By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired September 7, 2021 on USA Network
[Hour One] Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary…
1. Kay Lee Ray vs. Ember Moon. Moon escaped a headscissors early on with a kip up. Moon hit Ray with a shoulder tackle. Moon blocked a hip toss with an armdrag and leg lariat for a two count. Ray hyperextended Moon’s arm over the top rope. Ray hit Moon with a front suplex for a two count. Ray locked Moon in a modified octopus hold. Moon escaped by putting Ray’s shoulders on the mat. Moon hit Ray with an enzuigiri combination.
Moon hit Ray with a Magnum for a two count. Moon locked Ray in a crossface. Ray tried to escape, but Moon converted teh move to a triangle choke. Ray rolled up Moon into the buckle. The show cut to picture-in-picture. [c]
Ray hit Moon with a shoulderbreaker back from the break. Moon got a two count off an inside cradle. Ray caught an angry Moon with a superkick. Moon tripped Ray into a tree of woe. Moon hit Ray with a series of kicks. Ray ended Moon’s momentum with an STO into the buckle. Ray hit Moon with a Tornado DDT for a two count. Moon dumped Ray to ringside with a front suplex. Moon followed up with a suicide dive. Ray used a punch to prevent an eclipse attempt. Ray tripped off Moon and hit Moon with an odd Swanton for a two count.
Moon caught Ray’s kick and converted it into a modified Michinoku Driver for a two count. Both women reversed each other’s pins. Ray stood up and slammed Moon with a Gory Bomb for the victory.
Kay Lee Ray defeated Ember Moon via pinfall in 14:40.
John’s Thoughts: A really good match that was given the amount of time of a Takeover match. What hurt this match in terms of being compelling, was the outcome of the match was not in question. Ray is the woman they’re building up to a match against Raquel Gonzalez and Moon is directionless (and in “gatekeeper” mode) due to her tag partner Shotzi Blackheart being called up to the main roster.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan about their match later on in the show. Ridge Holland and Pete Dunne were also backstage. Lorcan and Burch talked about getting the titles back that they never lost. Dunne encouraged them to go and hurt MSK rather than just win.
Carmelo Hayes vs. Santos Escobar was hyped for after the break…[c]
The show cut to Indi Hartwell’s Bachelorette Party, via cinematic. Indi asked McKenzie to interview her, but McKenzie noted that she left her mic at home. Hartwell said that Dexter Lumis stalked his way into her heart. Hartwell then did a toast to Candice LeRae for showing her “the way”. LeRae wanted to make a speech and then called out Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter for being on TikTok. LeRae said she didn’t approve of Indi’s and Dexter’s relationship at first due to Dexter being creepy, but she found out that they are in love.
Hartwell hugged LeRae. LeRae told Hartwell that she approves of the wedding, but Johnny might be a tough nut to crack. Hartwell said Dexter has to crack Gargano’s nut then. LeRae said she may have some spy equipment set up to spy on Dexter’s Bachelor Party…
Entrances for the next match took place…
2. Carmelo Hayes vs. Santos Escobar (w/Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza, Elektra Lopez). Escobar dominated the early chain wrestling, toying with Hayes. Hayes managed to trap Escobar in a wristlock, followed by a armdrag. Hayes hit Escobar with a huracanrana. Escobar blocked a huracanrana with a power bomb. Escobar worked on Hayes with axe handle strikes. Escobar planted Hayes with a DDT for a one count. Hayes got a jackknife pin on Escobar. Escobar escaped and Hayes hit Escobar with a superkick. Hayes hit Escobar with a scissors knee. Escobar tripped Hayes off the apron and sent him into the announce table heading into commercial.[c]
Escobar put Hayes in a Liontamer. Escobar dropped a knee on Hayes’s neck for a two count. Escobar hit Hayes with a lariat in the corner. Escobar gave Hayes a meteroa in the corner and a chop on the top rope. Escobar hit Hayes with a Frankensteiner for a two count. Escobar got a few two counts on Hayes. Escobar locked Hayes in a crossface. Escobar locked Hayes into a liontamer against the steel steps, which he had to break. Escobar worked on Hayes with methodical offense. Hayes managed to escape Escobar and kick Escobar in the back of the head, followed by a springboard leg drop.
Hayes slammed Escobar’s head on the announce table. Hayes hit Escobar with a springboard lariat. Hayes hit Escobar with a running knee. Hayes hit Escobar with a Final Cut for a two count. Escobar caught Hayes off the springboard with a high knee. Hayes reversed a Phantom Driver with a Codebreaker. Hayes hit Escobar with a huracanrana for a two count. Hayes hit Escobar with a DDT on the apron. Wilde distracted the referee which allowed Lopez to body slam Hayes at ringside. Hayes beat the ten count, but walked right into a Phantom Driver by Escobar for the loss.
Santos Escobar defeated Carmelo Hayes via pinfall in 10:15 of on-air time.
Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro were shown training backstage…
Malcolm Bivens cut a promo in the Diamond Mine training area. Bivens hyped up the real life accolades of the Creed Brothers. Bivens talked about how the Creed Brothers are going to impress in their in-ring debut this week. Bivens ended his promo by saying “Diamond Mine Forever”…
An ad aired for the Connor’s Cure charity…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Good showing for Hayes who was protected by the interference by Legado Del Fantasma. The interference did a good job of showing off Lopez’s power while allowing her to look cool within her new role with Legado Del Fantasma
William Regal announce Kyle O’Reilly vs. Pete Dunne vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. LA Knight to become number one contender for the NXT Championship which will happen next week…
3. “The Creed Brothers” Brutus Creed and Julius Creed (w/Malcolm Bivens, Hachiman, Roderick Strong) vs. Enhancement Wrestlers. Brutus started off the match manhandling one of the random wrestlers. The guy tried to make a comeback, but was body slammed to ringside. Brutus quickly tossed the guy back in. The guy tagged in his tag partner and he got hit with a Belly to Belly. Julius tagged in by slapping his brother in the face to fire him up. They hit the enhancement wrestler with tandem tosses. Julius slammed his opponent into the corner. Julius hit his opponent with a arm trap suplex.
Julius hit his opponent with a delayed power slam. Julius tossed the other guy in the ring. The Creed Brothers slammed their opponents into each other. Julius hit his opponent with a Body Slam and Basement Lariat for the victory.
The Creed Brother defeated the enhancement wrestlers via pinfall in 2:16.
Highlights of the match aired…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Well color me impressed, these two guys were pretty damn good. I expected them to look green, but they looked solid in their short amount of offense that it took to dispatch the enhancement wrestlers. The look is a bit “generic” but it works in their favor because they look like real athletes. What made things better was that they looked like legit powerhouses in the ring. Great first showing, in my opinion at least, for the new Diamond Mine members. These guys doing well will also boost Malcom Bivens’s cred as a serious manager, so that’s a plus too.
[Hour Two] McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Ember Moon about her latest loss. Moon talked about losing a lot lately and how she’s really down, especially after losing her tag partner Shotzi Blackheart. Moon said she knows what she has to do, so stay tuned…
John’s Thoughts: Wow! Good, simple, and relatable promo! That was the most “real” I’ve seen Ember Moon speak in her entire WWE run. I also like that they’re presumably turning Moon’s losing momentum into a storyline. If done well, this can be a really damn good story, especially if they promote positive mental health in this story.
Hit Row cut a promo from their recording studio. They called out Legado Del Fantasma. Long story short, they addressed Legado adding Elektra Lopez to counter B-Fab. B-Fab noted that she has a problem with Elektra, and if you didn’t know, now you know…
Entrances for the NXT Womens Tag Team Championships took place. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions for the match.
4. Io Shirai and Zoey Stark vs. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships. Catanzaro worked on Shirai with armbars. Shirai hit Catanzaro with a Codebreaker. The show cut to regular commercial.[c]
Carter hit Stark with a facebuster and splash. Carter hit Stark with a kick for a two count. Startk blocked a kick and hit Carter with a roundhouse. Shirai tagged in and hit Carter with a missile dropkick. Shirai worked on Carter with a crossface. Shirai worked on Carter with clubbing blows. Kacy taggedin and hit Shirai in the gut. Kacy did a moonsault off Carter to get a two count on Shirai. Carter tagged in and walked right into a deadlift German Suplex by Shirai. Shirai hit Carter with a meteroa in the corner. Stark whipped Carter into Shirai accidentally.
Stark also accidentally knocked Shirai off the apron. Carter hit Stark with a STO. Catanzaro dove off the top rope on Stark. Shirai hit Carter with a slingshot dropkick to send her into Kacy to break the pinfall. Stark hit Catanzaro with a Tilt-a-Whirl GTS. Shirai tagged in and hit Catanzaro with a moonsault for the win.
Io Shirai and Zoey Stark defeated Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter via pinfall in 8:25 of on-air time to retain the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships.
Gigi Dolan, Jacy Jane, and Mandy Rose blindsided Carter and Catanzaro on the stage and put the boots to the babyfaces. Rose was wearing a protective mask. The heels stood tall to end the segment…
Kyle O’Reilly talked about how at Takeover he closed a chapter in his life by beating Adam Cole. O’Reilly said he doesn’t care what it takes, because the end game for him is the NXT Championship and Samoa Joe. O’Reilly said it isn’t about the title, but it’s about being the best. O’Reilly said his one obsession ended at the last Takeover and a new one begins.
Vic Joseph hyped up Dexter Lumis’ bachelor party after the break…
John’s Thoughts: Okay tag title defense, but this was more about giving Stark and Shirai another win rather than boost Carter and Catanzaro. Maybe Carter and Catanzaro will get their day one day, but not now. They are planting seeds of the Shirai and Stark eventual breakup though with the miscommunication. Moving along, I really liked O’Reilly’s serious promo. They tried the goofy “cool Kyle” thing and it just didn’t click. O’Reilly has been his best as a single’s babyface when he’s a plucky warrior. Maybe he should cut the goofy and quirky stuff and go back to that heroic persona?
Johnny Gargano, Dexter Lumis, Odyssey Jones, Drake Maverick, and the Zombie Referee were in a limo. Cameron Grimes joined later and gave everyone money. Grimes told Gargano how he’s covering the costs Lumis’s wedding. Grimes led everyone to a Go-Kart arena and everyone ended up racing go-karts for a cash prize. Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae were hiding in a car watching the race. I think Gargano won? They then cut to everyone at an axe throwing range, where Lumis said he had a lot of experience working with axes. Lumis ended up almost throwing a bullseye. Gargano struggled. Lumis put his hand on Gargano’s shoulder and adnusted Gargano’s throwing hand. This allowed Gargano to get close to a bullseye. At a trampoline gym, Drake Maverick and Odyssey’s Jones were having fun with the trampolines.
They ten went to Lazer Tag. Lumis and his crew ended up getting easy points after Lumis physically attacked their random opponents. Lumis even put one to sleep with chloroform. After winning, Lumis and Gargano shared a high five, which led to Gargano having a montage of the happy moments from the day in his head. Hartwell walked in and said that Lumis successfully cracked Gargano’s nut. Gargano approved of the wedding…
Vic Joseph hyped the Lumis and Hartwell wedding for next week…
A Tian Sha cutscene aired. Boa said “it’s time” in Mandarin. The graphic said that Mei Ying will compete after the break…
John’s Thoughts: These Lumis and Hartwell cutscenes were a bit too goofy for my taste. I like me some comedy every once in a while, but this was a bit too kiddy. I did crack up a bit from Lumis’s acting, notably when he was attacking the dudes and helping Gargano throw axes. That said, this was not one of Jeremy Borash’s better cinematics.
Franky Monet and Jessi Kamea were backstage trash talking about Dexter Lumis’s and Indi Hartwell’s wedding. Robert Stone showed up and told Monet that Regal booked Raquel Gonzalez vs. Franky Monet for the NXT Women’s Championship next week. Monet talked about it being a big deal and how she’s going to be the next women’s champion…
John’s Thoughts: Well that came out of nowhere? I hope they don’t just blow through Gonzalez vs. Monet because that has the potential to be a big time feud if doen correctly.
5. Mei Ying (w/Boa) vs. Virginia Ferry. Ying hit Ferry with a throat punch. Ferry then suplexed Ferry. Ying did a cartwheel into an elbow strike. Ying put Ferry ina Mandible claw for the win.
Mei Ying defeated Virginia Ferry via pinfall in 0:49.
The show cut to LA Knight driving around in a car. Knight hyped up potentially becoming number one contender next week…
MSK were shown getting ready backstage…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Mei Ying looked dominant, but her offense was a bit too dramatic for my taste. She’s the long time workhorse of Ring of Honor’s women’s division Karen Q right? Karen Q was a great wrestler. Mei Ying? I don’t know yet. She kinda comes off like Su Yung lite?
The debut of the “new” NXT was hyped for next week…
Tommaso Ciampa talked about motivation. He said he was motivated to avenge Toothless Timmy and defeat Ridge Holland last week. he said he has a new motivation now. He talked about his goal of winning next week. He said his next goal is that it’s been too long. He said his next goal, is “goldie”…
Entrances for the tag team championship match took place. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions…
6. “MSK” Wes Lee and Nash Carter vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch (w/Ridge Holland, Pete Dunne) for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Burch and Carter started off the match. Burch took down Carter with a side headlock. Carter tripped up Burhc and hit Burch with a basement dropkick. Burch recovered and tagged in Lorcan, who worked on Carter with an armbar. Lorcan hit Carter with a European Uppercut. Carter escaped a suplex and tagged in Lee. MSK hit Lorcan with kicks and a double stomp. Lee got a two count on Lorcan. Carter tagged in and hit Lorcan with a slingshot swanton. Lorcan tackled Carter to his corner and tagged in Burch.
Burch hit Carter with clubbing blows. Lorcan and Burch traded quick tags to keep Carter isolated. Carter hit both opponents with a springboard corkscrew crossbody. Lee tagged in and tossed Carter into Burch with a dropkick. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Lorcan and Burch worked on Carter with methodical offense. Lorcan and Burch used quick tags to maintain double team offense. Carter got a window of opportunity after hitting Burch with a high knee. Lee and Lorcan tagged in with Lee having momentum. Lee took out Burch with a kick and he pummeled Lorcan with punches. Lee hit Lorcan with a bridged German Suplex for a two count.
[Overrun]Lee hit Lorcan with a overhead spin kick. Carter tagged in and hit Loran with Hot Fire Flame for a two count. Lee hit Burch with a suicide dive. Carter hit Lorcan with a moonsault at ringside. Carter went for a Swanton, but Lorcan got the knees up. Lorcan put Carter in an ankle lock. Burch put Lee in a crossface. Carter escaped and sent Lorcan into Burch to break Burch’s hold. Lorcan tackled Carter once, but Carter reversed a tackle into a hip toss. Lee tagged in and MSK hit Lorcan with their double team blockbuster for the victory.
MSK defeated Lorcan and Burch via pinfall in 12:20 to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.
MSK posed at the top of the ramp with Dunne and Holland staring down MSK from the ring. MSK left. Dunne ordered Holland to headbutt Burch. Dunne gave Lorcan a roundhouse to the temple. Holland hit Lorcan with a sidewalk Power Slam after Dunne hit Lorcan with another roundhosue.
The crowd gave Dunne and Holland “You Suck” chants. Holland and Dunne teased leaving, but Holland went back in and attacked Burch again. Holland and Dunne walked to ringside. The show closed with Dunne doing one of his signature shrugs…
John’s Thoughts: Another win for MSK, who continue to be put over strong in all their tag title defenses. The real goal of the main event seemed to be making Lorcan and Burch back to being babyfaces, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. Lorcan and Burch were so at their best as the plucky underdogs and felt a bit out of place as petty heels. Interesting to what comes out of Lrocan and Burch being back on the babyface side? Do they have plans for them or are they back to being jobbers to the stars?
Not a notewhorthy episode of NXT, but a solid episode of NXT. That tends to be the story of NXT lately. Good stories, good development, but nothing necessarily must-see. Next week is the debut of the “New” NXT, so I’m looking forward to see what that brings to the show. It may suck! It may be great! I’ll keep an open mind and judge next week.