– Tonight’s “Takeover: XXX” go-home edition of WWE NXT opens up on the USA Network with Mauro Ranallo welcoming us. He’s joined by Vic Joseph and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix. The NXT developmental trainees cheer behind the Plexiglas barrier.
Second Chance Qualifier for Takeover: Johnny Gargano vs. Ridge Holland
We go to our first of two Second Chance Qualifiers as Johnny Gargano comes out with wife Candice LeRae. NXT UK Superstar Ridge Holland is out next. The winner of this match will earn the 4th spot in the Ladder Match for the vacant NXT North American Title at Takeover on Saturday. We see ladders around the ringside area.
Gargano talks some trash as they size each other up, saying Holland doesn’t belong here. Holland uses his power to take control to start. Gargano tries to fight but Ridge launches him and hits a big shoulder, sending him out to the floor. Holland follows, yelling at Gargano. Gargano runs back in and then launches him out over the top. Ridge catches him but ends up getting rocked following a distraction. Gargano turns it around and brings it back in but Holland nails a European uppercut. Holland works on the arm and levels Gargano with another clothesline.
Holland keeps control and works Gargano over int he corner. Holland whips Gargano across the ring and he hits hard in the corner, falling to the apron. Holland continues to dominate as LeRae looks on. Gargano takes Holland down into a submission, focusing on the leg now. Holland fights out with big heel strikes to break the hold. Holland shoves Gargano into the corner but then misses a running knee strike. Holland falls out to the floor and Gargano nails a suicide dive, sending Holland backwards. We go to commercial with Gargano getting up first.
Back from the break and the referee is checking on Gargano. Mauro screams out “oh my God!” as Holland rolls over. We get a replay that shows Holland catches Gargano in mid-air and slamming him right on top of his head. Someone yells “get up!” from the crowd. Gargano slowly starts to recover and get to his feet as the referee checks on him. LeRae says to give him a second, he will be fine. Gargano takes advantage and levels Holland with a big superkick for a 2 count.
Holland blocks the One Final Beat with a forearm. Holland with more offense, focusing on the neck. Holland nails the powerslam and this time holds it for the pin but only gets 2. Holland pounds on Gargano. They trade strikes and Holland drops Gargano. Gargano blocks a backbreaker and goes for the GargaNo Escape but Holland resists. Gargano superkicks him but Holland is still on his feet. Gargano keeps trying to drop Holland but Holland explodes into him, sending him back out to the floor. LeRae checks on Gargano as the referee counts.
Holland comes out and drops Gargano into the edge of the apron. Holland brings it back in but LeRae grabs his leg while the referee isn’t looking. Gargano takes advantage and hits a low blow. Gargano nails the One Final Beat from the apron and covers Holland for the pin to earn the spot at Takeover.
Winner: Johnny Gargano
– After the match, the music hits as Gargano recovers. We go to replays. Gargano is now official for the 5-man Ladder Match for the vacant NXT North American Title at Takeover with Bronson Reed, Damian Priest, and Cameron Grimes. LeRae helps Gargano get to his feet now as Holland looks on and also gets to his feet.
– Still to come, Dakota Kai will be in action. Back to commercial.
Dakota Kai vs. Jessi Kamea
Back from the break and out comes Dakota Kai as the announcers hype her Takeover title shot against NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai. Jessi Kamea is out next.
The bell rings and Kai takes Kamea down, going right to work on her. Back and forth into the corner. Kai drops Kamea for a 2 count. Kai uses the middle rope on Kamea now as the referee warns her. Kai takes it to the corner and rocks Kamea. Kai runs the ring and hits a running big boot to the face, then another shot to the face. Kai takes Kamea down for a 2 count as the crowd rallies some.
Kai grounds Kamea in the middle of the ring now. Kai applies the Straight Jacket submission but Kamea fights up and out. Kai misses a big boot in the corner. They tangle and Kamea rolls her up for a 2 count. Kamea with a big kick to drop Kai. Kamea with a flying strike in the corner. Kamea keeps control and drives Kai into the mat. Kai kicks out at 2 in the middle of the ring.
Kai catches Kamea with a shot to the face. Kai scoops Kamea and nails the GTK in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winner: Dakota Kai
– After the match, Kai stands tall in the middle of the ring as the crowd boos. We go to replays as her music hits. Kai takes the mic and cuts a promo on Io Shirai, warning that she will take the NXT Women’s Title at Takeover. Kai talks about doing this all alone and says it will feel so good when she kicks Shirai in the face over and over and over and over… the music interrupts and out comes Shirai. She rushes the ring and they brawl. Shirai kicks Kai out of the ring and follows, beating her around the ringside area. Shirai drops Kai over near the stage. Shirai grabs Kai but Raquel Gonzalez suddenly rushes through the curtain out of nowhere, making her return by dropping Shirai with a big boot. Gonzalez carries Shirai in the ring and dumps her on the mat. Kai taunts Shirai as the crowd boos and Gonzalez looks on. Shirai suddenly drops Kai but Gonzalez clotheslines Shirai from behind and puts her down. Gonzalez lifts Shirai high in the air and chokeslams her to the mat. The music starts back up and we go to replays. Gonzalez and Kai look on from the stage while Shirai struggles to recover on the mat.
– Tegan Nox is backstage with McKenzie Mitchell, asking about Candice LeRae’s recent words about her. Nox says the comments did take her by surprise a bit because they were once friends. She goes on and says she’s ready to talk about their problems now. She walks off.
– Back from the break and we get a video with Finn Balor cutting a promo on The Velveteen Dream ahead of tonight’s main event.
Legado del Fantasma vs. Breezango and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
We go to the ring for six-man action as Legado del Fantasma comes out first – Raul Mendoza, Joaquin Wilde and NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar. Out next comes Isaiah “Swerve” Scott with Breezango’s Fandango and Tyler Breeze.
The bell rings and all 6 Superstars start brawling. Breeze works on Wilde in the corner while Mendoza works on Fandango. Scott and Escobar go to the floor. Fandango is alone in the ring with Mendoza now after things calm down. Fandango takes it to the corner and beats Mendoza down. Mendoza turns it around and focuses on the injured arm. Wilde comes off the top rope off a tag but Fandango decks him in mid-air. Fandango hangs Wilde over the top rope and in comes Breeze for the double team. Breeze covers for a 2 count.
Fandango ends up on the floor with Mendoza. Scott saves him from a sneak attack by dropkicking Wilde through the ropes. Escobar tries to attack from the ring but he gets superkicked, draping him over the middle rope. Swerve and Breezango stand tall after superkicking all of their opponents and leaving them down. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Fandango is in control of Wilde. He drops him with a big boot and goes to the top. Escobar provides a distraction and Fandango gets dropped to the floor. Wilde brings Fandango back in and unloads with stomps. Escobar tags in to boos now. Mendoza also tags in for a triple team. Mendoza moonsaults onto Fandango for a 2 count. Mendoza with more boots to Fandango to keep him down. Mendoza also works on the hurt arm, taunting Breezango. Mendoza works on the arm some more and grounds Fandango. The crowd rallies while Mendoza keeps Fandango down by his arm.
Fandango gets up but Mendoza drops him by the injured left arm. Mendoza keeps control in the corner now as the referee warns him. Fandango with big chops out of the corner but Mendoza goes for the arm again. Wilde comes back in to keep the attack going. Wilde and Mendoza run to knock Swerve and Breeze off the apron. This ends up backfiring. Scott gets a tag and unloads on Escobar after cleaning house. Swerve beats Escobar down in the corner. Swerve nails the leaping Flatliner on Escobar. Swerve fights off Mendoza, sending him back to the floor. Wilde also gets sent right back out.
Scott comes flying off the top but Escobar kicks him in mid-air and Swerve goes down. Breeze drops Mendoza from the apron to the floor. Wilde springboards in while Escobar holds Swerve, but Swerve turns Escobar and Wilde accidentally hits a missile dropkick on his boss. This also sends Swerve into Breeze, knocking him off the apron as he waits for the tag. Swerve and Escobar tangle again. Swerve with a big driver on Escobar for the pin but the referee tells Scott he’s not legal. Swerve argues. Wilde and Mendoza double team Swerve now. Breeze is legal from the tag where he was knocked to the floor.
Breeze comes in and unloads on Wilde and Mendoza. Escobar counters and drops Breeze from the apron, necking him over the top rope. Escobar follows up with the Phantom Driver in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winners: Legado del Fantasma
– After the match, Legado del Fantasma stands tall in the ring as we go to replays. We come back and see the winners standing together as Swerve and Breezango recover out on the floor.
– We see Pat McAfee pulling up to the building in the back. He hops out with three friends, including former NFL players AJ Hawk and Darius Butler. We go to commercial as they walk into the NXT Arena.
– Back from the break and we get a plug for Metallica’s “Moth Into Flame” single, which is the official theme song for Takeover.
– Phoenix announces breaking news from General Manager William Regal. The “Takeover: XXX” Pre-Show will see Breezango vs. Legado del Fantasma’s Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch to become the new #1 contenders to NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium.
– We go back to the ring and out comes The Undisputed Era – Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish. There’s no talking on the mic, Cole and his crew want to fight and they tell Pat McAfee to come on out.
McAfee comes out with his three friends. He grabs a mic and says he brought 28 years of NFL experience with him. McAfee goes on about how Cole goes nowhere without his three stooges and would be nowhere without them, and couldn’t handle a face-to-face with McAfee by himself. Cole sends his crew out of the ring and asks McAfee if he’s ready to start. McAfee sends his guys to the floor and enters the ring. McAfee takes the mic and goes on about how he made Cole look like an amateur. McAfee also takes a shot at fans at home, calling them ignoring. He says Cole better hope he doesn’t choose to take over this profession as he has with others. McAfee says Takeover will end like the other week, with Cole laid out unconscious. He talks about how Cole only gave him two weeks to train for this.
McAfee also mocks Triple H’s ESPN appearance when the challenge was issued. McAfee says Cole will have to explain to the entire wrestling community about how he lost to an outside. McAfee says Cole is great in this world but he’s next level, he’s above Cole as a human and on Saturday, the match will end with one swing of his foot.
Cole walks towards McAfee but security jumps in the ring and gets in between them. McAfee says security is saving Cole. Cole ends up taking all four guards down. McAfee’s NFL friends get on the apron now. The Undisputed Era joins Cole. Cole tells McAfee to get his boys in the ring so they can mangle them. Cole walks to McAfee in his face and says he will make McAfee his bitch on Saturday. The Undisputed Era exits the ring as their music starts up. They pose at ringside, staring down McAfee and his crew in the ring.
– Still to come, Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart look for payback from The Robert Stone Brand. Back to commercial.
Mercedes Martinez and Aliyah vs. Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart
Back from the break and out first comes The Robert Stone Brand – Mercedes Martinez and Aliyah with Robert Stone. Shotzi Blackheart is out first for her team, riding her mini-tank to the ring. Rhea Ripley is out next.
Ripley stares Martinez down and throws her jacket at Stone as he exits the ring. The bell rings and Ripley tackles Martinez, going right to work. They brawl into the corner and Aliyah tags in. Ripley unloads on her and tosses her into the opposite corner. Shotzi tags in as Ripley plants Aliyah on her face.
Shotzi stays on top of Aliyah and yells out, taunting her. Blackheart with offense in the corner and a Facebuster in the middle of the ring. Shotzi welcomes Aliyah to the ball pit and keeps control, then goes for a pin attempt but only gets 2. Aliyah comes back and slams Shotzi by her hair. Martinez comes back in and covers Blackheart for a quick attempt. We go to commercial with Martinez grounding Blackheart on the mat as Stone looks on.
Back from the break and Shotzi rolls Aliyah up out of the corner for a 2 count. Aliyah counters with a big neckbreaker for a close pin attempt. Martinez tags in as Aliyah slams Blackheart. Aliyah holds Blackheart as Martinez delivers a knee to the face. Ripley tries to come in as Martinez drags Shotzi to their corner and unloads on her while she’s down. Martinez unloads on Shotzi with forearms in the other corner, knocking her back down. Aliyah comes back in for another quick double team. They make another quick tag for another double team. Martinez covers for a 2 count, then grounds Shotzi on the mat with an abdominal stretch. The referee checks on Shotzi as she screams out and Stone cheers Martinez on.
Martinez stares at Ripley while nailing a Butterfly suplex on Shotzi, who still kicks out at 2. Martinez taunts Shotzi while keeping her down with a boot. Ripley paces the apron and waits for the tag as the crowd rallies. Shotzi looks to make a comeback now. She drops Martinez with a Sky High DDT and the crowd rallies again. Aliyah and Ripley tag in at the same time. Ripley unloads with clotheslines and big knee strikes to the face. Ripley drops Aliyah and hits a big basement dropkick. Ripley gets Aliyah in the Electric Chair, dropping her into a Facebuster for a 2 count as Martinez breaks it up. Shotzi runs in and kicks Martinez, dropping her and sending her out. Shotzi tags in as Ripley drops Aliyah with the Riptide.
Shotzi goes to the top but Martinez decks her from the apron, hanging her up on the top turnbuckle. Ripley decks Martinez with the right hand and slams her from the apron into the ring. Ripley ends up sent shoulder-first into the ring post on the apron. Martinez misses a big boot on the apron as Ripley jumps down to the floor. Ripley immediately grabs Martinez from the floor while Martinez is on the apron, and hits a huge powerbomb, laying Martinez out on the floor but on the other side of the barrier as Mauro yells out. Shotzi recovers on the top turnbuckle and hits the diving senton to Aliyah for the pin to win.
Winners: Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart
– After the match, the music hits as Ripley and Aliyah stand tall. Stone is losing his mind as he checks on Martinez, who is face-down and not moving on the other side of the barrier. We go to replays and come back to the winners taunting The Robert Stone Brand from the ring.
– Still to come, an exclusive preview for the NXT Title match at Takeover. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a lengthy video package for Karrion Kross vs. NXT Champion Keith Lee at Takeover on Saturday.
Second Chance Qualifier for Takeover: Finn Balor vs. The Velveteen Dream
We go to the ring for tonight’s main event as Finn Balor makes his way out while Alicia Taylor does the introductions. There are ladders all over the ringside area. The winner of this match will earn the final spot in the 5-man Ladder Match for the vacant NXT North American Title at Takeover. Out next comes The Velveteen Dream as the boos start up.
The bell rings and they size each other up with Dream taunting Balor in the middle of the ring. They lock up and Balor takes Dream down, grounding him. Balor snatches Dream’s glasses off and tosses them while keeping him down with a headlock. The crowd rallies some as they tangle on the mat. Dream with a 1 count. Balor brings them up and they run the ropes. Dream keeps control and points both guns at Dream while he’s down on the mat. Dream slides out of the ring to regroup. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and they fight up from the mat, trading shots. Balor with two big strikes to keep control. Dream nails a Thesz Press and mounts Balor with strikes. Dream gets up and howls into the camera. Dream takes Balor face-first into the top turnbuckle. Dream works Balor around the ring now. Balor fights back and drops Dream with kicks. Balor with more big kicks to keep Balor off his feet. Balor drops an elbow over the leg and keeps Dream down with a hold on his leg.
Dream tries to fight out of the hold but Balor keeps it locked. Dream tries for a submission of his own but Balor tightens his. Dream finally gets the bottom rope to break the hold. Balor ends up stomping on the hurt leg as Dream screams out. The referee asks if he wants to quit and he stays in. Balor continues to focus on the leg, keeping Dream grounded on the mat again. Dream fights out with kicks from the mat. They get up and Dream keeps fighting, nailing a big kick to drop Balor for another 2 count. More back and forth between the two. Dream mounts Balor in the corner with lefts and rights. Dream disrespects Balor and moves his hips in his face as the crowd boos.
Balor turns it around in the corner and unloads with chops. Dream ends up leaping from the top with a double axe handle to take Balor down. Dream runs and snaps Balor over the top rope, while landing on the floor himself. Dream looks up at the vacant NXT North American Title belt hanging between the two ladders. Cameron Grimes comes down the ramp, yelling about how the title is his. Dream returns to the ring to keep control of Balor while Grimes makes his way down the ramp. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Dream whips Balor into the corner and he goes down. Grimes is sitting up on one of the ladders with the title belt in his hand. He looks on and yells out as Dream keeps control of Balor. Dream with a backbreaker to Balor. Dream taunts Grimes now. Dream keeps Balor down and poses for the camera. Dream whips Balor into the ropes but it’s countered. Balor rolls through a sunset flip and hits a basement dropkick for a pop. Balor approaches but Dream rocks him. Dream goes to the top but Balor crotches him, turning him upside down in the Tree of Woe.
Balor unloads while Dream is upside down. Grimes continues to run his mouth from the ladder. Balor unloads on Dream from corner to corner. Balor sends Dream flying over the top rope to the floor in front of the ladder where Grimes is. Balor comes out and stomps away on Dream while he’s down. Balor has words with Grimes and climbs up the ladder. Balor climbs back down but Dream grabs him and rams him back into the edge of the apron. Grimes is loving the chaos, still with the title belt in hand.
Dream brings Balor back in but the Dream DDT is blocked. Dream blocks that with a takedown. Balor counters again, blocking the Dream Valley Driver and putting Dream on the mat. Balor sets his sights and hits the big running dropkick into the corner. Balor goes to the apron to capitalize but he’s distracted by Grimes. Balor goes to the top and has words with Grimes. Dream takes advantage and runs up to the top, bringing Balor back to the mat with a big superplex. Johnny Gargano comes down now, pushing the ladder over, sending Grimes into the ring. Grimes hits the referee and he goes down. Gargano smiles at ringside.
Grimes gets to his feet in the middle of Dream and Balor. Balor drops him and hits the big kick. Dream with a Fame-asser to send Grimes out. Balor with a Slingblade on Dream. Balor charges but Dream drops him. Gargano picks up the title at ringside. Bronson Reed comes down the ramp and Gargano enters the ring with the belt. Reed follows him in. Gargano backs into Damian Priest, who is also in the ring out of nowhere now. The crowd cheers as Gargano pleads in between the two big men. Priest rocks Gargano and ends up with the title as Reed tosses Gargano out. Priest has the title now as he stares Reed down. Priest tosses the title to Reed and kicks him in the face as he catches the belt. Priest charges but Dream superkicks him. Dream clotheslines Priest to the floor. Balor clotheslines Dream to the floor and then nails a big dive out to Priest.
Timothy Thatcher attacks out of nowhere and slams Balor on the floor. Thatcher tosses Balor back in where Dream is, waiting with a Dream Valley Driver. Dream goes to the top and hits the big flying elbow drop on Balor in the middle of the ring for the pin to win and get the final Takeover spot.
Winner: The Velveteen Dream
– After the match, Dream stands tall to celebrate but Gargano lays him out. Gargano raises the title in the air but Grimes hits him from behind. Priest enters and chokeslams Grimes now. Reed enters and levels Priest. Dream comes back but Reed drives him into the mat in the middle of the ring. Reed raises the vacant NXT North American Title while standing tall in the middle of the ring as the music hits. The final NXT before Takeover goes off the air with Reed posing in the middle of the ring with the title.