NXT – March 17, 2021

Date: March 17, 2021
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett, Vic Joseph

We’re on the road to Takeover and this time around that means we have twice the usual amount of matches to set up. The end of last week’s show set up a pair of matches for Takeover and I’m curious to see what else they have for the show. Throw in a few more title matches to be set up and we could be in for a nice pair of shows. Let’s get to it.

The opening recap looks at last week’s main event, followed by Kyle O’Reilly laying out Adam Cole and Karrion Kross confronting Finn Balor. There are your Takeover main events.

Here is Finn Balor, who says he is still champion. He has defeated everyone and at Takeover, Karrion Kross’ time is up. Cue Kross and Scarlett, with Kross saying this could never happen until the settled their other affairs. This had to be one on one because that is all that matters around here. The people need to know who the real champion is around here, as do the two of them. Balor says Kross doesn’t have what it takes to beat him so Kross promises to choke him out.

Scarlett says that she has already seen this in the cards: two champions, both draped in gold clashing. Cue Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch to say that Pete Dunne is going to be champion anyway because he’s the best in the world. Scarlett issues a challenge for the Tag Team Titles tonight but the champs don’t seem sure. That’s fine with Scarlett, who talks them into the match and we have a main event.

Austin Theory vs. Dexter Lumis

During the entrances, the rest of the Way talk to Theory on a tablet, with Johnny Gargano reminding him of what Lumis said about Theory’s abs. The bell rings and we take a break less than thirty seconds in (gah). Back with Theory hitting a fall away slam but having to elbow his way out of the Silence. Lumis is right back with a spinebuster and the jumping legdrop gets two.

A pop up uppercut rocks Theory again and there’s a slingshot suplex to make it worse. Lumis misses a dive off the top though and Theory hits a running forearm for two. What looks like a powerbomb is broken up and Lumis offers him a hand up. They stare each other down and Theory hugs him, earning himself the Side Effect into the Silence for the knockout at 9:49.

Rating: C-. This was the next step on the way to Johnny Gargano vs. Dexter Lumis at Takeover and in that vein, it worked out fine. It wasn’t a particularly good match but Lumis was doing a bit better with the storytelling here. You can do that in silence perfectly well, but Lumis is rarely the strongest in that area. I’m still not wild on him, though at least this was a bit better.

Tommaso Ciampa does not like Imperium jumping him last week and suggests that he took out Alexander Wolfe. The team won’t be standing after tonight.

Here’s Adam Cole for a chat. Cole is sick of Kyle O’Reilly, who he used at first but now O’Reilly is completely worthless. Last week O’Reilly came at him so Cole calls O’Reilly out here right now. Cole gets William Regal instead and it turns out that O’Reilly is not here due to his neck getting hurt again last week. O’Reilly pops up on the screen to say that he will deal with Cole in time, because Cole tried to end his career. This is not the Cole that he has known for eleven years and revenge is coming. Cole says if Regal won’t tell him where O’Reilly is, he’ll find him on his own.

We recap the Women’s Tag Team Titles being awarded and lost last week.

Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon still can’t believe they’re the champions but now it’s time to take care of business. The Robert Stone Brand comes in to challenge them for next week and it’s immediately accepted.

Jordan Devlin arrives in a very nice car.

Breezango vs. Legado del Fantasma

Fandango and Mendoza slug it out to start with Fandango hitting a clothesline to the back of the head. Another one to the front lets Breeze come in for two but Mendoza is back for a knee to the face. It’s off to Wilde into a basement crossbody for two but Breeze is right back to send Wilde into the corner. A jawbreaker rocks Fandango though and there’s the mocking of the dance. Fandango reverses a superplex attempt into a super gordbuster, only to get kicked out to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Fandango making the hot tag to Breeze to clean house via a stream of forearms. A half crab has Wilde in trouble and pulling it back to the middle makes it worse. Wilde escapes so Breeze catapults him over the top but Fandango misses a dive onto Mendoza. The Supermodel Kick gives Breeze two with Mendoza making the save. The Unprettier is broken up though and the Russian legsweep/running kick to the face finishes Breeze at 9:52.

Rating: C. Breezango continues to feel like such an unimportant team despite being former Tag Team Champions. This should wrap up the feud though as Jordan Devlin being back should let Legado need to be there to help Santos Escobar. The match was fine too with most of the action working well enough.

Post match Santos Escobar asks where Jordan Devlin is. Cue Devlin to say this is what a champion looks like. Escobar can drop his replica because the real champ is here to call him out. Escobar talks about redefining what it means to be a cruiserweight time after time. Devlin only has that title because everyone has forgotten about him. The challenge is made and Devlin hits a headbutt into the Devlin Side.

Adam Cole is going to find Kyle O’Reilly.

Cameron Grimes is on vacation, including swimming underwater while taking pictures and still wearing his hat.

Sarray is coming. I believe that has been in the works for about a year now.

Zoey Stark vs. Dakota Kai

Raquel Gonzalez is here with Kai. They fight over a lockup to start and take it to the mat before fighting over a top wristlock. Kai flips out but can’t get out, instead getting taken into a headlock. Stark takes her down into a hammerlock to crank on the arm. Back up and Kai sends her into the corner for the running knee to the face and two of her own. Stark jumps over her in the corner and sends Kai outside for the big slingshot dive. We take a break and come back with Kai hammering away for two but Starks grabs a neckbreaker.

A half nelson suplex lets Stark nip up but Kai catches her with the pump kick. They head to the apron with Stark hitting her own kick to the face. Kai gets sent inside, where she is able to superkick Stark out of the air. The running boot in the corner gets two off a heck of a kickout but Stark is back with a knee to the face. That lets her go up top, only to get kicked back down. The Go To Kick finishes Stark at 12:37.

Rating: C+. I like both of these two a good deal and it was interesting to see Kai do this well without Gonzalez getting involved. Stark continues to have a lot of potential and having her in there against some bigger names helps a lot. She needs to win something, but there is still a lot of time to get to that.

Post match Gonzalez and Kai yell at Stark but here’s Io Shirai to stare at Gonzalez and hand her a contract.

William Regal is interrupted because of something that has happened with Adam Cole.

The Grizzled Young Veterans say that MSK made a mistake and vengeance is coming.

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Marcel Barthel

Ciampa jumps Fabian Aichner at ringside to start as Barrett thinks Alexander Wolfe and Timothy Thatcher have gone fishing. The bell rings and Ciampa hammers away but gets taken down into a headlock for some shots to the face. Ciampa fights up but Barthel steps on the knee to make it a chinlock. Back up and Barthel goes up, only to get dropkicked out of the air. Ciampa fights up and makes the comeback, including knocking Aichner off the apron. A running forearm drops Barthel and Willow’s Bell is good for the pin at 4:31.

Rating: C-. This was all about getting the two sides in the ring for a change. Ciampa vs. Imperium with Timothy Thatcher thrown in somewhere could be rather interesting. It is a different kind of feud for him and if it gives us some fresh matches and a way to get more Imperium on a bigger stage, everything will be fine.

Post match Ciampa is pleased….until Walter arrives. The rest of Imperium goes after Ciampa but alter walks him out with a chop into the powerbomb.

William Regal goes to the parking lot where Kyle O’Reilly is being arrested. Adam Cole shouts that O’Reilly tried to run him off the road but is being arrested too.

LA Knight is ready for his debut so he can prove that he is a megastar. Bronson Reed glares from behind.

LA Knight vs. August Grey

Knight runs him over to start and hits a slingshot shoulder. Grey’s O’Connor roll is broken up and Knight nails a powerslam. Cue Reed with Knight’s jacket, which he tears apart while trying to put on. The distraction lets Grey get a rollup for two and a neckbreaker puts Knight down again. Grey’s springboard spinning crossbody misses and a headlock driver finishes Grey at 2:22. Knight did his thing and the charisma alone will carry him a long way.

Raquel Gonzalez is happy with the contract to face Shirai but Dakota Kai comes up to say they need to face Shirai and Zoey Stark last week. They have lost twice in a row as a team and need to remind everyone who runs this place. How much running can you do of a division with about four teams that has been around for a few weeks?

Xia Li says resistance will not be tolerated and obstacles will be removed.

William Regal is ticked off and has a solution for Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly next week.

Tag Team Titles: Karrion Kross/Finn Balor vs. Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch

Kross and Balor are challenging and have Scarlett with them. Kross throws Lorcan to start so it’s off to Burch, who is slammed face first into the mat. The bearhug goes on but a shot to the head breaks that up. The champs try a double suplex but Kross suplexes both of them instead, with Burch landing HARD on his shoulder. The referee checks on him and Kross has to just stand there as we take a break. Back with Balor armdragging Lorcan and grabbing the armbar.

Lorcan fights up and sends Balor into the corner for some chops. We hit the chinlock as we see the medic looking at Burch on the floor. Balor fights back but Lorcan is up to knock Kross off the apron. Some chops put Lorcan outside for the Sling Blade on the floor and there’s the John Woo dropkick, sending Lorcan crashing into Scarlett. Kross grabs Balor and sends him into the barricade before throwing him inside. Lorcan hits the running uppercut for the pin on Balor (who was out on his feet) at 10:59.

Rating: C+. This was much more angle than match and given how things went with Burch, this was fairly impressive. The entire point was to have Kross attack Balor and Scarlett served as his trigger. I didn’t think they would change the titles as it would be very un-NXT to do so, but now I don’t know where the titles are going if Burch is badly hurt.

Post match Kross destroys Lorcan before destroying Balor even worse. Kross chokes him out and drops the title on him to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. Definitely not their strongest show but you can see where a lot of Takeover is going. They only have a few weeks left to set the show up and that is the kind of schedule that usually works well for NXT. This was a pretty off week for them, but given the amount of Coronavirus cases, that might not be the biggest surprise.


Dexter Lumis b. Austin Theory – Silence

Legado del Fantasma b. Breezango – Russian legsweep/running kick to the face combination to Breeze

Dakota Kai b. Zoey Stark – Go To Kick

Tommaso Ciampa b. Marcel Barthel – Willow’s Bell

LA Knight b. August Grey – Headlock driver

Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch b. Finn Balor/Karrion Kross – Running uppercut to Balor



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