3/17 NXT TV results: Powell’s review of Dexter Lumis vs. Austin Theory, Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah Scott, LA Knight’s in-ring debut, Jordan Devlin returns, Dakota Kai vs. Zoey Stark, Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

NXT TV 
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired March 17, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] NXT opened with a recap of last week’s closing segment involving confrontations between Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly, and Finn Balor and Karrion Kross… The broadcast team was Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, and Wade Barrett…

NXT Champion Finn Balor delivered a promo. He boasted about the wrestlers he’s beaten and then said he’s been waiting for Karrion Kross. Balor said Kross’s time is up.

Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their entrance and joined Balor inside the ring. Kross said their situation was never going to be settled until they took care of their other affairs. Kross said it would be one on one or it would be meaningless.

Balor said everyone wants to be champion until the real champion walks into the room. Balor said no one else had the balls to tell Kross that he walks like a champion and talks like a champion, but the problem is that Finn Balor is the champion and Kross doesn’t have what it takes to beat him.

Kross promised Balor that he would know what it feels like to have all the oxygen squeezed out of his skull when he chokes him out. Balor said Kross would know what it’s like to be in the main event of Takeover and choke.

Scarlett stood between the two men and said she’s already seen it in the cards. “Two champions, both draped in gold, the world in awe, it all happens for a reason,” she said.

NXT Tag Team Champions Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan interrupted the exchange. They said Balor should be facing Pete Dunne, and they know that he could beat either Balor or Kross. They said it’s only a matter of time until Dunne becomes NXT Champion.

Scarlett said there are moments in time that lead to an inevitable future. Scarlett said there are moments like this when Burch and Lorcan put their tag titles on the line against Balor and Kross. Scarlett left the ring and approached Burch and Lorcan.

Scarlett said they know what they want and know what they bring to the table, and they wouldn’t want the word coward associated with their names. Burch took the bait and called for an NXT Tag Title match later in the show. Burch and Lorcan headed to the back, and then Kross joined Scarlett on the floor. Scarlett told Balor that every moment happens for a reason and he can’t change this…

The broadcast team checked in from their desk at ringside and spoke about the angle, then said it was time for their opening match…

Powell’s POV: I liked the intensity between Kross and Balor, but that was a strange way of getting to WWE’s typical champion and challenger going for the tag titles. It made Lorcan and Burch look a little dopey for being manipulated by Scarlett, but it ultimately works for me because it didn’t really conflict with anything we know about their characters. That said, I wonder if this match would be happening if it wasn’t for the reported COVID outbreak at the WWE Performance Center. By the way, I am filling in for John Moore this week. He will be back on Friday night with the WWE Smackdown review.

Dexter Lumis made his entrance. Backstage, Austin Theory checked in with Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae via his tablet. Gargano said the last step of Theory’s therapy was to face Lumis alone. Theory said he had it, then made his entrance…

1. Dexter Lumis vs. Austin Theory. The match spilled to ringside and they cut to a split-screen commercial break during the opening seconds. [C] Late in the match, Lumis knocked Theory down with a clothesline. Lumis approached Theory and offered him a hand. Theory said no because Lumis said bad things about him.

Theory accepted Lumis helping him to his feet and then hugged him while saying he knew it. Lumis put Theory standing submission hold, which Theory broke. Theory hoisted up Lumis while saying he never should have trusted him. He said Gargano was right and Lumis is not the way. Lumis slipped out and applied his finisher and got the win…

Dexter Lumis beat Austin Theory in 9:35.

Powell’s POV: They told a back and forth story at the end with Lumis winning the trust of Theory by helping him up, then taking him out afterward. It’s fine for a mid-card story.

McKenzie Mitchell checked in from outside of William Regal’s office. Tommaso Ciampa showed up and said his tag partner Timothy Thatcher wasn’t in the building. He told her to find Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel and ask them if they know where Alexander Wolfe is. He said only one of them will be standing by the end of the night…

Adam Cole was shown walking backstage… [C]

Adam Cole stood in the ring and said Kyle O’Reilly made the biggest mistake of his life. He said he wasn’t mad at him last week, he just didn’t need him anymore, but then O’Reilly cost him the NXT Championship.

William Regal came out and said that O’Reilly wasn’t cleared last week and damaged his neck during their brawl. Regal said O’Reilly has been banned from the building. O’Reilly appeared on the big screen and he found it hilarious that Cole got so upset over losing last week.

O’Reilly said he will not rest until he ends Cole, just as Cole tried to end his career. O’Reilly got worked up while saying that they were friends over eleven years. O’Reilly calmed down and said it is a threat that he’s going to do whatever he has to do. Cole approached Regal on the ramp and said that O’Reilly threatened to hurt him, but that wouldn’t happen if he found O’Reilly first…

A sponsored video package recapped Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon winning the NXT Women’s Tag Titles last week. They were shown posing for photos with Blackheart’s father…

Backstage, Mitchell interviewed Blackheart and Moon. Moon said she came to NXT to make history and be the face of a division. Blackheart howled, but stopped when Robert Stone entered the picture with Aliyah and Jessi Kamea. They set up an NXT Women’s Tag Title match for next week, and the champions mocked Stone’s suit…

Powell’s POV: A feel good moment with Blackheart’s father or are they introducing him as a potential target for heels in a future storyline?

Jordan Devlin arrived in a car outside WWE Performance Center… [C]

2. “Breezango” Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza (w/Santos Escobar). Breeze and Fandango made a regular entrance without a theme (thank you!). Wilde distracted Fandango while he was on the ropes, then Mendoza kicked Fandango off the ropes and he fell to the floor. [C] Late in the match, Mendoza choked Breeze with the top rope, then he and Wilde hit their finisher and got the pin…

Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza defeated Tyler Breeze and Fandango in 9:50.

Afterward, Escobar approached the broadcast team and spoke into a headset while mockingly questioning where Jordan Devlin was. Escobar boasted that he’s the true NXT Cruiserweight Champion.

Jordan Devlin made his entrance dressed in regular clothes and brought his version of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship with him. Escobar stood on the broadcast table and held his version of the title. Devlin told Escobar to take a long look at what a real champion looks like.

Devlin said he didn’t need to attack Escobar from behind. He said he told the entire world that he was going to call him out. Escobar went to the ring apron. Devlin told Escobar to throw his title in the trash because the real champion is back. Escobar laughed as he joined Devlin inside the ring.

Escobar said he has redefined what it means to be a cruiserweight and made history as the champion. Escobar said Devlin has the title because everyone in the U.S. based NXT forgot that he had it. Escobar challenged Devlin to face him at NXT Takeover: Stand And Deliver to settle things once and for all. Devlin headbutted Escobar and suplexed him, then raced out of the ring before Mendoza and Wilde could get to him…

Powell’s POV: A solid angle to set up the unification match. As much as I enjoy Escobar’s work, I’m all for him dropping the championship and moving into the heavyweight picture. It’s always strange when you have a cruiserweight champion who is bigger than the heavyweight champion.

Backstage, Mitchell asked Adam Cole if he’s concerned about what O’Reilly said earlier. Cole scoffed at the idea that he would be concerned. Cole said he would find O’Reilly and end him…

The broadcast team hyped Zoey Stark vs. Dakota Kai for after the break… [C]

A brief video package aired on NXT signing Sarray (a/k/a Sareee or Sari Fujimura)… Twitter photos were shown of Cameron Grimes on vacation…

[Hour Two] Entrances for the third match took place…

3. Dakota Kai (w/Raquel Gonzalez) vs. Zoey Stark. Stark avoided a kick from Kai, who was at ringside. Stark dove from the ring onto Kai at ringside heading into a break. [C] Kai caught Stark going for a springboard move and drilled her with a superkick. Kai followed up with a running kick in the corner and covered Stark for a two count.

Kai hoisted up Stark, who slipped away and countered into a pin for a two count. There were a couple of back and forth pin attempts. Stark drilled Kai with a knee to the face, then gave her a rolling senton. Stark went up top, but Kai cut her off with a kick. Kai performed a Detonation Kick and then pinned her…

Dakota Kai beat Zoey Stark in 12:35.

After the match, Io Shirai made her entrance and entered the ring. Kai got in her face, but Shirai walked around her and then shoved a contract into the chest of Gonzalez and told her to sign it. Shirai left the ring and helped Stark to the back…

Mitchell was trying to ask Regal about the NXT Cruiserweight Championship situation when a crew member told Regal that something bad had happened. Regal and the crew member headed away… [C]

Powell’s POV: A nice match. Kai continues to be one of the most consistent performers on the roster, and Stark has been impressive. Stark can absorb some early losses and bounce back when the time is right to push her. The post match angle simple and effective. Shirai came off like a badass for just blowing off Kai and going straight to Gonzalez with the contract for their match.

A sponsored MSK video package aired… “The Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake delivered a promo in front of a white backdrop. Gibson said they won’t forget what MSK did to his hand…

Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel made their entrance. Tommaso Ciampa attacked Aichner with a chair and tossed him over the barricade…

4. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Marcel Barthel (w/Fabian Aichner). Aichner eventually returned to ringside. Barthel worked over Ciampa at one point while looking into the camera and barking about Timothy Thatcher. Ciampa ended up knocking Aichner off the apron and then hit Barthel with Widow’s Bell before pinning him.

Tommaso Ciampa beat Marcel Barthel in 4:35.

After the match, NXT UK Champion Walter made his entrance. Joseph stressed that Walter has held the NXT UK Championship for 712 days. Walter removed his warmup suit and climbed onto the apron while glaring at Ciampa. Barthel and Aichner attacked Ciampa from behind. He fought them off briefly, but Walter knocked him down. Barthel and Aichner roughed up Ciampa, then Walter gave him a powerbomb…

Powell’s POV: It’s great to see Walter back in the United States. I’m still not sure where this

William Regal was shown rushing to a police scene outside the building. Kyle O’Reilly was being placed in the back of a squad car, and Adam Cole was handcuffed while yelling that O’Reilly will pay…

The broadcast team spoke at ringside. Phoenix questioned how far Cole and O’Reilly will go to destroy one another. Joseph said one of the biggest NXT debuts in history was coming up…

LA Knight was walking through the backstage area while delivering a promo. Bronson Reed was shown shaking his head in disgust while walking through a doorway behind Knight, who said while the NXT wrestlers are called superstars, one of the announcers called him a megastar. He said it was damn fitting and viewers were about to find out why… [C]

Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae were featured in a DQ spot. They sat at a table with food in front of them while footage and photos of them aired. They said food is a huge part of their family and what they look forward to the most…

Powell’s POV: I always enjoy ads where people talk about how much they enjoy a food product and are never actually shown eating it. Heck, I don’t even they said they like DQ, they just talked about how much they like food. What a ringing endorsement!

5. LA Knight vs. August Grey. Grey’s entrance was not televised. Barrett said he used to work with Knight on the independent scene and he is a true main event megastar. Knight was dominating Grey when he was distracted by Bronson Reed, who walked on the stage with Knight’s jacket. Reed put the jacket on and tore it. Grey rolled up Knight for a two count and got in some additional offense off the distraction. Knight avoided a top rope move, then threw punches at Grey. In the end, Knight drove Grey’s face into the mat and pinned him…

LA Knight beat August Grey in 2:25.

Powell’s POV: Knight was dominant aside from the offense that Grey got after the distraction. It was a good in-ring debut that continued the build to Knight’s first feud.

Backstage, Raquel Gonzalez was interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell. Gonzalez held the contract and said Shirai’s title reign has an expiration date. Dakota Kai showed up and said they need to continue this next week with Shirai and Stark. She said they need to remind the women’s division who runs the place. Gonzalez gave her a fist bump…

Karrion Kross and Scarlett were shown walking backstage in black and white. The cameras cut to a color shot of Finn Balor walking elsewhere… [C]

A brief Tian Sha video aired… Outside the building, Regal said he would have a solution to the problem of Cole and O’Reilly showing up looking to destroy one another next week…

6. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan vs. Finn Balor and Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett) for the NXT Tag Titles. Only the Balor and Kross entrances were televised. Ring announcer Alicia Taylor delivered introductions from the floor while the teams stood face to face in the ring.

There was an awkward spot where Kross suplexed Burch while Lorcan was trying to break it up. Kross ended up suplexing both opponents. The referee checked on Burch while the broadcast team said Balor didn’t seem to be in any hurry to help Kross when he was double teamed. The cut to a split screen break. [C]

Burch was tended to by a trainer at ringside while Lorcan flew solo. Balor and Lorcan ended up at ringside where Balor dropkicked Lorcan into Scarlett while Kross was down. Balor tossed Lorcan back inside the ring and then checked on Scarlett. Kross grabbed Balor by the throat and then slammed his head into the barricade repeatedly. Kross threw Balor back inside the ring where Lorcan hit him with a running uppercut and pinned him.

Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan beat Finn Balor and Karrion Kross in 11:00 to retain the NXT Tag Titles.

After the match, Kross attacked Lorcan, then worked over Balor with suplexes. Kross put Balor in his submission hold, but he released it when Scarlett put her hand on his shoulder. Scarlett helped Balor to his feet. Kross blasted Balor from behind with a forearm. Scarlett grabbed the NXT Title belt and draped it Balor. Scarlett told Balor that everything happens for a reason and he can’t escape his destiny…

Powell’s POV: Hopefully Burch is okay, but he and the trainer did head to the back at some point during the match. I assume they were able to improvise to come up with something close to the original finish, as it played out well with Kross attacking Balor and basically throwing him to the wolves (or wolf in this case). You can’t blame Kross for being angry for seeing lust in Balor’s eyes.

Anyway, I will be back shortly with my audio review of NXT for Dot Net Members. My AEW Dynamite audio review will be pushed back to Thursday this week due to John having the audacity to take a night off. I believe it’s his first since the night AEW Dynamite launched on his birthday. What a slacker!!! Let me know what you thought of NXT by grading it below.

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