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WELLS’S NXT TV REPORT
JUNE 10, 2020
LIVE IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY KELLY WELLS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, Tom Phillips
Tonight after NXT, join me live with cohosts Nate Lindberg and Tom Stoup to break down the show with live callers and mailbag.
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-Recaps of your In Your House, including people watching from their houses, like Bianca Belair, Kevin Owens and NXT superfan Izzy.
-Undisputed Era – still minus Kyle O’Reilly, of course – strode to the ring together and Mauro called out Cole’s record 375-day championship reign. Cole said the era of Adam Cole will continue. He said it’s like everyone thought, because Velveteen Dream is one of the best, but he’s not Adam Cole. He said Dream couldn’t challenge him for the title as long as it’s around his waist. So what’s next? It’s simple: it doesn’t freakin’ matter. He’s run “roughshot” over NXT. He said he wants to shift focus to Dexter Lumis. He’s a freak who always gets in UE business, and what he did to Roddy and Bobby at TakeOver is unacceptable. Roddy said “Everybody knows I hate being stuffed in trunks.” Roddy twice saw him behind Fish and Cole, but when Fish and Cole turned he wasn’t there, so they thought Roddy was paranoid. Cole said he went through a war, but later tonight he has a match with Lumis. As the group left, Roddy once again was the only one to see Lumis in the crowd and he freaked out as the show went to commercial.
(Wells’s Analysis: NXT usually opens with a match, but the Undisputed Era is the one act who sometimes gets the spot. Dream is reportedly not heading to the main roster imminently, so his next move will be just as interesting as Cole’s. Lumis continues to get the rub from being in this position, though I still expect it to be a TV feud between major feuds for Cole)
-Cole and Fish, backstage, attempted to calm down Roddy and told him not to let Lumis get in his head. Keith Lee and Mia Yim walked to the ring and said he was thinking about what’s next for him. He eyed Cole’s belt and UE stormed off.
(1) KEITH LEE & MIA YIM vs. JOHNNY GARGANO & CANDICE LERAE
Faces were introduced first. Gargano and LeRae weren’t as jokey as usual as they walked to the ring intensely. The two teams jawed at each other before the match started, with the gender mismatches pairing off. Lee picked up LeRae to set her aside and Gargano attacked him. All four went at it with no bell, and the faces did some tandem offense and Lee cleared Gargano from the ring. The women were in the ring and the ref finally called for the bell.
Yim put some shots to LeRae. Yim ran LeRae across the ropes and Gargano yanked her from the ring to save her. Yim went for a tope and the heels moved away, but Lee caught Yim. Team Yimitless bombed the Garganos across the apron leading into a commercial.
LeRae had a straitjacket on Yim, after a Gargano distraction put LeRae in control during the break. LeRae threw chops and went at Yim with body shots in the heel corner. Yim ducked a charge and tried to get across the ring, but LeRae cut her off. Yim hit LeRae with Seoul Food and the men tagged in. Lee took down Gargano with a couple of blocks, then gave him the big two-handed chop in the corner. Lee bealed Gargano out of the corner. Lee held up Gargano like a sack of potatoes. LeRae made a blind tag but Lee held her up as well. LeRae raked his eyes and Gargano spilled out, then hit a superkick.
Women came in. Yim took it to LeRae and hit a dragon suplex with a bridge for a long two, and Yim broke it up. Yim went hard at Gargano with shots, then took down both heels. Germans for both. She sent Gargano from the ring, and LeRae hit Seoul Food on Yim. A quebrada got a believable near-fall. Gargano tagged in, bringing in Lee as well. Gargano ran the ropes and Yim pulled down the top rope to dump him. Yim tied up LeRae in the ropes. Keith Lee pounced on Gargano in the ring, and Gargano ran into the women. As Lee checked on Yim, Gargano hit One Final Beat, and Lee landed directly on LeRae. Lee checked on Candice and lifted her up, and Gargano schoolboyed Lee for the win. Phillips was upset that Gargano didn’t even check on LeRae. Gargano did a little Weekend at Bernie’s with Candice on the ramp, holding her arm up so she could “celebrate” although she was still out.
WINNERS: Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae at 10:47.
(Wells’s Analysis: I didn’t think we were going to get intergender wrestling in WWE anytime soon, but we got quite a few teases in this match. Gargano gets his win back, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he still ends up taking the North American Championship.)
-Damian Priest put over Finn Balor but said in the loss, he still took a step toward immortality.
-McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Cameron Grimes, who boasted about his previous win over Finn Balor. He didn’t know why the match was booked again. Damian Priest stepped into frame and Grimes said he was just telling McKenzie how good Priest was at TakeOver. He didn’t beat Finn, but he got close. Priest laid out Grimes with a punch and said “Please, continue.”
-On Sunday, Io Shirai won the Women’s Championship. We got a lot of reactions from fans and wrestlers, who celebrated her victory (other than Izzy, who looked shocked and annoyed).
(2) MIKEY DELBREY & MIKE REED vs. INDUS SHER (Rinku & Saurav) (w/Malcolm Bivens)
Saurav ran through Delbrey, then hit a big boot that put Reed off the apron and through the plexiglass. Rinku tagged in. Avalanche. Another. Tag again. Tandem finisher – Rinku held Delbrey while Saurav hit a legdrop – finished.
WINNERS: Indus Sher at 1:05.
(Wells’s Analysis: Nice to see Indus Sher back in the ring, destroying enhancements. They still haven’t had any real competition, but with this reset I’m sure we’ll see what they’re made of before long)
-Drake Wuertz talked to William Regal via Zoom. Wuertz said Grimes said he had a broken jaw and couldn’t compete tonight. Regal told Wuertz to take him to talk to Grimes right now.
-Outside, Cameron Grimes was trying to flirt with a couple of women. He boasted that he wasn’t hurt by Damian Priest at all. Wuertz brought Regal on the Zoom call over to Grimes, and Regal demanded Grimes get set to wrestle. Grimes lost it and told the women to get lost.
-Breezango vignette. They strolled down memory lane and talked about their various entrances and the Fashion Police. Fandango said they got caught up in entertaining but they could still bring it in the ring. Breeze pointed out that Fandango won his WrestleMania debut in front of 80,000 people (Fandango’s celebration was shown, but not the opponent, Chris Jericho). Fandango said Breeze built the NXT. Breeze said now they would take down Emporium. Fandango called them Fabio and Marsupial. Breeze said they’d be the next champions. A graphic showed that the two teams would face off for the tag championships next week.
(Wells’s Analysis: That was quite a package for Breezango. It would be surprising to put in that effort for them to just go back to being a stepover team, but I really can’t see Imperium losing the championships so quickly)
-In a Network exclusive, a reporter tried to get a word with Tommaso Ciampa outside after his decimation at the hands of Karrion Kross. Ciampa calmly went about his business, got in his car, and drove away.
-Robert Stone stormed in on a Rhea Ripley interview. He said she was a loser, but he was an even bigger loser. But together, they’d be like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Rhea said the chances were one in a million. Stone predictably said “So you’re saying there’s a chance.” Ripley told Stone to walk with her. He walked right into a nut shot and Ripley laid him out.
(3) FINN BALOR vs. CAMERON GRIMES
Grimes bragged about his win during his entrance and said he was about to do it for the second time. Beth said he’d been boasting about it nonstop since it happened. Finn walked with the camera and ominously stared into it as he went to the ring.
Grimes danced around and Balor backed him into a corner. Balor tried to reach in and Grimes backed into another corner. Waistlock by Grimes, reversed, and Balor went at Grimes in a corner. Grimes hit a cheap shot on the break, then a forearm. He went for a running move but Balor was playing possum and he took Grimes down. Action went to a corner again where Grimes shoulderblocked Finn repeatedly. Action went to the floor and Finn hit a headlock. It went into a corner and the two exchanged chops. Irish whip and a chop by Finn. Repeat to the opposite corner, and once more. The audience chanted “Ten more times.”
Grimes spiked Balor and put a knee into him on the mat. He put a boot to Finn and took him down with a chop. Grimes stepped on Finn’s hand, but Balor rolled through a sunset flip and hit a basement dropkick. Grimes bailed and Finn followed and beat him against the glass and the barricade. Balor threw Grimes back in at the seven count, then walked right into a Grimes lariat. Grimes leaned on Finn for a one count, then hit a chinlock. Finn tried to work out of it but Grimes leaned on him. Balor elbowed his way out but Grimes Irish whipped Finn hard into a turnbuckle heading to commercial.
Finn was trying to fight out of a lock, but Grimes took him down with a knee. Grimes said he was always one step ahead. He ran into double boots, and Finn took down Grimes and hit a double stop. Shotgun dropkick in a corner. Finn went up and missed Coup de Grace. Oklahoma roll by Grimes got two. Grimes hit a thrustkick. Balor blocked a suplex but Grimes hit a small package for two. Balor hit a reverse neckbreaker, but Grimes reversed a shot for two. Grimes sold frustration.
Grimes wanted the Cave In, but Finn ducked and hit a reverse 1916 for a long two. Finn went up again and this time hit the Coup de Grace. Finn picked up Grimes and hit 1916 to finish.
WINNER: Finn Balor at 12:32.
After the match, Finn looked into the camera and said he’s won a lot of title, but never the North American championship.
(Wells’s Analysis: Grimes probably doesn’t lose too much here, but hopefully he isn’t off TV for a few weeks as often happens after he eats a pin. I had Finn pegged as Cole’s next major challenger after Lumis, but apparently not. Decent mat-based affair here)
(4) KACY CATANZARO vs. DAKOTA KAI (w/Raquel Gonzalez)
Kai looked amused at her competition. She pushed Kacy, who pushed back. Kai took Kacy to a corner and shoved her, but Kacy hit a senton atomico. Kai went out and looked for a PK, but Kacy missed and hit a senton to the outside. Cover got two inside. Kai hit a blade runner into a turnbuckle, then hit a face wash for two. Irish whip, but Kacy rolled up Kai for two. Kacy threw fists and shots, then a Mix corner clothesline. Kai hit a corner kick and then the GTK (Go to Kick) to finish. Kai got into the camera and said she was coming for the championship.
WINNER: Dakota Kai at 2:28.
Kayden Carter hit the ring and took down Kai. She ran into trouble with Gonzalez, who spiked her after a few escapes. Mauro called out Carter as Kacy Catanzaro’s partner as if this is common knowledge, but it’s never been established on TV.
(Wells’s Analysis: I guess we’ll get a tag match here? Kai is strangely a bit of a rebuild, after kind of hovering near but not in the main event picture for a few months, and then eating the pin on Sunday in the six-woman match that opened In Your House. Nice that Kai got this, but Nox needed some follow-up tonight, as her winning pin will mean nothing if NXT doesn’t capitalize on it and finally establish her as having some kind of personality)
-Vignette: Timothy Thatcher. He was holding a brutal, barbaric training seminar. He said it will begin…next week.
-El Hijo del Fantasma was introduced by Alicia Taylor. He started to speak one sentence in Spanish, but Drake Maverick’s music played. Drake walked to the ring in street clothes with his own mic. He congratulated Fantasma, and said what they did was special. He thanked him for the match. He said people were talking about Drake’s situation last week, but they should have been talking about him. He said Fantasma deserved to be NXT Cruiserweight Champion. He said he couldn’t help but think what would’ve happened if he had a clear head. Now that he’s a full-time contracted member of the roster, he said he knows he can beat him if he gets another opportunity. Fantasma said “Si” and went for a handshake.
The two masked luchadors ran to the ring and caught the two in a pincer attack. Finally, Fantasma completed the heel turn as he turned around slowly to Drake. The three beat down Drake, and the luchadors unmasked and for some reason the announcers were shocked to see it was Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde. Fantasma yanked off his mask and said “I am Santos Escobar, and I am the Cruiserweight Champion.” Mendoza and Wilde hit double splashes on Drake.
-Roddy found a drawing by Dexter Lumis that portrayed him lying bloody. He showed Cole and Fish, who wanted Roddy to mellow out. Cole and Fish left, and Roddy spotted Lumis in a small window in the nearby door. Roddy ran off to join UE.
(Wells’s Analysis: I would have thought Swerve or Kushida was going to be in this heel turn segment a couple of months ago, but Drake is the right sympathetic face for the job at the moment. This will likely be a feud that gets a lot of people involved. Nice that the Cruiserweight division has some real stories going on)
(5) DEXTER LUMIS vs. ADAM COLE
Non-title. The announcers said Lumis held Fish and Roddy for twelve hours after abducting them Sunday.
Lumis backed Cole to a corner. Cole wouldn’t give a clean break but Lumis reversed and threw body shots in the corner. Back elbow by Lumis, and Cole bailed. Lumis waited for UE to be out of the way and he gave chase, but Cole put boots to Lumis when he hit the ring. Headlock by Cole but Lumis broke by launching Cole out of the ring. Lumis slithered from the ring and threw an uppercut on Cole, who was draped over a rope. Back in the ring, big front elbow by Lumis. The action hit the apron and Cole hit a big boot on the apron. UE lurked nearby as the show went to its last commercial.
Cole was in control. Lumis missed a big right and Cole hit a backstabber for two. Ground and pound by Cole. Cole threw fists at a kneeling Lumis and called him a freak and a weirdo. Lumis glared up. Swinging neckbreaker by Cole. Cole draped Lumis over the second rope and went at him with boots. Neckbreaker by Cole, who told Lumis he wasn’t in his world. Lumis glared up again, and smiled. He pointed at his own face and begged for shots. Lumis hit his feet and each of his shots took down Cole. Corner clothesline and a bulldog by Lumis. Slingshot suplex by Lumis got two. Cole fought out of a fireman’s carry but Lumis hit a German suplex and floated over for two.
Cole wanted The Last Shot, but Lumis cut him off. Lumis ran into a superkick for a very long two. Cole went for a Last Shot, but Lumis ducked it. Spinebuster by Lumis, who then did some ground and pound. Lumis walked over to Cole, who dumped him out of the ring using his trunks. Fish and Strong went over to hit Lumis, but Lumis had crawled under the ring and across. Lumis went into the ring and hit a spinebuster. Lumis went up for a senton bomb but he hit Cole’s knees. Cole went up but jumped down into a Kata Gatame. The ref got hung up with Fish and Roddy distracted Lumis. Cole hit the Last Shot to finish.
WINNER: Adam Cole at 12:19.
Lumis laid in the middle of the ring. Cole stood above him and told him never to mess with UE. Lumis snapped on Kata Gatame, and Fish and Strong broke it up. Velveteen Dream paid back the favor by Dexter Lumis and ran off Roddy and Fish. Cole was the only one left in the ring, and the lights went out. The lights came up on the ramp, where Scarlett stood. She walked to the ring silently and produced an hourglass from behind her back. She flipped it over, smiled hauntingly up at Cole, and walked up the ramp. She stood at the top of the ramp in front of Karrion Kross’s tron graphic and left the frame. The final shot was Cole looking down at the draining hourglass.
(Wells’s Analysis: So…there’s a lot to take in here. Velveteen Dream apparently isn’t done with UE, despite being unable to challenge for the championship again. Dexter Lumis got his shot but has taken losses to both Roddy and Cole now, so he’d have to work his way up. I had Finn Balor pegged as the one to challenge Cole next while Kross either went for the North American championship or continued with Ciampa, but the two are going in the opposite directions I expected. NXT continues to throw some curveballs after being a good but predictable show for many years. The match itself was fine here, with a couple of near-falls, but nothing memorable. Save it for a bigger stage)
FINAL THOUGHTS: NXT’s in-ring minutes have been inching down week to week of late as the show focuses on building toward big matches in a stronger way. Tonight’s show had about 39 minutes of wrestling, counting the ad breaks in the opener, Finn-Grimes and Lumis-Cole. It’s a bit of a different show, but I think it’s doing what it’s setting out to do, and creating more sizzle for week-to-week TV and working in a lot more surprises. Karrion Kross coming in with such an obvious heel demeanor and destroying the top babyface on the brand sure wouldn’t lead one to believe Kross would go after Cole next, but indeed, he is doing so (and after the match with Ciampa, it’s obviously justified). Just three days out of TakeOver, Karrion Kross (via Scarlett), Finn Balor, Dakota Kai and Drake Maverick all made their intentions known for the belts they want, and of course we’ve got Breezango vs. Imperium next week. The Yimitless-Garganos feud also continues to bring some interesting visuals and stories, and Gargano scoring the pin on Lee would certainly seem to put Gargano back in the mix for a championship match. All in all, a very exciting show with a lot of hints toward what’s to come. Follow me on social media @spookymilk and join us live for PWT Talks NXT at half past the hour using the links and number at the top of the page.