NXT – August 12, 2020

NXT
Date: August 12, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, Mauro Ranallo

We’re coming up on Takeover and that means most of the card is either set or more or less set. We still need to figure out what the heck is going on with the ladder match as last week saw a change to the lineup. Other than that, we have the build towards Karrion Kross vs. Keith Lee in the big hoss fight. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Karrion Kross vs. Danny Burch

We get the full entrance for Kross as he continues to look like the biggest star in the world. Burch says ring the bell and goes right at Kross with a dropkick. A clothesline puts Kross on the floor but Kross pulls him outside and hits a two handed chokeslam. Back in and Kross talks trash while slowly hammering away, as should be the case with him. There’s the exploder but Burch manages an enziguri out of the corner.

Burch hits the missile dropkick out of the corner into a German suplex. A second German suplex sets up the Crossface but Kross rolls….well right into the middle of the ring without breaking the hold. That’s countered into a pair of Doomsday Saitos, followed by the Krossjacket for the win at 4:59.

Rating: C. Burch got in some offense here but the point was to make Kross look like a killer in the end, which is exactly what they did. They’re setting up a good main event for Takeover as it’s hard to imagine either Kross or Keith Lee actually losing a match. That’s what you’re supposed to do and if the hoss fight is that good, they’ll be more than fine.

Post match here’s Keith Lee with a contract in hand. His name is already signed and William Regal has approved, so Kross needs to sign sot hey can fight at Takeover. Scarlett takes the contract and Kross signs, with Scarlett kissing the contract and handing it back to Lee, who slowly picks it up. Lee opens the contract….and a fireball comes out to burn his face. Medics immediately hit the ring to take care of Lee and get him outside. Lee: “WHERE IS KROSS???” Lee keeps shouting to get him Kross as he is taken to the back and we get ready for the next match.

Drake Maverick vs. Killian Dain

We take a break just after the bell and come back to the Undisputed Era arriving in the parking lot. Back in the ring, Dain gets taken down with a big flip dive to the floor and Maverick heads up top. Maverick hits the top rope elbow but the Era comes in for the no contest (or double DQ) at 5:12. Not enough shown to rate and it was just a way to set up the Era’s promo anyway.

Post match Adam Cole gets rather serious and says he isn’t taking what Pat McAfee did to him last week because McAfee is in over his head. That’s why he wants McAfee here next week to see him face to face where the beating will be undisputed.

Video on Legado del Fantasma beating down Breezango last week.

Video on Kushida, who wants to be North American Champion.

Santos Escobar vs. Tyler Breeze

Non-title and Escobar sends his goons to the back. Escobar chops him down to start and kicks away at the chest. More kicks have Breeze down so Escobar can pose, allowing Breeze to hit a dropkick to the floor. Breeze makes the mistake of following him and gets his leg taken off, setting up a drop down onto the apron.

We take a break and come back with Breeze fighting out of a chinlock but walking into an atomic drop (you don’t see that one very often these days). A running knee to the face drops Breeze again but the Phantom Driver is countered. Breeze hits some running forearms in the corner and the Supermodel Kick, which draws out the rest of Legado del Fantasma. The distraction lets Escobar hit the Phantom Driver for the pin at 7:51.

Rating: C. I’ve always liked Breeze and Escobar is the first interesting thing to happen to the cruiserweight division in a long time. Or maybe it’s that he’s the first thing that they have treated as important in a long time. I’m curious to see who they build someone up to take the title from him and that’s going to be an interesting road to travel.

Post match the beatdown is on but Fandango limps to the ring with a stick for the save. That earns him another beatdown but Isaiah Scott comes down for the real save.

Video on Dakota Kai, who knows how to defeat Io Shirai. Kai is in Shirai’s head and knows how to outsmart her She’s coming to Takeover and leaving with the title.

Video on Ridge Holland.

Mia Yim vs. Indi Hartwell

Before she comes to the ring, Mia says she’s ready despite what happened to Lee. Hartwell shoulders her down to start but Mia knocks the knee out and hits a basement dropkick. There’s the Cannonball in the corner for two but Hartwell is back with a side slam for two. We hit a pretty weak looking chinlock (crank a bit Hartwell) and Hartwell pulls her down into it a second time.

A backpack Stunner gets Mia out of trouble but Hartwell grabs it for a third time. This time Mia shrugs her off so Hartwell elbows her in the face. Mia sweeps the legs and hammers away before muscling her up for a German suplex. With her patience running out, Mia grabs her by the arm and pulls her into something like a reverse cross armbreaker for the tap at 4:37.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t a great match but they had an idea there with Mia being distracted. It’s a relationship that you don’t need to have portrayed on screen but it makes sense here and it can add a dimension to Lee. I don’t need it to be a major moment, but it worked out well enough here as a reason to care about the match.

Finn Balor is ready to face whoever is left out of tonight’s triple threat because he’s getting the North American Title.

Video on Pat McAfee vs. Adam Cole, complete with a lot of the ESPN media coverage.

McAfee will be here next week.

Damian Priest vs. Bronson Reed

They glare at each other to start until Priest grabs him by the wrist. Reed gets in his own wristlock but Priest pulls him into an armbar with a crossface. Back up and Reed tells him to run the ropes, so Priest kicks him in the leg and then does just that. Reed knocks him down though and it’s time to slug it out. Priest leapfrogs him and this a jumping back elbow to the face as we’re in hoss fight mode.

Some discus forearms rock Reed but he catches Priest’s jumping elbow in the corner. A DDT plants Priest and sends him outside for a needed breather. We take a break and come back with Reed fighting out of a chinlock and hitting a splash in the corner. Priest is back with a bell clap but Reed throws him down with a twisting fall away slam. The backsplash gives Reed two so Priest comes back with a bunch of shots to the face.

A springboard flipping attack puts Reed down again and now the running elbow connects in the corner. Priest manages the Broken Arrow for two so Reed evens things up with a suplex. Back up and Priest hits a spinning kick to the head to win the slugout but his springboard is powerbombed out of the air. Reed goes up for the top rope splash but Priest rolls over (not away, as Reed mostly landed on Priest’s back). Back up and Priest loads up the Reckoning, only to have Reed sweep the legs and grab a jackknife cover for the pin at 11:28.

Rating: B. This is one of those match types that is always fun and that worked rather well here. I know I’m probably getting my hopes up for Reed but they’re giving him a chance here and that’s one of the best things that could happen to him. I’m really surprised by the win here, but what matters for Reed is what happens after the ladder match.

Priest is STUNNED.

Video on Io Shirai, who knows what Kai has been doing as of late. Kai has been smart and taking people out, but Kai is no match for her. Kai has ticked her off and that isn’t going to end well.

Video on Cameron Grimes, who is ready for the North American Title.

Kacy Catanzaro/Kayden Carter vs. Mercedes Martinez/Aliyah

Robert Stone is here with Martinez and Aliyah and offers Kacy a spot on the team. That earns Stone a slap to the face and Kacy hurricanranas Martinez out to the floor to start. A slingshot hilo gets two on Aliyah and a double basement superkick gets the same. Martinez is back up and tags herself in for a wheelbarrow into a cutter from Aliyah (cool) for two. We take a break and come back with Martinez coming in to hammers on Carter in the corner. Aliyah drops a leg for a few near falls but Carter kicks her in the head to bring in Kacy. Everything breaks down and Martinez grabs a quick Air Raid Crash to finish Kacy at 7:50.

Rating: C-. This was a fine way to help establish the Robert Stone Brand as a team who actually works well together, but at the same time, I’m not sure how much more proof you need for that. Martinez is destined for the big showdown with Rhea Ripley at Takeover and that could be a heck of a fight. Martinez is awesome and as annoying as it is that it took her this long to get here, it’s great to have her around.

Post match it’s Rhea Ripley coming out for the brawl but the numbers game gets the better of her. Cue Shotzi Blackheart for the save and the Stone Brand runs off.

We go to the Gargano house where Johnny is climbing a ladder while Candice reads a book to their dog. This turns into a rant about how Tegan Nox needs to be destroyed (with the camera being from the dog’s perspective). Johnny: “What kind of book are you reading?” Anyway, Johnny knows there are going to be talented people in the ladder match, but he has to be there too.

How can you have a Takeover without Johnny Takeover? He has a real qualifying match with Ridge Holland next week and he’ll go on to the ladder match he should have been in since the beginning. Gargano climbs the ladder and fixes a light before the two of them, both in POWER COUPLE suits, retire for the night.

Timothy Thatcher demonstrates an ankle lock at Thatch As Thatch Can school.

North American Title Match Qualifying Match: Kushida vs. Cameron Grimes vs. ???

We have a mystery entrant and….hokey smoke it’s Velveteen Dream. I’m actually stunned to see him as he was facing some of the most serious allegations in all of WWE. Unless I’ve missed it, WWE hasn’t said much of anything about him and he just disappeared from TV about two months ago. I’m going to assume that WWE hasn’t lost their freaking minds and have one heck of a pile of evidence proving his complete innocence, because there is no way that they are stupid enough to put him anywhere near a WWE logo without having a completely airtight answer to every single accusation against him.

Yes I said even WWE couldn’t be stupid enough to do something, because this would be about as dumb as you could get. Dream is facing accusations of some rather serious illegal activity and while it is possible he is innocent, there were quite a few people accusing him of doing similar things. If WWE has some been satisfied as to his innocence, they might want to make that public, because otherwise they are looking completely insane.

One way or another, WWE is going to have to explain something about this because a lot of people are going to going to be wanting some answers. I can’t imagine WWE is just going to let this go without making some kind of a statement as they all but have to on this. Maybe Dream is innocent and has proven it to WWE, but they might want to let others know, because otherwise it looks like they’re allowing him back on TV after giving him a two month vacation.

Oh yeah we have a match too.

Dream, with his blond goatee, gets knocked to the floor to start and Kushida arm wrings Grimes down hard onto his head. It’s Dream coming back in with a top rope ax handle to Kushida’s head for two but a tornado DDT plants Dream on the apron. Grimes crotches Kushida though and we take a break. Back with Kushida hitting a basement dropkick to Grimes and following it up with a running elbow in the corner. Dream comes back in but can’t hit the Dream Valley Driver on Kushida.

Instead everyone punches each other in the face and everyone is down. It’s Dream back up with a running clothesline to put Grimes on the floor, setting up a big dive to take him down again. Back in and the Dream Valley Driver connects on Kushida but Grimes pulls Dream out to the floor. The two fight outside until Kushida hits a big flip dive off the top onto Dream. Back in and Kushida pulls Grimes off the top and into the cross armbreaker but has to let go to catch Dream coming off the top. The Hoverboard Lock goes on Dream, who stands up, allowing Grimes to Cave In both of them and pin Kushida at 8:55.

Rating: C+. I’m still trying to get over the fact that Dream is back on TV as I wasn’t expecting to see him on WWE TV for a LONG time (if ever actually). Ignoring all of the allegations against him, Dream is an incredible talent and can be a player around here, but he isn’t exactly the same since the crowds went away. Grimes is a good choice to win, but Dream making the ladder match as well wouldn’t surprise me.

Post match Dream beats up Kushida, seemingly going heel again. Finn Balor, who will face Dream next week, comes out for the staredown to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This could have been worse, though there isn’t anything you need to see on the show. The best thing they did here was make the North American Title feel like a big deal, just by having a lot of people talk about how they wanted to win the title. The Lee angle worked (partially because commentary stayed completely quiet until the fire hit Lee) and I’m more interested in Takeover than I was before. My head is still kind of spinning off Dream though and I’m really interested in seeing the reaction to his return. Not a great show, but it was the moving forward to Takeover week.

Results

Karrion Kross b. Danny Burch – Krossjacket

Drake Maverick vs. Killian Dain went to a no contest when Undisputed Era interfered

Santos Escobar b. Tyler Breeze – Phantom Driver

Mia Yim b. Indi Hartwell – Reverse cross armbreaker

Bronson Reed b. Damian Priest – Top rope splash

Mercedes Martinez/Aliyah b. Kacy Catanzaro/Kayden Carter – Air Raid Crash to Catanzaro

Cameron Grimes b. Velveteen Dream and Kushida – Cave In to Kushida

 

 

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