5/6 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream for the NXT Championship, Charlotte Flair vs. Io Shirai for the NXT Women’s Championship, Johnny Gargano vs. Dominik Dijakovic, Karrion Kross makes his in-ring debut

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Taped April 29, 2020 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Aired May 6, 2020 on USA Network

[Hour One] NXT started out with a video package hyping up this week’s advertised matches…

Tom Phillips checked in from ringside as he continued to hype the two championship matches on this week’s show. Phillips introduced Mauro Ranallo and Beth Phoenix as his fellow commentators…

Johnny Gargano made his entrance with new, heel music. No Candice LeRae with Johnny. Gargano’s video wall said “The Johnny Gargano way: All Heart, no soul”…

1. Johnny Gargano vs. Dominik Dijakovic. Gargano was weaving early on, avoiding Dijak’s strikes. Dijak managed to catch Gargano’s leg and land a right hand. Dijakovic worked on Gargano with strikes around the ring. Dijakovic hit Gargano with his signature knee to the gut and Herculean toss for a two count. Gargano did a leapfrog dodge, and started selling the knee. Gargano came right back at Dijakovic with a chop block. This allowed Gargano to pummel Dijakovic with strikes, keeping Gargano close to the mat. Dijak managed to get Gargano to the mat with a discus lariat for a two count. Dijakovic hit Gargano with the Time to Fly for a two count.

Dijakovic yelled at Gargano that Gargano has no heart, soul, nor brains, as he was beating up Gargano. Suddenly Candice LeRae walked to ringside, acting concerned for Gargano. Dijakovic warned LeRae that this wouldn’t be good for LeRae if she showed up to ringside. Gargano dumped Dijakovic over the top rope when Dijak was distracted. [c]

Gargano had Dijakovic in a headlock. Dijakovic got to his feet and then ended up catching Gargano with a Cyclone Kick for a two count. LeRae and Dijakovic played Tug-o-war with Gargano’s body with Dijakovic winning. Dijak went for his toss move again but Gargano got a two count off a hand full of tights. Gargano reversed the Feast Your Eyes with two kicks for a two count. LeRae got on the apron for a distraction, which allowed Gargano to unravel the top buckle. Drake Wuertz caught Gargano and tied the buckle back. Dijakovic hit Gargano with a sitout chokeslam for a two count.

Gargano held on to Dijak’s leg to prevent him from escalating the ropes. Gargano went for a Sunset Flip, but Dijak did a back flip to avoid the Sunset. Dijakovic hit Gargano with a superkick. Gargano continued to try to unravel the top buckle. Gargano held on to the top rope to prevent a power bomb. Gargano finally got the top buckle pad off. He gave Dijakovic a huracanrana into the exposed turnbuckle. Gargano hit Dijak with One Final Beat (Slingshot DDT) for the victory.

Johnny Gargano defeated Dominik Dijakovic via pinfall in 10:20 of on-air TV Time.

Highlights from the match aired…

John’s Thoughts: A solid two-week introduction for the new heel Gargano and LeRae power couple. I really liked the match from Dijak’s end too because it was actually a bit refreshing to see Dijakovic work more big man style as opposed to his usual “cruiserweight” style that he works with Keith Lee (He still did a flip, but he was able to big-man pummel Gargano too). Dijakovic doesn’t lose much because Gargano was getting heavy handed with the heel stuff and they need to establish “new” Johnny Gargano.

Tom Phillips recapped highlights from Imperium’s attack on Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher last week. They aired an imperium backstage promo. Marcel Barthel said Imperium is proving that they are the strongest force in NXT, not teams like Undisputed Era. Barthel said they couldn’t take Riddle and Thatcher besmirching the title. Fabien Aichner said they were officially challenging for the Tag Team titles. Barthel said that the ring is sacred…

A hype package aired for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Not the greatest promo in the world, but a good confident promo from Marcel Barthel, who I’ve always been high of as an overall act dating back to his WxW days. Aichner is clearly not as confident, but he was okay being the backup guy (and is in ring stuff is off the charts good). Hopefully we hear more from Barthel down the road. Sadly, no one sees Walter’s henchmen as more than cannon fodder for Riddle and Thatcher.

Io Shirai was shown psyching herself up backstage…

2. Akira Tozawa (Record 1-0) vs. ‘”Gentleman” Jack Gallagher (Record 0-1) in a Group B match of the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. Mauro noted that Gallagher will find out the “powa of Tozawa” (I kinda liked Tozawa’s pairing with Titus O’ Neil back in the day). Tozawa and Gallagher both traded fast paced moves early on. Gallagher retreated to ringside and caught Tozawa with a right forearm to block Tozawa’s Tope. Gallagher tortured Tozawa a bit with joint manipulation. Gallagher then hit Tozawa with some Muay Thai clinch knees. Tozawa hit Gallagher with a huracanrana. Gallagher came back with a sleeper.

Tozawa dumped Gallagher outside for a moment of respite. Gallagher and Tozawa brawled on the apron. Gallagher blocked Tozawa’s fakeout punch, but not his spike DDT on the apron. Towawa (barely hit) his Senton finisher for the victory.

Akira Tozawa defeated Jack Gallagher via pinfall in 3:45 to earn a win in Group B. 

Highlights from the match aired. McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Tozawa about being the frontrunner in his group. Tozawa said he’s facing El Hijo Del Fantasma next. Tozawa said he never faced or knows anything about Fantasma, but he will beat Fantasma…

Mauro Ranallo hyped up Finn Balor’s return for later…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A nice compact enough match. Sucks that they kinda botched the finish (isn’t this pre-taped?). It also kinda sucks that Tozawa is treated like enhancement fodder on Raw, only to look like a powerhouse in his two NXT Tournament matches. Not the biggest deal, but there is a dissonance there. Looking forward to some amazing Suicide Dives though in a Fantasma vs. Tozawa match. Fantasma has the best Suicide Dive (that I’ve personally seen live) in pro wrestling and Tozawa’s dive is great too.

A video package aired advertising the Real Heroes Project, featuring John Cena…

Charlotte Flair was shown stretching backstage…

Robert Stone (f.k.a. Robbie E) handled ring introductions for Chelsea Green…

3. Xia Li vs. Chelsea Green. Beth Phoenix noted getting kicked by Xia during the Royal Rumble and how much it hurt. Green also wears a half tutu before her match. Beth noted that Shotzi Blackheart and Chelsea Green were trading insults on Twitter. Green tried to gain the early advantage by throwing the tutu at Li right after the bell, but Li gained control and attacked Green with kicks and punches. Suddenly, Aliyah ran out for the distraction (but not before getting her ass kicked). The distraction allowed Green to nail Li with a (botched) Unprettier for the win.

Chelsea Green defeated Xia Li via pinfall in 1:16.

Robert Stone tried to help Aliyah to her feet, but Aliyah acted apprehensive and ran away before Green and Stone made their exit…

Velveteen Dream was cutting a promo on his sex couch. He said the time has finally come, the minutes, the seconds. Dream hyped up his championship match with Cole. Dream said this isn’t just a dream it’s “Dream over”…

Mauro Ranallo hyped up Karrion Kross and Scarlett [Bordeaux] making their debut after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Intriguing, and I have to say that this might be Aliyah’s last chance in NXT to be relevant given all of the reboots of her character and all of the years of losses she’s had on NXT dating back to 2015. What has me a little afraid for her is I don’t see Robert Stone and Chelsea Green being the hottest act yet so there’s uncertainty there. At least it’s something and hopefully she can finally click.

A NXT Superstar Fact graphic aired. It just said that Adam Cole was the first NXT North American Champion…

Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their entrance. Their entrance got a black and white camera filter. Scarlett would lip sync Kross’s dark entrance theme to the ring. The ring would get red and yellow when they made their way to it. Poor Leon Ruff was in the corner, already in the ring…

4. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett) vs. Leon Ruff. Kross hit Ruff with a Doomsday Saito in the first move. Kross took a little time to let Ruff get to a knee. Kross hit Ruff with another Doomsday Saito. Kross made Ruff tap out to the Kross Jacket.

Karrion Kross defeated Leon Ruff via submission in 0:54. 

Tom Phillips said that Karrion Kross is the damn devil. Kross glared at the referee, making her backtrack in fear.

A hype package aired to hype Charlotte Flair vs. Io Shirai…

John’s Thoughts: Simple, sweet, and great Debut for the artist formerly known as Kevin Kross. That small preview of what’s to come did have some good Nihilist vibes to it. I’ve been hyping this guy up for years and I can tell ya’ll that you’re in for a fun ride with this character. This man managed to make a Alice in Wonderland character look like the devil who’s going to end the world back when he used to tag team with El Torito of Los Matadores. This is going to be some fun stuff, with a good dose of nihilism and violence.

[Hour Two] McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher for their thoughts on last week’s Imperium attack last week. Riddle said that Thatcher’s face tells that last week’s attack is unforgivable. Riddle said it’s up to Thatcher to respond to Imperium’s challenge. Thatcher said he accepts. Thatcher said that Riddle will knock Imperium out, while Thatcher makes Imperium tap out…

Alicia Taylor handled the formal ring introductions for the Women’s Championship Match. Io Shirai had her usual Kamen Rider Zero-One themed gear with red trimming added…

5. Charlotte Flair vs. Io Shirai for the NXT Women’s Championship. Flair started the match with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. Shirai used a matrix dodge to avoid a running boot. Shirai came back with a Shotgun Dropkick. Flair cowered to the ropes to get a moment of respite. Flair locked Shirai in a leg scissors submission. Beth Phoenix noted that Flair used this move more often during her first NXT run. Flair slammed Shirai and did a kip up. Phillips noted that Flair has appeared in the first women’s main event at WrestleMania and she also ended Asuka’s undefeated streak. Mauro noted that Shirai might want to avenge her fellow countrywoman, Asuka.

Shirai ended Flair’s flurry with a series of forearms. Flair used a drunken boot to block Shirai’s slingshot boot. [c]

The commentators noted that Flair was dominating because of her length. Shirai came back with a Frankensteiner for a two count. Flair got a moment of respite after hitting Shirai with a backbreaker knee. Flair missed (as Kurt Angle usually does) her moonsault. Shirai hit Flair with a 619 and corner meteora. Flair kicked out at two. Flair got her knees up during a Shirai moonsault. Flair hit Shirai with a big boot for a two count.

Shirai huracanrana’d Flair’s head into the bottom buckle. Shirai missed but landed on her feet during a Golden Triangle Moonsault. Flair pulled a Kendo Stick out of nowhere and hit Shirai in the back for the DQ.

Io Shirai defeated Charlotte Flair via DQ in 7:08 of on air TV time.

Flair focused her attack on Shirai’s knee. Flair was about to slam Shirai’s knee into the steel steps, but Rhea Ripley ran out for the save. Flair retreated. Ripley taunted Flair a bit and walked to the back. Shirai kept yelling at Ripley, and Ripley kept yelling “shut up” back at Flair…

John’s Thoughts: A bit wonky, and exactly what I feared last week (I kinda hope we don’t get more wonky in the main event). That said, I’m also fine with them not giving away Io Shirai losing and just being a stepping stone for Flair. Flair vs. Shirai should be a dream match in front of a big crowd (Shirai has said as much). This match was solid, but it did need some crowd reaction to be good. Having Rhea Ripley back is a huge boost to the NXT women’s division. That said, her return wasn’t the hottest with the Io Shirai bickering at the end.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Rhea Ripley outside of Full Sail. Ripley said she’s tired of Flair’s “bow down crap”. Io Shirai interrupted the interview and a pull apart brawl ensued (featuring Robbie Brookside and Steve Corino)…

Kushida made his signature Marty McFly entrance. Mauro noted that we might not have seen Kushida’s best yet due to him acclimating to America as well as recovering from injuries.

6. Kushida (Record 1-0) vs. Jake Atlas (Record 1-0) in a Group A match of the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. Kushida escaped Atlas’s early hold with a wristlock. Phillips noted that Kushida is pulling out very creative submissions recently. Atlas tried to do a handstand flip, but Kushida gave Atlas’s gut a roundhouse. Kushida hit Atlas at ringside with a Swanton to ringside. Kushida hit Atlas with his signature cartwheel dropkick. Kushida followed up with a running palm. Atlas tried to fight back with slow punches and a pump kick. Atlas hit Kushida with a German Suplex and Shining Wizard for a two count.

Atlas hit Kushida with a neckbreaker. Atlas then hit Kushida with a suicide dive. Atlas went for a high flying slingshot move, but Kushida caught a flying Atlas midair with a Juji Gatame for the quick tapout win.

Kushida defeated Jake Atlas via submission in 3:03 to win a match in Group A.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Kushida for his thoughts. Kushida said he wants to own all the Cruiserweight titles he comes across (I believe he said that). Kushida then pointed at his drawn-on watch and said, time will tell…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A quick match that easily sets up Kushida as the Goliath that the David, Drake Maverick, as to conquer. That was expected given Kushida’s international cruiserweight history as being arguably the best cruiserweight in the world. The numbers work out as Maverick has to get a win to tie things up. I honestly am not sure who’s going to win and I really like this real-life aspect that we have in pro wrestling, via Drake Maverick. As a fan buying into a storyline and a real life human being, I’m rooting for Rockstar Spud to keep his job!

Finn Balor made his entrance and cut a promo from a podium. Balor said he thought the biggest snakes in the business were people in the office. But he’s not sure now. Balor said the rule he sees is “attack the guy and get the push”. Balor said you may have lights and lazers during an entrance but once you get in the ring you’re in the ring with the prince. Balor said he’s a patient man, but whoever attacked him isn’t getting a push, he getting a squash…

Tom Phillips announced Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher vs. Imperium for the Tag Team Championships next week…

John’s Thoughts: Ok? Another mystery? Maybe this was also committed by the Lucha Dark Order Ninjas? Maybe it was Walter? A decent promo, but not sure why Balor’s using a lot of “insider” terms in his promos recently. Maybe trying to channel some Bullet Club? Now I kinda want Gallows and Anderson in NXT, but that’s not happening.

7. Cameron Grimes vs. Denzel Dejournette. Denzel shoved away Grimes’s initial Cave-In attempt. Denzel hit two suplexes on Grimes. Grimes hit Dejournette with a Cave-in for the quick win.

Cameron Grimes defeated Denzel Dejournette via pinfall in 0:22.

Cameron Grimes cut a promo after the match. He said times are changing and it’s Grime Time. Grimes said he deserves more than what he has now. Grimes said someone beat Grimes to the punch in attacking Balor. Grimes continued to cut his promo as Balor reentered the ring to stand next to Grimes.

Balor threatened Grimes and told Grimes to put his money where his mouth is. Balor dared Grimes to slap him in the face, but Grimes refused to. Grimes tried to get a cheap shot in on Balor, but Balor hit Grimes with a takedown, stomp, and sling blade. Grimes retreated to the back. Balor said to the camera, there’s a snake hiding in the grass in the back. Balor said the best way to beat a snake is to cut off it’s head. Balor’s theme played to end the segment.

Tom Phillips hyped up Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream for later in the show…

An Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream hype package aired…

John’s Thoughts: I like the creative ways they’re protecting Grimes in the mid-card. He loses to the main eventers, but they do also keep him strong with his quick squashes and knockout finishes. Even better than the protecting of Grimes, is the way NXT protected his Cave-in stomp. Grimes was also solid afterward in boosting badass Finn Balor.

Tom Phillips advertised Finn Balor vs. Cameron Grimes for next week…

Entrances for the main event took place, with 15 minutes left at the top of the hour. Alicia Taylor handled the formal ring introductions for the championship match…

8. Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream for the NXT Championship. Mauro noted that it was day 340 of Adam Cole’s championship reign. Dream used the corner for separation. Dream came at Cole with right hands. Dream then tossed Cole into the ring steps. Cole caught Dream with a series of superkicks. Dream reversed a Last Shot into a spinebuster. Dream beat up Cole in the corner with punches. Cole retained control after raking Dream’s eyes. Dream blocked a Canadian Destroyer into a DreamDT for a two count. [c]

Dream is covered in glitter by the way. Cole had Dream in a side headlock. Dream fought out with right hands. Cole tripped Dream off the top rope with a superkick to Dream’s shin. Cole called Dream a fraud and joke. Dream came at Cole with lariats. Dream hit Cole with a sprinboard lariat for a two count. Dream rolled Cole into the Fireman carry but Cole escaped. Dream hit Cole with a superkick for a two count. Cole caught Dream with a pump kick and Backstabber for a two count.

Cole escaped a standing switch with a enzuigiri and Ushigoroshi Last Shot. Dream kicked out at two. Cole called Dream a nobody and told Dream to stay down. Dream and Cole traded strikes from the knees. Cole punched Dream off the apron. Cole caught a flying Dream with a superkick. Cole fell to the mat and Dream fell on Cole for the accidental pin. Cole kicked out. Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong ran out.

Creepy ass Sam Shaw crawled out from under the ring, he goes by Dexter Lumis now. Lumis manhandled Fish and Strong. As he took out Strong with a backdrop, sending Strong into the referee. REF BUMP!!! (TNA! TNA! too with Sam Shaw involved). Velveteen Dream hit Adam Cole with the Purple Rainmaker for the visual pinfall but the ref was bumped. Dream went to recover the referee. Adam Cole caught Dream with a superkick and then finished him off with the Last Shot Shining Wizard for the victory.

Adam Cole defeated Velveteen Dream via pinfall in 7:42 of on-air TV Time to retain the NXT Championship.

Tom Phillips wondered if Dexter Lumis’s involvement cost Dream the match (Phillips’s logic wasn’t great, as Lumis did nothing other than fight off Cole’s goons). UE Posed at the top of the ramp to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: A decent enough television main event, but NXT did nothing over the course of the show, and this pretty underwhelming feud, to make Dream seem like anything more than just a challenger-of-the-week for Cole. I’m more intrigued to see what Dexter Lumis ends up doing with Undisputed Era as he’s gained more from this feud than Dream did. To be honest, Dream has been pretty flat for a long time, and I’m still waiting for him to return to that form he was at when he feuded with Aleister Black back in the day (Dream vs. Black is one of my personal favorite all time feuds in recent years). I also mentioned, I was afraid we would get screwy finishes in this week’s championship matches, and we got two, complete with this one vaguely LOL-TNA with Ref Bumps and Samuel Shaw.

Screwy finishes aside, I feel like this was a positive show overall. There was a lot of content. 8 matches worth. All the matches were short to normal length, but the stories got across. What was disappointing was on-paper, this looked like a Takeover lineup, but they turned and stretched things into regular and efficient TV. But hey, there’s hooks. The Cruiserweight Tournament is still a treat and built around the suspense of Drake Maverick’s career. Karrion Kross looked like a killer. Gargano is transforming well. There was a lot of good, just not a Takeover (which it wasn’t billed as to be honest).




Readers Comments (3)

  1. You can stop calling the dude Sam Shaw now, ya mark.

    • I was going to post this as well, how many weeks has it been now that he has been on NXT as Dexter Lumis?

  2. “Intriguing, and I have to say that this might be Aliyah’s last chance in NXT to be relevant given all of the reboots of her character and all of the years of losses she’s had on NXT dating back to 2015.”

    To be honest I wouldn’t worry about it – for whatever reason *cough Breaking Ground cough* she appears to be bulletproof. Think of how many better wrestlers and performers have lost their jobs since she made her debut, and shown absolutely zero growth as a performer.

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