Two huge matches for huge NXT title opportunities at TakeOver!
A battle royal for a shot at Io Shirai’s NXT Women’s Championship and a GAUNTLET ELIMINATOR for Finn Balor’s title, all in one night! Who is left standing at the end of each to challenge the Evil Genius and the Prince?
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Battle Royal: Candice LeRae wins and will challenge Io Shirai for the title at TakeOver.
- Tommaso Ciampa VS Jake Atlas; Ciampa wins.
- Danny Burch & Roderick Strong VS Fabian Aichner & Raul Mendoza; Burch & Strong win and their teams move on to face each other in an NXT Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s match.
- Damian Priest VS Austin Theory; Priest wins.
- Ridge Holland VS Antonio de Luca; Holland wins.
- NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Gauntlet Eliminator: Kyle O’Reilly wins and will challenge Finn Balor for the title at TakeOver.
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WWE and NXT mourn the loss of Road Warrior Animal, Joe Laurinaitis
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Battle Royal!
We open with Aliyah, Shotzi Blackheart, Raquel Gonzalez, Dakota Kai, Indi Hartwell, Kayden Carter, Kacy Catanzaro, Xia Li, the returning Marina Shafir, and several other prospects of the NXT Women’s Division in the ring! They’re all pumped up and ready for a shot at Io Shirai, but Candice LeRae makes her entrance, already smiling and waving like she’s the queen of NXT. But footage plays showing that she’s in a good mood because she attacked Tegan Nox backstage! She used a pipe and a TRUNK on Tegan’s already vulnerable knees!! The crowd boos Candice, but they cheer Rhea Ripley as she arrives! Will the only woman to have been both NXT and NXT UK Women’s Champion be the one heading back to TakeOver?
The bell rings and brawls break out all over! Rhea brawls with Shotzi, Raquel hits whoever is around, and Aliyah has to fight out of a corner already. Raquel clubs Shotzi, Rhea hits some of the new faces but they hit back. Rhea double hand lifts and headbutts the young woman in camouflage, to push and ELIMINATE “Gia!” Rhea waves bye before going after Indi. Candice takes a shot, Kayden helps Kacy against Dakota, and Aliyah shows some fight. Raquel whips “Raven” and runs at her. Raven boots back but is blocked, and tossed out! Raquel ELIMINATES Raven! Raquel helps Dakota against KC Squared while Catalina fights out of a corner. Rhea hits Indi and a few others while Aliyah is after Shotzi.
Rhea TOSSES and ELIMINATES “Ellie”, right into the railing! Xia Li and Aliyah fight, an old rivalry renewed. Candice hits Shotzi, Raquel scoops Kacy but Kacy fights free. Rhea throws Marina into a corner, dumps her up and out but Marina holds on! Rhea counter punches and hotshots Marina, for a HEADBUTT! Rhea ELIMINATES Marina, for a third! Raquel CLOBBERS and ELIMINATES “Avery!” Indi throws down Shotzi and throws down Kayden to protect Candice? Raquel suplexes and puts her target on the apron. Raquel fakes punch to BOOT and ELIMINATE her! She and Rhea each have three! But then Raquel gut wrenches “Rita” up, but Rita slips out to go after the arm! Raquel stays standing, dead lifts Rita and TOSSES her! Raquel ELIMINATES a fourth!
Dakota and Xia brawl, Raquel hits whoever and then goes after Catalina. Indi goes after Rhea but she fights her off. Rhea scoops Emily to the apron, Emily shoulders back and springboards up, into a BOOT! Rhea ELIMINATES her fourth! Aliyah stomps Kacy, Indi and Candice work on Kayden. Catalina brings the fight to Raquel, goes up, but Raquel BOOTS her down! Raquel ELIMINATES a fifth! Rhea goes after Aliyah, Raquel helps Indi with Kayden. Rhea RAMS Aliyah to a corner, hoists her up top, but Aliyah fights back. Xia and Dakota fight in a corner as Dakota holds on for dear life. Candice tries to scrape Shotzi out but Shotzi hits back. Raquel is after Indi now but Indo holds on.
Aliyah has Kacy on the apron, scrapes her off with a kick, but Kacy keeps her feet up! She isn’t out until her feet touch the ground, so being on her shoulders is okay! Kacy scoots with feet up in the air, somersaults back to a handstand, and then skins the cat! She’s back in! Kacy helps Kayden against Aliyah as NXT goes picture in picture.
Dakota goes after Indi but Indi hits her away. Kayden fights with Xia, Shotzi and Candice are in a corner with Rhea. Aliyah hits Kacy, Indi drags Shotzi and Rhea off Candice! Is Indi trying to make a good impression on Candice? Raquel scoops Shotzi but Shotzi holds onto the ropes! Raquel shoves Aliyah, Rhea shoves Aliyah. It seems Aliyah has no friends in this ring. Rhea swings on her but Aliyah gets around for a sleeper! But she’s just a backpack that Rhea throws to the outside! Aliyah punches but Rhea blocks. Rhea pulls Aliyah’s fake eyelashes off her face! Aliyah freaks out so bad, and then Rhea DECKS her onto Stone, and ELIMINATES her!
Dakota and Raquel go after Shotzi together, Xia clubs Candice and then Rhea goes after Candice. Indi goes after Rhea because she again wants to be on Candice’s good side. KC Squared fights with Xia to continue things from last week. Xia counters Kayden’s toss, only to be bodyscissor’d out of the ring! Kayden ELIMINATES Xia! Shotzi fights off Dakota and Raquel but not for long. Raquel and Dakota go after her, she kicks them away again and again. Candice hides under the bottom rope a moment while Indi takes care of Rhea. Raquel scoops Shotzi, she and Dakota try to scrape Shotzi out but Shotzi kicks back. Indi and Candice go after Rhea but Kacy goes after Candice. Raquel goes after Kayden with clubbing forearms and Rhea BOOTS Dakota down.
Raquel bumps Kayden off buckles, Rhea stomps Dakota then drags her up. Indi is after Shotzi with Candice’s help and Raquel notices Rhea lifting Dakota up. Raquel saves Dakota, Shotzi survives Candice trying to push her out, and Indi scoops Kacy. NXT returns to single picture as Indi puts Kacy on the apron and BLASTS her off! But Kacy clings to the railing! She’s on the barrier, not the floor! Kacy climbs while Kayden fights off Raquel. Kacy finds her way to the steel steps but Indi is watching her. Kacy lands on the steps! But Indi boots her off them!! But Kacy just goes back to the railing!! Kacy is still in this! Indi leaves her alone to help Candice against Rhea.
Kayden ends up on the apron and HOOK KICKS Raquel! Kayden reaches out for Kacy, but Raquel BLASTS Kayden off and ELIMINATES her! Now Kacy is stranded! Or is she? Kayden can still help Kacy by letting her stand on her shoulders! Kacy is back on the apron and in the ring! Rhea CHOPS Raquel, Raquel shoves back. They start brawling with haymakers! Rhea kicks but into the Electric Chair lift! But Rhea uses the ropes to headscissor Raquel out! They both tumble off the apron and ELIMINATE each other!! Dakota panics because now she’s all alone! The refs keep Rhea and Raquel from brawling, and now we’re down to our final five! Dakota is in one corner, Kacy in another, and Indi still helps Candice with Shotzi!
Indi goes after Kacy now but that leaves Candice alone! Shotzi gets her up and over, Indi fireman’s carries Kacy and bumps her off the post! Kacy swings around it, forearms and springboards back! She headscissors and ELIMINATES Indi! So much for making an impression. Dakota is right on Kacy and Candice storms over. Dakota stomps Kacy, Candice helps out. Candice runs in to back elbow Kacy! Candice dumps Kacy to the apron, Dakota goes Around the World and BOOTS Kacy off! Dakota ELIMINATES Kacy! Now they gang up on Shotzi! They throw haymakers and stomps, Candice goes corner to corner for another back elbow, but into knees! Dakota still goes Around the World, but Shotzi dodges the boot! Dakota is stuck, Shotzi dumps her out, and ELIMINATES her!
But Candice whips Shotzi! Shotzi reverses, sends Candice up but not out. Candice elbows back, goes after Shotzi but Shotzi boots the clothesline away! Shotzi hits the SLING DOD! Candice flounders, Shotzi brings her up but Candice holds on for dear life. Candice shoulders back in, pulls on green hair, but Shotzi breaks free to ENZIGURI! Shotzi runs, for the BALLPIT, but Candice moves! DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Candice drags Shotzi up and throws her out, but Shotzi holds on! Shotzi ROUNDHOUSES back! Shotzi gets in and goes up, but Candice CHOPS her! Candice climbs up, Shotzi fights back, and puts Candice on the apron! Candice grabs at Shotzi and shoves her down! Both women are on the apron, and Candice climbs up! Shotzi ROCKS Candice first, then YANKS her into the post!
Candice flops down the steel steps but hasn’t touched the floor. Shotzi joins her, steps on her, but Candice pushes her back. Shotzi grabs for Candice but Candice monkey flips Shotzi away! Candice wins!!
Winner: Candice LeRae (NEW #1 Contender to the NXT Women’s Championship)
Considering she “eliminated” Tegan Nox even before the match, and oddly had a friend in Indi, the Poison Pixie had a much easier time winning this match. Husband Johnny Gargano joins her in the ring to celebrate, because breaking news: Gargano is going to challenge Damian Priest for the North American Championship at TakeOver, too! Will Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling make their dreams come true and reign together as champions?
Backstage interview with Damian Priest!
The Archer of Infamy knows Johnny Gargano is coming for his title, what is his reaction? “This is huge, Sarah!” It’s Johnny TakeOver! The guy made NXT, or so he says. But as good as Gargano says he is, he’s not ending the Reign of Infamy so soon. In fact, as long as Priest is champion, the title will continue to slide through Gargano’s fingers. Just like in that TakeOver: XXX Ladder match. Priest is also facing Austin Theory tonight, how is he preparing? Theory is a guy whose record is not relevant to what his talent is. Theory is great, but it sucks to be him because his losing continues. Sarah, you’re really good at this. Maybe he’ll see you at the after party? Will Priest still be in the mood for partying after going #AllDay?
NXT returns to… an investigation?
Danny Burch, Roderick Strong, Raul Mendoza and Fabian Aichner are all arguing with “Fandango Holmes” and William Regal walks over to sort this out. Cheerio, William! Please, hear him out. No silly accents, Dango. Right, sorry. Why is he dressed like that? Also, his whiteboard reads, “Fandango’s #1 Contender Algorithm,” but none of the contenders’ names are spelled right! Danee Birch & Uno Lorcan, Billy Fish & Robert Strong, Fabio Acne & Marty Barty, as well as Ryan Bulldozen and Quinoa Wilde, are not real people.
Fandango says he’s figured this out! NXT will take one man from each worthy team, from Danny & Oney to Undisputed Era to Los Gatos (The Cats?) and Emporium (Imperium…) and put them in a special tag team match! The duo that wins will have a match next week with each other, and the team of the winner faces Breezango at TakeOver! It’s so simple! Regal has no idea so he turns to Danny. Danny says he and “the Sherman” take on against the merchant and the burke, winners take on the ceptics. THAT Regal gets? Well, either way, Fandango’s fandangled process of elimination is approved! Who wins to face each other to win a chance at gold?
Tommaso Ciampa VS Jake Atlas!
The Psycho Killer made his return by brutalizing this same young star without remorse or hesitation. He also attacked Atlas backstage the same way. Will Atlas finally get a semblance of payback in the rematch? Or will he just get more of the same from Ciampa?
The bell rings and the two tie up. Ciampa puts Atlas in a corner, lets off but tries to chop. Atlas dodges to CHOP and forearm and repeat! Atlas whips, Ciampa reverses and ROCKS Atlas with that right! Ciampa throws Atlas through the ropes, Atlas escapes the DDT and drags Ciampa out for fast hands! Atlas kicks and punches Ciampa to the steel steps then stomps away! The ref counts, Atlas lets off, but Atlas brings up the apron skirt. Atlas wants to return the favor but Ciampa kicks him away! Ciampa gets in the ring, Atlas follows, and Ciampa tries to retreat! Atlas goes after Ciampa at the ropes so Ciampa LARIATS him down!
Ciampa cools off and Atlas crawls, but Ciampa is right after Atlas with a trapped-arm chinlock. “You want to be a main event player, huh!? You want to be at the top!?” Ciampa stomps Atlas! Ciampa says HE is the main event! Then he drags Atlas up, whips him to a corner hard, but Atlas comes back to ROCK Ciampa! Atlas throws more haymakers, then whips Ciampa, only for Ciampa to reverse. Atlas handsprings out of the way, shoves to Manhattan drop and dropkick Ciampa down! Atlas trips Ciampa, stomps him and rains down rights! Atlas fires off but Ciampa pushes him away. The crowd fires up, Ciampa boots but Atlas blocks to reel Ciampa in. Ciampa resists the lift, Atlas shoves him to a corner and BOOTS!
Atlas gets up top and aims at Ciampa. Ciampa bails out but Atlas just hops down to the apron. Atlas jumps over the sweep and boots Ciampa again! Atlas goes up, SUPER MOONSAULT! Direct hit takes Ciampa down but Atlas puts Ciampa in. Atlas climbs, Ciampa stands, Atlas leaps for the BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ciampa survives but Atlas slaps some focus into himself. Atlas goes back up, RAINBOW- NO! The boot takes Atlas down, he puts Atlas through the ropes, WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, ONE!? Ciampa lets off so he can hurt Atlas more! “You want to eat at the champ’s table?” Ciampa knows Atlas is hungry, so he feeds him stomps! “Security at gonna save you!” Underhooks, for the FAIRY TALE ENDING BOMB! Cover, Ciampa wins!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by pinfall
Ciampa didn’t even have to, but he was making a point with the new take on the Fairy Tale Ending. Will everyone feel that same ending now that Daddy’s home?
NXT hears from Ridge Holland.
“People say, ‘Who is Ridge Holland?’ I remember a time back home in Yorkshire, I was around 8 years old, four kids tried to lock will over little Ridgey.” But a switch went off, and four bodies were left lying on the floor. Ever since then, Holland has fought for everything. He fought in Rugby, the toughest sport on Earth. It may not be fighting, but it is the next best thing. And during that time, Holland nurtured a skill for hurting people. And the best place to show that off is in NXT. From the UK to the US, the NXT Universe will learn what Holland is all about.
NXT returns to hear from the Gauntlet Eliminator participants.
Cameron Grimes says Regal did it again! The top five fighting for the top prize, THE NXT Championship, and Grimes is one of them! “Now that Finn Balor has that championship, that’s just what I need to take Cameron Grimes tooo theee MOOON~!”
Timothy Thatcher says “Titles are nice and all, but right now, what’s more important to me is getting another round with Finn Balor. Get ready for round two, Finn, because I’m coming for your title.”
Bronson Reed says Balor doesn’t watch the business, the business watches him. “Well, Prince. Bronson IS a battle tested, Colossal Bronson Reed who is ready to become a champion NOW more than ever!”
Kushida simply vows he is “going to be standing in front of Finn Balor.”
Kyle O’Reilly says “The Golden Prophecy is the Golden Prophecy. No matter who’s holding the gold, which member of the Era boys, it really doesn’t make a difference, because this is about becoming the NXT Champion. That’s not just a prediction, that’s Undisputed.”
Balor repeats that it is time for people to start fighting to face the champion. Who makes good on their threats and promise in the Gauntlet Eliminator? Regal wishes all the competitors the best of luck and looks forward to seeing who heads to TakeOver.
Danny Burch & Roderick Strong VS Fabian Aichner & Raul Mendoza!
The Gov’nah and the Savior of the Backbreaker are one odd couple, and so is the Pride of Italy and technical assassin of El Legado del Fantasma. Will these duos stick together long enough to earn a title opportunity for them and their real tag partners?
Strong and Aichner start us off, tie up and go around. Strong gets the arm, wrenches but Aichner pulls hair! Aichner puts Strong in a corner, whips him corner to corner but Strong goes up and over. Strong keeps moving, blocks the hip toss but Aichner blocks back. Aichner CLOBBERS Strong, runs back in and scoops Strong for a slam! Tag to Mendoza but with some salt. Mendoza snapmares Strong, runs and basement knees Strong. LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Strong powers Mendoza to a corner, Burch tags in and he throws European Uppercuts on Mendoza. Burch wrenches and snapmares Mendoza for a chinlock.
Mendoza fights up, pops out the back but Burch pushes him away. Burch scoops Mendoza, Mendoza slips out and slides under. Mendoza side steps, Burch catches Mendoza out of the air! Burch rolls Mendoza, TWO! Burch whips, Mendoza reverses but Burch dodges and Mendoza only gets buckles! Burch enziguris and pushes Mendoza down to then hop up. Aichner rushes over but Burch swats him away, only for Mendoza to YANK him off the top! Mendoza and Aichner are oddly working together well as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Aichner has Burch down in a modified chinlock, with an arm trapped inside the hold. Burch endures, Strong coaches him up but Mendoza talks trash. Burch fights up, throws body shots, but Aichner choke grips. Burch breaks free but Aichner ducks the punch to back suplex Burch high and hard! Aichner poses, kicks toyingly at Burch, then brings him up by a hair. Aichner bumps Burch off buckles but Mendoza tags in. Mendoza stomps away, the ref backs him off, but Mendoza drags Burch up. Mendoza CLUBS Burch, then chokes him on the rope! The ref counts, Mendoza lets off, and mocks the UE fingers before he kicks Burch.
Mendoza snapmares Burch, covers, TWO! Mendoza stomps Burch, drags him away from Strong and puts on a cobra clutch. Burch endures as Mendoza cranks on the hold. The crowd rallies up and Strong reaches out but Mendoza drags Burch away. Burch throws body shots but Mendoza knees low. Mendoza shoves, Burch sunset flips! Aichner tags in and stomps Burch down! Aichner BOOTS Strong for good measure, then reels Burch in for a scoop. Burch slips out, but can’t tag out! Burch BOOTS Aichner, Strong tags in! Aichner CLOBBERS Burch but Strong CLOBBERS Aichner! Strong hits Mendoza and comes back to calf kick Aichner!
Strong rallies, intercepts Mendoza, then catches Aichner to SLAM him onto Mendoza! Aichner flounders, Strong has him for an OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, but Mendoza breaks it! Strong kicks Mendoza out, drags Aichner back up, but Aichner resists the suplex. Aichner suplexes, Strong slips out while Aichner’s back gives out, but Mendoza gets a cheap shot in! Strong staggers into the SPINE BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Aichner drags Strong up to a fireman’s carry then tags Mendoza. Strong fights out, throws Aichner out, but Mendoza dropkicks him down! Mendoza throws forearms on Strong, whips him corner to corner, but Strong puts Mendoza on the apron. Burch heads over but Mendoza enziguris him down!
Mendoza goes to the corner, Strong runs in but gets a forearm. Mendoza goes up, Strong KNEES Mendoza and Burch tags in. Strong PSYCHO KNEES Aichner, Burch drags Mendoza out, TOWER OF LONDON!! Cover, Burch and Strong win!!
Winners: Danny Burch & Roderick Strong, by pinfall; advance to the NXT Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders match
The Undisputed Era and the One Two have moved on thanks to these two, but that just means no more unlikely friendships! Will Strong and Bobby Fish take down Lorcan & Burch? Or will the BritAm Brawlers punch their ticket to another TakeOver?
Backstage interview with Austin Theory!
Coming up in a matter of minutes, Theory has his match with Damian Priest. Priest says Theory will continue to “slide,” what is his response? But Gargano interrupts and tells Theory that he’s been watching since Theory’s return. Theory has “all the God-given talent in the world to be a major player here. Kinda like me.” Just be smart, okay? Priest is big, but you can bring him down to your level. And if Theory can at least soften Priest up for Gargano, Gargano will not forget. Sarah wishes Theory luck, but he just scoffs at the sentiment. Will Theory do Johnny TakeOver a favor tonight?
Damian Priest VS Austin Theory!
No more time for talk, it’s time for the Archer of Infamy to put Theory to the test! Will Theory pass with flying colors? Or will he crash and burn as Priest continues to #LiveForever?
The bell rings and Priest circles with Theory. They tie up, Priest wrenches Theory’s arm hard, then cranks on the wristlock. Theory rolls, handsprings and wrenches back to a wristlock of his own. Priest spins through, arm-drags Theory and Theory scrambles to a corner. Priest smirks but Theory grins and shakes it off. The two go again, Theory waistlocks but Priest pries free. Priest switches, headlocks and grinds Theory down. Theory powers out and back elbows Priest hard! Theory whips, Priest reverses and leaping back elbows Theory down! Theory scrambles to a corner and Priest runs in, but Theory put shim on the apron. Priest dodges the punch, catches the arm and wrenches as he goes up top. Theory can’t stop Priest going Old School for the CROSSBODY!
Priest arm-drags Theory again, cranks on the arm and digs a knee into his head. Theory endures, Priest grinds but Theory fights up. Priest wrangles him down and clamps harder, but Theory stomps on a foot. Theory pulls hair but Priest arm-drags Theory again. Priest runs in but Theory uses a drop toehold to send him into buckles! Theory stomps away on Priest, hauls him up and back suplexes! Theory grins as he covers, ONE! Theory says he knew that’d happen, but he drags Priest back up. Priest throws body shots, Theory blocks to LARIAT back! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Theory keeps his cool as he lines up the shot and KICKS Priest in the side! Theory mocks Priest’s pain and throws forearms.
Theory fireman’s carries but Priest slips out to BELL CLAP! And then ripcord LIFTING COMPLETE SHOT! Priest gets up, stalks behind Theory, and runs to springboard, but Theory pushes him out of the ring! Priest crashes and burns as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Priest swings on Theory at the apron. Theory ducks and forearms back, to then somersault shotgun dropkick! Cover, TWO! Theory grows frustrated and argues the ref hasn’t seen a move like that before. Theory clamps onto Priest with an armlock and chinbar. Priest endures, fights up but Theory slaps him around. Theory clamps onto the chin but Priest fights up. Theory knees low, chops Priest to a corner, but Priest JABS the arm! Priest fires off kicks and ROCKS Theory with the forearm to LARIAT him down! Priest fires up, takes aim and runs corner to corner for the leaping back elbow! Then the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Theory survives but Priest keeps focus.
Priest watches Theory get up, but Theory ducks the spinning roundhouse. Theory waistlocks, Priest elbows free, but misses the elbow in the corner. Theory CLUBS Priest, torture racks, and spins for the TOWER HACKER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Theory grows frustrated, but the crowd rallies up. Priest flounders up and out of the ring but Theory taunts the champ for retreating. Theory goes out after Priest with forearms and taunts him more. Priest choke grips but Theory slips out to elbow back! Theory suplexes, Priest fights out and SPINNING ROUNDHOUSES! Priest drags Theory up, crucifix, APRON RAZOR’S EDGE!! Priest stalks Theory into the ring, roars and dragon sleepers, for the RECKONING! Cover, Priest wins!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall
The Archer of Infamy shoots down Theory, and now has his sights on Gargano! Will Priest keep Johnny from taking over at TakeOver? But speaking of, Gargano SUPERKICKS Priest down!! The crowd boos as Gargano looms over Priest, and mocks the archer taking aim. Gargano aims for the North American Championship, but is he going to have things #TheJohnnyGarganoWay?
NXT sees things through someone’s visor?
“I’m not sure what happened. I helped create something of my own blood. Years and years of dedication, only to be taken over by paper champions.” These championships have been in isolation for far too long. “Now I’ve come back to take what is mine.” Who is this that is returning? Find out on 10/4/20, the next TakeOver!
NXT returns and hears from Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.
“Santos Escobar, in case you forgot, that’s two pinfall victories over you.” Swerve is not content because Escobar still has the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Swerve is this close to beating him for the title, but this time, no sidekicks. No special masks. Next time they face off, there will be a new champion.
Ridge Holland VS Antonio de Luca!
Yorkshire Grit returns to the ring, ready to bulldoze through whoever is put in front of him! Will he do just that here tonight?
The bell rings and Luca rushes Holland, but Holland shove shim away. Luca tries again, but Holland DECKS him! Holland drags Luca up, whips him but Luca kicks back. Luca runs but Holland goes the other way to POUNCE him! Holland dares Luca to stand, then gives him a HUGE overhead suplex! Holland still dares de Luca to do something, then brings him up for another overhead suplex! Holland wants Luca to get up again, but has him in the corner. Luca throws forearms but Holland HEADBUTTS and HEADBUTTS and just keeps going! The ref counts, Holland lets up at 4 and drags Luca up. NORTHERN GRIT!! Cover, Holland wins!
Winner: Ridge Holland, by pinfall
Holland manhandled de Luca to say the least! Will Holland do the same to the rest of NXT until he’s taken over?
Backstage interview with Io Shirai!
The Evil Genius and Candice LeRae have a long rivalry, and now Candice is the #1 contender. But Shirai says that it doesn’t matter what Candice does. Shirai has never really liked Candice, and never will. At TakeOver- But Candice and Johnny find Shirai and say she’s been hiding. Shirai takes offense and she argues with Candice. Gargano says while he can’t understand Japanese, he doesn’t like the literal sound of what Shirai is saying. But Priest walks in, “Here’s Johnny!” Priest DECKS Gargano! Referees hurry in to keep this from getting worse, but clearly the champions and their contenders are ready to go already. Will things only get more vicious as TakeOver draws closer?
NXT returns with news for next week!
After being in the final three of tonight’s battle royal, Shotzi and Dakota will go 1v1! Will the wild child #TCB against #CobraKai? And after the confrontation we just saw, it will be a special Mixed Tag of Priest & Shirai VS The Graganos! Will the NXT North American and Women’s Champions show their contenders what they’ve signed up for at TakeOver?
NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Gauntlet Eliminator!
Another first for NXT, this is a match that mixes the two words in its name! Two will start, but if one doesn’t eliminate the other before the countdown is over, it’ll turn into a Triple Threat! And then a Fatal 4 Way, and could even be a Furious 5 before it’s all over! Who is still standing at the end to take on The Prince?
Well first, we see who is starting this match! And it will be Kushida and Kyle O’Reilly! Will the Time Splitter put the Undisputed Era member away before time is up?
The bell rings and Kushida circles with Kyle. They both try a leg guard but then get back up. Kushida leaps on, Kyle drops him down and the two feel out a grapple on the mat. Kyle backs up to get a leg then shoot the half. Kushida keeps an elbow up so Kyle settles for a mount. Kushida turns things around, pushes for a cover, ONE! Kushida tries again, Kyle tries a triangle but Kushida cartwheels to headscissor. Kyle pops out and the two stand off. They circle again, Kushida gets a leg, Kyle reaches but drops down to get the arm and body scissors. Kushida fights out of the body scissors and shifts around to get the arm! Kyle resists th earmbar to get a kneebar! Kushida rolls to get the ropes. The ref calls for the break, Kyle lets go and the two reset.
Kyle and Kushida circle, tie up with knuckle locks, and Kushida gets a facelock. Kushida floats to a chinlock, Kyle fights up, and rolls Kushida to a cover. ONE but Kyle has a facelock now. Kushida fights up, powers out but Kyle runs him over! Things speed up, Kyle rolls to BOOT Kushida. Kyle runs into a hip toss! Kushida handsprings and dropkicks back! Kushida grabs an arm, steps through and hammerlocks to then get the arm. Kyle endures the Jim Breaks but Kushida steps over again to hammerlock that arm. Kushida drops back for a SNAP lock! Kyle gets away but Kushida is after his arm again. Kushida wrangles Kyle down, pulls on the arm and mounts, but Kyle endures.
Kyle slips around, trips Kushida but Kushida has the leg guard. Kyle kicks Kushida, Kushida goes for the drop toehold but Kyle stays up. Kushida kicks the leg then kicks Kyle in the face. Kushida kicks the arm, throws forearms, but Kyle blocks to kick back! Kyle and Kushida brawl as the last 20 seconds show on the board. Kyle grits his teeth as he forearms, but Kushida forearms back. They just keep throwing forearms faster and faster, but here comes… The COLOSSAL Bronson Reed! Kushida and Kyle glare at each other but they go after Reed! Reed clobbers them both and starts to rally! Reed lifts Kushida to TOSS at Kyle! Reed then has them both in a corner, for a COLOSSAL sandwich splash!
Reed hoists Kushida up top, brings Kyle over and fireman’s carries. Reed puts Kushida on top, but Kushida fights free. Kushida kicks Reed low and Kyle is saved. Reed reverses the whip but Kushida handsprings to back elbow both Reed and Kyle! Only Kyle falls but Kushida enziguris Reed! Reed ends up in a corner, Kushida KICKS Kyle. Kushida whips, Kyle reverses but Kushida sunset flips. Kyle stays up but he ARMBARS Kushida! Reed goes to stomp but gets caught in a HEEL HOK! Kushida MOONSAULTS onto Kyle to get the HOVERBOARD!! Kyle flails, but Reed drags Kushida up for a dead lift suplex! Then he SENTONS Kyle! Reed stomps and headbutts Kyle then goes after Kushida at the corner.
Reed RAMS into Kushida over and over but Kyle kicks at Reed. Reed and Kyle brawl but Reed headbutts Kyle down again. Reed SLAMS Kyle then goes up top. Kushida hurries but Reed punches him away. Kyle attacks with forearms then climbs up to join Reed. Reed and Kyle brawls, Kushida joins in! Kushida and Kyle club away on Reed but then hit each other. Reed headbutts Kushida down, Kyle clubs Reed but Kushida HANDSPRING KICKS them both! Kyle crashes down, the ref is busy checking on him, and Velveteen Dream slides in!? He goes after Kushida and hits the DREAM VALLEY DRIVER! Dream screws Kushida over!! Reed doesn’t even realize it, either! Reed just adjusts, and leaps for the TSUNAMI SPLASH!! Cover, Reed ELIMINATES Kushida in time for the countdown!
Reed drags Kyle up but here comes Timothy Thatcher! The Professor of Pain rushes in but Reed decks him! Reed glares at Thatcher while Kyle still flounders in a corner, and NXT goes to break.
NXT returns again, Reed and Thatcher brawl as Kyle gets back in. The countdown is in the last 20 seconds again as Kyle kicks away on both men. Kyle gives Reed a wrench and shoulder breaker but Thatcher is after Kyle’s arm! Reed waistlocks Thatcher, Kyle gets away to waistlock Reed! Thatcher switches with Kyle but Reed gets behind Thatcher again! Kyle grabs ropes, Reed GERMANS Thatcher! Reed goes back to GERMAN Kyle as the final entrant is none other than CAMERON GRIMES! The Carolina Caveman feels great about his odds as he throws forearms on Reed. Grimes goes up top for a HUGE crossbody! Grimes puts his hat on a post and BOOTS Thatcher! Grimes goes up top to QUEBRADA Thatcher down!
Grimes throws off his vest and fires up as he goes out to PENALTY KICK Kyle! Then Grimes gets in but Thatcher swats the kick to get the arm! Grimes gets free, SUPERKICK to Thatcher but Reed CLOBBERS Grimes! Kyle kicks but Reed ROCKS Kyle, Thatcher pushes Reed but gets Kyle’s yoyo LARIAT! Grimes BOOTS Kyle, Kyle rebounds again but swings into a scoop and SWINGING SLAM! Reed LARIATS Grimes! All four men are down but stirring as the “crowd” rallies up. Thatcher goes out, has Kyle on the apron for forearms, but Kyle hits back with kicks! They brawl on the edge, Thatcher gets the edge, but sees Reed coming. Thatcher goes for a sleeper, Reed pries at the hold and Grimes SUPERKICKS Thatcher down!
Kyle leaps off the apron and KNEES Thatcher at the ramp! Grimes builds speed but Reed rocks him first. Reed slingshots Grimes out onto Thatcher and Kyle! Then Reed fires up to go after all three men with forearms and headbutts. Thatcher CHOPS Reed, bumps him off the apron, then pushes him into the ring. Thatcher gets in, Reed fireman’s carries for the DEATH VALLEY! Cover, TWO!! Thatcher survives but Reed grits his teeth. Kyle goes after Reed with forearms but Reed gives them back. They brawl, Kyle goes after legs but Reed pries him off. Reed POWERBOMBS Kyle down, matchbook cover, TWO!
Kyle bails out, Grimes drags himself up and Reed is after him. Grimes hotshots Reed then gets in to CHOP! Grimes throws big forearms and kicks Reed down. Cover, TWO! Grimes won’t stop, he drags Reed into a neck wrench and chinlock. Reed powers Grimes to ropes, and TOSSES him across the way! Thatcher goes after Kyle on the outside but Reed builds speed to COLOSSAL DIVE!! Direct hit on ALL THREE opponents! All four men are down again as NXT goes picture in picture.
Thatcher flounders up and goes after Reed with a chinlock. Grimes and Kyle go to the ring, Grimes stomps Kyle as Thatcher goes after Reed’s arm. Grimes digs his knees into Kyle’s face and then throws big kicks! Kyle goes to a corner, Grimes throws body shots. Grimes whips Kyle corner to corner hard! Kyle bounces off buckles and hits the mat but Grimes calls Thatcher in to go after Kyle together. Thatcher ROCKS Kyle with uppercuts and Grimes keeps Reed out. Thatcher throws more EuroUppers then gets a leg. Thatcher goes for the Half Crab but Kyle resists. Thatcher still has the heel hook and cranks on that while Grimes gets Reed in the ring.
Grimes drops knees on Reed and stands on him in the corner. Thatcher goes after Kyle’s arm now but Kyle resists. Thatcher puts Kyle in the corner and throws more EuroUppers. Thatcher cravats Kyle for the wrench while Grimes kicks away on Reed. Thatcher throws Kyle out and helps Grimes with Reed. NXT returns to single picture as Thatcher throws knee after knee. Grimes throws forearms but Reed CHOPS away on both men! Reed Bionic Elbows Thatcher, atomic drops and elbows Grimes! Kyle kicks away on Reed, runs but into the POWERSLAM! Reed runs in to corner splash Kyle then hoists him up top. Grimes goes after Reed but gets spun into the dragon sleeper. Thatcher gets caught for an URENAGE onto Grimes! Cover on Thatcher, TWO!
Reed goes up top again, Grimes goes after him but Reed clubs him down. Thatcher throws forearms on Reed, climbs up to join him and throws more forearms. Reed hits back with body shots so Thatcher throws more forearms. Reed headbutts Thatcher down, adjusts and leaps, TSUNAMI FLOP! Thatcher dodges, Kyle LEAPS to drop KNEES! Cover, Kyle ELIMINATES Reed! But Thatcher gets an ANKLE LOCK! Kyle flails, kicks, moves around and rolls to get Thatcher for an ANKLE LOCK! Thatcher endures, fights up, turns and pries Kyle off to go after the arm. Kyle resists the takedown, hooks a leg to get a facelock. Thatcher pops free to EuroUpper hard! Kyle forearms, but shoots into a knee!
Grimes DEAD LIFT GERMANS Kyle! But Thatcher gets Grimes’ leg! Grimes kicks away to get free and scrambles up. Thatcher gets him for a belly2belly! All three men are down, but Thatcher sits up. Thatcher glares at Kyle, drags him up, and clamps on underhooks. Kyle resists, spins out and knees hard! Kyle throws forearms, Thatcher returns them and the two brawl. Kyle kicks but Thatcher catches, only for Kyle to slap away! Kyle enziguris, Thatcher ducks and Grimes takes the hit! Thatcher still wobbles into Kyle’s wrench, but gets a sleeper hold! Grimes runs in, but Kyle catches the foot! ANKLE LOCK! Grimes endures but Kyle fades! Kyle boots Grimes away and turns the hold into a cover! TWO, Grimes runs at Kyle but is sent out!
Kyle brawls with Thatcher again, throwing kicks and knees and more kicks! He sweeps the leg, takes a moment to catch his breath, and runs at Thatcher in a corner. BIG forearm smash! Kyle keeps moving but Thatcher uppercuts! Thatcher throws more EuroUppers, Kyle gives more knees and a strike fest! Thatcher choke grips and SLAPS! Thatcher grits his teeth as he swings, but into a backslide! TWO, Thatcher rushes in but Kyle steps over to roll him up! Kyle ELIMINATES Thatcher!! But Grimes hits the CAVE-IN!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Grimes thinks he’s won but he didn’t hear the ref! Kyle is STILL in this!
Kyle sits up, Grimes grits his teeth and talks trash as he stomps Kyle down. Grimes stomps Kyle and says, “You’re nothing like Adam! He was the man of the group!” Kyle fires up and fires off forearms. Grimes hits back but Kyle runs, into a COLLISION COURSE! Cover, TWO!! Grimes is losing his cool as Kyle survives again! The last man of the gauntlet and the first man are still going, as Grimes throws forearms. Kyle hits back, they brawl more, Kyle knees low and ax kicks, but Grimes hits the smash! Grimes runs into another knee! Kyle waistlocks, Grimes grabs ropes but Kyle DRAGON SCREWS!
Kyle has Grimes up, but Grimes knees free. Grimes SUPERKICKS Kyle, then takes aim from a corner! CAVE- NO! Kyle gets under, Grimes’ leg buckles, Kyle drops down to get the leg!! Grimes TAPS, Kyle wins!!
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly, by submission (NEW #1 Contender to the NXT Championship)
Kyle has run the gauntlet!! He survives four of the best in NXT today, to take on perhaps THE best! Will Kyle prove he can be the top star against Finn Balor? The Undisputed Era celebrates with Kyle, but here comes The Prince himself! Balor smirks as he stares Kyle down. Will Balor shoot down the Golden Prophecy once and for all?
What a great episode! There was a bit more going on that I expected but that actually made things even more fun. It is of note that there wasn’t actually a crowd as there was another breakout of coronavirus cases at the Performance Center. So much like the ThunderDome or BT Sports studio, the crowd noises were from production, not real people. Which is probably while Ridge Holland was “booed” as much as he was. Last I knew, he wasn’t a Heel, and the crowd cheered him. Holland makes quick work of his opponent tonight and with even more aggression than usual. Maybe they are trying to make him out as a Heel, but that seems a bit strange to me. Another strange thing was the video hyping a mysterious return to NXT. I honestly have no idea who this could be, as no one had a cyborg gimmick before.
The Women’s Battle Royal opening was great, and it was great to see them fill the field with some prospects and trainees. Catalina finally returns to television after being sent back to NXT when the Sin Cara VS Almas feud wasn’t really gaining traction. I was surprised Rhea and Raquel weren’t in the final three, but I do like they at least cancelled each other out. Maybe they feud now that Mercedes Martinez is weirdly part of Retribution, thereby delaying both their rises to the NXT Women’s Championship. Candice takes Tegan out and wins the battle royal, she’s going to have a great match with Shirai. Priest has a great match with Theory, and great interaction with Gargano. The mixed tag match we’re getting is going to be a lot of fun, and will be a big indicator for TakeOver since next week is the go-home.
Ciampa and Atlas have a really good match, and I was expecting Kyle to get involved given last week, but seems not. Swerve has a quick promo video on Escobar, I hope the Cruiserweight title match gets to be part of TakeOver just to give it some spotlight. Fandango being the supposed mastermind behind the convoluted tag tournament was great. The makeshift team match was really good, and I’m actually surprised it’s UE and the OneTwo instead of El Legado and Imperium. I suppose this was just a nice way to send Imperium off before they go back to NXT UK, and I suppose El Legado can bide their time with 205 Live until a later, bigger TakeOver event.
While I wish there was more time given to the Gauntlet Eliminator, we still got incredible stuff. I almost thought Kushida was going to win and give us a NJPW flashback, but I forgot Dream would want revenge. Instead, it is a great surprise for Kyle to be the one, and I want to see this be a major story point for the Undisputed Era. They’re clearly happy for Kyle here, but will they stay happy with him if he fails? Will his story with Ciampa circle back around to screw Kyle over? I actually hope note, I would love to see Kyle and Balor really give it their all and give us a great main event at TakeOver: Still No Subtitle or Theme. Seriously, is this going to be the first time since the first one that it was just NXT: TakeOver? That seems the weirdest thing of all to me.
My Score: 9.3/10