots and whatever they can think of! Riddle boots Thatcher to the steel, then wants another Bro Time, but he gets caught! Thatcher has the arm but Riddle fights off the Fujiwara to get around. Riddle tries to lift but Thatcher back drops free. Thatcher RAMS Riddle into steel, then TOSSES him with a belly2belly! Thatcher gets a foot for a modified Half Crab!
Riddle endures the heel hook and Thatcher kicks away on Riddle’s back. Thatcher completes the Half Crab but Riddle endures. Riddle grabs the steel but that doesn’t count as a ropebreak. Thatcher shifts to get a modified STF! Thatcher grinds Riddle down but Riddle refuses to quit. So Thatcher KNEES Riddle in the side! And even kicks and stomps him while he’s down against the steel! Angle backs Thatcher off to start a ten count. Riddle stirs but we’re already at 5. Riddle is up at 6 but Thatcher is on him with body shots. Thatcher underhooks, for a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Float over and armlock but Riddle resists. Thatcher rear mounts, chinlocks and crossfaces, but Riddle rolls and reverses! Riddle drags Thatcher around but no Bromission just yet! Thatcher hooks a leg and has a toehold! Riddle scrambles but Thatcher drops down on the leg!
Thatcher cranks on the leg but Riddle throws forearms. Thatcher turns and roles reverse from before, with Riddle having to use a body scissor guard. Riddle turns things around and rains down rights as the crowd rallies. Thatcher goes for a triangle hold but Riddle resists! Riddle dead lifts but Thatcher climbs up to the elevated platform! The crowd boos but Riddle pursues. Thatcher hurries over to BOUNCE and STOMP Riddle on the wood! Thatcher drags Riddle up to throw a EuroUpper! Riddle CHOPS back and we have a brawl way up there! Forearm for forearm and EuroUppers as well! Riddle staggers but kicks back. Riddle fires off kick after kick but Thatcher blocks one to get the ANKLE LOCK! Thatcher grapevines and has Riddle dangling over the edge! Riddle drags himself back up and stomps Thatcher off him!
Riddle gets to his feet, and drops a Broton, but only onto wood! Thatcher avoids that and has a furious glare on his face. Thatcher drags Riddle up for a snap suplex to the wood! Riddle writhes but Thatcher looms over him. Thatcher kicks Riddle and then underhooks. He aims for the pit! Riddle resists and reverses, to FINAL FLASH! Thatcher falls into the pit! Riddle aims from the edge, and goes for the SUPER FLOATING BRO!! Direct hit but both men are feeling the pain! “This is Awesome!” but far from over as both men stagger about. Thatcher is against the steel and Riddle runs in to KICK away! And kick and kick and kick! Thatcher grabs at Riddle but Riddle CHOPS! Riddle runs back in but Thatcher sends him into steel! And then gets the SLEEPER! But Riddle again tries to use the steel, only for Thatcher to bounce him off it!
Thatcher hops on, wanting the Rear Naked Choke, but Riddle RAMS him into the steel! And again! And then a backpack BROTON! But Thatcher springs up to wrap Riddle up again! Riddle endures but fades out! Riddle is OUT, Thatcher wins!!
Winner: Timothy Thatcher, by submission
The Bro couldn’t breathe and the brutal Thatcher gets the historic victory! Will Thatcher leave Riddle in the dust and soon rip through the rest of the roster?
This was a really good episode with a lot of positive progress towards TakeOver. For one, the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament story continues to be written perfectly. I really like that even though Maverick won, it was done in an opportunistic way that also has controversy. There was no developments with the gold masked luchadors this week, but they might still play a big part in the finals. And how wild would it be if they were the reason Maverick won the title. Sadly, there is the bigger controversy of this happening with the releases of many other superstars. But focusing on just Maverick, this has been a great story and he really has worked very hard in his own right. It’d certainly be an interesting move for Maverick to be interim champion and then have to defend against Jordan Devlin, when the day comes that the world is open again.
Balor VS Priest is now official and we got a fairly good promo from Balor about it. Gargano VS Keith Lee for the North American Championship is all but official but that has to be what we get. Gargano, Candice, Keith and Mia were all good in their parts, and the blending of Tegan’s story with Candice’s is a great move. Perhaps instead of a Mixed Tag like I was thinking, we get a Six Woman Tag as Candice teams with Dakota and Raquel to face Mia, Tegan and Shotzi. And for that matter, Shotzi went all out for that springboard spot! I really thought she injured herself but seems she was okay. I’m not sure how the Six Woman Tag will go but it will be great. Same goes for Gargano VS Keith. Cole “negotiating” a rematch with Dream was a good segment, and that match will be great, too. But that match carries a lot of weight towards NXT’s future, so who knows where that goes.
Ciampa obviously wins over Leon Ruff and Kross has a good promo to push things towards the TakeOver match. As strong as Ciampa still is, Kross surely wins this. Charlotte, Green, Rhea and Shirai had a great tag match for a match that was a bit of a surprise to begin with. It was very smart for Charlotte to use Shirai and Rhea against each other at the end, but depending on how things go for Charlotte on the other brands, this might indicate Charlotte loses at TakeOver. I’m still hoping for Shirai to use Charlotte and Rhea against each other to capitalize and finally become champion. We got good promos from Imperium and the BritAm Brawlers, so naturally that is the NXT Tag Team Championship match for TakeOver. I don’t see Imperium being transitional champions to Oney and Burch, but there are only so many times a team can come close and not grab the gold. I still feel Imperium wins, but there will need to be something that happens with Oney and Burch for them to still matter to the fans.
And for the main event, the Fight Pit was incredible! Both how it looked as a structure and the action itself. A little surprising Angle didn’t really get to do much, we didn’t even hear him talking to each man earlier in the night, only see it happen. I kinda hope Angle sticks around in NXT, he’d be a great addition. I am a bit surprised Thatcher won, but maybe that’s to bring about an eventual Thatcher VS Pete Dunne match, since Dunne was the one who introduced Thatcher and Riddle in the first place. I personally would love more of these Fight Pit matches, this first match already did a great job showing all the facets of it.
My Score: 9.1/10
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