8/19 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Adam Cole and Pat McAfee meet on the Takeover XXX go-home show, Finn Balor vs. Velveteen Dream and Johnny Gargano vs. Ridge Holland for spots in the NXT North American Championship ladder match, Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart vs. Mercedes Martinez and Aliyah

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

NXT TV 
Taped August 13, 2020 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Aired August 19, 2020 on USA Network

[Hour One] Mauro Ranallo, Vic Joseph, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. No intro this week. The show started off with Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae making their entrances. Vic Joseph noted he knew Gargano before WWE and he sees what Gargano is doing now as just being honest to himself…

1. Johnny Gargano (w/Candice LeRae) vs. Ridge Holland for a spot in the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match at NXT Takeover XXX. Gargano tried to trash talk Holland early on, but Holland grabbed Gargano and started tossing him around the ring. Holland slowed the action down with a wristlock control and takedown. Holland gave Gargano a hip toss and shoulder tackle. Gargano retreated to his wife while Holland was in pursuit. Gargano escaped a hold after Holland caught him off a plancha. Gargano hit Holland with a PK.

Holland gave Gargano a uppercut and a lariat, both of which Holland sold due to previous pain. Holland gave Gargano knees in the corner followed by an Irish whip. Gargano recovered and started working on Holland’s injured right arm. Gargano took down Holland with a heel hook. Holland escaped by using his heel to boot Gargano in the head. Gargano sidestepped a running Holland. Gargano gave Holland a Suicide Dive heading into picture-in-picture commercial.[c]

Back from the break, Mauro was worried after Gargano took a bad bump from a weird looking Power Slam from Holland. The referee tried to check on Gargano, but Gargano walked around him and gave Holland a superkick. Holland blocked One Final Beat with a forearm. Holland swung Gargano with a head held Giant Swing followed by a Jackhammer power slam for a two count. Holland kept a wide base to block a GargaNo escape. Gargano hit Holland with a series of lariats and chops.

Holland pounced Gargano to ringside. Holland reversed Gargano’s DDT into a snake eyes on the apron. LeRae held on to Holland’s leg which allowed Gargano to low blow Holland with a boot, which the referee missed. Gargano hit Holland with The One Final Beat DDT for the victory.

Johnny Gargano defeated Ridge Holland via pinfall in 12:11 to earn a spot in  the North American Championship ladder match at Takeover XXX. 

Beth Phoenix advertised Dakota Kai “in action” after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A average match. It was reported that the “scary” moment was an actual botch. It probably was, but the commentators were instructed to run with it, because ultimately it didn’t add anything to the match. Anyway, at least the match wasn’t horrible. Holland reminds me a bit of young Bobby Lashley, in that he has a really really good look, but there’s something about his bland facials and subpar in-ring that is holding him back from being considered as a top tier star, yet. Key word “yet” because Holland looks like he’s a few tweaks away from being something great (but, for example, WWE already has someone like Lars Sullivan who checks the same boxes as Holland while being a much more refined overall act).

2. Dakota Kai vs. Jessi Kamea. Kai took down Kamea early on. Kamea tried to block a corner slam with a boot, but Kai pulled Kamea to the mat for a two count. Kai hit Kamea with the Kaio Kick and a Face Wash. Kamea avoided a Face Wash and rolled up Kai for a two count. Kamea hit Kai with a basement back kick. Kamea hit Kai with a sliding low kick and corner forearm. Kamea hit Kai with a twisting side slam for a two count. Kai gave Kamea a STO into the bottom rope. Kai hit Kamea with the GTK (Detonation Kick) for the win.

Dakota Kai defeated Jessi Kamea via pinfall in 2:55.

Kai took the mic and said that Io must be out of her mind for thinking that Kai is afraid of Io. Kai said Io is focused on the people of Kai’s past while Kai is focused on the future, meaning she’s taking the championship from Io. Kai said it’ll feel good when she kicks Io in the face over and over and over and over again. Io Shirai ran out in street clothes. Shirai punched and dropkicked Kai to ringside. Shirai yelled and Kai, who tried to crawl away. Suddenly, from behind the black curtain, Raquel Gonzalez made her return and gave Shirai a bit boot. Gonzalez carried and dumped Shirai in the ring. Kai tried to trash talk Shirai, but ate a rising palm. Gonzalez quickly entered the ring and gave her delayed choke slam to Shirai. Vic Joseph talked about how Dakota Kai was lying to everyone when she said she was all by herself now…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Tegan Nox on Nox’s thoughts on Candice LeRae from last week’s home segment. Nox said she used to be friends with LeRae, but LeRae’s been different over the past few months. Nox said she would be down to mend her friendship with LeRae over a glass of wine. Nox said she’s ready to talk with LeRae.

John’s Thoughts: Thank goodness! Gonzalez is still a part of Kai’s act and not a part of the main roster (And even better, nowhere near that God awful Retribution faction. Prayers out to Dijak and Ciampa that they aren’t a part of that crap faction too). Obviously something facilitated them having to take Gonzalez off of TV for a few weeks given how clunky they presented that, but in the end it was a nice transition to make it seem like Kai was playing long term mind games with Shirai. All in all, I hope  we get a long run of Kai and Gonzalez as a duo.

A Finn Balor black room promo aired where he addressed his opponent Velveteen Dream. Balor talked about how Dream was supposed to wrestle Balor a few months ago before that got rebooked. Balor talked about how Dream keeps getting chances after chances in the business. Balor said everyone will get the “experience” that they want, with Finn “over”…

John’s Thoughts: Awww, no forced wrestling lingo. Unless you want to count the “over” part of Balor mocking Dream’s catchphrase. Balor shoehorning wrestling terms in his promos have become a guilty pleasure of mine.

Legado Del Fantasma made their entrance first. Breezango came out next, and shockingly, there was no stripper entrance!

3. “Legado Del Fantasma” Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza vs. Tyler Breeze, Fandango, and Isaiah Scott. Mauro noted that Isaiah Scott has the only pinfall win over Santos Escobar in WWE. All six men brawled to start the match. Dango and Mendoza were the first legal men of the match once the teams got separated. Mendoza dragged Dango’s head on the top rope and tackled him to his corner. Wilde tagged in and went high risk, but Dango punched Wilde in the gut. Breeze tagged in. Dango and Breeze gave Wilde sandwich boots to the head to give Breeze a two count. Vic Joseph noted that Breezango was different this week, being all business.

Scott gave Wilde and Mendoza dives outside. Scott hit Escobar with a gamengiri during a dive attempt. Breezango gave Mendoza and Wilde stereo superkicks heading into regular commercial. [c]

John’s Thoughts: Random aside, Chaka Khan appeared in a random commercial during the break. That makes me miss Isaiah Scott’s old Chaka Khan entrance theme. That was such a good entrance theme and an even better karaoke song.

Dango had control over Wilde back from the break. Dango gave Wilde a boot. Escobar distracted Dango to cause Wilde to trip him off the top rope to ringside. Mauro noted that Dango caught his arm on the apron. Escobar and Wilde tagged in . The other two men hip tossed Mendoza onto Dango. Mendoza got a two count on Dango. Mendoza mocked Dango’s hip swivel. Mendoza then worked on Dango for a few minutes. Wilde tagged in and knocked Scott and Breeze off the apron. Dango managed to backdrop Wilde and Mendoza. Scott recovered and tagged in for the hot tag sequence.

Scott cleaned house. Scott pummeled Escobar in the corner. Scott hit Escobar with a rolling Paydirt. Scott gave Mendoza a single foot stomp from the apron. Escobar had a beautiful Bicycle Knee counter to catch Scott who was diving. Scott escaped a Phantom Driver attempt, but escaped and hit Escobar with the JML driver. The referee wouldn’t count the pin because he said that Breeze was the legal man.  Wilde and Mendoza hit Scott with a Shining Wizard-Russian Legsweep combo. Breeze tried to rally against Escobar, but Escobar planted Breeze with the Phantom Driver for the victory.

Legado Del Fantasma defeated Tyler Breeze, Fandango, and Isaiah Scott via pinfall in 8:30 of on-air time.

Vic Joseph noted that Escobar didn’t lose due to a technicality. Replays aired of the closing moments of the match…

Pat McAfee, Darius Butler, and AJ Hawk were shown approaching Full Sail heading into commercial…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A good trios match with a creative finish. Too many cute finishes like that and NXT can risk killing off Escobar’s credibility, but NXT is usually good with not running a gimmick into the ground. That and Escobar has proven over the years as Hijo Del Fantasma/King Cuerno that he’s one of the best technical wrestlers in the world, so there’s no fear that he can’t deliver when given a chance to put together a 10+ minute match.

Vic Joseph thanked Metallica for providing the song Moth Into Flame as the theme for NXT Takeover XXX…

Beth Phoenix announced Legado Del Fantasma vs. Breezango vs. Lorcan and Burch in a tag team number one contenders match for the Takeover Pre-show…

[Hour Two] Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Roderick Strong made their entrance. The Undisputed Era called out Pat McAfee, who made his entrance from a side entrance. McAfee got a mic and talked about how he is here and how he brought his NFL player friends with him. McAfee talked about how he knows how Cole surrounds himself with guys because he knows that Cole can’t stand up to McAfee one-on-one. The rest of UE and the NFL players dropped from the apron to leave Cole and McAfee alone.

McAfee talked about how great Cole was. He talked about Cole wrestling all around the world and becoming the biggest star on the brand. McAfee said Cole fooled everyone. McAfee said it took Cole years to do all this but it took McAfee one second to knock Cole’s ass out with a punt. McAfee called out the fans for being ignorant. McAfee said on sunday Cole is going to be left unconscious. McAfee said Cole only gave McAfee two weeks to prepare for the match and McAfee only needs two weeks. McAfee said Cole is about to lose to an outsider because this outsider is next level, above cole as a human, and above cole as an athlete.

McAfee said he’s sending Cole’s face to the moon. McAfee said all anyone will hear at the end is “boom”. Cole was about to confront McAfee, but NXT security got in the way. Cole kicked and booted away the security. The Undisputed Era then faced off against McAfee and McAfee’s NFL friends. Cole got in McAfee’s face and off-mic said he was going to make McAfee his bitch. Undisputed Era exited the arena to close the segment…

Beth Phoenix announced Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez vs. Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart for after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Standard stuff from McAfee, but effective stuff. A solid heel promo from McAfee who is really doing a good acclimating to being an annoying but confident heel. Ever since they made it clear that McAfee would be heel, I’ve been looking forward to this match as a potential sleeper hit on this Sunday’s Takeover. Cole’s one of the best wrestlers in the world, so he’ll carry things on his end. Let’s see if McAfee can pull a DeAngelo Williams (when DeAngelo Williams wrestled at Impact Slammiversary) and show that he’s may be a natural. Pat has the promo game down pat (pun intended).

4. Mercedes Martinez and Aliyah (w/Robert Stone) vs. Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart. Ripley went right at Martinez but Aliyah tagged in. Ripley suplexed Aliyah a few times. Blackheart gave Aliyah a running cannonball. Blackheart gave Aliyah a sling blade bulldog. Blackheart yelled “welcome to the ball pit” while giving Aliyah the Jeff Hardy double boot drop. Aliyah turned the tide by slamming Shotzi by the hair to the mat. Martinez tagged in and worked on Shotzi heading into commercial. [c]

Shotzi caught Aliyah with a boot and Sunset Rollup for a two count. Aliyah slammed Shotzi for a two count. Mercedes tagged in and gave Shotzi a high knee. Mercedes worked on Shotzi in her corner. Aliyah and Mercedes traded tags to keep Shotzi under control. Blackheart got a window of opportunity after a sky high DDT on Martinez. Ripley tagged in and rallied against Aliyah, who also tagged in. Ripley hit Aliyah with an electric chair slam. Shotzi tagged in.

My feed cut out for a bit. They cut to a replay where Rhea Ripley gave Martinez a power bomb at ringside. Shotzi hit Aliyah with a diving senton for the three count.

Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart  defeated Aliyah and Robert Stone via pinfall. 

Vic Joseph announced a preview into the Keith Lee vs. Karrion Kross match for after the break…[c]

Vic Joseph advertised Triple H’s entrance theme vinyl being sold on the WWE website…

The show cut to the Keith Lee vs. Karrion Kross preview. The video showed Keith Lee’s double title win against Adam Cole from Great American Bash. Kross cut a poem about a man reaching the top of the mountain, but then finding out that the mountain is a volcano ready to erupt. A rock music montage aired for Karrion Kross. This montage included Kross highlights between Great American bash until now, which included a beatdown on Dominik Dijakovic. The video then transitioned to the Lee portion of the video where Lee said he would whoop dat ass of Kross. The end of the video had the graphic to advertise Takeover…

The commentators ran through the advertised Takeover Card…

John’s Thoughts: Seriously, this is a hot as hell match that I honestly can’t predict who would win (unless you’re taking into account that Keith Lee may be called out, in that case I’d say Kross has to win right?). Fingers crossed that we get to see Kross really shine in the ring. Believe me, I’ve seen the guy before WWE in his many promotions and this guy can put on amazing and violent matches. Lee’s an athletic freak on his end. Can’t wait for Lee vs. Kross on Saturday.

Finn Balor made his entrance first. Velveteen Dream made his entrance to boos from the spectator wrestlers. Mauro noted that Velveteen Dream was off TV for a while due to a “self imposed sabbatical”…

5. Finn Balor vs. Velveteen Dream for a spot in the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match at Takeover XXX. Velveteen Dream was wrestling in street clothes. Mauro noted that Dream and Balor have the most wins at Takeover. Balor started the match with a side headlock takedown. Dream got up and was leapfroged by Balor. Balor did the double finger guns to Dream heading into picture-in-picture commercial. [c]

John’s Thoughts: Is it just me, or does Dream’s new blonde beard make him look like he has peanut butter on his chin?

Balor dominated Dream back form break. Dream gave Balor a Thesz Press to turn the tide on Balor. Dream dominated a bit, but Balor came right back with his strong strikes. Dream flew around due to Balor’s strikes. Balor then locked Dream in a heel hook. Balor then locked Dream in a snug Bow and Arrow crossface. Dream got to the bottom rope for the break. Dream countered Balor into a Juji Gatame position, allowing him to land a few boots on Balor. Dream tackled Balor for a two count.

Dream gave Balor a series of stiff forearm smashes. Dream rubbed his dong (via hip swivel) in Balor’s face during the ten punches in the corner. Balor escaped and put the boots to Dream. Balor got to the top rope and hit Balor with a diving lariat. Dream slammed the throat of Balor on the top rope. Suddenly, Cameron Grimes walked to ringside to gloat about going for the North American Championship, which was hung up at ringside. The show cut to regular commercial. [c]

Cameron Grimes was sitting on top of a ladder, holding the North American Championship. Meanwhile, Dream was tossing around Balor in the ring. Balor reversed Dream with a sunset flip and basement shotgun dropkick. Dream tried to go high risk but Balor crotched him. Balor put the boots to Dream while Dream was in the Tree of Woe. Balor put the boots to Dream at ringside. Balor then climbed to the top of the ladder to meat Grimes. Dream pulled Balor down and flapjacked him on the apron.

Dream and Balor traded rapid fire counters. Balor finally landed a sling blade. Balor hit Dream with a Shotgun Dropkick. Balor got to the top rope and was distracted, jawing with Grimes. Dream hit Balor with a Superplex. Johnny Gargano walked to ringside and pushed Grimes into the ring and into Drake Wuertz. REF BUMP!!! Grimes was being comedic in between Balor and Dream. Balor gave Grimes a stomp while Dream gave Grimes a Fameasser.

Balor and Dream took each other out. Bronson Reed and Damian Priest then surrounded Johnny Gargano in the ring. Gargano tried to hit Priest with the title belt, but Priest punched Gargano. Reed dumped Gargano outside. Dream gave Preist a superkick. Dream knocked Priest and Reed outside with a lariat. Balor hit Priest and Reed wtih a Tope Con Hilo. Timothy Thatcher showed up out of nowhere and shoved Finn Balor at ringside.  Balor was put back in the ring. Dream hit Balor with the Purple Rainmaker for the victory.

Velveteen Dram defeated Finn Balor via pinfall in 16:52 of on-air time to earn a spot in the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match at Takeover XXX.

Johnny Gargano immediately kicked Dream after the match. Gargano posed with the title belt. Grimes gave Gargano a superkick. Priest gave Grimes a chokeslam. Reed tackled Preist and gave Dream a Death Valley Driver. Bronson Reed was the last man standing with the title belt to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: A good match that while it was a bit overbooked in the end, NXT doesn’t run overbooked finishes into the ground often so it’s okay to do this every once in a while in order to hit all their story beats (The main roster shows overdo chaotic finishes to the point of cliche). Looks like they’re booking towards Balor vs. Thatcher. It’s odd that Balor, former WWE Champion Balor, is not on the Takeover card. Takeover still would be great, but Balor has a wider audience appeal due to his time on the main roster. Dream looked better than last week and I’m still looking forward to how his heel run goes (though I can’t help but feel weird about watching the guy knowing that the weird sexual misconduct allegations are hanging against him and unresolved). Dream put in a better effort in the ring this week, and this match was taped the same day as last week’s match.

Not the hottest of Takeover Go-homes, but NXT was as effficient as they could have been without wasting any time with side stories or jobber matches. Ripley vs. Martinez should be at a takeover, but isn’t at the moment. I’m ok with them building that feud given that it should be a good pairing. Join me this Saturday for live coverage of the NXT Takeover Show. Because we traded audio this week, Jason Powell will be handling the NXT Audio Review for Dot Net Members along with giving you guys a NXT Hit List.

 



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 (3)

  1. “Obviously something facilitated them having to take Gonzalez off of TV for a few weeks.”

    COVID.

  2. If you haven’t seen it, Pat McAfee trolling Tennessee Titan fans at the NFL draft is a great video that shows just how much of a natural heel/shit stirrer he really is.

  3. “though I can’t help but feel weird about watching the guy knowing that the weird sexual misconduct allegations are hanging against him and unresolved”

    I have just decided to not worry about any of these wrestlers’ personal lives. It really is nobody’s business except law enforcement right now. Now if he gets convicted in a court of law instead of the court of public opinion, then I can understand he being a pariah. But for now, I just leave that stuff to people above my pay grade and enjoy wrestling.

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