NXT – April 20, 2021

Date: April 20, 2021
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Wade Barrett, Beth Phoenix, Vic Joseph

They are going to have a hard time topping what they did last week but NXT can figure it out as well as anyone else. The big story tonight is the return of Kyle O’Reilly for the first time in a long thirteen days, though it isn’t clear what he’ll be doing. You could easily put him into the title picture with Karrion Kross but he might be dealing with Adam Cole for a bit longer. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here is Kyle O’Reilly……in a jean jacket, a hat and sunglasses. Kyle talks about what a great time he is having and asks if we can turn the lights up. Oh never mind as it’s just the sunglasses making things seem dark. Anyway, he is so happy because Adam Cole isn’t here and that makes things better. Now it is time to move on, but what is next for him? At Takeover, he learned that you need that killer instinct to succeed. He needs to go after a title, but which one? Should he try for the workhorse title with the North American Title? Or should he go after Karrion Kross and the biggest evil NXT has ever seen?

Cue Cameron Grimes to interrupt, because he knows that O’Reilly can deliver. Grimes likes Cool Kyle and thinks they could have some merchandising options. O’Reilly joins him in TO THE MOON and of course he loves the idea. After thanking Grimey for the Dogecoin tip, O’Reilly starts wondering about his first opponent tonight. He can’t get the sunglasses to work but realizes that it’s Grimes, who he drops with a right hand. I think I really like this O’Reilly, as goofy as it is.

Sarray arrived earlier today but Zoey Stark, her opponent for later, interrupted. Starks would like to face her, and Sarray agrees to the match. This was announced in advance but at least there is a quick explanation. I’m not sure it needed one, but it was there.

LA Knight is ready to take out Dexter Lumis, because tonight they’re going eye to eye.

LA Knight vs. Dexter Lumis

Knight takes him into the corner as commentary tries to figure out Lumis’ psyche. Lumis knocks him down and the threat of the Silence sends Knight outside in the hurry. Back in and Lumis scares him into the corner and knocks him outside again. They head back inside and Knight grabs a jumping neckbreaker, meaning it’s another trip to the floor.

We take a break and come back with Lumis grabbing a spinebuster, followed by the belly to back suplex for two. Lumis knocks him outside again but Drake gets in a drop toehold into the steps. Hold on though as here is Indi Hartwell on the others side of the barricade to distract Lumis. Knight gets in a cheap shot and yells at Hartwell, allowing Lumis to hit a slingshot dive. Lumis looks at Hartwell again though and it’s a bulldog driver (ignore Lumis’ head not hitting the mat) for the pin at 9:51.

Rating: D+. I wasn’t feeling this one but the right person won. Knight still has a long way to go but getting a win here while the other two get to do the angle should serve him well. Lumis and Hartwell is the first mildly interesting thing Lumis has done so far in NXT so maybe they have a bit of an idea for him for a change.

Post match Hartwell gets on the apron and seems ready for a kiss but here is the Way to take her to the back.

Leon Ruff asks Isaiah Scott if he liked getting sent into a locker last week.

Beth Phoenix sits down with Io Shirai and asks about the beginning and ending of her title reign. Shirai is ready for the title rematch but for now, her body needs some rest. Cue Franky Monet (with dog of course) to introduce herself to Shirai and be a bit in awe of Phoenix. Since Shirai is taking some time off, she is willing to fill Shirai’s spot. That earns her some yelling in Japanese, which Monet does not understand. Shirai: “I LIKE CATS!” Monet kisses her dog as Shirai leaves.

Breezango vs. Grizzled Young Veterans

Breezango are in British palace guard gear this week (yes this includes the large hats). The Veterans don’t like it but get knocked to the floor in a hurry anyway. We settle down to Gibson hammering on Breeze but getting pulled into an armbar. Drake dives into the corner to prevent Gibson from crashing, meaning Fandango can be taken down into a chinlock. That’s broken up in a hurry with the Veterans being sent outside for the stereo dives.

We take a break and come back with Drake being sent into the ropes and seeming to hurt his knee. The referee checks on him and Gibson uses the distraction to poke Fandango in the eye in some quality cheating. Gibson rips at Fandango’s face but it gets broken up in a hurry, allowing the hot tag off to Breeze. Everything breaks down and Breeze hits a Russian legsweep for two. Drake’s rollup gets a close two and it’s a blind tag back to Gibson. Ticket to Mayhem finishes Breeze at 9:01.

Rating: C. Pretty to the point match here as Breezango continues to be that team who doesn’t do much but are former champions so they are in a nice enough place. The Veterans should be the next challengers to MSK and I’m assuming they are going to have the match sooner rather than later. If nothing else, it means we might be seeing more of the creative cheating.

The Way cuts off an Indi Hartwell interview but here’s Bronson Reed to say let love love. Reed talks about the North American Title but Austin Theory gets between them and says Johnny is Papa John. The only way Reed is getting another title shot is by beating Theory, which sounds good to Reed. Gargano points out that Reed beat Theory last week, which seems to be a surprise. Theory is great in this role.

Cameron Grimes is happy to have bought a Ja Morant (NBA) NFT….but it seems that there was a huge bid after the auction so someone else has bought it instead. That someone: TED DIBIASE! Grimes: “TED DIBIASE!!!!!” The cameo will be excellent.

Sarray vs. Zoey Stark

They fight over a test of strength to start but Stark can’t break the bridge. Sarray is back up with a dropkick to the knee and a lot of screaming before tying up the leg. Stark’s legs are tied up for a Muta Lock but she makes the rope in a hurry. A basement clothesline gets two on Sarray and some elbows to the neck get the same. Sarray fights up and drives Stark into the corner. Stark is knocked to the apron and a dropkick to the knee puts her on the floor.

Back in and they strike it out with Sarray getting the better of things. A running basement dropkick against the ropes rocks Stark and a fisherman’s suplex gives Sarray two. Stark is right back with a suplex into a sliding knee for two of her own. A 450 (which was a Swanton and would have missed by two feet anyway) misses Sarray so Starks kicks her in the head for two instead. Sarray hits her own kick and a high collar suplex finishes at 7:13.

Rating: C+. Sarray was energetic but she didn’t exactly blow the doors off here. I’m not wild on Stark losing just after she got her big win over Toni Storm but odds are she’ll be back. They had a good enough match though, despite being a bit sloppy at times. Sarray seems to be the next big thing in the division and I’ve heard worse ideas.

Respect is shown post match but here is Toni Storm to jump Stark. Sarray clears her off.

Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez are asked about Io Shirai wanting the Women’s Title shot. Kai says you can’t always get what you want, including her not getting to study witchcraft at Hogwarts. She also DOES NOT like the suggestion that she wants the Women’s Title though.

Candice LeRae wants Indi Hartwell to talk to William Regal but Dexter Lumis pops up again and Hartwell leaves with him. LeRae doesn’t notice and goes to Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon to challenge them for the titles. Now LeRae gets it and is dragged into a locker room for the beating.

Video on Kushida becoming the new Cruiserweight Champion last week.

Here is Kushida, who is giving out a title shot of his own.

Cruiserweight Title: Oney Lorcan vs. Kushida

Kushida is defending. They go to the mat to start with Kushida working on a headscissors but Lorcan reverses into something like an STF. A missed kick to the head lets Lorcan grab a pretty aggressive headlock. That is broken up as well and Kushida kicks him to the floor as we take a break. Back with an exchange of strikes in th middle until a running uppercut gives Lorcan two.

Lorcan grabs an abdominal stretch before planting him for two. They strike it out again but this time the chops just fire the champ up. Some running shots in the corner have Lorcan in trouble and there’s the top rope knee to the arm. Lorcan blocks the Hoverboard Lock though and a running Blockbuster gives Lorcan a pretty late two. Back up and Kushida goes after the arm again, setting up the cartwheel into the basement dropkick. More kicks to the arm set up the Hoverboard Lock to retain the title at 9:24.

Rating: B-. I was liking this one and it is nice to see Kushida getting to showcase himself again. This has been more of the old Kushida, who was awesome in his New Japan days and is now getting to show a bit more of that. He isn’t going to be his entire old self, but at least we got a good one here. Lorcan can hang with almost anyone and he got to show off again here.

Post match here is Legado del Fantasma to jump Kushida. MSK comes in for the save to clean house.

Mercedes Martinez thinks Raquel Gonzalez is ducking her. That’s cool, because Martinez can take out Dakota Kai and it can be one on one for the title.

Candice LeRae is rather banged up but comes up to see the Way. Indi Hartwell pops in to say she and Dexter Lumis made eye contact! Oh and she talked to William Regal, who has given the Way a Women’s Tag Team Title shot. Johnny Gargano is happy but Candice can’t even put her hands in for the celebration.

Imperium vs. Ever-Rise

Fabian Aichner/Marcel Barthel for Imperium, with Alexander Wolfe in their corner. Barthel beats on Chase Parker to start and it’s quickly off to Aichner for more of the same. Cue Killian Dain and Drake Maverick for a distraction though, allowing Matt Martel to grab a rollup for two on Aichner. That’s enough for Imperium, who finishes Martel with the European Bomb at 1:53.

Kyle O’Reilly comes to the ring for the main event but runs into Karrion Kross and Scarlett in the back. Sneering ensues.

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Cameron Grimes

O’Reilly goes right for him to start and grabs an armbar. That’s reversed into one from Grimes but O’Reilly is out in a hurry. It’s time to start the strikes, including the running knee against the ropes. Some kicks to the ribs and leg have Grimes in trouble but he chops his way to freedom. O’Reilly counters a sunset flip into another armbar so Grimes rolls into the ropes to escape. A suplex drops O’Reilly on his head and we take a break. Back with Grimes whipping him hard into the corner and grabbing the chinlock.

O’Reilly breaks that up and knees Grimes in the ribs to put him down. The series of strikes drops Grimes again but it’s too early for a heel hook. Instead O’Reilly grabs a guillotine to knock Grimes mostly out, followed by a running knee to the chest. Grimes is right back up with a swinging Side Effect for two of his own. They’re both down for a bit before getting to their feet again for the strike off. Grimes hits his flipping powerslam for two but O’Reilly flips him inside out with a clothesline. A brainbuster plants Grimes and the top rope knee finishes for O’Reilly at 13:29.

Rating: B. This was feeling like a standard not quite squash for O’Reilly and then turned into a much better than expected back and forth match. Grimes can hang with anyone and it is nice to see him being the steady hand who can be put into this spot. They were trading bombs there at the end and while I didn’t exactly believe that the upset was coming, it wasn’t as cut and dry as I would have expected. Well done on a good main event.

Overall Rating: B-. Two matches carried this show and that is not exactly surprising. The main focus was on the Way this week and a lot of the major stars were nowhere to be seen, or at least not doing anything important. What we got worked out well though and it was a very quick two hours, as NXT tends to be. Another good show here, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise.


LA Knight b. Dexter Lumis – Bulldog driver

Grizzled Young Veterans b. Breezango – Ticket to Mayhem to Breeze

Sarray b. Zoey Stark – High collar suplex

Kushida b. Oney Lorcan – Hoverboard Lock

Imperium b. Ever-Rise – European Bomb to Martel

Kyle O’Reilly b. Cameron Grimes – Top rope knee to the back



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