The preview of tonight’s show is minimal. There’s the triple-threat number one contender’s match featuring Kyle O’Reilly, Johnny Gargano, and Pete Dunne, which will open the show. And MSK are putting their titles on the line against Legado del Fantasma. That’s all that’s been revealed, but I’d put money on it being another packed show. Commentary added an open challenge by Kushida to the card at the start of the show.
Kyle O’Reilly vs Pete Dunne vs Johnny Gargano – No Contest
Jake Atlas def. LA Knight
Kushida def. Carmelo Hayes
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell def. Zoey Stark & Zayda Ramier
MSK def. Legado del. Fantasma
Pete Dunne vs Johnny Gargano vs Kyle O’Reilly – Number One Contender’s Match
This felt a bit like starting the show with the main event. Of course, the main will be the tag title match, but the rest of the card must have been watching on and wondering how to follow what they’d just seen.
O’Reilly went straight for Dunne, there’s a grudge to settle there but in a triple-threat where Johnny Gargano is the third is not the place. They got a bit of one on one time through the match, but they’ll need to revisit their issues later.
Submissions were the name of the game. Dunne tried to submit O’Reilly while O’Reilly had Gargano in a hold, and Dunne had a go at submitting them both at the same time. O’Reilly used Gargano to kick Dunne in the head, but Gargano DDT’d him to make him let go. It seemed that every time one of them took out another, they left themselves open to the third and paid the price. O’Reilly hit Dunne with a knee of the apron, then took a suicide dive from Gargano. Two actually, with one for Dunne thrown in the middle and followed up with a slingshot spear on O’Reilly.
It almost finished on an opportunistic rollup, which would have been sad. Gargano came as close as you can get after countering the Bitter End into a DDT then lawn darting Dunne into O’Reilly knocking O’Reilly off the apron.
After a long exchange of kicks all round, O’Reilly took the others down with a double clothesline, but it just levelled the playing field and left them all down. O’Reilly broke up a pin from Dunne’s Bitter End on Gargano with a flying knee from the top. Gargano was left laid in the ring alone after Dunne kicked him in the head. Dunne and O’Reilly clotheslined each other to the floor at ringside.
Adam Cole arrived, hit everyone with a chair (he threw it at Gargano) then piled into O’Reilly. He hit an official and squished him between Pete Dunne and a barricade. Dunne took a brainbuster at ringside. O’Reilly took a knee to the face. And Johnny Gargano got a Last Shot. William Regal arrived with officials and demanded Cole leave the ring. He did, with one final superkick to O’Reilly. He was still being ushered out of the arena after a break.
Seriously disappointing end to a fantastic opener.
Ember Moon stormed past Cole and Regal and called out Raquel Gonzalez for what she did to Shotzi Blackheart. William Regal tried to stop Gonzalez getting to the ring but she got past him and took a lot of blows to the face which eventually knocked her out of the ring where she was pushed back by security. Dakota Kai attacked Moon while Gonzalez was keeping Regal and security busy.
Santos Escobar will accompany Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde to the ring for their title match. They are convinced he will be watching them getting their titles back.
Drake Maverick was asked to comment on the Dexter Lumis and Indi Hartwell saga, but Ever-Rise interrupted before he got a chance. Hit Row turned up and argued with Ever-Rise then took exception to Maverick laughing. Maverick ran his mouth. Killian Dain arrived to save him. And it looks like there will be a match.
LA Knight vs Jake Atlas
LA Knight informed us Ted Dibiase was watching from backstage because he’s the only star big enough to carry the million-dollar legacy. Annoyingly, Atlas didn’t get an entrance, but the match was good. LA Knight is much less irritating when he shuts his mouth.
Commentary spent most of the match talking about how great Jake Atlas is, which is excellent to hear and bodes very well for him going forward. Dibiase did turn up, and LA Knight nearly got pinned while talking to him. He kicked out and slammed Atlas into the canvas then punched him in the face.
LA Knight had the momentum for a long time after that but he postured when he should have capitalised and tried to take a count-out victory instead of finishing it properly. Dibiase started chatting to Cameron Grimes at ringside and got to witness Knight fighting to stay in the match. LA Knight’s one final attempt to showboat got him crotched on the top rope and pinned off Atlas’ beautiful cartwheel DDT.
Ted Dibiase left after the match, with Knight yelling after him.
McKenzie Mitchell asked Dibiase, backstage, who was truly worthy of carrying on the million-dollar legacy. He said LA Knight dropped the ball, but Cameron Grimes still impresses him.
Oney Lorcan yelled at the camera crew trying to film Dunne being treated. He said that all anyone needed to know was if it wasn’t for Adam Cole, Pete Dunne would be the number one contender. Austin Theory followed him out of the trainer’s room saying it would Gargano going to In Your House. They had a scrap and had to be separated by officials.
Poppy will be performing on NXT next week. I wonder if that signals the return of Io Shirai.
Adam Cole stormed past Ted Dibiase much like Moon passed him earlier. He wanted to tell everyone it was two years ago to the day that he became NXT Champion and whether anyone, Regal included, wants to admit it, he’s the real number one contender. He’s been away for two months watching everyone try to live up to his legacy and no one can. He just took out three of NXT’s top stars in one night and that means Adam Cole wants the NXT title back. He called Kross a big overrated muscle head who doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring as him.
Kross and Scarlett came to join him then. Kross told Cole he understood his motives, but he needs to understand that as soon as he signed with NXT, Cole was no longer special. Cole said Kross couldn’t lace his boots on his best day. He’s not in his league and everyone who watches pro wrestling knows it.
William Regal came out and said he knew what Cole was doing and it wasn’t going to work. Kross told him to shut up because this was about what he wanted. And what he wants at TakeOver is everyone in the match. He wants Kyle O’Reilly, Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne, and Adam Cole, who he called a gas station weasel. Regal said ‘Done’. Cole felt the need to clear off the announce desk and stand on it to yell at Kross then threw a drink at him and Scarlett.
Candice LeRae was not happy that McKenzie Mitchell wanted to talk about the title match and Poppy coming back. She looked to Indi Hartwell for support during her rant, but dragged her off when she found out she was moping to 80s power ballads.
Dexter Lumis found the headphones later, still playing the music, and put them on. He was tear-stained as he walked away.
WWE Superstars are still encouraging people to get vaccinated. It’s still great advice.
Xia Li has picked Mercedes Martinez as her target for trying to embarrass her in her first match ever, on the Mae Young Classic. But now she’s a true warrior and she’s planning to finish her at TakeOver.
That’s an interesting choice of match for TakeOver match. I guess the rumours of a massive Xia Li push might be true.
Kushida’s open challenge challenger is a youngster Carmelo Hayes (formerly known as Christian Cassanova). He has apparently impressed everyone at the Performance Center, including William Regal. His promo video was confident, that’s for sure.
Kushida (C) vs Carmelo Hayes – NXT Cruiserweight Open Challenge
In fairness, Carmelo Hayes backed up his bluster. An excellent match, given a decent length of time. Carmelo gave Kushida a fight, and he got close to getting the pin once or twice. Definitely an impressive debut. It ended with him tapping out in a Hoverboard Lock, but that takes nothing away from the performance and Kushida led the applause and shook his hand before he left.
MSK are planning to leave the Capitol Wrestling Center still NXT Tag Team Champions.
Franky Monet read out some of the reviews of her premiere last week. All glowing of course. And she’s just getting started.
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs Zayda Ramier & Zoey Stark
Indi Hartwell had her head back in the game at the start of the match at least. She and LeRae isolated Zayda Ramier almost immediately and kept her away from Zoey Stark quite effectively. When Stark got in, she proved they’d made a good choice. She took them both on and felled them both with kicks to the head that got her a two count on LeRae. Hartwell had to save LeRae from another pin attempt, this time off a double team.
Hartwell bounced Stark off the apron, knocking her out and protecting her from damage from the loss. The loss came quickly via LeRae’s Wicked Stepsister followed by Hartwell’s springboard elbow drop.
Mercedes Martinez acknowledged that Xia Li is not the same wrestler she faced in the Mae Young Classic, she’s more badass, more dangerous. But so is she. Li thinks Martinez is standing in the way of her destiny, but Li is in the way of her getting back to the title. She beat her in the MYC, but she’s going to run through her at TakeOver.
Diamond Mine is opening soon. That’s good because we’ll find out what it is.
Ember Moon is still angry. She can’t wrap her mind around why someone as dominant as Raquel Gonzalez needs Dakota Kai to fight her battles for her. She’s going to get some revenge on Kai next week, then she’s going to take Gonzalez’ title at In Your House.
Ember Moon vs Dakota Kai has been confirmed for next week.
MSK (C) vs Legado del Fantasma – NXT Tag Team Championship match
Raul Mendoza was wearing a protective mask due to a broken nose caused by a stray Tommaso Ciampa forearm. Escobar took a seat near commentary, so his presence wasn’t a constant distraction or threat.
I loved this main event. It was generally flippy and occasionally scrappy, high energy and highly entertaining. It nearly got interrupted by Grizzled Young Veterans, but Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher appeared and saw them off before they did any damage.
Wes Lee got the extended punishment section of the match. Carter got to come in and clean house, but he tagged Lee back in before he looked even close to recovered. Raul Mendoza made a sneaky tag, unbeknownst to Wes Lee. Lee found out when Mendoza dropkicked him into the ropes. Mendoza had time to knock Carter off the apron before returning to the job of beating Lee up. Wes Lee still kicked out though.
Santos Escobar threw Lee into the steps after Mendoza has knocked him out of the ring with a kick that completely missed. A double team would have seen the title change hands if Nash Carter hadn’t barrelled in at two and seven eighths. Bronson Reed evened the odds on the outside by running in and squishing Escobar against the barricade. Mendoza was dropkicked into the corner by Carter while he was looking at Escobar and an MSK double team on Joaquin Wilde sealed the win. MSK are still NXT Tag Team Champions.
Busy night for William Regal. Cameron Grimes versus LA Knight was announced for NXT TakeOver: In Your House, during the show. Mercedes Martinez versus Xia Li seems like it’s set as well. Raquel Gonzalez versus Ember Moon seems probable. They’re not huge hype matches, but they should be decent. I’m very interested in the five-way match. Anyone could walk out with that title. I know who I want to win. I don’t know who I think is going to yet.
One more week to go to get all the pieces in place. During the main event, commentary announced the NXT Champion and all four challengers will be in the building next week. That’s going to be chaos.