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WELLS’S NXT TAKEOVER: IN YOUR HOUSE 2021 REPORT
JUNE 13, 2021
LIVE IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
STREAMING LIVE ON PEACOCK
REPORT BY KELLY WELLS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, Beth Phoenix
-Tonight, me and the PWT Talks NXT crew take over Wrestling Night in America after TakeOver. I’ll be joining in progress after the Triple H media call after the show.
-There was no match on the pre-show. Sam Roberts, Arash Markazi and Justin Barrasso did the usual pre-show hype and predictions from ringside.
-Todd Pettengill (in voiceover) ran down the card, starting with Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon, the ladder match, Xia Li vs. Mercedes Martinez, the winner take all six-man tag and finally the five-way main event. Dok Hendrix got in some final hype.
-Recording artist Naomi Fox rapped an In Your House branded track to open the show. Todd Pettengill entered through the house on the top of the ramp to cheers and introduced the show. The crowd was full and Pettengill called it out as the largest crowd in CWC history.
(1) MSK (Tag Team Champions) & BRONSON REED (North American Champion) vs. LEGADO DEL FANTASMA – Winners Take All match for MSK & Reed’s championships
MSK and Reed (in that order) were introduced first. MSK’s reaction was still mixed at best while Reed was cheered. LdF got a mixed reaction as some of the vocal males in the NXT crowd have been big on them for some time. All three wore entrance masks.
“Legado” chant. Raul Mendoza and Wes Lee opened. Quick mat stuff and one-counts. Reset. Rope run and a rana by Mendoza, but Lee flipped through. Blind tag to Nash Carter, who was booed by some. Wilde tagged in and worked Carter’s arm and did his dance in the corner, but Lee hit a knee in the corner. My feed cut out as my TV decided to do a full-on reset without warning. Fun!
I missed around a minute. Reed and Mendoza were legal. Blind tag by Escobar. Reed splashed Mendoza and went for a cover but Escobar charged in for a superkick. Reed was able to reverse to a spinebuster soon after. Escobar tagged Wilde, who didn’t want to enter. Press slam by Reed and a tag to Carter, then Lee, who both hit shots on Wilde. Cover by Lee for two. Tag to Carter, then Reed again, for an assisted senton for two. More quick babyface tags and the three worked together on a corner splash on Wilde and Lee, now legal, covered for two. Tag to Carter, who worked a headlock. Jawbreaker by Wilde got him out of trouble and he tagged Escobar. Action spilled outside and Carter hit a moonsault from the buckle to the floor. The other two Legado members teamed up for a tope by Wilde. Topes followed by all guys and Beth laughed through the line “It’s raining men!” Reed hit a tope to a big reaction and an “NXT” chant.
After the dust settled, Escobar was dominating Lee in the ring. He mocked Bronson Reed by holding out Lee’s hand too far away for a tag. Escobar took Lee to a corner, whipped him to another and hit double knees. He put Lee up and followed for a rana and covered for two. Bow and arrow by Escobar, who then tagged Mendoza, who hit a corner lariat on Lee in the heel corner. Quick tags and shots by Legado. Escobar hit a sweet brainbuster, followed by quick tags and an assisted 450 by Wilde for a two count. Wilde hit a headlock to slow things down after the flurry.
Rope run and Wilde missed a dropkick. Lee finally got to the corner for the hot tag to Reed. Legado fed him and he took Wilde and Mendoza out with a splash in the corner. He put both guys on his back (well, Wilde just crawled onto his back in full view) and slammed them. He slammed Wilde again and said he wanted Escobar. Wilde clipped his knee and Escobar tagged in and hit a Michinoku Driver for two, broken up by MSK. Quick tags by both guys. Wilde and Mendoza hit their tag finisher and Mendoza ran interference, but Lee flew in to break it up. Outside, Escobar was holding the North American Championship and obsessing over it, so Reed charged and broke him through the barrier. Inside, MSK hit a tandem blockbuster, then tagged Reed for a Tsunami on Mendoza to finish.
WINNERS: MSK & Reed at 13:31. (Time may be slightly off due to the blip in my TV)
(Wells’s Analysis: A fine enough spotfest, if you’re into that sort of thing, though there was very little psychology and flow other than a relatively brief heat segment on Lee. All six are capable of better wrestling matches, but the crowd got fairly into it, so I guess it did what an opener has to do.)
-Hell in a Cell spot, featuring Bianca Belair and Bayley.
-Earlier today, an unseen interviewer asked Kyle O’Reilly about tonight. The Way showed up and there was a shoving match between the men. William Regal was thankfully nearby and broke it up.
-Todd Pettengill wanted to tee up a VHS tape to hype the next match. McKenzie Mitchell showed up to say there was a better way now. Todd called her Stephanie Wiand, and when Mitchell corrected him, he said it was good because he and Wiand had no chemistry. Mitchell threw to a quick video of Mercedes Martinez beating Xia Li in the opening round of the Mae Young Classic four years ago.
(2) MERCEDES MARTINEZ vs. XIA LI (w/Mei Ying & Boa)
Martinez was introduced first. Li got the full Tian Sha entrance. Li hasn’t been winning squash matches anymore on TV recently, which made her entrance feel fresh and somewhat special again. She finished, as often, with a sword dance.
Collar and elbow. The two quickly spilled outside and Li hit some stiff shots before rolling Martinez inside. Li entered and charged into a backdrop. Martinez threw fists in the corner and hit a fallaway slam. Li went to the apron and hit a stretch while using the ropes for leverage until she had to break. Back outside, Li charged Martinez into a post. “Xia Li” chant. Li rolled Martinez inside. Li stalked Martinez and shoved her down in a corner and stomped her a bit. Li went outside and stretched Martinez around the corner post. Back inside again, Li casually slapped down at Martinez, then charged her sternum-first into the corner. Rope run and a dropkick by Li dumped Martinez to the outside. Li set up a thrustkick against the post, but Martinez moved and Li crumbled to the floor in pain. Martinez got into the ring and Li got in at the count of eight.
Forearm exchange. Li threw a kick after several shots by Martinez to take control. Li picked up Martinez, who worked Li into a butterfly suplex. Martinez missed a corner splash and Li capitalized with a pumphandle suplex. Li charged the corner but Martinez caught her and dropped her neck on the top buckle. Martinez put Li up on the second rope and hit a cliffhanger for two. Martinez held Li’s arms and threw a couple of knees. Martinez missed a running knee but hit a jumping knee just after. Boa pulled Li to the outside to boos.
Martinez exited and Boa got in her way. Martinez shoved him away and hit a backdrop on a charging Li. Martinez rolled Li inside and looked for Air Raid Crash but Li wriggled free and hit a spin kick that Martinez sold as a knockout for the three.
WINNER: Xia Li at 7:38.
After the decision, Boa handed Li a chair. She went at Martinez and missed as Martinez kicked Li’s knee. Martinez picked up the chair, laid out a charging Boa, then hit Li, and then hit Boa once more. Hard chairshot to the back of Li. A video played on the tron and Mei Ying leaned forward in her chair. Martinez hit Li again and said she wasn’t scared. Ying stood up to an “oooohhh” reaction. “You wanna go, bitch? Let’s go,” Martinez said. Ying approanced and stood ten feet from Martinez. The audience stomped their feet. Ying hit a quick shot to the neck and Martinez sold it hard. She hit Ying with a chairshot, but Ying reapplied the neck vise and tossed Martinez off the ramp to the floor. All three members of Tian Sha stood together afterward, then walked out. Vic asked what Mei Ying’s involvement means for NXT.
(Wells’s Analysis: A pretty good match here, though the heel vs. slightly bigger heel dynamic didn’t make it clear to the audience what they were supposed to cheer for. This felt like an okay feud that just barely warranted inclusion on TakeOver, but the match was strong and the involvement by Ying made it all come together. Li remains undefeated in this iteration and Ying, the former Karen Q, will finally get to show what she’s made of)
-Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher gave one of their sit-down interviews (until they tossed their chairs away). They showed a ton of fire as they cut a promo on Grizzled Young Veterans ahead of their tornado tag match this Tuesday.
-A video package hyped the history of the Million Dollar Championship. Ted DiBiase narrated us through, followed by some of the Grimes and Knight spots from this past Tuesday.
-DiBiase was introduced to cheers. A couple of PC wrestlers showed up for “security” duty and brought the Million Dollar Belt to the ring. A ladder was set up at the head of the ramp and more were around the ring.
(3) CAMERON GRIMES vs. LA KNIGHT – Ladder Match for the Million Dollar Championship
LA Knight was introduced first. He walked a few steps up the ladder on the ramp (much faster than he will during the match, no doubt) and did some taunts. He walked to the ring and posed a little. There were some cheers but he mostly got the desired heel reaction. Grimes got the pop of the night so far. I had a feeling the reaction for him would be strong once the crowd was back. I feel like I could see genuine happiness on his part at the strength of the reaction.
A few guys chanted “LA Knight” and they got booed by the rest of the crowd. “Cameron Grimes” chant. He soaked it up. The two exchanged some headlocks. Rope run and a shoulderblock by Knight. Knight did his pointing taunt and Grimes put him on the mat, then taunted him by saying “You can kiss my grits” as he pointed to his rear. Knee by Grimes. Wicked thrustkick followed. Rope run and Knight kicked Grimes but walked right into a rana. Knight headed outside and rolled in a ladder. Grimes tried to intercept but Knight dumped him. Knight tried to throw a ladder on Grimes, who moved. Grimes entered and Knight hit a knee, then mocked the “To the moon” taunt. Knight dumped Grimes and brought in a ladder and started up. Grimes ran in and met him at the middle and the two spilled out. A ladder almost fell on the announce table and Beth yelped in surprise.
Both guys got ladders and Beth called their meeting in the middle a “ladder joust.” Knight spilled to the floor and Grimes speared Knight against the barricade with a ladder. Grimes hit a PK from the apron and the crowd stomped for him. Grimes rolled a ladder into the ring but Knight fought his way back in it and put Grimes into the barricade to boos. He then used a ladder, halfway over the edge of the mat, and spun it to hit Grimes. Knight posed on the steps and got a lot of boos. Knight asked a fan at ringside if they like Grimes and want to meet him. He threw Grimes against the Plexiglass in front of the fan. Knight got up in DiBiase’s face and talked about how good he was looking in the match. He poked Grimes’s eyes and tossed him into another barricade.
Knight grabbed another ladder and set it up across the apron and barricade. He went to the ring and exchanged shots with Grimes, then hit a springboard block into the ring. He set up a ladder upright but leaning in a corner, then went to Grimes and tried to throw him into it. Grimes blocked and hit a belly-to-back suplex on Knight into the ladder. Grimes swung the ladder into Knight, then tried to slide it into Knight’s junk but Knight hopped out of trouble and hit a cutter on Grimes into the ladder, up on its side on the mat. That could’ve been painful.
Knight went out and got a taller ladder. Grimes reached for it instinctively and Knight stomped him to slow him down. Knight set up the ladder but Grimes kicked him from between the rungs. Knight charged Grimes into the ladder face-first, then leaned the tall ladder against the top rope and put the small one on top of a corner post. He told Grimes he was going to take him to the moon, but Grimes reversed and charged Knight into the post ladder to cheers and a “to the moon” chant.
Grimes fired up and hit a bevy of kicks to the chest. Knight yanked him to the mat to cut him off. Rope run and Grimes backdropped Knight into the tall ladder, still leaning on a top rope. Grimes then swung Knight over the top rope where he crashed onto the ladder set up across the barricade and apron. Grimes said “I want that gold!” and he went and got the gold ladder at the head of the ramp with all the dollar signs on it. Grimes started up the ladder and reached the top, but Knight, hidden by the camera angle, got there to meet him. Grimes tossed him to the floor but Knight pushed over the ladder. Knight charged Grimes, who hit his twisting cross-body. “This is awesome” chant.
Both guys sold for a bit. Knight got to his feet first and put boots to Grimes. Grimes went out to the entrance ramp side and Knight brought a ladder to toss it on Grimes’s back. He then stood a ladder up and used another to set up across the second rope and a ladder run. Grimes hit Knight with a running knee and they fought over near DiBiase (who was next to the announce table). Knight tried to run Grimes into a ladder, but Grimes climbed it, hopped to the steel structure, and hit a cross-body on Knight on the floor.
Back inside, Grimes set up the money ladder and went up. He was near the top but Knight caught up with him. Knight pulled him down but Grimes hit a rana. Grimes hurried up the ladder but Knight pushed the other side and Grimes fell outside on the ladder structure on the ramp side. Knight set up the money ladder and retrieved the case holding the Million Dollar Championship to win.
WINNER: LA Knight at 19:23.
DiBiase unlocked the case and gave the belt to Knight, who paraded around with it while pyro shot from around the ring.
(Wells’s Analysis: These two are so strong in their current roles that, for once, the NXT crowd – not known for playing along – gave both the intended response to their characters. The result was a crowd that added to an already strong match that had some strong ladder spots but a lot of good and mostly older-school wrestling as well. I’m sure the main even will be a perfectly enjoyable schmoz, but this match set a pretty good bar to clear)
-Todd Pettengill was going to promote some NXT merchandise, but Hit Row walked into frame and used the moment to promote one of their shirts as well as a new single by the foursome called “How You Know,” streaming now.
-Pete Dunne and Karrion Kross were being pulled apart in a conference room backstage. They’re trying hard to convince us that there’s a personal issue in the main event when it’s really just five of the top stars in a championship match with little build.
-Hype for Gonzalez vs. Moon centered on Gonzalez taking out Shotzi Blackheart, making Ember Moon’s quest personal.
(4) EMBER MOON vs. RAQUEL GONZALEZ (c) (w/Dakota Kai) – NXT Women’s Championship
Challenger entered first. Alicia Taylor handled formal intros.
Moon ducked trouble and hit an early rana. Shots in the corner by Moon. Gonzalez missed a lariat and Moon went for a cross-body but got shoved to the mat. One-arm powerbomb was countered and Moon scissored Gonzalez into the corner. Kai distracted Moon briefly and Gonzalez chucked Moon to the floor and Kai made a big production of Moon’s failure. Gonzalez tossed Moon back in for a two count. Gonzalez shoved Moon headfirst into a corner and threw some knees. Whip to the corner. Moon wriggled free of a slam and put a boot to her, then went for a top rope lungblower but got caught and Gonzalez hit a sidewalk slam, then a senton from the second rope for two.
Gonzalez showed a little frustration and she pulled Moon to her feet, then racked her with a Canadian backbreaker and flipped her forward to her back for a bad landing and a two count. Gonzalez smacked Moon in the head a couple of times dismissively and Moon threw body shots to try to get back in it. Moon blocked a move and threw a superkick to create separation. Step-up enzuigiri by Moon. Rope run and a clothesline. Moon hit another superkick and threw a huge forearm to finally put the champ on the mat. Code Red by Moon got two. Kai tried to pump up her running buddy.
Moon worked a leg submission and Kai helped push the rope closer to Gonzalez so she could reach it and break. Gonzalez left the ring and regrouped with Kai and Moon hit a tope on Gonzalez against the announce table. Moon threw Gonzalez’s head against the table, then pushed her back into the ring. Blade runner by Moon got two. Moon went to the top and again, Kai distracted her. Superplex by Gonzalez got two. Gonzalez wanted a one-arm powerbomb but Moon reversed into a rollup for two. Gonzalez slammed Moon for two. Gonzalez wanted a delayed suplex but Moon turned it into a sort of Eclipse on the floor. Moon went to the second rope and hit a lungblower. Moon went up to the top for the Eclipse and hit it. Kai threw Gonzalez’s leg on the bottom rope to break.
Shotzi Blackheart charged the ring and beat Kai around the ring. The two fought on the ramp and Blackheart got the better of it. They fought up and offstage. The audience stomped and clapped for Moon. Moon put Gonzalez into the post, then went to the top with Gonzalez on the apron. Moon hit a DDT to the raised ramp and then rolled Gonzalez’s dead weight into the ring for a long two count. Moon did some overacting to show frustration and went up for the Eclipse again. This time, Gonzalez caught her. The two reversed a few times and Gonzalez hit Snake Eyes on Moon, then hit her single-arm powerbomb (now called the Chingona Powerbomb) to finish.
WINNER: Raquel Gonzalez at 12:37.
(Wells’s Analysis: This match did a pretty good job of maintaining Gonzalez’s status as a monster while also giving Moon the implied victory with the Eclipse. Shotzi Blackheart is back in the mix and now we seem to be back to the tag feud we had in the beginning.)
-Todd Pettengill was backstage with a Karate Fighters toy, and he said he couldn’t wait to play. Dexter Lumis was across the table. Lumis cracked his knuckles and they started playing. Pettengill asked Lumis how the women were treating him these days. Lumis got intense (well, more so) and ripped Pettengill’s Karate Fighter from its base. Pettengill called Lumis the winner.
-The announcers promoted the Great American Bash on NXT on July 6th, followed by this week’s NXT including the Thatcher/Ciampa vs. GYV match as well as a Kushida Open Challenge.
-Main event hype.
(5) KARRION KROSS (c) (w/Scarlett) vs. KYLE O’REILLY vs. PETE DUNNE vs. JOHNNY GARGANO vs. ADAM COLE – Fatal Five-Way match for the NXT Championship
Because nothing can be simple, my router crashed during the first introduction (O’Reilly). I still don’t have the ability to rewind or pause on Peacock, so this is joined probably around five minutes in progress.
Tom Stoup relayed the opening that each challenger attacked Kross black ninja-style and got beaten away early.
Presently, Kross powerbombed Dunne onto Gargano and O’Reilly. Cole taunted Kross from outside and Kross followed him out and shoved him from the ramp. Dunne and Gargano hit the ramp and attacked Kross, breaking him through the front door of the house at the top of the ramp. In the ring, Cole and O’Reilly paired off. Single-leg dropkick and an ushigoroshi by Cole got two. Cole went up for Panama Sunrise but Gargano got involved. Gargano stacked the other two in the corner and ran toward them, but Dunne charged in and rolled up Gargano for two. Gargano hit a DDT and then darted Dunne into the other two, and covered Dunne for two. Superkick party ended with Cole covering Gargano for two. Kross was still out of action.
Cole and O’Reilly exchanged shots and O’Reilly caught Cole in an anklelock. Cole threw O’Reilly to the ropes, where an unseen Kross caught him and folded him up over the barricade. Kross bombed Gargano hard on the apron. Oh god, that looked painful. Double suplex to Dunne and Cole. In the ring, Kross hit a tornado F5 on Gargano for two. Cole entered as well and Gargano used Cole’s body to hit a big DDT on Kross. Gargano hit a tope on O’Reilly, then hit a dropkick on Cole and charged and hit a DDT on Dunne. He entered the ring and Cole missed Last Shot and Gargano put on GargaNo Escape. Reversals led to Panama Sunrise, countered to a trap pin for two.
I lost another 30 seconds as Peacock dropped, even though my internet didn’t. All five were in the ring. The challengers were in the four corners and Kross hit corner lariats on everyone. The lot of them threw enough shots to stagger him, then turned their attention on one another and all five hit rapid impact moves too quickly to relay. Kross hit his feet first. German suplex for O’Reilly. Another for Cole. One for Gargano. Dunne countered one and hit a superkick. Kross went to the apron and took kicks from Gargano and Cole. Kross was draped over the top rope, and Cole and O’Reilly shared a tentative look, then worked together to splash Kross on the announce table.
Again, Kross was out of the action. In the ring, the four exchanged rapid forearms. Submissions by Dunne and O’Reilly, who tossed their victims and turned to each other. Quick reversals and a guillotine by Dunne. O’Reilly reversed to a triangle but Cole recovered, tossed Dunne and hit a high ushigoroshi on O’Reilly for a two count. Cole and Dunne exchanged chops. Gargano stepped in. Quick impact shots and covers by Gargano, Dunne and Cole. One Final Beat by Gargano got two, broken up by O’Reilly. “Fight forever” chant.
O’Reilly and Gargano paired off. Knees and kicks by O’Reilly. He went up for a top-rope move on Gargano, but Cole shoved him off and hit Panama Sunrise on Gargano. Two count and Dunne yanked Cole outside and suplexed Cole on the floor. Kross was back in it. Dunne begged him back into the ring, looking for a fight. Dunne went at Kross with rapid fire forearms. Kross hit a German, more or less no-sold, and Dunne hit the Bitter End for…two?! Dunne slapped on a submission and all three other challengers hit the ring to break it up.
Dunne hit kicks on Gargano on O’Reilly. Cole went for a low blow but Dunne worked the digits. Kross hit a double Saito suplex on Dunne and Cole. Discus elbow for Cole. Kross put Kross Jacket on Dunne. Dunne fought back and worked the digits on Dunne. Gargano flew in for One Final Beat on Dunne. Kross Jacket for Gargano. Gargano rolled into a pin combo for two, but Kross held on. Last Shot from Cole to Kross. O’Reilly eliminated Cole. Flying knee by O’Reilly on Kross. Two count, broken up by Cole. Cole superkicked everyone. Last Shot on O’Reilly missed. Leg lock by O’Reilly on Cole. He pulled Cole to the middle of the ring, and Kross put the Kross Jacket on O’Reilly. O’Reilly passed out.
WINNER: Karrion Kross at 26:26.
After the match, McKenzie Mitchell went to catch up with William Regal as he was leaving the arena, looking tired. She asked what he thought of TakeOver. He said he had never in his seven years as GM of NXT seen so much chaos and bedlam. He said it was time for a change.
(Wells’s Analysis: The match had some good spots, but nothing that felt overly new and undone. There was a LOT of selling by multiple guys outside the ring in this one, which also didn’t help. On the positive side of things, this brand has certainly done everything it can do to promote Kross as an almost undefeatable monster. He had multiple segments where he dominated, and was twice taken out in a big way only to come back and clean up. The crowd was another noteworthy story here, as they continue to relentlessly cheer Cole no matter what act he’s portraying. While that’s annoying to watch, the company has to see that turning Cole heel again so quickly when this audience wants to make him the centerpiece of the brand is a losing proposition. Kyle O’Reilly is collateral damage to that situation, as the crowd seems against him more because of his beef with Cole than anything else. I missed the first segment of the match and another 30 seconds within thanks to internet and Peacock, but I can’t say this was an overly memorable TakeOver main event)
FINAL THOUGHTS: It seemed like a rushed build to everything on this show other than the LA Knight-Cameron Grimes match. As such, I can’t say it’s a surprise that fans were so much more invested in that one than the other undercard matches (and perhaps even the main event). Four titles were on the line, but none changed hands (I’m not counting the Million Dollar Championship…yet). The most noteworthy moment, as a result, was likely the William Regal moment at the end where he unofficially announced his retirement from the GM position on NXT. I have loved Regal as GM, primarily because he’s been great in any segment asked of him but also because he hasn’t eaten up screen time. If he’s really stepping away, I shudder to think of NXT with a heel authority figure, or some other overused and tired trope. If Regal truly is to be out of that role on TV, I hope it isn’t filled and there is no assumed need to fill the role period.
I’m off to the Triple H media call and will join Wrestling Night in America afterward. Cheers.