SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Percy Watson has departed the NXT announcer booth, and as the camera zooms out, the new third person is revealed to be… Beth Phoenix. That’s a great get for NXT, I have felt that Phoenix has added value to the matches she has called on the main roster PPVs, and she has the credibility to talk about the ring that people like Alex Riley and Watson haven’t.
The Viking Raiders come out to a “War!” chant. Ivar talks about how they have “raided” Raw and the brutalized the tag team division. Erik says they have plenty of business to do on Raw, and points out that they are still the NXT Tag Team Champions, and somewhat politely asks for William Regal to join them. Regal obliges.
Can’t say it enough, this show desperately needs Regal. He adds so much with so little.
Erik says that since they know that no one can take their titles from them, they are going to relinquish them instead. Regal starts to respond, and the Street Profits cut him off. They insinuate that they could beat the Raiders. Ford says that they brought the fight to the Raiders a few weeks ago, acknowledged that they lost, but proved they could have won. Ford then says that the Raiders are dumping the titles because they are afraid to lose to the Profits. Dawkins says, “if that’s your real name”. The Raiders take the titles back from Regal and demand that the match be made. Regal books it as the main event.
KUSHIDA will face Kona Reeves later.
Throwback to footage from last week when Adam Cole lost to Matt Riddle despite an assist from Roderick Strong, then blaming Strong for the loss.
Backstage from last week, the argument continues with Cole using bleeped out language. Strong takes his Undisputed Era shirt and armband off and throws them at Cole. Fish is angry at this outcome.
Cathy Kelley interviews Cole with O’Reilly and Fish. She asks if Strong is still part of Undisputed Era. People start running behind them, then Strong shows up. He’s breathing heavy and says he’s thought about things. Strong says Cole was right, they are stronger when they are on the same page, and the Matt Riddle problem is solved. He hands Cole a flip flop splattered with blood. Cole is thrilled, takes his armband off and gives it to Strong. They walk off all smiles.
1. KIETH LEE vs. CEZAR BONONI
Lee leapfrogs Bononi then shoulder blocks him as Nigel McGuinness talks about Domonik Dijakovic. Bononi with offense, a leaping knee gives him an advantage. Shoulder blocks put Lee on a knee, but Lee grabs his wrist and shakes his head. Bononi hits him, Lee stands up and refuses to let go even as Bononi hits him, then Lee chops his way out. Lee puts Bononi in the corner then whips him into the ropes and hits a Pounce. Spirit Bomb ends iit.
Winner: Kieth Lee at 2:30. Good way to re-introduce Lee to the NXT audience, including the fast squash match that he needed in his original debut.
Recap of last week when Io Shirai ambushed Shayna Baszler at the Performance Center and a full brawl broke out.
Cathy Kelley outside of Regal’s office. She says that Regal has booked Baszler to defend her title against Shirai at Takeover. The Forgotten Sons are about to storm into Regal’s office. Kelley asks them what they want, they are angry that they were “forgotten” with regards to the tag team titles.
2. KUSHIDA vs. KONA REEVES
Lockup and a waistlock takedown from Reeves. KUSHIDA with one of his own, moving to the mat. KUSHIDA spins on top of Reeves who hits a headlock takedown then another. They trade arm control. Arm drags put Reeves on the mat and into an armbar. KUSHIDA retains control. Suddenly Drew Gulak appears on the ramp and get KUSHIDA’s attention. KUSHIDA takes some offense from Reeves off the distraction. Reeves moves to a more brawling style. Running knee through the ropes, then a suplex for a two count. KUSHIDA makes a comeback, springboard chop followed by kicks. Handspring backelbow from KUSHIDA, a few more strikes and it’s good for two. KUSHIDA with the Hoverboard Lock, but Reeves escapes. Handspring kick sends Reeves through the ropes. flip dive off the top takes Reeves down. KUSHIDA with a modified Kimura for the win.
Winner: KUSHIDA at 5:08. KUSHIDA didn’t need to take so long to beat Kassius Ohno, and he didn’t need to take so long to beat Kona Reeves. This booking is not doing him any favors. I like his work, but the booking stinks.
Backstage, Bianca Belair is hustling Cathy Kelley into Regal’s office, but Mia Yim is walking out. Kelley pounds pavement. Belair says that she knows Yim was demanding a title match. Yim says she wasn’t, she wants a rematch against Belair. Yim leaves, Belair goes into Regal’s office.
Backstage, Johnny Gargano is checking on Matt Riddle. Gargano tells a faceless interviewer that Riddle will be OK. Gargano says he knows that the Undisputed Era is coming for him, but to speed it up he has asked Regal to book him against Adam Cole at Takeover.
Aliyah and Vanessa Borne are out, Borne is facing Jessie. Phoenix puts Jessie over.
3. JESSIE vs. VANESSA BORNE (w/Aliyah)
Borne hits a shoulder block, then trips Jessie up with a drop toe hold. Borne steps on Jessie, but Jessie grabs her foot. Borne kicks her onto the mat. Borne rains down strikes in the corner. Phoenix accuses McGuinness of bias and McGuinness chuckles and admits it. Aliyah slaps Jessie through the ropes while Borne jaws at the referee. Borne grabs Jessie’s hair and rubs her read over Jessie’s face. Jessie with a pair of two counts off quick covers. Spinning heel kick takes Borne down, but Borne dodges a splash in the corner and retaliates. Borne wins with a running, spinning neckbreaker of sorts.
Winner: Vanessa Borne in 2:49. Borne has her first win in what feels, quite literally like years. Note that she took only slightly longer than KUSHIDA did.
4. NXT Tag Team Champions THE VIKING RAIDERS (ERIK & IVAR) vs. STREET PROFITS (ANGELO DAWKINS & MONTEZ FORD) vs. THE FORGOTTEN SONS (WESLEY BLAKE & STEVE CUTLER w/Jaxson Ryker) – Tag Team Title Match
Dropkick from Erik to Dawkins, Ford tags in and gets knocked silly. Ivar tags in and gets thrown onto Dawkins to send him out. Ivar feeds Dawkins to Hanson, but Ford suddenly makes the save with sudden offense. Ivar boots Ford across the ring, tag to Dawkins. They hit cartwheels all around, spinebuster to Ivar, tag to Ford, monstrous frog splash for a very close nearfall. Ivar tags in Erik, he steamrolls Dawkins. The Forgotten Sons come down the ramp and ambush Ivar. The ref calls for the bell.
No Contest at 2:14. What disastrous booking.
Post-match, the Street Profits aid the Raiders, then Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch try to get involved. The Raiders clear the ring. Ford thinks to splash the mess outside, Erik stops him, Dawkins assists Ford, Ford covers Erik and Dawkins hits a quick three count to make the point. The Profits run out. Ivar and Erik beat up Burch, then Lorcan, I guess trying to make the save doesn’t pay off. Mauro Ranallo questions what the status of the tag team championships are as the Viking Raiders stand tall in the ring. They set the titles on the mat and then bow to them, potentially indicating that their reign is indeed over.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 5/8 NXT TV REPORT: Riddle vs. Cole, Belair vs. Yim, Riddick Moss’ return vs. Mendoza