4/13 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of the first appearances of Karrion Kross and Raquel Gonzalez since winning the NXT titles, Franky Monet’s debut, MSK vs. Killian Dain and Drake Maverick for the NXT Tag Titles, NXT Cruiserweight Championship open challenge

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

Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired April 13, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] The show started off right after the new Then, Now, and Forever intro, no recap video. NXT started off with NXT Champion Karrion Kross and Scarlett [Bordeaux] making their entrance. Kross was wearing leather jacket street clothes. The crowd started a “Karrion” chant. Kross said he told everyone and that “time comes full circle”. This invoked a “You deserve it” chant from a few in the crowd. Kross said it was only a matter of time before Kross stood in the ring with the title ,”my title”. Kross said that Balor is one of the greatest to stand in the ring, of all time.

Kross talked about how Balor picked up championships everywhere he wrestled. Kross stopped a bit to acknowledge the favorable reaction he was getting. Kross said the crowd was rowdy a bit. Kross talked about how Balor mentioned Kross’s uncontrollable rage being a weakness, but Kross said he controls everything. Kross said he’s at the top now and people say when you’re at the top there’s no where else to go but down. Kross said that idiom was a lie. Kross talked about how no one is going to topple him and how NXT has the hungriest fighters.

Kross said that if anyone wants the title then they should step up because he’s going to roll heads. Kross said he doesn’t care who you are because he’s going to fold every single person until there’s not a person left. Kross said that no matter when the time is tolled, everybody pays the toll…

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary. Joseph sent the show to a WrestleMania and Takeover recap video package. Poppy provided the background music for the video package…

Alicia Taylor introduced MSK, Wes Lee and Nash Carter, as the new NXT Tag Team Champions. MSK made their entrance. Vic Joseph noted that MSK will defend the tag titles after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A really good promo from Kross. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this and less of Scarlett being vague and symbolic. Kross is a well-spoken and eloquent talker and I think letting him have the mic more can do wonders in terms of acclimating him, heel or babyface, to the crowd and television audience. It’s still not clear if he’s a heel or babyface, but if he can continue to cut promos like this along with getting more aggressive in the ring, I feel that his alignment shouldn’t be a problem. Kross can end up just like Finn Balor, who started off as a heel, but pivoted to being a badass babyface (and where Kross excels as a babyrace, which we saw in his last three matches, is his strong selling ability).

Drake Maverick and Killian Dain made their entrance. Barrett joked that Killian Dain should have already gotten rid of that whistling entrance music at this point. Joseph noted that Dain and Maverick won the title shot on the Takeover pre-show…

1. “MSK” Wes Lee and Nash Carter vs. Drake Maverick and Killian Dain for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Lee caught Maverick with a jump kick to the shoulder. Maverick came back with a chop block and drop kick. Maverick hit a will o wisp in the corner. Lee pulled Maverick’s arm to prevent a tag. Carter hit Maverick with an assisted Bronco Buster for a two count. Lee and Carter traded quick tags to isolate Maverick from Dain.[c]

Dain and Maverick traded tags to keep Lee under control. MSK hit a double team move on Maverick. Dain tagged in and took a lot of strikes from MSK, topped off by a double stomp by Carter. After getting hit by stereo roundhouses, Lee hit Dain with a Spiral Tap for a two count. Dain reversed both MSK members, by blocking Carter’s Sunset Flip and then sitting on him by giving Lee a Michinoku Driver. Dain and Maverick hit Carter with stereo roundhouse kicks.

Lee pulled Carter out of the way when Dain tried to power bomb Maverick on him. Carter hit Dain with a springboard cutter. Lee hit Dain with a Liger Kick. Maverick rolled up Carter for a really good nearfall off the Small Package. MSK hit Maverick with their assisted Blockbuster move that they’ve been finishing people with. Carter hit Dain with a flip dive at ringside (almost a bad landing). Lee picked up the pinfall on Maverick.

MSK defeated Dain and Maverick via pinfall in 7:12 of on-air time. 

MSK celebrated their win. The Imperium members Marcel Barthel, Fabien Aichner, and Alexander Wolfe surrounded Dain and Maverick in the ring and left Dain lying. This is in reference to the trio trying to recruit Dain a few weeks ago…

Robert Stone and Aliyah were cutting a promo in the hallway backstage, with Stone hyping up the Robert Stone Brand. Mercedes Martinez showed up and choked out Robbie E to shake him down for the rest of the money she was supposedly owed. Jessi Kamea showed up and got in between Stone and Martinez. This would end up setting up a match between Kamea and Martinez for later in the show…

Wade Barrett hyped up “Exclusive footage” from the Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly match at Takeover for after the break…

John’s Thoughts: A really fun tag team match and it’s refreshing to see an actual tag team with history and buzz be presented as a big deal in NXT. Since teams like the War Raiders and Street Profits left, NXT has had a dud of a tag team division for over a year, maybe even two. I’m intrested to see what heel team steps up to the plate to give MSK a run for their money, but it also wouldn’t hurt to have MSK establish themselves as a sensation tag team. Maybe that team ends up being a rebuilt Imperium. Just a thought, maybe NXT should swap out Aichner for Wolfe in terms of the tag team. Wolfe has looked good in a tag team before (as a part of Eric Young’s Sanity faction) and is way more charismatic than Aichner. Aichner might be able to get over on his own as an athletic freak type.

Roderick Strong and his wife Marina Shafir were shown entering the WWE Performance Center. Strong and Shafir were wearing formal attire. Vic Joseph sent the show over to the Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly highlight video package. The additional footage was Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole being rolled side-by-side into the Emergency Room while on stretchers. Adam Cole kept yelling at O’Reilly (because for some reason the medics decided to have them roll in side-by-side). Cole kept yelling that he was coming after O’Reilly after all of this and that O’Reilly “ain’t s*it”…

Entrances for the next match took place…

2. Mercedes Martinez vs. Jessi Kamea. Kamea had a cow patterned sleeve and boot for some reason. Kamea had the advantage early on with her height advantage. Martinez avoided a splash and crossbody. Martinez hit Kamea with a running knee. Martinez hit Kamea with a modified Air Raid Crash for the win.

Mercedes Martinez defeated Jessi Kamea via pinfall in 1:52. 

Martinez pinned Stone against the plexiglass. Stone ended up paying Martinez. Martinez walked to the announce table so she could be picked up by the microphones. Martinez talked about how Raquel Gonzalez is the new women’s champion and how she’s coming after the title….

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Johnny Gargano and the Way. Johnny Gargano called Regal stupid for booking him in a match but he is looking forward to having all four members of the Way in a match together. Theory said he’s going to beat Dexter Lumis. Indi Hartwell said she wants to “handle some business” with Dexter Lumis by getting in the ring with him (she still has the hots for Lumis). LeRae and Gargano didn’t like Hartwell continuing to adore Lumis. Gargano then led The Way in a cheer with the hands in the middle…[c]

John’s Thoughts: It looks like Martinez might be being set up for the role of the women’s division “gatekeeper”, that said, she’s charismatic and badass enough to shrug off losses as long as NXT does their job in also giving her wins against scrubs like the Robert Stone Brand. Martinez vs. Gonzalez should be an amazing match because Martinez has great matches against anyone. I wouldn’t mind NXT rewarding Martinez for her successful wrestling career (mostly outside of WWE) by giving her a gold watch title run one of these days (and it wouldn’t be so “gold watch” because she is pretty damn good).

The show cut to a recording studio set where Isaiah Scott cut a promo. Scott talked about being the star in the Gauntlet Eliminator match. Scott talked about how he dispatched the fan favorite in Leon Ruff. He said it’s time to move on but he still has to get rid of Ruff. Scott said that after tonight, he’s going to be done with Ruff…

John’s Thoughts: I think they’ve really found a promo style that works with Scott, cinematic pre-tapes. Heck, he’s coming off cooler now than he ever did with his whole vague “swerve” promos where he would explain “swerve” by explaining nothing. Those promos were boring and confusing. Scott is really turning the corner since he turned heel and we already knew he had the in-ring skills.

Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza made their entrance. Escobar talked about how the Cruiserweight Division was a “forgotten division” around a year ago and how Escobar brought the title from the pre-show to the main show. Escobar talked about how he’s the emperor of Lucha Libre. He said  his father was a champion like him and his son is a future champion (referencing his son appearing after his match at Takeover). Escobar said he was making an open challenge to anyone. Kushida quickly took Escobar up on that offer. He now wears fighter shorts, but he still also wears his Marty McFly “life preserver” to the ring before the bell…

3. Santos Escobar vs. Kushida for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Kushida went for the Hoverboard Lock early on , but Escobar quickly rolled to the rope for the rope break. Kushida taunted Escobar with a handstand and backflip, ending up in the Jushin Liger pose. The show went to picture-in-picture.[c]

[Hour Two] Escobar dumped Kushida to ringside after the break and tossed him right into the steel steps. Barrett noted that Liger is a legend in Lucha Libre and won championships in Mexico. Escobar worked on Kushida with his signature methodical offense. Kushida tried to make a comeback, but he ate a front dropkick. Kushida hit Escobar with a atomic drop and then his cartwheel dropkick. Escobar blocked a Hoverboard Lock attempt. Kushida hit Escobar with a palm strike in the corner.

Kushida hit Escobar with a Super Tiger Suplex. Kushida hit Escobar with a Fisherman Suplex and went for the pin with a bridge. Escobar got a foot on the bottom rope. Escobar recovered and hit Kushida with a enzuigiri and while he was falling, Kushida hit Escobar with a Pele Kick. Escobar and Kushida hit each other with fighting spirit kicks. Escobar hit Kushida with a lungblower. Escobar and Kushida traded rollups in the next sequence. Kushida ended up picking up the surprise victory after a jackknife rollup.

Kushida defeated Santos Escobar via pinfall in 11:26 to become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion. 

Escobar got in the referee’s face due to the title loss. Kushida posed at the top of the ramp as the new champion. Kushida then started rolling on the ground hugging the title.

John’s Thoughts: Really good stuff and I liked this match better than the Escobar vs. Devlin match at Takeover (and that match was really good too). I wouldn’t mind seeing an Escobar vs. Kushida ladder match sometime in the future (Escobar vs. Rey Fenix in a ladder match is one of the best ladder matches I’ve seen live in person and Escobar really shines when he’s slowing down a talented sparkplug wrestler). This match also had the nice story of showcasing Lucha Libre styles in both Mexico and Japan with both wrestlers involved (Before “strong style” was a thing, Lucha was the primary wrestling style of Japan). I kinda hope this title change is a sign that this is a sign that Escobar is moving away from the cruiserweight division and onto the heavyweight division. Given Kushida’s status as the former “Junior Ace of New Japan” might we end up getting a match between him and other former NJPW ace Finn Balor? (This would sure beat Balor going back to being Grinning Finn on the main roster).

The show cut to Tommaso Ciampa’s lair where he and Timothy Thatcher were seated down. Ciampa talked about how he and Thatcher came out stronger after facing recent challenges and him facing WALTER. Thatcher said that there are new NXT tag champs and a new NXT Champion, both titles that he and Ciampa can go after. Ciampa tossed his chair to the ground and said they are coming for MSK and the tag titles…

NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai were shown heading to the ring from the backstage area heading into break…[c]

William Regal congratulated Kushida backstage. Jordan Devlin showed up and congratulated Kushida in a condescending way. Devlin talked about how Escobar didn’t beat him because all Escobar did was climb a ladder than him for one night. Devlin said he’s going back to the UK for now, but he’s coming for the title very soon when he comes back to the US…

Dakota Kai was already in the ring where she gave a formal in-ring introduction for the NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez. Gonzalez made her entrance and got the sparkler (Goldberg like)  pyro treatment. Raquel Gonzalez talked about how she lost her her first title opportunity a year and a half ago and that inspired her to train harder to get to where she is today. Gonzalez said the one person that recognized her dedication is Dakota Kai.

Gonzalez talked about how she and Kai made their debut as a duo in Portland over a year ago and how they ended up becoming the inaugural women’s tag team champions. Kai said that she and Gonzalez dominated the women’s tag team divisioin. Gonzalez said she has all the respect for Io Shirai but the Gonzalez era has just begun. The lights all of a sudden, went dark.

New entrance music started playing. When the lights went back on, Franky Monet (a.k.a. Taya Valkyrie) and her cute Pomeranian made their entrance. Monet congratulated Gonzalez on becoming champion. Monet noted that she’s “La Wera Loca” Franky Monet. Monet said that the best division in the planet has gotten more shiny, boujee, and better. Monet said that now that Gonzalez is at the top of Monet’s division, she’ll see more of Monet. Gonzalez said Monet is lucky that Gonzalez is in a good mood tonight, but if Monet crosses her she’s gonna shove the dog up Monet’s “coolo” (is that a slang for a women’s vag? I don’t know. UPDATE: I was just informed that “Culo” is Spanish for “ass”. Growing up in SoCal does make it easier to learn spanish, but some words run together). Monet said Gonzalez will have to see her impress every tuesday from now on.

After Monet left, some familliar music started playing as WWE Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley made her entrance. Ripley and Gonzalez faced off. Ultimately they clapped titles together and hugged. The Smackdown Women’s Champion, Bianca Belair, made her entrance next. The picture of Gonzalez, Ripley, and Belair hanging out backstage at WrestleMania was shown. The three women’s champions all posed with their title belts. An NXT chant took place…

John’s Thoughts: I’m not the biggest fan of wrestlers breaking character for backstage moments, but this was a really fun sight. Heck, maybe Ripley is a babyface now after Charlotte randomly came back as the Queen on Raw. That was a fun moment to give to the fans and to the NXT alums who worked their butts off. It’s also a scene where WWE can show off that they have the best women’s division top to bottom amongst all the promotions in the world. Taya’s debut in WWE may have been overshadowed by all of WWE’s women’s champions, but I also think that Taya, now Franky, was made to look like a big deal by being in a segment with all of WWE’s top women.

The show cut to Pete Dunne cutting a promo backstage. Dunne talked about how he proved at Takeover that he’s the best Technical Wrestler in WWE. He said that if anyone from any brand wants to step up, then they should step up. Dunne said he’s coming after gold now…[c]

John’s Thoughts: He laid it on thick there with the multi-brand talk. Daniel Bryan comes to mind when it comes to “technical”. Someone like Drew Gulak would be a disappointment. Matt Riddle used to be a cool technical wrestler, but Riddle is playing the role of dumbass at the moment (he was actually way better when he was NXT’s stoner).

A video package aired to hype up William Regal signing Surray to NXT. Regal, Simon Inoki, and Meiko Satomura hyped up Surray as a big deal…

Regal left an interview with McKenzie Mitchell where he continued to hype up Surray. Roderick Strong and Marina Shafir were in Regal’s office. Strong handed Regal a manila envelop and said “I’m done”. Regal said it’s not like he and regal didn’t try their best to make things work. Strong and Regal shook hands and Strong left…

Entrances for the next match took place. Vic Joseph advertised Poppy shirts on sale on WWE shop…

4. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Leon Ruff. Ruff took Scott to ringside with a basement dropkick after tripping up Scott. Scott slammed Ruff to the mat and hit him with a diving uppercut. Ruff took down Scott with a series of clotheslines and a curb stomp. Scott dominated Ruff heading into regular commercial.[c]

Scott worked on Ruff with chops and trash talk. Scott was also methodical in his offense. Ruff came back with an angry flurry of chops and a clothesline. Scott got a nice counter of a dive into a Juji Gatame (It may have been a Ruff botch, but Scott covered it well). The reason I thought it was a botch was because Ruff went back and hit Scott with a cutter. Ruff hit Scott with a cannonball at ringside. Ruff then hit Scott with a missile dropkick for a two count. Ruff staggered Scott on the top rope with a gamengiri. Ruff then hit Scott with a top rope Frankensteiner. Ruff got a two count.

Ruff backed Scott against the ropes but Scott reversed it with a lariat. Ruff recovered and hit Scott with a rebound lariat. Ruff picked up a great nearfall after a victory roll. Scott backdropped Ruff for a top rope snake eyes. Scott hit Ruff with the JML driver for the victory.

Isaiah Scott defeated Leon Ruff via pinfall in 7:31 of on-air time. 

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Zoey Stark. Stark talked about struggling to make ends meet while growing up in Las Vegas and she ended up shining on the Takeover show last week. Mercedes Martinez interrupted and talked down to Stark, calling Stark a rookie. Stark said “we’ll see about that” to end the segment…

Vic Joseph hyped up the 8-person tag for after the commercial…

The Triple H and Bad Bunny commercial aired for Bunny’s tour…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A fun match between Scott and Ruff which had a really good nearfall in the end with Ruff’s victory roll. Ruff being NXT’s 1-2-3 Kid really makes his nearfalls really count. With Paul Levesque and Shawn Michaels booking this show, you know the 1-2-3 kid allusions are coincidence. Scott finally gets a definitive win and I hope this is one of many for him. They are just so start-and-stop with guy. I understand not pushing him when his character was bleh, but he’s really finding himself with this new petty heel thing. On a side note, during the match, I was wondering if we will finally get a week without Zoey Stark showing up on TV. She showed up on TV after. Not a bad thing though, she’s really good and WWE continues to give her weekly TV time.

WALTER was shown with his Imperium sidekicks. Walter talked about how Tommaso Ciampa was one of his best challengers yet, but he’s still UK champion. He said htat Imperium’s goal of bringing respect to the sport has just started. Walter talked about how Imperium is going to take over and how Imperium will expand. Walter ended the promo in saying that “the mat is sacred”…

McKenzie Mitchell asked Isaiah Scott if things were over with Leon Ruff. Scott tried to laugh things off. The interview was cut off by Leon Ruff attacking Scott and leaving him lying. Ruff ran a roadie crate into Scott. Ruff said it isn’t over until he says its over. Sonjay Dutt and a referee ran in and separated Ruff and Scott. The segment ended with Dutt checking if Scott was injured…

Entrances for the 8-person main event took place. The Way wore matching Marvel-themed gear…

5. Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumis, Shotzi Blackheart, and Ember moon vs. “The Way” Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell, and Austin Theory in a mixed tag match. Lumis quickly took down Theory with a Thesz Pres. LeRae tagged in and Moon entered because it’s mixed tag rules. Moon and Blackheart traded tags to isolate LeRae. Gargano pulled LeRae to ringside and was given punches by all four opponents. Lumis tagged in and gave Gargano throat punches.

Lumis punched Theory off the apron. Lumis then had a little bit of a sexual tension moment with Indi Hartwell. Beth Phoenix yelled “The pheromones are flying!”. LeRae pulled Hartwell off the apron to stop this encounter. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Reed hit Theory with a series of clotheslines and a front hip attack. Reed tossed Gargano in the corner and hit both men with a splash in the corner. Reed grabbed Theory and Gargano at the same time and hit both men with a Samoan Drop. Hartwell hit Moon with a spinebuster. Blackheart hit Hartwell with a DDT. LeRae gave Blackheart a superkick. LeRae went for a crossbody on Reed, but she ended up bouncing off Reed. The way brawled to ringside.

LeRae hit Lumis with a Suicide Dive into a DDT. Blackheart yelled “Use me!” to Reed. Reed Military Press Slammed Blackheart on everyone at ringside. Reed teased a dive, but was kicked by Gargano. Lumis locked Gargano in his Keta Gatame submission. Hartwell teased breaking the hold, but then played dead so that she’d be “covered” by Lumis. Lumis teased a kis with Hartwell, but LeRae broke it up. Gargano and LeRae was dumped to ringside. Hartwell went back to playing Cinderella. Lumis carred the “sleep” hartwell to the back. Hartwell woke up and gave a wink to the camera.

[Overrun] Reed slamed Theory in the ring. Moon hit Theory with an Eclipse. LeRae tossed Moon to ringside. Gargano crotched Reed on the top rope. Reed gave Gargano a front suplex, sending him on Theory. LeRae went for a superplex, but was put in an electric chair by Blackheart. Blackheart gave LeRae an electric chair slam on Theory. Reed gave Theory a Tsunami Splash for the victory.

Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumis, Shotzi Blackheart, and Ember Moon defeated The Way via pinfall in 10:34. 

The replay focused on Lumis carrying Hartwell to the back. Vic Joseph advertised Kyle O’Reilly appearing on NXT next week for the first time after his match against Adam Cole. Reed celebrated with the women’s tag team champions to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: A fun television main event with plenty of Way antics. A bit more intergender contact than we usually see on NXT, but it’s usually ok in WWE for man-woman wrestling contact as long as the woman is the one initiating the contact. The Indi Hartwell stuff may come off as something that some people will like or hate. I thought I would hate it, but they’ve developed this story enough to have me cracking up a bit. Hartwell was the weakest in terms of personality (and in-ring) when it comes to The Way stable, but even she’s getting her moments now.

A good start to NXT on Tuesdays and I think they might be able to produce a better show top to bottom now that they don’t have to compete segment-to-segment with AEW. The main event wasn’t anything that you’d throw on a Takeover or anything, but it was a fun made-for-TV main event that put some shine on a few wrestlers. I think Hartwell gained in terms of comedy and Reed continues to be presented as one of WWE’s best big men.  This show also had a few big moments. First being the Cruiserweight title change. The second being all of WWE’s women’s singles champions posing together to showcase NXT and WWE’s strong women’s division that’s the best in all of wrestling. I’ll be by in a bit with my member’s exclusive audio review. Jason Powell should be by tomorrow with his NXT hit list.

NXT on USA Poll: Grade the April 13 edition

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Just an FYI, it’s “Sarray” not “Surray”. Known as Sareee in her pre-WWE days, she’s well worth watching.

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