By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Taped May 27, 2020 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Aired June 3, 2020 on USA Network
Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, and Tom Phillips were on commentary…
1. Candice LeRae vs. Mia Yim. Mauro noted that Yim created the new motto “Yim-itless” (oh god!). LeRae jumped Mia before the bell, but Yim recovered and agreed for the bell to ring. Yim then dominated LeRae with strong kicks, including a Face Wash Yakuza kick. LeRae started crawling away and begging for glory. Yim pulled LeRae away with a Full Nelson, but LeRae hit Yim with an overhead kick. LeRae slammed yim to the mat and hit Yim with a running senton for a two count. LeRae hit Yim with two more step up Sentons for another two count.
LeRae went for a choke on Yim, but yim slammed LeRae into the turnbuckle to separate the two. Yim then hit LeRae with a running cannonball for a two count. LeRae rallied at Yim with her rapid fire chop combo, leading to boos from the trainee crowd. Yim escaped the corner by giving LeRae a forearm off the apron. LeRae and Yim brawled at ringside. The referee counted to 10 for the 10 count.
Candice LeRae vs. Mia Yim ended in a double countout in 3:49.
LeRae power bombed Yim into the LED video wall to scramble the video feed. Tegan Nox ran out for the save, but were stopped by Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Shotzi Blackheart ran out to fight off Kai and Gonzalez. Yim knocked LeRae to the floor with a punch. Johnny Gargano ran out to check on LeRae. LeRae attacked Yim again. Keith Lee ran out to chase the Garganos away.
Gargano was acting like a goof on the ramp. The ring annnouncer announced that William Regal just turned this scene into a mixed tag team match…[c]
Gargano tried to run away, claiming he wasn’t dressed to compete. Keith Lee caught up to Johnny and Military pressed him back into the ring, despite Candice LeRae on his back.
2. Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae vs. Keith Lee and Mia Yim in a mixed-tag match. Yim snapmared LeRae around the ring. Phillips reminded viewers that via mixed tag rules, men must face men and women must face women. Yim hit LeRae with the Seoul Food for the two count. Gargano distracted Yim which allowed LeRae to PK the calf of Yim. That got her a two count. Yim pushed LeRae away with double boots and then smashed Yim with a Face Wash kick. Yim and Gargano started trash talking each other. LeRae held on to Yim’s leg to prevent Yim from tagging in Lee.
Yim gave LeRae a Dragon Suplex. Gargano broke up the pin. Lee ran after Gargano and gave Gargano a hip toss. Lee pulled off Gargano’s jacket and gave Gargano gut punches. Lee gave Gargano a splash in the corner. Gargano stuck his car keys in Keith Lee’s eyes to prevent from getting Spirit Bombed. LeRae rolled up a distracted Yim for the victory. Phillips yelled “Oh my God!” several times.
Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae defeated Keith Lee and Mia Yiim via pinfall in 3:45.
Gargano attacked the hand of Lee after the match and posed on the ramp in front of the North American Title.
John’s Thoughts: Standard stuff and pretty main rostery, but that was effective standard stuff as it continues to build up the Garganos as chicken heels. Johnny is being a textbook chicken heel, but there’s a reason why this is stuff that heels do. The car keys was a nice touch in that it’s a crap finish you don’t see often, and it made sense given how Gargano was selling the fact that he was in his regular everyday clothes.
A Karrion Kross vs. Tommaso Ciampa hype package aired…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Dexter Lumis backstage about his thoughts on Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream. Lumis looked at McKenzie a bit and walked off camera. He came back with a painting canvas. McKenzie tried to get Dexter’s attention, but Lumis kept painting…
Mauro noted that while Lumis is drawing, after the break will be Cole vs. Dream “Prime Target”…[c]
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Drake Maverick about his thoughts on later today. Maverick started a bit goofy and said he was feeling crazy because it could be the best or worst day of his life, so he has nothing to worry about exactly…
The show cut to the Prime Target video package. Kyle O’Reilly pulled up to Adam Cole with a Limousine. Cole entered the Limo and the rest of Undisputed Era were in the limo. O’Reilly said the reason for the limo is to finally have Cole’s championship celebration. Mauro transtitioned to Velveteen Dream’s portion of the video. Dream was roller blading on the street. Dream was recapping being tossed off a truck by Undisputed Era and having months of his career taken away. Dream said he hopes Cole likes pain, because Cole is about to give it to Cole. Dream said the outside looks beautiful, and the Dream’s NXT is beautiful.
They cut back to the Adam Cole celebration, where UE were eating food at a nice restaurant. Adam Cole hostest a toast for his one year anniversary as NXT Champ and for a future win at In Your house. Back at in the Dream’s video, this time at the sex couch, Dream talked about being able to handle a 4 on 1 situation. Dream bragged about being a superstar at 2-4 years old. Dream said that he could have Cole pinned to the mat for the three. Dream then did the mirror mirror Cinderella bit into the mirror that is girls handed him. Suddenly, “the ghost of Prince” as in the late Prince (a pretty decent cosplayer of Prince) told Dream that he’ll be the best NXT Champion of them all. Mauro did some more hype for the In Your House show…
Mauro advertised Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish vs. Lorcan and Burch vs. a mystery third team in a number one contenders triple threat for later in the show…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Solid and fun stuff. I only wish we could have gotten more creativity from Dream over the past two months as opposed to just in this video. Dream was good here (he’s been showing flashes of his old Aleister Black Feud greatness here and there, but he then drops off into obscurity immediately after). The Prince bit cracked me up in a good way. Adam Cole hasn’t been doing does great video packages that he used to do too, so good on his end as well. It’s also a treat to get Kyle O’Reilly back on TV during the Pandemic season. O’Reilly always adds that next level of wittiness to UE promos.
Dexter Lumis revealed his artwork to be him driving a pickup truck, with Undisputed Era tied up in the back…
John’s Thoughts: Welp… We all know who Lumis wants to do weird things to in his basement. I mean, all signs point to Fantasma, but should people in tha Kayfabe start speculating that Lumis might be the man who’s kidnapping dudes. Lumis might have been in TNA when Samoa Joe was kidnapped!
3. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Tony Nese. Scott was aggressive and tossing him around ringside. Mauro reminded viewers that Nese beat Scott down before a match, costing him a chance at wrestling for the Cruiserweight championship. Nese raked at the eyes of Scott and took down Scott with a running axe handle strike. Nese worked on Scott with power tosses. Nese then tried to wear Scott down with a leg body scissors. Both men traded slaps. Nese locked Scott in a Guillotine choke. Scott deadlifted Nese into a Brainbuster.
Scott gave Nese a flurry of kicks and punches. Scott slid out of the ring and hit Scott with a drop toehold. Nese landed on his feeat after missing a moonsault. Scott gave Nese a boot from higher ground on the apron. Nese throat punched Scott to get some recovery time. Scott came back wtih a boot and European Uppercut. Scott was about to go high risk but was distracted by Jack Gallagher. Nese was about to go for a Sunset Pile Driver, but Nese reversed it into a rollup for the win.
Isaiah Scott defeated Tony Nese via pinfall in 5:32.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch were shown inspiring each other backstage. Strong and Fish were shown giving each other friendly bickering…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A really good cruiserweight that looked more normal due to there being a crowd to react to high spots. It wasn’t just that though. Nese and Scott also got some good hard hits in there rather than all flips. Scott can be a top tier player, but I don’t think he’s going to get there with the very vague “Swerve” character.
A generic Takeover In Your House ad aired…
The mystery team was the returning Fandango as Breezango. This week they were astronaut strippers. Beth noted that Dango benefited by opting for physical therapy as opposed to surgery…
4. “Undisputed Era” Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. “Breezango” Fandango and Tyler Breeze in a number one contenders triple threat. Phillips noted that Adam Cole’s negotiations led to this match. Burch and Breeze double teamed Fish with punches and suplexes. Breeze and Burch then argued over who would get the pin. The confusion allowed Strong to run it, but right into a Breeze Baldo Bomb. Breeze hit Strong with a kick and rolled up Burch for a two count. All three teams yelled at each other heading into break.[c]
Breeze and Burch took turns putting the boots to Strong. Burch ended up hitting Breeze with a missile dropkick. Strong hit Burch with a back elbow. Strong came back at Breeze with a backbreaker. UE isolated Breeze away from the Dango by using quick tags. Strong worked on Breeze with snug headlocks. Burch used punches and chops to fight off UE. UE overwhelmed Burch. Dango tagged in and hit UE with power slams. Dango hit Strong with a Tornado DDT and Falcon Arrow for a two count.
Lorcan tagged in and hit Breeze and Fish with running strikes. he ran through Strong with a shoulder block. Dango tossed Lorcan over the top to a pile of people at ringside. Burch backdropped Dango into a Tope Con Hilo. Brawling ensued. Dexter Lumis was shown standing in the crowd givign his creepy stare to UE. Breeze hit a distracted Fish with the Beauty Shot. Dango hit Fish with a Last Dance top rope leg drop for the win.
Breezango defeated Undisputed Era and Lorcan and Burch in 6:28 of on-air TV time to become number one contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Marcel Barthel and Fabien Aichner walked down the ramp. Behind them “Indus Sher” Rinku and Suraf appeared with their manager Malcolm Bivens…
Drake Maverick was shown in the locker room…[c]
John’s Thoughts: One of the better NXT Tag team matches we’ve seen on NXT in a while given how decimated NXT’s Tag Division has been for a while. It got good for a bit, but COVID happened and locked out a handful of teams. Good to see Dango back, but not a huge fan of Breezango continuing to do their fantasy male stripper routine. I kinda hope Dango turns on Breeze and becomes singles Johnny Curtis again. Can we get Dexter Lumis and Johnny Curtis to tag team? You can call them “The Creeps”.
Highlights from last week’s Shirai and Ripley vs. Flair and Green match aired. They then aired the YouTube video where Chelsea Green “fired” Robert Stone…
Aliyah made her entrance. Mauro noted that Robert Stone seemed like he was recruiting Aliyah. Aliyah had some nice black and gold ring gear by the way…
John’s Thoughts: It’s NXT’s designated enhancement women wrestling. My guess is Aliyah wins due to her having a story, but Santana deserves better due to her having so much experience.
5. Aliyah vs. Santana Garrett. Aliyah hit Garrett with a neckbreaker and an agressive ground and pound attack. A disheveled Robert Stone walked out to cheer on Aliyah (Interesting enough, the fuzzy hair makes Robbie E look even more like Tony Khan than he already did). Aliyah gave Garrett a boot for a two count. Garrett used the buckle to escape a sleeper. Aliyah and Garrett traded slaps. Garrett hit Aliyah with a handstand Frankensteiner. Garrett hit Aliyah with a soumersault moonsault for the victory.
Santana Garrett defeated Aliyah via pinfall in 2:01.
Robert Stone had shaky hands and was fiddling with his glasses. He walked to the back acting a bit psychotic. Aliyah tried to beg to be Stone’s client…
El Hijo del Fantasma was shown doing stretches. Phillips hyped up the Women’s Championship Prime Target for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Well, I’m a bit surpried, but happy that Garrett won. Hopefully they follow up on her win (but I’m not getting my hopes up, she’ll probably be back to jobbing in two weeks). What I’m actually finding myself intrigued as to what Robert Stone does next. Best of all, I’m pretty sure Bro Mans is dead, so I don’t expect Stone’s Pauley D cosplay routine to return. I wonder where they’re going with “Crazy” routine. Are they giving Robert Stone the Crazy Laurel Van Ness gimmick?
Tom Phillips thanked the band Code Orange for providing the song Underneath for NXT Takeover: In Your House. Phillips then introduced the Women’s Triple Threat Prime Target package…
The video started off with Io Shirai (subtitled) saying she doesn’t need anyone. She talked about being isolated in an empty void, who she likes being alone, and that makes her stronger. Shirai was shown being under water and laughing. Shirai said that Io Shirai will be the next Women’s Champion. They cut to Rhea Ripley waking up early in the morning to her phone alarm. She was making meal prep for her chocolate smoothies.
Ripley said her highest point of the career was the end of 2019. She said her life went downward in 2020 (as a lot of us). Ripley said she doesn’t care anymore, she just wants to win. They cut to Charlotte Flair training at the WWE Performance Center. She said she’s a bit nervous being back at Takeover. She said she’s NXT home grown and was made here. She said people were wrong when they chanted “you don’t go here”. Flair said the turning point of her career was beating Nattie Neidhart for the NXT Women’s Championship. Natalya and Pete Rosenberg praised Charlotte’s NXT Career.
They cut over to Rhea Ripley working out in the gym. She said she’s focused on getting better and better so she can get the championship. A replay aired of Ripley challenging Flair to a Mania match. Pete Rosenberg praised Ripley and said that Ripley ran into a mountain known as Flair. Ripley said she needs the title and the title is sweeter now due to being exposed on all three brands.
They cut to the Sam Roberts Show where Roberts praised Io Shrai for being eye catching. Beth Phoenix talked about Shirai being great in Japan. Rosenberg said Shirai reminds him of AJ Styles. Natalya said Shirai is groundbreaking, beautiful, mysterious, and talented. Pat McAfee said Shirai is like a wolverine who will rip your face off. McAfee said he’s predicting Shirai will win. Mauro Ranallo did some final hype for the women’s triple threat on Sunday…[c]
John’s Thoughts: More Prime Target greatness. Why can’t they produce more packages like this and spread them out throughout the build? I thought we could have used more from Io Shirai, but the Io Shirai part of the package was actually my favorite, with her swimming and being all psychotic. She’s badass. I thought Ripley looked a bit nervous, but it made her look organic and relatable. Flair was good too, not playing to her “queen” act, but talking about how the fans turned on her for being a homegrown star.
Cameron Grimes made his entrance. Tom Phillips said it’s Grime Time (I know there’s no malice meant behind it, but I would have held back on that catchphrase so close to Shad passing a few weeks ago). Bronson Reed made his entrance wearing all black, including a black jacket…
6. Cameron Grimes vs. Bronson Reed. Grimes kept a distance early on, and dove at Reed’s legs. Reed kept a wide base and reversed Cameron’s trip attempt. Reed no sold Cameron’s chop and gave Cameron a series of strikes and Atomic Drop. Reed gave Grimes a military press slam followed by a running senton. Grimes used a boot to keep Reed at bay. Grimes escaped a hold and gave Reed a Superman Forearm. Reed gave Grimes a standing Thesz Press. Reed gave Grimes a tackle in the corner. Reed went high risk and missed a splash. Grimes hit Reed with a Cave-In out of nowhere for the win.
Cameron Grimes defeated Bronson Reed via pinfall in 2:40.
Grimes bragged into the camera about beating Finn Balor with that move. Suddenly, the guy that “murdered” him out of Impact with a cinder block, Karrion Kross was seething in the ring. Grimes ran the hell out of there. Grimes gave Bronson Reed a Doomsday Saito. Kross then seethed close to the camera and said that Takeover with Ciampa is going to be “Special”…[c]
John’s Thoughts: NXT is doing a great job protecting Grimes with strong wins, having him lose when it counts, and building up his Cave In as a credible knockout finisher. Grimes has one of the strongest and post protected finishers in pro wrestling at the moment. What’s also solid is he’s doing this as a solid mid-carder. They don’t need him in the main event. Not yet. The Kross stuff was simple and effective. This guy is going to destroy Ciampa one way or another on Sunday right? (I got a chuckle out of Grimes acting like he just saw a ghost because he was sent packing from Impact after Kross punched a cinder block in his face).
Beth Phoenix announced Shotzi Blackheart, Tegan Nox, and Mia Yim vs. Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez, and Candice LeRae for Takeover…
John’s Thoughts: A bit generic, but I’m happy for multiple women’s matches being the norm on Takeovers since the USA move.
7. El Hijo Del Fantasma vs. Drake Maverick for the vacant NXT Interim Cruiserweight Championship. Someone in the crowd started a “Let’s go Drake” chant. Fantasma and Drake shook hands, but Fantasma rolled up Drake for a two count. Phillips noted that Drake’s career might have flashed before his eyes. Maverick reversed a Front Chancery into a hammerlock. Fantasma overpowered Drake in the corner. Fantasma then used an armdrag into an armbar. Fantasma was wearing his “Punisher” themed ring gear.
Fantasma hit Drake with a monkey flip into a crucifix pin for a good nearfall. Drake started hitting himself in the head to stay focused. Maverick ran under Fantasma lariats and gave Fantasma a running huracanrana. Fantasma ducked a baseball slide. Maverick avoided a power bomb. Maverick hit Fantasma with a cannonball from the apron. [c]
John’s Thoughts: Ooof. I have to say. The factor of Drake’s “real life career” (maybe) being on the line is making this match pretty thrilling. Fantasma is the perfect opponent for this match given how the guy’s a methodical storyteller in the ring and does all the little things right that a lot of other wrestlers don’t do. Fantasma strikes me as a guy who can become a Triple H guy someday given his focus on building up a match.
Fantasma gave Maverick a power bomb, which caused him to cry in pain. Fantasma then gave Maverick a clubbing blow and a back suplex for a nearfall. Fantasma put Maverick in a Boston Crab and Mauro kept selling that this might be Maverick’s last day in WWE. Fantasma hit Maverick with a sitout power bomb (great Maverick sell) for a great nearfall. Maverick kept telling Fantasma that he’s not quitting. Fantasma focused on Maverick’s lower back which Mauro noted was injured. Maverick no sold an irish whip into the buckle and gave Fantasma a running lariat.
Maverick then roared and gave Fantasma flailing punches. Maverick hit Fantasma with a delayed Bulldog. Maverick hit Fantasma with a top rope Elbow Drop. Phillips was disappointed at the kickout after he yelled “Do it Drake!”. Fantasma hit Drake with a jawbreaker and spinebuster. Maverick staggered Fantasma with a boot to the rope. Fantasma and Maverick traded headbutts and both crumpled, Maverick to the ring and Fantasma to the ringside.
Suddenly, the masked ninjas ran out. Drake Maverick hit both ninja luchadores with a suicide dive. The ninja luchadores ran away. Fantasma recovered and hit Maverick with the Thrill of the Hunt (Samoan Driver) for the victory.
El Hijo Del Fantasma defeated Drake Maverick via pinfall in 11:32 of on-air TV time.
Beth Phoenix said this tournament was bittersweet with Fantasma having a good win, but Maverick’s career ending. Mauro continued to sell the fact that Maverick’s WWE career is over. The camera stuck on Drake Maverick after the match. The Performance Center trainees were slamming the plexiglass to cheer on Maverick.
Maverick got up to the camera and thanked the fans for their support. Maverick then started sobbing in the ring. Maverick walked around ringside with the trainees continuing to bang on the plexiglass while cheering Drake on. Suddenly, Triple H walked out (oh no! My heart! My heart!). Triple H handed Drake Maverick a folder with a contract in it (oh no! Thank You papa H!). Drake signed the contract, grinned, and gave Triple h a hug. Mauro noted that Drake Maverick remains a WWE Superstar…
John’s Thoughts: Yo! That one got a drop of water to drip out of my eye. I tend to do that time to time if something is emotional enough. That was a great ride. Anyways, we know who won’t be showing up to Impact Slammiversary based off that teaser Impact aired last night. I’ll still rank Maverick’s match against Ethan Carter III at Wembley as the more emotional Maverick peak, but this one took a different approach with the real life layoffs. Of course, it became story after a certain point, but there was always that doubt of a melancholy ending leading up to the end. Triple H walking out there with the NXT folder, that was a good and wholesome moment. I’m not selling the match short either, Fantasma is a sleeper gem when it comes to storytelling and this was a good match from both guys.
Very strong show top to bottom. This episode was a step up from most weeks too with the prime targets and the Drake Maverick roller coaster ride. Drake Maverick deserves extra points for earlier in the show. I’m not sure if he did it on purpose, but his promo earlier in the show attacked me at a meta level. I thought the reason he was acting goofy was because WWE wanted to diffuse some of the sadness in the end. Good work Drake! Good work Drake! (See! I’m happy you guys get to see some of the Spud that I keep saying is a main eventer. This man can do more). Want to hear me praise and possibly verbally sob more, check out my member’s exclusive NXT Audio Review. Jason Powell might have thought this end was stoopid (I kid I kid), check out his hitlist when he catches the show.