10/7 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of the NXT Takeover 31 fallout edition, Ember Moon show opening segment, Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kushida

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

Taped in Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Aired October 7, 2020 on USA Network

[Hour One] Highlights from NXT Takeover 31 aired…

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. The show opened up with Tommaso Ciampa making his entrance. Vic Joseph noted that the upcoming match was booked because Ciampa had a dispute with Kushida backstage. The commentators laid it on thick that we were seeing a “new” Kushida these days. Kushida made his entrance in his usual Marty McFly themed gear. Wade Barrett and Vic Joseph can be seen on-site as the on-site commentary team with Beth commentating from home…

1. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kushida. Kushida tried to toy with Ciampa a bit, but Ciampa went right into a rollup attempt. Kushida reversed Ciampa into his signature cartwheel dropkick. Kushida dragged Ciampa to the corner and hit Ciampa with a high kick. Kushida went to his usual gameplan on attacking his opponent’s left arm. Kushida hit Ciampa’s arm with an arm slam. Ciampa prevented Kushida from hitting the handstand boot by drop kicking Kushida in the middle of his handstand. Ciampa worked on Kushida with a headlock. Ciampa then hit Kushida with a back snap neckbreaker. After a cocky leg drop, Ciampa got a one count.

The commentators recapped Ciampa’s recent change in attitude and aggression. Kushida turned the tables and pummeled Ciampa with punches. Ciampa slowed Kushida down by giving Kushida an Irish Whip into the bottom buckle. Ciampa pummeled Kushida’s shoulder with clubbing blows while holding him in a chinlock. Ciampa continued on with a neckbreaker. Ciampa rotated to avoid a hoverboard lock. Kushida escaped a Willow’s bell attempt. Kushida managed to knock Ciampa off the apron with the handstand double boots. The show cut to regular commercial. [c]

Back from the break, Ciampa dominated Kushida and was targeting his neck. Joseph noted that Ember Moon (as advertised) will appear right after the match. Kushida turned the tide after dragging Ciampa’s arm against the top buckle. Ciampa went for the Fairy Tale Ending, but Kushida kept a low base and stomped on Ciampa’s hand. Kushida hit Ciampa with a STO into the buckle. Kushida went for the Juji Gatame, but Ciampa kept his hands clasped. Kushida converted the move into a Triangle. Ciampa escaped with a power bomb.

Ciampa laid the final blow in a slugfest. Ciampa hit Kushida with a Fisherman Suplex for a two count. Kushida turned a backslide into a shortarm. Ciampa escaped the shortarm. Kushida hit Ciampa with a haymaker punch. Kushida pummeled Ciampa with shortarm curb stomps. Kushida locked Ciampa in a hoverboard lock. Dressed as a cowboy, Velveteen Dream went for a axe handle strike on Kushida, but he accideatally hit Ciampa.

Tommaso Ciampa defeated Kushida via DQ in 10:52 of on-air time. 

Kushida attacked dream and chased him away after hitting Dream with a Tope Con Hilo. Alicia Taylor announced Ciampa as the victor via DQ…

Vic Joseph hyped up Ember Moon appearing after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A nice opening match with both men looking very credible. This was an expected finish given that a match of this caliber should be saved for a Takeover with some build behind it. Interesting that they’re continuing to stick with the Velveteen Dream and Kushida feud. The match on Sunday was so one-sided and conclusive, that it looked like they might be moving on. I wouldn’t mind seeing them get to Finn Balor vs. Kushida sometime sooner as opposed to dragging out the Dream feud that doesn’t seem to serve a purpose other than to showcase Kushida’s new mean streak.

Back from break, Ember Moon was standing in the middle of the ring with a mic in hand. She wore Mad Max like gear. Ember Moon talked about how she was shocked that she was allowed to speak tonight. Moon said it’s been a long time, 14 months to be exact. Moon talked about finding clarity while riding thousands of miles via bike. She said she discovered something called “Ember’s Law”. She said she’s not going to do whatever anyone else wants because she’s Ember Moon dammit. Moon then talked about how “Mama wants some gold…”. Moon’s promo was cut off by Io Shirai.

Before Io should get a word out, Rhea Ripley’s entrance cut Io off. Ripley said she likes Ember’s attitlde. Before Ripley could carry on with her promo, she was blindside attacked by Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. A brawl happened between Kai and Gonzalez and Moon and Ripley. William Regal walked out to book a Teddy Long style Tag Team match between the brawling women…

The show cut to Drake Maverick entering the Capitol Wrestling Center. Maverick was hyped about his future potential as a tag team partner with Killian Dain. Killian Dain showed up and told Maverick that they aren’t a tag team or friends. Maverick said that he and Dain have been booked into a match with Ever Rise. Dain didn’t like this, while Maverick continued to act eager…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Maybe it’s just me, but Ember Moon still exhibited the same problem on the mic as the last time we saw her on NXT. She was all smiles and the promo delivery didn’t really exude the “badass” character that her ascetic and body language connotates. As I thought before, I really think that Ember Moon would benefit by being a woman of few words. A stoic badass, if you will.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Io Shirai about not helping Rhea Ripley and Ember Moon in the last segment. Shirai said that Ember Moon and Rhea Ripley aren’t her problem. Shirai said her only problem, is holding on to the Women’s Championship…

Still shot photos recapped the Ridge Holland appearance at Takeover…

Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong, and Bobby Fish were backstage in a lounge. Kyle O’Reilly said he was disappointed that he didn’t defeat Balor. The UE guys cheered up O’Reilly. Cole then addressed Ridge Holland for breaking his ribs. Cole said Holland is a dead man, and that is undisputed…

Ever Rise made their entrance. Maverick and Dain then made their entrance to cheesy-ass music which Maverick personally picked. Dain was playing the role of “reluctant tag team partner”…

2. “Ever Rise” Matt Martel and Chase Parker vs. Killian Dain and Drake Maverick. Dain didn’t do anything when he was the legal man, and ended up slapping Maverick to tag him in. Ever Rise worked on Maverick with wristlocks. Maverick managed to take down Martel with a dropkick. Maverick continued to act overeager while Dain continued to act reluctant. Martel turned the tide and got punches on Maverick. Dain no sold Martel trying to knock him off the apron. Dain ended up breaking a Chase Parker pin.

Matt Martel called Dain a “fat bozo”. Dain dragged Maverick to his corner and tagged himself in. Dain beat up both Ever Rise guys by himself with his signature moves. Dain went for a Vader Bomb, but Maverick tagged himself in. Maverick wanted to go high risk but was distracted, arguing with Dain. Parker tried to roll up Maverick for the victory, but Dain gave Parker a big boot. Dain then power bombed Drake Maverick onto Chase Parker to give Maverick the pinfall win.

Drake Maverick and Killian Dain defeated Matt Martel and Chase Parker via pinfall 4:02.

Maverick and Dain’s cheesy-ass music played. Maverick was doing the Jeff Jarrett strut to the beat of the cheesy music. Dain ended up knocking out Maverick with a punch. Before leaving, Dain dragged Maverick to the back on his shoulders. Maverick recovered on the shoulders and was optimistic again…

John’s Thoughts: Dain and Maverick are starting to grow on me. We’ve seen the “reluctant partners” trope before, but I feel like Drake Maverick is so talented in anything you give the guy, that he can make the best of a bland situation and even add some nuance to it. On top of that, the cheesy-ass intro music got a chuckle out of me. What can you say? I love me some absurdity.

A documentary video package aired to spotlight the return of Toni Storm. Storm was shown at Cancun. She talked about recollecting memories over the time she’s been off. Storm talked about how she’s starting over. Storm was shown sprinting on the beach. Storm said this new Toni Storm is like nothing you’ve ever seen before…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A really good and quick reintroduction promo. NXT really dropped the ball the last time they introduced Toni Storm to the NXT-US. She got tepid crowd reactions when they introduced her out of nowhere and expected people to care about her. People didn’t care. This was a nice video package and hopefully NXT allows Storm to exhibit her natural charisma that she’s exhibited before her time in WWE.

A “Did You Know” Graphic aired, talking about how Johnny Gargano has appeared in over 20 Takeovers…

The Garganos were shown walking their dog. They both argued about losing their matches at Takeover. Gargano said they have to reassess how they do things. Candice LeRae then walked up to their porch. They found a new 65 inch television, gifted to them by Indi Hartwell. This confused LeRae, but Gargano was happy that he just got a free HDTV…

3. Austin Theory vs. Leon Ruff. Ruff went for a rollup and got a two count on Theory. Ruff avoided a lariat with a backflip, but not Theory’s subsequent shove. Ruff did a lot of quick moves to avoid Theory. Ruff hit Theory with a neckbreaker. Ruff hit Theory with a lariat for a two count. Joseph noted that Theory and Russ trained together (via Evolve). Ruff went for the Rey Fenix tightrope armdrag, but Theory dragged Ruff into the ATL (TKO) for the victory.

Austin Theory defeated Leon Ruff via pinfall in 1:46. 

Theory took the mic and said that he showed what he could do if he was given time to prep. He addressed Adam Cole. He called himself the future of NXT. Theory mocked Adam Cole’s broken ribs. Suddenly, Dexter Lumis made his entrance. I guess a match was happening?

4. Austin Theory vs. Dexter Lumis. Lumis took down Theory with a throat punch. Lumis then manhandled Theory around the ring. Theory ran the ropes and ran right into a Thesz Press from Lumis. Lumis beat up Theory around ringside punches. Lumis spiked Theory in the ring with a bulldog. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

[Hour Two] Austin Theory had the upper hand on Lumis back from the break. Theory slammed Lumis on the mat and mocked Lumis’s snake crawl. Theory hit Lumis with a vertical suplex for the two count. Theory tried to showboat a bit, leading to Lumis making a comeback with aright hands. Theory slammed Lumis to the mat again for the two count. Lumis and Theory blocked each others’ suplexes. Lumis ended up turning the tables with a spinebuster.

Lumis hit Theory with a rolling thunder Monkey Flip. Lumis hit Theory with a slingshot suplex for a two count. Theory tackled Lumis in the gut and followed up with a rolling dropkick on Lumis. Lumis stood up and no sold the dropkick. Theory tried to crawl away, but Lumis dragged Theory by the foot to the center of the ring. Lumis hit Theory with a sitout Uranage. Lumis locked Theory in the Keta Gatame. Theory passed out.

Dexter Lumis defeated Austin Theory via ref stoppage in 12:09. 

Cameron Grimes showed up out of nowhere and hit Lumis with a Cave-In stomp. Grimes called Lumis a freak and then walked away, doing his usual cocky catchphrases…

McKenzie Mitchell intervewed Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez about their tag match later on in the show. Gonzalez talked about finally being able to take care of Rhea Ripley later on the show. Kai talked about how she doesn’t like Ember Moon trying to skip ahead of her in the line for a future NXT Women’s Title shot…

Vic Joseph hyped a Prime Target video package to spotlight the Finn Balor vs. Kyle O’Reilly match from Sunday…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Again, there’s still a bit of uncomfortability about watching Theory matches without knowing what’s up (Not as bad as Dream’s due to Dream’s longer track record, but it still doesn’t help). Them bringing up Theory’s immaturity also makes it hard to not forget his outside issues. That said, they do have him slotted as their designated enhancement heel. As that heel he’s actually doing a stellar job. He’s doing solid work on the mic and doing an amazing job bumping around for the people NXT wants to push. They are also keeping him somewhat strong by having him look credible.

Cameron Grimes was interviewed in the garage. Grimes talked about how he attacked Lumis for disrespecting him last week. Grimes then said he was going to the moon…

They cut to the Prime Target video package to focus on the Balor vs. O’Reilly match. Alternative camera angles from the match aired. They then showed tweets of WWE legends praising the match. A doctor announced that O’Reilly and Balor will be off TV for a few weeks, but not too long…

Ridge Holland was interviewed outside. He said something about a riding his Mercedes car (I couldn’t catch what he said due to his thick accent). He then entered the Performance Center…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good to hear that the injuries for Balor and O’Reilly weren’t severe enough to keep them off TV. The worry in particular applies mostly to Balor, who just recently became NXT Champion. With Balor being out for around 2 weeks, it can allow NXT to focus on other programs that they can spotlight.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Damian Priest. Priest talked about how the after party after Takeover was fun. Priest talked about how he burned Gargano’s name into the title belt on Sunday and he’s looking forward to the next person coming after him. Priest said whoever is coming next, they will get a reckoning…

Ridge Holland made his entrance…

5. Ridge Holland vs. Danny Burch. Barrett noted that both of these guys were from opposite ends of England, two different worlds. The commentators stressed that Ridge Holland may have been paid off by someone to attack Adam Cole. Holland used lariats to fend off Burch. Burch cornered Holland and pummeled Holland with strikes. Holland used right hands to fight back Burch. Burch hit Holland with a missile front dropkick. Burch hit Holland with a German Suplex and got a two count. Burch went for a Crossface, but Holland got to his feet and escaped.

Holland took down Burch with a lariat. Holland hit Burch with a sidewalk slam for the victory.

Ridge Holland defeated Danny Burch via pinfall in 2:04. 

Holland put on his hat and then gave Burch a boot out of disrespect. Burch didn’t take that calmly as he went after Holland. Holland pummeled Burch with headbutts in the corner. Oney Lorcan ran out and chased Holland from the ring. Lorcan went to check on Burch and was blindsided by Holland. The referees separated the two men. Lorcan hit Holland with a running corkscrew plancha. The pull apart brawl continued. Lorcan ended up hitting Holland with a regular plancha. I think I just saw Drake Wuertz hold up the X sign. The camera cut away from Holland and focused on Lorcan checking on Burch…

Johnny Gargano was shown watching footage from the women’s number one contender battle royal. LeRae showed up and Gargano said he was paying attention to Indi Hartwell. The Garganos said they were impressed by what they saw from Hartwell..

John’s Thoughts: Uhm? Did something happen to Holland there (based off Drake Wuertz holding up the X signal and them not cutting back to Holland after Lorcan went back in the ring)? I hope Holland’s doing ok and that this is not too big of a deal. As for the match, I’m surprised they gave Danny Burch so much offense when they’re trying to push Holland as some sort of powerhouse. At the same time, Holland’s power moves aren’t really impressive or imposing (Via contrast, when Lars Sullivan was receiving a similar push, he looked miles more impressive than Holland has so far).

This week’s “Thatch as Thatch Can” video focused on Thatcher giving his students a lesson about life. He talked about a man isn’t defined by loses, but by the pain he inflicts. He talked about how life grinds on him trying to force him to quit, he said he’s not letting that happen to him…

They aired footage of what happened during the Lorcan and Holland brawl. Vic Joseph was talking in his somber tone. They then cut to Ridge Holland being carted off on a stretcher. Holland held up a thumbs up to show that he was ok. Wade Barrett noted that the WWE medical staff was top notch and that Holland is in good hands. The commentators wished Holland well….

John’s Thoughts: Ouch. Prayers out to Holland and I hope that he comes out of this situation on top.

Shotzi Blackheart made her toy tank entrance. She hyped up how she was hosting Halloween Havoc as she made her way to the ring. Xia Li made her entrance and was all smiles…

6. Shotzi Blackheart vs. Xia Li. Blackheart tackled Li in the corner and followed up with a reverse Sling Blade. Li came back with a few right hands and chops. Barrett noted that Li has been a bit of a sore loser in recent weeks. Li hit Blackheart with kicks. Barrett noted that he likes Blackheart despite her being a weirdo. Blackheart and Li brawled ot the top rope. Blackheart shoved Li off with a front suplex. Blackheart then hit Li with a diving senton for the win.

Shotzi Blackheart defeated Xia Li via pinfall in 2:10. 

NXT Developmental Boa showed up and handed Xia Li a piece of paper. Boa then walked with Li to the back. Vic Joseph hyped up the Moon and Ripley vs. Kai and Gonzalez match after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A heel Chinese faction? That’s the way it looks if Boa and Li are involved. Maybe it’s going to be an international faction because I don’t remember if WWE has any more mainland Chinese wrestlers on their roster. Not quite what I would do, but let’s see where this goes. It would be cool to see if all of Li’s hard work over the years has paid off when given a proper push.

During Ember Moon’s entrance, she had new badass entrance music. What wasn’t badass was a part of Moon’s gear. The pre-match post-apocalyptic gear was actually good. What took away from it was a fluffy tail coming from her backside…

7. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez vs. Rhea Ripley and Ember Moon. Kai and Gonzalez managed to keep Moon under control with consistent tags and offense. Moon ended up catching Kai with a plancha. Ripley took down Gonzalez with a cannonball. Ripley tagged in. Kai ran away and tagged in Gonzalez. Ripley caught Kai with a Yakuza Kick. Gonzalez booted Ripley off the apron. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Gonzalez was manhandling Ripley back from the break. Barrett noted that it’s a bit odd to see Ripley tossed around by someone. Kai tagged in and kept the pressure on Ripley. Kai used a guillotine choke to prevent Ripley from reaching Moon for the tag. Ripley used a flapjack slam to clear Kai from her patch. Moon managed to tag in for the hot sequence. Moon took down Kai with a series of kicks. Moon fended off both Kai and Gonzalez with strikes. Moon hit Gonzalez with a Flatliner (which Barrett called a Uranage for some reason, it was the 2nd time he’s done it tonight).

Gonzalez managed to plant Moon with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Joseph noted that Moon is a former NXT Women’s Champion. Moon and Kai tagged in. Ripley hit Kai with an electric chair slam. Gonzalez helped Kai escape Ripley’s Prism Hold attempt. Kai hit Ripley with the Code Red backbreaker for the two count. Moon tagged in and hit Kai with a Roaring Elbow. Gonzalez broke up the pin. Ripley dumped Gonzalez to ringside with a lariat. Kai knocked Ripley to ringside with a boot. Moon hit Kai with a power bomb.

Gonzalez koocked Moon off the top rope. Ripley dragged Gonzalez to the announce table and gave Gonzalez a Samoan Drop on (and over) the table. Moon ended up hitting Kai with the Eclipse for the victory.

Ember Moon and Rhea Ripley defeated Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez via pinfall in 11:49. 

Ripley held up Moon’s hand after the match in victory to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: A fun and hot television main event anchored by some of WWE’s best talent in the women’s division. A strong return for Ember Moon who doesn’t look to have missed a beat after the long layoff (though the tag rules do allow her to work less than she would during a singles match). In fact, I think Moon looked really good. The key with Moon’s presentation now is to keep the mic away from her hands and just let her speak with her fists and throws. It’s not like she’s a bad promo. She’s a decent talker. She just doesn’t sound intimidating when her character’s look is built around intimidation.

NXT had a bit of a different feel tonight given the change in venue. Not sure what to conclude yet. I need to see this play out over several more episodes. So far, the freshness is welcome, but I’m just not sure if it’s an “improvement” per se. It just feels fresh because we’ve been used to the Full Sail setup for a while.





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