Date: June 22, 2021
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, Beth Phoenix
It’s another pretty big show this week as Kyle O’Reilly faces Kushida. That’s an interesting way to go but it doesn’t do much good for the Cruiserweight Title. The easiest way to make a title valuable is to have people fight over it and the title isn’t on the line here. We also find out what the Diamond Mine is, which has me curious. Let’s get to it.
The narrated recap talks about Samoa Joe’s return last week and the chaos between Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly.
Here is Adam Cole to pick his opponent for his match against Kyle O’Reilly. Cole isn’t going to do that because no one is going to tell him what to do. Samoa Joe may be back, but he isn’t the big star around here anymore. Cue Carmelo Hayes to say he’ll change Cole’s mind. Cole wants to know how so Hayes says RUTHLESS AGGRESSION and slaps him in the face to start things off.
Carmelo Hayes vs. Adam Cole
Hayes starts fast by hitting a springboard clothesline to put Cole on the floor, setting up the big dive. Back in and Cole stomps away in the corner, setting up a suplex so he can wipe the dust off of his hands. A neckbreaker looks to set up a low superkick but Hayes is back up with a hard clothesline for two. Hayes tries to go up but gets knocked to the floor in a heap.
Back to back whips into the barricade take us to a break with Hayes in trouble. We come back with Cole hitting a running knee in the corner but Hayes is back with a pump kick. Something like a suplex into a cutter gets two on Cole, who grabs a Backstabber for two of his own. Cole goes up but dives into a superkick, only to get superkicked out of the air as well. The Panama Sunrise finishes for Cole at 12:27.
Rating: B-. You can feel the potential with Hayes, who has the poise and skill to back it up. He doesn’t seem like someone who is trying to get in everything he can but rather having a match that he has planned out. It worked well here, and having him hang with Cole for twelve minutes is a good idea.
Frankie Monet is talking to the Robert Stone Brand about how they are all going to win their matches tonight. Robert Stone comes in and gets scared by Frankie’s dog.
Zoey Stark helped Io Shirai last week because Shirai gave her the big break around here. Shirai comes in to say she respects Stark.
LA Knight talks about taking out Cameron Grimes and the fans chanting or Cameron Grimes. It turns out that Grimes cares about DiBiase instead of the money. That makes Grimes a total idiot and Knight will drink to that for sure.
Here is the Way for a chat. Johnny Gargano thinks he should be the handsome, hard working, headband working, respectable family man to be the NXT Champion again. He was champion for 57 days and NXT has never been better. At Takeover, Gargano outclassed Karrion Kross and he can do it again any day. Cue Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan to interrupt and Austin Theory isn’t happy. Dunne tells him to try it but Gargano calls them off. They don’t partake of in hijinks or shenanigans anymore and it’s time to go. Gargano leaves but Theory stops to point fingers at Dunne, earning him a snap. That’s perfect Theory.
Cameron Grimes arrived earlier and paid some of the attendants for being nice. Someone asked how Ted DiBiase was doing at the nursing home and gets punched in the face. Grimes throws some money at him and says that was for Ted.
Adam Cole isn’t talking about Kyle O’Reilly when William Regal comes in. Regal says there is no animosity between Cole and Samoa Joe. Cole provoked him and got Clutched out, so that’s it. That’s not enough for Cole, but he leaves anyway.
The battery from last week is now at 31%.
Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory go into William Regal’s office to complain about Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan. Gargano wants consequences and bribes Regal with a new pencil. Regal has an idea: a tag match for later tonight.
Zoey Stark/Io Shirai vs. Robert Stone Brand
Shirai fireman’s carries Aliyah to start but puts her down to chop away. A flapjack plants her again and there’s a basement dropkick to the side of Aliyah’s head. The slingshot knees to the chest connect and it’s off to Stark for an armbar. A sliding clothesline drops Aliyah again so it’s off to Kamea, who hits a rolling kick to the face for two. Stark comes back in for a running double stomp to the back but Kamea elbows her down again.
Cue the Way to watch and the distraction lets Kamea drop Stark as we take a break. Back with Stark still in trouble, including Kamea dropping Aliyah down onto her for two. The bodyscissors goes on but Stark gets over the hot tag to Shirai. House is cleaned for a bit until Aliyah grabs a northern lights suplex. That doesn’t last long either as it’s back to Stark for a suplex of her own, setting up the moonsault to finish Kamea at 9:42.
Rating: C. The Stone Brand continues to be lovable losers and little more than that. They still don’t exactly feel like major stars, but at least they are established enough to lose a match like this and still make the other team feel like they did a little something. Odds are they are going to be pawns for Frankie Monet in one way or another and that is not a bad place for them.
Post match here are Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez to help the Way surround Stark and Shirai. The brawl is almost on but Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart come in as well as the Way stays on the floor. Samoa Joe comes out to call in security to break things up.
Kushida is looking forward to his match with Kyle O’Reilly.
We look back at Tommaso Ciampa/Timothy Thatcher beating the Grizzled Young Veterans. As a result, Thatcher and Ciampa get a Tag Team Title shot at the Great American Bash.
The Way vs. Pete Dunne/Oney Lorcan
Gargano armdrags Dunne down to start and hands it off to Theory, who uses his bad hand for a not very bright chop. Dunne takes Theory down and starts cranking on various limbs before taking him into the corner. Lorcan comes in to work on the wrist but Theory gets in a quick shot for two of his own. Dunne isn’t having that and takes him back down to crank on the arm, including some finger bending.
We hit the seated armbar into the kick to the bad arm but Theory manages to fight up. After knocking Lorcan to the floor, Theory hits a big dive to take him down but it’s a double half nelson slam onto the apron to send us to a break. Back with the arm stomping continuing but Theory kicks Dunne into the corner. Lorcan is right there in time to break up the tag, meaning it’s a big forearm allowing the tag to Gargano.
House is cleaned and it’s rather quickly back to Theory for a springboard Spanish Fly for two on Lorcan. Gargano escapes the Bitter End though and Dunne is planted with a DDT. A running Blockbuster drops Theory so Dunne comes back in to kick him down, setting up the arm cranking until Gargano makes the save.
Gargano comes back in to kick away at Dunne, including the rolling version to send him outside. Back in and Dunne is sent into Lorcan but it’s a half nelson slam/powerbomb combination for two on Gargano. Theory makes the save but can’t hit his own powerbomb to Dunne. An enziguri drops Lorcan again but Gargano is back up with a suicide DDT to Dunne on the floor. One Final Beat finishes Lorcan at 14:18.
Rating: B. If they are trying to turn the Way, or at least Gargano and Theory, face, this was a good start as they played the roles well. These two are so much goofy fun together that it would be an easy way to go, especially with the idea of Johnny Gargano/Takeover/Wrestling challenging Karrion Kross for the NXT Title at Takeover. Heck of a match here, though I could also see Dunne getting the shot. Those question marks are what make NXT thrive and it is nice to have them back.
Post match, Karrion Kross comes out to drop Gargano.
The battery is at 40%.
Karrion Kross and Scarlett run into Samoa Joe, who is reminded that nothing physical can happen unless Joe is provoked. Joe: “Of course champ.” Kross and Scarlett leave, but Pete Dunne pops up for the staredown with Joe.
Next week: a triple threat match to crown new #1 contenders to the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
Elektra Lopez vs. Frankie Monet
Monet headlocks her down to start and it’s time to fight over a wristlock. Lopez backs into the corner so Monet poses a bit and runs her over again. Some mounted shots to the face have Lopez in more trouble but she comes back up with a shot to the face. A pump kick drops Money for a second but two shots of her own set up the Road to Valhalla to put Lopez away at 3:26.
Rating: D+. Fairly short and to the point here as Monet beat her up, posed a lot and then won. That’s why you bring in someone like Lopez, who has a unique enough look to get some interest and then lose anyway. Monet is someone who came in ready to be a star and very well could be again for a long time to come. The Robert Stone deal is fine for a start, especially if she can steal them from Stone.
Bronson Reed isn’t sure what is going on around here but Hit Row comes in. Top Dolla says everyone is colossal until Colossus walks into the room. They don’t like Ever-Rise either.
Earlier today, Ever-Rise went to spray point Hit Row’s car but Top Dollar was inside, sending them running off.
Ever-Rise vs. Hit Row
That would be Ashante Adonis/Top Dolla, with the latter running Chase Parker off the apron to start. Matt Martel gets dropped as well and it’s off to Adonis for a dropkick. Parker saves Martel from a powerslam and Ever-Rise knocks Dolla to the floor. This proves to be a bad idea as Dollar comes back in to wreck more things. The Long Kiss Goodnight sets up a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination (with a nasty landing) to finish Martel at 2:32. Hit Row has great presence, but they aren’t completely polished in the ring.
Mercedes Martinez is ready for a mixed tag against Tian Sha next week. Xia Li and Boa jump her from behind but Jake Atlas kicks Boa in the head for the save.
Kyle O’Reilly is ready for the main event.
The battery is at 51%, putting it into green.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Kushida
Kyle takes him to the mat to start but Kushida winds up on top in the grapple. They get up to a standoff so O’Reilly goes for a kneebar. That’s broken up as well so Kushida takes him down and twists on the arm. Back up and O’Reilly takes him into the corner where a double headbutt puts both of them down.
We take a break and come back with Kushida working on the ankles but O’Reilly slips out. A kneebar is broken up with Kushida looking for the Hoverboard Lock, which is countered into a cross armbreaker which is countered into the Hoverboard Lock which is countered into a choke which is countered into a kick to O’Reilly’s arm. O’Reilly blocks a kick but Kushida is right back with a bridging northern lights suplex for two.
Kushida goes up but dives into a kick to the chest, setting up another kneebar from O’Reilly. That’s countered into a cradle for two but O’Reilly is back up with a rebound lariat to put him down as well. The brainbuster gives O’Reilly two so he heads to the apron, where Kushida sends him arm first into the post.
They trade kicks to the arm until Kushida’s hammerlock suplex drops O’Reilly onto the apron and out to the floor. Back in and they trade more kicks but Kushida still can’t get the Hoverboard Lock. Another attempt mostly works but O’Reilly gets smart by putting his hands in his trunks to avoid all of the pressure. O’Reilly finally manages to roll out and cradle Kushida for the pin at 14:26.
Rating: B+. Yep this was great and I’m not sure why that should be a surprise. They traded holds and strikes for the better part of fifteen minutes until one of them got pinned. Everything looked crisp, they didn’t do very many ridiculous looking things and it felt like a struggle. This was a heck of a main event and is more than worth the time to find if you want to see something awesome from this style.
Post match here is Adam Cole to brawl off with O’Reilly. Cue three guys in hoodies with one of them jumping Kushida. The guys are revealed as Roderick Strong, Tyler Rust and Hideki Suzuki (not named). Malcolm Bivens comes in to hand Strong the Cruiserweight Title and says THIS IS THE DIAMOND MINE to end the show. I’m intrigued, while also being annoyed that I thought Strong was the battery guy.
Overall Rating: B. When the only thing close to bad (and that is debatable) on your show is a three minute squash, you’re having a pretty good week. This was a heck of a show and felt like the NXT of old, with a mixture of very good wrestling, building for the future and leaving me intrigued about where things go. Awesome show here, and it’s nice to have NXT feeling like it’s old self again.
Adam Cole b. Carmelo Hayes – Panama Sunrise
Zoey Stark/Io Shirai b. Robert Stone Brand – Moonsault to Kamea
The Way b. Pete Dunne/Oney Lorcan – One Final Beat to Lorcan
Frankie Monet b. Elektra Lopez – Road To Valhalla
Hit Row b. Ever-Rise – Powerbomb/neckbreaker combination to Martel
Kyle O’Reilly b. Kushida – Cradle
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