Date: August 5, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, Tom Phillips
We’re coming up on Takeover and that means it is time to continue with the series of triple threat matches on the way to the North American Title match. Tonight it’s Ridge Holland vs. Damian Priest and Oney Lorcan. We probably need to set up some more stuff for the card and we might get there tonight. Let’s get to it.
Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley
The winner gets Io Shirai for the Women’s Title at Takeover. Ripley starts fast with a dropkick into the corner and the big shoulders to the ribs. A wheelbarrow faceplant puts Kai down again and Ripley pounds her down in the corner again. Ripley grabs a bodyscissors for a bit before blasting her with a clothesline for two. They head outside with Ripley electric chair dropping Kai face first onto the apron. We take a break and come back with Kai hitting a pump kick to the face for her own two. The seated abdominal stretch goes on but Ripley fights up and knocks her to the floor.
An electric chair drop sends Kai face first onto the apron but Kai is back with a scorpion kick. Ripley tosses her into the air for a big faceplant though and the yelling ensues. Riptide is countered into a hard DDT for two though and Ripley is stunned. The Kairopractor is blocked and Ripley grabs the Prism Trap. That’s broken up with a roll into the corner and Kai hits her running boot to the face. The referee yells at Kai and here’s Mercedes Martinez to kick Ripley in the face. Kai hits the GTK for the pin at 15:26.
Rating: B-. That’s how this should have gone as Kai has not exactly established herself as the next big thing in the women’s division. She needed something to get her built up and a win over Ripley, even a cheating one, is a good step to get there. Couple that with setting up Ripley vs. Martinez and everything went well here.
Post match Martinez takes Ripley out again.
Earlier today, Pat McAfee talked with Shawn Michaels.
Bronson Reed vs. Shane Thorne
The much bigger Reed shoves him around to start so Thorne hits him in the face a few times. Reed hits him with a heck of a forearm of his own so Thorne tells him to bring it. A dropkick puts Reed on the floor and there’s the suicide dive. Reed shrugs that off and full nelson slams him onto the apron. Back in and Reed gets crotched on top, setting up a running dropkick to hang him upside down.
The running Cannonball hits Reed’s back and there’s a Shining Wizard for two. Reed gets back up and runs him over with pure power, setting up the running backsplash for two of his own. Thorne kicks him in the head so Reed turns him inside out with a clothesline. The Death Valley Driver sets up the top rope splash to crush Thorne at 4:29.
Rating: C-. Reed is someone who might not have the most complicated character in the world but man alive he is getting good at this kind of match. He’s a big man who can move well enough and that splash looks awesome. Thorne belongs in NXT still and he moves well enough to keep him around. Not too bad here, as Reed is fun to watch.
Earlier today, Legado del Fantasma jumped in the parking lot and kidnapped Fandango.
Videos on Ridge Holland, Oney Lorcan and Damian Priest.
The Robert Stone Brand says Rhea Ripley may be done with them but they aren’t done with her.
We look at the end of last week’s qualifying match with Dexter Lumis winning and Finn Balor laying out Timothy Thatcher after the match.
North American Title Match Qualifying Match: Damian Priest vs. Oney Lorcan vs. Ridge Holland
Holland has a jaunty hat and a club to go with the nice coat. They trade strikes to the head with Priest getting the better of things and hitting a running elbow to Lorcan in the corner. Holland follows with a splash and then kicks Priest to the floor. Lorcan knocks Holland outside as well and hits his own big running flip dive. Back in and Holland sends Lorcan flying with a suplex, headbutts Priest, and suplexes him as well. A clothesline puts Priest on the floor and we take a break.
We come back with Priest and Holland slugging it out until Lorcan flip dives in from the top to take both of them down. Lorcan hits running elbows in the corner to both, followed by a running double Blockbuster. The half crab has Priest in trouble and the running uppercut gives Lorcan two. Holland is back up to run Lorcan over and hits an exploder suplex for two.
Priest can’t hit the Reckoning on Holland, who muscles him up for a gutwrench powerbomb for two more. Lorcan and Holland slug it out and certainly seem to enjoy themselves until Lorcan’s running uppercuts take him down. Priest can’t hit the chokeslam as Lorcan slips out and chops him in the back. A hard running clothesline puts Lorcan down and now Priest can chokeslam Holland. The Reckoning to Lorcan sends Priest to Takeover at 10:16.
Rating: B. These guys beat the fire out of each other and Holland looked like a star in the making. Lorcan was there to take the fall though and they need someone a little more established like Priest in the ladder match. Good, hard hitting brawl here with everyone getting in some good shots, and Holland showcasing himself very well in his big chance.
Adam Cole and Pat McAfee are all cool after their blowup on McAfee’s show.
Cameron Grimes vs. Keith Lee
Non-title. Lee takes the vest off and glares at Lee before stalking him into the corner for a hard stare. Grimes bails to the floor and Lee is smart enough to not follow him. Back in and they do the same thing again with Grimes telling Lee to not mess with him. Back in again and Grimes goes for the leg, which works as well as you would expect. Grimes forearms away so Lee grabs him by the sides of the head and throws him down. A shoulder drops Grimes again and Lee stays serious.
This time Lee knocks him over the top and follows, with Grimes kicking the knee out. Lee it sent knee first into the steps and the middle rope moonsault connects as we take a break. Back with Lee getting mad again and hammering Grimes down without much trouble. The Spirit Bomb is escaped and the Big Bang Catastrophe is countered into a small package for two. Grimes’ rollup with feet on the ropes gets the same and there’s an enziguri.
A middle rope crossbody is calmly pulled out of the air so Grimes hits his spinning crossbody slam for two more. The Cave In doesn’t work and the Grizzly Magnum puts Grimes down again. Grimes slugs away and gets Grizzly Magnumed again, setting up a hard clothesline. Lee doesn’t let go of his hand though and hits even more clotheslines, setting up the Spirit Bomb for the pin at 12:28.
Rating: B-. I liked this as Lee was completely focused on Kross and destroyed Grimes with no emotion on his face as a result. What matters here though is Lee getting to show how dominant he is, which makes Kross feel like something even bigger for getting under Lee’s skin. Or maybe it’s Lee not liking that Grimes abandoned the Lee name.
Post match we hear Scarlett’s voice and see Kross, who says he needs to do something to make this happen. Several bodies are seen out cold on the floor as Kross walks away.
General Manager William Regal announces that Dexter Lumis has an ankle injury and is out of Takeover. Therefore, Johnny Gargano, Finn Balor, Ridge Holland and whomever is not pinned in next week’s match facing off in two singles matches. The winners will go on to the ladder match.
Here is Legado del Fantasma for a chat and they carry Fandango out with him. Escobar talks about how they come out here every week and try to explain that they are just better because lucha libre is not a gimmick. Fandango is thrown over the barricade and then inside, with Escobar talking about Breezango playing dress up. They spit in the face of Escobar and the disrespect stops right now. The rest of the team goes after Fandango and cut off an invading Tyler Breeze as well. Escobar says anyone who speaks his name again will face the same future.
Video on the Undisputed Era’s dominance of the tag team division and their issues with Imperium.
Damian Priest is ready for Takeover and knows the risks. Bronson Reed pops up to say he’ll see Priest at Takeover. Priest says Takeover won’t be another fluke so the match is made for later.
Pat McAfee sits in on commentary.
Tegan Nox vs. Indi Hartwell
They yell at each other to start until Nox forearms her in the head. A chop in the corner has Hartwell screaming but she drops Nox face first onto the buckle. The chinlock goes on for a bit, followed by a hard shot to keep Nox down. We hit the chinlock for a second time but Nox fights up again. This time Hartwell kicks her in the face for two, only to have Nox start the comeback. Nox hits the Shiniest Wizard for the pin at 3:04.
Rating: C-. Just a quick way to keep Nox around in a good way as she is someone who could be a big star in the future. She has a good look and a ton of charisma, plus the in-ring abilities. What more could you need from someone in this spot? The match was quick too and it’s not like Hartwell was knocked that far down by the loss.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Tag Team Titles: Imperium vs. Undisputed Era
Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, with Adam Cole, are challenging for the Era here and McAfee is still on commentary. The rest of the Era is here too and it’s O’Reilly slugging it out with Aichner to start. Kyle strikes away in the corner but the crossbody is countered into a hard backbreaker. The armbar doesn’t last long as it’s off to Fish, who is armbarred b Barthel.
O’Reilly comes in for the double kicks to put Barthel down as Beth is arguing with McAfee over his comments on his show. Barthel kicks Fish down and we take a break. Back with Fish backdropping Aichner out to the floor as Cole is glaring at McAfee. A backdrop gets Fish out of trouble and it’s O’Reilly coming in to pick up the pace. O’Reilly beats up both champs at once, including a dragon screw legwhip to mess with Barthel’s knee.
The top rope knee drop sets up the kneebar on Barthel, sending him over to the ropes. Fish drops a top rope elbow to keep Barthel down but Aichner springboard moonsaults in for the save. Cole finally goes over to McAfee, saying he can hear him from 20 feet away. McAfee says he’s just talking trash and Cole throws water on him. Referees and HHH come out for the save until we cut back to the ring, with the European Bomb hitting Fish to retain the titles at 10:45.
Rating: C+. The match wasn’t the point here as the whole thing wound up being a backdrop for the angle with McAfee. What we had was fine because the teams involved are going to be able to do some good stuff, but there isn’t much you can do with so much of the limited time they had being spent on something else.
Post match McAfee is told to leave but goes after Cole again, as Shawn Michaels and HHH keep trying to separate them. McAfee says Cole will always be a tiny b**** so Cole charges, earning himself a punt from the former NFL kicker. Cole is out cold and McAfee leaves, calling this place unprofessional. Shawn checks on Cole to end the show. I’ll put this one in the “if we have to” category as I’d like to see something better for Cole coming off his title loss. McAfee is a guy I only know in passing from Kickoff Shows and now he is doing this?
Overall Rating: B. Another solid show here with good action throughout and some stories being pushed forward for Takeover. I’m not interested in Cole vs. McAfee so far, but it was smart to have him use his football skill in something like this. The North American Title situation is interesting as they could have someone sneak into the ladder match and there are some nice possibilities. Overall, it was a solid night and they moved stuff forward for Takeover, so well done.
Dakota Kai b. Rhea Ripley – GTK
Bronson Reed b. Shane Thorne – Top rope splash
Damian Priest b. Ridge Holland and Oney Lorcan – Reckoning to Lorcan
Keith Lee b. Cameron Grimes – Spirit Bomb
Tegan Nox b. Indi Hartwell – Shiniest Wizard
Imperium b. Undisputed Era – European Bomb to Fish
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