3/3 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles, NXT Tag Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher in a non-title match, LA Knight appears, The Way go to therapy

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

NXT TV 
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired March 3, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] Highlights from last week’s NXT aired….

Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, and Wade Barrett were on commentary…

A picture-in-picture recap aired from the Performance Center from “last night”. The video focused on Tommaso Ciampa taunting the tag team champions leading to a match on this week’s show…

1. NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa in a non-title match. The commentary team discussed the tag team champions ducking out on an actual tag team defense by making this a non-title match. Burch and Thatcher started the match with Thatcher performing his joint manipulation on Burch. Thatcher and Burch no-sold each other’s European Uppercuts. Lorcan and Ciampa ended up tagging in, leading to a chain wrestling exchange. Lorcan and Ciampa no-sold each other’s strikes. After another series of counters, Ciampa knocked Burch off the apron with a high knee.

Thatcher caught Burch at ringside with a uppercut. Lorcan got a two count off Ciampa with a rollup. Ciampa turned Lorcan inside out with a lariat. Ciampa tossed Lorcan into Thatcher’s uppercut to give Thatcher a two count. Lorcan escaped Thatcher’s headlock by fish hooking Thatcher’s face. Burch tagged in and sent Thatcher to ringside with a lariat which Thatcher sold for an extended time heading into commercial.[c]

Thatcher was in peril, but he quickly got the tag to Ciampa who cleaned house. Ciampa hit multiple tackles in the corner with both opponents. Ciampa then fired up after a double lariat on both opponents. Thatcher and Ciampa then traded quick tags to shower strikes on the chest of Burch. Lorcan tried to break up a submission that Thatcher had on Burch, but Thatcher no sold the kick. Ciampa got in the ring leading to Ciampa and Thatcher showing their opponents with clubbing blows.

Lorcan held on to Burch to prevent Thatcher from hitting him with a German Suplex. Lorcan caught Thatche rwith a running uppercut. Lorcan caught Thatcher with a Half and Half Suplex. All four men took each other out with power strikes. Thatcher was about to tag Ciampa but he froze in place when he saw Alexander Wolfe, Marcel Barthel, and Fabien Aichner standing at the top of the ramp. The distraction allowed Lorcan and Burch to knock Ciampa off the apron and nail Thatcher with their double team draping DDT to give Lorcan the victory.

Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch defeated Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa via pinfall in 9:46 of on-air time. 

Roderick Strong was shown heading to the ring from backstage…[c]

John’s Thoughts: You know NXT’s roster is too deep when they can’t figure out what exactly to do with Tommaso F’n Ciampa. At least it seems that way with him still being in a tag team with Timothy Thatcher. Maybe there’s some potential with the former-rival tag team? They were my favorite to win the Dusty Cup if MSK didn’t win. The finish of the match was a bit hokey. Why did Thatcher just freeze when he saw Imperium (especially when they were out of view from Ciampa)? Thatcher and Ciampa vs. Imperium could lead to good matches in the future. So there’s that.

Roderick Strong was already in the ring. Strong demanded that Adam Cole get his ass out here. Strong said that if any of UE meant anything to Cole then Cole needs to come out now. Instead of getting Cole, he got Finn Balor. Balor said Strong needs to learn that Cole isn’t coming out for him. Strong cut off Balor and noted that Balor ruined Undisputed Era. Strong said the UE issues are Balor’s fault. Balor said the reason Strong’s brotherhood fell apart is because of the NXT Championship.

Balor said he knows how to get Cole to show up. Balor went to the camera and said that on next week’s show it will be Finn Balor vs. Adam Cole for the NXT Championship. Balor told Strong that Strong will always be a follower and not a leader. Balor said that Strong needs to be more greedy. Before Balor could finish his taunting, Roderick Strong jumped Finn Balor and the two brawled. Sonjay Dutt and a bunch of referees ran out to pull apart the two…

The show cut to Vic Joseph and Beth Phoenix checking in on-site with Wade Barrett checking in remotely. Joseph continued to joke about Barrett being in a a little box. They cut to the Way therapy session…

Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Austin Theory, and Indi Hartwell were sitting on a couch with the therapist on a chair. Theory talked about how he wanted to go to Chuck E Cheeses. Theory continued to talk about how Lumis was a cool guy who took him on a vacation. Hartwell was drawing doodles about becoming the future Mrs. Lumis. Gargano went on a rant saying that Lumis needs to go to jail. The therapist tried to calm down Gargano. Gargano said that Theory needs the “thera-peeing” on, not Gargano. The therapist made Gargano leave the room…[c]

John’s Thoughts: The Way segments are hokey, but they write these well enough to be entertaining every week. That “Therapeeing” line was a riot. My guess is that we’ll get more of these throughout the night which I’m looking forward to. Also, big championship match that they just threw out there for next week, right?

Big Money Cameron Grimes was counting his cash while chatting with the producting guys in the production booth. Regal showed up and asked Grimes to stand up in front of him. Regal said NXT was threatened by a lawsuit due to the staff member getting punched by Grimes last week. Grimes kept trying to pay Regal off. Regal rushed off Grimes and booked Grimes in a match against Bronson Reed. Grimes asked Regal if he was sure and it would be easy if Regal just took the money. Grimes said he thought that “everybody has a price. Grimes then said “that damn Ted DiBiase!”…

John’s Thoughts: They’ve gotta be building towards a Grimes and DiBiase encounter down the road right? Given all the times they’ve name dropped Ted over the last two weeks?

Finn Balor vs. Roderick Strong in a non-title match was announced for later in the show…

2. Aliyah (w/Jessi Kamea, Robert Stone) vs. Ember Moon (w/Shotzi Blackheart). Robert Stone was scratching himself over the PTSD from Blackheart’s tank. Moon dared Aliyah to slap her and then she reversed the slap into a reverse hip toss. Stone tried to use a business card to distract Moon, but then he ran away in fear when Blackheart showed up. Moon then caught Aliyah during a crossbody attempt (it almost ended horribly as Moon stumbled a bit into the barricade). Moon dropped Aliyah and hit Aliyah with a shotgun dropkick.

Aliyah regained control in the ring and locked Moon in a chinlock. Moon hit Aliyah with a series of lariats and a shotgun dropkick. Moon hit Aliyah with a spinebuster for a two count. Moon escaped Aliyah’s superplex attempt with a front suplex. Jessi and Rob tried to interfere but Blackheart took them out with a flying lariat. Moon caught Aliyah with the Eclipse for the victory.

Ember Moon defeated Aliyah via pinfall in 4:53. 

The camera continued to show that Stone was itching out of fear of Blackheart (is his character a coke addict?).

McKenzie Mitchell asked Thatcher and Ciampa about the deal behind Thatcher and Imperium. Ciampa cut in and said that Thatcher’s issues with Imperium are the past and should be buried at this point…

The four wrestlers in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match were shown getting ready backstage…[c]

John’s Thoughts: I wonder if NXT is getting a set of tag team titles soon (either their own or the WWE tag team titles) because they’re making sure to keep the women’s tag teams heated up. We’ll see where that goes. The match was a bit clunky but the real story was out of the win, keeping Moon and Blackheart strong. Bonus points to Robbie Stone for his attention to detail, referencing his past feud with Shotzi Blackheart from about a year ago.

Highlights from the Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm vs. Mercedes Martinez match from a few weeks ago aired. This led to a Toni Storm promo where Storm talked about how Shirai hasn’t beaten her after all these years dating back to the Mae Young Classic. Shirai talked about how she’s not afraid of Storm and that Storm is in her way from reaching perfection. Storm and Shirai then talked about how they are going to be women’s champion coming out of next week’s show. A graphic aired to hype the Shirai vs. Storm match…

Entrances for the women’s tag team title match took place. Beth Phoenix talked about Shayna Baszler being indestructible when she was in NXT (and now she’s stuck losing 5 minute “already in progress” matches on WWE Raw. Rip). Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions for the championship match…

3. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax vs. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Baszler teased starting the match against her former bully victim, Dakota Kai, but she quickly tagged out to let Nia Jax toss Kai around a bit. Baszler then tagged in and tossed around the weakened Kai. Baszler went for the elbow stomp that she used to injure Kai at one point, but Kai got out of the way. Baszler caught Kai’s kick and tripped her up. Baszler then tossed Kai to ringside. Both teams faced off at ringside, right as the show cut to picture-in-picture. [c]

Jax ragdolled Kai with a Stretch Muffler. Jax slammed Kai’s face into the buckle, leading to a two count. Kai tried to go for a crossbody, but was caught by Jax. Jax slammed Kai to the mat with Baszler following up with a high knee for a two count. Kai kicked Baszler with two kicks to get the opportunity for the tag. Gonzalez got the hot tag and nailed Baszler with a dropkick. Gonzalez tossed around Baszler with a series of fallaway slams. Gonzalez got a two count after a swinging power slam.

[Hour Two] Baszler used a knee to escape Gonzalez’s power bomb. Jax and Gonzalez tagged in for the battle of the giants. Jax got the final blow with the shove. Baszler got a two count off Gonzalez. Gonzalez gave Baszler a big boot. Gonzalez tossed Baszler into Dakota’s GTK. Jax broke up the subsequent pin. Kai went for a GTK on Baszler but her leg gave out on her. Baszler reversed Kai’s next GTK attempt into a Kirafuda Clutch. Gonzalez tagged in and ran right at Jax after breaking up the Kirafuda Clutch. Gonzalez also ran right into the referee. REF BUMP!!!

Gonzalez and Jax brawled over the announce table. Baszler locked in the Kirafuda clutch. Vic Joseph pointed out that Suddenly, WWE Raw Official Adam Pierce ran out and brought a Raw referee with him named Shawn Bennett. The referee called for the bell after judging that Kai was passed out.

Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax defeated Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez via submission in 13:18 to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.

Vic Joseph sold this like a screwjob and pointed out that Kai wasn’t even the legal woman in the match…

John’s Thoughts: The match was pretty average at best, but it looks like these two teams will have a chance for a better encounter due to the ref bump finish (A ref bump, Robbie E, and Sonjay Dutt sighting. Are we getting a TNA invasion? I kid, I kid). This can be a good thing if they are looking towards telling a multi-week and cross-brand storyline. Maybe they want this match on WrestleMania? Or Fast Lane?

The show cut back to Theory, LeRae, and Hartwell’s therapy session. Theory told the therapist that he thinks Lumis needs friends. Hartwell said she wants to be Lumis’s friend… with benefits. LeRae talked about how bad Lumis is. Theory said Lumis is just weird sometimes. Hartwell talked about how she wanted to get weird with Lumis. The Therapist then called out LeRae for her constant phone vibrating, due to Johnny Gargano being outside of the door. The therapist kicked out LeRae, Harwell, and Gargano (who tried to get back in the room)…

The former Eli Drake, LA Knight, was shown walking through the hallways of the PC, heading to the ring…[c]

The show cut to Isaiah Swerve Scott cutting a promo from a recording studio. Scott talked about how he’s getting screwed out of opportunities while people like Leon Ruff are given them just because people feel sorry for him. Scott said he’s a savage individual. Scott said that “Swerve is different, and I just don’t care anymore”.

John’s Thoughts: That was probably the best promo Scott has cut in his on-air wrestling career. Not the greatest promo in the world, but a good one, and an improvement of his very vague “Swerve” promos we’ve heard from him in all the promotions he’s been in. Scott has been turning a corner since the heel turn and I hope this momentum continues.

LA Knight made his entrance to the WWE performance center arena. Knight said he’s waited for a long time to get to this ring and say “let me talk to ya”. Knight mocked other wrestlers talking about their “childhood dreams”. Knight said this isn’t a dream, it’s business. Knight said it’s his business to whoop a man’s ass when they step in the ropes. Knight said people compare him to Tom Brady, but Brady is half the man that LA Knight is. Knight said in the end of the day he’s going to be setting trends or setting records. Knight named dropped the main eventers of NXT and said that they have kicks, flips, and dives.

Knight said he isn’t going to bring flash, but he’s going to beat the hell out of people. Knight said he’s not going to do things fancy, but he’s going to get the job done. Knight said he’s the last of a dying breed. Knight said he doesn’t want to be called the GOAT (Greatest of all time). Knight said he just wants to hear his name being called in victory and “that is just a fact of life”…

John’s Thoughts: Good delivery as usual by Knight. I’m interested to hear what people thought of this promo. I only say that because to me he tried to stuff a lot of his catchphrases and character gimmicks into a single promo when he could have spaced things out over weeks. To me, I just heard him rush through most of his Impact Wrestling promos in a single promo. It was a good promo, but I’ve heard him go through his “last of a dying breed” and being against “kicks, flips, and dives” phases. The only thing missing was him going “Dummy… yeah”.

Bronson Reed made his entrance while LA Knight was still in the ring. Cameron Grimes now has new entrance music, it’s the “To the moon” music he used during the music video a few weeks ago. Grimes kept tossing around money on his way to the ring…

4. Bronson Reed vs. Cameron Grimes. Grimes tried to pay off Reed, but Reed gave him a right hand, sending all of the money to the floor. Reed dumped Grimes to ringside. Reed blocked a sunset bomb by sitting on Grimes. The show cut to regular commercial.[c]

Reed was dominating Grimes back from the break. Grimes went for some of his shootfighter kicks, but Reed no sold them. Reed caught Grimes with a front hip attack. Beth noted that the bedazzles from Grimes’s tights flew off. Grimes tried to go for a few Superman Forearms, but Reed came back with an inside out clothesline. Grimes cowered in fear when Reed gave him the bug eyes. Reed caught Grimes with a suicide dive when Grimes tried to take his top hat and leave.

LA Knight showed up to give the referee Cameron’s hat. Knight knocked Reed off the top rope. Grimes hit Reed with the Cave-In for the victory.

Cameron Grimes defeated Bronson Reed via pinfall in 5:06 of on-air time.

The camera cut to the WWE PC board room where we could see William Regal grilling Adam Pearce over interfering in the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship match…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Kayden Carter about Kacy Catanzaro being injured. Carter said Xia took out her friend and now it’s Carter time to take Xia out. Carter said next week Xia Li can “come get it”…

A sponsor ad aired that showed Xia Li highlights…[c]

John’s Thoughts: As much as Cameron Grimes is presented as a clownish character, NXT really does a consistent job in making sure this guy both looks good in the ring and always pinning their biggest stars (albeit in dirty fashion). Grimes is money, pun intended. NXT has also done a great job building up his Cave-in finisher, which I don’t think anyone has kicked out of yet, and I think this has included Finn Balor and Keith Lee at points. Reed is protected and I hope we get a longform program between Reed and Knight moving forward. Reed can control things in the ring while Knight will bring his best through his mic work.

Highlights from last week’s Kross vs. Escobar street fight aired…

Vic Joseph and Beth Phoenix checked in from the commentary table where they sent the show back to the Way’s Therapy session…

The Therapist asked Theory “what really happened” when he was kidnapped by Dexter Lumis. Lumis said he was happy because Lumis just put Theory in a small room and allowed him to watch cartoons and eat cereal. The therapist said she talked to Dexter Lumis earlier in the day and in fact he wouldn’t stop talking. The therapist said the Lumis couldn’t wait to get rid of Theory because of Theory’s bad eating habits and Theory’s bad habit of cutting t-shirts to expose his mediocre midriff. This caused Theory to sprint to the hallway and call out to his “daddy!” Johnny Gargano.

Gargano told LeRae to take Theory to the car. Gargano was pleased at the therapist talking sense into Theory and gave her a stack of $100’s. Gargano pulled back one hundred and said he needed that to take Theory to the arcade. Gargano cheered and told his family that they were all going to Chuck E’ Cheese’s…

John’s Thoughts: Again, I usually hate hokey stuff like this, but Johnny and Crew continue to be a highlight of the weekly show with their great comedic timing and good writing behind the comedy. I’m glad Theory didn’t turn on Gargano too, as it means we’ll get more of man-child Theory. We also know that Indi Hartwell wants to be FWBs with Lumis now too, so we’re due for more fun segments from The Way.

Matt Martel and Chase Parker were already in the ring. Breezango were about to get back to doing a stripper entrance, this time as stripper astronauts. Before they could do any stripping, they got their asses kicked by Legado Del Fantasma, Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza. Parker and Martel gave the thumbs up, but then cleared the ring when Legado went after them. Ever Rise posed on the ramp, but were blindsided by Santos Escobar, who whooped Ever Rise’s asses while wearing a nice business suit.

Escobar joined Wilde and Mendoza in the ring with a mic. Escobar said you can’t see last week’s events as a sign of weakness. Escobar said if you see that as weakness, then “this” is what awaits you…

The commentators advertised Kayden Carter vs. Xia Li, Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm for the women’s championship, and Finn Balor vs. Adam Cole for the NXT Championship for next week…

A hype video aired to promote the Balor vs. Cole championship match…

John’s Thoughts: In my mind, Wilde and Mendoza have just turned babyface for kicking the crap out of the Breezango gimmick that got old 5 years ago on Smackdown. It used to be Wilde who used to annoy the hell out of me with his dumb “ba ba ba baughhhh” thing and now he’s saving the NXT show for me. Joking aside, I did like that segment to put heat back on Escobar and crew. I do like that they went back to wearing the nice suits. That’s a nice shift. Escobar will be fine because he can have a great match with anyone, and bring it when he has to on the microphone.

McKenzie Mitchell asked William Regal about what was discussed betwen William Regal and Adam Pearce. Regal said he’s going to announce something next Wednesday to “Change the landscape of NXT”…

John’s Thoughts: Move to Tuesdays? I don’t know, I’m just spitballing.

Entraces for the Strong vs. Balor match took place. Vic Joseph hyped Apollo Crews and Bobby Lashley appearing on the Corey Graves podcast this week. Roderick Strong has new entrance music. Strong also now has a Roderick Strong themed sweater…

5. NXT Champion Finn Balor vs. Roderick Strong in a non-title match. Strong and Balor started the match with mat wrestling. Both men blocked each other’s submissions. Balor managed to get Strong in a grounded side headlock. Strong got to his feet and pressured Balor to the corner. Strong escaped and hit Balor with his signature backbreaker. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Strong had Balor in the corner and went at Balor with elbows. Balor tripped up Strong and made Strong land awkwardly on the shoulder. Balor worked on Strong with aggressive stomps. Balor kept Strong trapped on the ground with a hammerlock. Balor took a bump on the mat to slam Strong’s left arm into the ring. Balor continued to focus his offense on working on Strong’s left arm.

[Overrun] Strong used a Power Slam to escape Balor’s armbar. Strong gave Balor a backbreaker for a two count. Balor dodged Strong’s high knee and gave Strong a arm drag. Balor locked Strong in a triangle choke which Strong broke up with the bottom rope. The commentators pointed out that Balor used the five count to get the most out of the submission before the rope break. Balor went at Strong with chops in the corner.

Strong got Balor to the mat with a running clothesline. Strong planted Balor with a flapjack slam. Strong hit Balor with his signature drive by elbows. Strong then hit Balor with an Angle Slam followed by a Tiger Bomb for a two count. Balor ended Strong’s momentum with a sling blade. Strong reversed Balor’s Shotgun Dropkick with a Strong Hold (Liontamer). Strong reversed Balor’s reversal by sitting down for a two count.

Strong went for a gutbuster, but Balor adjusted mid-air with a double stomp. Balor caught Strong with a Pele Kick and Eye of the Hurricane. Balor it Strong with a Shotgun Dropkick and Coup De Grace. Balor hit Strong with the 1916 for the victory.

Finn Balor defeated Roderick Strong via pinfall in 13:47.

Barrett gave Strong credit for being emotionally distressed, yet still taking Balor to the limit. Highlights from the match aired. After the highlights, Adam Cole showed up at the top of the ramp. Balor pointed at Cole with his Bullet Club finger gun. Vic Joseph closed the show by saying that next week’s NXT is can’t miss…

John’s Thoughts: Roderick Strong can work a great match in his sleep and this match was no exception. That said, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Strong wasn’t going to have any sort of chance here. It’s going to take a bit of time to rebuild singles-wrestler Roderick Strong who has been Adam Cole’s utility man for the past few years. I’m actually looking forward to see what happens to Strong once he moves on from this UE breakup storyline because that is where they can start rebuilding him.

This week’s NXT was a step down from the last few weeks, but still a solid show that pushed forward the storylines they wanted to push forward. The UE breakup story continues to be the most compelling thing on the show. Good job for NXT building their main event scene around that. The Gargano Family continues to bring the entertainment and Grimes is looking funnier and funnier by the week. Next week’s show is suddenly really big now because they’ve booked men’s and women’s world title matches on that show. Not to mention, Regal has this game-changing announcement next week.

NXT on USA Poll: Grade the March 3 edition

 
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Readers Comments (4)

  1. Coke doesn’t make you itchy, heroin does. Thank you for coming to my TEDtalk.

  2. Cornelius Talmage March 3, 2021 @ 11:18 pm

    “Why did Thatcher just freeze when he saw Imperium (especially when they were out of view from Ciampa)?”

    I know they haven’t mentioned it at all (to my knowledge) on TV but wasn’t Thatcher in the indie version of Imperium with a couple of them? Maybe they’re planning on doing something with that?

  3. Indi deserves some honorable mentions for some of her one liners in the Therapy vignettes.

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