They officially announced that all of the matches announced for TakeOver will be taking place on NXT over a few weeks. It’s good that they told us. The worrying part is that they did the main roster “Sports Illustrated broke the story” crap. If SI legit broke the news as in got a scoop and posted it before WWE wanted it out there then I apologize, but what I suspect happened is that WWE gave SI the scoop and told them to post it so that WWE can tell us all that they’re being covered by mainstream press.
Also…Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton are on commentary.
TYLER BREEZE vs. AUSTIN THEORY- 6.75/10
The story here was Theory being cocky. Using the lack of fans to make crowd noise to allow Theory’s trash-talking to be heard was a good use of the situation. Theory probably had things won but got too cocky and started cutting a promo into his phone, allowing Breeze to hit the Supermodel Kick and get the win.
KILLIAN DAIN vs. TEHUTI MILES- 0.75/10
This should have been a squash Miles got more offense in than felt necessary, seemingly in an effort to stretch the match out.
CAMERON GRIMES vs. TONY NESE- 6.25/10
TAKEOVER: TAMPA #1 CONTENDERSHIP LADDER MATCH QUALIFER: Aliyah vs. Xia Li- no rating, didn’t happen
This was a grudge match from four months ago when Xia Li kicked Aliyah’s nose off. Now Aliyah is back and looking for revenge. Then again, she may have already gotten her revenge, as Xia didn’t come out for her entrance and we found her backstage, clutching her leg and crying a la Nancy Kerrigan, attacked by an unknown assailant (or, perhaps, assailants). Aliyah looked very smug and assumed she was now getting a bye into the ladder match, but the ring announcer informed her that he just got word from William Regal that this is not the case because we’re now getting…
TAKEOVER: TAMPA #1 CONTENDERSHIP LADDER MATCH QUALIFER: Aliyah vs. Io Shirai- 0.25/10
Aliyah got too much offense in. This should have just been Io murderizing Aliyah. Io is back to using a moonsault as her finisher, so I guess she’s going to be a babyface again.
DEXTER LUMIS IS COMING- I’d know that creepy face anywhere.
KEITH LEE ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HE F*CKED UP LAST WEEK AND OWES DOMINIK DIJAKOVIC AN APOLOGY- great segment
But Dijakovic comes out and rejects the apology because he thinks Lee should have known he wouldn’t jump him from behind like that. Damian Priest comes out and cuts a promo saying the he wants the title. More things were said until Priest decided it was time to start fighting and pulled out a nightstick. Dijakovic shoved Lee out of the way to get at him. Lee eventually knocked Dijakovic down and brawled with him on the floor until Dijakovic won the segment by diving onto both of them (and it really did look like something that would put them down).
ADAM COLE SELFIE PROMO- good
He’s on vacation, so he’s not at the building. He says that The Velveteen Dream hasn’t done anything to earn a title shot.
DANNY BURCH & ONEY LORCAN vs. SHANE THORNE & BRENDAN VINK- 3.5/10
I guess Thorne and Vink are randomly a tag team now. This was very good for the short time it got.
TAKEOVER: TAMPA #1 CONTENDERSHIP LADDER MATCH QUALIFER: Candice LeRae vs. Kayden Carter- 4.5/10
Fine for the time it got. Candice won cleanly. The match happens in two weeks.
MATT RIDDLE vs. RODERICK STRONG- 7.75/10
They made sure to point out to us that Pete Dunne isn’t able to be here tonight (although it’d be nice if they just said “due to travel restrictions” or whatever instead of “due to prevailing circumstances). That would be important later.
Roddy worked over Riddle’s back but Riddle over came it and won cleanly.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- fine
Two big dudes ran out and attacked Riddle. I’ll give Tom and Byron a pass on not knowing who these guys are because they don’t usually do NXT, so maybe they haven’t met these guys yet. The guys beat Riddle up and hit him with a backbreaker/diving leg drop combo. Then Malcom Bivens came out and cut a promo. This promo was… rather disappointing, considering that it was f*cking Stokely Hathaway’s debut. It wasn’t bad or anything, but it wasn’t the usual Stokely Quality and he didn’t even introduce the other two.
Announced for next week is Lee vs. Dijakovic vs. Priest for the North American Title, The Velveteen Dream vs. Bobby Fish, and a “second chance gauntlet match” for all of the women who have lost qualifiers so far (and the graphic included Xia Lee, so I guess that means her injury isn’t debilitating).
CLOSING SEGMENT- bad
Hunter starts to talk about Gargano vs. Ciampa but gets interrupted by Ciampa. Cimapa cuts a promo, then Gargano comes out and cuts one, too. He claims Ciampa pulled a Jannetty and tried to jump through the glass window to get away from him.
Anyway, Hunter orders that there will be no physicality or else both will be fired, saying that Regal already wanted to fire them after last week. He gives them a big speech. Gargano makes antagonizing statements. There are vows that “this needs to end.” Hunter tries to announce that the match is going to happen at Mania, but Gargano and Ciampa were all “we don’t give a sh*t. We just want to fight.” It was unintentionally hilarious to watch them thwart Hunter. Gargano wants two more weeks for the match. Everyone agrees to this. Also, IT’S GOING TO BE OVER AFTER THIS, OKAY! Everyone got that? And if it’s not, they’re going to be fired. Hunter is apparently going to find an empty building, then tell them where to show up.
This was pointlessly overdramatic. It would have been much better to have these two not near each other at all until the match.
Also, Killer Kross is coming. That was very inappropriately timed.
This was a disappointing episode of NXT. There was one great match, one great segment, and just a lot of stuff that felt like it should have been better than it was.
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