SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT ON USA
AUGUST 12, 2020, 8PM EST
ORLANDO, FLA., AT FULL SAIL LIVE
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY TOM STOUP, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, Mauro Ranallo
Join the “PWT Talks NXT” Dailycast with Tom Stoup & Nate Lindberg to break down the episode:
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-A video package recapped last week’s main event angle between Adam Cole and Pat McAfee and Karrion Kross’ threat to Keith Lee and William Regal.
(1) Danny Burch vs. Karrion Kross (with Scarlett)
Burch stormed in for his entrance, unleashing a flurry of brute strikes on Kross. Burch dumped Kross over the top, but Kross dragged Burch to the floor and took the upper hand. Kross hit a saito suplex. Burch rallied with a missile dropkick and locked in a crossface. Kross rose again to hit two more saitos. Kross grabbed Burch by the ear and, referencing his backstage attack last week, said, “Do you remember this?” He locked in a sleeper and Burch faded.
Winner: Kross in 3:59.
Keith Lee entered, and Kross cleared the ring. Lee took a mic and said despite Kross’ framing, “this is on [Kross].” Lee accused Kross of not actually wanting to fight, and conjuring a clipboard added that he’d begged William Regal to book their title match for TakeOver: XXX so he could finally get Kross man-to-man. He chucked the clipboard to the mat, and with the lights dimmed Scarlett retrieved it. Kross signed the contract and solemnly returned it to the ring. Lee slowly opened the closed contract, and a burst of flame spewed forth into his eyes. He recoiled and flailed in pain as officials and medical personnel swarmed him and ushered him away with a towel over his eyes. Squinting, Lee shoved off the officials, hurled the towel, and shouted, “Where’s Kross!” The camera followed Lee backstage as he tried to will himself through the pain. Officials followed, urging he comply with the medical personnel.
-Drake Maverick and Killian Dain made their respective entrances in split screen as Lee continued to insist he was fine
(2) Killian Dain vs. Drake Maverick
Dain absorbed initial strike attempts by Maverick back in full screen before the show went picture-in-picture for the break. [c]
In picture-in-picture, Lee was shown being led into an ambulance. A bandage was tied around his eyes, and Mia Yim joined him. Dain dominated a measured pace until Maverick mounted a comeback.
Back from break, the ambulance pulled away at the same time as the Undisputed Era pulled up in a sedan. All four members of the Era ran in and mobbed Maverick to force a disqualification.
Winner: Maverick (DQ) in 5:06.
-Cole snatched a mic and angrily accused Pat McAfee of wanting to “play wrestler.” He said McAfee isn’t special, but what is special is being the longest-reigning NXT Champion of all time. He dared McAfee to show up next week for a face-to-face so Cole can tell him he’s “going to whoop that ass at TakeOver: XXX.” Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong posed with Cole in solidarity.
-Video recapping Legado del Fantasma’s attack on Breezango from last week. [c]
-Video package in which Kushida said he will be the next North American Champion no matter who his mystery opponent is in tonight’s triple threat.
(3) Tyler Breeze vs. Santos Escobar
Escobar told Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde “I got this” and sent them to the back. He effortlessly opening with an upper hand, landing chops and eventually a dropkick. He kicked away at Breeze as Breeze struggled to return to his feet. Vic Joseph announced they are expecting a medical update on Keith Lee later in the night. Escobar rolled out, and lured Breeze into a chop block and a clothesline. He said “Esta lucha” before the break. [c]
Escobar had Breeze in a headlock in the ring back from break, and nailed a Manhattan drop shortly thereafter. He went for a Phantom Driver but Breeze wriggled out of the fireman’s carry setup and mounted a comeback that culminated with a supermodel kick. Mendoza and Wilde ran in and distracted Breeze, who fell victim to a Phantom Driver for three.
Winner: Escobar in 7:53.
Fandango sauntered in, one arm in a sling and the other holding a staff. Legado del Fantasma easily disarmed the injured ‘Dango and beat him down before Isaiah “Swerve” Scott ran in and cleared the heels from the ring.
-Video package on Dakota Kai, who sarcastically talked up her TakeOver opponent Io Shirai. She claimed to know how to beat Shirai, and said she’s gotten inside Shirai’s head. “She’s in Dakota territory now,” Kai boasted, adding, “I’ve done it all on my own to get to where I am.” With no sign of Raquel Gonzalez in the video, Kai said she is the next NXT Women’s Champion. [c]
-Video package on Ridge Holland, who said “the hype is real” and that his next match will be against Johnny Gargano. He closed with, “pain is coming.”
Indi Hartwell was shown in the ring as McKenzie Mitchell caught up with a frazzled Mia Yim. Yim said she couldn’t stay at the hospital, and barely got back for her match in time to get her gear on.
(4) Indi Hartwell vs. Mia Yim
Beth Phoenix correlated Yim’s plight to her own earlier this year when Randy Orton had viciously attacked Edge. Yim took down Hartwell with a basement dropkick and hit a cannonball in the corner for two, looking somewhat distracted. The wrestlers chopped at each other before Hartwell hit a sidewalk slam for two. Hartwell sank in a headlock, and backpacked Yim as Yim rose to her feet. Yim repeatedly tried to break the hold but Hartwell would not relent. Finally Yim knocked Hartwell away but Hartwell came right back with knees and kicks for two. Commentary continued to play up Yim’s psychological situation as Yim came back with dropkicks, a neckbreaker, and a German suplex. Yim went for a package pin that Hartwell rolled through, but Yim rolled through the counter into an armlock for the tap out victory.
Winner: Yim in 5:05.
-Video package in which Finn Balor told Cameron Grimes, Kushida, and tonight’s mystery competitor to “have fun” because he’s up against the wrestler not involved in the fall for a second-chance shot to enter the Takeover ladder match.
-Damian Priest and Bronson Reed were shown preparing for their match – Reed exercising, Priest brooding while deeply reclined on a sofa. [c]
-Video package covering events between last week’s episode and now that led to Triple H challenging Pat McAfee to wrestle Adam Cole at TakeOver: XXX, and McAfee accepting. McAfee was confirmed to have accepted Cole’s earlier challenge to meet face-to-face on next week’s episode.
(5) Bronson Reed vs. Damian Priest
Priest casually prowled around the eager-looking Reed before tying up. Reed shoved Priest away. During the feeling-out phases in which Priest continued to appear perhaps overly confident, Beth Phoenix credited Priest with experience wrestling bigger men such as Keith Lee. Priest worked with his signature strikes to chop down Reed, but Reed would not fall. Priest failed to get Reed up for a suplex, and took a DDT for his efforts. Priest rolled out and shot a glare back at Reed, appearing to now know what he’d gotten himself into. [c]
Priest was wrenching a chinlock back and forth back from break, and a replay was shown of Priest shoving Reed against the steps on the outside during the break. Priest went for a Thesz press but Reed swatted him to the mat. Priest tried for a spinning kick but Reed caught him in midair then hit a senton for two. Priest eventually managed a Broken Arrow for two, and Reed responded with what Ranallo called a “vicious” suplex. Both wrestlers laid out and sold the effects of the match. Reed went for a top rope splash after smoothly countering a springboard into a powerslam and Priest tried to roll out of the way but still got caught by Reed’s knee. Reed countered another of Priest’s maneuvers into a leverage pin for the win. Priest looked shocked.
Winner: Reed in ~12:00.
-Japanese language video package in which Io Shirai accused Kai of using people to get ahead then discarding them when she’s done with them. Still no mention of Raquel Gonzalez. Shirai said she remembers when Kai was afraid of Shayna Baszler. She added that just like Baszler, Kai would be afraid of Io Shirai after TakeOver. She concluded in English by surmising that Kai is simply “no match” for her. [c]
-Video showing Cameron Grimes, at the alleged bayou, enthusiastically claiming he is going to win tonight’s triple threat to go to Takeover: XXX. He said he is going to grab the North American Championship and take it “to the moon.”
(6) Aliyah & Mercedes Martinez (w/Robert Stone) vs. Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro
Carter & Catanzaro entered together, while Martinez took her own spotlight to enter separately after Aliyah. Robert Stone, wearing a firetruck red suit, took a mic and said “The Robert Stone Brand is en fuego.” He said Catanzaro could be a member of his brand if not for hanging out with the wrong people. He obviously turned his obnoxious expression to Carter. He instructed Catanzaro to “lose the loser” but Catanzaro stomped on his recently injured foot.
With quick tags and tandem kicks Carter & Catanzaro brought the heat to Aliyah. Aliyah managed to squeak away to tag Martinez, who rocked Carter with a facebuster. Going to commercial, Ranallo said, “This match is en fuego!” [c]
Martinez was still in control of Carter after the break. Martinez hit a sharp suplex then tagged Aliyah who hit an “atomic” leg drop for two. Martinez tagged back in and choked Carter against the rope for the extent of the Official Aja Smith’s count as Aliyah shouted, “What a loser!” Aliyah came back in but got kicked in the face by Carter, who crawled to a hot tag. Catanzaro tripped the now-legal Martinez and hit a somersault kick for a pinning attempt Aliyah broke up. Martinez cleared Carter from the ring, then hit the air raid crash on Catanzaro for three.
Winners: Aliyah & Mercedes Martinez in 7:44
Aliyah shimmied in celebration with the contrarily stern Martinez, but Rhea Ripley crashed the party to stare down Martinez from the ramp. Ripley strutted toward the ring, then dashed in and booted Martinez to the mat. She slapped Martinez’ back then sank in a couple body blows in the corner. Aliyah attacked from behind allowing Martinez to gain an upper hand, but Shotzi Blackheart ran in for the save. The babyfaces stood tall as the heels backed away up the ramp.
-Video presentation from the residence of Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae. LeRae was reading a fairy tale to the couple’s French Bulldog “Pawdme”. The audio and visuals distorted as LeRae griped about people meddling in her business. From atop a ladder upon which he was changing a lightbulb, Gargano admitted Damian Priest and Bronson Reed are “hungry… one more than the other.” With the distortion effects, he continued that they aren’t, however, on his level. He said he will make his way into the TakeOver ladder match by beating Ridge Holland next week, then become the first ever two-time North American Champion. The couple retired to their bedroom for the evening. [c]
-Promotional graphic for “Triple H: The Evolution of the Game”, an album of Triple H theme songs.
-Thatch as Thatch Can. Timothy Thatcher was teaching the single-leg crab, which he won a recent match with. He described and demonstrated how to effectively utilize the hold as his unnamed student writhed in pain.
-Promotional graphics for next week: Adam Cole going face-to-face with Pat McAfee, a six-man tag between Legado del Fantasma and the team of Breezango and Swerve, and the two second-chance matches to enter the North American Championship ladder match at TakeOver.
-Vic Joseph said Keith Lee has been quoted as saying “Karrion Kross is a dead man” as an image of Keith Lee rubbing his eyes outside of an emergency room was shown. Joseph said further updates about Lee would be found on WWE’s website.
(7) Cameron Grimes vs. Kushida vs. mystery opponent to qualify for the NXT North American Championship ladder match at TakeOver: XXX
Entering last, the final entrant was revealed to be Velveteen Dream (after a deliberately misleading sequence of abstract psychedelic imagery on the tron). Dream relished the moment as he does, and confidently took control before Grimes yanked him from the ring. Dream quickly recovered, however, and hit a double axe handle from the top turnbuckle on Kushida for two. Kushida went for a handspring elbow on Grimes and inadvertently kicked Dream to the outside. He tried for a top turnbuckle attack but was crotched by Grimes. [c]
In picture-in-picture, Grimes worked over Kushida, who fired back up just in time to go back full-screen.
Back from break, all three men engaged in a fast flurry of kicks before Dream hit a superkick on Grimes and all three laid out. The wrestlers in the audience chanted “this is awesome.” Dream hit a double axe handle from the top turnbuckle to the outside on Grimes. He hit the Dream Valley Driver on Kushida but Grimes dumped him out. Joseph said Dream has no ring rust. Grimes raked Dream’s eyes on the outside, then Kushida flipped off the top turnbuckle onto Dream as Grimes evaded. Back in the ring, Kushida took Grimes down from the top turnbuckle into a cross armbreaker, but Dream came off another turnbuckle with an elbow. Kushida caught the elbow into a hoverboard lock, but Dream fought out and went for another Dream Valley Driver. Kushida wrenched back onto the arm, but while he worked the hold Grimes flew in with a Cave-In on both men. Grimes rolled Dream out of the ring, and covered Kushida for the win, and to qualify for the TakeOver ladder match.
Winner: Grimes in 9:09.
After Grimes departed in raucous elation, Dream reentered the ring and began slapping the prone Kushida. He then threw a brief hissy fit, shoving some of the ringside barricade. He reeled himself back in, and lazily spat on the canvas. He flaunted on the turnbuckle, but when he turned around Finn Bálor met him face-to-face and pointed finger guns at him. The two will meet next week to decide one of the two final TakeOver ladder match competitors.