Todd Pettengill is hosting NXT TakeOver: In Your House. He introduced Wade Barrett who hosted the Press conference. I’m not documenting the entire 45-minute Q&A, but these are some of the highlights.
Karrion Kross said Kyle O’Reilly poses the biggest threat to his title. O’Reilly is easily the best wrestler of the bunch, so that makes sense, but Kross said it’s because O’Reilly is the hungriest. He said later his biggest concern is O’Reilly submitting Cole to win the title. Cole found that funny, but I wouldn’t hate it. Pete Dunne also picked O’Reilly as closest to his technical style.
Adam Cole was asked why he deserved a title shot when he hasn’t won a singles match in six months. The question amused me, the answer was fairly predictable.
Johnny Gargano said there is always revenge on his mind and called Adam Cole a piece of garbage, in response to a question about whether that would be on his mind in the five-way. He also said that given Cole’s recent behaviour, there would be a lot of people out to get him in the match and he’d wake up Monday very glad he knows a good dentist (a reference, of course, to AEW’s Britt Baker). Actually, judging by Gargano, Kross, and O’Reilly’s responses during the conference, Adam Cole is in for a really rough night.
Raquel Gonzalez said Dakota Kai is the only one who believed in her and she’s been a huge influence on her success.
Kyle O’Reilly was asked whether he was focused more on vengeance against Adam Cole and Pete Dunne or winning the title. He said his issues with Cole and Dunne would never be resolved, but what better vengeance than winning the title at their expense. He’ll happily face them both when he’s champion.
Johnny Gargano looked absolutely shocked that Raquel Gonzalez answered a question in Spanish and didn’t stop until she repeated the answer in English. She said it was an honour to be mentioned alongside Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio.
Cole wouldn’t rule out a move to RAW or SmackDown but said he’s not done with NXT. He’s got more to accomplish and he’s attached to the brand. He maintains that the NXT roster could beat the RAW or SmackDown roster every day and twice on Sundays, and he’s not wrong. Kross on the other hand, made it clear he doesn’t plan to stay in NXT forever. He does plan to leave TakeOver with the title though.
Moon and Gonazlez are both aiming to be the first woman to hold two titles at the same time in NXT.
The show was hosted by Sam Roberts and Justin Barrasso, with Arash Markazi at some points. It was fine but they could have done with a big personality to carry it.
There was a big video package to build up the significance of the Million Dollar Championship.
Kyle O’Reilly got into a fight with Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory in the parking lot, which had to be stopped by William Regal and security.
Arash Markazi interviewed MSK and Bronson Reed. They’re cautious but not overly worried about Legado del Fantasma. The champions are all very likeable, as it Markazi to be honest. He also interviewed Legado del Fantasma. They’re very focused.
MSK & Bronson Reed def. Legado del Fantasma
Xia Li def. Mercedes Martinez
LA Knight def. Cameron Grimes
Raquel Gonzalez def. Ember Moon
Karrion Kross def. Kyle O’Reilly, Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, and Pete Dunne
A performance from Naomi Fox opened the show before Todd Pettengill welcomed everyone. It’s the biggest crowd they’ve had in the Capitol Wrestling Center, and they did look fairly tightly packed. Masked though, so that’s good.
MSK & Bronson Reed vs Legado del Fantasma – Winners Take All
So, the action started with the tag titles and the North American title on the line. Santos Escobar demanded Bronson Reed, then immediately forced Mendoza to tag in a face him. Raul Mendoza was less than confident, which was fair enough because he got levelled, repeatedly and sat on for a while. Escobar did tag in, but only when he was sure Reed wouldn’t notice. His advantage lasted seconds and Joaquin Wilde was forced into the ring. Wilde took a senton from Reed while MSK held him off the mat.
I loved this match. MSK and Bronson Reed are an exceptional comedy trio and they looked like they were having a lovely time while they were in control. There was a lot of flying over the top rope at one point. Everyone went over, except Reed who went through with a suicide dive. He was the last one and he took everyone down.
Poor Wes Lee took a ton of punishment, trapped in the wrong corner with fast tags aplenty and a triple-team assisted 450 from Wilde before he got to Reed. Wilde and Mendoza took a double Samoan Drop from Reed, but Reed took a chop block while Escobar was distracting him and Nash Carter had to save him from a Phantom Driver. Carter had to be saved by Wes Lee’s flying over the top rope into the ring pin break.
Reed bulldozed Escobar through the barricade for touching his title and took him out of the match. MSK took Joaquin Wilde out on the outside before laying Raul Mendoza out for Reed to finish it with a Tsunami Splash.
The chemistry Reed and MSK have is incredible. More of that, please.
Todd Pettengill had a go at introducing a video package for Martinez versus Li. He’s a little technologically challenged though. McKenzie Mitchell tried to help, but he got confused.
Mercedes Martinez vs Xia Li, with Tian Sha
It’s a little bit of an odd grudge match. Xia Li had her very first wrestling match against Martinez in the Mae Young Classic. She feels that Martinez humiliated her and has been holding a grudge ever since. Li always does some kind of skills display as part of her entrance, this time she had a big-ass sword.
From what I remember, there was nothing humiliating about Martinez’ treatment of Li in that match, it was simply Li’s first-ever wrestling match and she was facing a veteran. Li is indeed, however, a different competitor now.
They rolled out of the ring within seconds because they were so focused on hurting each other. It was Li’s match for the most part. She worked on Martinez’ damaged ribs and stayed focused. Martinez struggled to find her footing to even defend herself for long periods.
She turned it around when Li put her against the post by avoiding the kick. Li ended up with a damaged shin but, more importantly, Martinez got time to regroup. It evened out a bit, but Li was back on it when she moved from the corner and Martinez crashed in. Li kicked out of a Cliff-hanger but Boa had to pull her out of the ring after she took a knee to the jaw. He faced up to Martinez when she followed but Martinez was ready when Li charged from behind him, and threw her over her head.
Li got the win with a kick to the jaw after struggling free of an attempted air raid crash. Martinez went out like a light.
Boa encouraged her to hit Martinez with a chair afterwards but Martinez kicked her legs out from under it and took the chair. Boa and Li took a couple of chair shots each, then fire raced across the screens as Mei Ying stood. Martinez said she wasn’t scared and met her halfway up the ramp (which, as for recent TakeOvers, was level with the ring). Mei Ying grabbed her by the throat, but Martinez hit her in the stomach with a chair. Mei Ying grabbed her again and threw her off the ramp into the plexiglass barrier.
Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher are going to tear Grizzled Young Veterans to pieces on Tuesday. Thatcher said he’s going to break their limbs. Ciampa said they’re going to show Gibson and Drake how dangerous they are.
Cameron Grimes vs LA Knight – Million Dollar Championship Ladder Match
I’ll be honest, I’m really not into this storyline. I don’t necessarily think it’s bad, but it’s not for me. I know they’re great at what they do, but I’m not a huge fan of either of the characters. Happily, I enjoy them both a lot more in the ring than on the mic and this was a great ladder match. Ted Dibiase was at ringside to supervise the raising of the Million Dollar Championship and watch the match There was a lot of playing up to him, especially early on.
It took them a while to get to the ladders, but they made up for lost time once they got there. Cameron Grimes nearly took out commentary with a ladder, making Beth Phoenix shriek, but I’m fairly sure that was an accident. It was no accident when he pinned Knight to the barricade with the bottom of a ladder, or when Knight swung a ladder into his face. Knight used Grimes’ body to shift a barricade back a few inches, then balanced a ladder between the ring and barricade for later.
Grimes took a neckbreaker on the edge of a ladder, which looked like it broke him, but Knight hurt his arm in the process. Knight got swung across the ring and took a ladder end to the forehead. He was also the one to land on the ladder he’d set up earlier.
Cameron Grimes decided he wanted to climb the gold ladder, so he left Knight down on the ladder and went to retrieve it from the stage. It took so long that, unsurprisingly, Knight was back up in time to join him on it. Grimes knocked Knight down, so Knight tipped it over and bounced Grimes off the ropes.
Knight balanced a ladder between the second rope and another ladder on the ramp, but not until he’d hit Cameron Grimes with one of them. Grimes climbed the rigging and threw himself onto Knight then went back to the ladder. Grimes pulled him down and tried to powerbomb him out of the ring, but Grimes hung on and rana’d Knight to the floor.
This time Grimes went up the other side of the ladder. Knight tipped it until Grimes fell through the balanced ladder and retrieved the title himself. Ted Dibiase presented LA Knight with the belt and raised his hand.
After his final fall, Grimes may need his fortune for medical bills.
Hit Row interrupted Todd Pettengill’s merch promo. They intimidated him a bit and made it clear theirs was the only merch to buy this summer.
Pete Dunne and Karrion Kross were being pulled apart by security backstage. William Regal arrived and told them to save it for the ring.
Raquel Gonzalez (C), with Dakota Kai vs Ember Moon – NXT Women’s Championship match
Ember Moon dedicated the match to her injured tag partner Shotzi Blackheart. I wish Gonzalez had left Kai in the locker room, at least then some of the match would have been a straight one on one. She was there, she was going to interfere.
Moon tried to start fast and catch Gonzalez off guard, but Gonzalez composed herself quickly. It was less than a minute in when Dakota Kai caused her first distraction and lost Moon control of the match.
It took Moon a long time to muster any kind of offence from there, and she took a lot of punishment in the process. When she did, her code red only got her two and her submission was broken when Kai helped Gonzalez reach the ropes. As payback, Moon’s suicide dive sent Gonzalez straight over the announce desk. Dakota Kai distracted Moon on the turnbuckle, which led to her taking a suplex out of the corner.
Ember Moon delivered the modified and full Eclipse with double knees to the face in the middle, and Gonzalez was out of it. Dakota Kai draped Gonzalez’ foot over the ropes. Shotzi Blackheart appeared behind Kai and beat her around the ring and up the ramp. They brawled off backstage. Moon DDT’d Gonzalez on the ramp but took too long to get her back into the ring and she kicked out of the pin.
Raquel Gonzalez caught Moon on the next Eclipse attempt and darted her onto the corner then the Chingona Powerbombed her for the win.
Todd Pettengill’s final segment was him complaining about the way he’s been treated then playing karate fighter with Dexter Lumis until Lumis broke it.
NXT will present The Great American Bash on 06 July.
Shotzi Blackheart was still brawling with Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez, with William Regal trying to sort it out, when Johnny Gargano walked past on his way to the ring.
Karrion Kross (C), with Scarlett, vs Johnny Gargano vs Kyle O’Reilly vs Pete Dunne vs Adam Cole – NXT Championship Fatal Five-Way Match
Karrion Kross’ entrance is so much better with a crowd. O’Reilly and Cole went for each other straight off, as did Dunne and Gargano. Dunne moved on to Kross. O’Reilly took over when Dunne had been thrown out and briefly had Kross in a submission before he left the ring and Gargano took over. Cole had a go after Gargano had been dispatched, but Dunne pulled him from the ring and joined with O’Reilly and Gargano to batter him before Kross pulled him back in.
Gargano and Dunne took a suplex from Kross at the same time and O’Reilly had his soul clotheslined out of him. He was quickly up and taking on everyone. Dunne tried to submit Gargano and O’Reilly by breaking their fingers, but Kross dragged him away and powerbombed him onto Gargano.
Dunne and Gargano ran Kross through the front door of the set. Adam Cole tried to take advantage of them all being down and O’Reilly being hurt, but he couldn’t keep him down. Gargano hung Cole in the tree of woe while O’Reilly was sat in the corner… which might not have been ideal from O’Reilly’s perspective. After a brief diversion, he lawn-darted Pete Dunne into them.
Kross dumped O’Reilly on the barricade after pulling him out of the ring on his rebound lariat. He threw Cole over next to him, slammed Gargano into the apron off a suicide dive, then threw Dunne at Cole and O’Reilly and went back to work on Johnny Gargano.
An F5 failed to keep Gargano down, in fact, it gave him some kind of adrenaline high or something because he was on fire for a couple of minutes. But in a fatal five-way, there is always someone to halt your momentum. He nearly pinned Adam Cole, but it came to nothing and O’Reilly and Dunne were soon back in the mix.
Kross re-entered the fray and took everyone down, suplexes all around. Dunne landed on his head from his and started everyone kicking Kross until he was on the apron hanging on the ropes.
Cole and O’Reilly worked together to slam Kross onto the announce desk, which didn’t break. O’Reilly and Dunne had Cole and Gargano in submission holds, but let go of them to go after each other. A flying Gargano stopped their hold-trading and Cole tried unsuccessfully to take advantage and pin O’Reilly.
Dunne got superkicked out of the air by Cole and Gargano at the same time. A knee to the back of Gargano’s head from O’Reilly stopped him submitting Cole and Dunne. Cole pushed O’Reilly from the top turnbuckle to the floor. Dunne pulled Cole out of the ring to prevent a Panama Sunrise pin on Gargano and gave him a brainbuster on the outside. That’s when Karrion Kross got up.
There were only Kross and Dunne left standing, so they went for it. Dunne almost had Kross out in a triangle, but everyone else jumped on them. Kross delivered a Saito suplex to Cole and Dunne at the same time and locked the Kross Jacket on Dunne. Dunne snapped his fingers to get out. Gargano found himself in the Kross Jacket too, but Cole’s Last Shot got him out.
O’Reilly had a half-decent pin attempt but Adam Cole superkicked him and everyone else. He got caught in a Kyle O’Reilly submission. Kross locked O’Reilly in the Kross Jacket and he kept Cole in the hold until he passed out.
Karrion Kross is still the NXT Champion.
McKenzie Mitchell asked William Regal for his thoughts on TakeOver: In Your House. He said it’s been seven years since he took over as GM and he’s never seen so much bedlam. It’s complete madness and he thinks it’s time for a change. He walked away looking defeated.
I really hoped it was going to be O’Reilly’s night, but it wasn’t to be. That main event was spectacular though.
It sounds like the best GM WWE has ever had might be done. NXT without Willian Regal would mean some serious changes, but maybe it is time for some kind of change. I still enjoy the NXT product, but viewing figures aren’t great compared to AEW, and more and more I’m seeing the work ‘Stale’ on social media. We’ll find out on Tuesday.