– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode opens up on the USA Network with a video package to hype the show.
– We’re live on tape delay from the NXT Arena on the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida as the developmental trainees cheer in the crowd. Mauro Ranallo welcomes us, from his home. WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix checks in the same way. They’re joined by Tom Phillips.
#1 Contender’s Match: Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai
We go right to the ring and out first comes Rhea Ripley. The winner of this match will become the new #1 contender to NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai for a title shot at the “Takeover: XXX” event. Dakota Kai is out next to mostly boos.
The bell rings and Ripley shoves Kai right to the mat. Kai comes back and they lock up. Kai takes control and nails a big chop, taunting Ripley now. They go at it and Ripley hits a big standing dropkick. Ripley takes it to the corner and beats Kai up some as the referee warns her. Ripley goes on and unloads in the opposite corner as the crowd pops. Ripley with a big delayed vertical suplex for a close 2 count.
Ripley with a big Wheel-Barrow Facebuster for another close 2 count. Ripley with more offense, dominating Kai and keeping her down. Ripley pulls Kai’s hair as the referee counts. Ripley with a kick and more strikes into the corner now. Ripley beats Kai back to the mat. Ripley with a body scissors on the mat. Kai resists but Ripley pounds on her some more. They get up and Ripley keeps control, nailing a big axe kick. Kai slides out of a suplex and then ducks a clothesline. Kai uses her speed and tries to pull Ripley to the floor but Ripley kicks her in the face. Ripley follows to the floor but Kai goes to the apron and kicks her in the face. Ripley drives Kai face-first into the apron with an Electric Chair. Ripley runs right back in for a close 2 count as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and they’re going at it. Ripley goes for a dropkick but Kai shuts her down with a kick for a close 2 count. Kai grounds Ripley on the mat now. More back and forth now as Ripley unloads with offense. Ripley screams out after a big basement dropkick. Ripley takes Kai back to her shoulders for the Electric Chair, dropping her on her face. Kai still kicks out at 2.
Kai and Ripley trade more big shots in the middle of the ring. Kai nails a Scorpion Kick and yells out about being the #1 contender. Ripley counters with a pop-up toss in the middle of the ring for another close 2 count. Ripley talks some trash and goes for the Riptide but Kai counters with a DDT. Ripley kicks out just in time and Kai can’t believe it. Ripley ends up dropping Kai with a big boot. Ripley with the Prism Trap submission but Kai counters and sends her face-first into the turnbuckles. Kai ends up knocking Ripley to the apron. Kai climbs and brings Ripley to the top with her for a superplex now but Ripley resists. Ripley knocks Kai to the mat.
Kai falls to the mat and the referee checks on her, missing Mercedes Martinez dropping Ripley with a big boot on the apron. Kai takes advantage and hits the GTK to get the pin.
Winner and New #1 Contender: Dakota Kai
– After the match, Kai vs. NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai is confirmed for Takeover as Kai stands tall to her music. We go to replays. Kai makes her exit before Martinez returns to the ring and attacks Kai, leaving her down on the mat with a bloody nose. The crowd boos as the newest member of The Robert Stone Brand backs up the ramp.
– We see The Undisputed Era walking outside earlier today. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see footage from earlier today of Pat McAfee talking to WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels in the arena. Tom says we will hear more on McAfee later tonight.
Bronson Reed vs. Shane Thorne
We go back to the ring and out first comes Bronson Reed as Alicia Taylor does the introductions. Shane Thorne is out next.
The bell rings and they size each other up, then lock up in the middle of the ring. Reed takes it to the corner and then backs off as the referee warns him. Reed tells Thorne to bring it and they have some words. Thorne with a big forearm to the face, and another. Reed takes it and wants more. Thorne talks trash and nails another forearm. Reed fires back and rocks Thorne. Thorne also wants more. Reed staggers Thorne with another strike. Thorne dropkicks Reed to send him to the floor.
Thorne nails a suicide dive to take Reed down on the floor. Thorne poses to waste some time as the referee counts. Thorne chops Reed but Reed counters a shot and pushes him off. Reed with a Full Nelson Slam onto the edge of the apron. The crowd rallies as Reed brings it back in. Reed goes to the top but Thorne cuts him off. Thorne fights and climbs up for a superplex but Reed resists. Thorne is sent to the mat but he lands on his feet. Thorne knocks Reed upside down in the corner and then hits a running senton in the corner for a pop. The crowd rallies now.
Thorne with a Shining Wizard for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. More back and forth now. Reed counters and headbutts Thorne to the mat. Reed presses Thorne high in the air and then nails a senton for a close 2 count. Reed goes for a move off his shoulders but Thorne slides out and kicks him in the face. Thorne with a pair of clotheslines but Reed is still standing. Thorne keeps fighting and Reed fights back. Thorne charges but Reed catches him with a huge clothesline. Reed with the big Death Valley Driver for a pop. Reed goes to the top and hits the Tsunami Splash for the pin to win.
Winner: Bronson Reed
– After the match, Reed stands tall and has his arm raised as the music hits. We go to replays as the announcers hype Reed’s spot in the Ladder Match for the vacant NXT North American Title at the “Takeover: XXX” event. Reed stands tall and motions for the title as Thorne recovers and looks on from the corner.
– We see footage of Breezango arriving to the Performance Center earlier today. A SUV pulls up and out comes Legado del Fantasma. Tyler Breeze and Fandango are jumped by Raul Mendoza, Joaquin Wilde and NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar. They end up stuffing Fandango in the truck and speeding off as Breeze briefly gives chase.
– We get a video package for tonight’s Triple Threat qualifier for Takeover. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and McKenzie Mitchell approaches The Robert Stone Brand. She asks why they interfered in Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai. Stone says Ripley may be done with The Robert Stone Brand, but they’re not done with her. They walk off.
– We get footage from last week’s Triple Threat qualifier with Finn Balor, Timothy Thatcher and winner Dexter Lumis.
Triple Threat Qualifier for the North American Title Ladder Match at Takeover: Damian Priest vs. Ridge Holland vs. Oney Lorcan
We go to the ring for tonight’s Triple Threat qualifier and out first comes Damian Priest. He stops and looks at the vacant NXT North American Title on display at ringside, as does Oney Lorcan when he comes out. The winner of this match will join Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumis and two other competitors in the Ladder Match for the vacant NXT North American Title at the “Takeover: XXX” event. Out next comes NXT UK Superstar Ridge Holland, making his debut for the main NXT brand.
The bell rings and they all size each other up. Lorcan attacks Holland with an uppercut but Holland nails one back. Priest attacks both and drops them to one knee, then taunts them. Holland attacks Lorcan in the corner but Priest hits a bell clap on Holland. Priest with a leaping Flatliner on Holland, sending him to the corner for a breather. Lorcan and Priest go at it now. Holland attacks and sends Priest to the floor. Lorcan knocks Holland out of the ring. Lorcan runs the ropes and flies out, taking both opponents down on the floor for a pop.
Lorcan brings Holland back in and hits a running uppercut. Holland dodges the next but Lorcan still rocks him. Lorcan with a crossbody but Holland catches him. Holland with a big overhead suplex. Priest comes back in with big strikes to Holland. Holland blocks, hits a headbutt and then launches Priest over his head. Holland clears the ring and stands tall now. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Priest is trading big strikes with Holland in the ring. Lorcan flies off the top rope and takes them both down for a pop. Lorcan runs the ring and nails both men in their corners. Lorcan then nails a double Blockbuster for a 2 count on Holland. Lorcan catches a Priest kick, then takes him down into a single-leg Crab. Priest kicks Lorcan away but Lorcan uppercuts Holland. Lorcan drops Priest with an uppercut for a 2 count.
Priest rolls to the floor for a breather. Lorcan runs the ropes but Holland explodes up and sends him flying across the ring. Holland drives Lorcan into the mat for a close pin attempt. Holland blocks The Reckoning from Priest, and headbutts him. Holland goes on and hits a big powerbomb for a 2 count as Lorcan breaks it up. All three competitors are down and trying to get up now. Holland grabs Lorcan’s face but gets chopped. They trade big strikes. Holland drops Lorcan with a forearm. Lorcan just gets angry and nails a big chop back, then more strikes. Lorcan with a running uppercut to send Holland to one knee. Lorcan with another running uppercut. Priest catches Lorcan this time but Lorcan gets free. Lorcan unloads on Priest from behind by grabbing his hair.
Holland with a big clothesline to Lorcan in the middle of a run. Priest comes over and nails the side chokeslam on Holland. Priest goes for The Reckoning on Lorcan and hits it in the middle of the ring. Priest covers for the pin to win and earn the spot at Takeover.
Winner: Damian Priest
– After the match, Priest stands tall as his music hits. We go to replays. Priest shoots an invisible arrow at the title on display as he makes his exit.
– Still to come, Keith Lee vs. Cameron Grimes. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Tom talks about how Adam Cole and Pat McAfee have put their differences aside and now Cole is focused on the main event, which will see Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly challenge Imperium for their NXT Tag Team Titles.
Keith Lee vs. Cameron Grimes
We go back to the ring and out first comes Cameron Grimes. NXT Champion Keith Lee is out next for this non-title match. Lee is all business tonight.
The bell rings as Grimes taunts Lee. They stare each other down and here we go. Lee backs Grimes into the corner and he leans into the ropes as the referee warns him. Grimes goes to the floor for a breather, buying time away from Lee. Grimes returns to the ring but hesitates and retreats back to the corner. Grimes goes to the floor talking trash to Lee as the crowd boos. The referee counts and Grimes comes back in. Grimes goes for the leg but Lee grabs him. Grimes breaks the hold by putting his foot on the rope. Lee sends Grimes to the mat after the referee warns him.
Grimes goes for a big kick but it’s caught. Grimes rocks Lee with forearms but it does nothing. Lee gets angry and grabs Grimes by his face, then drops him with a shoulder tackle as Grimes bounces off the ropes. Grimes goes for another kick but Lee drops him with a shoulder. Lee launches Grimes into the corner and he hits hard. Lee whips Grimes into the opposite corner and he flies out to the floor, landing hard. The referee counts but Lee rolls out.
Lee runs around the ring but Grimes takes his leg out. Lee lands hard on the floor. Grimes sends Lee knee-first into the steel ring steps. Grimes goes to the ring post and takes Lee down on the floor with an Asahi moonsault. We go to commercial with Lee down on the outside.
Back from the break and Lee fights Grimes off with big strikes. Lee with more offense and a big diving crossbody. Grimes somehow kicks out at 2. Lee looks upset now. Grimes escapes a powerbomb attempt. They tangle some and Grimes counters a power move, rolling Lee up for a 2 count. More back and forth as Grimes tries to use the ropes for leverage. Grimes with a Superman forearm. Grimes fights Lee off again. Lee catches a crossbody in mid-air for a pop.
Lee powers up but Grimes slides out once again. They collide in mid-air with crossbody attempts but Grimes comes out on top for another 2 count. Grimes can’t believe it. Grimes waits for Lee to get up now as the crowd rallies. Grimes leaps for the Cave In Stomp but Lee catches him. Grimes keeps pounding. Lee finally drops Grimes with a big strike. Lee is angry now as the crowd rallies for him. Grimes blocks a move with more strike to the face. Grimes keeps control once again but Lee hits a big chop, then a short-arm clothesline. Lee keeps holding Grimes by his wrist, nailing another short-arm clothesline, and another. Lee takes his time and drops Grimes with a fourth short-arm clothesline. Lee finally ends this with the Spirit Bomb for the pin.
Winner: Keith Lee
– After the match, Lee stands tall as his music hits. We go to replays. Lee stands in the middle of the ring when the lights go out. The spotlight shines on the ring as we hear Scarlett speaking. Karrion Kross appears on the big screen. He says it looks like we’re doing this the hard way. Kross says he hasn’t seen NXT General Manager William Regal around here since he signed him. He goes on and says since Lee makes things happen around here, this is on him. The camera goes wide and we see several NXT Superstars laid out on the ground. Tick tock. Lee watches on from the ring as Kross walks past the bodies on the ground.
– We see The Undisputed Era backstage preparing for the main event. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a NXT Loud promo for Metallica’s “Moth Into The Flame” being the theme song for the “Takeover: XXX” event.
– Mauro sends us to a message from NXT General Manager William Regal. He puts over the action in the NXT North American Title Ladder Match qualifiers. Regal says Dexter Lumis will not be medically cleared due to his ankle injury. He says Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor are also complaining about how they weren’t pinned before. He announces that the four Superstars who weren’t pinned in the earlier qualifiers, will compete in singles matches in two weeks. The winners of those two matches will earn the final two spots at Takeover.
– We go back to the ring and out comes Legado del Fantasma – Raul Mendoza, Joaquin Wilde and NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar. Escobar speaks while Mendoza and Wilde drag Fandango out.
Escobar talks about the importance of lucha libre and how it’s unfortunate that people like Breezango exist. They bring Fandango in the ring now. Escobar says Breezango plays dress up every week and they mocked lucha libre culture at the Great American Bash. They mocked their families and spit in their faces as well. Tyler Breeze rushes the ring but Wilde and Mendoza beat him down.
Escobar addresses Isaiah “Swerve” Scott now and says this will be his future if he speaks his name again. The crowd continues booing. The music hits as Legado del Fantasma stands tall over Breezango, posing with the title.
– We get a video package for tonight’s NXT Tag Team Titles match. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Damian Priest is in the parking lot talking to a WWE camera man. He says the Ladder Match opportunity at Takeover was made for him. He goes on and says the Reign of Infamy will begin at Takeover. He’s asked about the Dexter Lumis injury and he says it sucks to be Lumis, but we all get into this business knowing the risk. Bronson Reed walks up and says he just wants to congratulate Priest. They end up having words and facing off. They agree to have a match, apparently next week.
Tegan Nox vs. Indi Hartwell
We go back to the ring and Pat McAfee has joined the announcers for commentary. Tegan Nox makes her way out first. Indi Hartwell is out next.
The bell rings and they meet in the middle of the ring. Hartwell starts screaming about how she’s defeated Shotzi Blackheart. Nox just responds with a big slap. Nox works Hartwell into the corner and works her over. Hartwell comes back with a side slam for a 2 count. Hartwell grounds Nox in the middle of the ring now. We see McAfee at the announce table with Tom now.
The crowd rallies as Nox fights up from the mat. Hartwell drops Nox with an elbow and covers for another 2 count. Hartwell grounds Nox on the mat again. More back and forth now. Nox mounts some offense and tackles Hartwell, unloading with strikes. Nox unloads in the corner with kicks now as the referee warns her. Nox with a cannonball in the corner. Nox hits the Shiniest Wizard out of nowhere for the pin to win.
Winner: Tegan Nox
– After the match, Nox gets up as her music hits. We go to replays.
– We see Imperium backstage getting ready for the main event. McAfee says he’s sticking around for the match. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and added to next week’s show is Bronson Reed vs. Damian Priest, plus Karrion Kross vs. Danny Burch.
NXT Tag Team Titles Match: The Undisputed Era vs. Imperium
It’s time for the main event as NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium heads to the ring – Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner. Out next are The Undisputed Era – Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish with Adam Cole and Roderick Strong.
Aichner and O’Reilly start things off in the middle of the ring, trading big strikes. They also trade big boots and more back & forth. O’Reilly drops Aichner as Cole cheers him on from ringside. Fish ends up coming in and going at it with Aichner. Aichner with a big backbreaker for a 2 count. Aichner grounds Fish now. Barthel comes in next and keeps Fish down.
O’Reilly comes in as Fish gets an opening. McAfee may be building to more heat with Cole on commentary as the announcers warn him. Fish comes back in but Imperium nails a big double team to keep him down. Barthel and Aichner stand tall over Fish as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Cole stares at McAfee while Aichner wrestles with Fish on the mat, keeping control. Cole must have heard McAfee’s shots on commentary. Fish ends up dropping Barthel on the apron and then back-dropping Aichner to the floor. Aichner comes back in and Fish hits a big back-drop. O’Reilly and Barthel tag in at the same time as the action continues. Mauro says McAfee has caused Phoenix to leave commentary tonight.
O’Reilly unloads on Barthel and rocks him in the corner. O’Reilly fights off both champions now. Cole cheers them on but is focused on McAfee. O’Reilly sends Aichner to the floor and hits a Dragon Screw leg whip on Barthel in the corner. O’Reilly goes on and nails a flying knee drop to Barthel’s leg. O’Reilly with a knee bar on Barthel now, forcing him to scream out in pain. Fish comes off the top with a diving headbutt to Barthel while he’s in the submission. Aichner with a big double springboard moonsault to free his partner from the hold. Everyone is down in the ring now as the crowd rallies.
Cole walks over to McAfee and says he can hear him. McAfee says he was just joking but Cole says it’s not funny. Cole walks off but McAfee calls him an angry little elf. McAfee takes water from a bottle to the face and chest by Cole. Cole tells McAfee to do something about it. Officials get in between them, including WWE Hall of Famers Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
O’Reilly is distracted on the apron, allowing Aichner to nail him from behind. Fish also gets rocked. Imperium hits the big double team European Bomb from the corner on Fish, covering him to retain the titles in the middle of the ring.
– After the match, Imperium stands tall as their music hits. McAfee and Cole are still having words at ringside as officials keep them apart. McAfee walks back over and we hear him tell Cole that no matter what he will always be a tiny, little, itty-bitty bitch for the rest of his life. Cole is furious and wants to fight. McAfee, a former NFL punter, takes advantage of Cole being down by the announce table, and runs up with a big punt kick to the face. Officials order McAfee out of the arena as he yells about how unprofessional this place is. Cole is shown laid out, face-down. Michaels calls for a doctor and checks on Cole as NXT goes off the air.