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NXT TV TAPING REPORT
JUNE 12, 2019
WINTER PARK, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY TOM STOUP, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
This is the second of a two-night taping. See the first part from last night (June 12) in the archives.
Alicia Taylor hyped “international superstar” Kushida, new NXT Champion Adam Cole, and the NXT Breakout Tournament semis, in that order. She introduced the commentators with Beth Phoenix coming out last, then tossed to a recap of the finish and aftermath of the Shayna Baszler/Io Shirai Women’s Championship cage match that was taped last night.
Io Shirai entered in all black to new music and strobe lighting. She received a raucous reaction but glared at the crowd. She took her sweet time before speaking, once briefly cracking a smile as a young fan heckled her. The combatting positive and negative reactions heightened as she stalled further and further to draw heat. “Io” and “Io sucks” chants broke out. Whenever Shirai brought the mic to her lips, fans erupted in boos. Shirai finally said, “I don’t want any friends. I don’t need any of you.” She dropped the mic and sauntered out.
(1) Matt Riddle defeated Arturo Ruas (f/k/a Adrian Jaoude) via TKO. Official: Jessika Carr. Riddle entered to a deafening pop. As expected for these two talents, the mat wrestling began straight away and went hold for hold through the early phases. The men tested their respective kicking expertise against one another, then Riddle kneed Ruas to the ground and began pounding away at him until Carr called the match in Riddle’s favor. Ruas looked like he didn’t know what had happened when he stood back up after the decision.
As Riddle celebrated, a masked man in a Tool shirt ran in and attacked him. The man revealed himself to be Killian Dain. Dain appeared to have cut some weight, and he destroyed Riddle with clotheslines and sentons on the outside. Dain booted Riddle up the ramp, then slammed him through the stage floor. The crowd chanted “Yowie Wowie,” then applauded as officials extracted Riddle from beneath the stage.
Break. An extended reel of memorable NXT moments was shown.
(2) Kushida submitted Apollo Crews. Official: Eddie Orengo. Crews received an enthusiastic welcome back from the crowd. He used his strong aerials to keep Kushida on his heels. Kushida enjoyed a sequence of offense after a period of evenly matched action, and found two on a tornado DDT. Crews hit three German suplexes and a standing moonsault for two. A “both these guys” chant broke out. Crews rolled through a springboard Frankensteiner into a leverage pin for two. The wrestlers leapt from the top turnbuckle and Kushida caught Crews in an armbar, which he transitioned into the Hoverboard Lock for the win. The wrestlers shook hands after the bell out of what appeared to be genuine respect for one another.
Adam Cole came out by himself, and said he’s shown “all you morons” what a real NXT Champion looks like. He said he’s ready to take on all comers and put his title on the line, and that he’s going to do so “tonight” against “this man.” He tossed to a “Target: TakeOver” clip of Johnny Gargano showing his title to Toine Tucker in Cleveland. Cole introduced Tucker, who came out with a mic. Cole said this is Tucker’s opportunity, and Tucker said he didn’t come alone. Gargano came out to a good reaction and immediately began punching and superkicking Cole as Tucker left. The men fought into the crowd, Gargano in charge the whole way. Officials swarmed out to pull them apart. Gargano ran back in and leapt from the stage onto Cole. Cole scooted away as Gargano was again restrained by officials.
(3) Street Profits defeated Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch via pinfall to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships. Official: D.A. Brewer. Montez Ford entered with a smaller cup than usual that had something written on it, and the sash of his outfit had a Bianca Belair kiss logo pinned to the back. Burch and Lorcan offered a handshake at the bell, which the Profits accepted. Ford and Lorcan tied up to start. After a tag the Profits hoisted Lorcan to splash him onto Burch, then stacked the brawlers in the ropes for their leapfrog team attack. As order was restored, Angelo Dawkins offered another handshake but Burch did not accept, instead taking fists and headbutts to the tag champ. Lorcan came in and assisted with a dual Russian leg sweep on Dawkins. Burch and Lorcan team suplexed Dawkins for two and took control of the match. Burch locked a crossface on Dawkins that Ford broke up with a swift kick to his back. The furious Burch pounded away on Dawkins, then whiffed on a second rope missile dropkick. Off the hot tag Ford clotheslined his opponents to the mat, backdropped Lorcan and hit a standing moonsault on him for two. The Profits corkscrew splashed Lorcan in the corner. Ford said “It’s time!” but Lorcan wriggled out of a Doomsday Device attempt. Burch tagged in and got a near fall on Ford. Dawkins tagged in and tackled Burch after surviving an uppercut from Lorcan. Ford flipped over Lorcan and the top rope to attack Burch on the outside, but splatted on the ramp as Burch appeared to be just a bit too far to the side to “get all of it.” Lorcan was thrown into the ring steps, and Ford recovered to hit his impressive frog splash on Burch for the victory. As the Profits celebrated, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly emerged on the stage. O’Reilly mocked Dawkins’ stirring gesture and made the “I’m watching you” motion.
Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano brawled back into the studio, chased by officials. Gargano kicked Cole, then locked him in the Gargano Escape. Cole tapped as officials pulled Gargano away, and Gargano held up three fingers and said, “That’s three.”
Break. A commercial featuring old Hulk Hogan footage drew some boos. Alicia Taylor hyped the NXT Breakout Tournament semis, and announced Keith Lee vs. Damian Priest to take place later in the taping.
(4) Jordan Myles (f/k/a ACH) pinned Angel Garza (f/k/a Garza, Jr.) to advance to the NXT Breakout Tournament finals. Official: Drake Wuertz. The semifinals brackets as shown last night had been altered, as Myles had been scheduled to face Cameron Grimes. Myles’ right thigh was taped. As Myles worked a hold on Garza, he cheesed for the cameras. Myles backflipped and dropkicked Garza, then mimed dribbling a basketball between his legs and shooting a free throw (a gesture he’s now displayed several times in NXT, possibly revealing a reasoning behind his new name). Garza pulled Myles from the ring and hurled him into the steps and the barricade. Myles broke Wuertz’ count at seven. Garza found two off a backbreaker. Garza kicked the spit from Myles’ mouth for another near fall. Myles kicked at Garza’s chest in the corner until Wuertz instructed him to quit. He hit a discus clothesline in the corner, but Garza rolled out of the way of any follow-up top rope offensive. Myles flew at Garza but was dropkicked out of the air. Myles hit another discus clothesline in the corner. He was elated to win on a German suplex pin, and shouted, “I’m going to TakeOver!”
(5) Bianca Belair pinned Xia Li. Official: D.A. Brewer. Li entered to her familiar music as opposed to the new theme that was introduced last night. Belair was aggressive out of the gate and needed to be pulled away after stomping Li in the corner. From commentary Mauro Ranallo could be heard shouting – presumably to Beth Phoenix – as Belair hit a Glam Slam. Belair then hit a fallaway slam without falling away. She squatted three times during a suspended suplex, but Li reversed the cocky attempt and began kicking at Belair. Belair quit messing around and hit the KOD, looking unimpressed as her theme played. She shook her head and motioned for Li to kiss her ass as she left.
Dream came out in a Hollywood Hogan tribute outfit, but his mic didn’t work. When he got a new mic, he said the day he “steps down” as NXT North American Champion will be the day he goes to hell because it will be the day Roderick Strong beats him. He said he can “go all night” just like Strong, and got upset. He said if anyone thinks they can experience Velveteen Dream, he wants to experience them. Strong came out alone and said, “Cool story.” He accused Dream of being scared, and said he can see it in Dream’s eyes even behind Dream’s sunglasses. Dream threw his sunglasses away and glared at Strong. Strong said, “Give me what I want! You and me, TakeOver: Toronto! You and me, the ‘experience’ dies!” Pete Dunne interrupted to an excellent pop, and snapped Strong’s fingers. Strong backed off, and Dunne admired Dream’s title and shrugged.
(6) Io Shirai defeated Kacy Catanzaro via disqualification. Official: Eddie Orengo. Shirai jawed at audience members on her way to the ring. She wore the same black outfit she wore for her promo segment earlier as opposed to even a color-swapped rendition of her usual wrestling gear. Catanzaro frowned and gave a thumbs down. Shirai flew in at the bell with a missile dropkick, double knees in the corner, and a backbreaker. Candice LeRae ran in and attacked Shirai from behind. She dove on Shirai and grabbed a chair, but Shirai escaped.
Alicia Taylor announced that William Regal had booked Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong for later, and she said Keith Lee vs. Damian Priest would be up next.
(7) Damian Priest pinned Keith Lee. Official: D.A. Brewer. Priest grinned as Lee was unable to bounce him across the ring with a shoulder block the way he does with smaller opponents. Lee wagged his finger at Priest, who casually leaned against the ropes. Lee then succeeded in shoulder blocking Priest to the mat, and Brewer instructed him to back off. Priest struggled to suplex Lee, so he sufficed for a clothesline for two. Lee failed to get Priest off his feet, then Priest walked the top rope a la Undertaker and hit a cross body for another near fall. Priest motioned as though firing an arrow point blank at Lee’s head, but Lee grabbed Priest’s extended hand and began striking for an eventual near fall of his own. Priest rallied and hit Lee with a Falcon’s Arrow for two. Lee double-chopped Priest, then shoulder blocked him across the ring using Priest’s own momentum. Priest rolled out, but Lee followed and brought him back. Priest flipped over the top rope and was caught upside-down in midair by Lee for a big crowd reaction. He escaped what was looking like an apron powerbomb predicament and sent Lee into the steps. Manipulating Brewer into a position that shielded him from Lee’s retaliation, Priest manufactured an opening to pull off his finishing spinning roundhouse kick and spinning neckbreaker sequence for the win. As he celebrated for the hard cam, he aimed his bow and arrow gesture at the departing Lee, and gave the disappointed Lee a smarmy grin.
(8) Tyler Breeze pinned Jaxson Ryker (with Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler). Official: Eddie Orengo. The giant Breeze head that adorned the tron during Breeze’s appearances last night has been replaced with a stream from Breeze’s selfie cam (read: a different form of giant Breeze head). Breeze was outmuscled from the start as a frothing Ryker tore him apart. Breeze surprised Ryker with a roll-up for the win.
The Forgotten Sons beat Breeze down after the bell. Fandango made his long-awaited WWE return to save his partner, wearing jeans and a white a-shirt. He looked lean and in great shape, especially upon ripping off the a-shirt. The Sons fled as Breezango relished their reunion. The crowd was Fandangoing as the Breezango theme played, and Fandango gyrated for each section of the crowd.
(9) Cameron Grimes (f/k/a Trevor Lee) pinned Bronson Reed (f/k/a Jonah Rock) to advance to the NXT Breakout Tournament finals. Official: Jessika Carr. The wrestlers locked up, and the larger Reed overpowered Grimes through the early phase. The wily Grimes tricked Reed into giving chase around the ring, and took control when Reed made himself vulnerable when sliding back in beneath the ropes. Reed rallied with a smooth powerslam and a Bionic Elbow. He dropped a massive senton on Grimes which was good for two as Grimes got his foot to the rope. The wrestlers traded various strikes, then Reed lowered his straps. Grimes then caught Reed in a midair powerslam for the victory.
Shayna Baszler entered to her music and demanded a mic to call out Mia Yim. She referenced Yim’s promo at the commentary desk that was taped last night but not heard by most of the audience as it had only been for the TV camera. She accused Yim of attacking Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir from behind, and said NXT “isn’t the street.” She called Yim a “street rat” and said Yim isn’t ready for TakeOver: Toronto. Yim interrupted and said, “Game recognizes game, and you looking real familiar right now.” She said Baszler can’t train for her. Baszler retorted, saying that when Yim is under the lights of TakeOver everyone will see she’s nothing but street trash.
Matt Riddle entered for a match, with official Drake Wuertz ready to officiate, but Killian Dain attacked him with a cross body out of nowhere. Dain hit a cannonball on Riddle against the steps and strut away as officials helped Riddle.
Break. Event crew set up for Kushida’s entrance. The WrestleMania 36 commercial was met with cheers by fans who won’t have far to travel to see it live at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.
(10) Kushida submitted Jeff Parker. Official: D.A. Brewer. Jeff Parker of NXT’s Team 3.0 was not announced. The match went almost exactly as it did last night, except Parker only got in one cheap shot as opposed to a full sequence of offense complete with taunting as he had in that version of the match. Apparently the NXT brass changed their mind regarding how much defense they wanted to see Kushida play against Parker.
William Regal entered to a respectful standing ovation, and announced that he was going to officiate a contract signing for the TakeOver: Toronto Tag Team Championship match. He first brought out the champions, Street Profits. As the Profits had at a recent taping after cameras had cut, they tried to get Regal to dance with them but Regal went on with the proceedings. Regal was about to bring out Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, but the Profits insisted on doing their own introduction. Ford called their opponents “O’Reilly Auto Parts” and “Laurence Fishbourne” and said they are “the next team to receive an ass-whooping from the Street Profits.” Fish apologized for forgetting to laugh at the Profits’ jokes. In a twerpy tone O’Reilly clarified that he had remembered to laugh, but chose not to because the jokes weren’t funny. Fish told the crowd to shut up and said the Undisputed Era is both better and funnier than the Profits. O’Reilly demonstrated his comedic chops by clearing his throat and saying, “Here’s the joke: the Street Profits are the NXT Tag Team Champions.” Ford leveled, acknowledging the Era’s accomplishments including having been featured on every TakeOver since their arrival to NXT. Dawkins said Fish and O’Reilly are probably the best tag team in NXT history. Ford got amped and said the reason the Profits will win is because winning is their only option. Dawkins said “At NXT TakeOver: Toronto, the Street Profits are going to beat that ass. And that is undisputed.” The crowd chanted “beat that ass.” The wrestlers signed the contract, and Regal announced the match as official. O’Reilly shouted something at Regal before he and Fish left.
(11) Shane Thorne pinned Joaquin Wilde (f/k/a DJZ) Official: Jessika Carr. Thorne entered with a new theme and a new tron. He said “show me what you got, kid” to Wilde, who went after him and said, “I got more where that came from.” Wilde mimicked the sound of an airhorn at Thorne and worked a wristlock. He put on a show with his agile tactics, but Thorne flattened him with a tilt-a-whirl slam and took control. Wilde’s comeback culminated in a powerbomb for two. He leapt from the apron and through the turnbuckle ropes onto Thorne on the outside, and then flipped over the top rope onto Thorne. Thorne beat Carr’s ten count at nine, then rolled back out. Thorne threw Wilde into the steps, then onto the ramp. Back in the ring he nailed a nice-looking running and jumping punt to Wilde’s head for three.
(12) Pete Dunne submitted Roderick Strong. Official: Drake Wuertz. The wrestlers grappled for leverage and kept reaching stalemates. Strong said, “You made a mistake,” then began kicking and pounding on Dunne. Dunne rose but was chopped back to the corner. Dunne clotheslined Strong and stomped on his left arm. He wrenched Strong’s fingers back to the mat and then kicked his left arm. Strong managed a signature backbreaker but nurses his arm instead of attempting a cover. Fans chanted “bruiserweight” as Dunne withstood further kicks while he was down. Dunne stopped a superplex attempt and nailed Strong with a missile dropkick. He kicked and chopped at Strong and folded him to the canvas for two. Dunne backflipped out of a German to his feet and drilled Strong with a sit-out powerbomb for another near fall. Strong dropped Dunne on his back on the apron and rolled him between the ropes for a near fall of his own. Mauro Ranallo’s signature excitement could be heard throughout the studio. Strong ran the ropes, elbowing Dunne each time he passed. Dunne countered a maneuver into a DDT and both men sold the effects of the match to that point. Strong dragged Dunne to his feet and alternated chops and elbows. Dunne countered a top turnbuckle maneuver into a powerbomb, but then suffered a high knee from Strong. Dunne trapped Strong’s head between his thighs and snapped Strong’s fingers. Strong tapped out.
As Dunne celebrated for the hard cam, Velveteen Dream slinked in and looked to take Dunne out with the NXT North American Championship belt. Dunne turned and caught Dream in the act. Strong hopped on the apron and said to Dream, “Tonight doesn’t matter. At TakeOver that title is mine!” He left, and Dunne took the opportunity to deliver a Bitter End to Dream as the fans chanted “Triple threat.” Dunne soaked in the crowd’s adulation and took selfies with fans in the front row. When Dream recovered, he shushed the crowd and insisted everyone stay and get out their phones. It sounded as though he was about to deliver an important speech. Instead, he flaunted his title as his music played, then he gave his glasses to a young girl in the front row and put her on his shoulders.
RECOMMENDED: 6/12 NXT TV Taping Report in Winter Park, Fla. (Spoilers): Breakout Stars tournament with renamed DJZ, Trevor Lee, ACH, Shane Strickland, Sam Shaw, major women’s main event, Gargano no-show