Date: October 7, 2020
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett
Takeover: 31 has come and gone and not a lot has really changed. The big stories coming out of the show include Ember Moon and Toni Storm returning, but the surprise ending saw Ridge Holland jump into the main event scene by attacking Adam Cole. I’m curious about where that is going to be heading so let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Takeover.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kushida
Fallout from an argument in the locker room. They trade slaps to the face to start and it’s Kushida taking him down to the mat for the grappling. Kushida hits the basement dropkick and bulldogs the arm down, only to have Ciampa hit his own dropkick to break up a handspring. The chinlock into a backbreaker makes Ciampa smile and a neckbreaker cuts off Kushida’s comeback attempt.
Another chinlock stays on a little while longer Ciampa takes him to the apron for Willow’s Bell but has to kick Kushida outside instead. We take a break and come back with Ciampa chopping away in the corner and knocking him from the top to the apron. Kushida sends him arm first into the buckle and stomps on the hand to stagger Ciampa.
A German suplex into a kick to the head sets up a triangle until Ciampa powerbombs his way to freedom. Back up and they slug it out until Ciampa gets two off a suplex. The Fairy Tale Ending doesn’t work because of Ciampa’s banged up arm so it’s time for Kushida’s stomps to the back. The Hoverboard Lock goes on, drawing in Velveteen Dream to hit…Ciampa by mistake, drawing the DQ at 14:34.
Rating: C. They had me worried that one of them would take a fall here but seeing Velveteen Dream out there again immediately rather than taking some time off after the Takeover beatdown doesn’t exactly have me interested. Dream is firmly to the point of a heavy sign and that’s never a good thing. Good match, but the ending was a soul crusher.
Post match Kushida hammers on Dream, including a dive to the floor.
Here’s Ember Moon to a nice reception for a chat. Moon talks about how long she has been gone but she got on her motorcycle and found clarity. Now she has found Ember’s law (yes she knows it’s corny) and it says no one is walking over her. She wants the Women’s Title so here is Io Shirai to interrupt. Before anything can be said though, here is Rhea Ripley to interrupt….but Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai jump her from behind. Moon runs in for the save so here’s William Regal to make a tag match main event.
Drake Maverick arrived earlier today and said he and Killian Dain have been planning for their tag team future. Dain comes in and says they aren’t a team, but Drake already has a match for them. He even has some great music for them.
Shirai says she didn’t help Moon because it’s not her problem. Her problem is defending the Women’s Title. Fair point.
We look at the ending to Takeover with Ridge Holland leaving Adam Cole’s body laying at ringside.
The Undisputed Era says Kyle O’Reilly has nothing to be ashamed of but since Ridge Holland broke his ribs, he has some paying to do. And that is undisputed.
Drake Maverick/Killian Dain vs. Ever Rise
Maverick and Dain’s music includes whistling, so you know it’s special. Dain starts but chops Maverick in the chest for the tag instead. Parker grabs Maverick by the hand and brings Martel in, allowing Maverick to come back with a dropkick. Martel shouts that Dain doesn’t like Maverick and Dain seems to agree. A cheap shot annoys Dain though so he comes in and decks Ever Rise before pulling Maverick to the ropes. That means it’s time for Dain to clean house but Drake tags himself in. A big knee rocks Parker and Dain powerbombs Maverick (Drake: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING???”) onto Parker for the pin at 4:03.
Rating: C-. I know it’s a little ridiculous and the wacky tag team partners has been done to death, but it’s not like the tag division has anything going for it at the moment. See what you can find with these two and maybe it can go a little somewhere. Drake’s charisma alone should carry him a long way and Dain is a good monster so why not.
Post match Drake struts/dances in celebration so Dain knocks him out instead. He does carry Drake to the back though so he isn’t all mean.
We look at Toni Storm returning at Takeover.
Toni Storm talks about being gone for the longest time in her career so she could clear her head. She needed a change of scenery and this is a new Toni Storm.
The Garganos were walking their dog and Candice thinks they deserve rematches. Johnny has a plan….but Indi Hartwell has sent them a big TV. Johnny: “FREE TV!”
Austin Theory vs. Leon Ruff
Theory walks into a cutter for a quick two and Ruff hits a dropkick into a neckbreaker. A clothesline gives Ruff two more but he slips on the ropes and walks into the ATL to give Theory the pin at 1:51.
Post match Theory brags about how great he is, mainly because he had the time to warm up. This is a warning to everyone: he is the future of NXT and no one can do anything about it. Cue someone to disagree.
Austin Theory vs. Dexter Lumis
Lumis throws him into the corner and hammers away to start. It’s a Thesz press into some right hands to keep Theory in trouble, meaning it’s time to head outside. We take a break and come back with Theory hitting a belly to back suplex for two. The crossface chickenwing goes on, followed by a standing moonsault for two on Lumis. That just seems to annoy Lumis, so Theory grabs a front facelock to keep him down.
Theory hits a snap suplex for two and a stomp to the chest is good for the same. Lumis is right back up with a spinebuster to cut Theory off and the comeback is on. A slingshot suplex gives Lumis two but Theory snaps off a dropkick. Lumis just pops up and hits a Rock Bottom into the Silencer for the win at 12:04.
Rating: C. I like Theory quite a bit, but I don’t know if there has ever been an NXT wrestler I don’t get as much as Lumis. The whole thing just misses for me on every level and I don’t really see that changing no matter what he is going to be doing for the time being. For some reason NXT loves the idea of pushing the heck out of him though, no matter how little sense it seems to make.
Post match Cameron Grimes runs in with the Cave In to plant Lumis.
Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez don’t like Ember Moon coming in here and trying to jump the line. As for Rhea Ripley, no one is getting the Women’s Title shot but them.
Cameron Grimes attacked Dexter Lumis for not answering him last week. Don’t mess with him because he’s going to the moon.
Video on Finn Balor defending the NXT Title against Kyle O’Reilly at Takeover. Both of them were injured, with Balor having his jaw broken in two places.
Video on Damian Priest.
Priest says anyone who wants the North American Title can come get a Reckoning.
Ridge Holland vs. Danny Burch
Holland grabs a quick nerve hold to start but gets taken down with a wristlock. Back up and Burch hammers away in the corner, setting up a middle rope dropkick to drop Holland again. A German suplex sets up a Crossface but Holland pops back up with the Northern Grit for the pin at 2:06.
Post match the beatdown stays on so here’s Oney Lorcan for the save. He knocks Holland outside and there’s the slingshot dive….and Holland’s leg buckles. Oh dang that doesn’t look good.
Gargano is watching the TV, which had a USB included. There is a clip from the battle royal of Indi Hartwell saving Candice LeRae over and over. They might be starting to like her.
Timothy Thatcher hurts a lot of people while talking about how you aren’t defined by your losses.
Holland gets taken out on a stretcher and throws up the thumbs up, which makes me think that this is worse than it seems: he’s an Orange Cassidy fan.
Shotzi Blackheart vs. Xia Li
Shotzi’s tank is now Halloween themed. Shotzi starts fast with the reverse Sling Blade but Xia fires off the knees to the face. They both wind up on top with Shotzi knocking her down, setting up the top rope backsplash for the in at 1:48. Nothing wrong with getting her on TV before Halloween Havoc.
Post match Boa brings Xia a letter, which seems to make her nervous.
Rhea Ripley/Ember Moon vs. Dakota Kai/Raquel Gonzalez
Moon has new music and wristlocks Kai down to start. A backsplash gives Moon two and there’s a suplex to take Kai down again. Gonzalez comes in but can’t hit a powerbomb. She can however take Moon into the corner so Kai can come back in and strike away. Kai is sent outside for a suicide dive, followed by Ripley’s running Cannonball onto Gonzalez. Back in and Ripley kicks Kai in the face, only to get kicked outside by Gonzalez.
We take a break and come back with Gonzalez choking Ripley, who comes back with a kick to the head. Kai comes back in with a cravate but Ripley throws her away again. The hot tag brings in Moon to start cleaning house. The sliding Downward Spiral gets two on Kai, who comes right back up with a kick to the face.
Gonzalez’s powerslam gets two but Ripley is back in with a powerbomb for two on Kai. The Kairopractor gives Kai two on Ripley so Moon comes back in with a discus lariat. Rhea clotheslines Gonzalez to the floor but gets kicked in the face by Kai. Moon is back up with a powerbomb of her own to Kai and Gonzalez and Ripley fall over the announcers’ table. Back in and the Eclipse finishes Kai at 11:51.
Rating: C+. This accomplished its main goal of getting Moon back in the ring and having her hit her big finisher for the pin. You can also add in Gonzalez and Ripley getting to do their thing, making this a pretty enjoyable main event. Moon doesn’t exactly feel like a major star, but it’s better than leaving her to rot on the main roster again.
Overall Rating: C+. This was one of the weaker NXT’s I can remember in a pretty good while. Some stuff happened, but it felt like a show that just came and went for the most part. Nothing on the show really stood out, which is probably going to be due to the champs being stuck in interviews without having anything going on. Pretty skippable show this week, though coming off such a fast Takeover, it’s probably fair for them to have a breather.
Tommaso Ciampa b. Kushida via DQ when Velveteen Dream interfered
Killian Dain/Drake Maverick b. Ever Rise – Dain powerbombed Maverick onto Parker
Austin Theory b. Leon Ruff – ATL
Dexter Lumis b. Austin Theory – Silencer
Ridge Holland b. Danny Burch – Northern Grit
Shotzi Blackheart b. Xia Li – Top rope backsplash
Rhea Ripley/Ember Moon b. Raquel Gonzalez/Dakota Kai – Eclipse to Kai
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