By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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NXT TV Taping
Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Report by Zack Zimmerman (@DotNetZim)
1. Rinku (Rinku Singh) beat Sean Maluta. Rinku is big and athletic. Fans may be familiar with Rinku’s story from the reality TV show and film of the same name Million Dollar Arm, where he became the first Indian to sign with a Major League Baseball team.
A 49 second moment of silence was observed in memory the 49 victims of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy, which occurred three years ago this week.
The Undisputed Era came out for a promo. They were interrupted intermittently by Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle, and Tyler Breeze. The babyfaces challenged UE to a six-man tag in the main event of this show.
2. Damian Priest pinned Raúl Mendoza with the Roll of the Dice. This was a passable debut for the former Punishment Martinez, though the finish wasn’t particularly good looking.
NXT General Manager William Regal announced the formation of the “Breakout Tournament.” It will be an eight-man, single elimination tournament featuring all talent new to NXT, with the winner receiving a shot at an NXT championship of his choosing.
3. Xia Li defeated Taynara Conti. The crowd liked both women but this was not especially good.
4. “Undisputed Era” Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, and Bobby Fish (w/Kyle O’Reilly) beat Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle, and Tyler Breeze. Riddle got beaten down for most of the match. There was some miscommunication among the babyfaces leading to the finish, which was Strong pinning Dream clean. That presumably puts him in line for a North American Title match at the Toronto Takeover during SummerSlam weekend.
Episodes Two and Three
1. Angel Garza (formerly Garza Jr.) pinned Joaquin Wilde (formerly DJZ) in an opening round match of the Breakout Tournament. This match was so much fun. Virtually every spot was something never seen in a WWE ring before, and the crowd responded accordingly. This match did both guys a huge credit.
2. NXT Tag Team Champions The Street Profits retained the tag titles over The Forgotten Sons via DQ. Jaxon Ryker interfered when the champs had the advantage, leading to the ref calling for the bell. Afterwards, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch ran down to make the save and chased the heels off. They picked up the tag title belts and hesitated a moment before giving them back to the champs.
3. Keith Lee squashed Nykos Rikos. Rikos takes the award for worst gear in the history of professional wrestling.
4. Mia Yim over Aliyah (w/Vanessa Bourne). Bad match. Yim laid Bourne out after the match for good measure, then she went over to the commentary desk and cut a promo into the camera that the live crowd couldn’t hear.
The 2nd show (June 26) will feature the main event of Io Shirai vs. Shayna Baszler in a steel cage for the NXT Women’s Championship, however that was the last match of the night taped so it wasn’t totally clear where show 2 ends and 3 begins.
5. Kushida defeated Scott Parker (of Team 3.0). Not much to say here, this was fine.
6. Cameron Grimes (formerly Trevor Lee) pinned Isaiah “Swerve” Scott (formerly Shane Strickland) in an opening round match of the Breakout Tournament. Another fun pairing. Grimes won with the Caveman Stomp.
7. Bianca Bel Air squashed the hell out of Priscilla Zuniga (formerly Diamanté from LAX in Impact Wrestling). This was just a savage beating with Bel Air showing wicked intensity. Thumbs up.
8. Roderick Strong pinned Tyler Breeze. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish came out to provide the distraction, allowing Roddy to hit his suplex backbreaker for the win.
9. Jordan Miles (formerly ACH) beat Boa in an opening round match of the Breakout Tournament. Boa is one of the signees from China. He took most of the match and looked good; Miles’s athleticism is always impressive. Miles got the win with the 450 Splash.
10. Damian Priest squashed Blanco Loco. This match was uglier than Priest’s first win, and not in a good way. Some editing will probably take place to make both Priest matches look ok.
11. Bronson Reed (formerly Jonah Rock) pinned Dexter Lumis (formerly Samuel Shaw) in an opening round match of the Breakout Tournament. Both guys worked pretty hard and pulled off some impressive spots. Reed got the win with a huge splash off the top rope.
The semi-final matches going into Thursday’s taping are Bronson Reed vs. Angel Garza and Cameron Grimes vs. Jordan Miles. It is unclear whether the finals will also be taped Thursday or saved for the Toronto Takeover.
12. Shayna Baszler defeated Io Shirai in a steel cage match to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. There was interference from Jessamyn Duke, Marina Shafir, and Candice LeRae. Big dives off the cage from Candice and Io. It looked as though Io was going to escape out the door when Shayna caught her in a choke. Io repeatedly slammed the cage door into Shayna to break the hold, but Shayna collapsed out of the ring and hit the floor to retain. Post-match, Io turned heel when she destroyed Candice with a steel chair.
That’s a wrap on the first night of tapings. I’ll be back for Thursday night’s show and will have the rest of the spoilers leading into the Toronto Takeover.
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The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Allysin Kay discussing Friday's NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, Melina dropping an unexpected f-bomb on NWA Powerrr, the WWE Mae Young Classic experience, her time as Sienna in Impact Wrestling, working in Japan, the Tessa Blanchard controversy, and more...