After last week’s shocking heel turn by Io Shirai following another unsuccessful challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship who knows what chaos this week’s NXT will bring. Speaking of chaos we saw the first vignette seeming to promote the imminent return to NXT of Killian Dain so who knows when we will see more of him. And you have or may not have seen but on Raw this Monday we saw the first appearance on the main roster for the current NXT Tag Team Champions The Street Profits. I know that NXT has been filmed already right up until TakeOver so I wouldn’t expect them to disappear from the black and Gold brand anytime soon, but who knows what the future holds for the kings of Swag. This week we have the continuation of the NXT Breakout Tournament, Roderick Strong vs Tyler Breeze plus the second part (hopefully) of the Adam Cole Bay Bay Championship celebration tour (or whatever it was called), so if that’s anything as good as it was last week it promises to be another great show for the best brand in the business!
The title sequence shows they have removed the awful miming of the NXT superstars to the show’s theme song by Slipknot and replaced it with more of your usual highlight reel-type stuff, so that’s a big plus for me right away and the show hasn’t even began yet!
Vanessa Borne and Aliyah are out to open the show (oh the joys…)
Mia Yim defeated Aliyah (with Vanessa Borne)
Nigel’s gushing on commentary over Vanessa Borne (and somewhat over Aliyah) is starting to grain on me a little now. I get it’s the gimmick but they both suck in the ring so it comes across as cheap. Mia Yim on the other hand is straight up awesome! The super-over babyface was non-surplussed by Aliyah’s antics and showed off her far superior arsenal of moves and her willingness to stand up for herself. Borne did her best to help her ally throughout, Aliyah even got a couple of nearfalls following some help from The Vision on the outside and then got some more offence in that included a tarantula submission hold on the ropes as Yim did the classic babyface in peril-but-we-know-will-fight-through-in-the-end sell job. Aliyah got another nearfall via an enziguri kick and that carried on to work on Yim’s lower back, but a missed knee drop allowed Yim to get inot the match with a drop toe hold and then a cannonball in the corner. A series of offence sent Aliyah to the outside but as Vanessa Borne tried to help her friend Mia Yim sent them both down with a Tope Suicida through the ropes. Then after rolling Aliyah back into the ring Mia Yim hit a fallaway slam followed by her ‘protect ya neck’ finisher for the win. With the show barely 8 minutes old our first match was over as Yim racks up another win and commentary mention her as a future title challenger. It was your standard babyface win designed to get them over as a fighter so it was never going to be a classic. After the match was done Yim went to the outside and launched Borne into the ringsteps and the crowd applauded. Yim then went over to the commentary desk and essentially called out NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler saying she is coming to ‘whoop that ass’!
There was a recap of last week’s main event and the Io turn on Candice LeRae afterwards.
Cathy Kelly went to ask William Regal about LeRae’s condition but before he could give a proper answer the Forgotten Sons entered and complained about Street Profits making title matches their-selves (why they’d complain about being offered a title match I don’t know). Regal rightfully pointed out that they got themselves disqualified and that put them to the back of the queue. Forgotten Sons were not pleased and said he’d regret this. Cathy asked if Regal had another team in mind and he replied saying that he’d spoken to the Street Profits and with their blessing he then made official for next week the NXT Tag Team Champions vs Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan.
We had a quick advert for the main event of the show tonight that will see Tyler Breeze taking on Roderick Strong.
Adam Cole Bay Bay Championship Celebration Tour Part 2
We picked it up from last week when Cole was on the phone to Roderick Strong asking if he placed the order before Cole’s car pulled up outside ‘Gargano’s’… Cole went inside and was greeted by a guy at the counter called Frank. Frank is indeed irl Johnny Gargano’s father. Cole said he was here to collect four pizzas and Frank went to the back and did not look to pleased to see this customer. Cole said the pizzas were for a lot of hungry wrestlers as Frank went to the back to fetch them. Meanwhile Cole stuck on the wall a picture of himself holding the NXT Championship. He put the picture up on a ‘wall of fame’ with a few other framed pictures featuring Johnny and also I think Candice was in another. Cole had signed the picture to Frank with the words ‘a champion you can be proud of’. Frank returned with the pizzas as Cole thanked him, told him to keep the change as before he left said that he loved the wall of fame. Frank went over and looked at the picture of Cole and shook his head as he took it down. Cole got in his car and next stopped and got out at a training school nearby that Johnny Gargano had visited before his title win and then returned after with the title belt. Cole approached the class that was ongoing and stated that he came in peace. He told the trainee wrestlers that although Gargano had said if they work hard enough they could succeed, and maybe they could become NXT Champion. Cole said Gargano was full of crap. As the wrestlers seemed upset at this Cole asked them to hear him out, Cole said Gargano got lucky and anyone can get lucky once, he said he had watched back when Gargano had won the NXT title and now he felt pity for them (the trainees) and that by letting them all hold the title Gargano had given them all false hope that they could be NXT Champion one day. Cole picked out a man called Twan, he asked Twan if he seriously in a million years felt he could be NXT Champion, Twan said yeah and Cole said he had no chance. Cole said he had bought Pizzas with him for a reason, and that they should take a Pizza, go home and sit on the couch and just give up. Cole then left when someone told him they had heard enough, Cole said his final free advice was to get out of the school, and the city and find themselves a new hero. THIS WAS A-MA-ZING!!!
Kushida defeated Jeff Parker
Kushida’s futuristic entrance is super awesome and one day I can’t wait to see it on a grander scale at a TakeOver. The jobber was already in the ring. Jeff Parker was his name apparently. This was as expected in that it was a showcase for Kushida, a handspring back elbow was followed by a drop-toe-hold and then after twisting his opponent’s arm in a unique way he went for his finish before his opponent got to the ropes to escape before it could be locked in. Kushida got the advantage again with a hip toss and then a basement dropkick to Parker on the floor. And then shortly after Kushida got his Sakuraba Lock submission in and Parker tapped quickly. Standard NXT squash match.
We cut to Tyler Breeze in the backstage area. Cathy Kelly came over and said that Breeze had come back to NXT at a time when a lot of the current roster, including Roderick Strong, claimed NXT’s popularity was because of them. Breeze said he was thinking about Undisputed Era and said he thinks he needs to give them a refresher that this place was NX-Breeze long before Undisputed Era ever set foot in a ring.
Our next match was advertised, the second of the NXT Breakout Tournament.
A vignette played of someone watching types or carnage and chaos footage via a reel-to-reel projector, a Northern-Irish voice said aggressively “I want you to know who and what I am, I want you to know why I’m doing the things I do, see I had nothing, in fact everything I had was taken from me, and now I’m going to take anything and everything I want” ‘ Killian Dain – Coming Soon ‘then came on the screen. Excellent stuff.
NXT Breakout Tournament Round 1: Cameron Grimes defeated Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott
Scott seemed over with the crowd. His inset video portrayed him as confident and that ‘swerve’ is confident. Grimes was not nearly as over. He had your basic black wrestling attire, in his inset video he said was the best wrestler in the world. The match started with lots of technical-mat wrestling and strikes, and it eventually became a battle to see who could out-strike the other in unique ways. Highlights of this saw Scott do a series of rolls followed by a reverse Flatliner for a nearfall, later Grimes got a backslide that he transitioned into a sit-out powerbomb for his own 2 count. Grimes hit a Superman Forearm, Scott hit a hard back elbow to the head, then did a front spring flop (that’s what Mauro called it anyway) to Grimes who was on the outside and the crowd liked it. Back in the ring Grimes hit a roundhouse kick only for Scott to respond with a knee strike, then they both seemed to crossbody eachother at the same time somehow but Grimes got the better of it. Grimes then followed up with a double foot stomp to Scott’s neck (yes this really happened) for the 1, 2, 3 and the win to advance in the tournament. The crowd seemed somewhat surprised by the result as was I. This was not as good as Garza vs Wilde from last week nor did it have nearly as much crowd-heat, but it was a very different match and a decent showing for both nonetheless.
An advert was played for NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff on August 31st. August 31st you say… hmm…
Bianca Belair came out introduced as someone’s opponent. We know what’s coming here then…
Bianca Belair defeated Priscilla Zuniga
What was expected but also what Belair needed after a number of losses recently to Mia Yim. Bianca tried to bully her and really put in a brutal beatdown on her opponent using her long hair braid to hit her with before tossing her around the ring. Bianca did a Military Press slam to the delight of the crowd. Belair caught her opponent who tried a rana off the top and hit a series of powerbombs without letting go. Commentary put over her incredible athleticism and the crowd loved Belair. After launching Zuniga into the top turnbuckle Belair hit the KOD for the win. This was cool to see as it was a much more aggressive performance than we’ve seen from Belair before, and given the previously ‘un-de-fea-ted’ Belair has a few defeats to her name now this made a lot of sense for her to act like this. Lets hope she keeps this going in the weeks to come.
Roderick Strong was seen backstage putting the final touches to his prep for his match against Tyler Breeze.
We were played a cool video of Matt Riddle in an MMA gym, that showed his practicing the various MMA forms he has mastered. He spoke over the top of it saying how he kept training and getting stronger, he said his training put him ahead of everyone else when he finally came to NXT and that nobody could figure him out in the ring.
A graphic for the match next week confirmed the Street Profits vs Burch & Lorcan match would be for the NXT Tag Titles.
Roderick Strong defeated Tyler Breeze
Strong was popular when he came out, Breeze even more so. I still just get a kick out of seeing Tyler Breeze back home in NXT. They began with an exchange of submission holds, Breeze was able to escape and tried an Unprettier only for Strong to in-turn escape himself. Breeze got really aggressive and launched a series of offense on his opponent, but as Breeze argued back at the ref who was telling him to calm down Strong took advantage with a strike as both men went to the outside of the ring. Strong dropped Breeze onto the ring steps and then onto the barricade followed by a falling-backbreaker. Breeze tried to fightback but Strong kept up the pressure and continued to target Breeze’s back. Breeze foughtback and even got a nearfall after a backstabber. Roderick Strong got a nearfall of his own after a superplex before nearfalls were again traded between the two. Breeze was able to get out of a Stronghold submission and hit a Supermodel kick for another nearfall pin attempt. After another exchange of offence Strong’s fellow Undisputed Era members Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly came down to cause the distraction, but Breeze got rid of them and hit Fish with a superkick only to be caught off guard enough for Strong to hit the End of Heartache for the win. Fun match between two very solid wrestlers. Strong keeps his own momentum going with recent pins of both the men in the previous TakeOver’s North American title match… I wonder where that will lead us… Era posed on the ramp to close the show.
Overall a fun show even without the blockbuster ending we had last week. It says it all about the strength of the NXT roster when you think about the whole host of names who didn’t appear this week and last too and still the quality of the episodes. TakeOver is still over a month away but it looks already like 3 matches for the card are being teased, but as I’ve said we’ve not heard from a lot of people in NXT for a little while so I’m sure all is not what it seems on the road to Toronto!