There were some big matches on this week’s show. Raquel Gonzalez defended her NXT Women’s Championship against Mercedes Martinez, MSK were in action against Breezango, Pete Dunne fought a frustrated Leon Ruff, and Kyle O’Reilly took it to Oney Lorcan. There was the main event between Kushida and Santos Escobar in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match for the Cruiserweight Championship, an official announcement regarding Isaiah “Swerve” Scott’s new faction, and more Cameron Grimes’ shenanigans, but first off, Austin Theory faced NXT Champion Karrion Kross.
Austin Theory W/ Johnny Gargano vs Karrion Kross W/ Scarlett
Theory was reluctant to get in the ring. He hit a dropkick, but Kross was quick to inflict pain. He connected with a big boot in the corner, then delivered a standing clothesline. Kross booted Theory in the jaw as he knelt before him. He hit a Doomsday Saito and went for another one, but with the referee distracted, Theory scratched at his eyes. Outside the ring, Theory DDT’d Kross into the floor and managed to launch him into the turnbuckle. Back inside the ring, Theory was able to continue the momentum.
Theory hit a Fallaway Slam, but Kross stood up and hit two Doomsday Saitos in a row. He smashed Theory in the back of the head, then continued to smash him in the head on the ground. The match ended as Kross locked in the Kross Jacket, with Theory completely lifeless. After the match, Finn Balor appeared behind the WWE Champion. “I don’t wait in lines. I want my rematch.” Kross accepted the rematch as Balor walked off.
Winner: Karrion Kross Rating: 6.5/10
Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter)
Breeze and Lee were evenly matched in the beginning, with neither man getting an advantage. Fandango and Carter tagged in, and things started to get interesting. Carter and Breezango used their athleticism to avoid each other. The ref got in the way and was able to avoid getting hit by jumping over Breeze’s head. Crazy. After the break, Fandango hit a Falcon Arrow on Lee, but only managed a two-count. Carter tagged in and MSK chopped down Breeze with an enzuigiri and the push/flip splash.
Both teams traded blows. Breeze hit two superkicks on Lee and Carter. Fandango climbed the turnbuckle, but Carter climbed up and went for a superplex. He got pushed off but went back up to hit a big knee. Carter then hit a backflip on Breezango who were outside the ring. Breeze went for the Unprettier, but MSK hit their finisher and picked up the victory. After the match, MSK said they were ready for Legado Del Fantasma, and they weren’t hard to find.
Winners: MSK Rating: 7.5/10
Pete Dunne W/ Oney Lorcan vs Leon Ruff
Pete Dunne stood in the ring and talked about being the baddest man in NXT, and Karrion Kross can keep “ducking him.” He offered an open challenge. Ruff attacked him from behind, so the referee called for the bell to be rang. Ruff showed some early momentum, but Dunne manipulated his body, wrenching at his fingers and pulling at his wrist. Ruff fought back and hit a missile dropkick, but ate an enzuigiri. Dunne countered a sling blade with a forearm. Dunne wrapped his legs around Ruff and hit him with a barrage of elbows. The ref was forced to ring the bell, allowing Dunne to win the match. Dunne continued to attack Ruff after the bell.
Winner: Pete Dunne Rating: 5/10
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Mercedes Martinez vs Raquel Gonzalez (C) W/ Dakota Kai
Martinez clotheslined Gonzalez over the rope off the bat and continued to assault the champ outside the ring. Back in the squared circle, Gonzalez took control. Martinez fought back, but Gonzalez knocked her down with a punch, then hit a powerslam. Gonzalez followed up with a suplex and a headlock. The champ went for multiple pins and blows to the head, but Martinez refused to quit. Gonzalez connected with a lariat and a splash in the corner, followed by another slam.
Martinez went for a sleeper and wouldn’t let go. She almost got the win after a spin DDT off the ropes. Martinez took Gonzalez out on the apron with a spear. Back in the ring, she went for a pin, but Gonzalez kicked out. Outside, Gonzalez smashed her head into the barricade, then drove her into the post. She went for yet another pin, but Martinez kicked out. Gonzalez took a knee to the jaw and almost lost again. Martinez kicked Gonzalez in the chest three times, but the champ got in a big boot. She dropped Martinez with the Chingona Bomb and picked up the win.
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez (Still NXT Women’s Champion) Rating: 7.5/10
Oney Lorcan W/ Pete Dunne vs Kyle O’Reilly
O’Reilly managed to transition on the mat to a headlock. Lorcan stayed in control for a while, whipping O’Reilly into the turnbuckle. O’Reilly was able to lock in an arm lock through the ropes until Dunne got involved. As O’Reilly stared him down, Lorcan attacked from behind. Back in the ring, Lorcan hit some big chops, but O’Reilly fought back after everyone. O’Reilly delivered some knee strikes and a running forearm. He went for a heel hook, but Lorcan got to the ropes.
O’Reilly went for a guillotine then transitioned into a big knee, followed by a brainbuster. He climbed to the top rope and hit a flying knee to the back of his head for the win. After the match, Dunne and Lorcan attacked O’Reilly until Bobby Fish ran in and took them both out. Fish and O’Reilly stood in the ring together. O’Reilly thanked him and said it was good to see him, but he has his own thing going on. Fish said he knew, and he had his own scores to settle.
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly Rating: 7/10
Cruiserweight Championship 2 Out Of 3 Falls Match: Santos Escobar W/ Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde vs Kushida (C)
Escobar attacked Kushida right out the gates and knocked him outside. Wilde and Mendoza went to attack him, but MSK came to the rescue. Officials sent both tag teams to the back, as Kushida hit a Swanton off the top turnbuckle to Escobar outside. After the break, Escobar locked in a modified Boston crab. Escobar sat on the turnbuckle and dropped Kushida into it. He locked in another modified Boston crab on top of the steel steps.
Back in the ring, Escobar locked in a Mexican surfboard, transitioning into a camel clutch. Escobar took control for quite some time. Kushida almost got a pinfall after countering Escobar’s hurricanrana. Kushida ate a knee then a Phantom Driver, allowing Escobar to pick up the first fall. Escobar hit a double knee in the corner, but Kushida connected with an arm lock and made him tap to level the playing field.
Kushida drove Escobar’s arm into the mat then wrenched his arm with both legs. He continued to do damage to Escobar with various kicks. They tumbled outside the ring where Escobar charged at Kushida into the barricades. He then hit a tope con hilo on Kushida. In the ring, Kushida dropped Escobar with a hurricanrana face plant, then hit both knees into his arm. Kushida drove Escobar’s arm into the mat outside and went for the Hoverboard Lock, but Escobar rolled him up with an inside cradle and almost stole the victory.
They both reversed multiple pin attempts and clotheslined each other. Kushida connected with a Hoverboard Lock after they tumbled off the turnbuckle, but Escobar got to the rope. Kushida suplexed Escobar into the corner then did it again with the lock to bridge and get the victory.
Winner: Kushida (Still Cruiserweight Champion) Rating: 8/10
What Else Went Down
– It was announced Johnny Gargano would defend his North American Championship against Bronson Reed next week. Later that night, Gargano kicked off at Regal. The GM said it was still happening, so the North American Champ snapped his pencil. Gargano and Theory took out their frustrations on Bronson Reed in the locker rooms later in the night.
– Leon Ruff approached William Regal earlier in the day. He showed his frustrations after being told he would not compete tonight, but Regal stood his ground and refused.
– NXT TakeOver: In Your House was hyped for June 13 after it was announced earlier. You can read more about the announcement here.
– Legado Del Fantasma cut a promo backstage. Escobar said by the end of the night, he would be a two-time Cruiserweight Champion.
– A promo aired hyping Franky Monet’s first match in two weeks.
– Karrion Kross vs Finn Balor for the NXT Championship would take place in two weeks.
– Isaiah “Swerve” Scott showed up with his entourage in the parking lot. In the arena, he welcomed out his entourage, now named Hit Row. In the ring, Swerve said he was a savage and disrespectful. He said he was a dangerous man, and it was only right he recruited some people who thought the same way as he did. He introduced his members as Top Dolla (AJ Francis), Ashante “Thee” Adonis, and Brianna Brandy (B-Fab), who all took time to rap about their worth in NXT. Swerve said they are a problem. They produce hits, and if you didn’t know, now you know.
– Earlier in the night, an auction for a mansion aired. The auction started at two million dollars. Grimes got out his Mercedes and offered two million straight away. The auction kept going up until Ted DiBiase bid 20 million. Grimes went crazy and said he had had enough.
– A video package aired where Zoey Stark and Toni Storm cut promos on each other. It was announced they would go one-on-one next week.
– A superhero movie trailer-style promo aired featuring The Way. After it aired, Bronson Reed cut a promo where he said he was sick of them all. Reed said he spoke to Regal and got what he wanted. He would meet Johnny Gargano next week for the NXT North American Championship inside a steel cage.
After The Bell
Tonight’s show was a busy one, with some solid matches throughout. Raquel Gonzalez rightfully defended the Women’s Championship against Mercedes Martinez in a dominant performance overall. MSK were excellent once again, although Breezango put on a great show. The main event was the best of the evening, with Kushida and Santos Escobar proving why they’re two of the best Superstars in NXT.
I’ve not been a huge fan of Isaiah “Swerve” Scott over the years, but his new faction has me intrigued. I’m sure Leon Ruff still has unfinished business with Swerve, but I’m not sure how he’s going to get one over on him with Hit Row in Swerve’s corner. Bronson Reed vs Johnny Gargano is going to be excellent next week. They’ve built up their feud really well, and seeing it all unfold in a steel cage is going to be awesome.
Bobby Fish returning was a definite highlight. I’m glad he didn’t come to blows with O’Reilly. Finally, a rematch between Karrion Kross and Finn Balor in two weeks is going to be a show-stealer, but I’m more than sure Kross will retain. I have this weird feeling that Keith Lee is going to return and face Kross at some point, but in the meantime, there are plenty of other challengers ready to step up to the champ.
Star of the Show: Kushida Overall Rating: 7.5/10
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