By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired June 8, 2021 on USA Network
[Hour One] The show started off with a narrated highlight package of last week’s NXT show, which focused on Adam Cole inserting himself into the NXT Championship match at Takeover: In Your House. The narrator also ran through the matches already advertised for this Sunday’s Takeover show…
Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. A clip from “earlier today” showed Johnny Gargano and Pete Dunne brawling in the WWE Performance Center lobby. Oney Lorcan and Austin Theory were a part of the brawl…
1. Austin Theory vs. Oney Lorcan. Theory leapfrogged over Lorcan in the corner and hit Lorcan with a beautiful dropkick. Theory and Lorcan went into chain wrestling on the ground, trading ground submissions. Wade Barrett reminded viewers that Lorcan recently had the NXT Tag Team Championship vacated from him due to Danny Burch getting injured by Karrion Kross. Theory escaped and hit Lorcan with an elevated stomp and Fisherman Suplex.
Theory started gloating which allowed Lorcan to recover and beat down Theory in the corner. Lorcan knocked Theory off the apron with a knee lift. Lorcan and Theory traded stiff chops and forearms at ringside. Theory went to the apron but was tripped up by Lorcan. Pete Dunne showed up at ringside heading into the picture-in-picture.[c]
Johnny Gargano showed up at ringside to be in Theory’s corner. Lorcan hit Theory with knees, but Theory came back with a running blockbuster. Theory dumped Lorcan to ringside. While Theory was recovering from lower back pain, Lorcan recovered and pounced Theory to ringside. Theory got the upper hand and had a bit of a rally. Theory hit Lorcan with a Fallaway Slam. Theory hit Lorcan with a sweet, lucha-looking Sitdown Springboard Spanish Fly on Lorcan.
Lorcan and Theory took each other out at ringside. Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano started to brawl once they got in each other’s face. Referees ran out to separate the two. Theory tossed Lorcan back in the ring, but was distracted at the Dunne and Gargano brawl. Lorcan took advantage of the distraction by slamming Theory’s face into the ringpost. Lorcan hit Theory with a modified Rock Bottom for the victory.
Oney Lorcan defeated Austin Theory via pinfall in 12:35.
Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix checked in from the commentary table. Barrett sent the show over to an LA Knight video package. The show cut to LA Knight’s mansion (which looks a lot like Velveteen Dream, Lio Rush, and EC3’s mansion that they’ve used in past video packages). LA Knight cut a promo throughout his house about impressing Ted DiBiase and how embarrassing Cameron Grimes was. Knight had random females with him as he was in the hot tub and near his car. Eventually, Knight drove off in his car…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Heel vs. Heel matchup, which meant the fans were on their hands and phones for the beginning of the match, but it looks like they ended up picking Theory as the de facto babyface due to The Way being a bit easier to accept as lovable due to their comedic nature. Solid in-ring performance with Theory being very good technical-wise and Lorcan being fun brutal-wise. A decent opening match. I do hope that one of these days that both Lorcan and Theory evolve from being just enhancement guys because these guys have been way too talented for too long.
Michael Hayes, as Dok Hendrix, was shown on a set hyping up the NXT Takeover: In Your House event in the form of an ad. Hayes ran through the advertised Takeover card…
Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza were in the ring wearing formal attire. Escobar said he was going to make Bronson Reed pay for messing with Escobar and Wilde last week. Bronson Reed made his entrance and told the production truck to replay what happened last week. A video was shown of Escobar being body pressed by Reed into the plexiglass. Reed had the production team replay the squishing to embarrass Escobar. Escobar dared Reed to get in the ring to do it again. Reed said “you’re on”.
Wes Lee and Nash Carter showed up to Reed’s side to even up the numbers before any fight broke loose. Escobar and his goons retreated. Escobar proposed a winner-take-all match for the North American and Tag Team Championships at Takeover between MSK and Reed against Legado Del Fantasma. MSK and Reed agreed to this challenge. Legado Del Fantasma was about to leave, but were interrupted by Hit Row making their entrance.
Isaiah Scott, B-Fab, Ashanti Adonis, and Top Dollar entered the ring and jawed with Reed, Nash, and Carter a bit. Legado and their face rivals left the ring and Vic Joseph noted that Hit Row was making their entrance because Isaiah Scott was facing Killian Dain after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Well, this seemed a bit unnecessary and rushed. Just like the NXT Championship five person match, it seems like they’re overbooking and adding too many stipulations for no benefit. I was looking forward to Reed vs. Escobar in a singles match, and I’m looking forward to it less as a Trios (given how that would by nature make it more spotfesty with MSK and the goons involved). I also feel like the winner-take-all stipulation should be saved for an actual title change deep in a feud. This is not deep in a feud, but are they hotshoting the titles onto Legado? So soon after Reed winning the NA title? I don’t think so? If anything, I would have hotshotted the titles onto Hit Row because they are arguably the hottest thing in NXT at the moment without even doing much.
Vic Joseph noted that William Regal made the Bronson Reed, Nash Carter, and Wes Lee vs. Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza for the North American and Tag Team Championship match official for NXT Takeover In Your House…
2. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott (w/B-Fab, “Top Dolla” AJ Francis, Ashanti Adonis) vs. Killian Dain (w/Drake Maverick). Dain dominated early on. Scott retreated to ringside, behind the rest of hit row, to taunt Dain. Dain teased a suicide dive, but he stopped because Hit Row got out of the way. Scott tried to take advantage of a distracted Dain, but Dain continued to dominate Scott with holds and lariats. B-Fab distracted Dain again which allowed Scott to get the advantage by tripping Dain off the apron.
The camera showed that Ashanti Adonis was eating popcorn out of a zip lock bag (nice touch). Scott worked on Dain with pump kicks which Dain no sold. Dain no sold Scott’s slap. Dain and Scott traded blows with Dain getting the upper hand. Dain took down Scott with a stiff lariat. Scott did a backflip out of the corner, but ran right into Dain’s signature crossbody. Scott tripped up Dain and hit Dain with a House Call Kick for a two count. Dain recovered and slammed Scott to the mat.
Ashanti distracted Dain near the corner. Drake Maverick showed up and hit Ashanti with a cannonball from the steps. Top Dolla lifted Maverick and gave Maverick a Death Valley Driver on the apron. Scott caught a distracted Dain with a running single leg dropkick for the win.
Isaiah Scott defeated Killian Dain via pinfall in 6:39.
Highlights from the match aired…
Poppy was shown walking through the WWE PC hallways. The show cut to McKenzie Mitchell interviewing Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell about their thoughts on Poppy. LeRae said everyone should be taking about The Way rather than talk about Poppy. Indi Hartwell was still enthralled by Dexter Lumis as she recapped Dexter Lumis showing emotion after putting on her headphones last week. LeRae followed Hartwell, who walked off…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Simple and effective stuff to continue to introduce Hit Row to the audience. They are already so deep as characters and this was nice to show how dangerous their numbers advantage is. I’m still all-in in terms of Hit Row hype and I can’t wait until these peeps start main eventing takeover shows with their very fun act. At least I hope they get to main event some Takeovers and WWE PPVs.
The show cut to Cameron Grimes in a pool at his “mansion”. He cut a promo about being worthy of the Million Dollar Legacy while he had female legs in front of him. They then cut to Grimes smoking a cigar and drinking whiskey. He struggled to smoke the cigar. They then showed him getting massaged and massaging the masseuse (to recreate a scene from Dumb and Dumber). Grimes then ended his promo by saying he was going to the moon…
Mercedes Martinez was making her entrance, but she was attacked on the ramp by Xia Li. Mercedes’s random opponent in the ring had to stand and watch Li and Martinez brawl. Li had the early advantage, but Martinez recovered and womanhandled Li around ringside. The referees separated Li and Martinez. Rather than head to the back Martinez told the referee to ring the bell. The match started…
3. Mercedes Martinez vs. unknown local or developmental wrestler. Martinez quickly took down her opponent with a strike and ended her with an Air Raid Crash.
Mercedes Martinez defeated the enhancement wrestler via pinfall in 0:18.
McKenzie Mitchell welcomed Tyler Breeze and Fandango back to NXT. Fandango was in his weird Dango voice and Breeze had a random goatee. Breeze brought up how Imperium was feeling embarrassed for losing the tag titles to Breezango. Breeze said that he and Dango have a chance to embarrass Barthel and Aichner in the eyes of Walter again…
Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase was shown backstage heading to the ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Mercedes Martinez is one of the best female (and arguably overall) wrestlers in WWE. Not only does she have the in-ring on lock, but she’s also an amazing badass. Thank God she found a way to avoid being put in the god awful Retribution faction. Martinez is easily someone who deserves a few Women’s Championship runs very soon given how late in her career she is. She’s so good. Li will surely benefit from working with her.
William Regal and Paul “Triple H” Levesque welcomed Poppy to the WWE PC. Hunter was in cheesy ad mode in hyping up Poppy’s new CD. Hunter asked Poppy when the new Album was coming out. Poppy said it will once she presses the smartphone. Hunter continued to plug the Album. Dexter Lumis randomly showed up and gave Poppy a caricature painting of herself. Poppy liked the painting and gave Dexter a hug. Indi Hartwell showed up on queue and ran off sad because Poppy was hugging Lumis…
[Hour Two] Cameron Grimes and LA Knight pulled up in their individual rides to the WWE PC parking lot. Grimes and Knight traded trash talk with Grimes being over-the-top…
Ted DiBiase was already in the ring. Ted asked Cameron Grimes and LA Knight to join him in the ring. The camera shoed Knight and Grimes in the hallway. Knight came out first to his theme. Grimes got the mic and interrupted with his theme as he walked past Knight. Knight and Grimes joined Ted in the ring. Ted said that the ultimate test is this sunday and both Grimes and Knight have to climb the literal ladder of success.
A golden ladder with dollar signs on it descended from the ceiling. Ted noted that Grimes will face Knight in a Ladder match. Knight took the mic and stated his case that he was going to win. He talked about how he’s going to step on a hillbilly and hilljack like Grimes. Knight said it’s LA Knight’s game. Grimes said that he may be a hillbilly, but he’s worth a million. Grimes said he’s a hill jack at the top of the hill. Grimes noted that Ted said the key to the legacy is by bringing it in between the ropes. Grimes said you can take his money, and fame, but he’s taking the Million Dollar Legacy straight to the moon.
Grimes climbed the ladder and said there’s nothing at the top at the moment. Ted told his security guards to “bring it” to the ring. The security guards brought a briefcase to the ring and put it on a pedastal. Ted said both men will fight, crawl, grab, and use every muscle in their body to have “this”, the Million Dollar Championship. DiBiase noted that the winner of the ladder match will become the new Million Dollar Champion….
The camera cut to the interview set where Karrion Kross was brawling with Kyle O’Reilly. William Regal stepped in between them after the guards separated the two and yelled “no more!”…
John’s Thoughts: An ok segment in terms of content, but I can’t help but feel like this segment was rushed in order to stuff a few more stipulations in the Grimes vs. Knight match. Putting the Million Dollar Title on the line and ladder stip makes sense, but the other matches on this show are also loaded with stipulations. This overbooking is combined with the short build towards this upcoming Takeover. Weird. I feel like Knight was kinda shoehorned in here last minute too. As for Grimes vs. Knight on Sunday, it could just end up being like any TV match, but it might also be an unexpected show stealer. Grimes, you don’t have to worry about, that guy wrestles like a main eventer. I keep going to matches that Knight has had with Alberto El Patron, John Morrison, and others as to examples as to how this guy is way better in the ring than he lets on. Knight’s top-tier on the mic, but he also has it in him to put on a great match with a great opponent.
Ever Rise was shown backstage shilling their merch and podcast. They noted that Ever Rise Live this week will be the Takeover “Pre Pre” show. Matt Martel said if you didn’t know about the show, now you know. Chase Parker noted “if you don’t know, now you know” is not their catchphrase (because Hit Row uses it, which Hit Row got from Notorious BIG)…
4. Zack Gibson and James Drake vs. August Grey and Ikeman Jiro. Grey was dominated by Drake and Gibson early on until he tagged in Jiro. Jiro got the advantage over Drake after a huracanrana. Gibson tagged in after Jiro had a bit of a rally, but the GYVs quickly got control over Jiro with tandem offense. For some reason Jiro was wrestling in his tie dye jacket. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher brought out chairs to ringside to sit down and watch the match.
The distraction allowed Grey to tag in and pummel Drake with punches. Grey caught Gibson with a neckbreaker. Grey hit Gibson with a reverse slingblade. Grey hit Drake with a tightrope crossbody. Drake blocked a Tornado Unprettier and punched Grey to the ground. Gibson tagged in and the GYVs hit Grey with Ticket to Mayhem for the victory.
The Grizzled Young Veterans defeated August Grey and Ikeman Jiro via pinfall in 4:58.
Gibson took the mic and said that Ciampa and Thatcher are lingering like a bad smell. They said they were done with Ciampa and Thatcher and how they are acting like hooligans. Ciampa said the GYVs have to walk though Thatcher and Ciampa to get a title shot.
Gibson challenged Ciampa and Thatcher to a Tornado Tag match on next week’s NXT. Ciampa said there are several things the GYVs need to know about him and Toothless Timmy: they like tornados, they don’t need tags, and they don’t have to wait til next week. Ciampa and Thatcher stormed the ring and the GYVs left. Thatcher said he can’t wait until he can break Gibson and Drake’s limbs. The segment ended with Ciampa’s theme playing…
Candice LeRae was shown on her way to the ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Not a huge fan of wrestling in the jacket, but what little we saw from Jiro was impressive. It is going to take a while to get used to his look though if that’s what he’s going with. He looked like a mini-Kona Reeves. (Speaking of Reeves? Where is that guy? Is he still under WWE contract? His act was a guilty pleasure of mine. Plus, he can finally team up with his Caucasian doppelganger John Morrison now that Morrison is in WWE). The GYVs vs. Ciampa and Thatcher should be very fun next week. I’m glad they didn’t stick that stipulation match on Takeover because they’re already stuffing a lot of content into this Sunday’s show (more content than needed).
A replay aired of two weeks ago where Oney Lorcan attacked Bobby Fish after his match against Pete Dunne. The camera cut to Bobby Fish kickboxing a punching bag. Fish got to the camera and said he hasn’t forgotten about Oney Lorcan…
Candice LeRae made her entrance to the ring.Beth Phoenix compared LeRae’s animosity against Poppy to Beth’s animosity to celebrity Maria Menounos. LeRae took the mic and noted that Poppy put Indi Hartwell in tears for what she did with Dexter backstage. LeRae said the easy way is Poppy can come and face her or the hard way with Poppy being introduced to the NXT parking lot. Poppy made her entrance. Poppy said “I don’t wrestle, but I know someone who does”. Io Shirai made her entrance and return to NXT.
Shirai took down LeRae and hit LeRae with a flapjack. Shirai hit LeRae with a 619 and slingshot dropkick. Poppy and Shirai hugged and stood tall in the ring. Vic Joseph sent the show to Dok Hendrix for a “Slam jam update”…
Dok Hendrix did another Takeover ad by announcing the newest matches added to the Takeover show…
Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix checked in from the commentary table. Beth noted that the Takeover preshow will be hosted by Sam Roberts, Aresh Markessi, and Justin Barrasso. Vic Joseph hyped up Dakota Kai vs. Ember Moon for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: For a second I thought they were booking Poppy vs. Candice LeRae for a match, which wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world. Poppy could have been NXT’s Bad Bunny (given that Poppy does have a fanbase). Using her to introduce Shirai made sense though given how she’s been a part of Shirai entrances in the past (including a fun Yumeko Jabami cosplay by Poppy during one of the Takeovers). That said, I can’t help but feel like Shirai’s return was both underwhelming and shoehorned. You would think that Shirai would be going after Raquel Gonzalez given Gonzalez dethroning her as champ?
Speaking of Gonzalez, a replay showed that Gonzalez and Kai crossed paths with Poppy and Shirai during the commercial break. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez made their entrance to the ring. Vic Joseph shilled some Poppy x Triple H shirts on WWE shop…
5. Dakota Kai (w/NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez) vs. Ember Moon. Moon and Kai went strike for strike with each other for an early stalemate. Kai and Moon shoved each other into the buckles during the collar and elbow. Kai gave Moon a flatliner into the bottom buckle followed by a Face Wash boot for a one count. Dakota Kai gave Moon another Face Wash against the bottom buckle for a two count. Wade Barrett noted that even though Kai’s taking the role of “insurance policy” now, she’s a future NXT Women’s Champion.
Moon reversed a hold into a dropkick. Moon hit Kai with a Flatliner for a two count. Ember Moon roundhouse kicked Kai and worked on Kai with methodical offense. Kai tripped Moon and spun her like a swivel, slamming Moon’s head into the ringpost. The show cut to picture-in-picture commercial.[c]
Moon took down Kai with a Scorpion Kick followed by a flip stunner for a two count. Kai reversed a suplex into a twisting DDT for a two count. Kai hit Moon with Kawada Kicks. Moon reversed a Go to Kick into a power bomb for a two count. Kai distracted the ref and Gonzalez went for a boot on Moon but Moon took down Gonzalez. Moon dumped Kai to ringside and hit both Kai and Gonzalez with a crossbody dive. Moon dragged Kai into the ring. Moon was about to go for the Eclipse on Kai, but was knocked off the top rope by a big boot from Gonzalez for the DQ.
Ember Moon defeated Dakota Kai via DQ in 12:32.
Moon attacked Kai and Gonzalez. Kai was dumped to ringside. Gonzalez was about to hit Moon with her finisher, but Moon escaped by hitting Gonzalez with the Stundog Millionaire. Ember Moon followed up by hitting Gonzalez with The Eclipse. Moon laid the title belt over Gonzalez and left the ring to her theme.
The show cut to Karrion Kross backstage with Scarlett cutting a promo. Kross talked about how O’Reilly attacked him. Kross dared O’Reilly to meet him in the ring to show the world what O’Reilly can really do. Kross ended the promo by saying “don’t be late, tick tock”…
John’s Thoughts: Well worked match, but NXT creative has done nothing to make Ember Moon look like a viable threat to take the title off of Raquel Gonzalez. This was basic heat being put on Moon. Moon comes off nothing more than the challenger-of-the-week for Gonzalez. I’m more looking forward to a potential Kai vs. Gonzalez match that may or may not happen in the future.
Wade Barrett announced Tommasso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher vs. Grizzled Young Veterans for next week…
William Regal confronted Karrion Kross in the ring and told Kross that he’s not getting what he wants in wanting to brawl with O’Reilly. Kross pointed out how Regal has been losing control of NXT. Kross wanted all four of his opponents to get in the ring now. Kyle O’Reilly took the mic and said he’s here. O’Reilly said Kross is thin skinned. O’Reilly said Kross comes off as insecure with all the snarling and grunting Kross does. O’Reilly said he’s taking the title off Kross.
[Overrun] Johnny Gargano showed up next standing on the announce table. Gargano mocked O’Reilly for wearing a jean jacket. Gargano said Kross is not Mr. Wrestling or Johnny Takeover. Gargano said if he were Kross he would choke out Kyle right now. Gargano mocked Kross for not being graceful in the ring. Kross tried to call out Gargano, but Pete Dunne cut of Kross. Dunne said he’s tired of all the talking and ready for fighting. Dunne said he’s going to show why he’s the toughest man in NXT and why he’ll be NXT Champion.
Adam Cole showed up on the LED board. Cole called Kross the biggest moron of them all. Cole said he beat Kross last week by verbally demolishing him last week with Kross not doing jack afterward. Cole said Kross is trying to act like a tough guy by challenging four guys at once. Cole said he doesn’t have to even pin Kross to win the title. Cole said he’s going to prove that Kross’s title reign has been a disappointment. Cole ended his promo.
O’Reilly said Cole is being a bitch by not showing up, but O’Reilly isn’t. O’Reilly slapped Kross and a brawl between everyone ensued. Kross got the upper hand by giving everyone other than O’Reilly a Doomsday Saito. Kross even suplexed security guards. Once the guards were cleared from the ring, O’Reilly manged to take down everyone with forearms and strikes. Kross quickly recovered and clocked O’Reilly in the back of the head with a forearm. Kross posed with the title saying “One versus everyone”.
All of a sudden, Adam Cole showed up and took down Kross with a series of superkicks and Last Shot. The crowd chanted for Adam Cole. The show closed with Adam Cole saying “Bay Bay” and posing with the NXT Championship…
John’s Thoughts: An interesting approach NXT is taking, and I’m confused at the moment as to why they’re taking this approach. Maybe it’ll make sense after takeover. Last week it was just Cole, but this time they even had Kyle O’Reilly and Johnny Gargano lampshade all the criticisms people have about Kross, like his various snarls or “not being graceful in the ring”. Kross is also not only not coming off as strong heel, but they’re having everyone call him pathetic without him being able to fire back at everyone else verbally (which Adam Cole lampshaded in his promo today). What makes things even more odd is even though O’Reilly is “technically” the only babyface in the match, Adam Cole in the last two weeks has elevated himself to being the popular de facto babyface because he’s coming off cooler than both “Cool Kyle” and Karrion Kross in consecutive weeks. Strange?
While this week’s NXT was better than last week’s in terms of meaningful content, I feel like they did a lot of scrambling to book the Takeover In Your House card in short order. Was WWE required to have a Takeover on this date at this time? Not only did all these matches have short builds, but they are also throwing in a bunch of stipulations to compensate for the lack of storytelling.