Date: October 14, 2020
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett
Things are in a weird place at the moment as Finn Balor is out recovering from his broken jaw and some of the returning and newer stars are doing what they can to get over again. I’m not sure how that is going to go but it is a transitional time at the moment. Maybe things can get better again in the near future though because it has been a rough time. Let’s get to it.
Here’s the Undisputed Era for a chat before their match. Kyle O’Reilly says he’ll be cleared next week but Adam Cole still has broken ribs. They never got their hands on Ridge Holland but if they had, he would have been in the same hospital bed he is in right now. It’s time for the Golden Prophecy to return and tonight, they’re becoming #1 contenders to the Tag Team Titles.
Undisputed Era vs. Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan
The winner gets a title shot next week. Strong headlocks Lorcan to start but gets taken down into a headscissors on the mat. Burch comes in and works on O’Reilly’s arm but it’s off to Fish to pick up the pace. A slingshot hilo misses Burch though and he uppercuts Fish down. It’s time to work on Fish’s arm, followed by a double Russian legsweep. O’Reilly tries to come in but gets suplexed onto Fish for two.
We hit the armbar on the mat to keep Fish down and it’s a seated armbar for a change. Some chops get Fish out of trouble though and we see Breezango sitting near the top of the arena as we take a break. Back with Fish chopping out of the corner but getting pulled into a Boston crab. That’s broken up as well but Fish comes in off the top….with a missed headbutt.
The hot tag brings in Burch to clean house, including a pop up powerbomb for two on O’Reilly. A Samoan drop plants Burch but he fights out of a fireman’s carry. The double middle rope dropkick puts the Era down and Lorcan is back in to run O’Reilly over. The Era counters the double submission into a rollup for two but it’s the spike DDT for two on O’Reilly. Lorcan is rammed into Burch though and O’Reilly hits a jumping knee for the pin at 13:28.
Rating: C+. Good, action based match here with the Era getting the win to move on. That being said, I really don’t need to see the Era getting another title shot after they have long since established themselves as the top team in NXT history. They had a good match here though and it worked out well, though I’m almost scared to see how it is going to go against Breezango.
We look at Finn Balor undergoing surgery to repair his broken jaw. He’ll be out for a bit but should not have to vacate the NXT Title.
Video on Ember Moon, who has been out for a long time now but came back, wanting her Women’s Title again. She has to go through a who’s who to get there and if that is what she has to do to get to Io Shirai, so be it. They’re betting a lot on Ember’s star power and I’m really not sure it’s there.
Jake Atlas vs. Ashante Adonis
Adonis grabs a sunset flip for two to start and they trade a few grapples. With that not going anywhere, Adonis kicks him in the face to set up a strike off. Cue Legado del Sol though and it’s a rollup to give Atlas the pin at 1:45.
Post match Legado jumps Adonis but Atlas makes the save. Santos Escobar comes out to glare at them so the trio heads to the ring, with Isaiah Scott coming in with chairs to make Legado think twice about it.
Candice LeRae calls herself the uncrowned Women’s Champion and Johnny Gargano wants to know why Dexter Lumis is getting a North American Title shot. Gargano: “HE DRAWS PICTURES! AND KIDNAPPED A GUY!” Gargano isn’t worried about Austin Theory because it’s time to teach him a wrestling lesson.
Johnny Gargano vs. Austin Theory
Gargano takes him down into a front facelock to start but Theory pops up with a headlock. That earns Theory a dropkick and it’s Gargano chopping him into the corner. The armbar goes on and it’s Theory in more trouble early on. Gargano takes him to the match but the threat of the Gargano Escape sends Theory over to the ropes. Back up and Theory hits a hard clothesline into a standing moonsault for two.
Gargano takes him into the corner but Theory kicks away from the apron and hits a rolling dropkick to take over. The slingshot spear gets Gargano out of trouble though and we take a break. Back with Gargano working on an abdominal stretch but Theory slips out and hits a quick suplex. Theory hits a slingshot stomp to the chest and another suplex plants him.
A superkick into a brainbuster onto the knee gets two but Gargano gets up a boot in the corner. Gargano goes up to the middle rope but his crossbody is pulled out of the air. Theory stacks Gargano up for two and it’s time to slug it out. Gargano hits a heck of a superkick, which sets up the Lawn Dart into the corner. One Final Beat finishes Theory at 14:17.
Rating: B-. This got some time and Theory loses to someone who he has no business beating. They’re doing something nice with Theory by having him rubbing elbows with bigger names and getting the chance to show that he can hang with them for a bit. He’ll need some kind of a change in the future to make him into a star, but the base is starting out rather well.
Raquel Gonzalez is ready to face Rhea Ripley in two weeks so here’s Rhea for the near brawl, with agents holding them back.
Tommaso Ciampa is not happy with Velveteen Dream and is coming for him.
Shotzi Blackheart vs. Candice LeRae
The winner gets a Women’s Title shot at Halloween Havoc. They lock up to start with Shotzi pulling on the arm and sliding underneath a clothesline. The reverse Cannonball against the ropes misses so Shotzi settles for a kick to the head instead. A shoulder to the ribs puts Shotzi outside but they switch places, with Shotzi hitting a suicide dive (possibly getting caught in the ropes on the way) to take over again.
Back in and Candice grabs a jawbreaker but walks into a fireman’s carry facebuster onto the knee. Candice knocks her down and hits a Hennig necksnap for two. The seated armbar keeps Shotzi down and it’s off to the neck crank for a change of pace. Candice knocks her into the corner and they head to the apron, with Shotzi being sent into the post before she can knock Candice silly. A running faceplant sends Shotzi face first into the apron and we take a break.
Back with Shotzi hitting a dropkick into the corner and a reverse Sling Blade to drop Candice again. Now the running reverse Cannonball to the back connects but the top rope backsplash hits Candice’s raised knees. Candice catches her on the ropes with a release German suplex, followed by a low superkick for two. Shotzi is back up with a tiger suplex for two, only to get caught with a Backstabber.
The Lionsault gives Candice two but Candice is back with Cattle Mutilation, albeit with Candice sitting down instead of laying on her face. Candice makes it over to the rope but gets sent into the corner. Shotzi goes up for a top rope Thesz press but Candice rolls outside before the top rope backsplash. With Candice rolling outside, Indi Hartwell slips her an object and it’s a knockout shot to pin Blackheart at 15:38.
Rating: B. That’s the best match I’ve ever seen from the two of them and that’s a great sign for the future. Blackheart gets cheated out of the win and assuming Candice wins the title at Halloween Havoc, a Takeover rematch with Blackheart would make a lot of sense. As for this one, these two beat the heck out of each other and it was very good stuff, especially for two people who haven’t reached that level before, at least around here.
Earlier today, Drake Maverick had a marketing presentation for Killian Dain, completely with costumes (Drake: “Fishnets are in!”) and a team name of the Furry and the Fury. It’s all going to fit together tonight when they face Imperium. Dain: “WE HAVE A MATCH TONIGHT???”
Video on Toni Storm.
Robert Stone is here with Aliyah to talk about how great the Robert Stone Brand is. And then this.
Toni Storm vs. Aliyah
Storm gets the rockstar entrance and headbutts Aliyah down to start. A running basement dropkick gives Storm two but Aliyah gets in a running dropkick in the corner for two. Aliyah’s swinging neckbreaker gets two and we hit the double arm crank. Storm fights up and snaps off a German suplex into the corner, setting up the running hip attack. There’s the running clothesline into Storm Zero for the pin at 2:29. Storm feels like a star and that’s all that mattered here.
William Regal isn’t happy with how Candice LeRae became #1 contender but he’s thinking of upping the stakes in her title match with Io Shirai. In addition, in two weeks, it’s Raquel Gonzalez vs. Rhea Ripley. Xia Li, with Boa, comes up and says she needs to compete. Regal says he’ll take it into consideration.
Drake Maverick/Killian Dain vs. Imperium
Dain still doesn’t like the whistling entrance and throws Drake into the ring for trying to dance. Aichner gets thrown down to start and Dain pulls Maverick over the top (that’s a tag) and onto Aichner for two. A hard clothesline takes Maverick down though and the beating is on in the corner. Barthel comes in, hits him in the face a few times, and hands it back to Aichner.
A quick low bridge allows the hot tag to Dain, who can’t quite suplex them both at once. Aichner manages a spinebuster to allow Barthel to add a kick to the chest. Dain is right back up and gets over for the tag to Maverick. That’s about all of the good things for the team though as Maverick gets taken down in a hurry and it’s the Imperial Implosion (no longer the European Bomb) for the pin at 3:48.
Rating: C-. They’re keeping these matches short and that is the right idea for a team like Maverick and Dain. There is a nice enough idea for the team but you are only going to be able to keep them out there for so long, at least at this point. They can grow into that in the future, but for now it isn’t working. Then there’s Imperium, who shouldn’t be allowed around that long either, though for fear of having everyone around fall asleep.
Post match Dain leaves so it’s Ever Rise running in to go after Maverick. Dain comes back in for the save, saying that no one hits Maverick but him. And there’s your big turning point.
North American Title: Damian Priest vs. Dexter Lumis
Lumis is challenging. They fight over a lockup to start with Lumis being sent into the ropes and coming back with a glare to make Priest back off. An armdrag into an armbar has Lumis down before Priest hits a quick Old School into a crossbody. Back up and Lumis hits a Thesz press to hammer away so Priest kicks him in the face. The running jumping elbow in the corner sets up the Broken Arrow for two on Lumis.
We take a break and come back with Lumis hammering away and grabbing a bulldog out of the corner. A spinebuster gives Lumis two more but Priest is back up with a kick to the head. The Downward Spiral gets two and it’s an ankle lock (remember that Lumis missed time with an ankle injury) to have Lumis in big trouble. He finally kicks away though and grabs a belly to back suplex for a double knockdown.
Lumis nips up and jumps into a legdrop for two but the Swanton misses. A heck of a clothesline sets up a missed spinning kick to the head so Lumis hits the Side Effect into Silent. Priest gets his foot in the rope but here’s Cameron Grimes for a Cave In on Lumis (Priest didn’t see it). South of Heaven retains the title at 12:08.
Rating: C-. In case you didn’t have enough proof of it before, Dexter Lumis is not interesting. His whole deal seems to be that he stares at people and I have no idea why that is supposed to be enough to make me interested in him. Grimes can probably get something out of him, but he is one of the few who could. This didn’t work very well, but a lot of that is on trying to make Lumis seem important.
Post match Grimes goes after Lumis but Priest makes the save, telling Grimes to stay out of his business. Gargano pops up to chair Priest down, but here’s William Regal to say they will both get title shots at Halloween Havoc. There’s more though, so here’s Shotzi Blackheart to announce that the matches will be…..SPIN THE WHEEL MAKE THE DEAL. That was one of my favorite gimmicks back in the day so this is a great surprise.
The show had a four minute overrun, which isn’t the norm around here.
Overall Rating: B-. This is where NXT TV shines: they had goals they needed to accomplish and then did just that, which is one of the most important things that they can do. They had good (not great) matches tonight, but what matters the most is that Halloween Havoc is feeling fun. Takeover: 31 felt like something that we had to do just because it was there. This is coming off as something they have set up to make into a cool show, which is where NXT tends to be best. Good show here, and it felt like a return to what works for them.
Undisputed Era b. Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan – Jumping knee to Lorcan
Jake Atlas b. Ashante Adonis – Rollup
Johnny Gargano b. Austin Theory – One Final Beat
Candice LeRae b. Shotzi Blackheart – Right hand with brass knuckles
Toni Storm b. Aliyah – Storm Zero
Imperium b. Drake Maverick/Killian Dain – Imperial Implosion to Maverick
Damian Priest b. Dexter Lumis – South Of Heaven
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