Who else heads for NXT TakeOver: XXX?
KUSHIDA returns to action and gets a chance at the NXT North American Championship! But so does Cameron Grimes, and a mysterious third man!
- Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Danny Burch; Kross wins.
- Drake Maverick VS Killian Dain; No Contest.
- Tyler Breeze VS Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma; Escobar wins.
- Mia Yim VS Indi Hartwell; Yim wins.
- Bronson Reed VS Damian Priest; Reed wins.
- Mercedes Martinez & Aliyah w/ Robert Stone VS Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter; Martinez & Aliyah win.
- NXT North American Championship Ladder Match Qualifier Triple Threat: KUSHIDA VS Cameron Grimes VS ???; Grimes wins and advances to TakeOver: XXX.
PLAY BY PLAY
Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Danny Burch!
Mr. Doomsday didn’t want to do things “the hard way,” but William Regal wouldn’t budge. Kross attacked various NXT prospects as well as The Govenah, and now he faces the consequences! But will Burch be the one wishing it weren’t so?
Burch demands the bell ring right away so that’s what happens! And he dropkicks Kross! Burch fires off in the corner but Kross pushes him back and tosses him into the corner! Kross swings, Burch dodges and stomps away! Burch throws fast hands and a headbutt! He clotheslines Kross out of the ring! Kross flounders about but drags Burch out to join him! Kross two hand choke SLAMS Burch down! The ref starts the ring count but Kross looms over Burch until 5. Kross drags Burch up at 6 and puts him in at 8. Kross takes his time following, kicking Burch around. “The whole world’s watching!” Burch throws body shots but Kross uses an EXPLODER to toss Burch away!
Kross stalks Burch as he talks trash. Burch gets up in the corner as the crowd rallies up, and he boots Kross away! Burch dodges to enziguri Kross in the corner! Burch hops up and leaps to missile dropkick Kross down! Kross gets up and swings, but into Burch’s GERMAN SUPLEX! Kross snarls as he gets back up again, and he ROCKS Burch with a forearm! Kross drags Burch out, but Burch switches and GERMAN SUPLEXES again! Kross pops back up, but Burch LARIATS him down! Cover, TWO! Into a CROSSFACE! Burch cranks, Kross rolls but Burch holds on! They roll again, Burch is still on Kross with the crossface! But Kross glares as he powers up and lifts Burch with one ram! Burch lets go, but into the DOOMSDAY SAIDO!
Kross adjusts his neck because he’s not done with Burch. Kross drags Burch up, wrenches to another DOOMSDAY SAIDO! Burch flops and flounders but Kross stalks behind him. The crowd rallies up but Kross CLOBBERS Burch down! Kross drags Burch up and asks if he remembers the KROSSJACKET! Burch fades out, Kross wins!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by submission
Kross crushed Burch, but here comes Keith Lee! The Limitless NXT Champion marches out to the ring without the belt, but with a contract! Kross and Scarlett give Keith the ring, but Keith gets a mic. “I’m not surprised at all. Because you say this is on me, but no, Kross. This is on you!” Keith offered Kross to join him in the ring and earn his shot, but Kross is just running away, “just like the little BI*CH” you’ve proven to be! But Keith begged and pleaded with Regal, “Please, I promise I won’t put my hands on him until TakeOver if you give me the match.” Keith signed, Regal signed, so now all this contract needs is Kross’ “punkass name.”
Keith tosses the contract down, Scarlett fetches it, and Kross signs it. Scarlett seals it with a kiss before returning it to Keith. Keith checks it, but it FLASHES WITH FIRE!? Referees and medics try to help Keith as he was almost burned and blinded by that dirty magic trick! The pain is one thing, but Keith’s rage is boiling over. He storms through the back as the medics tend to his eyes. Will Keith make Kross pay when they finally clash in the ring?
Drake Maverick VS Killian Dain!
NXT is picture in picture to keep an eye (pardon the unintended pun) on Keith while Rockstar Spud hits the ring! Will Maverick survive his first ever encounter with the Beast of Belfast?
The bell rings and Maverick starts to realize the trouble he’s in for. Maverick avoids Dain’s grasp once, but gets cornered the next! Maverick manages to slip around and he clubs Dain in the chest, but it doesn’t bother Dain at all! NXT goes picture in picture with commercials as Dain scoops Maverick. Maverick slips out, kicks Dain’s leg and backs him down to a corner. Dain pushes Maverick away but Maverick forearms back! Maverick kicks away on the leg then tries to hook it on ropes. We also check in with Keith and he’s being taken to an ambulance now. Keith is still angry but the referees convince him he needs to leave and get better medical attention.
In the ring, Dain has clobbered Maverick and now looms over him. Maverick tries to breathe as Dain stands on his leg. Dain kicks the leg in return for Maverick kicking his leg, and then Dain returns the favor with wrapping Maverick’s leg on the ropes! The ref counts, Dain lets up, Mia Yim appears by Keith’s side to check on him as well as cool him off. In the background of the back lot, Kross and Scarlett drive away in their dark as night Dodge. In the match, Dain whips Maverick but Maverick kicks the back drop away, only for Dain to CLOBBER him! Dain circles around Maverick like a shark, and then drags him up to elbow him down! Dain toys with Maverick as he brings him up for a scoop and slam!
Dain watches Maverick writhe while Keith has a wrap around his eyes. Mia rides with him in the ambulance as they head out. Dain drops a back senton but Maverick dodges! Maverick gets to a corner, he boots Dain away, then baits Dain into buckles! Maverick hurries to build speed, and he dropkicks the legs out! Dain carwls,. Maverick fires off kicks and haymakers from all sides! Maverick fires off jabs, haymakers, but Dain shoves him down! Maverick runs to forearm but Dain stays up. Maverick tries again but still Dain stays on his feet. Maverick tries a third time, but Dain catches him with body hands! Maverick pulls on the beard, breaks free and enziguris! Dain staggers while we get one last glimpse of the ambulance leaving.
NXT returns to single picture as the Undisputed Era pulls into the parking lot. They’re in a bad mood of their own after what Pat McAfee did last week. But back to the action, Maverick is on the top rope and leaps to the outside, HUGE CANNONBALL takes Dain down! But Dain still gets back to the ring first as the ring count climbs. Maverick pursues, making sure Dain is inside. Maverick heads back up top and MACHO ELBOWS! But the Era attacks them both?!
Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong don’t care about any of this as they stomp and punch and kick both Maverick and Dain into the mat! Maverick gets tossed out while Dain gets beat down 4v1! They let Dain get up so Strong can KNEE him back down! Maverick scrambles up but Cole SUPERKICKS him back out! Dain takes TOTAL ANNIHILATION from reDRagon! And then the LAST SHOT from Cole! The Era kicks Dain out of the ring and Cole grabs a mic.
“Hey, Pat McAfee~!” Cole knows for a fact Pat is watching, so Pat better shut up and listen! Pat wants to come to Cole’s world and “play wrestler.” Pat runs his mouth on social media, but he cut Cole with his arms behind his back! That’s not special. What’s special is that Cole is the longest reigning NXT Champion of all time! At TakeOver: XXX, Pat steps into the ring with THAT guy! So Pat should do Cole a favor. Cole DARES Pat to show up next week. If Pat has the guts to walk down the ramp, step through the ropes and into the ring, he and Cole can stare each other in the eye, face to face and man to man, and Cole will let Pat know he’s gonna whoop that ass. Then when Pat finally realizes that he is in WAY over his head, it is going to SUCK for Pat to know that there is absolutely NOTHING he can do about it. THAT is Undisputed.
NXT hears from Kushida!
“Finally, I have a chance!” Keith Lee was the previous North American Champion, and the Super Junior vows to be the next. “Isn’t it fun?” Kushida knows he has Cameron Grimes, but doesn’t know who the third man is, not that it matters to him. At the dream stage of TakeOver: XXX, Kushida will win the Ladder Match and seize glory! “It’s time for Kushida to taste gold!”
Tyler Breeze VS Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma!
There are no fun entrances this week, because Prince Pretty is going to be all business in avenging the Lord of the Dance. Will he make the NXT Cruiserweight Champion pay for what he and his cohorts did to Fandango?
Actually, the Leader of Leaders is so confident that he can handle Breeze, he lets Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde go back to the back. The bell rings and Breeze rushes Escobar with fast hands! Escobar powers Breeze to a corner but Breeze keeps hitting. Escobar forearms and stomps back, then kicks Breeze around and throws in big knees! He kicks Breeze while he’s down, drags him up to haymaker again, then puts him on the ropes. The ref counts but Escobar CHOPS Breeze down! Escobar stomps and kicks Breeze, drags him back up and whips to ropes. Things speed up and Escobar dropkicks Breeze down! Escobar talks trash to Breeze and stomps him more.
Breeze sits up but Escobar kicks him all around. Escobar taunts Breeze with every shot, and then stomps him again! Escobar keeps talking trash as he kicks Breeze to a corner. He throws haymakers then pushes Breeze down. Escobar looms over Breeze, calling himself “The Emperor of Lucha.” Escobar drags Breeze up as the crowd rallies. Breeze enziguris back! Escobar bails out, Breeze hurries after him, and puts him back in the ring. Escobar bails out the side so Breeze pursues again. Escobar comes back to chop block the legs! Then Escobar fireman’s carries to snake eyes Breeze off the apron and CLOBBER him on the outside! Escobar says “Estos lucha!” as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Escobar grinds Breeze down with a chinlock, even digging his own chin into Breeze’s head. Breeze fights up but Escobar body shots and shoves. Atomic drop and a running KNEE! Breeze flounders and Escobar brings him up to the fireman’s carry. Breeze fights out and shoves Escobar out of the ring. Escobar steadies himself and gets back in, but he runs into forearms from Breeze! Breeze rocks Escobar over and over, then mule kicks in the corner! Breeze whips corner to corner, hits a BIG forearm, then whips back the other way for another! Breeze whips to ropes, Escobar reverses but Breeze kicks and SUPER MODEL KICKS! Breeze would cover but he sees Wilde and Mendoza returning!
El Legado flanks the ring but Breeze is ready! Breeze hits Wilde, then dropkicks Mendoza out! Escobar gets him for the PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Escobar wins!
Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall
Big assists to Wilde and Mendoza as they were part of the plan all along. But wait! Fandango comes out with a mop, probably part of a sexy janitor idea, but he breaks off the head! Fandango has one good arm to SWING the stick around! He hits Wilde down but Mendoza comes back to take another shot! Escobar enziguris the bad arm! And uses the mop stick to SMACK it! And then El Legado grinds Fandango down with stomps! They pull the sling off, but here comes SWERVE! Isaiah Scott rocks Wilde, Mendoza, and Escobar! Escobar gets away with his title, but the one man who has beaten him in WWE wants after him in the worst way! Will Escobar have no choice but to visit Swerve’s House?
NXT hears from Dakota Kai.
“I’m going to let you in on a little secret.” Everyone has put Io Shirai on a pedestal, because she’s “so great.” The best! But Dakota doesn’t see it that way. She’s found a way to beat Shirai! The best path to success is getting inside your opponent’s head. Dakota is in Shirai’s head because Shirai has wandered into “Dakota Territory” now. Dakota has outsmarted the Evil Genius, and has done everything on her own to get to this point. Dakota doesn’t need friends, enemies, associates or insurance policies! At TakeOver, Dakota vows to beat Shirai, “and your captain becomes the new NXT Woman’s Champion.” Will Dakota kick Shirai off that pedestal and down to the bottom of the mountain?
NXT hears from Ridge Holland.
“Last week, the world was introduced to Ridge Holland.” The hype was real for Yorkshire Grit, and his second chance at going to TakeOver: XXX is in a match against Johnny Gargano. Guys Gargano’s side wouldn’t last a minute on Holland’s rugby field. Pain is coming for #AllHeartNoSoul, will there be no stopping Holland’s redemption?
Mia Yim VS Indi Hartwell!
Before her entrance, Mia is asked about Keith Lee’s medical status, but she couldn’t stay long enough to hear it all herself. She had to rush back and get ready for this match. But from what she does know is that Keith will be okay, there was no serious damage, and that championship match will happen. Will the Head Baddie In Charge be able to focus on her own match when she’s up against the #Impressive Indi?
The bell rings and Mia circles with Indi. They tie up, Mia headlocks and wrenches to a wristlock to then hammerlock. Indi stomps a food and headlocks back. Mia powers out but Indi runs her over! Indi shouts, “IMPRESSIVE!” and runs. Mia follows, redirects Indi and chop blocks the legs, to then basement dropkick Indi down! Mia runs and BOOTS Indi in the corner, then sweeps the legs. Mia runs corner to corner to CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! Indi gets away to another corner but Mia keeps her cool. Mia runs corner to corner but Indi sends her into buckles! Indi stomps a mudhole then CHOPS her a la the Grizzly Magnum! Indi mocks Keith’s moves and his pose, and that just fires Mia up! Mia CHOPS then throws big forearms!
Mia whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps on Mia with a chinlock but Mia endures. MIa grabs Indi’s hair and fights her way up as the crowd rallies. Indi hops on like a backpack but gets rammed into buckles. Indi climbs back on and Mia starts to fade! The crowd rallies, Mia gets her second wind and powers up to turn this into a backpack STUNNER! Indi lets go, but then rises back up to wrap the sleeper back on! Mia fights to her feet, pries at the hold but again has a backpack. Mia throws Indi off but Indi elbows back! Indi stomps Mia at the ropes then dumps her down for a cover, TWO! Indi pushes Mia around, but Mia CHOPS back!
Indi keeps pushing buttons but Mia pushes back. Indi knees low, mocks Keith again by shouting, “Bask in MY Glory!” Mia has had it with Indi and tackles her down! Mia rains down hands, dodges the boot and dropkicks back! And again! And then hits a running neckbreaker! Mia brings Indi up, GERMAN SUPLEX! Indi flounders up, Mia grabs her arm but Indi pushes her away. Mia hits a body scissors takedown to a cover, ONE! Mia has Indi’s head trapped under her leg and just PULLS on the arm! Indi taps, Mia wins!
Winner: Mia Yim, by submission
That’s some impressive innovation from Mia! Will Mia and her modified clutch bring her back to the NXT Women’s Championship scene? Can she clear her mind knowing Keith will be okay?
Finn Balor speaks.
“First, it was opportunities. Now, it’s second chances. I’m not one to politic, I don’t need to. The office wants me on TV.” It doesn’t matter if you’re 18, 49 or living in a retirement home. Everyone watches The Prince. “Cameron Grimes, Kushida, or whoever is yet to reveal themselves… Enjoy yourselves tonight, because whoever’s left over will be easy pickings for Finn Balor, future North American Champion.” But just who IS the third man?
Triple H made it official on ESPN’s Get Up.
He wants Pat McAfee to put his money where his mouth is and take Adam Cole on 1v1, “if Pat’s got the guts to say yes.” Pat responded by saying, “I accept the challenge for sure!” Pat wants to beat Cole’s ass, and “dance on the grave of NXT.” And as for Cole’s challenge earlier tonight, Pat tweeted out that if Cole wants him back, he’d love to. “The last time I was there, you ended up lifeless on the ground with Shawn Michaels worried about your soulless, dumb, stupid body.” Pat looks forward to dominating Cole “and the whole wrestling community… AGAIN.” But will Cole be returning the kick, as it were?
Bronson Reed VS Damian Priest!
Auszilla and the Archer of Infamy are in the TakeOver: XXX ladder match, but if Dexter Lumis’ misfortune is any indication, there’s no point in going too hard if you get injured. Will Reed and Priest hold anything back knowing the title match is the real deal?
The bell rings and Reed dares Priest to do something. Priest circles with Reed slowly, they tie up, and Reed powers Priest back. Priest shifts to go after the arm but Reed pushes him to a corner. Priest grins as he comes back to circle again. They tie up, Priest gets the arm again, wrenches around to a wristlock, but Reed spins and wrenches back. Reed cranks the wrist as Priest tries to push him away. Priest rolls, handsprings up and wrenches back to go after the shoulder. Priest brings Reed to a knee and clamps on a chinlock. Reed endures the grind while Priest grins again. The crowd rallies up as Reed powers Priest to ropes. Reed lets up, but Priest wrenches and headlocks.
Reed powers out, the two collide but neither falls. Priest grins but Reed shakes his head. Reed dares Priest to run, so Priest does, but Reed follows to knock Priest into ropes! Priest likes the moxie as Reed dusts himself off. Priest and Reed dare each other to run, and Priest volunteers, only to kick Reed’s leg! And the other leg! Now Priest runs, but Reed follows and runs Priest over! Priest gets up fast but Reed pushes him. Now they start throwing heavy forearms back and forth! Priest fores off a strike fest, Reed shoves but Priest dodges and hurdles to back elbow! Reed goes down and the crowd fires up!
Priest whips Reed but Reed blocks with size and strength! Reed whips Priest, Priest goes up and forearms back! Priest eggs Reed on but then fires off kicks and forearms, and a discus! Priest powers up but Reed blocks that punch! Priest ROUNDHOUSES back and Reed goes to a corner. Priest runs corner to corner to leap, into Reed’s arms! Priest fights free and wrenches to then try a suplex. Reed is too big and strong, he gets around to waistlock. Priest fights free but turns around into a DDT! Reed tries but can’t get Priest before he rolls out of the ring! Priest saves himself while NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Priest hammers away on Reed before clamping on another chinlock. Reed endures as Priest thrashes him about. Reed fights up, Priest hits low but Reed counter punches. Reed throws haymakers, a big elbow, but Priest ducks only to run into SPINE BUSTER! Priest flounders up in surprise but Reed corner splashes him! Reed fireman’s carries, Priest fights out and ear claps! Ripcord ROUNDHOUSE! Spin back kick is CAUGHT! Reed hits a FALL AWAY SLAM then a THICC SENTON! Cover, TWO! Priest survives but Reed won’t let up. Reed drags Priest up, but Priest slips out to hit a COMPLETE SHOT! The crowd fires up as both men slowly rise.
Priest bobs ‘n’ weaves, fires off strikes and BIG haymakers, to a ROLLING ELBOW! Reed wobbles but stays up, so Priest SPRINGBOARD CANNONBALLS into him! Reed gets to a corner, Priest aims and runs corner to corner, BIG elbow! Priest brings Reed out to try the suplex again but Reed is just that big. Priest keeps trying, gets Reed up but not high enough! Priest rams knees into Reed over and over, clubs him and reels him in, and roars as he BROKEN ARROWS!! Cover, TWO!?! Reed survives but Priest won’t let up! He tries again but Reed suplexes Priest back! The crowd is thunderous as the ref checks on both men. Reed and Priest stir, slowly rise, and start brawling with big forearms! Reed rocks Priest, but Priest spins to ROUNDHOUSE!
Priest aims again, springboards but into a POWERSLAM! Reed climbs up top for the TSUNAMI, only to FLOP as Priest narrowly avoids it! Priest aims from the corner, reels Reed in, but no Reckoning! Reed jackknifes, Reed wins!!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall
The shock is all over Priest’s face! Reed gets the better of the Archer of Infamy, will he use this momentum to take over at TakeOver?
NXT hears from Io Shirai.
“When Dakota kicked me in the face, message received.” But Dakota’s acting as if she’s a big star. It wasn’t until she betrayed Tegan Nox that anyone learned who she was. Dakota is a user, a manipulator. She uses people until she doesn’t need them, and then throws them away. Just ask Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox, or Raquel Gonzalez. Shirai only sees “the cute girl who was terrified of Shayna Baszler.” And just like Shayna, Dakota will be afraid of Shirai at TakeOver. Dakota is no match for her. Dakota isn’t in Shirai’s head, she’s just pissed Shirai off! Will the Evil Genius show Dakota the dark truth about her reality?
NXT hears from Cameron Grimes!
“Always at the right place at the right time!” Speaking of time, Grimes ain’t got no time for Kushida! “And as for that man of mystery, it doesn’t matter to me, because I’m gonna leave with that victory!” Grimes climbs the ladder, grabs that North American Championship, and takes it to the moon!
Mercedes Martinez & Aliyah w/ Robert Stone VS Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter!
The Robert Stone Brand has meddled in the business of Shotzi Blackheart and Rhea Ripley, but is finally going into business for itself. Will the brutal and the bougie be a combination that climbs up the WWE Women’s Tag Division? Or will KC and KC use the power of friendship to win instead?
Stone grabs the mic and says that “unless you’ve been living under a rock,” you’d know that his brand has been el fuego. If you don’t know what that means on fire! That’s the great thing about his brand! He is always looking to the future, and that future is very, very, very bright. It could include Kacy Catanzaro, because lets be real. American Ninja Warrior, fans love her, but she’s hanging out with all the wrong people when she could choose the right people. What Stone is saying is that KC needs to lose the loser. Kacy keeps Kayden back, and Kacy shows slap! Stone covers up, but Kacy STOMPS his bad foot! Stone gets to the apron, Aliyah checks on him, but Mercedes rushes KC! KC dodges and huricarnanas her down! The crowd fires up and the bell rings as Mercedes and Stone get out, Aliyah starts against Kayden!
Aliyah rushes Kayden but she ducks and mule kicks. Kayden tags in Kacy and they whip to trip and mule kick Aliyah! Slingshot senton and cover, ONE! Kacy has Aliyah in the corner and elbows in. Kayden tags in, gets some help from Kacy to kick Aliyah, and then returns the favor to give Kacy the boost for the kick! KC Squared double SUPERKICK Aliyah down! Cover by Kayden, TWO! Kayden keeps on Aliyah, Aliyah fights out but Kayden waistlocks. Aliyah runs to ropes, bucks Kayden off and Mercedes tags in! Kayden dodges Aliyah and wheelbarrows Mercedes, but ends up in a wheelbarrow cutter! Cover, Kacy breaks it! Mercedes chases Kacy off as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Aliyah has Kayden in a facelock. Kayden hits back but Aliyah throws her down! Cover, TWO! Aliyah tells Kacy to kiss this before bringing Kayden away. Tag to Mercedes, they mug Kayden in the corner. Mercedes CHOPS but Kayden hits back. Mercedes clubs and stomps Kayden in a corner but lets up at the ref’s count. Mercedes keeps Kayden from Kacy and bumps her off buckles. She rams into Kayden hard then tags Aliyah in. Mercedes snap suplexes Kayden for Aliyah to drop a leg! Cover, TWO! Aliyah tries another cover, TWO! Aliyah keeps Kayden from Kacy and tags Mercedes back in. Mercedes mugs Kayden more then chokes her on the ropes! The ref counts, Mercedes lets up but Aliyah calls Kayden a loser.
Mercedes stomps Kayden in another corner, then CHOPS her down! Mercedes drags Kayden away, tags Aliyah back in, and Aliyah dares Kayden to get up. Kayden runs into a lift and a push, but she slides under! Aliyah gets a leg but Kayden kicks and Eddy Gordo kicks Aliyah down! Both women crawl for their corners, hot tags to Kacy and Mercedes! Kacy sweeps the legs and Mercedes hits buckles! Kacy stomps a mudhole and fires off forearms but Mercedes shoves her away. Kacy comes back with an A-List Lariat! She dumps Mercedes down to somersault ax kick! Cover, Aliyah breaks it!
Kayden SUPERKICKS Aliyah down! Mercedes BOOTS Kayden! Kacy huricanranas but Mercedes blocks to fireman’s carry, AIR RAID CRASH! Cover, The Robert Stone Brand wins!
Winner: Mercedes Martinez & Aliyah, by pinfall
KC and KC were not enough to slow down the brand, but here comes RHEA RIPLEY! The Aussie Nightmare wants payback for the blindside, but Stone and Aliyah want to cut and run. Mercedes refuses to retreat, so Rhea rushes the ring, gets around her and BOOTS Mercedes down! Rhea drags Mercedes up to club away, fire body shots, but Aliyah comes back to chop block Rhea! Mercedes pushes Aliyah away because she wants after Rhea! Mercedes stomps away so Aliyah joins in! But here comes SHOTZI! Shotzi gets around Aliyah for a SAIDO! And then she baits Mercedes into an ENZIGURI!
The Robert Stone Brand falls back as the wild child helps Rhea up. Will Shotzi help Rhea #TCB, Take Care of Bidness?
NXT checks in with The Garganos.
After dinner, Johnny takes care of chores while Candice sits with their dog. Everyone, even the dog, is wearing “Power Couple” track suits. Gargano uses a ladder to check a light while Candice reads a fairy tale to Doggo Gargano. “The dragon betrayed the fairy and the evil witch ran away with the enchanted gem.” A sad story! You know why? Because “the dragon” didn’t need to be there in the first place. “The dragon” had to but into “the fairy’s” business, and then goes and plays dumb like she’s the hero. News flash: the fairy isn’t the evil one! Candice isn’t evil! Tegan the dragon just needs to mind her own damn business!
What book is Candice reading? It’s nothing. But now, the evil forces have all the magic gems! All hope looks lost! They’re doomed! Johnny says the “kingdom” isn’t doomed. The kingdom is fine, because the Wednesday Knight is going to ride in and save the day just like always. There has been a lot of change in NXT, but that is the one constant. All these fresh faces, like Damian Priest, “that thicc boi guy,” all very talented and very hungry. One more than the other. But as talented as those two are, “they are not on the level of Johnny Gargano! I know it, they know it, even Mr. Regal knows it! You can’t have a TakeOver without Johnny Takeover.” So Regal did the right thing and put Johnny in a fair qualifier against Ridge Holland.
Holland is big and strong, but he is NOT Johnny Gargano. Gargano vows to win, be in the ladder match he should’ve been in the entire time, and make TakeOver: XXX into the night Johnny Gargano made history becoming the first and only TWO-TIME NXT North American Champion! And next time Gargano climbs a ladder, it won’t just be to fix the house. It’ll be to fix NXT. Okay, time for bed. Is Gargano going to bring some gold home with him at the end of TakeOver? Is he not going to put that ladder away before turning in for the night?
NXT checks in on Thatch As Thatch Can Wrestling.
Timothy Thatcher welcomes his students back and says today’s lesson is adaptation. He makes one student where a Finn Balor shirt while he has demonstrates the move that “had the match one” for him. Single Leg Crab. Go after the ankle, pick the leg up and turn. But he modified it into an ankle lock style and drops down to the grapevine. This man taps when Finn didn’t. The lesson is of course, that you need to learn to adapt. Thatcher may not have his second chance in the North American Championship match, but he’s calling out The Prince. Whether Balor wins his way back into TakeOver or not, will he make sure to teach The Professor of Pain a thing or two first?
NXT makes it official!
Next week, we will have the face to face between Adam Cole and Pat McAfee! Will Cole beat down Pat before ever getting to TakeOver? Or will Pat upstage and humiliate him all over again?
Plus, after the confrontation earlier tonight, Swerve joins forces with Breezango to take on El Legado del Fantasma! Will Breeze and Dango get revenge while also helping Swerve prove his point? Or will Escobar, Wilde and Mendoza deny them all their shot at the Cruiserweight Championship?
And while we know Gargano takes on Holland, Finn Balor will be watching the main event very closely. Tonight’s winner moves on to TakeOver while the loser is on the outside looking in. But with the third man still a mystery, who will be the odd one out to face The Prince?
A quick update on Keith Lee!
The Limitless One has left the hospital, and vows to make Kross a dead man! The full update is on WWE’s official website, but does Kross understand the gist of the situation he’s put himself in?
NXT North American Championship Ladder Match Qualifier Triple Threat: KUSHIDA VS Cameron Grimes VS ???
The Time Splitter feels it’s his time, but so does the Carolina Caveman. And after a week of speculation, we finally learn that their mystery opponent is… THE VELVETEEN DREAM!! The Experience has returned at the most opportune moment! Will he seize the moment and take over this close to TakeOver?
The bell rings and Grimes grabs Dream’s leg! Dream counters with a headlock, Grimes powers out and Dreams heads for Kushida. Kushida gets the arm, Dream stays up and whips Kushida at Grimes. Grimes waistlocks Kushida but Dream grabs Grimes’ hair. Grimes elbows out hard then kicks Kushida. Grimes suplexes Kushida but Dream catches Kushida to set him aside before he ROCKS Grimes with an uppercut! Dream then hotshot bulldogs Grimes, Grimes staggers towards Kushida, and Kushida wrings Grimes’ arm out so hard, Grimes might as well have gotten powerbomb’d! Grimes flops over and out while Kushida spots Dream slithering in. Kushida says Dream was that close to catching him as the two circle.
Grimes drags Dream out but Dream ROCKS him with another uppercut! Kushida hurries over but Dream uppercuts him, too! Dream climbs up, leaps and ax handles! Cover, TWO! Oklahoma Roll, TWO! Kushida drops while Dream lunges and Dream falls out of the ring hard! Grimes clobbers Kushida and CHOPS him! Grimes whips, Kushida dodges and Kushida handspring kicks Dream down! Kushida boots Grimes, goes to the apron and tornado DDT’s Dream to the ground! Kushida shoulders back into Grimes, climbs up, but Grimes trips him up! Kushida tumbles down while NXT goes picture in picture.
Grimes soaks up the heat before digging a knee into Kushida’s head at the ropes. The ref reprimands but there are no disqualifications in a Triple Threat, so Grimes lets up on his own time. Grimes drags Kushida up to bump off buckles, then stomps away. Kushida staggers to another corner but Grimes is on him with digging knuckles. Grimes whips corner to corner hard and Kushida bounces off buckles! Grimes gloats but Dream rolls him up, TWO! Dream ROCKS Grimes with big haymakers and then whips. Grimes reverses to CLOBBER Dream with a clothesline! Grimes is the only one up as he glares at Kushida and Dream. Dream flops out so Grimes goes after Kushida, only for Kushida to wrench the arm. Grimes claws Kushida’s face to avoid the shoulder breaker!
Grimes drags Kushida down and chinbars on top of trapping the arm. Kushida endures as the crowd rallies up. Kushida fights but Grimes whips and kitchen sink KNEES Kushida down! Cover, TWO! Dream returns but Grimes clobbers him on the apron! And then DECKS him back down! Grimes drops down on Kushida to get another chinbar and armlock! Kushida endures, fights back up, and fights back with haymakers. Kushida throws more as NXT returns to single picture, but Grimes knees low. Grimes DECKS Dream off the apron again, but then turns around into an arm-drag! Kushida handsprings and dropkicks Grimes down! Then Kushida KICKS Dream to a corner!
Kushida runs to SHOTEI Grimes down from a corner! The crowd rallies up, Kushida aims at both opponents, SOMERSAULT- NO! No DDT, Dream and Grimes push Kushida away. Dream blocks Kushida’s kick but ducks the enziguri, and Grimes takes the hit! Dream drags Kushida up but Kushida kicks away first! ROUNDHOUSE! Kushida whips Grimes, Grimes reverses but Kushida handsprings! Grimes catches Kushida in a waistlock, Kushida elbows out but walks into Dream’s fireman’s carry. Kushida fights out to FAST BALL! Grimes ROUNDHOUSES Kushida, Dream SUPERKICKS Grimes, and all three men are down!! The crowd is thunderous, “This is Awesome!”
All three men stir, Grimes goes to one side while Dream and Kushida end up on the same side. Dream and Grimes stand, Dream clotheslines Grimes out, then climbs up to SUPER AX HANDLE! Dream fires up, puts Grimes back in and aims from a corner. Kushida runs in but Dream elbows him away. Dream hops up and leaps again, but Kushida gets clear so only Grimes gets ax handles! Kushida runs into a BOOT from Dream, and Dream brings Grimes up. Grimes holds onto the rope to block the whip, so Kushida dropkicks the bad arm! Dream gets Kushida for the DREAM VALLEY! Grimes dumps Dream out but Dream drags Grimes out with him!
Grimes bumps Dream off the apron, they brawl and Grimes DECKS Dream! The crowd rallies up as Grimes drags Dream back up, but Dream throws haymakers and jabs! Grimes rakes eyes! Kushida FLIES in to SENTON Dream down! Grimes puts Kushida back in, hurries up top, but Kushida handspring kicks him first! Kushida climbs up to join Grimes, brings him up, SUPER FLYING ARMBAR!! Grimes flails, kicks, endures, Dream PURPLE RAIN MAKERS into an ARMBAR! Kushida now has Dream flailing and kicking, gets the HOVERBOARD KIMURA! Dream powers up and back drops Kushida, then jackknifes to a fireman’s carry! But Kushida fights back, grabs the arm, HOVERBOARD!
Dream endures, fights to stay on his feet, but Grimes CAVE INS Kushida!! Grimes pushes Dream out, covers Kushida, Grimes wins!!
Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall (advances to TakeOver: XXX)
Cameron Grimes took advantage and takes his place at TakeOver! Kushida is completely eliminated, but Dream will get his second chance. But it’ll be against FINN BALOR! Dream gets back in and looks at Kushida. Dream SLAPS Kushida while he’s down, then rains down brutal fists! Dream has lost his cool and even threatens referees! He gets back in and SUPERKICKS Kushida down! Dream poses on the top rope, but Balor appears! These two meet in the second chance match, but who punches their ticket to TakeOver?
A really great episode of NXT tonight, with some really good surprises. Kross was obviously going to beat Burch but Burch looked amazing getting even that much offense in. The different take on the contract signing was good, but couldn’t they have trimmed down on Scarlett glaring at Keith? It made it almost obvious that something was up after Kross signed it. I do like the use of the flash paper, though, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen fireballs used in WWE. Obviously Keith was going to be okay, but we sure lingered on him being taken to the ambulance. Though, I should’ve seen it as foreshadowing that Dain and Maverick were in a meaningless match. Undisputed Era are still playing the line of Tweener while Cole’s story with Pat McAfee continues. Cole and Pat are going to turn up the heat next week, and that’s going to be great in itself.
We got really great tie in for Mia Yim there, and Indi Hartwell really upped being a Heel bringing up all of Keith’s mannerisms. Mia gets a solid win out of it, and I almost expect her and Scarlett to throw down over this. The Robert Stone Brand had a really good match with KC and KC, and of course were going to win. I love that I called it on Shotzi and Rhea working together. Those two teams are going to have a really good match, I just wish WWE would let NXT be more involved in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Maybe that happens after SummerSlam weekend when we see how the Bayley and Sasha story shakes out. We get a pretty good match from Breeze and Escobar, but it will always annoy me when a Heel needs henchmen to beat someone they claim they can handle. Though that could be what they’re going for every time. The Six Man next week will be a lot of fun, too, to propel Swerve towards the Cruiserweight title.
We got really good promos out of Dakota Kai, Io Shirai and everyone involved in the North American Championship scene. I think Shirai’s was better than Dakota’s, and I’m already figuring Shirai wins. The Garganos had a great segment, too, and Gargano VS Holland is going to be great. I honestly don’t know which result is better, because both guys are going to bring a lot to the ladder match. Reed and Priest have a great match, and it works for Reed to win quick like that. They’re both going into the ladder match very strong, even with other guys in the mix. The Triple Threat was incredible, practically TakeOver worthy already, and what a way to bring Dream back! I was a bit surprised by Grimes winning, but even his ego needs to be vindicated now and then. Plus, this sets up Dream VS Balor, an incredible match just thinking about it. And there’s a Prince pun in there somewhere…
My Score: 9/10
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