NXT – August 26, 2020

Date: August 26, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Wade Barrett, Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix

We’re past Takeover: XXX and that means it’s time to get back to a little more normal around here. Karrion Kross is the new NXT Champion, Keith Lee is gone and Tommaso Ciampa is back so…maybe the normal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. This could be an interesting show, including a Tag Team Title match. Let’s get to it.

Takeover recap.

Here are Scarlett and Karrion Kross, with his arm in a sling, to open things up. Kross told us that he would become NXT Champion and that on the way there, everyone would suffer. That’s what he did at Takeover but when you go to war, you expect casualties. Hence his separated shoulder, which is going to prevent him from defending the NXT Title.

There are obstacles on the path, but to him, the obstacles are the path. Kross lays the title down and Scarlett puts the hourglass next to it. Kross says this changes nothing because everyone pays the toll. Tick tock. Well dang. This could get interesting in a hurry. That’s horrible to hear for Kross though as no one deserves that kind of an injury just after they reach the peak (so far) of their career.

Tag Team Titles: Imperium vs. Breezango

Breezango is challenging and jump the champs during the entrances. We get the opening bell with Breezango cleaning house until Barthel armbars Breeze down. That earns him a dropkick though and we take an early break. Back with Fandango fighting out of a chinlock but getting double teamed back down. That doesn’t last long as Fandango gets over for the hot tag to Breeze as the pace picks up.

A jumping knee rocks Barthel but Breeze has to avoid running into the referee. The delay lets Barthel hit a suplex, only to dive into the Beauty Shot for two. Aichner makes the save and comes in to pound away as he is known to do. Breeze knees him down though and Fandango tags himself in for the guillotine legdrop to Aichner. Barthel pulls him to the floor though, meaning Fandango hits a dive. That earns him a hard suplex on the floor though and we take a break.

Back with Fandango still in trouble as Aichner hits the middle rope moonsault for two. Breeze makes the save but gets uppercutted out to the floor as Barrett mentions wrestling with Breeze all the way back in FCW. Aichner and Barthel’s double team hits each other though and Breeze superkicks them both. Fandango comes in with the double Last Dance for the pin and the titles at 15:17.

Rating: C. They had to do something like this at some point as Breezango have lost and lost over the years. Throw in the fact that Imperium have been pretty worthless champions since they won the belts. It isn’t that they’re bad in the ring or anything close, but they haven’t been interesting and they have been downright forgetful at times. This was a necessary change and they picked a good night to do it.

The new champs dance on the announcers’ desk.

Damian Priest says the after party is still going. Cue Timothy Thatcher who seems to want a title shot.

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jake Atlas

Ciampa jumps him at the bell and unloads on him in the corner. Willow’s Bell finishes at 52 seconds.

Post match Ciampa destroys Atlas even more, including sending him knees first into the steps a few times. Ciampa even catapults him throat first into the bottom of the ring, meaning we need a stretcher job as the fans chant for Ciampa anyway. Since he’s extra evil, Ciampa pulls Atlas off the stretcher with another Willow’s Bell on the floor.

Candice LeRae talks about her friendship with Tegan Nox over the years, including going to a castle in Wales. Now Nox doesn’t get her anymore though, as Nox wasn’t there when Candice needed her. LeRae is going down the right path now and LeRae can do things the Gargano Way too. If she doesn’t want to though, just stay out of LeRae’s way. Has LeRae always been able to talk like this?

Bronson Reed thinks he should get the first NXT Title shot since he has beaten Damien Priest. Cue the returning Austin Theory to say Reed is taking some steps in the right direction and maybe he can have a title shot by the time he’s about fifty five. Reed slaps the taste out of his mouth.

Mia Yim vs. Mercedes Martinez

Hang on though as here are Robert Stone and Aliyah to say not so fast. Mercedes isn’t getting in the ring after that powerbomb from Rhea Ripley last week…and here’s Shotzi Blackheart to run Stone over with the tank again. We have a replacement.

Mia Yim vs. Shotzi Blackheart

Shotzi takes her down to start and hits Welcome To The Ball Pit but Yim is right back with a running hurricanrana. Mia rolls her up for two and they both catch kicks to the ribs. They set them down so Yim gets in a cheap shot and hammers away in the corner. A dragon screw legwhip out of the corner has Shotzi in more trouble with the knee banged up. Yim grabs a bow and arrow but Blackheart is back up with a discus forearm. That earns her a quick suplex as Yim throws her down again. Yim goes up but gets pulled down, setting up a backsplash to the back. A top rope backsplash finishes Yim at 4:31.

Rating: C-. The more I see of Shotzi, the more I like her. She has gone from looking like another strange wrestler with weird hair to being one of the more charismatic women in the division. I can’t imagine that she is going to be near the top of the division anytime soon, but there is nothing wrong with having a star in the making. Not the greatest match, but it’s a big win for Blackheart and that’s a good sign.

William Regal has a decision on the NXT Title.

Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez say they’re a team but Kai promises to become NXT Women’s Champion. As for tonight, Gonzalez is ready to settle things with Rhea Ripley.

Here’s Regal to announce a solution to the NXT Title. It is a shame that Kross had to vacate the title and Regal wishes him the best on his long recovery. As for the title though, there will be a four way match next week (on Tuesday) to crown a new champion. The four of them can all claim to be the best ever in NXT and they could all claim to be the face of NXT. Those four are Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Finn Balor and Adam Cole. Oh and for a bonus: it’s a four way, sixty minute Iron Man match.

Barrett is so excited that he will be back next week to call the match.

Cruiserweight Title: Isaiah Scott vs. Santos Escobar

Escobar is defending and is on his own this week. Scott wastes no time in hurricanranaing him out to the floor and we take an early break. Back with Escobar working a headlock but getting reversed into something like a Gory Stretch. That’s broken up so Scott goes for the short armscissors which sends Escobar to the floor. Escobar catches him with a toss from the apron into the Plexiglas though and Scott is in trouble.

A drop onto the steps gives Escobar two back inside and the pace slows down a bit. Scott manages to grab a knuckle lock and they both go to the middle rope. That means an attempt at a jumping hurricanrana from Scott but Escobar reverses into a super sitout powerbomb for another near fall as we take another break. Back with Escobar hammering away against the ropes but Scott reverses and unloads in the corner. A backbreaker sends Escobar outside again and the Fosbury Flop takes him down.

Back in and the rolling Downward Spiral gives Scott two more but here is the rest of Legado for the distraction. A jumping superkick gives Escobar two so here is Breezango to take out Legado. Scott’s jumping knee to the face gets two and a bridging German suplex is good for the same. The House Call gives Scott another two and a flipping slam out of the corner gets yet another near fall. Escobar bails to the floor and puts on a mask, which seems to be loaded. A headbutt knocks Scott silly to retain the title at 16:45.

Rating: B-. They did a nice job here and the false finish off the Legado interference was well done. Escobar cheating on his own to retain gives him another way to keep the title and that’s a good thing for him. You can have the goons if you want but at some point you have to win on your own, which he did here (cheating included). Scott could get a rematch and that’s a good thing, mainly because I’m not sure who else there is to go after the title.

Johnny Gargano is ready to go after the title and remind everyone who he is. He has been the Iron Man for years and next Tuesday, he’ll have the title to prove it.

Finn Balor says he’ll rise to the occasion. Next week the four cornerstones are ready to fight but he’ll prove that he is the centerpiece.

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Drake Maverick

Fallout from the Undisputed Era interrupting Maverick’s match and Bobby Fish/Roderick Strong are here too. Maverick unloads on him to start and dropkicks the knee to send O’Reilly outside. The big flip dive from the top takes out the rest of the Era but O’Reilly is back with the strikes inside. Maverick’s comeback is cut off with a whip into the corner and the striking continues. A quick Underdog attempt is countered though and O’Reilly rolls into an Achilles Lock. Maverick hammers away but can’t get out, forcing the tap at 3:27.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t bad while it lasted and that’s a good sign for Maverick. Even when he’s losing (in other words, every time he isn’t on 205 Live), he has a lot of energy going in the ring and that’s something you can always go for. The match was more about O’Reilly than anything else, but Maverick looked good in defeat.

Post match the beatdown is on but O’Reilly tries to call off the troops. Cue Killian Dain (who Maverick was facing when the Era interfered two weeks ago) for the save. Maverick pulls himself up but Dain beats him up as well.

We look back at the Women’s Title match at Takeover.

Rhea Ripley is ready for Raquel Gonzalez.

Adam Cole is glad to be done with Pat McAfee and is ready to get his title back. He is the Iron Man and that is undisputed.

Io Shirai/Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai/Raquel Gonzalez

Ripley throws Kai aside to start and gets the big lockup with Gonzalez. A headbutt rocks Gonzalez so she shoves Ripley into the corner, where Shirai tags herself in. The middle rope hurricanrana sends Gonzalez outside and we take a break. Back with Ripley swinging away at Kai but getting pulled to the floor by Gonzalez. That means a ram into various things and they head back inside to keep up the beating.

Kai grabs a rollup for two and slaps on a seated abdominal stretch. Gonzalez comes back in but gets kicked in the head by Rhea, allowing the hot tag to Shirai. Everything breaks down and Shirai hits the running knees in the corner to Gonzalez, followed by a 619 to Kai. A scorpion kick gets Kai out of trouble but Shirai blocks the Kairopractor. Shirai’s German suplex gets two but Gonzalez takes her back into the corner.

Shirai tries to dive over for the hot tag but the referee doesn’t see it, meaning she is taken back over to keep up the beating. Cue Mercedes Martinez to pull Ripley off the apron and Gonzalez plants Kai with a spinning powerslam for two. Ripley is back up to take the tag but she trips on her way in and gets kicked in the face. Gonzalez’s powerbomb finishes Ripley at 10:03.

Rating: C. Things are getting interesting in this division as they have multiple stories going on but they are starting to tie together at the same time. Gonzalez pinning Ripley, even with some cheating, is going to be a good deal as she and Kai continue the Diesel/Shawn formula. Throw in Kai and the title plus Martinez and you might have some good things going on in a hurry.

Overall Rating: B-. So last week’s show was rather slow paced and didn’t have much going on. This was the polar opposite and that is a great thing, because they hit the ground running coming out of Takeover. Now that being said, it is a shame to see this happen after Kross’ injury because that is never a good thing to see. Almost everything else worked well though with a title match, a return, and the announcement of a huge match for next week. Solid, energized show here and if the in-ring product was better, they could have had a great one.


Breezango b. Imperium – Last Dance to Aichner

Tommaso Ciampa b. Jake Atlas – Willow’s Bell

Shotzi Blackheart b. Mia Yim – Top rope backsplash

Santos Escobar b. Isaiah Scott – Headbutt with a loaded mask

Kyle O’Reilly b. Drake Maverick – Achilles lock

Dakota Kai/Raquel Gonzalez b. Rhea Ripley/Io Shirai – Pumphandle powerbomb to Ripley



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