Will NXT see Dominik Dijakovic face his doom?
Karrion Kross did not take Dominik Dijakovic’s comments lightly. A brawl backstage was not enough, will the clock strike midnight on Dijakovic in NXT?
- Killian Dain VS Dexter Lumis; Lumis wins.
- Ever-Rise VS Breezango; Breezango wins.
- Shotzi Blackheart VS Aliyah w/ Robert Stone; Blackheart wins.
- NXT North American Championship Ladder Match Qualifier Triple Threat: Roderick Strong VS Johnny Gargano VS Bronson Reed; Reed wins and advances to NXT TakeOver: 30.
- Oney Lorcan VS Timothy Thatcher; Thatcher wins.
- Dominik Dijakovic VS Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux; Kross wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT opens with William Regal via video call!
“Welcome to NXT. Two weeks ago, the world witnessed Keith Lee ended Adam Cole’s incredible 403 day reign, and became the North American and NXT Champion in what can only be described as an incredible accomplishment.” Keith has asked for time to address the NXT Universe. As such, we cut over to Keith in his home with both his title belts. Keith thanks Mr. Regal for this time, and Keith says it’s been an incredible couple of weeks. He knows how much work it takes just to get to NXT. His own journey began 15 years ago with his trainer, the late “Killer” Tim Brooks.
Brooks may be gone now, but he spoke the truth. “Time, blood, sweat.” It all prepares you for the opportunities that come your way. And when that opportunity struck, Keith became North American Champion. When it struck again, Keith became THE NXT Champion. Life is about making the most of opportunities. Some may call him Limitless, he will not limit others, Make no mistake, he will defend the NXT Championship as much as he can, but at this point in time, he will RELINQUISH the North American Championship! This is in an effort to make sure others have the same opportunities he have, with the caveat that as many people as possible have an opportunity to win.
Regal says it is a wonderful and noble gesture. And as such, we begin a HUGE series of Triple Threat matches! The winners will go to NXT TakeOver: 30, on August 22nd, for a ladder match to crown a NEW North American Champion. That series begins tonight with Johnny Gargano, Roderick Strong and Bronson Reed battling for their spot! Who moves on to go to TakeOver: Triple X?
Killian Dain VS Dexter Lumis!
The Beast of Belfast didn’t take kindly to having coffee splashed on him even accidentally. But he also didn’t like the Tortured Artist immortalizing it in ink. Will Big Damo make sure Lumis suffers for his art?
The bell rings and Dain circles with Lumis. They tie up and go around, and Dain headlocks but Lumis powers out. Dain runs Lumis over then keeps moving. Lumis gets up but Dain runs him over again. Lumis slithers and Dain stops in his tracks. Dain drags Lumis up, throws European Uppercuts then whips. Lumis slides out of the ring then dodges Dain as he rushes out. Lumis stares at Dain but Dain drags him back out. Lumis rocks Dain with uppercuts of his own, then haymakers. Lumis whips, Dain reverses but Lumis leaps over the steel steps! The crowd cheers as Lumis rocks Dain with another right. But Dain comes back with the DIVIDE! Dain gets into the ring and Lumis is at the mercy of the count.
The crowd rallies but Dain drags Lumis up and over to throw into Plexiglas! Dain digs his forearm into Lumis’ face, then bounces him off the Plexiglas. Dain puts Lumis in the ring and on the apron to club away. The ref reprimands but Dain KNEES Lumis! Dain drags Lumis out, Lumis hits back and puts Dain in. LUmis climbs up but Dain knees him low. Dain brings Lumis through ropes, clubs him again, then goes up top for a guillotine leg drop! Cover, TWO! Lumis survives and NXT goes picture in picture.
Dain keeps on Lumis by standing on one hand and wrenching the other. Dain throws Lumis back out of the ring hard, then soaks up the heat from the crowd. Dain goes out to get in the faces of the crowd before clubbing Lumis. He pushes Lumis’ face into the Plexiglas but lets up to put him back in the ring. Dain spots Lumis slither to a corner and runs in for a big splash! Dain pushes Lumis down and soaks up more heat before throwing big forearms. Lumis throws punches back but Dain clubs him down. Dain chokes Lumis at the ropes until the ref counts. Lumis shakes out his arms and sputters for air but Dain throws forearms in the corner.
Dain whips corner to corner hard and Lumis goes down in a heap! Dain doesn’t let up, but Lumis throws body shots again. Lumis stands, runs but into a mule kick! Lumis goes down again, clutching those ribs. Dain drops a senton outta nowhere! Lumis crawls and Dain eggs him on before raining down fists. Dain turns Lumis over for a partial camel clutch. Dain hooks Lumis’ face but the ref reprimands so Dain lets go. Dain stands on Lumis’ lower back and pulls him back with a chinlock. Lumis endures, Dain hooks his nose again, then lets up to add an arm for a crossface modification. Lumis still endures and works against the hold. NXT returns to single picture as Lumis is free and punches from below!
Dain comes back to ROCK Lumis with a forearm, but Lumis just sits back up. Lumis stares at Dain, Dain CHOPS! Lumis embraces the pain as Dain keeps throwing forearms and chops and haymakers! Dain BOOTS Lumis down before tearing at his own shirt. Dain wants Lumis to stand, then runs, into a SPINE BUSTER! The crowd is thunderous as Lumis gets up. Dain also stands, swings but Lumis ducks to throw haymakers. Dain shoves, Lumis ducks to THESZ PRESS! Lumis throws fast hands but Dain gets away, only to get a corner clothesline and bulldog! Lumis brings Dain up for a BIG back suplex! Kip up to leg drop! Cover, TWO! Lumis keeps his cool as he goes to a corner.
Lumis leaps but his Swanton FLOPS! Dain runs and shotgun dropkicks Lumis to a corner! CANNONBALL! Dain drags Lumis up to a powerbomb! And elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Lumis still lives and the crowd cheers for “NXT! NXT!” giving them such a great opener. Dain grits his teeth as he drags Lumis back up. Fireman’s carry, but Lumis slips out to shove Dain into buckles. URENAGE! Dain avoids The Silence to drag Lumis back up. Lumis slips off the bomb, ducks the punch and baits Dain into buckles. Dain puts Lumis on the apron but Lumis rocks him back! Lumis climbs up, Dain throws forearms first and climbs up to join Lumis. The two fight for control, Lumis shoves Dain down! SWANTON hits!
Dain gets up, for another URENAGE! THE SILENCE! Dain endures, claws, reaches, but fades out! Lumis brings Dain around, Dain keeps prying at the hold but he’s out again! Lumis wins!!
Winner: Dexter Lumis, by submission
Lumis’ eyes continue to stare into our souls as he conquers the Beast of Belfast. Will Lumis be among the future contenders for the North American Championship Ladder match?
Backstage interview with Roderick Strong!
The Undisputed Era’s Savior of the Backbreaker is one of the first with an opportunity at entering the North American Championship Ladder match. What does this mean to him? This means that the Era can get back on track. The last few weeks have been strange. And Keith Lee never actually gave Strong a rematch so Strong should just automatically be in that ladder match. Bronson Reed comes in to say that’s where Strong is wrong. Strong and the UE have had a million chances, but Keith gave up the title to create opportunities. This is Reed’s biggest chance and he is going to prove he is a big time player in NXT.
Johnny Gargano comes in laughing and says, “Excuse me, boys. Face of the brand coming through.” Strong tells “Johnny Goof” he’ll see him later. Gargano says if Reed wants to be a player, welcome to Gargano’s world. This all ends with Gargano becoming North American Champion again and making history, again. Later, Thicc Boi. Well this Thicc Boi vows to go all out. Will Strong and Gargano survive the power of Auszilla?
Dakota Kai speaks.
“Hi, Io. It felt SO good to kick you off that pedestal you put yourself on. When the taste returns to your mouth, I’ll be waiting. And oh, make sure to bring the NXT Women’s Championship with you, too.” #CobraKai has called her shot, but will she hit it when the Evil Genius gives her that chance?
Ever-Rise VS Breezango!
Matt Martel & Chase Parker have been going back and forth, up and down, but they never expected to face the Fashion Mounties! Will Tyler Breeze & Fandango enforce the law and have fun doing it?
The teams sort out Breeze starts against Parker. They circle, tie up, and go around. Breeze headlocks, grinds Parker down but Parker powers up to power out. Breeze runs Parker over and then lounges on the ropes. Parker shouts, “You think you’re cute, huh?” Parker runs in but Breeze dodges, and then shows Super Model Kick! Parker scrambles away and Martel says, “Watch his face!” Ever-Rise fakes a tag but Breeze dodges and hurdles Parker to show kick again! Parker stops in his tracks and Martel shouts, “Easy! Easy!” Martel starts a “Defense!” chant like this is football or something, so Breeze SUPER MODEL KICKS him! Parker clobbers Breeze and rains down angry rights!
Parker rips the Mountie uniform off Parker then tags in Martel. Parker throws Breeze out hard and then Martel drops ax handles! Martel stomps away on Breeze to then bump him off Plexiglas! The ref reprimands, Martel puts Parker in and drops another ax handle! Martel whips Breeze hard into the corner, tags Parker, and Ever-Rise mugs Breeze. Parker throws hands, pulls on Breeze’s ear to bring him up for a back suplex. Breeze escapes and tags in Fandango! The Lord of the Dance rallies on Ever-Rise, CHOPS away on Parker then whips corner to corner. Parker staggers into the BACK DROP! Fandango sees Martel coming and back drops him before hitting Parker with a Russian Leg Sweep!
Fandango goes up top and puts on the hat! He salutes and FALLS onto Ever-Rise! Mountie Dive is a hit! Fandango puts Parker in, Breeze tags in, Breezango DOUBLE SUPER MODEL KICKS! And then the same for Martel! Cover on Parker, Breezango wins!
Winners: Breezango, by pinfall
The Mounties always get their men, and also get the win! Are Breeze and Fandango back in contention for the NXT Tag Team Championships?
Backstage interview with Dominik Dijakovic.
Tonight, the Croatian Colossus goes 1v1 with Karrion Kross for the first time ever, after their brutal brawl backstage last week. How does Dijakovic make sure the match ends different than the fight? Well Kross suplex’d Dijakovic over railing onto his head, after Dijakovic gave it his all against Keith Lee. Tonight, Kross is taking on a 100% fresh and ready Dijakovic. Dijakovic was trying to figure out what was next for him in NXT and now he knows what it is: knocking Karrion Kross out cold! Will it go that way for Dijakovic? Or will he be made to #FallAndPray?
Io Shirai tweets a reply to Dakota Kai.
“Actions have consequences… And you cannot undo your actions. Wednesday, I’ll be seeing you…” But just when and where will the Evil Genius of the Sky strike #CapKota?
Shotzi Blackheart VS Aliyah w/ Robert Stone!
The wild child ran Robert Stone’s leg over in return for getting in her face, and now his foot is in a brace. Will Aliyah at least feel like she got ran over by that tank when Shotzi #TCB, Takes Care o’ Business?
Speaking of that tank, Shotzi cruises down the ramp and rams the steel steps into Stone! He hobbles off while she howls and gets in the ring. “Welcome to the ball pit!” The bell rings and Shotzi goes for a boot. Aliyah dodges but Shotzi dodges the heel kick. Shotzi fires off forearms but Aliyah shoves her. Shotzi trips Aliyah and has the legs, “Welcome to the Ball Pit!” A Jeff Hardy style leg splitting leg drop sends Aliyah crawling to ropes. Shotzi CANNONBALLS her into the ropes! Shotzi howls and runs but Aliyah dodges the straddle attack to come back with a FLYING FACEBUSTER! Aliyah puts Shotzi in, covers, TWO!
Shotzi gets to a corner while Aliyah smirks. Aliyah whips Shotzi to another corner, blocks the boot counter to throw Shotzi down! Aliyah drags Shotzi up by her hair to stomp her down! Stone applauds but the crowd boos as Aliyah bumps Shotzi off buckles. Stone talks trash as Aliyah snap suplexes and floats back to drag Shotzi back up for a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Cover, TWO!! Aliyah grows annoyed with Shotzi but drags her into a hair-pulling camel clutch. Aliyah hooks up the arms but the crowd rallies up. Shotzi endures, fights to get her arms free, then trips Aliyah into an Oklahoma Roll! ONE, but Shotzi SLAPS then JABS Aliyah. Aliyah reverses the whip but Shotzi goes up and over and comes back with a corner splash!
Shotzi rolls Aliyah out to hit a SLING-DOG! The crowd fires up as Shotzi BOOTS Aliyah then rolling elbows! QUESTION MARK! SAIDO SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Aliyah lives but Shotzi grits her teeth. Shotzi drags Aliyah up, wrenches and chicken wings, but Aliyah stomps the foot to put Shotzi into buckles! Roll up but with ropes! The ref notices in time and stops at two! Stone and Aliyah are furious but Shotzi enziguris Aliyah down! Shotzi drags Aliyah back up, chicken wings for the TIGER SUPLEX! Shotzi gets to the corner and climbs up, but Stone gets on the apron. Shotzi BOOTS Stone down! Stone lands on his bad leg, Shotzi goes up and SUPER SENTONS Aliyah down! Cover, Shotzi wins!
Winner: Shotzi Blackheart, by pinfall
Now that’s how you TCB! Shotzi hops into her tank and Stone is stuck on the ramp! She runs over the OTHER leg!! Will the bougie brand back off and let Shotzi be Shotzi? But then Mercedes Martinez BOOTS Shotzi down?! Aliyah drags Stone out from under the tank while Mercedes leaves. What does Mercedes have against Shotzi to blindside her like this?
NXT takes a look at Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.
“Swerve is many things. But overall, Swerve is confidence.” He was a loner as a kid, but he loved to dance. When he finally got a full sense of confidence was performing Billy Jean for his high school talent show. And all he wanted to do after that was perform. Being int he studio helps him loosen up, zone out and be himself. It’s just like the ring. Making music and being in a match is about being in sync. The beat and the harmonies need to be in sync or it throws the whole track out of whack. The same goes with footwork in the ring and keeping the match on track. Being in the ring with a Johnny Gargano, the inaugural NXT Triple Crown, is special. Him taking Gargano to the limit shows Swerve what it takes to become champion.
Swerve has heard Santos Escobar saying the Cruiserweight Division needed a leader. Swerve wants to remind Escobar that he was the first one to beat Escobar in the WWE. The next time they meet, we’ll be looking at the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion.
NXT North American Championship Ladder Match Qualifier Triple Threat: Roderick Strong VS Johnny Gargano VS Bronson Reed!
The first spot in TakeOver: 30’s Ladder Match will either be Undisputed, have #AllHeartNoSoul, or belong to Auszilla! Only one man moves on, let the series begin!
The bell rings and the three circle. Strong rushes but fakes Reed out. Reed runs Gargano over, speeds up with Strong, and Strong leaps to bounce off Reed’s shoulder! Reed holds the ring as Gargano and Strong bail out. Those two argue with each other, and Gargano wants to work together. They agree to rush Reed on three. One, two- They both try to fake the other out, and then claim they knew all along the other would do that. Reed stomps Gargano’s hand on the apron! Then hip tosses Strong into the ring! Reed whips and runs Strong over! Gargano returns, kicks Reed then huricaransas, but is blocked! Reed scoops and SLAMS Gargano down!
Strong clubs Reed from behind and throws haymakers. Reed hits back, headbutts Strong down, then fireman’s carries. Gargano runs but is just added to the load! Strong gets down and CHOPS Reed on the back! Strong tries to Olympic Slam but Reed clubs him down. Reed ducks Gargano’s enziguri and it hits Strong! Reed runs, Gargano drops down but then he’s shoved into Strong! Strong flops out of the ring and Reed glares at Gargano. Gargano bails out fast as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as Strong throws haymakers on Reed. Reed hits back and backs Strong to a corner. Reed runs in to hip attack! Then he runs at Gargano for another hip attack! Gargano flops out so Reed powers up but runs into Strong’s knee! Reed goes down, Strong hurries after him with clubbing and CHOPS! Strong climbs up to rain down rights and lefts in the corner! Reed pushes him away but Gargano returns to add left hands. Strong pulls Gargano away to rain down rights. Gargano pulls Strong away to rain down lefts. Strong stomps Reed and the two back off. Strong drags Reed up as the crowd duels, “Johnny Sucks!” “Strong Sucks!” Strong CHOPS Reed, Gargano CHOPS, too! They keep giving CHOPS but Reed CHOPS back!
Reed DECKS Strong and CHOPS Gargano but Strong kicks a leg out. Gargano kicks back then the two bring Reed up. They double whip but Reed crisscrosses them into each other! Reed elbows Strong and body presses Gargano! Strong leg lariats in return! Strong drags Reed around to underhook the arms. Reed resists the lift to back drop but Strong sunset flips! Gargano grabs Strong to catapult him into Reed’s thicc boi! Gargano KNEES Reed out then rushes Strong. Strong puts Gargano on the apron then runs, into the SLINGSHOT SPEAR! Gargano DIVES out onto Reed and sends him into barriers! Gargano slingshots back in but Strong blocks to butterfly backbreaker! Cover, TWO!!
Strong stomps Gargano then grabs the legs. Gargano resists the Strong Hold long enough for Reed to return and DECK Strong! Reed rallies and atomic drops to CLOBBER Strong. Gargano swings into a full nelson that becomes a dragon sleeper. Strong staggers into Reed’s arms, URENAGE INVERTED DDT COMBO! Reed is fired up with the crowd as he looks at Strong and Gargano in a corner. He runs to SANDWICH SPLASH them both! THICC SENTON onto Strong! Cover but Gargano kicks it apart! Gargano drags himself up and goes to Reed to throw haymakers. Reed still gets up to headbutt back! Strong and Gargano both sit up, Reed lifts Gargano but Strong chop blocks Reed down!
Strong and Gargano CHOP Reed together! Reed stays up but Strong gets in position. Gargano enziguris Reed for Strong to OLYMPIC SLAM! But Gargano throws Strong out of the ring! Cover on Reed, TWO!! Gargano can’t steal a win and he is frustrated! Gargano brings Reed up to put him through the ropes. He puts Reed’s arms in the ropes and SUPERKICKS him! Then SUPER- NO! Strong gives Gargano a BACKBREAKER! Strong runs side to side to throw elbow after elbow on Reed! Gargano shoves Strong out again! Gargano runs to slide, wheelbarrow half nelson but he fights free! The two brawl and Reed DIVES!! Aussie Strong Style wipes them both out and the crowd is thunderous as we go to break!
NXT returns again and Reed CHOPS Gargano! Strong CHOPS Reed, Gargano throws forearms on Reed. More CHOPS and forearms fly but Reed double clotheslines Strong and Gargano down! Reed grits his teeth and roars as he aims at Strong. Strong boots back, but Gargano steps into Strong’s enziguri! Strong hops up, Reed ROCKS him with a right, then drags Gargano up in a fireman’s carry. Reed adds Strong to the stack, DOUBLE SAMOAN DROP! Cover on Gargano, TWO!! Gargano still has that superhuman heart but Reed goes after Strong. Reed hoists Strong up top, CHOPS again, then throws haymakers. Reed climbs up top but Strong hits back. Gargano chop blocks Reed’s leg and brings him down.
Gargano throws haymakers and CHOPS on Reed, then goes after Strong. Strong fights Gargano back and fireman’s carries him up! Gargano fights that off, but Reed adds on with clubbing forearms. Reed has Gargano in an Electric Chair, Strong gets up, but Gargano avoids Doomsday with a POISON-RANA! But Strong KNEES Gargano first! Cover on Reed, Gargano SUPERKICKS it apart! All three men are down and “This is Awesome!” Reed is on the apron and Strong throws forearms from all sides. Reed CLUBS back, Gargano clubs Reed’s legs from behind! Gargano has Reed, Strong KNEES Reed into the POWERBOMB!! The crowd loses its mind while the ref checks on Reed. Reed writhes, Gargano turns around for Strong to WRECK him with a dropkick!
Strong puts Gargano in, runs corner to corner and SHINING WIZARDS! Back suplex SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Strong keeps his focus as he drags Gargano up. Gargano resists the underhooks but Strong still gets him up, only for Gargano to huricanrana! Gargano runs, tilt-o-whirl takedown to GargaNO Escape! But Strong makes it a cover, TWO! Gargano powers out of Strong Hold, ducks the boot and rolls Strong, TWO! SUPERKICK! Gargano drags Strong up to scoop and LAWN DART! The crowd fires up as Gargano aims but Strong dodges! Strong fireman’s carries, GUTBUSTER DROP! Gargano is on the apron, and enziguris Strong away! Slingshots, ONE FINAL BEAT!! But Gargano sputters to the cover, REED THICC BOI SPALSHES! Cover, REED WINS!!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall (advances to TakeOver: 30)
INCREDIBLE! Truly the biggest win in Reed’s career, and he’s on to TakeOver: XXX!! Will Reed take full advantage of this massive opportunity?
Oney Lorcan VS Timothy Thatcher!
The Boston Fury wants revenge on the ruthless teacher of torture for that extended Fujiwara armbar and the insults added later on. Will Thatcher continue to add insult to injury, as well as more injuries?
The bell rings and Oney circles with Thatcher. They approach, Oney avoids Thatcher’s grip, but they clinch and Thatcher gets the arm. Thatcher shifts to a facelock to gator roll Oney but Oney gets to his feet and gets around. Thatcher keeps on the arm and wrist but Oney keeps on the rear. Oney goes from waistlock to facelock but Thatcher slips out to hammerlock. Oney moves around, gets Thatcher’s arm to a wristlock. Thatcher gets up, throws body shots and clamps onto Oney’s shoulders. Thatcher grinds a forearm into Oney’s face, Oney drops to get the leg. Thatcher fights off the toehold to go after the arm again. Oney clasps hands to avoid the armbar, goes after the leg again, but Thatcher SLAPS!
Thatcher has the leg, Oney CHOPS and SLAPS! Oney keeps throwing CHOPS but Thatcher clinches to a belly2belly! Cover, TWO! Thatcher keeps on Oney with a chinlock but Oney endures. The crowd rallies as Oney fights but Thatcher makes it a cover. ONE, but Thatcher facelocks Oney again. Oney fights back up, Thatcher clubs his neck and knees low! Thatcher again facelocks, head ‘n’ arm suplex! Cover, TWO! Thatcher still keeps on Oney with a grounded clinch. Thatcher turns Oney over, has the legs and laces them up, to then get a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Oney endures, but Thatcher makes it a cover. TWO and Oney is free, to go after a leg. Oney trips Thatcher, has the ankle but Thatcher resists.
Thatcher gets the arm again and has a double wristlock, but Oney gets the ropebreak! Thatcher lets go fast but he KNEES Oney against ropes! He throws a EuroUpper then stands Oney up against ropes. Thatcher CLUBS Oney and KNEES him down again! Cover, TWO! The crowd still rallies for Oney as Thatcher drags him up. Oney fires off body shots and CHOPS! Thatcher clinches but Oney pushes him away to BLAST him with a EuroUpper! Oney keeps moving, and EuroUppers again! The crowd fires up as Oney aims at Thatcher on the outside. Thatcher drags Oney out and goes after the arm again. Oney chinbars in return, and POSTS Thatcher arm first! Both men are even in that respect now, and NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Thatcher has Oney in a corner. Thatcher uses one hand to push Oney into buckles and the other to throw point-blank forearms! The ref counts and Thatcher lets up at 4. Thatcher drags Oney back up to club him back down. Thatcher half nelsons as he clubs away on Oney’s back. Thatcher makes the nelson a keylock, but Oney throws body shots. Thatcher shoves Oney to buckles, Oney elbows back. Oney hops up and boots Thatcher away, to then leap and EuroUpper! Both men are down but the crowd fires up. Thatcher stands. Oney stalks up behind but Thatcher denies the Half ‘n’ Half. Thatcher wants the chicken wing crossface but Oney grabs the fingers! Oney gets the bad arm for a takedown and double wristlock!
Thatcher resists, powers up and throws forearms! Oney holds onto the wrist even as Thatcher clubs and SLAPS away! Oney trips Thatcher to get the HALF CRAB! Oney cranks back but Thatcher grits what teeth he has to reach back. Thatcher is after a leg but Oney drops down to FUJIWARA! Oney wants to use Thatcher’s favorite against him! Thatcher endures, reaches up and fish hooks Oney’s face! The ref reprimands but Oney lets Thatcher go. Oney throws haymakers and CHOPS on the bad arm! HALF ‘N’ HALF! Cover, TWO!! Thatcher toughs it out but Oney fires up! Oney glares at Thatcher as he CHOPS again! Thatcher blocks but Oney breaks through to CHOP again! And CHOP!
Thatcher goes for a leg, Oney goes after the arm! Thatcher resists, they go around and Thatcher rams Oney into buckles. Oney holds onto the arm to twist, but Thatcher reaches back to clasp hands. Oney keeps working on the wristlock, pushing that elbow. Thatcher trips Oney up to get a cover, with tights! Thatcher wins!!
Winner: Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall
Thatcher escapes by the skin of his teeth! Oney almost got his revenge, but will this rivalry give us the full trilogy?
Backstage interview with The Robert Stone Brand.
Stone does NOT want to talk right now! He got ran over again! Aliyah tells Mackenzie to leave, but Mercedes walks by. Mercedes tells Stone to stay seated and listen. Mercedes says she needs someone to handle the big matches, look at the contracts, and handle all the crap she doesn’t care about. That way, she can focus on being in the ring and hurting her opponents. Got that? Crystal clear. He’s her man- Do NOT overstep your boundaries, or she will make sure both his legs stay broken. Understood! “Welcome to the Robert Stone Brand.” They shake on it, and Stone is so excited! Until his legs hurt again. Is Mercedes the key Stone needs to get his brand to the top of NXT?
Finn Balor speaks.
“Keith Lee’s giving out opportunities. He’s giving NXT opportunities. He’s giving Finn Balor opportunities.” At Finn’s level, he doesn’t need charity. But he will take advantage that Keith is not man enough to defend the title. The Prince will take the North American Championship, and he’s not playing games. He tells us his next move: Dexter Lumis, Timothy Thatcher, “I’m sorry for ya. But your opportunity sucks, because you have to deal with me. Your push just hit the ceiling.” At TakeOver: 30, the North American Championship gets what it needs in the #FinnRub. That is truly a sinister Triple Threat, but who survives to join Bronson Reed in that Ladder match?
Dominik Dijakovic VS Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux!
After facing the then Double Champion, Keith Lee, Dijakovic proclaimed Keith was an a whole new level, and that not even Kross could touch him. Mr. Doomsday took offense to that, dumped Dijakovic over railing, and then walked away. But there’s no running from this! Will Dijakovic survive the apocalypse?
The bell rings and Kross circles with Dijakovic. They stare down, approach, then tie up. They go around along the ropes and in a corner, then back out to center. The titans separate and the crowd fires up. Kross and Dijakovic tie up again, go around some more, and Dijakovic powers Kross to a corner. The ref calls for the break, Dijakovic lets off, but Kross kicks low! Kross facelocks, cranks on Dijakovic’s head, but Dijakovic fights up. Dijakovic rams Kross to buckles but Kross wrenches the head harder. The crowd rallies for Dijakovic and he rams Kross again. And again! Kross holds on so Dijakovic throws body shots.
Dijakovic wrenches out, torture racks, but Kross blocks Fest to wrench and lift. Dijakovic fights the saido off to bring Kross around for elbows! Dijkaovic knees and DECKS Kross out of the ring! Kross is reeling for once in NXT, but he RAMS into Dijakovic! Kross puts Dijakovic against barriers, aims a big right hand, but Dijakovic dodges the fist! Kross punches Plexiglas but doesn’t even flinch! Dijakovic comes back to BOOT Kross down! Kross definitely felt that one and Scarlett is furious. The ring count climbs, Dijakovic puts Kross in at 7. Dijakovic runs at Kross in a corner but Kross BOOTS back! And ROUNDHOUSES, to DDT! Kross grins as he spikes Dijakovic and NXT goes picture in picture.
Kross takes his time going back to Dijakovic and talks trash as he stomps him down. Kross taunts Dijakovic and brings him up to throw haymakers! Dijakovic is on the ropes and Kross chokes him with a boot! The ref counts, Kross lets off to CLUB Dijakovic on the back. Kross drags Dijakovic up to knee low, then turn him for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Kross traps an arm and has Dijakovic in a headlock and pulls! Dijakovic endures and pushes back but Kross BITES Dijakovic’s hand! The ref reprimands, Dijakovic keeps pushing back but Kross holds on. Dijakovic makes the headlock a cover, TWO and Kross cranks harder.
Dijakovic endures, frees his arm, and fights to his feet. Dijakovic throws body shots but Kross trips him up just to bring it back to square one! NXT returns to single picture as Kross floats around to trap the arms and dig an elbow into Dijakovic’s face. Dijakovic endures as Kross cranks on the shoulder. The crowd rallies up, Dijakovic fights up, throws body shots and forearms, but Kross roars and DOOMSDAY SAIDOS!! Kross roars again as he stands tall. Kross calls for it, and grabs Dijakovic for the Krossjacket! Dijakovic arm-drags free before it locks in, and then fireman’s carries! Kross slips out, but Dijakovic ROCKS him with a right! Scarlett is worried and coaches Kross up, but Dijakovic throws body shots.
Dijakovic backs Kross down with elbows from all sides, but Kross shoves. Kross walks into the mule kick, front kick and ELBOW! “TIME TO FLY!” Dijakovic suplex TOSSES Kross! Kross stands, Dijakovic choke grips and CHOKE BOMBS! Cover, TWO!! Kross survives but Dijakovic grits his teeth. Kross bails out, Dijakovic FLIES!! Direct hit and the crowd is thunderous! Dijakovic drags Kross up and tells him, “You’re no Keith Lee!” But Kross says, “Neither are you!” Kross whips Dijakovic into steel steps! Kross refreshes the ring count while Scarlett has a big smile on her face. Kross chokes Dijakovic with his boot but lets up at the ref’s count. The ring count continues, Kross BOOTS the steps into Dijakovic’s head!!
The ref reprimands Kross and tells him to get back in the ring. The ref checks on Dijakovic but somehow Dijakovic is still okay! Kross enters the ring and the ring count continues. Kross goes back out to drag Dijakovic out from the steps and up into the ring. But Dijakovic is dead weight! Kross gets Dijakovic and himself in at 8, then drags Dijakovic around. Dijakovic stirs but Kross puts his arms down to throw HEAVY forearms! Kross sees Keith Lee coming down the ramp! Keith glares at Kross and Kross glares back. Dijakovic doesn’t want Keith to end this, “He’s mine.” Kross keeps raining down rights! Kross lets up and Dijakovic again tells Keith to stand down. “It’s my call. It’s on me.”
Kross shows no mercy and throws ANOTHER heavy right! Dijakovic is in a daze but he still shouts to Keith, “No!” Dijakovic crawls to the corner and tells Keith to let what happens happen. Kross drags Dijakovic up and makes sure Keith is watching the KROSSJACKET! “Look at him, Keith! Look at him!” Dijakovic is fading out! He’s turning purple! He’s OUT!! Kross wins!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by referee stoppage
Keith gets in not a moment sooner and Kross backs off. The two glare at each other as Kross’ hand is raised. Kross has sent a message to the Limitless NXT Champion through his greatest rival’s defeat. Will Keith respond more directly? Will Dijakovic ever be able to rise again?
This was a great and rather brutal episode tonight. First, great adjustment to TakeOver to go with the number since it can’t be in Boston as planned. TakeOver: 30, aka TakeOver: XXX, already has a great logo, and it already has a great match with that North American Championship ladder match. It was quite the surprise that Keith Lee vacated the title, but I suppose that is one way around any double header story or Double Championship/Winner Takes All cliches since we’ve seen that already with Becky Two Belts and NJPW’s own Double Championship story. The Triple Threat of Strong VS Gargano VS Reed was great, and it was made even better by that surprise win! I honestly didn’t pick Reed for that, it felt more like Gargano’s win, but this is big for the up-and-comer.
Balor VS Thatcher VS Lumis is also going to be great. Lumis VS Dain was really good, and Thatcher VS Oney II was a great rematch. I feel like Lumis could end up a surprise winner, but at the same time, I feel like Balor needs this to keep going. By now, he was supposed to have faced Walter in NXT UK but obviously that hasn’t been able to happen. Balor getting the North American Championship and holding onto it until he and Walter can have a match would be great to be honest. I can’t wait to see who else gets in on the Triple Threats and the apparently Five Man Ladder match. By virtue of being an NXT TakeOver ladder match, that’s going to be insane, and perhaps even star-making.
Ever-Rise VS Breezango was fun, and Breezango entering as Mounties was a great surprise. I feel like TakeOver: XXX could set up a huge NXT Tag Team Championship match, with three or more teams. Get Imperium, Breezango and Indus Sher in the ring in a tornado tag or something, that’ll really fire up the tag division in an otherwise weak era. Shirai VS Kai is going to be really good, and Kai’s video promo and Shirai’s tweet were pretty good to keep the ball rolling. Shotzi had a good match with Aliyah, Stone continues to be entertaining, and what a twist for Mercedes Martinez to go after Shotzi and sign with Stone. I’m still sensing Rhea Ripley backing Shotzi up against Aliyah and Mercedes, and the winning team could even move up in the WWE Women’s Tag Division. Y’know, once the tag titles are free of Bayley & Sasha Banks.
Swerve getting a profile vignette was pretty good. I guess part of his gimmick now is that he’s a musician, composer and maybe even rapper. WWE needs to get Josiah Williams, aka Wrestle & Flow, back so he can give Swerve a track that isn’t just the backing beat for Shawn Spears’ theme in AEW. Swerve calling out Escobar is good, ties NXT and 205 Live together. Then the main event, Kross VS Dijakovic, was also great stuff. The ending was borderline Rocky IV, Apollo losing and dying at the hands of Drago because he told Rocky not to throw in the towel. Dijakovic goes down, probably so he can resurface on Raw or SmackDown in the future, but it adds a lot to Keith VS Kross. Those two having a match at TakeOver: XXX is the logical move, but it feels way too hard to call here what happens. Keith just got THE NXT title, but how does he retain it without hurting Kross’ already very high power levels?
My Score: 9.2/10