It’s time for another big NXT Takeover event, folks. Takeover: In Your House, coming to us from the Capitol Wrestling Center, but this will be in front of the biggest crowd in the CWC’s brief history.
On paper, this isn’t the best-looking card that we’ve ever seen for a Takeover event, but there’s still a ton of potential here. As always, I’m here for my Running Diary of the live show, so let’s not waste any more time.
Are you ready?
If we’re all ready, then it’s time… say it with me, everybody…
LESS DEW EET!!!
(0:01) I love the opening to the show, with the throwbacks to the 90’s and the old WWF In Your House days, including Todd Pettengill doing the voice work.
(0:04) We go from Todd Pettengill to Dok Hendrix. Beautiful.
(0:04) A woman is out to do a very poor lip sync to an In Your House song. Then again, she’s very busty and is ready to spill out of her dress, so nobody is going to notice anything else.
(0:06) Pettengill is the “host” of tonight’s show. He greets everyone, and we’re moving right into our first match. Bronson Reed and MSK vs Legado Del Fantasma in a Winners-Take-All Match. If Legado Del Fantasma win this match, Santos Escobar becomes the North American Champion while Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza become the new Tag Team Champions. There’s a ton of talent in this one.
(0:10) It’s not a huge crowd at the CWC, but still very clearly bigger than the usual NXT crowd. The added noise is welcome to the presentation.
(0:13) Mendoza runs into a Bronson Reed lariat, and it sounds like a watermelon fell from the roof and hit the sidewalk. Ouch.
(0:13) lol @ the story so far being Escobar not wanting anything to do with Reed, so he tags his partners in immediately as soon as he gets tagged.
(0:17) I like the pacing of this. We get some nice spots when MSK is in the ring, and then it slows down with some fun power spots when Reed tags in.
(0:20) I know Reed just got a push into midcard title territory, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the main event. Just throwing that out there.
(0:22) Pretty sure Bronson Reed just killed Santos Escobar dead by tackling him through the ringside barricade just now. Good Lord.
(0:23) Tsunami Splash from Reed picks up the victory for the champions, who all retain their titles. That was a fun opener. Good action throughout. I’ll give it 3.5 stars, but I’m thinking we’ll see some 3.75 and 4 star ratings from others.
(0:26) Footage from earlier today, where Kyle O’Reilly nearly got into a brawl with The Way in the parking lot. The NXT parking lot continues to be the single most dangerous place in the world. Crimes and attempted crimes happen there at a higher rate than should be humanly possible.
(0:28) Mercedes Martinez vs Xia Li is up next. This is another wrestling match that both participants should win, so it will be interesting to see what happens. Martinez deserves to be one of the top talents on the brand, but NXT has spent a lot of time and effort in building Xia Li up. This should be incredibly hard-hitting, no matter the outcome.
(0:32) From a pure presentation aspect, Xia Li looks like a total superstar now. From the moment you see her in her ring entrance, to her ring gear and her hair and makeup, they’ve done a really good job in building her up.
(0:34) Li is dominating the match so far. Well, until I was halfway through that sentence, when Mercedes ducked a kick and Xia’s leg smacked the ring post. I was going to say how weird it is to see Mercedes Martinez get beat up like that.
(0:37) This has been everything I hoped it would be. They’re both delivering some stiff strikes and throwing each other all around the ring.
(0:38) Xia Li picks up the win after knocking Martinez out with a kick. Not a very long match, but I don’t think many expected it to be. A couple more minutes would’ve been beneficial there, and would’ve allowed for the match to get a higher grade. As it is, I’ll go with 3 stars and say that the match was building.
(0:40) After the match, Li goes to take Martinez out with a chair, but she is thwarted. Martinez wears Li and Boa out with the chair, which brings Mei Ying out of her throne. After a lengthy staredown with Martinez, Mei Ying locks a Goozle on her and throws her into the barricade. The crowd didn’t really know how to react to all of that, which is a shame, because that should’ve been a huge moment. The added crowd noise has been nice so far, but this is an incredibly tame crowd compared to some of the recent ones we’ve seen in wrestling. It isn’t just about the crowd size, either. Some indy shows have had small amounts of fans, but their noise level was higher than what we’ve seen so far tonight.
(0:48) Next up, Cameron Grimes vs LA Knight in a Ladder Match to crown a new Million Dollar Champion. As always, I am contractually obligated to mention the fact that Grimes nearly broke my leg at an independent wrestling show a few years ago.
(0:53) An “L-A Sucks” chant starts. Come on, folks. He doesn’t suck! It just happens to be that he’s painfully average in almost everything he does, and doesn’t deserve any sort of push at all.
(0:56) I really hate this crowd. There’s just WAY too many stretches of time where there is little to no noise taking place. Banging on the fucking plexiglass every now and then doesn’t count. Make some noise, dickheads.
(0:59) Knight stands on the ring steps to get heel heat. One or two people are audibly booing, and the camera shows AN ENTIRE ROW of people just sitting there. No “thumbs down” signs, no standing and yelling… nothing. Knight isn’t exactly the kind of wrestler that is going to help solve this problem. Again, he’s painfully average and downright boring in almost every way.
(1:05) Sure enough, the crowd raises the volume a bit when Grimes goes back on offense and we aren’t dealing with Knight playing pretend.
(1:08) L-O-Fucking-L @ a “this is awesome” chant breaking out by like six people and then dying just as quickly as it began. Those people should be banned from the building for life.
(1:09) Please end this match. Cameron Grimes deserves so much better than this.
(1:10) Grimes dives from a lighting rig onto Knight, and then the camera focuses on them having a full-fledged conversation with each other while they were “selling” the spot. Then another “this is awesome” chant breaks out. Louder than the first one, but it still didn’t last that long.
(1:12) LA Knight wins. He is the new Million Dollar Champion, and I give approximately negative fucks about it. That was 2.25 stars. Hard pass. 2021 Ted DiBiase vs 2021 Virgil would’ve been better than watching that. Please… no more LA Knight.
(1:17) Karrion Kross and Pete Dunne need to be pulled apart in a backstage segment. If you didn’t know any better, you would think William Regal is about to be replaced as the NXT General Manager. They’re making it look like he has zero control over anything that is happening on his show.
(1:19) Raquel Gonzalez defending the NXT Women’s Title against Ember Moon is up next. I… I don’t have a ton of faith that these two will be able to get the crowd going. Not that I think the match is going to suck. I just don’t think the crowd is going to come unglued for what we’re going to see. Dakota Kai is in the corner looking lovely, though, so there’s that.
(1:25) Raquel busts out a twisting Vader Bomb in the corner to a downed Ember. Wow. That was impressive.
(1:29) While the crowd is still being their shitty selves, both women are working hard.
(1:33) After Dakota Kai interferes in the match yet again, Shotzi Blackheart makes her return and attacks Dakota. Both women brawl to the back. I guess Shotzi’s injury was either purely in storyline, or it wasn’t too bad.
(1:36) Raquel Gonzalez gets the pin and the win, retaining her title. That was really good work from both women. Ember played “big” against a much larger opponent, and Raquel bumped her ass off for the challenger. I think I’m going to go 3.5 stars.
(1:39) Tuesday, July 6th is the date for the next “television special” for NXT, The Great American Bash.
(1:40) Main event time. Karrion Kross vs Kyle O’Reilly vs Pete Dunne vs Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano in a Fatal Five-Way for the NXT Title. This one should be absolute chaos.
(1:50) The crowd is shown doing nothing during Karrion Kross’ entrance, and then he gets polite applause when it’s all over. Jesus Christ.
(1:53) Kross simply powers his way out of a Kyle O’Reilly leg submission attempt.
(1:54) Karrion Kross is big (6’4″ and 265 pounds), but against the opponents he has in this match, he comes across more like Braun Strowman or someone of that size. That’s not a knock on O’Reilly, Cole, Dunne, or Gargano at all. Just pointing out that none of them are large human beings, making Kross look bigger than he is.
(2:00) You know those spots in multi-man matches where Wrestler A hits a move to take Wrestler B out, only for Wrestler C to come in and take Wrestler A out, only for Wrestler D to come in and have a double-knock out spot with Wrestler C? Those spots usually pop crowds huge. That spot just happened with the four non-Karrion Kross wrestlers in this match, and the crowd responded with some polite clapping. I hope every soda this crowd drinks is already shaken up. Man, I hope they never get off on Fridays and they work at a Friday’s that’s always busy on Fridays. I hope they win the lottery and lose their ticket. While we’re at it, I hope the zipper on their jacket gets stuck.
(2:05) I can’t help but notice that Kross is taken out of this match for minutes at a time. He’ll be out for a bit, come in to do a power move or two, then get taken out again. It allows him to look like a monster when he’s in the ring. When he’s not in the ring, the pace of the match is off the charts.
(2:08) Cole and O’Reilly put their differences aside for one second to deliver a double-team powerbomb, dropping Kross onto the announce table. The table did not give an inch. That probably didn’t feel very good.
(2:11) As I said, the pace of this match is insane when Kross is out, which he is at the moment. It’s probably the fourth or fifth time that he has missed a lengthy stretch of the match. When he’s gone, it’s your solid gold NXT main event with everyone looking strong with big spot after big spot.
(2:14) It’s difficult to tell because this group of fans sucks so much, but it sure seems like Pete Dunne is their favorite competitor in the match. He’s not a face, but he keeps getting brief chants and the crowd makes some noise… some… when he’s on offense.
(2:17) Karrion Kross retains the title! He breaks up a Kyle O’Reilly submission with a submission of his own. O’Reilly passes out, which caused him to let go of Adam Cole. As Cole sells his leg, the Referee checks on O’Reilly, whose arm falls limp to the mat. It was the result I thought we’d get, with Kross taking advantage of the mayhem to win. I don’t want to keep beating the dead horse, but that was one of the worst crowds I’ve seen in a long, long time. They merely sat there and did nothing for the majority of the show. Awful. Just awful. The main event was 4 stars, making it the Match Of The Night, but there still wasn’t much participation from anybody.
(2:21) As Kross celebrates on the stage, cameras catch up to William Regal, who is walking out of the building. With tears in his eyes, he says that he has never seen so much bedlam in all his time as General Manager of NXT, and he thinks it’s time for a change. We go off the air with Regal walking away, looking as if someone ran his dog over. Make your predictions now, folks. What “change” are we getting? A new General Manager? There have also been rumors of NXT bringing in some added “muscle” for Regal to help keep things in line. Samoa Joe has been at the top of that list, even though it doesn’t exactly make a ton of sense.
Well… that was certainly a show that took place. Very disappointing Takeover. I think it’s time to make discussions about how far NXT has fallen in the last few years. There was a time, not that long ago, when every Takeover event was a Show Of The Year contender with at least one Match Of The Year candidate taking place. Now, you’ll get a Takeover that ranges from “not bad” to “pretty decent” on the ratings scale. I think I might be getting a column idea, as a matter of fact. If I can flesh it out quickly, I’ll post it on Wednesday. Otherwise, it’ll be coming down the road a bit. Either way, you’ll be seeing something new from me in my usual Wednesday spot.
What did all of you think about In Your House? Drop me a line in the comments section below or on Twitter (@HustleTheSavage) and let me know what’s on your mind.