Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. Obviously the big news that came from NXT since our last go-round was that it was announced that Takeover: Houston will be headlined by WarGames. It will be the two-ring classic incarnation. This is my all-time favorite gimmick match and I am strongly considering travelling from Dallas to Houston to go see this live. It’s gotten quite the buzz since getting announced, so it was smart of the brand to get it out there before tickets went on sale. It’ll be interesting to see how we get to WarGames and that all starts tonight, so let’s get to it.
The show starts with a video package hyping the start of three qualifying matches to join Kairi Sane at Takeover: Houston to be a part of the NXT Women’s Title Match that night.
Takeover: Houston Qualifying Match
Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross vs. Liv Morgan
Nikki has her own version of the Sanity theme which is pretty cool. Nikki grabs Liv’s arm and forces her to do a double clothesline that sends Peyton over the top rope. Liv with a headscissors on Nikki. Peyton gets back in but promptly goes back out. Nikki mounts Liv and doesn’t really have a hold on, but just doing what Nikki does. Peyton is back in and Nikki tries to cross body both at the same time, but her opponents catch her and dump her to the mat. She goes to the outside and now Peyton and Liv fight in the ring. Peyton with a hair pull that sends Liv to the mat. Peyton hooks her version of The Tarantula on Liv until Nikki makes her break it. Nikki goes to the top rope and dropkicks Liv, who was pulled in the way by Peyton. Nikki knocks Billie Kay off the apron and then beats down Liv in the corner. Liv comes back to get Nikki off of Peyton, but then Nikki hits a cross body block, followed by a neckbreaker on Liv. Nikki goes to set Liv up on the top rope but Peyton cuts her off before she can do anything. Peyton ends up going to follow Liv and wants a superplex but here goes the Tower of Doom as Nikki powerbombs Peyton.
The Undisputed Era shows up with Taynara Conti from the Mae Young Classic. They’re giving her a pep talk for something and then she walks down and interferes with Nikki. Peyton tries to take advantage but Nikki hits a modified neckbreaker instead. Liv breaks up the pin but Nikki then sets her up on the top rope and hits the Roll of the Dice. Conti now pulls Nikki off the pin! Nikki chases her around the ring, ends up getting back in the ring and Peyton is there waiting with her spinning heel kick. She nails her version of the Perfect Plex and Peyton Royce is headed to Takeover.
Winner: Peyton Royce
K-Tank’s Take: A surprising result to many I’m sure, but I’m happy for Peyton. I’ve advocated for the Iconic Duo to stay in the spotlight and obviously they will now. I think it’s safe to say that one of the two spots left will be Ember Moon, so that 4th spot should be really interesting now. The Conti run-in was random and just explained in a WWE.com video with The Undisputed Era basically telling Conti they have no use for her anymore even though she felt they had a deal.
Lio Rush vs. The Velveteen Dream
TVD wants to talk some trash and Lio just slaps him silly. Lio then shows all sorts of quickness and agility that brings the crowd to their feet. It was lightning fast. He finishes with a couple kicks and then a clothesline in the corner. TVD rebounds quickly though and sends Lio hard into the opposite turnbuckle. TVD punishes Lio with a clothesline and axhandle smashes. A delayed backbreaker gets a two count. Lio ducks another clothesline and tries to steal a pin but TVD kicks out. Lio comes back with a tilt-a-whirl DDT that gets another two count. TVD comes back though with his cartwheel DVD. He goes to the top rope, hits the Purple Rainmaker and that gets the win.
Winner: The Velveteen Dream
Post match, TVD sits down in Aleister Black’s pose and tells him to “say my name”.
K-Tank’s Take: I still say the cartwheel DVD should be his finisher, but at least the elbow drop has looked better as of late. Now that TVD has a storyline to invest in, I really like his character. He and Black have a really interesting angle brewing.
We go to a recap of two weeks ago when Lars Sullivan took out Oney Lorcan until Danny Burch came out and made the save.
Lars Sullivan vs. Danny Burch
Burch walks right up to Sullivan and slaps him across the face. Sullivan just gets angry and drops him with a knee to the gut. Burch with a right hand but Sullivan charges and drills him with a shoulder tackle. Sullivan with multiple cross face smashes. Sullivan with an avalanche splash in the corner. Sullivan then connects with a delayed vertical suplex. Burch slides out of a powerslam and gets some European uppercuts in but promptly gets laid out with a lariat. Sullivan then lands his side spinebuster and that’s the match.
Winner: Lars Sullivan
K-Tank’s Take: Not much to this. I just hope Burch and Lorcan become a tag team soon.
We go to a recap of the finish to last week’s NXT Title match between Drew McIntyre and Roddy Strong. There will be an exclusive interview with McIntyre next week on NXT.
The Street Profits vs. Marcos Espada & Damien Smith
Montez Ford and Smith start the match. Smith is… small, so Ford starts on his knees to mock him. Angelo Dawkins makes a blind tag and the Profits go for the old World’s Greatest Tag Team double team leapfrog. Ford’s mannerisms afterwards just can’t be described with words. Just like that, Dawkins sets up Smith for his 360 avalanche splash, Ford to the top with the Frog Splash and that’s it.
Winners: The Street Profits
Post match, The Profits go into the crowd to celebrate.
K-Tank’s Take: I love these guys. Can’t say much more cause it was a short match, but they made every second entertaining.
Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/Zelina Vega)
This is a Takeover: Brooklyn rematch, which they came close to stealing the show. 16 minutes left in the show when the bell rings so they should be able to have a good match here as well. Both men with some good mat wrestling to start until they come to a stalemate and we have a reset. Almas catches Gargano with a back elbow and shoulder tackle. Almas tries to pose in the ropes but Gargano grabs him and tries to lock on the Gargano Escape. Almas gets out and goes to the floor to regroup. Gargano with some chops and then comes off the ropes with a running hurricanrana and then a dropkick. Both men trade slaps in the corner. They end up on the apron and Almas attempts a suplex, Gargano blocks it, but Almas comes back with a big boot and then hits a Reality Check on the apron. We go to commercial.
We return with Almas tying up Gargano in the ropes with an armbar until it has to be broken. Almas follows with a seated dropkick but Gargano kicks out of a pin. Gargano with an armbar DDT and then both men trade shots. Gargano lands an enziguri out of the corner. Gargano goes to the second rope and jumps off with a tornado flatliner. Gargano goes for his spear through the ropes but Almas catches him for a DDT. Gargano fights it off and back body drops Almas to the floor. Gargano then gets a running start and dives through the ropes taking out Almas. Almas catches Gargano with another big boot once they’re back in the ring. Almas sets up for a tornado reverse DDT but Gargano reverses it into a somersault sitout crucifix bomb. Almas wants a dragon suplex but Gargano escapes but Almas turns it into a pin. Gargano kicks out but then gets up and caught in a trap German suplex. Almas wants his Hammerlock DDT but Gargano fights out. Almas goes for the armbar in the ropes again but Gargano gets out and kicks Almas right in the face. Almas catches Gargano with a back elbow and then both men start trading some stiff shots. Gargano lands a superkick but Almas was able to kick out. Gargano crawls to the top rope but Almas pushes the ref into the ropes, which crotches Gargano. Almas then tries to do the Hammerlock DDT off the top rope but Gargano escapes once again. Gargano tries a sunset flip powerbomb but Almas lands on his feet, but Gargano follows up with a big lariat. Gargano lawn darts Almas into the second rope and then hits a rolling crucifix pin bomb. Gargano is able to lock on the Gargano Escape and Vega takes off her jacket to show a DIY shirt underneath. Gargano says he’s not phased this time but Almas makes it to the ropes. Vega gets on the apron and Gargano says the same thing but Almas tries to steal a win from behind. Gargano kicks out. They trade pins and then Gargano goes for his headscissors into the Gargano Escape but Almas tosses him into the turnbuckles instead. Gargano is face first in the bottom turnbuckle and Almas hits not one but two running knees into the back of Gargano. Almas gets him up and is able to his land his Hammerlock DDT. 1-2-3, Almas is 2-0 over Gargano now.
Winner: Andrade Almas
That ends our show.
K-Tank’s Take: Not as good as their Takeover match, but a strong match nonetheless. The DIY curse strikes again. There was a video on WWE.com after the show that showed Regal trying to talk some confidence into Gargano. He said in two weeks he’s going to give Gargano another chance to prove he’s one of the best in the world. No opponent was named though.
They announced next week that it’ll finally be 3 on 3, The Undisputed Era vs. Sanity. That should be awesome. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me.