The show is opening with a match set up in an angle on last
week's episode. Cameron Grimes is trying to aquire the
intellectual property rights to the Undisputed Era since the
group has broken up. He approached Roderick Strong on the
previous episode, and Strong punched Grimes in the face.
Thus, they have a match tonight that opens the show.
Before the match, Grimes has another pitch for Strong. This
time Grimes had a visual aids, which are always better when
pitching an idea. Grimes said they were leaving a lot of
money on the table, but Grimes told Strong that "we can keep
it going." Grimes had a newly designed Undisputed Era t-
shirt, with a slogan that read "GRIMES THE SYSTEM" on the
front. Also included in the pitch was a theme song playing
the "GRIMES THE SYSTEM" theme.
Strong was not impressed, and he attacked Grimes. So, I
guess that is a hard "no" on Grimes' pitch. The match was on
when they got into the ring.
Cameron Grimes defeated Roderick Strong
Grimes pinned Strong after Strong was distracted by a prop.
The match was way better than it reads with that seemingly
lame finish. Great opener. Finish maybe not so great, but it
played into a larger story with Strong.
Strong was basically kicking butt for much of the early
portion, except when Grimes used dirty tactics to cut him
off. Distracted by an Undisputed Era t-shirt in the crowd,
Strong was sent crashing into a lighting grid. The show cut
to picture-in-picture with Strong down selling his back.
Strong kept fighting back, and they fought through the
Grimes with heat on Strong, but Strong rallied for a near
fall. They built to a superplex, and Grimes again kicked out
at two. Grimes cut off Strong with a Spanish Fly crossbody,
and Grimes went digging into his trunks. He retrieved a
foreign object and tried to hit Strong with it, but Strong
ducked the punch. Grimes dropped the object, and Strong
picked it up. It was an Undisputed Era arm band.
Strong held the band in his hands, and he stood there in
apparent shock at what he held. Grimes delivered a Cave In,
and Grimes covered Strong for a pinfall.
A Karrion Kross vignette was much different than what we
usually see from him and Scarlett. This was training montage
where Kross said he is going back to his martial art roots.
Kross is training to challenge Finn Balor for the NXT
Championship on the second night of TakeOver.
WWE Superstars urged viewers to get vaccinated in a PSA that
aired during a commercial break.
WALTER defending the NXT UK title against challenger Tommaso
Ciampa was the focus of a video package. That bout takes
place next Wednesday night on night one of TakeOver.
NXT moving to Tuesday nights on April 13th was announced on
the air. Also plugged was Peacock. By the way, TakeOver next
Wednesday will air live on USA Network, and it will also
stream live on Peacock.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar cut a promo making
an open challenge. Escobar claimed to be the greatest
cruiserweight ever, and he cut a promo on Jordan Devlin (who
he faces at TakeOver in a title match). Tyler Breeze entered
the soundstage to take Escobar up on the challenge.
NXT Crusierweight Champion Santos Escobar (with Legado del
Fantasma) defeated Tyler Breeze in a non-title match
Escobar pinned Breeze in a tune-up match ahead of TakeOver.
Escobar was in control until Breeze cut him off just before
the show cut to a commercial break. Escobar was somehow back
in control when the show returned from the break. The
announcers basically said Esobar has been working over a
Breeze eventually made a comeback, and he locked in a
Sharpshooter. Escobar got a rope break, and he came back to
deliver the Phantom Driver. Escobar then covered Breeze for
a clean pinfall.
Legado del Fantasma went to jump Breeze after the bell. MSK
made a surprise return, and they ran to make a save.
Grizzled Young Veterans popped on the video screen to cut a
promo on both MSK and Legado del Fantasma. The three teams
meet in a triple threat match for the vacant NXT Tag Team
Championship next Wednesday on night one of TakeOver. Clever
way to get the teams on the show to plug their match without
having to create a whole new segment around them.
NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano was still angry
about the gauntlet match for a shot at his title. He asked
Austin Theory why he was in the match. Theory asked Gargano
if he has ever heard of the Finger Poke of Doom. Gargano
said that killed the business, but he still loved the idea.
A Pomeranian dog was seen walking up to the Performance
Center. It looked a whole lot like Taya Valkyrie's dog
Prince Presley. He even has his own Twitter account, which
predates his NXT debut.
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell defeated Gigi Dolin & Zayda
Hartwell pinned Ramier to win the match. LeRae delivered
Wicked Stepsister, and followed with a springboard flying
elbow drop for the finish. Dolin is the former Priscilla
LeRae cut a promo after the match challenging the NXT
Women's Tag Team Champions. So, Ember Moon & Shotzi
Blackheart rode out in Blackheart's tank. They shot the
heels with the tank cannon, and the title match is set for
Raquel Gonzalez attacked NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai
backstage. They are feuding and all, but the attack was
Prince Presley the Pomeranian walked through an open door at
the PC that was marked "EMPLOYEES ONLY" on the door. He then
ran into the CWC. Somebody might want to shut that open
door. It could attract racoons or other varmints.
Roderick Strong left the building, and he was even booked in
the main event battle royal. He said he was done "with it
Raquel Gonzalez (with Dakota Kai) defeated Zoey Stark
Gonzalez pinned Stark in a tune-up match ahead of TakeOver.
She challenges Shirai in a title match that is the main
event next Wednesday on TakeOver.
Gonzalez looked strong, but this was no squash. Stark was
given plenty of offense. Kai tried to interfere, but Stark
thwarted her. Stark was making a comeback when she executed
a moonsault into a modified Blockbuster. Gonzalez cut her
off to deliver her signature powerbomb, and then came a 1-2-
Shirai ran down after the match to attack Gonzalez, but
Shirai was sent crashing into the barricade.
Prince Presley the Pomeranian was seen running around the PC
having what appeared to be a great time.
Kushida was being interviewd backstage when Pete Dunne
approached him. Dunne was mad that Kushida claimed to be the
best technical wrestler. They glared at each other. Both are
in the battle royal later on tonight.
A "Prime Target" mini-documentary hyped the unsanctioned
grudge match between Kyle O'Reilly and Adam Cole. Great
NXT's move to Tuesday was mentioned again. The announcers
said they were excited. Me too. I can soon watch AEW live on
Wednedays, so I'm really happy about that. Don't tell NXT I
Tian Sha (Xia Li & Mei Ying) defeated Kayden Carter & Kacy
Li pinned Catanzaro to win the match. This was kind of
weird. Not weird like The Fiend, but still weird. It was
spooky too. Not Fiend spooky, but spooky nonetheless.
Li started the match alone as if it was a handicap match.
Carter later went to confront Ying, who was sitting in her
thrown on the stage. Ying choked out Carter. Meanwhile, Li
delivered a kick to Catanzaro, and Li covered her for a pin.
Raquel Gonzalez was being interviewed backstage when she was
attacked by Io Shirai. Gonzalez lifted her into a tree slam,
and then Gonzalez slammed Shirai through a wall. Actaully,
it appeared to be a window gimmicked with drywall, but the
visual effect was similar to being thrown through a wall.
Shirai sold big.
Presley the Pomeranian was seen running up someone wearing
heels. "See you April 13th" read a message on the screen.
The message was signed by a "Franky," and WWE reportedly
trademarked the name "Franky Monet" recently. That could
possibly be Taya's new WWE name.
Tommaso Ciampa cut a fire promo ahead of him challenging
WALTER at TakeOver. Hot take: Ciampa is a great talker.
USA Network is using night one of TakeOver as a lead-in for
the Queen of the South season finale.
LA Knight wins the Gauntlet Eliminator Qualifying Battle
Qualified for the gauntlet match are LA Knight, Dexter
Lumis, Cameron Grimes, Bronson Reed, Isaiah Scott, and Leon
Leon Ruff and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott were headed to the ring
first. They have been feuding, so Ruff attacked Scott before
the bell. Scott was clotheslined out of the ring, and he was
reeling as the show cut to a commercial break. Everybody
else was in the ring when the show returned from the break,
except for Pete Dunne. He got an entrance.
The battle royal soon began, and it was practically every
battle royal you have ever seen. Lots of brawling and
hanging on the ropes. Jake Atlas was the first eliminated,
thanks in part to Malcolm Bivens at ringside. He grabbed
Atlas' foot, and Swerve Scott kicked Atlas off the apron to
eliminate him. Biven's charge, Tyler Rust, was next
eliminated when Scott backdropped him over the ropes.
Theory was knocked out of the ring by Bronson Reed, but
Theory landed on his back. His feet never touched the floor,
so he was not yet eliminated. He scooted around ringside
with his feet in the air like a turtle on his back. He did a
kip up. Therefore, his feet touched the floor. Referee Aja
Smith ruled he was eliminated from the match. Theory is
supposed to be a dumb heel, but that was a little too dumb.
Also dumb was the story with Dexter Lumis in this match. He
stood like a statue in a corner for much of the match. No
one would attack him. Most everyone just avoided that
Kushida and Dunne faced off after their confrontation
earlier on the show. The story is they were apparently
trying to decide which is the best technical wrestler. They
did this by exchanging strikes, which is odd way to
determine the best techincal wrestler. Kushida and Dunne
then started going for submission holds. Kushida was
countering a triangle by applying a Hoverboard Lock. They
countered their way over the ropes, and both tumbled to the
floor in a heap. Both were eliminated, but Kushida was still
trying to apply his submission hold. Referees had to pull
Kushida off Dunne.
The show cut to a picture-in-picture commercial break, and
the battle royal continued in the ring. The final six were
Lumis, Reed, Ruff, Scott, Grimes and Knight. Those six are
in the gaunlet match next week. Also annonced for next
Wednesday on TakeOver is singles match with Kushida vs.
Dunne. Regal booked the match during the commecial break.
NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano joined the
annonce desk for guest commentary. Reed eliminated Ruff and
Scott, which means those two start the gaunlet match next
Reed was eliminated by Knight, so Reed is third entrant in
the gauntlet match. The final three in the battle royal were
Grimes, Lumis and Knight. By this point Lumis was finally
getting involved in the match. Better late than never.
Grimes tried to bribe Knight and Lumis with lots of cash
money. They threw Grimes out of the ring instead. That was
dumb from a financial perspective. Take the money. You would
still have a great spot in the gauntlet match, but whatever.
Grimes is the fourth entrant for the gauntlet match.
For the finsh, Knight was charging towards Lumis. Knight
went out of the ring, but he went sailing between the top
and middle rope. Since he never went over the top, Knigth
was not yet eliminated. Lumis was standing and the apron,
and Knight pulled him off the apron to eliminate him. Not
only does that make Knight the winner of the battle royal,
he is also the sixth and final entrant for the gauntlet
match. Lumis is now the fifth entrant in the gauntlet.
Shirai-Gonzalez brawl closes the show
Io Shirai ran into the ring as the show was wrapping up.
Shirai cut a promo in Japanese, and Raquel Gonzalez came
down to the ring to confront Shirai. Referees poured out for
a pull-apart. Shirai booted Gonzalez off the apron, and then
Shirai jumped off the top rope with a flying crossbody to
the floor. The show closed with Shirai standing tall,
finally getting the better of Gonzalez.