8/26 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of new NXT Champion Karrion Kross and Scarlett, Tommaso Ciampa returns, Santos Escobar vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel vs. Tyler Breeze and Fandango for the NXT Tag Titles

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

NXT TV 
Taped earlier today in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Aired August 26, 2020 on USA Network

[Hour One] Highlights of NXT Takeover XXX aired to serve as this week’s opening…

Immediately after the intro montage, Scarlett [Bordeaux] and Karrion Kross made their entrance. Kross wore a formal suit while Scarlett wore a skin tight bedazzled bodysuit. Kross’s arm was in a sling. Kross took a mic and said he told everyone that he would become NXT Champion. Kross noted he warned everyone that everyone would suffer along the way to said championship. Kross said he kept true to his word when he ripped the NXT Title away from Keith Lee’s carcass like flesh from bone. Kross noted that there are casualities on all sides when war happens.

Kross acknowledged his shoulder injury, but said he likes the pain because it gives him life. Kross said as a realist he understands that he won’t be allowed to defend the NXT Championship in this condition. Scarlett handed Kross the title belt. Kross said on a path there are obstacles, but for Kross the obstacles are the path. Kross laid down the NXT Championship in the center of the ring (presumably relinquishing the title). Scarlett put a hourglass behind the belt. Kross said this changes nothing because doomsday is still coming. Kross noted that everyone pays the toll. Kross ended his promo with his White Rabbit “Tick Tock” catchphrase…

John’s Thoughts: Well damn, it had to happen, and it sucks that Kross put in so much hard work so far only to have his biggest moment lead to a huge speedbump. Stuff like this happens all the time in wrestling and it’s always something you wish you didn’t have to see. Best wishes out to Kross. As a long time proponent of Kross’s work, I’m hoping he doesn’t rush back from injury and I have all the confidence that he’ll come back better than ever.

Vic Joseph and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. They introduced Wade Barrett as their new in-house third commentator. Barrett noted that he empathizes with Kross having gone thorough similar injuries…

Breezango made their non-stripper entrance to challenge for the NXT Tag Team Titles…

1. “Imperium” Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner vs. “Breezango” Tyler Breeze and Fandango for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Breeze and Dango got the jump on Imperium before the bell and took their advantage heading into the match. Imperium got control of Dango and used tags to keep him under control. Wade Barrett noted that his nickname for Fandango is “The Dangler” (ok… that cracked me up). After Dango hit Barthel with a dropkick the show went to regular commercial. [c]

Imperium used quick tags and powerful strikes to keep the ring cut in half on Dango. Joseph used Imperium in the ring as a plug for NXT UK returning next month. Dango clocked Barthel in the face, which allowed Breeze to tag in and clean house. He knocked Aichner off the apron and hit Barthel with a few leaping punches. Breeze hit Barthel in the chin with a high knee. Barthel came back with a European Uppercut. Breeze hit Barthel with a Beauty Shot while Barthel was diving. Breeze got a two count.

Barthel reversed the Unprettier by shoving Breeze to the corner. Barthel escaped a submission and tagged in Aichner. Breeze caught Aichner with a dropkick when Aichner ran in the ring. Dango tagged in and Breeze catapulted him into Dango’s fist. Breezango hit Aichner with their Surfboard Legdrop combo. Dango dived on Aichner at ringside. Barthel grounded Dango with a European Uppercut heading into break. [c]

Imperium had Dango undercontrol back from break. Breeze broke up a pin attempt by Aichner. Barthel hit Breeze with a tilt a whirl flapjack at ringside. Dango hit Aichner with a jawbreaker, but he fell into Barthel for the tag. Aichner hit Dango with a spinebuster. Imperium hit tandem moves on Dango to give Barthel a nearfall on Dango. Dango sidestepped Imperium’s double baseball slide. This allowed Breeze to tag in. He ran right into a lariat from Aichner.

Breeze caught Barthel and Aichner with superkicks when they went for the European Bomb. Dango hit both opponents with a double leg drop to pick up the pinfall on Aichner.

Breezango defeated Imperium via pinfall in about 8:20 of on-air time to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions. 

Dango and Breeze were dancing on top of the commentary table to celebrate their win…

John’s Thoughts: Aichner and Barthel have had a solid string of matches, but they haven’t had any memorable feuds to make their title reign mean more than just a placeholder. Not their fault, the NXT Tag Division is in rebuild mode. Hopefully we get less stripper gimmick and more stories from Breezango. Either that, or I can see them as transitional champions to pass the belts over to Legado Del Fantasma (which, ironically, has the same goal is Imperium in terms of bringing back “respect” to pro wrestling).

McKenzie Mitchel interviewed Damian Priest backstage. Priest cut off Mitchell and told Mitchell that the party is still happening. Timothy Thatcher walked out and called Priest embarrassing. Thatcher said he’ll show the chapionship respect. Thatcher said he’s going to prove how unequipped Priest’s wrestling is when he steps in the ring with Thatcher

A camera showed William Regal, Paul Levesque, Shawn Michaels, and Matt Bloom backstage at a conference table. Joseph noted that the NXT officials were figuring out how to handle the vacant NXT Championship situation…

Joseph hyped Tommasso Ciampa returning after the break…[c]

2. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jake Atlas. Vic Joseph noted that we haven’t seen Ciampa on NXT for months. Atlas tried to jaw with Ciampa, but Ciampa gave him a headbutt. Ciampa stomped a mudhole on Atlas. Ciampa draped Atlas and hit him with the Willow’s Bell DDT for the victory.

Tommaso Ciampa defeated Jake Atlas via pinfall in 0:50. 

Ciampa continued to beat up and toss around Jake Atlas after the match. The referees ran out to keep things under control and Ciampa stepped back from his ground and pound of Atlas. Atlas ran back and gave Atlas a running knee. Ciampa pushed Atlas’s head under the ring and then catapulted Atlas’s neck into the steel beam under the ring. The spectator wrestlers chanted “Asshole” at Ciampa. The medical staff and referees put Atlas on a stretcher.

After they put a neck brace on Atlas, Ciampa pulled Atlas off the stretcher and then gave Atlas a DDT into the ramp. Ciampa flashed a cocky smile and walked up the ramp…

John’s Thoughts: Interesting, and we’ll see where it goes. I’m not disappointed, I’m just not sure how WWE wants us to think of Ciampa. Maybe he’s a heel? But I can also see him being a Stone Cold like badass. The spectator wresters suggest heel, but again, let’s see where it goes. This was also not as biting because they haven’t really built up sympathy for Jake Atlas with the NXT viewers (I personally am a huge Atlas fan from his Bay Area work, so it’s easy for me to notice this lack of character build). I feel like if they really wanted Ciampa to be a nasty heel, you’d throw out someone like Drake Maverick or something. Hell, a Drake Maverick vs. Heel Tommaso Ciampa feud would be badass if done right. I digress.

Vic and Wade discussed what they saw with Wade saying that the locker room is now on notice. They cut to a Candice LeRae video package where she addressed her relationship with Tegan Nox. She talked about knowing Tegan before WWE and did buddy-buddy things with Tegan before WWE. LeRae then talked about being done with Tegan because while she helped Tegan, Tegan never helped her. LeRae said if Tegan doesn’t want to follow the Gargano way she should stay away and Cest Le Vie (Nice reference to Nox’s old entrance music… a personal favorite of mine next to Isaiah Scott’s indie theme)…[c]

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Bronson Reed on his thoughts on Timothy Thatcher throwing his name in the hat of North American Title contention. Reed pointed out that he actually beat Priest in a one-on-one match. He was interrupted by the returning Austin Theory. Theory was acting condescending. Reed slapped Theory and walked off. Reed smirked…

Mia Yim made her entrance. Her theme was interrupted by Robert Stone cutting a promo on the stage. Stone’s promo was cut short by Shotzi Blackheart running over Stone with her toy tank…

3. Mia Yim vs. Shotzi Blackheart. Blackheart and Yim started off with chain wrestling. Blackheart then hit Yim with her “Welcome to the ball pit” leg drop. Blackheart rolled up Yim for a two count. Yim returned the favor wiht a two count of her own. Yim and Blackheart had a bit of a stalemate. Yim jabbed Blackheart in the throat during Blackheart’s wolf howl. Yim yanked Blackheart to the mat and got a two count. Barrett noted that Yim is wrestling a weirdo now and he hated wrestling weirdos when he wrestled. Yim locked Blackheart in a Bow and Arrow. Blackheart escaped with a lateral press for a two count.

Shotzi flipped out of the corner and gave Yim a corner tackle. Shotzi hit Yim with a Sling Blade Bulldog. Shotzi hit Yim with the switchblade kick and Saito Suplex for a two count. Yim caught Shotzi with a Full Nelson Suplex. Yim hit Blackheart with a face wask. Blackheart sidestepped a dropkick and gave Yim a running senton. Shotzi hit Yim with the top rope senton for the victory.

Shotzi Blackheart defeated Mia Yim via pinfall in 4:31. 

Beth noted that Blackheart picked up one of the biggest wins of her career so far…

The unseen interviewer interviewed William Regal about the world title situation. Regal said he was heading to the ring to tell everyone what he came up with in the ring after the break…[c]

[Hour Two] McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez about their upcoming tag team match. Kai pointed out that it’s easier for her team because she and Gonzalez are an actual tag team while Shirai and Ripley aren’t…

William Regal stood in the ring standing next to a podium with the NXT Championship. Regal recapped Karrion Kross having an injury so severe that he was forced to relinquish the title. Regal said he was giving Kross best wishes on his long road to recovery. Regal said that on next week’s Tuesday edition of NXT, there will be four former NXT Champions going in the ring for a four way match to decide the new NXT Champion. Regal announced Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Finn Balor, and Adam Cole as the wrestlers in the four way. Regal said for the first time in NXT History, the title will be on the line in a 60 minute Ironman match…

John’s Thoughts: Last night I come off the Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordynne Grace 30 minute inronwoman match only to get a 60 minute ironman match to review next week. Maybe Regal’s a fan of Impact and getting inspiration? I joke. Anyway, this is a hot match. My guess is that they put the belt on Finn Balor given that he’s the safest and biggest money bet to draw viewers as a champion. Maybe they go back to Cole? I also assumed that Balor was on a collision course with Kross anyway so they can pit Balor against Kross down the road with the tables turned if they want to go back there (Heck, this might be the last we’ve seen of Kross in NXT, but I’d prefer he’d not get called up just because NXT will allow him to retain his creativity which would most likely be taken away on the main roster).

Wade Barrett and Vic Joseph checked in on commentary. Barrett said he’s definitely coming back next week to not miss that hot match…

Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship match…

4. Santos Escobar vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. The commentators were surprised that Escobar dismissed Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza before the match. Scott attacked Escobar early on. Escobar retreated and recovered at ringside heading into commercial.[c]

Escobar kept Scott under control with a side headlock. Joseph reminded viewers that next week’s show is a special tuesday edition. Scott escaped Escobar and used some unique chain wrestling to lead to a vertical suplex on Escobar. Scott locked Escobar into a Butterfly Gory Special which led to a pin for a two count. Scott used a knee to get Escobar down into a wristlock. Escobar recovered at ringside and caught Scott off guard by lawn darting him into the plexiglass.

Escobar gave Scott snake eyes on the steel steps. Escobar got a two count in the ring. Escobar worked on Scott with methodical offense. Escobar gave Scott a meteora to the chest for a two count. Escobar kept scott under control with shortarm test of strength knees. Scott escaped. Scott went for a huracanrana in the corner, but Escobar reversed it with a power bomb for a two count. [c]

Escobar tried to trash talk Scott, which caused Scott to fire up and show a mean streak on Escobar. Scott gave Escobar a diving uppercut. Scott gave Escobar a running boot from the apron. Scott then caught Escobar with a Fosbury Flop at ringside. Scott hit Escobar with a rolling Paydirt for a two count. Joaquin Wilde ran out to the apron for the distraction. Escobar gave Scott a dropkick for the two count. Tyler Breeze and Fandango ran out to brawl with Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde to the back.

Scott hit Escobar with a high knee. Scott hit Escobar with a Deadlift German Suplex for a two count. Scott hit Escobar with the House Call for a nearfall. Scott flipped Esboar into a unique sitout buster in the corner. Escobar got to the bottom rope for the break. For some reason, Santos Escobar put on some random yellow mask on. Escobar then gave Scott a “simple” headbutt. Scott was knocked out and Escobar picked up the win.

Santos Escobar defeated Isaiah Scott via pinfall in 9:50 of on-air time to retain the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.

Wade Barrett joked that the headbutt was “The power of the mask” (I’m assuming it’s a nod to William Regal). Escobar embraced the title while walking up the ramp…

Johnny Gargano was backstage cutting a promo talking about how he was supposed to rule and fix NXT. Gargano said fate stepped in and gave Gargano a golden opportunity. Gargano hyped up next week’s ironman match. He called himself the Ironman of NXT. Gargano said he’s going to then have the title to prove it…

Beth Phoenix advertised Kyle O’Reilly vs. Drake Maverick for after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: I’m assuming they’re going with the “loaded” mask angle, and I like it. I hope they don’t have Escobar be completely chickenshit though as he’s picking up a bit too many dirty wins without looking strong himself. Anyway, Escobar and Scott have good chemistry working with each other many times in other companies. This was a solid and technical match. Scott really shines when he is more “technical” and I would argue that Escobar is one of the best technical wrestlers in the world. This can be a strong takeover match if they give them time. What I think took this match down a few notches was the two commercial breaks. Just as the match would get to a nice turning point, the show would cut to a random commercial.

Finn Balor cut one of his dark room promos. He said that the Prince Rises to the occassion given the current situation. Balor called next week’s four wrestlers, the four pillars of NXT. Balor said he is the centerpiece. Balor said the office, the network, and joe troll on the internet will get what they want next week, Balor as champion…

Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong, and Bobby Fish made their entrance. Vic Joseph noted that O’Reilly was challenging Maverick’s open challenge on Twitter. Joseph said the challenge was directed to any Undisputed Era member. Joseph also reminded viewers that Undisputed Era interrupted his and Killain Dain’s match a few weeks ago…

5. Kyle O’Reilly (w/Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish) vs. Drake Maverick. Maverick kicked off the match with aggressive punches and kicks. Maverick gave O’Reilly a dropkick to the knee to send O’Reilly to ringside. Maverick ended up hitting Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong with a cannonball from the top rope. O’Reilly got control in the ring with ground and pound palm and fist strikes. Maverick no sold a PK and snapmared O’Reilly and gave O’Reilly a PK to the back. Maverick hit a flurry of moves ending in a running Senton.

Kyle recovered and traded strikes with Maverick. Kyle ducked Maverick’s punch and gave Maverick a Muay Thai combination. Maverick gave O’Reilly a enzuigiri. O’Reilly reversed an Underdog attempt into a Achilles Lock. Maverick ended up tapping out for the submission.

Kyle O’Reilly  defeated Drake Maverick via submission in 3:26.

Strong and Fish put the boots to Maverick. O’Reilly tried to pull Strong and Fish back but they wanted to lay more damage on Maverick. Killain Dain ran out to clear the ring. Dain hit Strong and Fish with chair shots. O’Reilly cleared the ring. Dain and Maverick faced off in the ring. Maverick was about to come in for a handshake, but Dain gave Maverick a lariat to leave him lying too…

McKenzie interviewed Rhea Ripley on the reason Ripley decided to team with Io tonight. Ripley said she’s not going to let her desire for the Women’s Championship get in between her trying to get rid of Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Ripley then called out Gonzalez in particular for threatening her…

John’s Thoughts: Are Undisputed Era heels again? Maybe? I’m not sure if we’re supposed to read into O’Reilly holding back Fish and Strong after the match for a bit. I guess it’s more wait and see here too. Similar to what we saw with Ciampa earlier. This show and all upcoming storylines were probably all thrown out of whack with the Karrion Kross injury. Ciampa was advertised for the show before the injury, but I’m assuming they had different plans for him than a ironman match next week. I wonder if that affected UE’s character direction too. If there is a mild breakup of UE I hope that it leads to Kyle O’Reilly becoming singles because that guy has main event potential being so unique in the ring along with being a fun talker.

Adam Cole cut a promo backstage hyping himself as a potential winner of next week’s Ironman match…

Vic Joseph advertised next week’s “Super Tuesday” show featuring the NXT Championship four way…

6. Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Kai and Ripley started off the match. Barrett noted that he noticed some animosity between Ripley and Shirai. Ripley immediately slammed Kai and stompped her. Ripley tossed Kai to the corner and asked for Gonzalez to enter the ring. Ripley and Gonzalez then traded power strikes, leading to a stalemate. Shirai tagged in and Ripley yelled “are you kidding me?”. Shirai dominated Gonzalez and gave Gonzalez a huracanrana to ringside. [c]

Shirai gave Kai a double stomp. Shirai tagged in Ripley and Ripley gave Kai the Cravate Clinch Knees. Gonzalez tagged in. Gonzalez and Kai yanked Ripley to ringside. Gonzalez gave Ripley a Irish Whip into the corner. Gonzalez gave Ripley a clubbing blow to the back for a two count. The heels cut the ring in half on Ripley with tags and isolation offense. Ripley used double boots and a back kick to fend off Gonzalez. Shirai got the hot tag. Shirai hit Kai with a flapjack. Shirai caught Kai’s boot and threw the foot at Gonzalez. Shirai hit Kai with 619.

Shirai hit Kai with a slingshot dropkick for a two count. Kai recovered and hit Shirai with a scorpion kick. Shirai recovered and hit Kai with a shortarm knee. Shirai hit Kai with a bridged German Suplex for a two count. Gonzalez came in and gave Shirai a lariat. Gonzalez yanked Kai to the corner so she could tag in herself. Gonzalez hit Shirai with a power slam for a two count. Shirai tagged in Ripley, but the referee didn’t see the tag. Gonzalez pulled Shirai to her corner.

Mercedes Martinez ran out and pulled Ripley off the apron, into the steel steps. Gonzalez hit Shirai with a spinning power slam for a two count. Ripley managed to get to the apron and get the tag. Ripley ran into a boot from Gonzalez. Raquel Gonzalez hit Rhea Ripley with a Pumphandle Suplex for the victory.

Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai defeated Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai via pinfall.

Highlights from the match aired. The commentators noted that they’ve never seen anyone womanhandle Rhea Ripley like Gonzalez did. Gonzalez and Kai posed at the top of the ramp to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: This was a good television main event meant to push some feuds forward. It looks like they’re going to pull Rhea Ripley into two directions with two powerhouses in Mercedes Martinez and Raquel Gonzalez. This was nice and efficient and I like the peril they have Ripley in at the moment trying to fend off two different forces. I like Gonzalez picking up the win. It helps keep Gonzalez strong, having her live up to the “Big Mami Cool” moniker that they’ve applied to her in her and Kai’s Shawn-Diesel act.

A good episode of NXT that laid some groundwork for some potential new storylines. The interesting thing about a lot of these feuds are they aren’t clear yet. I could imagine that they had to rewrite their initial plans of this show given the Kross injury, so I don’t mind leaving some avenues open to give the writing team another week to come up with a new direction moving forward.



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Readers Comments (2)

  1. “I’m just not sure how WWE wants us to think of Ciampa. Maybe he’s a heel? But I can also see him being a Stone Cold like badass.”

    He’s Stone Cold’s mini me. Just another tiny little guy who isn’t imposing at all.

    • Mini me really? There is 3 inches between the 2 of them. Yeah stone cold is taller but it’s not like he was the biggest guy around in his era, that’s not what made him imposing to others.

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