June 16, 2021

NXT Review 15/06/2021

We’ve got a packed to the rafters show ahead according to the preview, but all most of us want to know is what William Regal is going to say when he addresses the NXT Universe. He’s not the only one making an address. We’ll hear from Io Shirai as well, and LA Knight has his Million Dollar Coronation.

There are matches as well. Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher vs Grizzled Young Veterans. Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai. Imperium vs Breezango. And Kushida is issuing an open challenge for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.


Breezango def. Imperium

Kushida def. Trey Baxter

Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai def. Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter

Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher def. Grizzled Young Veterans




William Regal opened the show after the TakeOver highlight reel. He said he’d been with NXT since the very beginning in one form or another, from commentary up. He was visibly upset, tearful, from the very beginning. He talked about watching NXT growing and evolving with such pride, smiling between the tears. He’s put everything into it and he’s finally decided he’s given everything he can. He doesn’t feel capable of giving the NXT Universe what we deserve anymore, so it’s time…

Karrion Kross and Scarlett interrupted him before he could say the rest. They always knew this day would come they just didn’t know when and when he heard that speech he had to see it and feel it for himself. He called Regal pathetic for crying and did some I told you so’ing. He demanded Regal announce he was leaving and then walk out.

He didn’t. Samoa Joe arrived and I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see anyone come back to NXT ever. Joe said, ‘Mr Regal, I believe you wanted to speak with me.’

Regal said he did but not in this circumstance, backstage, but he’s there now. He admitted to Joe that he wasn’t capable of being General Manager anymore and he wanted Joe to take over.

Samoa Joe and William Regal
All photo credits: wwe.com

Samoa Joe said no, and asked to be allowed to explain. He chronicled William Regal’s enormous contributions to the brand then made him an offer. He knows he made Regal’s life hell when he was in NXT, but he always afforded him some respect. He’s willing to make sure everyone shows him the same respect.

Regal put some conditions on it. Joe can’t be a competitor and he can’t put a hand on anyone… unless provoked. Joe agreed and asked Kross what he was still doing in the ring. Karrion Kross and Scarlett left.


Grizzled Young Veterans heard Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher’s threats at TakeOver, which they were presumably meant to considering they were broadcast. They’re used to people looking down their noses at them and Ciampa and Thatcher are going to get their heads kicked in.


Breezango vs Imperium

Poor Breezango didn’t get an entrance. They did get a good match though.

Breeze took a rough landing when he missed with a leap over the top. Fandango took Imperium down with his leap over the top, but they used shoving Breeze back into the ring to distract Fandango and take his legs from under him on the turnbuckle.

Beth Phoenix sticking up for Breezango is nice. She’s right, they’re a very good tag team and the fact they like to have fun means they’re not always given the credit or respect they deserve. Fandango got no respect from Imperium, just isolation on the wrong side of the ring and a lot of pain.

Breezango and Imperium fight it out

Tyler Breeze came in fired up and was immediately flattened by Aichner. Aichner paused to knock Fandango off the apron and Breeze caught him in an inside cradle and pinned him.

Imperium are terrible losers. They beat Breezango up after the match and laid an Imperium banner over Breeze when they were done.


Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole had a brawl backstage. While officials were holding them back, William Regal told them he was wrong to think he could settle it with an unsanctioned match, so they’ll go one on one at The Great American Bash. And next week they can each have a match with the opponent of their choice. O’Reilly said that was fine with him, but when Cole said he should be fighting him, he flew at him.

Samoa Joe stepped in and dragged them apart like scrapping kids. Adam Cole provoked Samoa Joe by shoving him. Joe took his smart jacket off before he put him to sleep with a Coquina Clutch and told bystanders to tell him Mr Regal expects his decision when he wakes up.

Yeah, that should work for enforcement.


WWE say go and get vaccinated. They’re right. Do the thing.


Santos Escobar said what happened at TakeOver was a tragedy. He’s coming for Bronson Reed one on one and he’ll deliver the Phantom Driver again and take the title.


Kushida vs Trey Baxter – NXT Cruiserweight Open Challenge

Trey Baxter got an introductory video before his entrance. He’s apparently been turning heads at the Performance Center. I have to say, I like this idea of giving the newbies a title shot to introduce them. And, as commentary noted, it means the champion goes in blind because he’s unlikely to have any background on them. While it’s expected the champion will retain, Leon Ruff’s title reign happened.

Even better, it wasn’t a squash, or even a particularly short match, and Baxter got to show us why he’s so well thought of in the PC. It went through an ad break with a fair whack of time on either side. Kyle O’Reilly strolled out just before the break and observed the match from a distance. Baxter delivered a Spanish Fly and a springboard 450, but he bounced of Kushida and couldn’t capitalise.

Kushida and Trey Baxter with Kyle O'Reilly in the background

That was his best, and final shot. He tapped out in the Hoverboard Lock.

O’Reilly applauded the contest and waited until after the handshake to get into the ring and challenge Kushida for next week. Kushida accepted and they both looked pretty happy about it.


Franky Monet, with Presley, announced she has a match next week then wandered over to Jessi Kamea and Aliyah. She told them she thought they had it won at TakeOver (in a dark match) until Robert Stone arrived. He came and joined them and she changed her tune and told him she’d said they should listen to him more.


Mercedes Martinez said she felt the wrath of Tian Sha but she’s the wrong person to mess with and she’s not going anywhere. If Boa wants to step up he’ll feel the steel (she hit him with a chair at TakeOver). She and Xia Li and 1 and 1, and she’s ready to go again any time. And the next time she sees Mei Ying she’s going to knock her out before she gets out of her chair.


Ted Dibiase hosted the Million Dollar Coronation. He showed a video package for LA Knight before he brought him out. Knight said it’s not often you get to meet your heroes, and in this business share a ring with them. It’s even rarer that your hero tells you you’re one of the ones to carry on their legacy. He’s banged up but it’s worth it to be stood there.

The crowd were chanting for Cameron Grimes while Knight was talking about his childhood and how much of a fixture of it Ted Dibiase was. He needed him there to Knight to express his gratitude and called it the greatest moment of his wrestling career. He asked Dibiase to officially crown him and looked a little emotional when Dibiase laid the belt over his shoulder.

The crowd were still chanting for Grimes when Knight reiterated how important Dibiase was to him and said now he has everything he wants. And that means it’s time to drop what he doesn’t need. He punched Dibiase to the mat and took down security. He yelled at Dibiase that he’s the only Million Dollar Champion, then stamped on and kicked him until Cameron Grimes arrived and cleared him from the ring. Grimes tended to Ted Dibiase and LA Knight left.

Cameron Grimes puts down LA Knight


McKenzie Mitchell asked Raquel Gonzalez why she’s competing 48 hours after her title match. Gonzalez asked her to let Candice and Indi know to hold on to those titles real tight because they have unfinished business. Dakota wants gold and one title isn’t enough for Gonzalez. Kai said Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter were their step towards claiming the gold.


William Regal and Samoa Joe had to stop Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez coming to blows with Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon. Joe didn’t put anyone to sleep this time.

Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai vs Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter

It’s good to see Catanzaro and Carter back. They need a team name because their names are too long. I’ve missed their speedy flippy stuff. They came back ready as well. As the match went into a break they had Kai and Gonzalez in a crumpled heap on the outside.

Something happened in the break because Catanzaro was in trouble when we returned. It took bouncing Gonzalez off the ropes and fighting Kai off to get to Carter. Kayden Carter is fighting like a woman with something to prove, but caught a scorpion kick from Kai and got caught and slammed by Gonzalez, which took the wind out of her sails somewhat. She would have been pinned off a double team, but Catanzaro made the save.

Kayden Carter drops Kacy Catanzaro into Dakota Kai

Catanzaro almost got the pin on Kai, twice. Once she kicked out and once she was saved by Gonzalez dragging Catanzaro out of the ring by her foot. Carter was sent into the barricade and Kai had some much-needed recovery time. When Catanzaro climbed the turnbuckle to re-enter the ring, Kai brought her down with a GTK and pinned her.


Ever-Rise are picking a fight with Hit Row. That seems…unwise.


We’ve got another cryptic promo situation. This one is just a charging symbol counting up. I assume all will be revealed when it’s charged.


Io Shirai said she’s back and she feels good. Her next target is_

Candice LeRae showed up before she could reveal a name. She gloated about having a title and said Shirai goes back to the bottom and has to earn her opportunities. One thing is the same though, she still can’t stand Shirai and she picked the wrong time to mess with her.

While Shirai was focused on LeRae, Indi Hartwell hit her from behind with the tag belt. Initially, Shirai fought back from the beatdown. Hartwell took a tiger feint kick. But eventually, she was overwhelmed and beaten down by LeRae while Hartwell cleared the announce desk. LeRae ordered Hartwell to do an elbow drop from the top to the desk. Hartwell didn’t seem keen, but she got beaten up by Zoey Stark before she could get there, so it didn’t matter. Shirai piled in to help clear LeRae and Hartwell from the ring, dropkicking them both to the floor.

Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae beat up Io Shirai


McKenzie Mitchell asked William Regal and Samoa Joe for their thoughts on how the night panned out. Weirdly, we didn’t get to hear them because the cameras cut to Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa walking past MSK on their way to the ring (I guess we’ll circle back to Regal and Joe). MSK were eating popcorn. They wished Ciampa and Thatcher luck and Thatcher stole Nash Cater’s popcorn.


Diamond Mine opens next week.


Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory interrupted McKenzie Mitchell’s next attempt to talk to William Regal. They were very enthusiastic about Samoa Joe returning and were equally quick to leave when told to. Pete Dunne wandered in after them and just had a staredown with Joe.


Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher vs Grizzled Young Veterans – Tornado Tag Match

It would appear that Ciampa and Thatcher are as sick of the sound of Zack Gibson’s voice as everyone who isn’t Zack Gibson, because they got out of the ring and got the match started as soon as he started to talk. It took GYV a good minute and a half to even get their jackets off.

Tornado tag matches are just all those pockets of chaos you get in a regular tag match but without the other bits. Fun as hell to watch, but tough to follow at times.

Drake and Gibson ended up in the timekeeper’s area courtesy of Ciampa, who then gave them a hip-attack against the barricades. Ciampa and Thatcher got to run around battering them as well. GYV tried to tap Thatcher out, but Ciampa saved him. Hopefully, that will pre-emptively earn him some forgiveness for accidentally kicking him in the face a little later.

Drake kicked out of Ciampa’s air raid crash from the top while Thatcher held Gibson back. Drake’s suicide dive took Ciampa off Gibson’s shoulders to the floor. Ciampa looked to be down and out after that, but Thatcher fought on and got into a strike war with Gibson. That turned into a submission attempt until Drake almost kicked Thatcher’s head clean off.

GYV slam Tommaso Ciampa ontot he NXT sign

Ciampa got back to prevent Thatcher being pinned, so GYV turned to beating on him and gave Thatcher recovery time. They put Ciampa through the NXT sign that sits on the desk. Drake went back to the ring to keep Thatcher down while Gibson had Ciampa on the desk, but it was Gibson who got dropped. While James Drake was focused on Ciampa, Thatch came up behind him. When he looked at Thatcher, Ciampa got in the ring. They knocked him back and forth before he took a Fairytale Ending. They didn’t pin him though, they submitted him together.


Finally, McKenzie Mitchell got to hear William Regal’s thoughts. He said he thinks things are going to be a little different around there. Samoa Joe said, ‘Night one of many’ and shook Regal’s hand before he left.




Final word

Samoa Joe under the William Regal learning tree is a great move for NXT. I’m excited to see where it goes.

Adam Cole vs Kyle O’Reilly at Great American Bash will be epic, but it’s still weird to have the wrestling match after the unsanctioned match.

Next week we have Kyle O’Reilly vs Kushida and Adam Cole vs whoever he chooses.

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