5/20 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai, Kushida vs. Drake Maverick and El Hijo Del Fantasma vs. Akira Tozawa in Interim NXT Cruiserweight Title tournament matches

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

NXT TV
Taped May 13, 2020 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Aired May 20, 2020 on USA Network

[Hour One]An “In memory of…” graphic aired of former WWE Star and Cryme Time member Shad Gaspard…

Mauro Ranallo opened up NXT introducing Karrion Kross and Scarlett who were making their entrance to Full Sail. Scarlett only lip sync half the theme this time. She also wore good looking, battle-armor type of ring gear. Kross was his usual badass self.

Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary…

1. Karrion Kross vs. “Liam”. I’m guessing this guy’s name is Liam because he had “Liam” written on his ass. Kross gave Liam two Doomsday Saitos to start off the match. Kross locked in the Kross Jacket for the submission win.

Karrion Kross defeated Liam via submission in 0:50.  

Beth Phoenix recapped the quick match. While Scarlett was celebrating with Kross, Tommasso Ciampa’s theme interrupted as Ciampa made his entrance. Ciampa had a mic and introduced himself to Kross. Ciampa said the ring is his home and Kross knows that. Ciampa said he respects Kross going after the main event attraction of the show. Ciampa sang the praises of Kross’s look and presence. Ciampa said Kross stands out as special amongst all the stars and legends in WWE.

Scarlett held open the ropes and Ciampa entered the ring. Ciampa said he understands that Kross is special, but Ciampa is also special. Ciampa said that at Takeover: In Your House it’s going to be Karrion Kross vs. Tommaso Ciampa. Ciampa ended the promo by saying “welcome to the main event”. Mauro was excited for the Kross vs. Ciampa match coming up at Takeover…

A video aired which recapped the records in the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament…[c]

John’s Thoughts: More simple and effective stuff from Kross. Killer prospects like Kross should be destroying people in a few seconds, and that’s made better when you find guys that do a good job looking like they got killed. Good job to “Liam” who did his job by getting destroyed. Ciampa vs. Kross makes sense given what Kross did to Ciampa backstage. I’m personally hoping they just end up having Kross destroy Ciampa to set up Kross as a huge force. Either that or I’ll accept a DQ loss for Kross where he goes “overboard” in destroying Ciampa.

2. El Hijo Del Fantasma (Record 1-1) vs. Akira Tozawa (Record 2-0) in a Group B match of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. Both men started off even with ground chain wrestling. Both men then showed their core strength during a grounded test of strength. Fantasma broke the test with a suplex. Tozawa and Fantasma then had an even and quick Lucha Libre chain wrestling moment. Tozawa ended up nailing Fantasma with his signature fakeout punch. Tozawa hit Fantasma with a huracanrana. Fantasma avoided a Suicide Dive, but Tozawa put the brakes on to adjust to a plancha huracanrana. Tozawa hit Fantasma with a cannonball heading into commercial. [c]

Fantasma caught Tozawa with a front kick and a cool looking running frog splash. Fantasma hit Tozawa with a slingshot senton for the two count. Akira Tozawa made a few counters and hit Fantasma with a Snap German Suplex. Fantasma recovered to crotch Tozawa on the top rope. Fantasma and Tozawa traded blows on the top rope. Fantasma gave Tozawa a Military Press on the top buckle for a two count.

Tozawa caught Fantasma with a delayed bulldog. Tozawa hit Fantasma with his finishing Senton. Fantasma rolled to ringside for a moment. Fantasma kicked out of the pin when Tozawa threw him in the ring. Fantasma dropkicked Fantasma to the outside. Fantasma hit Tozawa with his sweet looking Arrow From the Depths of Hell Suicide Dive. Tozawa countered Fantasma’s fireman carry into an Octopus Hold. Fantasma countered back into the Thrill of the Hunt for the win.

El Hijo Del Fantasma defeated Akira Tozawa via pinfall in 8:09 of on-air TV Time to advance in the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament.

Byron noted that Fantasma has just advanced in the tournament (I guess it’s because this win gave him a tiebreaker)…

Mauro recapped last week’s Timothy Thatcher and Matt Riddle feud…

Timothy Thatcher cut a promo in front of a brick wall. He talked about loving breaking apart the limbs of Riddle. Thatcher challenged Riddle to a match where you can only win by knockout or tapout, and any location Riddle wants…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A good technical match from two of WWE’s more unique cruiserweights. I was never a huge fan of Fantasma playing the generic babyface luchador character and have seen him do so much better as a cerebral mastermind. I hope WWE eventually reveals him as the leader of the ninja lucha dark order. What happens to Tozawa. Will he go back to losing every week on Raw (which he’s still doing anyway). I hope he gets some NXT or 205 work where he can shine.

A Shotzi Blackheart vignette aired. She was sitting on top of a real tank (Take that Rusev!). She talked about being a badass and her badass dad. She talked about being inspired by punk rock. They then showed Shootzi driving over cars with the tank. She said her crusing cars is symbolizing what she’s going to do in the women’s division. She said if you get in her way “prepare to get crushed”…

John’s Thoughts: Yo! That was sweet. Sure beats the toy tank she drives to the ring. That’s also the best promo I saw Shotzi cut too. Less charming-dorky and more true to her moniker, badass. Good stuff.

3. Santana Garrett vs. Mia Yim. Yim and Garrett traded armdrags early on. Yim shook Garrett’s hand but Garrett used that go knee Yim on the gut. Garrett hit Yim with an Elbow and toss for a two count. Yim hit Garrett with a Full Nelson into a Dragon Suplex. Yim hit Garrett with Kawada Kicks and the Protect Ya Neck for the win.

Mia Yim defeated Santana Garrett via pinfall in 1:14.

Johnny Gargano started singing Mia Yim’s theme in a mocking tone. Candice LeRae said that Yim “finally” won and mocked Yim for dropping the ball against Charlotte. Gargano said Yim dropped it like it’s hot. Gargano and Yim continued to mock Yim for losing to Charlotte. Gargano then threatened Yim. Yim knocked Gargano off the apron but LeRae got the advantage of Yim. Gargano held down the rope so LeRae could toss Yim to ringside. Keith Lee walked out to assist Yim. LeRae and Gargano ran away when Lee and Yim entered the ring. Keith Lee’s theme played to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: The obvious setup to the real life couple vs. couple feud. Does this mean they’re putting the North American title on ice for a bit? Or maybe they’re having Gargano go after Lee as a component of this couples feud. That should be interesting. Looking at Garrett, it looks like she’s back to her usual role of being the designated enhancement wrestler of WWE (which she shared with Deonna Purrazzo at one point). I really hope this isn’t her career because she has a lot going for her.

Highlights from last week’s Cameron Grimes vs. Finn Balor match aired where Damien Priest was revealed at Balor’s attacker. Beth noted that it was the biggest win of Cameron’s career…

Cameron Grimes was shown cutting a promo around some bushes. He bragged about beating Finn Balor. Grimes said that some people call it a surprise or upset, but to Grimes it’s Grime Time…

Mauro Ranallo advertised Damien Priest appearing later in the show…[c]

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Drake Maverick and told him that he has to win tonights match in order to stay alive in the tournament. Drake said he knows all about being a underdog but Kushida is arguably the best wrestler in the world. Drake said he’s tired of everything. He named a bunch of things he’s tired of. He said he has one more thing to do, and that’s win…

Undisputed Era made their entrance. Adam Cole told the camera that he’s been NXT Champion for one year and UE might celebrate next week. Cole and Fish left. Strong told the camera that Dexter Lumis is a creepy dork. Speaking of creepy dorks, Creepy ass Sam Shaw made his entrance, he’s Dexter Lumis now…

4. Roderick Strong vs. Dexter Lumis. Lumis overpowered Strong with a shoulder wrench. Strong rolled to ringside and threw a bit of a fit for not being able to make Dexter flinch. Lumis quickly got Strong in a headlock which caused Strong to retreat to ringside again. Lumis gave Strong a few punches and a body slam. Lumis gave Strong a leg drop. Strong managed to rally a bit with a few chops and a kick to an incoming Lumis. Lumis regained control by giving Strong a bulldog. Roderick Strong gave Lumis a backbreaker on the apron to leave Lumis lying heading into commercial.[c]

[Hour Two] Strong was dominating Lumis back from the break. Strong hit Lumis with a backbreaker for a two count. Strong had Lumis in a body stretch with Lumis giving Strong a death glare from in the submission. That glare caused Strong to want to fish hook Lumis. Strong and Lumis traded right hands. Lumis dropped Strong with a forearm. Strong came back with an Angle Slam for a two count on Lumis.

Lumis escaped a Stronghold attempt with boots. Lumis escaped another Angle Slam and came back with a Thesz Press on Strong. Lumis hit Strong with stiff punches and a back drop. Lumis hit Strong with a slingshot suplex. Lumis no sold Strong’s chops by rubbing his chest. Strong followed up with right hands. Lumis caught an incoming Strong with a spinebuster. Lumis countered a Stronghold, but Strong sat down and then got the pinfall on Lumis.

Roderick Strong defeated Dexter Lumis via pinfall. 

Lumis quickly rolled ot the apron and locked Roddy in the Keta Gatame at ringside. Adam Cole and Bobby Fish ran out and kicked Lumis but Lumis no sold the kicks while keeping Strong in the Kata Gatame. Cole was about to give Lumis a Shining Wizard, but Velveteen Dream ran out and tossed around Cole and Fish. Cole was tossed to the crowd area. Dream then dove on Cole from the top rope to past the barricade to leave Cole lying.

Dexter Lumis was cradling Roderick Strong and raking his hand through Strong’s hair like he was petting a kitten.

Rhea Ripley was shown backstage…

John’s Thoughts: A good match that may have been one of the more complete matches I’ve seen from Sam Shaw. Roderick Strong is the kind of guy that will give you the best match of your career, so that’s no surprise. It was a cool clash of Strong’s technical vs. Lumis’s “creepy” style. I thought it worked. I don’t think Lumis lost much in the loss as he really did everything right after the final bell rang. It made it look like he didn’t care about the win and moreso getting to cradle the lifeless body of Roddy. Velveteen Dream also did some quick and effective work. That was the best Dream has looked like in a while. Let’s see how they follow up with him because he has shown glimpses of his greatness recently, only to fall back into a lesser version of himself.

Oh oh! Akira Tozawa was in a parking lot. A white SUV approached him, but El Hijo Del Fantasma emerged to congratulate Tozawa instead of ninjas. When Fantasma was about to leave, a silver SUV approached Tozawa and the ninja luchadors emerged. The ninjas beat up Tozawa a bit before being chased off by Fantasma…

John’s Thoughts: Now they’re laying it on thick that Fantasma is the leader. I hope this isn’t a red herring because I’ve seen Fantasma do really good work as main event heel (and later babyface) with his work in Lucha Underground and AAA.

5. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. “Ever Rise” Matt Martel and Chase Parker. Burch pummeled Parker with quick kicks. Martel tagged in and ate a headbutt from Burch. Lorcan tagged in and used his stiff strikes on Martel. Lorcan dragon screwed Parker. Lorcan hit Parker with a Blockbuster. Lorcan locked Parker in a half crab and Burch locked Martel in a crossface. Parker tapped out.

Lorcan and Burch defeated Ever Rise via pinfall in 1:33. 

Lorcan and Burch mocked the Imperium pose after the match…

A recap aired of the Garganos and Mia Yim segment from early on…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Keith Lee about his thoughts. Lee mocked Gargano for recording his dinners. Lee then challenged Johnny Gargano to a match at Takeover…

John’s Thoughts: Keith Lee must not be a fan of Mukbangs (and I totally agree. Why are people so into watching recordings of people eating their dinner?).

Mauro Ranallo thanked the band Code Orange for providing the song Underneath for NXT Takeover: In Your House…

Io Shirai was shown getting hyped backstage…

Matt Riddle cut a promo. He called Timothy Thatcher trashy.Riddle recapped Thatcher’s actions last week. Riddle talked about how Thatcher lost last week, but still tried to break Riddle’s ring. Riddle then said he accepts Thatcher’s challenge and that it’ll be in a location they’re both familiar with, a cage…

6. Kushida (Record 2-0) vs. Drake Maverick (Record 1-1) in a Group A match of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. Kushida had Maverick in a headlock early on. Mauro stressed that this might be Maverick’s last match in WWE. Maverick got a sunset flip for a two count on Kushida. Maverick avoided a few Kushida submissions. Kushida hit Maverick with a basement dropkick. Maverick fired back with a few strikes. Kushida came back with a handspring elbow. Kushida hit Maverick with a modified version of the Sacrifice Arm Breaker.

Jake Atlas showed up in the crowd area to watch the match. Kushida dominated Maverick for a stretch. Kushida nailed Maverick with his signature cartwheel into a dropkick. [c]

Maverick rallied at Kushida with punches and gave Kushida’s knee a basement dropkick. Maverick hit Kushida with a missile dropkick. Maverick hit Kushida with a Code Red for a two count. Jake Atlas was cheering Drake Maverick from the crowd area. Maverick no sold a right hand from Kushida. Kushida followed up with a palm an running elbow. Kushida gave Maverick’s left arm a knee drop. Mauro noted that Kushida’s gameplan always focusses on setting up the Hoverboard Lock.

Kushida gave Maverick a body slam. Kushida continued to torture Maverick’s left arm with Maverick crying in pain. Kushida no sold Maverick’s right hands and continued to go after Maverick’s left arm. Maverick cried while Kushida had Maverick in an armbar converted into a hammerlock. Maverick kept yelling to Drake Wuertz to not stop the match. Maverick got to the bottom rope for the break.

Kushida gave Maverick a rising palm. Maverick staggered Kushida on the top rope with a strike. Kushida caught Maverick’s left arm with a wristlock to force Maverick to retreat. Maverick went back to the top. Kushida dragged Maverick to the ground with a Juji Gatame. Maverick pressed Kushida’s shoulders to the mat for the clean win.

Drake Maverick defeated Kushida via pinfall in 8:41 of on-air TV time to earn a win in the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. 

The graphic showed that when taking tiebreakers into account, Jake Atlas, Kushida, and Drake Maverick are all tied. Byron Saxton showed up and anounced that William Regal booked Kushida, Maverick, and Atlas in a triple threat for next week…

Rhea Ripley was backstage and talked about how her wrestlemania loss affected her. She talked about not liking seeing Io Shirai pass by her in terms of getting a title match. Rhea said she’s going to be the person to bring the Women’s title back to NXT and if she has to beat Io Shirai then so be it…

Mauro Ranallo advertised Damien Priest showing up after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: When Mauro kept bringing up the tie scenario, you knew Drake Maverick was going to win somehow. Kinda took a little bit of the steam out of it, but it was still compelling given the real-life nature of the Drake Maverick situation. I was surprised that they gave Maverick a clean (albeit fluky) win because Jake Atlas showing up made it look like he was going to interfere. Ultimately, this match did a good job setting up next week’s match where Drake Maverick’s career is on the line and it could have used the setup given how they haven’t been stressing the Drake Maverick storyline on TV in recent weeks.

Beth Phoenix advertised Jake Atlas vs. Drake Maverick vs. Kushida in a triple treat tiebraker match for next week . Mauro advertised Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher in a Cage Match for next week.

John’s Thoughts: Interesting? I would have thought that Thatcher vs. Riddle would be at Takeover. Maybe Thatcher wins to set up a Rubber Match at Takeover.

Damien Priest was in a dark area. He talked about having multiple targets and how Finn Balor being a target is an opportunity. Damien Priest challenged Finn Balor to a match at Takeover. Priest said Finn Balor’s name will turn to ash while the Damien Priest name will live forever. Priest’s name showed up on the video wall behind him…

Byron Saxton advertised Tommaso Ciampa vs. Karrion Kross at Takeover…

Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley made their entrances with about 10 minutes left at the top of the hour…

7. Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai. Shirai and Ripley brawled a bit. Ripley caught a diving Shirai. Shirai escaped with a back rake. Ripley caught Shirai’s arms and gave her shortarm lariats. Ripley gave Shirai a dropkick. Ripley gave Shirai a few flapjack slams. Shirai escaped a third and rolled up Ripley into a double stomp. Ripley kicked out at two.[c]

Both women traded counters with Shirai landing the sunset flip. Shirai locked Ripley in a crippler’s crossface. Ripley got to a vertical base and escaped. Shirai was punched on the top rope. Ripley gave Shirai a series of headbutts. Ripley gave Shirai a superplex for a two count. Shirai gave Ripley two punches but Ripley knocked Shirai to the mat with a forearm. Shirai locked RIpley in the Crossface again. Ripley got to the bottom rope for the break. Shirai hit Ripley with a 619 and Slingshot Dropkick.

Shirai hit Ripley with a suicide dive at ringside. Charlotte Flair made her entrance to stand over Shirai and Ripley at ringside. Shirai countered Ripley’s toss with a huracanrana, sending her into Flair. Shirai caught Ripley with a meteora in the corner. Shirai planted Ripley with a spike DDT for a two count. Flair gave Shirai a boot and Ripley a spear to end the match in DQ…

Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley ended in an apparent no-contest in 7:25 of on-air TV Time. 

Flair posed with her women’s championship to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: A bit formula and underwhelming to say the least. The match was fine, but the obvious build to a triple treat at takeover is as WWE formula as you would expect, and I usually expect a bit more nuance form NXT. They didn’t even announce a triple threat, but that’s totally what I’m expecting given the formula they worked here. I think they could have got to the same end, but in more of a compelling way if this was more of a backstage brawl that Charlotte interjected herself in as opposed to a regular match. The reason it had to be more nuance is because Shirai has been pretty cold since her return and Ripley is showing up cold, both needed their characters to be heated up a bit. The match should be good, but this was pretty missable for me. Maybe some people liked it better.

Aside from that formula ending, I thought the rest of the show was strong and the show has a clear direction now that they have a Takeover show in the horizon. Add on top of that, the Drake Maverick storyline. Mauro and Beth made the finish predictable for this week’s Maverick match, but I have to say that I’m going into next week’s triple threat without a prediction. There’s still a compelling real-life component to that hook. There you go. I’ll be by tomorrow with my NXT Audio Review for the Dot Net Members (check out our sale by the way to unlock access to it BT-dubs). Jason Powell should be by tomorrow with his hit list for the show.

 



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...


Readers Comments (1)

  1. “Lumis quickly rolled off the apron and locked Lumis in the Keta Gatame at ringside.”

    That’s pretty impressive!

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