SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT ON USA
JUNE 8, 2021, 8PM EST
LIVE IN ORLANDO, FLA., AT CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY KELLY WELLS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, Beth Phoenix
Join the “PWT Talks NXT” Dailycast with me, Tom Stoup and Nate Lindberg to break down the episode:
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-Hype for NXT TakeOver: In Your House 2021.
(1) ONEY LORCAN vs. AUSTIN THEORY
The two are defending the honor of Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano, respectively, after the events leading to Adam Cole breaking up the triple-threat last week.
Lorcan grounded Theory with an arm wringer. Theory broke and got up. Standing dropkick in the corner by Theory led to a headlock to ground Lorcan. Lorcan reversed to a headscissors. Theory fought his way to another reversal and headlock. The two got to their feet and exchanged European uppercuts. The crowd did a “yay/boo” thing in favor of Theory. Lorcan took down Theory to boos. Theory kicked his way out of a half-crab and hit some strikes in the corner and a suplex to some cheers. Theory taunted Lorcan, who exploded with a chop and then stomped Theory in the corner. Rope run and a back elbow by Lorcan. Uppercut put Theory down again. Lorcan dumped Theory to the apron and then cleared him to the floor with a kneelift. The two exchanged shots on the foot of the ramp and action went back to the apron, where Lorcan tripped Theory to land hard on the apron and then the floor. Pete Dunne appeared on the top of the ramp heading to split-screen commercial.
Back to full-screen, Gargano had also come to ringside. Lorcan hit some running uppercuts, but then ran into a jumping blockbuster. The two exchanged some shots on their knees, then their feet. Theory clotheslined Lorcan out to the announcer side and Lorcan regrouped with Pete Dunne. The ref counted to five and Lorcan hopped in and shoved Theory to the outside on the ramp side. Gargano and Dunne loomed close as Theory threw Lorcan twice into the barricade. Action went back inside and Theory hit a couple of lariats and a fallaway slam out of the corner. Theory charged and ate boots in the corner but got hit with a leaping springboard Spanish Fly that has to be seen to be appreciated.
Action went outside again and the two clotheslined one another. Gargano and Dunne got close and came to blows and fought up the ramp. A bevy of referees hit the stage to try to break them up. The two were taken offstage and Lorcan, who was paying no attention to them as Theory was distracted, hit his finisher.
WINNER: Oney Lorcan at 12:35.
(Wells’s Analysis: It’s rare for me to recap an Oney Lorcan singles win. I feel like if either of these sides would turn face, it would be Dunne/Lorcan, but that might be an uphill battle against the fans. A good match while it lasted that hints at a longer Dunne-Gargano feud, which feels fresh right now, but awkward given the heel-heel dynamic)
-LA Knight segment. He was in a posh house with a couple of girls who hung on his every word as he took them to a hot tub and told them a story about what he was going to do when he joined Ted DiBiase. He drove off in an expensive car.
-Dok Hendrix appeared for hype for In Your House. He promoted Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon, Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight, Xia Li vs. Mercedes Martinez and the fatal five-way for the NXT Championship.
-Brief recap of MSK defeating Legado del Fantasma in the main event last week after Bronson Reed came out to even the odds. At present, all three members of Legado were in the ring and Santos Escobar made threats to Reed, who hit the ramp and asked to see the moment where he flattened Escobar again. He threw to the moment over and over as Legado lost their minds in the ring. Escobar asked Reed to hit the ring and do it again. Reed went to the ring, and once he got there, MSK’s music played and all six got set for action, but Legado took off out of the ring instead. Escobar challenged the other three to a six-man match where both championships are on the line. The faces agreed.
Hit Row’s music played and all four members hit the ramp and walked down and first stood face to face with Legado, and then all hit the ring and did the same with MSK & Reed. Swerve and company laughed them off as they left ringside to make way for Swerve vs. Killian Dain after the break.
(Wells’s Analysis: I thought they might insert Hit Row to the match and make it 3 vs. 3 vs. 3, but if that’s happening, it wasn’t in this segment. As for the stipulation…ugh. I’m up for just about any type of gimmick match, but titles changing hands in matches like this is such a turnoff. I know there’s only so much time in a PPV, but I’d much rather they pick one or the other. It’ll still be an excellent show opener, of course)
(2) KILLIAN DAIN (w/Drake Maverick) vs. ISAIAH “SWERVE” SCOTT (w/Hit Row)
Dain backed Swerve to a corner and broke as Swerve begged off through the ropes. Dain wrenched Swerve’s arm and took him down. Swerve kipped up and Dain put him down with a shoulderblock while holding the arm. Repeated. Fireman’s carry takedown by Dain. Swerve suckered Dain in for a kick, and then slapped Dain on the back of the head. Swerve slipped out of the ring to Hit Row and Top Dolla distracted Dain long enough for Swerve to get some shots in, but Swerve ran into a lariat by Dain. The two went to the apron and Dain tossed Dain back in, but Breanna Brandi distracted Dain and Swerve hit a big boot. Back inside and Swerve leaned on Dain for a one count. He did the same with a knee to the throat and got a one count. Pump kick by Swerve, who tried another but got caught. Swerve slapped Dain, who slapped back. Forearm exchange was won by Dain, who hit some body shots in the corner. Short-arm clothesline by Dain. Swerve ran the ropes into a Dain cross-body for two.
Dain put up Swerve into a fireman’s carry, but Swerve escaped and hit a leaping facebuster. Two count. Dain fought off some shots and planted Swerve for a senton. Dain started up the corner and Ashante Adonis tripped him. Maverick flew in with a senton on Adonis but Top Dolla flattened Maverick with a slam on the apron. In the ring, Swerve took advantage of the distraction and tripped Dain from the corner and hit his finisher.
WINNER: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott at 6:38.
(Wells’s Analysis: Hit Row’s act continues to hit on all cylinders, and in this context it’s not hard to imagine Swerve getting to the level of NXT Champion down the road. Decent match with a couple of imperfect moments and falls)
-Poppy walked around backstage ahead of whatever her appearance is tonight. Elsewhere, the women of The Way were being interviewed. Candice LeRae didn’t appreciate Poppy hanging around backstage but Indi Hartwell was more revved up about the idea that Dexter Lumis might still love her. She left, and LeRae said to McKenzie Mitchell, “They were never even a thing.”
-Cameron Grimes did a cannonball in his pool. He talked to the camera through the legs of an unseen woman from inside the pool. He said he’d be the one to join Ted DiBiase. He lit a $100 bill with a Cuban cigar and coughed horribly, then sipped Scotch and choked on it. He got a massage from a personal masseuse, then gave one to her. He said he was going to the moon and drove off in his car.
(3) MERCEDES MARTINEZ vs. AMARI MILLER
Martinez entered for a match but was immediately attacked by Xia Li on the ramp. The two brawled on the ramp and Martinez finally got to the ring, where her enhancement opponent stood waiting. Mercedes insisted on a match and she hit Air Raid Crash almost immediately. She yelled into the camera that Xia Li messed with the wrong one.
WINNER: Mercedes Martinez at 0:17.
(Wells’s Analysis: The enhancer wasn’t named and I don’t recognize her (EDIT: thanks to Joel Pearl for her name))
-Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell was with Breezango, who in their silly way, promoted a match with Imperium after their ongoing issues. Breeze walked off first, and Fandango started off, walked back in to show off his upper chest to Mitchell for no reason in a pretty funny moment, and then walked off again.
-Triple H, William Regal and Poppy stood together backstage. Poppy uploaded her new album to Spotify as they all stood together and Triple H put her over. Dexter Lumis popped into frame and presented a drawing of Poppy to her. Poppy hugged him, and he looked shocked. Indi Hartwell showed up just then and cried when she saw the hug.
-Cameron Grimes and LA Knight arrived at the same time outside and did some jawing ahead of their appearance for Ted DiBiase’s announcement. Grimes talked incessantly over Knight, who was annoyed.
Ted DiBiase’s “Priceless Announcement”
Knight started out to the ring first, but Grimes cut off his music to play his own awesome theme (seriously, Josiah Williams should’ve been retained for that alone). Ted DiBiase said at In Your House, it was time for the two of them to climb the ladder…of success. A ladder descended from the ring as DiBiase’s theme played. Knight said there was nothing to do to stop him from carrying the legacy of the Million Dollar Man. Grimes took offense to Knight calling him a hillbilly. He said from the top of his hill, he was looking down at Knight. He said it was about what happens between these ropes, and Grimes fired up and said he couldn’t be stopped “in front of these fans.” He started up the ladder and asked DiBiase what was going to be above the ring. DiBiase said he was glad he asked. He told two security guys to bring it in. One set a briefcase on a podium and he revealed the much-teased Million Dollar Belt. Both guys sold it as a huge deal and couldn’t take their eyes from it.
(Wells’s Analysis: A fun reveal despite how out there the secret was, though this show has six championships already so I could do without this one being yet another defended championship. It’s better used as just a prop for whichever guy wins it, though occasionally a face can goad them into putting it on the line)
-Backstage, William Regal and “security” were breaking up a brawl between Kyle O’Reilly and Karrion Kross.
-Ever-Rise promoted that they’d be the hosts of the In Your House Pre-Pre-Show before the Pre-Show.
-A graphic promoted the Million Dollar Championship Ladder Match.
(4) AUGUST GREY & IKEMEN JIRO vs. GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS (Zach Gibson & James Drake)
Grey & Gibson to start. Surprisingly, no mic time for GYV. Rope run and a headscissor takedown by Grey. Tag to Jiro. Gibson put him out on the apron but he got in and hit a few shots on Gibson using his jacket to cheers. Gibson made the tag and the two teamed up to clear Grey from the apron and then hit a tandem slam on Jiro into the ropes. After a couple of quick tags, Drake hit a dragon screw on Jiro. Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa showed up with chairs and sat at ringside. Grey took advantage and beat down both guys. He tried sliced bread but Drake fought it off and made the tag. Ticket to Mayhem.
WINNERS: Grizzled Young Veterans at 4:58.
After the match, GYV and the tough guys fought a war of words and GYV wanted a tornado match next week. Ciampa said they loved tornadoes and they didn’t have to wait for next week. The faces charged the ring, but GYV slipped out up the ramp. Thatcher said he’d enjoy breaking their limbs.
(Wells’s Analysis: So strange to see Ciampa in a position to be missing TakeOver, even as he’s in a feud. The tornado match should be fun, but hell to recap)
-Bobby Fish was doing some sparring to prepare for his comeback. He said he hasn’t forgotten about Oney Lorcan.
-Candice LeRae went to the ring and said she was sick of Poppy. She said she hijacked her interview last week and stole Indi’s man this week. She said Poppy could do this the easy way – come out and face her – or she could give her a proper introduction to the NXT parking lot.
A Poppy song played, bringing her out t the ramp. She had a mic. She said “I don’t wrestle. But I know someone who does.” Io Shirai’s music played to bring her back to NXT after weeks of not appearing since her title loss. Poppy helped Shirai out of her jacket and Shirai hit the ring and unloaded on LeRae, who hit her big spots (other than the Over the Moonsault) and LeRae skinned out and seethed on the ramp as Shirai and Poppy waved goodbye to her.
-Dok Hendrix NXT TakeOver: In Your House slam jam update. He now added the six-man “Winners Take All” match as well and updated the Grimes-Knight match to be a ladder match.
*NXT Championship: Karrion Kross vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole
*NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon
*Ladder Match for the Million Dollar Belt: Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight
*Winners Take All match for the tag and North American Championships: MSK & Bronson Reed vs. Legado del Fantasma
*Mercedes Martinez vs. Xia Li
-During the break, Io Shirai and Poppy awkwardly had a run-in with Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez.
(5) EMBER MOON vs. DAKOTA KAI (w/Raquel Gonzalez)
The two punched at the same time and hit fists. Moon backed Kai to a corner and Kai took Moon to another. The two kept the tie-up and Moon battered Kai in a corner, but Kai tripped her and hit a face wash in the corner. Kai took Moon and leaned on her with a boot in another corner. Irish whip and another face wash by Kai. Cover for two. Kai hit a pump kick on Moon’s back and then charged in and lifted her just to shove her face. Hard right forearm by Kai. Rope run and Moon hit a single-leg dropkick. Trip and a flatliner by Moon got two. Snap mare and a kick to the back by Moon. Uppercut by Moon, who then whipped Kai and hit a back elbow in the corner. She tried the same in the opposite corner but Kai evaded the extra shot and they fought over the top rope. Kai dragged Moon partially out and slung her into the post and to the floor to boos as the match went to split-screen.
Back from split-screen, Moon fought back with a couple of lariats, when hit a jawbreaker from the second buckle for two. Moon back kicked Kai and ran the ropes, where Kai hit her with a big boot. Kai kicked the grounded Moon in the back but Moon evaded the next one and hit a somersault stunner for two. Dragon sleeper by Moon, but Kai planted Moon to break and covered for two. Kai hit a series of quick kicks, then a few of her lesser-used kicks leading into a big boot in the corner for two. Kai and Gonzalez sold frustration. Moon hit a powerbomb for two and it was Moon’s turn to sell frustration. Kai bailed and regrouped with Gonzalez. Moon went outside and avoided a kick by Moon just to get hit with another. Moon cleared out Kai and then hit a tope on both into the front of the announce table. Back inside and a pump kick by Moon, who went up for Eclipse. Gonzalez charged in with a big kick for the DQ.
WINNER: Ember Moon (dq) at 12:30.
After the bell, Moon fought off the pair and hit the Eclipse on Gonzalez to cheers. She picked up the Women’s Championship belt and dropped it on Gonzalez, who sold the Eclipse as a knockout. Kai checked on Gonzalez as Moon’s music played.
(Wells’s Analysis: A pretty nice match where both went deeper into their toolkits. Gonzalez causing the DQ was a likely finish to move their story forward, and they went all in to sow doubt by giving Moon a visual knockout leading to what I expect will be a loss for her in her quest to become champion again)
-Karrion Kross and Scarlett appeared in a video. Kross said tonight was the chance for all the other men to show what they can do. Don’t be late. Tick tock.
-It’s official: tornado match next week will pit Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher against Grizzled Young Veterans.
-William Regal hit the ring to warn Karrion Kross that he didn’t run this show and he knew how this would end. Kross said he wasn’t leaving until everyone showed up and he beat their asses. Kyle O’Reilly hit the ring and said he was right here. He said he was the most dominating champion we’ve ever seen, but also the most insecure. He said all his posturing was just compensating. Johnny Gargano showed up and asked somebody to call a doctor for those sick burns. He asked Kross if he was gonna let a guy in a jean jacket talk to him like that. He said if he were Kross, he would choke out Kyle right now, but don’t trip because we know you’re not the most graceful guy in that ring. Pete Dunne told everyone to shut up and he was sick of talking and waiting. He wanted to show them how good he was right now.
Adam Cole showed up via the tron and said if they think he’s going to show up after the way he embarrassed them, they’re wrong. He said he verbally annihilated Kross to his face last week and he didn’t do jack. He said Kross didn’t want the world to see him run circles around him and he didn’t blame him. He told the boys they could get back to their hissy fit and he’d see them Sunday. All four guys in the ring came to blows and some security guys got involved to take bumps. Kross was shown to be the dominant one early as he threw Saito suplexes on everyone, including the security guys. Things evened up and everyone got shots in. Again, Kross stood tall above everyone before long and he held up his belt and said “one versus everyone!” It looked like the fade-out moment, but Adam Cole flew in and hit a superkick. He got quite a few cheers as he posed with the belt as the show went off five past the hour.
(Wells’s Analysis: These go-home segments to promote multi-man matches are always so contrived with their metered entrances, but getting all five in the ring together just once probably did a lot to get people warmed up for the match. Though all of them are either at the main event level or have spent time there, this match is being promoted pretty obviously as only having two possible winners – Kross or Cole. I’ve got Kross retaining here, I think, but I can’t say I’m certain as I’ve already gone broke predicting Kross would lose a match and then head up to the main roster)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Kind of a busy go-home show, as matches were either amended or added to a rapidly approaching TakeOver show. One of the show’s hottest acts, Hit Row, somehow aren’t booked for the show but I wouldn’t write off them becoming a third component in the Winners Take All match. With so much of the top of the card tied up in Sunday’s main event, it opens up the rest of the card to be more experimental than usual, and it could end up being a very different feel as a result. Nothing tonight was all that bad – other than a singles championship being put up in a six-man tag match – but it was a very busy show that made it feel like a lot of build was crammed into a needlessly small amount of time. I enjoy the chance for the weekly show not to feel like a constant march toward a TakeOver, but getting the top men’s and women’s matches booked earlier than twelve days out is probably prudent. Catch me, Tom Stoup and Nate Lindberg on PWT Talks NXT tonight or stream tomorrow. Cheers.