Tyler Breeze defeated Jaxson Ryker with Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler
NXT veteran ‘Prince Pretty’ came out to kick off this week’s show, ahead of his match with his monstrous opponent. I’m not sure you could find two more opposing gimmicks so hopefully opposites attract in the ring as well. Breeze looked slightly overawed early on as Ryker demonstrated his power. But he soon used his speed to try and gain the advantage, Breeze stomped away on his larger opponent in the corner but was soon caught with a huge slam followed by a series of forearms and stomps by Jaxson Ryker. Ryker hit a running knee to the corner before a pendulum back-breaker got him a nearfall. Ryker didn’t let Breeze catch his breath and soon carried on the beatdown whilst mocking him verbally. But Breeze hit a big knee and an inziguiri before evading potential Forgotten Son interference, only to turn around into a potential chokeslam that he then rolled over into a pin attempt with a victory roll and Tyler Breeze picked up the win. I guess you could call this an upset and it doesn’t say much for The Forgotten Sons prospects when you have their muscle-man get pinned clean here. Everyone seemed in shock at the result but The Forgotten Sons quickly took their frustrations out on Breeze, with the winner of the match surrounded it appeared Full Sail knew where this one was heading as they were chanting before he even came out… Breeze fought valiantly but the numbers caught up with him. But just as Ryker was going to do some damage… who else but… FANDANGO (of course it was you saw this coming right) ran out to make the save! He cleared away The Forgotten Sons to save his former tag team partner, but this was no exotic dancer but he was wearing the old Dean Ambrose attire pretty much and after he ripped off his shirt and he was JACKED! The two embraced after clearing house and they delighted the crowd by playing the Breezango music after so they could all chant along. Fandango has been out for a while and in that time spoke about wanting to move into more serious stuff in wrestling, this looks to be it for him. Maybe they’ll team for a while, maybe they’ll beat the Sons and then split I don’t know. What I do know is this was well done, and showed yet again how a mid to lower card act on the main roster can come in and come across as stars in NXT with some simple presentation and booking changes. Mr Heyman & Mr Bischoff are you taking notes?
We were shown a recap of Io Shirai’s match with Kacy Cantanzaro being interrupted by a vengeful Candice LeRae last week. Candice was then shown pacing outside the arena.
‘Unsainted’ by Slipknot is one of the official theme songs for TakeOver: Toronto.
NXT Breakout Tournament Semi Final: Cameron Grimes defeated Bronson Reed
If you’ve read my previous NXT reviews you’ll know I’ve not exactly been enthralled with this tournament, despite the obvious talented performers in it. It really is like watching the young lions have a match in New Japan (google them if you aren’t aware). Difference is these guys are all (well these two are anyway) big stars on the indies already so they have a style and a character. What I didn’t need to see if this match start like every other in this tournament with rest holds, basic back and forths, some power moves, and the guy who is winning get beat up for 90% of the match. This isn’t how you get people over, and this isn’t how people ‘breakout’. So yes Reed took most the early part of the match, Grimes got a nearfall with a big Lariat, and seeing him with his height hit a big dropkick was impressive. But then it got boring again to me at least as Reed got back into it with a powerslam. Reed followed this up with elbow strikes and a running splash to the corner. He then hit a samoan drop and a senton splash for another nearfall, only for Grimes to get his foot on the bottom ropes (the crowd is DEAD by the way). Grimes hit a Superman forearm and Reed hit a big punch back before pulling down the straps on his wrestling top, running off the ropes only to go right into a double stomp-type move by Grimes and he got the win. Cameron Grimes will face Jordan Myles in the final with the winner getting a shot at an NXT title of their choosing. The final will be in 2 weeks apparently (so tapped before TakeOver: Toronto takes place so they’ll at least get to perform in front of a big sold out crowd).
We had an interview with Matt Riddle who discussed Killian Dain’s attack on him two weeks ago. He said if Dain wanted to make an impact he should fight him face to face and he’d return the favour, Bro. The match is happening NEXT WEEK!
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler made her way out to the ring. She WAS NOT looking happy. She demanded a microphone and called out Mia Yim. She said she got her message, she had attacked Marina and Jessamyn from behind, but this was not the streets and that they were professional fighters. And that’s why she hasn’t even boarded the plane to Toronto yet and she’s already lost. She said she’ll put her to sleep because ‘street Rats’ (which I thought was a bit strong) don’t last long in her world. This was enough to bring Mia Yim out to respond. Yim asked Shayna is she was scared, and asked where were her friends at? She said she’d be running around her like it’s a game and that game recognizes game but she was looking real unfamiliar right now. Yim said she had nothing to lose and everything to gain and that this street rat was coming for a fight you can’t train for, champ! The crowd liked Mia a lot. Shayna said Yim wasn’t special and that under the lights everyone would see she was nothing but street trash. Baszler then held up the championship as they continued to go back and forth before Shayna excited the ring. This was decent and the match should be a proper good FIGHT.
Candice was again shown pacing outside the arena. I hope she’s waiting for Io to arrive or why doesn’t she just go inside and look for her? Anyway NXT GM William Regal approached her and said it was pretty obvious why she was here, but that she wouldn’t find what she wanted as he had told Io Shirai that she’s not allowed anywhere near this place. Candice said if she couldn’t get her hands on Io tonight then she wanted a match with her at TakeOver instead and Regal made it official; Candice LeRae vs Io Shirai for NXT TakeOver: Toronto. And with that Candice left satisfied. This could legitimately be one of the best women’s matches of the year and I’m so happy it’s happening on a TakeOver show because it’s what both women deserve. I’m so excited for this match.
Next week The NXT Tag Team Champions the Street Profits will meet with the Undisputed Era’s Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly to sign the contract for their match at TakeOver: Toronto.
Pete Dunne defeated Roderick Strong
The two challengers for the Velveteen Dream’s NXT North American Championship met in this week’s main event, to renew their rivalry once again. Dunne got a great crowd reaction in his first match on the USA version of NXT for some time now for the former WWE United Kingdom Champion. Unsurprisingly this was a great ‘rasslin match. It was fairly even early until Strong to the upper hand after a cheap shot. Strong really laid it in until Dunne hit a big Lariat bomber before stomping on Strong’s arm and then kicking at it. Later Dunne tried to get up the turnbuckle, but Strong stopped him and hit a torture rack into a backbreaker. The Messiah of the Backbreaker got a nearfall with another backbreaker. Strong later tried for a superplex but Dunne reversed it, only to fall into a missile dropkick that got the Bruiserweight a nearfall. Dunne got another 2 count after huge kick. They went for another move on the top turnbuckle but Strong got the better of it and hit a backbreaker on the apron. A great exchange saw Dunne attempt a Bitter End but Strong countered that, but then Dunne countered that into a DDT. Dunne later hit a sunset bomb off the top before Strong got out of another Bitter End attempt, before Strong hit a big knee and then a Tiger Driver powerbomb for a nearfall. Roderick Strong got his Strong Hold submission move in before Dunne got out of it by targeting the fingers of Strong. Dunne wrenched at Strong’s fingers and got the submission win as Strong was forced to tap out at Dunne’s classic finger break spot. This was a really good match.
The NXT North American Champion Velveteen Dream ran out after the match and teased hitting Dunne with the belt, only for Dunne to see him before he did it. Dream tried to plead his innocence and posed as if nothing had happened, but Pete Dunne didn’t buy it and did the finger break spot followed by a Bitter End. Roderick Strong made a quick exit as Dream was down. Dunne stood defiantly as the show ended.
This was a good show and continues a great build to what should be another great NXT TakeOver show a week from Saturday.