The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover In Your House – 06.13.21
Apparently this show is “back by popular demand”. Say what you will about Todd Pettengill, but he can sell the hell out of a show just by doing a 2 minute voiceover. Why can’t they do these on the weekly shows? Run down the card and explain the motivations, how hard is it?
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Wade Barrett, Beth Phoenix and Vic Joseph.
Winner take all: MSK & Bronson Reed v. Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza
The announcers bring up In Your House 3 in order to tie into the theme of the show, which of course was a totally different situation and also one of the most ridiculously disgusting bait-and-switch finishes in WWE history. So hopefully this is better than that. Wilde trades rollups with Nash Carter and gets dropkicked, so Escobar comes in and he wants Reed. And then he tags right back out to Mendoza again. So Mendoza tries the high flying and Reed no-sells it and puts him down with a clothesline. Mendoza manages to get some shots in, at which point Escobar comes in and tries a slam, and that goes badly for him. So it’s back to Wilde, and MSK double-teams him in the corner and hits him with sentons. The babyfaces triple-team Wilde in the corner with a splash from Wes Lee that gets two. Carter comes in with a chinlock and takes Escobar to the floor for a moonsault, and then Wilde tries to save with a dive and hits Escobar by mistake. That allows Wes Lee to hit his own dive, and with everyone piled up, Reed finishes with his own and wipes everyone out. Back in, Escobar takes over on Lee and chops him in the corner to set up a top rope rana, and that gets two. They trap Lee in the corner and triple-team him with corner clotheslines, and Escobar hits a brainbuster to set up a splash from Wilde for two. Wilde misses a dropkick and Lee makes the hot tag to Reed, and he clobbers everyone. He gets both Wilde and Mendoza on his back for a samoan drop, and that never not works. So Escobar waits for his guys to clip Reed’s knee, and he comes in with a Michinoku driver on him for two. LDF double-teams Carter with a leg lariat and legsweep, and that gets two, but Lee makes the save. So Escobar goes after the North American belt and gets all fired up about it, but Reed splats him through the plexiglass wall to take him out. And in the ring, MSK hits their finish on Mendoza and Reed finishes him off with the big splash at 13:37. Pretty fun opener that never really hit another gear outside of a couple of spots. ***1/4
Earlier Today, Cool Kyle shows up and gets into a shoving match with the Way.
Meanwhile, Todd tries to roll a video clip via VCR and mixes up whoever the interviewer is with Stephanie Wiand. But that’s OK, they had zero chemistry anyway. OK I laughed at that.
Mercedes Martinez v. Xia Li
Xia Li is apparently a proprietor of Mortal Kombat now. They fight on the floor right away, and luckily Li leaves the giant sword with her entourage. In the ring, Martinez gets a suplex out of the corner, but they fight on the apron and Xia takes her into the post. Back in, Li stomps away in the corner and wraps her around the post for some punishment to the ribs, and Li hits her with a shotgun dropkick to put Mercedes on the floor. She follows with another trip to the post, but misses a high kick and hits the post herself. Back in, Martinez slugs away on her and gets a butterfly suplex, but a blind charge misses and Li gets her own suplex. Martinez comes back with a Razor’s Edge for two and throws short knees, but Boa pulls Xia out of the ring to save. They fight on the floor and head back in, where Li gets a spinning kick out of nowhere for the pin at 7:42. Not much to that one. **1/2 Xia Li gets a chair afterwards, but Martinez steals it and beats on her until the mystery lady in the chair stands up and stares her down before using a Tongan death grip to suddenly cripple Martinez and then hurl her into the plexi. Well that was stupid. Pretty sure physics doesn’t work that way. Also I have no idea who any of the heels are supposed to be outside of Xia Li and they didn’t make any particular effort to explain it. Although possibly that’s for the best.
Meanwhile, we go from that to Timothy Thatcher and Ciampa yelling at the Grizzled Young Veteran about how real and dangerous they are.
Ladder match, Million Dollar Championship: LA Knight v. Cameron Grimes
This should work out well for Knight because he can start ripping off Ted Dibiase instead of the Rock and Steve Austin. Apparently the winner here becomes only the “third person not named Ted Dibiase to hold the title”. What about Ted Dibiase Jr? Grimes is the first person to get a legit reaction from the crowd tonight, small as it is. They do a dramatic lockup battle to start and Knight wins that, but Grimes takes him down and informs us that Knight can “kiss his grits”. Thank you Flo. Grimes puts him down with a clothesline and snaps off a rana to put Knight on the floor, but LA grabs a ladder and uses that to take over. Back in, Knight with a clothesline and he makes the first climb, but Grimes cuts him off and they fight over the ladder and then have a duel with ladders. Grimes sends him to the floor and runs him into the railing with the ladder as a spear, but he follows him out and gets sent into the railing himself. Knight beats on Grimes and stops to chat with Dibiase about how Cameron sucks, and then runs him into the railing again. Knight sets up a ladder bridge and then comes back into the ring with a slingshot shoulderblock, but he takes too long and Grimes suplexes him into a ladder in the corner. And then the ladder gets turned on its side and Knight hits a neckbreaker onto the edge, which I guess is a Million Dollar Baby tribute spot. Grimes sets up another ladder after recovering, but Knight runs him into that and then sets up another ladder on the corner. So the problem with this match is that none of the ladder spots mean anything because we know that no one is winning until the gold ladder at the entrance gets used. Grimes sends Knight into his own ladder and makes a comeback with kicks in the corner and backdrops Knight onto another ladder. And then he throws Knight over the top and onto his own ladder bridge, which finally means it’s time for the gold ladder. You know it’s valuable because it’s not only gold, but painted with green dollar sign decals. Grimes climbs the gold ladder and Knight cuts him off, and then pushes the ladder over and both guys are down. They head to the ramp and Knight sets up some ladders in a contraption, but they fight over to the other side of the ring again. Grimes runs up a ladder and comes off the lighting rig with a dive onto Knight. Back in the ring, Grimes does another gold ladder climb, but Knight cuts him off, so Grimes takes him to the floor with a headscissors and climbs again, but he takes too long and Knight pushes him off and through the ladder contraption. And LA Knight wins the belt at 19:10 because god forbid they ever just give the fans what they want. This was kind of a slow and plodding ladder match with a few good bumps, and Knight is just not that good when it comes time to actually deliver in the ring but thankfully Grimes is awesome and balanced it out. This one had real stakes and the crowd REALLY wanted to like it, and I wish it would have been better to live up to that. ***1/2
NXT Women’s title: Raquel Gonzalez v. Ember Moon
Raquel throws Ember around to start and sends her flying off the apron and into the railing. Back in, Gonzalez throws knees in the corner, but Ember fights back and gets caught in a sideslam. Gonzalez goes up with a senton for two. Gonzalez with the body vice and slams her out of that for two. Ember fights back with a Code Red for two and an STF, but Dakota helps Gonzalez make the ropes to break. Raquel bails and Ember hits them both with a dive, but Gonzalez brings her back in with a superplex for two. Ember reverses the powerbomb into a rollup for two, but Gonzalez puts her down with a big boot for two. Moon fights back with a codebreaker out of the corner and goes up to finish with the Eclipse, but Dakota breaks it up as usual. This brings out Shotzi to chase off Dakota, and Moon gives her a tornado DDT onto the ramp, which gets two. As usual the announcers can’t let these moments breathe and instead have to jam in all the catchphrases like “Ember’s Law”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Gonzalez blocks the Eclipse, turns it into a Snake Eyes, and finishes with the powerbomb at 12:40 to retain. No one bought Ember as a viable threat here and it was basically a TV main event. ***
Meanwhile, Todd plays Karate Fighters with Dexter Lumis.
NXT Title: Karrion Kross v. Johnny Gargano v. Kyle O’Reilly v. Adam Cole v. Pete Dunne
Everyone brawls to start and Dunne goes for a guillotine on Kross, but gets suplexed to the floor. So Kyle gives it a go and Kross boots him down, but Kyle turns it into a heel hook and then Kross suplexes him out as well. Over to Gargano and he goes after Kross’s knee, but he charges and gets suplexed and he’s out. Adam Cole comes in and slugs Kross down, but the other three attack him and that allows Kross to beat on Cole in the corner. So Dunne and Gargano double-team Kross and he suplexes both of them and then goes after Kool Kyle. Kyle throws kicks to put him down and then runs wild on everyone for a bit and we get a wacky three-way submission spot with Dunne, Gargano and Kyle before Kross breaks it up. So everyone fights to the entrance and Kross gets booted through the front door by Dunne and Gargano. That leaves Cole alone with Kyle in the ring, and he hits the ushigoroshi for two. Gargano breaks up the Panama Sunrise, but Dunne hits him from behind, so Gargano lawn darts him for two. Everyone trades shots and Cole falls on top of Gargano for two. Cole slugs it out with Kyle, but Kross returns from his house and destroys everyone on the floor like a horror movie villain. Back in the ring, Kross hits Gargano with an F5 for two. And then Johnny runs wild for a bit and hits everyone with dives to the floor. Cole breaks that run up and tries the Panama Sunrise, but Johnny blocks that with a piledriver for two. Everyone hits their big moves and Kyle gives Cole a high angle cradle suplex for two and everyone is out again. So then Kross comes back in and everyone teams up on him and now Kyle gets his shit in, but Kross puts him down with a lariat and everyone is out again. Kross throws more suplexes, so everyone teams up on him again with kicks and then Kyle and Cole give him a double powerbomb onto the announce table, and that sure doesn’t break. Yikes. Everyone slugs it out in the ring and Dunne has a nice sequence where he trades submission holds with Kyle, but Cole lays out Kyle with the backbreaker for two. Cole and Gargano hit Dunne with a double superkick to block a moonsault, but Gargano breaks up Cole’s pin and DDTs Dunne for two. And everyone is out again. Cole shoves Kyle off the top and hits the Panama Sunrise on Gargano for two, but Dunne saves that and gives Cole a brainbuster on the floor. But then Kross recovers again and Dunne goes after him in the ring with suplexes and the Bitter End for two. He hooks a triangle choke but everyone saves, so Kross gets more suplexes and chokes out Dunne, only for Dunne to snap the fingers to break. So Kross chokes Johnny out instead, and Cole saves that. Kyle hits Kross with a flying knee for two, but Cole saves and superkicks everyone until Kyle rolls him into a heel hook. And then Kross saves with his choke on Kool Kyle and puts him out to retain at 26:10. I mean, there was lots of stuff happening, but I wasn’t particularly invested in anyone winning because there wasn’t any storyline going into it. And of course Kross wins with the choke anyway instead of just taking the damn title off him and shuffling him up to the main roster where he belongs. We’ve given him a fair shot now, he’s clearly not the guy, it’s time to move onto someone else. Anyway, if you like big chaotic messes, this was great for that. ***3/4
Meanwhile, Mr. Regal is so shaken up by all the chaos and stuff tonight that he’s thinking of stepping down, apparently.
Well this was quite the downer of a show outside of the opener. Everyone was technically good and it was short, but I can’t recommend it. I was pretty bored all the way through and it felt like a completely skippable episode of the TV show rather than a PPV. And what did “In Your House” have to do with anything on the show? This was a lazy, throwaway Takeover.