The John Report: WWE NXT 06/08/21 Review

The John Report: WWE NXT 06/08/21 Review

Welcome to the WWE NXT review here on TJRWrestling. The next Takeover is just a few days away with NXT Takeover In Your House taking place this Sunday, June 13. We will have a preview up on TJRWrestling on Saturday morning and then I’ll review it on Sunday night too.

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.

There was a video package showing highlights from the chaos from last week that led to the Fatal 5-Way Match for the NXT Title being set up for NXT Takeover In Your House this Sunday night. It’s Karrion Kross defending the NXT Title vs. Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Johnny Gargano. Plus, more matches have been set. We will get through it during the show.

Austin Theory from The Way stable made his entrance for the opening match. The announce team was Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix and Wade Barrett as usual. Oney Lorcan entered as his opponent. There were fans in the building behind the plexiglass barriers as usual.

Austin Theory vs. Oney Lorcan

They were chants for both guys to start the match even though they are both heels. Theory hit an impressive dropkick early in the match. Theory with a chinlock, then they broke free and exchanged uppercuts. Lorcan went for a kneebar, Theory got out of that, he hit a corner clothesline, a stomp and then a suplex. Theory did some trash talk, so Lorcan chopped him two times. Lorcan hit a running back elbow. Lorcan sent Theory to the apron and hit a knee lift to knock Theory down. Theory came back with chops and punches. Lorcan tripped up Theory leading to a back-first bump on the ring apron. Pete Dunne showed up to support his friend Lorcan.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Johnny Gargano at ringside to support Theory. Lorcan with two running corner splashes on Theory, but then Theory did roll through into a leaping blockbuster neckbreaker. That was sweet. Theory with a clothesline that sent Lorcan over the top to the floor. Lorcan was back in with a shove to the back to send Theory out of the ring. Theory whipped Lorcan into the barricade two times. Back in the ring, Theory with clotheslines and a fallaway slam. Lorcan with a boot to the face, Lorcan sat on the top rope and Theory jumped up with a Spanish Fly off the top for two! That was amazing. They left the ring where they did a double clothesline spot. Gargano faced off with Dunne on the floor as they exchanged punches. Referees showed up to break it up. Theory sent Lorcan back into the ring, then Lorcan sent Theory into the ring post and Lorcan hit a Full Nelson slam for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Oney Lorcan

Analysis: ***1/4 I thought Theory would get the win since he doesn’t get victories that often while Lorcan is mostly a tag team wrestler, so I figured Theory would get a much-needed win. Theory has a lot of cool moves that will help him stand out when he’s a babyface one day in the future. That Spanish Fly off the top from Theory was impressive because it was different from when two guys are standing on top and do that spot. Theory had to jump to the top to do it. That was great. Solid opening match here.

Austin Theory vs. Oney Lorcan: WWE NXT, June 8, 2021

A video aired about LA Knight showing him at some big house with some pretty ladies hanging out with him in a hot tub. Knight drove off in a Mercedes car as well.

Analysis: If you work for NXT, you don’t live in a house that big. That’s okay. It’s the thought that counts to put over the gimmick.

(Commercial)

There was a video with “Handsome” Dok Hendrix with the NXT In Your House Slam Jam. Dok did a rundown of the NXT Takeover In Your House lineup.

Analysis: If you watched WWE in the 1990s then that might look familiar to you. Dok (Michael Hayes) was one of the hosts of the studio shows in that era.

A replay was shown from last week’s NXT when MSK retained the NXT Tag Team Titles against Legado del Fantasma thanks to Bronson Reed taking out Santos Escobar at ringside.

Let’s Hear from Legado del Fantasma

The Legado del Fantasma trio of Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza were in the ring in suits for a promo. Escobar complained about Bronson Reed attacking him last week (with a big splash against the barricade). Escobar said he was going to make Reed pay.

Bronson Reed, the NXT North American Champion, showed up for the interruption. Reed asked for a replay of what he did to Santos last week. Reed asked to see it again to humiliate Escobar and they showed it on the different screens in the building. Escobar dared Reed to come into the ring right now and do it again. Reed walked down to the ring, but he was joined by NXT Tag Team Champions MSK. There was a face off between the six men and then the Legado trio left the ring.

Escobar said that he’s going to take Reed’s North American Title and Wilde/Mendoza will take the Tag Team Titles. Escobar suggested that they put all of the titles on the line in one match. It’s a Winner Take All match. There was yet another replay of Reed squashing Escobar from last week.

It was made official for NXT Takeover In Your House: Winner Take All Match for NXT North American and NXT Tag Team Championships: Bronson Reed (c) & MSK (c) vs. Legado del Fantasma – Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza

Analysis: I think the champions will retain because Reed has only had the title for a few weeks while MSK’s title run is still in its early stages as well. It should be an excellent six-man tag team match with a lot on the line. I’m not a big fan of putting a singles title up for grabs in a tag team match, but at least in this case, it makes sense.

The Hit Row group led by Isaiah “Swerve” Scott entered with his group. They had a staredown with the Legado boys and then a staredown with Bronson/MSK as well.

(Commercial)

There was a video featuring WWE superstars encouraging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Killian Dain entered with Drake Maverick. Wade Barrett said that he would host a global press conference with Todd Pettengill for NXT Takeover In Your House on Saturday at 11am ET. The graphic showed the key wrestlers in top matches at Takeover on Sunday. It’s available on Peacock/WWE Network if you want to watch it.

Isaiah “Swerve” Scott (w/Top Dolla, Ashante “Thee” Adonis & B-Fab) vs. Killian Dain (w/Drake Maverick)

This was set up based on a confrontation last week. Dain was in control with an armbar leading to a shoulder tackle. Scott with a kick to the body followed by a slap to the back of the head. Scott to the floor, Dain teased a dive to the floor, but Hit Row moved. Scott got in a cheap shot to the back and then Dain hit a clothesline on Scott. Dain with a clothesline on the apron, B-Fab distracted Dain and Scott kicked Dain out of the ring. Scott with a running kick while on the apron. Scott applied a chinlock, then a kick to the face and then Dain came back with strikes along with uppercuts. Dain whipped Scott into the turnbuckle followed by a lefty clothesline. Scott used his speed to avoid Dain, but then Dain hit a running cross body block to take him down for a two count. Scott with a slap to the back, then he rolled around the ring to avoid Dain and hit a jumping flatliner. Scott hit a jumping kick to the head for a two count. Good nearfall there. Dain slammed Scott off the shoulders and then Adonis tried to get involved, so Drake hit a dive onto Adonis. Top Dolla slammed Drake onto the apron. Dolla faced off with Dain, who went up to the turnbuckle and Scott kicked Dain in the leg. Swerve hit a running kick to the head for the pinfall win after seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid match with the bigger man Dain working well with the more athletic Scott. I like that Scott got the win so that his push can continue as a young heel wrestler that’s on the rise. Scott is one of my favorite guys to watch because he looks so comfortable in the heel role and has a lot of athleticism in the ring.

Killian Dain vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott: WWE NXT, June 8, 2021

They showed Grammy award nominated artist Poppy walking down a hallway in the backstage area.

Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell, the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions, were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Candice didn’t like the attention that Poppy was getting. Hartwell said that she heard that Dexter put on the headphones and cried, so he loves her. Candice wondered why this is still happening, then she left too.

(Commercial)

Cameron Grimes was shown hanging out at a house where he did a cannonball dive into a pool. Grimes was burning a $100 billion and smoking a cigar, but he was coughing while smoking it. Grimes was shown getting a massage and even delivering a massage. Grimes had an expensive car while saying he’ll carry on that Million Dollar Legacy to the moon.

Mercedes Martinez made an entrance for a match, but Xia Li attacked Martinez from behind. Li worked over Martinez with kicks to the body and tossed Martinez into the ring. Martinez fought back against Li and kicked her out of the ring. Martinez tossed Li over the barricade and then other referees showed up to take Li to the back.

Mercedes Martinez vs. Woman With No Chance

Martinez hit a running knee and an Air Raid Crash slam to the win in about 20 seconds.

Analysis: Just a squash to put over Martinez. The brawl before the match was done to hype up their Takeover match and show that Martinez could overcome that to win her match easily.

The Breezango duo of Tyler Breeze and Fandango were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Fandango was proud of his silly shirt. They did a promo about how Imperium is coming after them. Breeze said that there were sour grapes since Breezango beat them to win the NXT Tag Team Titles last year.

Ted Dibiase was shown backstage for a segment up next.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage scene with Triple H and William Regal talking to Poppy. Hunter thanked her for allowing them to use her music. Hunter asked when her album drops, so Poppy said right now. Poppy touched a button on her phone, so her new album is out. Hunter said technology is amazing and he loved it. Dexter Lumis showed up with a drawing for Poppy, who thanked him for it. Poppy hugged Lumis with Hunter and Regal reacting to it. Indi Hartwell walked into the scene, saw Dexter hugging Poppy and Indi left sad. Dexter had the usual blank stare on his face. Hunter: “Little awkward.”

Analysis: Poor Indi. That was mildly funny and also a good way to promote Poppy’s new album if you’re into that sort of thing.

Cameron Grimes was shown arriving in his expensive car and LA Knight drove up in his expensive car as well. Ted Dibiase’s limousine was there as well. Grimes and Knight were shown walking from the parking lot, into the building and down to the ring.

Ted Dibiase’s Priceless Announcement

The WWE Hall of Famer “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase called for Cameron Grimes and LA Knight to join him in the ring. Knight and Grimes went down to the ring.

Dibiase said that this Sunday is the ultimate test. Dibiase said it’s time for them to literally climb the ladder of success. A solid gold ladder (with dollar signs on it) descended from the roof. Dibiase told them they are going to have a Ladder Match.

Knight said that he stands head and shoulders above everybody. Knight said that there is no hill he won’t climb or hillbilly he won’t step on because there’s only one man to carry on the Million Dollar Legacy. Grimes said he may be a hillbilly, a little smelly, but he’s worth a million. Grimes said that when he’s in between these ropes and in front of these people, he cannot be beaten. Grimes said that you can take his money, take his fame because he’s going to take that Million Dollar Legacy…to the moon. Grimes asked him what he’s reaching for.

Dibiase asked some guys to bring in the prize, which was in a briefcase.  The briefcase was opened to reveal the legendary Million Dollar Title that Dibiase created for over 30 years ago. Ted told them this Sunday at In Your House, whoever wins the Ladder Match will become the new Million Dollar Champion. Dibiase did his legendary laugh while Knight/Grimes had a staredown.

Analysis: That was well done in terms of making the match feel like a bigger deal. The Million Dollar Title is something that was big when Dibiase wrestled, then it went away for a lot of years, then WWE tried to put it on Ted’s son Ted Jr., but that didn’t really work that well. Now it’s back with Knight or Grimes as the next Million Dollar Champion. Both guys went into this rivalry as heels although based on how he does promos of late, I think we can consider Grimes more of a babyface now. It doesn’t matter that much really, but I think Grimes is the more likable of the two characters. Anyway, either guy could win at Takeover. I think Knight probably should win, but if it’s Grimes that’s cool with me too. I like both guys a lot.

Ted DiBiase puts the Million Dollar Title on the line at TakeOver: WWE NXT, June 8, 2021

There was a backstage scene with Karrion Kross and Kyle O’Reilly being separated by security. William Regal was between them trying to get them to calm down.

(Commercial)

There was a video with the Ever-Rise tag team talking about how they are hosting the pre-show before the pre-show on WWE social and digital platforms. Ever-Ruse rules.

The announcers talked about how the Million Dollar Championship Ladder Match is now official between Cameron Grimes and LA Knight.

Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) vs. August Grey & Ikemen Jiro

Gibson with an armbar on Grey early on and then Grey did a headscissors. Jiro tagged in with a hard forearm to the face. Jiro jumped off the top with his legs around the head of Gibson for the takedown. Jiro wrestles with a blue jacket on. Drake tagged with a dropkick, Gibson with a kick and Drake jumped off Grey with a jumping kick. Drake with a kick to the back of the left leg. Gibson tagged in for a double team body slam into the ropes to work on the left leg again. Drake was back in with a dragon screw leg whip and then pulled on the left leg. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher showed up at ringside to watch the match since they have a rivalry against GYV. Grey tagged in with a jawbreaker, neckbreaker and a running chop. Grey with a bulldog on Drake. Grey walked across the top rope with a cross body block. Drake came back with a lefty clothesline and knocked Jiro off the apron. Gibson tagged in for the Ticket to Mayhem double team move for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake)

Analysis: ** Just a basic match to give GYV a much-needed win since they haven’t wrestled on NXT in a few weeks at least. GYV are one of my favorite teams in all of WWE because they work so well together.

Gibson and Drake did a promo with Gibson saying that they are done with them. Gibson said that they are there for the NXT Tag Team Titles. Ciampa said that GYV isn’t getting a title shot until they go through Ciampa and Thatcher. Gibson said that if it’s a scrap you want then it’s a scrap you get. Gibson suggested a Tornado Rules Tag Team Match. Ciampa said that they happen to love tornadoes, they don’t need tags and they don’t need to wait until next week. When Ciampa and Thatcher got into the ring, Gibson and Drake left. Thatcher said that he’ll enjoy breaking their limbs.

Analysis: That’s a big tag team match for next week with Tornado Tag Team Match rules for it. I like it. They have been building to having another match for several weeks now, so it should be very good as usual. A win for either team is fine with me, but I think GYV winning makes more sense although I like Ciampa/Thatcher as a team too. I find myself saying that a lot about these NXT matches because there are so many good performers on the show.

Candice LeRae was shown walking backstage.

(Commercial)

They showed a clip from two weeks ago when Oney Lorcan beat up Bobby Fish, who lost a match to Pete Dunne.

Bobby Fish was shown working out in a gym. Fish warned Lorcan that he hasn’t forgotten about him. I assume we get that match in a few weeks.

Let’s Hear from Candice LeRae

Candice LeRae made her entrance alone as one half of the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. Candice said she is so sick of hearing about Poppy. Candice said because of Poppy, Indi Hartwell has left the building because she is devastated. Candice said that Poppy can face her in the ring right now or Candice can give her a proper introduction to the NXT parking lot.

Poppy the singer made her entrance with smoke filling the arena. Poppy said she doesn’t wrestle, but she knows somebody who does. It’s Io Shirai making her return! Good to see Io back after taking off for about a month or so.

Io Shirai went into the ring and hit a flapjack on Candice followed by Shirai hitting a 619 kick. Shirai went up top and hit a missile dropkick on Candice to knock her out of the ring. Poppy celebrated with Shirai.

Analysis: Welcome back Io Shirai. It’s a good way to bring her back. I don’t know if she went back home to Japan while she was gone, but it’s nice to see her on the show again.

Dok Hendrix (Michael Hayes) did another “Slam Jam” update for NXT Takeover In Your House on Sunday. Dok yelled about all of the matches advertised for the show.

The NXT Takeover Pre-Show will have Sam Roberts, Justin Barrasso and Arash Markazi. They did not announce a match for it.

(Commercial)

They showed a clip from during the commercial break with NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez having a staredown with former champion Io Shirai with Poppy.

Ember Moon vs. Dakota Kai (w/Raquel Gonzalez)

Moon challenges Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT Takeover In Your House this Sunday.

Moon and Kai locked up in going into the turnbuckle, Kai broke free and sent Moon into the middle turnbuckle. Kai with a running kick for two. Kai with a whip into the turnbuckle and another running kick got a two count. Moon with an armdrag takedown followed by a dropkick. Moon hit a flatliner for two. Moon with a snapmare into a kick to the back. Moon sent Kai into the turnbuckle, then a corner splash. Kai went to the apron, Moon with a forearm to the back and Kai swung Moon around by the ring post so that Moon’s head hit the ring post.

(Commercial)

Moon was making her comeback with a clothesline and dropkick. Moon with a snapmare into a double knee attack for two. Kai with a forearm to the face followed by a pump kick. Moon ducked a Kai attack and Moon with a kick to the back. Moon with a flipping Stunner for two. Moon with a Dragon Sleeper attempt, Kai countered it and hit a twisting neckbreaker for two. Kai with more kicks including another running kick to the head for two. Moon with an elbow to get out of a move and Moon hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. Kai let the ring, Gonzalez checked on her and Moon left the ring to hit Gonzalez with a punch to the face. Moon sent Kai out of the ring. Moon hit a suicide dive to take down Kai/Gonzalez on the floor. Moon with a kick to the head of Kai, Moon went up top and Gonzalez kicked Moon off the top to the floor for the DQ finish after 13 minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Ember Moon

Analysis: **3/4 A pretty good match with a weak finish. I knew the DQ finish was a possibility, but I think they should have had Moon win clean going into her title match at Takeover on Sunday. Kai really likes the kicks since she hit Moon with about a dozen different kicks in the match.

Post match,  Moon went back into the ring. Moon managed to kick Kai out of the ring, but then Gonzalez knocked her down. Moon countered a Powerbomb attempt by Gonzalez into a Stunner variation. Moon draped Raquel’s neck against the top rope. Moon hit the Eclipse (Stunner) off the top on Gonzalez. Moon held up the NXT Women’s Title and dropped it on Gonzalez. Moon left triumphantly.

Ember Moon vs. Dakota Kai w/Raquel Gonzalez: WWE NXT, June 8, 2021

Analysis: The post match angle is why Moon didn’t win clean. They clearly wanted to have moon save The Eclipse for Gonzalez after the match instead of during the match. It worked as a way to show that Moon is a threat to Gonzalez. Do I think Moon will beat Gonzalez to win the NXT Women’s Title? Nope. Gonzalez should retain.

The NXT Champion Karrion Kross was backstage with Scarlett. Kross said that his four opponents have the opportunity to be face to face with him. Kross said that they have an opportunity to show the world what you can really do. Kross: “Don’t be late. Tick tock.”

(Commercial)

Next week on NXT: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher vs. Grizzled Young Veterans in a Tornado Tag Team Match.

Fatal 5-Way Face-Off

The NXT Champion Karrion Kross was in the ring with Scarlett. NXT GM William Regal told Kross that this isn’t happening now. Kross said that you don’t run anything and that this show has been out of control for a very long time. Kross said this is his world. Kross said he’s not leaving this ring until the four of them face him right now.

Kyle O’Reilly said that Kross has thin skin. Kyle told Kross he’s insecure because knows it’s only a matter of time until a guy like Kyle takes the title from Kross.

Johnny Gargano appeared in the back part of the arena and stood on the announce table. Gargano mocked Kyle wearing a jean jacket. Johnny said that everybody knows Kross isn’t Johnny Wrestling or Johnny Takeover. Gargano said that Kross should choke out Kyle right now.

Kross called Gargano a “mark” and tried to threaten him, but Pete Dunne showed up. Dunne said he’s tired of waiting, so he’ll show them why he’s the baddest man in NXT.

Adam Cole appeared on the video screen doing a promo. Cole called Kross a big moron that he beat last week when he verbally annihilated Kross to his face and Kross did nothing. Cole ripped on the other guys in the match, then told Kross that his championship reign has been a big disappointment.

Kyle said that Cole is too much of a bit to be there tonight. Kyle slapped Kross, so the fight was on with Kross hitting a forearm. There were security guys (NXT developmental wrestlers) trying to break it up, but that didn’t work. Kross with a forearm to Kyle and then Kross went crazy giving Saito Suplexes to four guys in a row. Kross with a kick that knocked down Kyle. Security held Kross, so Gargano and Dunne hit kicks on Kross. Kyle with a running boot on Kross. That led to Gargano, Dunne and Kyle hitting eachother, but then Kross hit Cole in the back with a forearm. Adam Cole showed up with two superkicks to Kross followed by the Last Shot knee to the back. Cole held up the NXT Title while Kross was down along with the other competitors in the Takeover In Your House match. Cole: “Adam Cole bay-bay.” Cole stared at his title again and that was it.

Analysis: I liked this. If you’re going to go with a non-wrestling segment in the main event then it should be done to promote a big match at an upcoming PPV. It’s certainly better than having a wrestler screaming about how they are scared about a stupid doll. Anyway, I like how Kross was confident, then he had confidence as he took out everybody around him…until Adam Cole showed up. Cole has been booked well as one of the smartest guys in the match due to his promos, his cheap attack here and being a former champion. I think this fighting segment was a nice preview of how chaotic the main event is going to beat Takeover In Your House when they have the Fatal 5-Way Match. I’ll save my prediction for our preview.

5-Way TakeOver: In Your House Face-Off: WWE NXT, June 8, 2021

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Karrion Kross
  2. Adam Cole
  3. Ember Moon

There really wasn’t one standout performer this week. A lot of balance by the NXT crew.

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.75

2021 Average: 7.52

 

Final Thoughts

It was an action-filled episode of NXT this week. Lots of brawling around the building and even backstage as well. The match quality wasn’t as strong as their better shows because they are saving it for Takeover on Sunday, but I thought there were a lot of entertaining segments. The brawl with the five guys in the main event was a nice tease of what’s to come at Takeover. Adam Cole continues to be booked like the smartest guy in the match with another cheap attack.

There were a lot of promos this week to build to the Takeover matches. I thought Ted Dibiase did a nice job in talking about the Ladder Match at Takeover between LA Knight & Cameron Grimes. The promo to set up the six-man tag at Takeover was also really good because they didn’t drag on too much. They made their points well and the match was set up quickly. When I watch Raw, sometimes promos go too long because it’s a three-hour show. In NXT, they always make the most of the time they are given.

I’m looking forward to Takeover on Sunday. Look out for our preview on Saturday morning and then I’ll have a live review on TJRWrestling on Sunday night as well.

Here’s the NXT Takeover In Your House lineup on Sunday, June 13:

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 Championship: Raquel Gonzalez (c) vs. Ember Moon

Winner Take All Match for NXT North American and NXT Tag Team Championships: Bronson Reed (c) & MSK (c) vs. Legado del Fantasma – Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza

(Note: Reed is the NXT North American Champion and MSK are the NXT Tag Team Champions. If their team loses this one fall match then Escobar will be the NXT North American Champion and Wilde/Mendoza will be the NXT Tag Team Champions.)

Ladder Match for the Million Dollar Championship: LA Knight vs. Cameron Grimes

Xia Li vs. Mercedes Martinez

You can watch NXT TakeOver: In Your House at 8 ET/5 PT, streaming exclusively on Peacock in the U.S. and on WWE Network elsewhere. We will have a TJRWrestling preview of NXT Takeover In Your House on Saturday morning and then on Sunday night, I’ll have a review of NXT Takeover In Your House as well.

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John Canton

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