Date: September 30, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Beth Phoenix, Tom Phillips
It’s the go home show for Takeover, though I’m not sure you would realize that the show is coming up so soon based on the last few weeks. That has been a combination of the last of time before the show and the Coronavirus outbreak, neither of which are exactly good things. I’m not sure what that means for Sunday but NXT knows how to do a last minute build. Let’s get to it.
Dakota Kai vs. Shotzi Blackheart
Raquel Gonzalez is here with Kai. Shotzi doesn’t care for the trash talk to start and takes her down for some early hammering. Back up and Kai misses a kick to the chest, allowing Shotzi to roll her up for two. WELCOME TO THE BALL PIT has Kai in trouble and Shotzi hits a Codebreaker to the arm for two more. Shotzi takes her down by the leg and puts on….I guess you would say a Gory Stretch with the legs tied up on the mat.
Kai is face first on the mat so Shotzi pops up to drop down onto her back for a pretty unique hold. Back up and Kai knocks her into the corner as the pace slows down a bit. A faceplant gives Kai two of her own and it’s time for some choking on the ropes. Kai misses a charge and gets sent into the ropes though, only to have Gonzalez offer a distraction. A backbreaker plants Blackheart and we take a break.
Back with Shotzi hitting a dropkick into the corner and scoring with a reverse Sling Blade. The reverse Cannonball against the ropes hits Kai’s back again but she gets up some knees in the corner. They head to the apron for a slugout with Shotzi scoring with a kick to the head. Sliced Bread onto the apron drops Kai, though Shotzi landing on her own head didn’t help things. Thankfully she’s ok so Gonzalez trips her down, drawing out Rhea Ripley to jump Gonzalez from behind. Back in and Shotzi avoids the running kick in the corner, setting up a rollup to pin Kai at 13:33.
Rating: C. That landing was rather scary but Shotzi got back up so it was all fine. The more I see of Shotzi, the more I like her and this was one of the bigger wins of her career. Above all else, she looks and seems different, which is going to help more than anything else. Kai continues to be rather good as well, making this a nice match which was brought down by having a bit too much going on with the interference.
We get a sitdown interview between Santos Escobar and Isaiah Scott. Isaiah talks about how he’s the only person to beat Escobar in NXT and he’ll win the title on Sunday. Escobar calls Scott a loose end that he’ll tie up at Takeover. The match will be fair, but Scott doesn’t seem convinced. Why does Escobar always have the bag of tricks or Legado del Fantasma? Escobar calls those excuses but Scott says he’s ready to showcase what he is really capable of. It’s time to reveal Escobar as a fraud, but Escobar says he’ll expose Scott as a failure. This got me a little more interested in the title match so it did what it was supposed to do.
We get a new video from the mystery person, this time riding a motorcycle and then looking at a flier for Takeover. They put that in their pocket and we cut to the scene from last week with the titles. We’ll find out who it is at Takeover.
It’s time for a Prime Target on Kyle O’Reilly, who took to wrestling like a fish takes to water. He loves NXT but he would be doing this for $5 every other weekend if that’s all he could do. The Undisputed Era is the best thing that ever happened to him and we get comments from Adam Cole, who is so proud of Kyle for trying to become champion. O’Reilly talks about how everything has been building to this Sunday. This is just a second wave of the Golden Prophecy and that is undisputed.
Tegan Nox has torn her ACL again. I’m not convinced she is ever wrestling again and that’s horrible.
Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano aren’t sad about Nox’s injury (Gargano: “She broke our TV, you tore her ACL. It’s even.”), but they are focused on achieving destiny on Sunday. It starts tonight with their mixed tag and they insult the interviewer after she leaves.
Here’s Cameron Grimes to say he had all of the chances last week but it was all taken away in a Gauntlet Eliminator. That couldn’t have been William Regal’s idea because Regal would come up with a better idea. So tonight it’s time for the Cameron Grimes Stepping Stone To The Moon match. Here’s our first opponent.
Cameron Grimes vs. Joey Pistachio
Pistachio apparently was in the 85 pound NCAA weight class and gets Caved In at 9 seconds. I think that’s MLW’s Ariel Dominguez, and given that his vest said Ariel Dominguez, I might be onto something here.
Grimes has another opponent but Ridge Holland jumps him from behind and takes his place.
Cameron Grimes vs. Ridge Holland
Ridge throws him around with a suplex and unloads with stomps, eventually getting DQ’d at 33 seconds. That worked, as Holland looked like a monster.
Austin Theory isn’t happy because he should have been in the Gauntlet Eliminator last week. He was 22 at Wrestlemania and Kyle O’Reilly is just now getting his NXT Title shot. Maybe O’Reilly should be catching up to him.
Kushida talks about how hard it was to move everything to America, including his family, but now the setup is complete and he can concentrate on the ring. Velveteen Dream will be his stepping stone at Takeover because the new Kushida is vicious.
Kushida vs. Tony Nese
Nese poses to start so Kushida kicks him in the face but Nese snaps the throat across the top. Back in and Kushida kicks him in the face, only to get caught in the pumphandle powerslam. That’s countered into an armbar, with Kushida bulldogging the arm down. A bunch of stomps set up the Hoverboard Lock to make Nese tap at 2:13.
Post match here’s Velveteen Dream on the screen. He thinks the spotlight will be too bright for Kushida on Sunday, but that’s where Dream puts on his best performances.
Cameron Grimes wants to know where William Regal is but runs into Dexter Lumis, who he calls a freak. Great, more Lumis.
Here’s Adam Cole to talk about how dominant Undisputed Era has been but what matters is people knew that if you crossed the team, you would pay. Then they lost those titles, but nothing has changed. They are the same Undisputed Era who won the first WarGames match in WWE history and they have dominated NXT like no one other. Austin Theory wants to talk trash about Kyle O’Reilly, so come say it to his face. Cue Theory, with Cole saying he can come face him right now or wait there so Cole can come face him.
Adam Cole vs. Austin Theory
Cole chops away to start and then stomps Theory down in the corner. A neckbreaker puts Theory down but the threat of a pump kick puts him on the floor. Cole follows him outside to hit the pump kick and then sends Theory hard into the steps. Back in and Cole scores with another kick to the face, setting up a neckbreaker for two. There’s a suplex and Cole really doesn’t seem impressed.
A dropkick to the leg in the ropes sets up a chinlock, with Theory trying to fight up, as he should. An elbow to the jaw cuts Theory down again but he gets to the apron for the rolling dropkick. We take a break and come back with Theory stomping away in the corner and grabbing a chinlock. A standing moonsault gets two on Cole but he makes the comeback with some shots to the face.
Another kick to the head rocks Theory again and the Backstabber gets two. Cole kicks him in the face again and hits the fireman’s carry backbreaker for another near fall. The Panama Sunrise is blocked and Theory hits the spinning torture rack powerbomb for his own two. Theory starts the trash talk as they slug it out from their knees. Cole superkicks him to the apron and then nails another one. The Last Shot finishes Theory at 13:09.
Rating: B-. This was a good way to really move towards Cole’s face run. It had started earlier on but this was about as clear cut as you can get, which is a smart way to go. There is nothing left for the Undisputed Era to accomplish as a team so having them work more on their own but being able to come together when they can is a good idea. It’s better than having them go to the main roster and see whatever kind of nonsense WWE can come up with for them. Theory looked good here too, and it’s a rather smart move to have him in there with one of the best in NXT.
Post match Cole says O’Reilly is ready for the title.
Damian Priest and Io Shirai laugh off the idea that Johnny Gargano and Candace LeRae are the power couple of NXT. Tonight is a preview of Takeover because they’re keeping their titles on Sunday and winning tonight. Io agrees that they are the rockstars. Priest: “That’s cool as h***.” Shirai: “He’s not bad.”
Kayden Carter vs. Xia Li
They go straight to a pinfall reversal sequence and it’s an early standoff. Carter gets two more off a rollup and hits a springboard spinning dropkick to put Li on the floor. Li pulls her out for a big crash and it’s time for some aggressive stomping back inside. The kickout draws some yelling and Carter comes back with a basement superkick for two. They go into another pinfall reversal sequence with Carter getting the pin off a sunset flip at 3:22.
Rating: C. Just a match here as they continue to build up the women’s midcard. I can always go for more of Carter and Catanzaro so it’s working out well enough in a short match. They packed a nice bit of action into the match and Carter might be a nice little something in the future.
Shawn Michaels emcees a sitdown interview with Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly. They shake hands and Finn offers some respect for Kyle becoming #1 contender. Shawn knows Balor is great but he might be facing the best kept secret in wrestling. Balor talks about how Kyle might only be a secret to the fringe wrestling fans but he knows exactly who O’Reilly is. Kyle calls Balor a fighting champion, even when he is facing certain defeat, like he is at Takeover.
Finn brings up the Undisputed Era and Kyle says he’s coming alone because it’s about him and not the team. Shawn sticks with the Undisputed Era idea and says there is no power struggle between himself and Adam Cole. Kyle wants the Prince at Takeover and Balor says there is going to be no room for luck on Sunday.
Things get more serious as Balor says there is a difference between a one night win and a win that changes your life. Kyle thinks it’s BS to consider him the underdog and he’s ready to blow up Balor’s kneecaps. Balor gets the last word, saying Kyle could be champion if he was facing anyone else. Good here as usual, though I’m not sure how much bigger it made things.
Candice LeRae/Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest/Io Shirai
Priest and Shirai clear the ring before the bell until the men start things off. Gargano makes him miss to start until Priest hits a big boot. There’s a big side slam to put Johnny down again and it’s off to the women. A flapjack puts LeRae down so Gargano gets in Shirai’s face. That brings Priest in to kick him in the head, meaning Shirai can hit the double knees in the corner. Shirai climbs onto Priest’s shoulders to dive onto LeRae and we take a break.
Back with LeRae cranking on the neck and cockily kicking her in the head. Shirai snaps off a German suplex and brings in Priest to clean house. The running elbow in the corner gives Priest two but Gargano slips out of a Razor’s Edge. Priest and Gargano exchange kicks to the head with Priest being knocked into the corner for the tag back to Shirai. A springboard missile dropkick hits LeRae and we hit the Crossface.
Gargano makes the save and LeRae hits a quick backsplash to Shirai. The butterfly backbreaker drops LeRae but Gargano breaks up the moonsault. Instead Priest puts Gargano down and Shirai moonsaults him for…no count because the referee is good at his job. LeRae breaks up the Reckoning with a low blow and Gargano adds One Final Beat for the pin at 10:49.
Rating: C+. They kept things moving here and Gargano pinning Priest is as good of an ending as they had here. That seems to be the less secure of the two title changes and Gargano needed the win a bit more. The match was good stuff too with Shirai and Priest getting to showcase themselves rather well.
Post match Gargano grabs both titles and hands one to LeRae to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This show had a hard task in front of it and yet they still managed to pull it off for the most part. They had to manage to give a hard sell to a show that isn’t exactly thrilling and has almost no time to be set up in the first place. It went well enough, but they had a hard climb starting in loose rocks. That is going to be the case on Sunday as well, and this show only did so much to get there. It wasn’t a great show, but it had a lot to pull off and they did it well enough.
Shotzi Blackheart b. Dakota Kai – Rollup
Cameron Grimes b. Joey Pistachio – Cave In
Cameron Grimes b. Ridge Holland via DQ when Holland would not stop attacking
Kushida b. Tony Nese – Hoverboard Lock
Adam Cole b. Austin Theory – Last Shot
Kayden Carter b. Xia Li – Sunset flip
Johnny Gargano/Candice LeRae b. Damian Priest/Io Shirai – One Final Beat to Priest
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