Welcome to the WWE NXT review here on TJRWrestling. We know the next Takeover is coming soon with NXT Takeover In Your House on Sunday, June 13, so let’s see how NXT will continue to build to that show.
This episode is taking place at the Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Check out my WWE NXT review archive here. Let’s get to it.
The opening video package promoted the triple threat match for an NXT Title shot, plus MSK defends their NXT Tag Team Titles against Legado del Fantasma and Kushida defends his Cruiserweight Title as well.
There was a shot of the CWC with the fans behind the barricades surrounding the ring. I wonder if they are getting closer to being at Full Sail University and having more fans at the shows again. The commentary team was Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett and Beth Phoenix as usual.
The triple threat match opened the show with Pete Dunne entering to boos. Johnny Gargano was next with Austin Theory joining him. He lost his NXT North American Title two weeks ago and now he’s in the NXT Title picture again. Kyle O’Reilly was last as the lone babyface in the match.
Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Kyle O’Reilly
The winner of this match gets a NXT Title shot against Karrion Kross at NXT Takeover In Your House. At least that’s what they said.
Kyle with a kick to Dunne’s face, then forearms were exchanged by the three guys and Kyle delivered knees to the gut. Dunne with a forearm to knock down Kyle. Dunne with a running dropkick. Kyle with a cross armbreaker attempt on Dunne, the Gargano in and Kyle applied a heel hook on Johnny while Dunne went for an armbar on Kyle, who ended up dumped to the floor. Dunne grabbed a headlock on Gargano, then Johnny hit a hurricanrana and then Dunne pulled back on Johnny’s limbs. Kyle kicked Dunne out of the ring. Kyle with a knee to the ribs, then an armbar takedown and strikes to the ribs. Dunne applied a submission where he pulled back on the arms/fingers of both guys at the same time. Dunne stomped on the hands of both opponents. Dunne with running forearms on both guys, Gargano and Kyle each hit forearms, and then Kyle did a double dragon screw leg whip on both guys. Kyle with a leg whip on Dunne by the ropes and then Johnny hit a Tornado DDT for a two count.
Kyle was in control with strikes and a sweep kick on Gargano. Kyle wrenched on Dunne’s arm, took him down and Kyle suplexed Gargano onto Dunne. Kyle with a knee to knock down Dunne on the floor. Gargano hit a suicide dive on both guys. Gargano hit another suicide dive on Kyle, who bumped into the barricade. Gargano with a slingshot Spear on Kyle for two. Dunne was back in with kicks for both guys, then a sitout Powerbomb on Kyle and Gargano hit superkicks on both guys. Dunne with the Explex suplex on Gargano for two. Dunne with a kimura lock on the left arm of Kyle, Gargano with a clothesline, Kyle sent Dunne out of the ring and Gargano got a rollup for two. Kyle applied a heel hook submission, but Dunne broke that up and hit a knee drop on Gargano’s arm. Gargano countered a Bitter End with a DDT! That was so cool. Gargano launched Dunne with a Lawn Dart into Kyle to knock Kyle out of the ring. The three guys battled in the ring with Kyle delivering kicks, then Gargano rolled up Kyle into a double kick. Gargano rocked Dunne with a kick. Dunne with an enziguri on Kyle, then Gargano with a superkick on Kyle and Kyle bounced off the ropes with a clothesline! All three guys were down as the fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Kyle went for a Guillotine Choke on Gargano, then Dunne with a sleeper choke on Kyle and Gargano took down Dunne with the Gargano Escape submission. Dunne nearly tapped out, but he broke the grip while pulling on Johnny’s fingers. Dunne hit the Bitter End on Johnny for two and then Kyle jumped off the top with a knee drop to break up the pin. Fans chanted “this is awesome” again. Dunne and Kyle battled on the apron, then to the floor for a double clothesline and Johnny was down in the ring. When Kyle got up, Adam Cole hit Kyle and Dunne with chair shots. Cole threw a chair at Gargano. Cole elbowed the referee Shawn Bennett and shoved Dunne into Bennett into the barricade. Cole hit a brainbuster on Dunne on the floor, the running knee on Kyle and Cole hit a Last Shot knee on Gargano in the ring. The match went about 18 minutes with no match winner.
Match Result: No Contest
Analysis: ***3/4 This was a very good, long match featuring three awesome wrestlers until the cheap ending with Cole getting involved. I can’t go over four stars because of that finish. My issue with a match like this is there are no disqualifications in triple threat matches, yet they don’t try to use weapons or make it a more vicious match. Two of the guys are heels, so they should try to use weapons to get heat. Even though there are no disqualifications, there was no way to have Gargano, Dunne or O’Reilly win the match since Adam Cole got involved and prevented the match from finishing.
The NXT General Manager William Regal walked out with security and Regal had an angry look on his face. Cole hit Kyle with another superkick. They walked Cole to the back.
The show returned with William Regal and his two security guards making Cole walk to the backstage area. While they were on the ramp, Ember Moon walked by and she was on her way to the ring. Regal instructed security to take Cole out of the building, so they did.
Ember Moon went into the ring and called out Raquel Gonzalez, the NXT Women’s Champion. William Regal tried to stop Gonzalez, who went into the ring. Ember Moon hit Gonzalez with multiple kicks and punches to send Gonzalez out of the ring. That led to Dakota Kai attacking Moon from behind. Kail kicked Moon repeatedly followed by a running pump kick that knocked Moon out of the ring. Kai and Gonzalez left together happily as the fans booed. Regal checked on Moon at ringside.
Analysis: That was a wild scene. It was good. I liked the intensity shown by Moon against Gonzalez, but then Kai showed up for the cheap shot. It was booked well.
There was a promo from Legado del Fantasma ahead of their NXT Tag Team Title match later. Santos Escobar said that they will “take what’s ours.”
LA Knight did a promo on the way to the ring for his match. Drake said that he was the only man capable of carrying on the Million Dollar Legacy. Knight is in action up next.
The Hit Row group were shown arriving in a truck where they walked up to Ever-Rise and Drake Maverick in the parking lot. It was earlier in the day. Drake got into an argument with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott. Killian Dain showed up to protect Maverick. Scott threatened Dain and then backed away.
Jake Atlas vs. LA Knight
Each guy got a rollup early on. Atlas beat Cameron Grimes two weeks ago. Atlas with a dropkick and then a leap off the middle ropes leading to a headlock takedown. Atlas with an armbar into the mat followed by a knee drop onto the arm. Atlas countered a pin attempt for a pin of his own for two and Atlas with a boot to the face. Atlas with an uppercut, but then Knight came back with a stun gun into the ropes and then a neckbreaker. Ted Dibiase walked out to the ring to support his buddy Knight. Atlas hit an impressive move off the ropes leading to a pin attempt for two. Knight came back with a powerslam. Knight with a Dibiase-like fist drop. Knight choked Atlas across the middle rope. Knight with a stiff kick to the ribs and a stomp to the ribs. Knight with a running knee to the face. Knight jumped over the top with a shoulder tackle. Knight did some posing on the turnbuckle.
Knight went for a suplex, Atlas slipped out of it and Knight came back with a neckbreaker. Atlas hit a running cross body block. They ran the ropes with Knight launching Atlas over the top to the floor. Knight went to the middle rope, took way too long, jumped off and Atlas hit a punch to the ribs. Atlas with a jawbreaker, then a clothesline and a jumping knee. Cameron Grimes appeared at ringside while Atlas hit a suplex for two. Knight with a knee to the face, Atlas with a slam off the shoulders and a standing moonsault for two. Knight teased a superplex, he was distracted by Grimes at ringside, and Atlas did the Cartwheel DDT off the top for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jake Atlas
Analysis: *** This was a competitive match with a lot of action. I’m glad that Atlas is picking up wins over Grimes and now Knight. Most of this match had Knight on offense, but I liked the way Atlas came back from the beating he took throughout the match and he ended up with a victory. They need to get a good storyline going for Atlas to continue his growth. I think Atlas has a bright future.
Atlas tweeted about it as well.
Please understand how huge this is for me & everyone in the community beside me. https://t.co/kiztSZOgP6
— 𝗝𝗔𝗞𝗘 𝗔𝗧𝗟𝗔𝗦 (@JakeAtlas_) June 2, 2021
Post match, Ted Dibiase looked disappointed as he shook his head towards Knight. LA was yelling at Ted to not leave, but Ted went to the back.
There was a backstage scene with Pete Dunne, Johnny Gargano and Kyle O’Reilly were getting looked at by trainers. Oney Lorcan and Austin Theory got into an argument talking about how their guys were going to win.
Ted Dibiase was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Dibiase said that Knight dropped the ball, while Cameron Grimes showed you need the mind and the brawn. Adam Cole was shown walking by as the show went to break.
There was a clip letting us know that Poppy is back on NXT next week.
Let’s Hear from Adam Cole
Adam Cole was in the ring saying two years to the day, he became NXT Champion. Cole said he is the real number one contender. Cole said that he has been gone for two months (if you don’t count an interview he did) and for two months he has watched as everybody has tried to live up to his legacy while noting that everybody failed. Cole said he took out three of NXT’s top stars in one night, so that means he wants the NXT Championship back. Cole mentioned Karrion Kross saying he’s a big overrated musclehead who doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring as Cole. Cole asked do you think it was a mistake that he held the title for 403 days? That led to the interruption.
Karrion Kross made his entrance with the NXT Title around his waist and the lovely Scarlett (who had “Tick Tock” painted on her face) walking into the ring with him. Kross called Cole “little man.” Kross said he understood Cole’s motives since he wants to be NXT Champion again. Kross said when he signed with NXT, Cole no longer became special and Cole knows that. Kross wanted Cole to entertain him.
Cole called Kross overrated. Adam Cole to Kross: “This brand does everything in their power to make you feel special. You got the cool music, you got the lights, you got the fog machine, you got the girl. You know what they do to make Adam Cole feel special? They ring the freakin’ bell.” The fans cheered. Cole said that Kross can’t hang with Cole on his best day and he said you can’t hang with him and Kross is not on his (Cole) level. Cole said that anybody that watches pro wrestling knows that. Cole said Kross is not special, Cole is special and Kross is just a guy that has Cole’s property.
William Regal, the NXT General Manager, walked out there saying he knows Cole is trying to get a one on one match for the NXT Title. Kross told Regal to shut up.
Kross said he didn’t think what Regal or Cole thinks. Kross said what he wants at Takeover is everyone in the match. Kross said that he wants Kyle O’Reilly, Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne and this “gas station weasel” Adam Cole. Kross said that Cole is not getting out of this ass-kicking. Regal: “Done.”
Cole left the ring, cleared off the announce table and told Kross he runs this show. Cole said he has always run this show, he always has and always will. Cole threw a water bottle at Kross and left out of the back of the building.
Analysis: That was an outstanding promo exchange with Cole carrying it. I loved that part where Cole said all you have to do for him is ring the bell and that’s what makes him special. Awesome. What I like about NXT is they aren’t always about doing promos where it’s good guy vs. bad guy or whatever. These are characters that want to prove they’re the best. A lot of those fans liked Cole because they know how good he is while some are going to like Kross because of dominance. Either way, they are strong characters. I think the Fatal 5-Way is going to be an awesome match and also tough to predict.
Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell were interviewed backstage as the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. Mckenzie Mitchell mentioned Poppy being there next week, so Candice complained about her. Hartwell was listening to music, Candice took it away and Indi was listening to 1980s power ballads. Candice and Indi left.
The answer to Kushida’s open challenge is a man once known as Christian Casanova, but he’s now known as Carmelo Hayes. He was recently signed by NXT.
Kushida entered for his title defense.
There was a video about Xia Li talking about how Mercedes Martinez tried to embarrass her in the Mae Young Classic tournament. They showed clips from the match that Martinez won. Xia Li said that at Takeover she will hurt Martinez. Then a “Tian Sha” graphic was on screen.
Dexter Lumis put on the headphones that Indi Hartwell was listening to earlier and he left.
It’s official for NXT Takeover In Your House on June 13: Karrion Kross defends the NXT Title vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Kushida vs. Carmelo Hayes
Hayes was in control with a headlock. Hayes with a kick to the gut, two armdrags and an impressive dropkick. Hayes with a whip into the turnbuckle, then Kushida bounced off and Hayes did a handspring into a kick to the head. Kushida with a handspring back elbow off the ropes. Kushida went for a clothesline, Hayes moved and kicked Kushida in the back. Hayes hit a leg drop off the middle rope for two. That was a cool spot.
The match returned with Kushida sending Hayes to the apron, then a handspring that sent Hayes into the barricade and a knee right into the left shoulder/elbow of Hayes. Back in the ring, Kushida tried to jump on the left arm, Hayes moved and hit a superkick. Hayes wit ha slam off the shoulder into the knee. Hayes with a springboard clothesline-like move. Kushida and Hayes exchanged chops, Kushida with kicks to the left arm as well as an open palm strike. Hayes spun around Kushida and took him down with an armbar for two. Kushida with a hiptoss into a low dropkick. Kushida with a punch to the face, Hayes avoided an arm kick and Kushida went for an armbar, Hayes got out of it and Hayes punched him in the head. Kushida kicked the left arm. Kushida applied the Hoverboard Lock armbar on the left arm for the submission win after 11 minutes.
Winner by submission: Kushida
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a very impressive debut for Hayes, who looked competitive in his debut NXT match. Kushida winning makes sense to keep the title because he hasn’t been the champion for that long. You can tell that Kushida was giving Hayes a lot of offense to showcase Hayes a bit even though Kushida was the one that got the win. Kushida working on the left arm is typical of what Kushida usually does and it was enough to get Kushida the victory by submission.
After the match, Kushida pointed at Hayes, shook his hand the fans cheered the performance of both guys.
The MSK duo of Wes Lee and Nash Carter talked about their match later in the show. MSK talked about how Legado got their attention, then said that they will bring that energy and Lee said that they will walk out still as the champions.
Franky Monet was in a makeup chair as she read comments about her impressive debut last week. Monet spoke into the camera to say: “I’m just getting started.” She sure is.
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs. Zoey Stark & Zayda Ramier
This was not for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles held by LeRae and Hartwell. The champs isolated Ramier early on as Hartwell hit a forearm and a boot to the face. LeRae applied a chinlock, Ramier got out of it and got a rollup for two. LeRae hit Ramier with a forearm and Hartwell was back in with a boot to the face. LeRae came back with a kick to the head. LeRae elbowed Stark off the apron. Ramier broke free after a punch and Stark tagged in with a clothesline. Stark with a spin kick, then an enziguri kick on LeRae and that was only good for a two count. Ramier back in with Stark slamming her onto LeRae for a two count with Indi making the save. Hartwell sent Stark out of the ring. LeRae with an elbow on Ramier, Hartwell got the tag, LeRae with the Wicked Stepsister and Hartwell hit the Pretty Savage elbow off the top for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell
Analysis: ** A shorter match to give the LeRae/Hartwell team a win as the champions. Simple as that. Stark wasn’t in the ring for that long and Ramier was the one that was pinned, so they kept Stark strong.
Mercedes Martinez did a promo saying that Xia Li is standing her way. Martinez said at Takeover, she will run through Xia Li.
The announcers mentioned two of the official NXT Takeover In Your House matches on June 13:
* LA Knight vs. Cameron Grimes
* Fatal 5 Way for the NXT Championship: Karrion Kross (c) vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano
The NXT Tag Team Title match was up next.
There was a video letting us know the Diamond Mine is opening soon.
Ember Moon was shown holding her neck as Mckenzie Mitchell asking her how she feels after what happened earlier tonight? Moon said that Raquel is so dominant, but she has Dakota Kai fight her battles for her. Moon said that she’s going to face Dakota Kai next week and then at Takeover she’s going to take the NXT Women’s Title from Raquel Gonzalez to become a two-time NXT Women’s Champion.
Next week on NXT:
* Ember Moon vs. Dakota Kai
* Poppy Returns to NXT
That’s all they announced. They also announced Austin Theory vs. Oney Lorcan as well. Hopefully there are some bigger matches set up before next Tuesday.
Santos Escobar made his entrance in his suit leading the Legado del Fantasma team to the ring for their title match. Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza looked ready to go. The MSK duo of Nash Carter and Wes Lee made their entrance as the NXT Tag Team Champions. They stood in the ring for the championship introductions by ring announcer Alicia Taylor, who also does a good job.
NXT Tag Team Championships: MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter) vs. Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza) w/Santos Escobar
Lee started with Wilde as they battled over a headlock and then Wilde did a hair pull for a takedown. Carter tagged in, Wilde avoided a splash and Wilde hit a clothesline on Lee. Mendoza was wrestling with a protective mask on his face as he stomped on Carter. Wilde back in with Mendoza suplexing Wilde onto Carter for two. Wilde with a running cross body block on Carter, who came back with a jawbreaker to get out of a headlock. Lee tagged in with kicks, Carter with a double stomp on the back and that got a two count. Wilde sent Carter into the turnbuckle. Lee did a backflip and flipped right into a kick to the head of Wilde. All four guys were down in the ring. The Grizzled Young Veterans duo of Zach Gibson and James Drake went to ringside, but Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher attacked them and those four guys went to the back. MSK cleared the ring followed by Carter and Lee each hitting dives onto the floor leading to a break.
Mendoza charged at Lee against the turnbuckle, Lee went up top and Mendoza kicked Lee to the apron. Legado did a double team slam followed by a double team dropkick for two. Lee fought out of a chinlock from Wilde, but Wilde came back with a running back elbow for two. Wilde hit a couple of splashes on Lee including a moonsault off the middle rope for a two count. Mendoza tagged in going for a Powerbomb, but Lee countered it into a DDT. Carter got the hot tag with a jumping enziguri on Wilde, a running knee, a kick to Mendoza and a kick to the chest of Wilde as well. Lee tagged in as Carter jumped and Lee shoved Carter onto Wilde for the double team moonsault. It got a two count for Lee. Mendoza made the tag, Lee never saw it and Lee suplexed Wilde, so then Mendoza walked across the top and hit a dropkick! That was great. Mendoza hit a suplex into a neckbreaker for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. The Legado boys made quick tags as they hit repeated clotheslines on Lee. Legado did a hurricanrana into a Powerbomb for two. Lee was sent out of the ring by Escobar, then Escobar grabbed Lee and sent him into the steel steps. Legado hit a double team kick/legsweep for two as Carter tackled Mendoza onto Wilde to break up the pin! That was awesome. Bronson Reed showed up at ringside and splashed Escobar against he barricade. Carter with a dropkick on Mendoza. Lee ran the ropes and MSK hit a double team spinebuster/neckbreaker as Lee pinned Wilde for victory. It went about 16 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter)
Analysis: ***3/4 This was a great championship match here as expected between two of the best teams in all of WWE, not just NXT. The last few minutes were awesome as they picked up the pace as the Legado boys hit a lot of double team moves that looked incredible. Normally it’s MSK who really stands out with the amount of double team moves they do, but I was really impressed by all of the moves that Legado were doing throughout the match. I think it was smart to have Bronson Rood go out there to splash Santos Escobar, who got in a cheap shot moments before that. That led right to the finish with MSK picking up the win. I didn’t expect a title change here. MSK haven’t been the champions for that long, so it’s good that they kept the titles.
The NXT Tag Team Champions MSK and NXT North American Champion Bronson Reed celebrated in the ring together as they stared at the Legado trio in the aisle. That was the end of the show.
Three Stars of the Show
- Adam Cole – I thought his involvement in the opener was strong and his promo later in the show was awesome.
- Legado del Fantasma
This week: 7.75 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
2021 Average: 7.53
It was another really good episode of NXT. This week’s show was a more chaotic episode than usual with a lot of angles taking place during matches, then people going to the ring without being introduced and so on. I like how there was that chaos a bit in that first hour. Adam Cole ruined the triple threat match between Johnny Gargano, Kyle O’Reilly and Pete Dunne by taking them all out after those guys wrestled for nearly 20 minutes. Later in the show, Cole delivered an incredible promo while confronting Karrion Kross, who also did very well in the promo. That set up the Fatal 5-Way at NXT Takeover In Your House (Kross vs. Cole vs. Gargano vs. O’Reilly vs. Dunne), which should be an incredible match.
The matches were strong as usual, which is what we can always expect from NXT. The main event with MSK facing Legado del Fantasma was an excellent tag team match. Legado came close to winning several times with a lot of cool double team moves, but then MSK got the win after Bronson Reed took out the interfering Santos Escobar at ringside. That opening triple threat match was awesome as I mentioned. I also liked Kushida’s match with a debuting Carmelo Hayes. Jake Atlas getting another win was awesome to see too because I like him a lot. Atlas beat Drake, who is feuding with Cameron Grimes with Ted Dibiase involved.
They set up some matches for NXT Takeover In Your House as well. I wouldn’t call it some all-time great lineup, but I’m glad some different wrestlers will be getting chances on a Takeover show.
Here’s the NXT Takeover In Your House lineup on Sunday, June 13 so far:
Fatal 5 Way for the NXT Championship: Karrion Kross (c) vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano
NXT Women’s Title Match: Raquel Gonzalez (c) vs. Ember Moon
LA Knight vs. Cameron Grimes
Xia Li vs. Mercedes Martinez
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