– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode opens up with a video package showing how Karrion Kross retained the NXT Title over Finn Balor last week, and hyping up tonight’s Triple Threat to crown a new #1 contender. We’re live on the USA Network as Vic Joseph welcomes us to the Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix as fans chant “NXT!” and cheer.
#1 Contender’s Triple Threat: Pete Dunne vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Johnny Gargano
We go right to the ring and Alicia Taylor begins the introductions as Pete Dunne makes his way out. He’s already getting booed heavily by the crowd. The winner of this match will challenge NXT Champion Karrion Kross at “Takeover: In Your House 2021” on Sunday, June 13. Out next comes The Way – Johnny Gargano with Austin Theory. Theory poses with Gargano and then heads to the back after wishing him good luck. Barrett says NXT General Manager William Regal has banned Theory and Oney Lorcan from ringside for this match. Kyle O’Reilly is out last.
O’Reilly immediately goes to work on Gargano. Dunne goes for O’Reilly and they fight now. Gargano gets sent to the floor as Dunne goes to work on O’Reilly now. Dunne grounds O’Reilly and starts bending the limbs. O’Reilly slams Dunne and applies an arm bar but Gargano comes in. O’Reilly then takes him down in an arm submission. Dunne puts a submission on O’Reilly as they’re all tangled up now. Gargano sends O’Reilly to the floor. He turns around to Dunne taking him down.
Gargano and Dunne go at it on their feet now. Gargano with a hurricanrana. Dunne comes back with an arm drag into a submission while Gargano is face-down. O’Reilly runs in and breaks the modified surfboard submission from Dunne. O’Reilly goes to work on Gargano’s arm now after sending Dunne out. O’Reilly drops Gargano by the arm and drives knees and elbows to the ribs. Dunne watches from ringside and stalks his opponents. Dunne comes in and applies another double submission in the middle of the ring, bending the fingers back on both opponents.
Dunne stomps and then goes from corner to corner with running strikes. Gargano joins him with running strikes. O’Reilly ends up hitting a double Dragonscrew leg whip. O’Reilly with an ankle lock on Dunne now. Dunne rolls through and applies an ankle lock. Dunne goes to the floor but Gargano levels him with a forearm. Gargano fights back in but Dunne stops the One Final Beat to O’Reilly. They all tangle and Gargano kicks Dunne, then hits a tornado DDT on O’Reilly for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial.
Back from the break and O’Reilly unloads on both opponents with kicks and knee strikes for a pop. O’Reilly focuses on Dunne’s arm and then nails a double underhook suplex, rolling into another. O’Reilly cuts Gargano off and drops him on top of Dunne with a double underhook. O’Reilly covers for 2. O’Reilly with a sliding knee to Gargano while he’s down. O’Reilly rolls to the floor but Dunne attacks. O’Reilly fights out of a suplex and nails a flying knee from the apron. Gargano runs the ropes and laps out, taking O’Reilly out. He runs and leaps out the other side of the ring, sending Dunne into the barrier. Gargano with another big dive to send O’Reilly into the barrier. Gargano brings O’Reilly back in and hits the slingshot Spear from the apron. O’Reilly kicks out at 2.
Gargano with chops to O’Reilly in the corner now. Gargano goes to Lawn Dart O’Reilly from the top but he slides out. Dunne drops them both and delivers big kicks and a dropkick. Dunne unloads on O’Reilly and nails a powerbomb for a 2 count. Gargano superkicks them both. Dunne with a big X-plex to Gargano for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. Dunne with a standing Kimura to O’Reilly now. O’Reilly blocks it and Gargano clotheslines Dunne. O’Reilly sends Dunne flying to the floor. O’Reilly rolls Gargano for 2. They tangle on the mat and O’Reilly applies a knee hook but Dunne stomps them to break it up. Dunne goes for a Bitter End but Gargano blocks it with a spike DDT. Gargano delivers Dunne into O’Reilly with a big Lawn Dart in the corner.
Gargano covers but Dunne kicks out at 2 as fans cheer them on. Dunne and Gargano slowly recover and now trade strikes from their knees. O’Reilly comes in with kicks for each opponent. O’Reilly gets sandwiched with two big kicks from his opponents. All three trade big kicks and variations now. O’Reilly ends up dropping Gargano and Dunne in the middle of the ring now. Fans chant “this is awesome!” as the referee checks on them. Gargano goes for a slingshot Spear but O’Reilly catches him from the apron. O’Reilly with a Guillotine to make Gargano fade. Dunne comes from behind with a Sleeper and now O’Reilly fades. Gargano ends up sending O’Reilly to the floor. Gargano with the GarganNo Escape to Dunne now. Dunne bends the fingers back and breaks it.
Dunne with the Bitter End to Gargano for a close 2 count as O’Reilly flies off the top to break it with a knee. O’Reilly and Dunne trade kicks on the apron now. Gargano drops O’Reilly to the floor but Dunne kicks Gargano. Dunne and O’Reilly are down on the floor while Gargano is down in the ring.
Adam Cole suddenly runs down with a steel chair, attacking Dunne and O’Reilly from behind as fans boo. Gargano approaches at the ropes but Cole throws the chair at him. A referee tries to stop Cole but Cole strikes him. Cole drops Dunne on the floor with a Brainbuster, catching a part of the chair it looks like. He decks O’Reilly and then enters the ring to level Gargano as the boos continue. NXT General Manager William Regal comes down with security, ordering Cole out of the ring. Cole leaves but superkicks O’Reilly on his way up the ramp. We go to commercial with fans booing Cole as he tells Regal, “You need me!” This is Cole’s first appearance since losing the Unsanctioned Match to O’Reilly at “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” Night Two.
– Back from the break and Adam Cole is refusing to leave the arena. NXT General Manager William Regal argues with him and finally has security force Cole out.
– Ember Moon rushes past the chaos and hits the ring with a mic. She’s fired up and calls NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez out for a fight over what she did to Shotzi Blackheart last week. Moon threatens to hold the show hostage. The music hits and out comes Gonzalez as NXT General Manager William Regal tries to stop her. Gonzalez rushes the ring and they brawl. Moon sends Gonzalez back out and security forces her up the ramp. Gonzalez yells back at Moon and they have words. Dakota Kai suddenly attacks from behind and drops Moon as fans boo. Kai unloads and hits a running big boot to knock Moon out of the ring. Regal checks on Moon at ringside as security holds Gonzalez back on the stage. Kai joins Gonzalez and they head to the back.
– We get a pre-recorded promo with Legado del Fantasma. Santos Escobar talks about how Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde have supported him, so he will be at ringside tonight to support them as they challenge NXT Tag Team Champions MSK. Wilde says tonight is their coronation and they will follow in Escobar’s footsteps to become leaders of leaders, and champions of champions. Escobar says they will do what they do best – take what is theirs.
LA Knight vs. Jake Atlas
We go back to the ring and out comes LA Knight with a mic. He cuts a promo, mentioning Cameron Grimes and tonight’s opponent, Jake Atlas. He mentions that WWE Hall of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase will be watching tonight. Knight goes on and poses in the corner as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and we see the video from earlier today where Hit Row had words in the parking lot with Ever-Rise, Drake Maverick and Killian Dain. We go back to the ring and the bell hits as Jake Atlas goes at it with Knight. Atlas with an early pin attempt. Knight comes back but Atlas nails an arm drag and a dropkick. Atlas with a big arm drag using the ropes for a 2 count. Atlas grabs Knight by his arm now, then slams it. Atlas with more offense on the arm now for a quick pin attempt.
Atlas keeps control, shutting Knight down each time he tries to mount offense. Atlas with a big kick to the jaw and uppercuts. Knight catches Atlas as he charges, then slams him over the top rope. Knight with a jumping neckbreaker. DiBiase comes walking down the ramp now for a pop. Knight acknowledges him and tells him to watch how he lays Atlas out.
Atlas attacks but Knight keeps wasting time, bragging to DiBiase. Atlas rolls him for a close 2 count. Knight scoops Atlas for a big slam in the middle of the ring. Fans boo as he shows off some more and DiBiase watches from the ramp. Knight drops the DiBiase fist to the face, then chokes Atlas with the middle rope. Knight with a kick to the ribs and more offense as fans try to rally for Atlas. Knight uses the ropes again as the referee warns him. Knight with a running high knee to the face. Knight launches himself in from the apron with a flying shoulder tackle. DiBiase looks on and smiles, impressed with Knight. Knight goes back to the corner to pose as we return to commercial.
Back from the break and Atlas blocks a suplex. Knight counters and delivers a knee to the gut as DiBiase continues watching from the ramp. More back and forth now. Knight catches Atlas with a neckbreaker in the middle of the ring. Knight tells Atlas to keep watching as he looks to put Atlas away with the Million Dollar Dream. Atlas shoves him back into the corner. Knight fails to lock in the Million Dollar Dream again.
Atlas nails a crossbody for a 2 count. Atlas starts mounting more offense. Knight catches him and launches him over the top rope to the floor, right in front of Ted. The referee counts and Atlas makes it back in at the 9 count. Knight goes right to work on him. Knight mounts Atlas with punches. Knight goes to the second turnbuckle and leaps but Atlas decks him in the gut on the way down. Atlas with a jawbreaker and more offense. Atlas and Knight trade more strikes. Atlas unloads now.
Grimes is on the ramp with DiBiase now as Atlas levels Knight for a 2 count. Grimes is talking to Ted about how the Million Dollar Legacy should begin with him. Knight gets caught by Atlas again and hit with a DVD. Atlas with a standing moonsault for 2. Atlas goes to the top but Knight rocks him and climbs up but gets knocked back to the mat.
Knight leaps back up to the top but now he sees Grimes. The distraction allows Atlas to crotch him on the top rope. Atlas leaps from the top with the big cartwheel DDT for the pin to win.
Winner: Jake Atlas
– After the match, the music hits as Atlas celebrates. Grimes is all smiles as he enjoys Knight’s loss. DiBiase heads to the back and looks disappointed in Knight, who looks on from the ring and is not happy.
– The camera man shows us the Triple Threat competitors getting checked out in the trainer’s room. Oney Lorcan comes over and yells in the camera saying, all we need to know is if it wasn’t for Adam Cole, Pete Dunne would be the new #1 contender. Austin Theory runs over and disagrees, saying the same thing about Johnny Gargano. Lorcan and Theory start brawling until security breaks it up.
– McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with Ted DiBiase now, asking him who is worthy of the Million Dollar Legacy after tonight. DiBiase says LA Knight dropped the ball tonight while Cameron Grimes proved that he has the brains to go with the brawn. DiBiase is looking for someone with both. Adam Cole comes walking by out of nowhere and it looks like he’s headed to the ring. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Vic announces that Poppy will be back on NXT next week.
– Adam Cole is in the ring with a mic as fans start booing. He says exactly two years ago he became NXT Champion and whether NXT or William Regal wants to admit it or not, we’re looking at the real #1 contender. Cole has been gone for two months and has watched while everyone failed at living up to his legacy. Cole brags on taking out three of NXT’s top stars, and doing it in one night. Cole says this means he wants the NXT Title back. Which brings him to NXT Champion Karrion Kross. Cole says people think Kross is some kind of monster but Cole sees through him, and he’s nothing but a big over-rated muscle-head who doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring as Cole. Cole goes on about how it wasn’t a mistake that he held the NXT Title for over 400 days. The music hits and out comes Kross with Scarlett.
Kross steps to Cole and calls him little man. Kross understands Cole’s motives tonight but no matter what he does, it’ll never change things in the grand scheme of things. Kross says as soon as he signed with NXT, Cole no longer became special and Cole knows that. Cole says Kross isn’t Adam Cole and never will be. Cole says NXT has done everything possible to make Kross feel special… with the entrance, the fog, the girl, but what do they do to make Cole feel special? They ring the bell. Cole says on Kross’ best day he can’t lace his boots or hang with him, and anyone who watches pro wrestling knows that. Cole says he is special while Kross is just a guy who has Cole’s property.
Regal comes out and says he sees what Cole is trying to do, to weasel himself into a title match, but it’s not going to work. Kross yells at Regal to shut up. Kross doesn’t care what Regal or Cole thinks, this is about what Kross wants to do and what Kross wants at Takeover, is everyone in the match. Kyle O’Reilly, Pete Dunne, Johnny Gargano and this gas station weasel Adam Cole. Kross says there’s no way Cole will be able to get out of this ass kicking. They face off and have words as Regal thinks it over. Regal smirks and says the match is done. Cole exits the ring and rips the top off the announce table. Cole stands on top of the table and yells about running this show. Fans chant “Adam Cole!” now as Cole goes on about running the show. Cole throws a water bottle in the ring at Kross and Scarlett. He then taunts Kross, calling him a punk and talking more trash. Cole makes his exit through the barrier as Kross and Scarlett look on.
– McKenzie is backstage with NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell. She asks them about Poppy returning next week. LeRae can’t believe she’s asking about Poppy. She goes on about her husband beating Karrion Kross at Takeover, and wonders why NXT keeps bringing Poppy back. LeRae wonders if Poppy is trying to become the next Bad Bunny or something? LeRae notices that Hartwell is distracted. Hartwell is listening to music on her headphones – 80’s love ballads. They walk off.
– Barrett says we have an answer to Kushida’s Open Challenge for the NXT Cruiserweight Title. Barrett says this man is formerly known as Christian Casanova but now he goes by Carmelo Hayes, and he’s been impressing people at the WWE Performance Center. We get a quick vignette with Hayes hyping himself up.
Open Challenge for the NXT Cruiserweight Title: Carmelo Hayes vs. Kushida
We go back to the ring and out comes NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida to a big pop for his Open Challenge. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a new Tian Sha vignette. Xia Li and Boa are watching Li’s loss to Mercedes Martinez in the Mae Young Classic a few years back, calling it a disgrace to her family. Li says she will hurt Martinez at Takeover. We go backstage and Dexter Lumis picks up the headphones that Indi Hartwell was listening to. He walks off while listening to the music. The announcers confirm Dunne vs. Gargano vs. O’Reilly vs. Cole vs. Kross for the NXT Title at Takeover. We go back to the ring and out comes newcomer Carmelo Hayes to answer Kushida’s Open Challenge.
The bell rings and they lock up. Hayes looks to take control early on, and talks a bit of junk to the champ. They lock up for a test of strength and go to the mat trading offense. Hayes with a quick 1 count off a counter. They go at it now and Hayes nails arm drags, then a big dropkick for a pop. Kushida with chops in the corner now. Hayes counters but runs into a boot. Hayes takes Kushida down, kips up and delivers a kick to the head on the mat.
Kushida kicks out at 2. Kushida mounts offense now for a pop. They tangle in the corner and Hayes nails a big kick to the back of the head, then a big leg drop using the ropes. Hayes drags Kushida over for a close 2 count. We go to commercial with the referee checking on both cruiserweights.
Back from the break and Hayes remains in control as fans chant “NXT!” now. Kushida sends Hayes to the apron, then runs and sends him into the Plexiglas barrier. Kushida leaps from the apron with a flying knee to the shoulder. Kushida rolls Hayes back into the ring and they go at it. Kushida misses a move and Hayes superkicks him. Hayes drops Kushida face-first into a knee. Hayes with a big springboard attack for another close 2 count. More back and forth now. Kushida unloads with strikes and levels Hayes with a shot to the jaw.
Hayes counters and takes Kushida down with another impressive move for another 2 count. Hayes yells at Kushida to get up now. He has a move blocked. Kushida drops him and nails a dropkick. Kushida with a huge right hand to drop Hayes again. Hayes dodges a kick. They trade holds and Hayes fights off the Hoverboard Lock now.
Kushida gets the upperhand and drops Hayes, then delivers a running kick. Kushida applies the Hoverboard Lock in the middle of the ring now. Hayes taps out for the finish.
– After the match, Kushida stands tall and celebrates as his music hits. We go to replays. Kushida offers Hayes a hand as he gets back to his feet. They shake hands and Kushida heads to the ramp with the title in the air.
– MSK is backstage getting ready for tonight’s title defense against Legado del Fantasma. They are confident about retaining. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Franky Monet is backstage with her makeup crew. She reads some of the reviews online from her debut match last week, the win over Cora Jade. Monet says she’s just getting started.
NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell vs. Zayda Ramier and Zoey Stark
We go back to the ring and we see Zoey Stark and Zayda Ramier waiting in the ring. Out next are NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions The Way – Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell. They hit the ring together for this non-title match.
The bell rings and Ramier starts off with Hartwell. Hartwell quickly drops her and goes to work. Hartwell slams Ramier and in comes LeRae with a Blockbuster for a 2 count. Ramier tries to fight out of the corner but the champs keep control with quick tags and more offense. LeRae with more offense on Ramier for a 2 count. LeRae grounds Ramier now. Ramier rolls her out of nowhere but LeRae kicks out and then levels her. Hartwell tags in and drops Ramier, then jumps in Stark’s face to talk some trash.
Ramier decks Hartwell and dropkicks her. LeRae tags back in and stops Ramier from tagging. LeRae with a cheap shot to knock Stark off the apron to the floor. Ramier starts mounting offense on LeRae now. Stark tags in and levels LeRae with a clothesline, then one for Hartwell as she runs in. Stark drops Hartwell with a kick and then levels LeRae with a big spin kick. LeRae kicks out at 2.
Ramier tags in and Stark slams her onto LeRae for a 2 count as Hartwell makes the save just in time. Stark charges but Indi dumps her over the top rope to the floor, hitting her face on the apron on the way down.
LeRae takes Ramier back down. LeRae then delivers the Wicked Stepsister as Hartwell launches herself in from the apron with a springboard for the Pretty Savage elbow drop. Hartwell covers Ramier for the pin to win.
Winners: The Way
– After the match, the music hits as LeRae and Hartwell raise their titles in the air.
– We go backstage to Mercedes Martinez now. She knows Xia Li isn’t the same woman she faced at the Mae Young Classic years ago, but Martinez is also different and she’s not worried about Li. Martinez goes on and says Li stands in her way of the NXT Women’s Title, and at Takeover she will run right through her.
– The announcers hype Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight at Takeover, plus the Fatal 5 Way for the NXT Title. Beth says it William Regal is busy but it looks like Xia Li vs. Mercedes Martinez will be confirmed.
– We see MSK and Legado del Fantasma walking backstage for the main event. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a new MMA-themed vignette for The Diamond Mine. “Opening Soon” it says. There is still no word on what this concept is for.
– McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with Ember Moon. She’s still upset over what happened earlier. She can’t understand why the dominant NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez keeps having Dakota Kai fight her battles. Moon says she’s going to start taking pieces of Gonzalez, starting next week with her insurance policy, Kai. Then at Takeover she will take the title from Gonzalez. Beth confirms Moon vs. Kai for next week, plus Poppy’s return.
NXT Tag Team Titles Match: Legado del Fantasma vs. MSK
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event and out first comes Legado del Fantasma – Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde with Santos Escobar. They pose in the middle of the ring together before Wilde removes his lucha mask. Out next are NXT Tag Team Champions MSK – Wes Lee and Nash Carter. We get formal ring introductions from Taylor.
The bell rings and Wilde starts off with Lee. They lock up and Lee slams Wilde. They go back and forth now as Escobar watches from a chair at ringside. Lee grounds Wilde in a headlock. Wilde gets up and slams Lee to the mat by his head. Carter tags in but misses a Bronco Buster in the corner. Wilde drops both of the champs and talks some trash. Wilde takes Carter to the corner and slams him into the turnbuckles. Mendoza tags in and they unload with double team stomps to Carter. Mendoza still has his lucha mask on. They continue to double team Carter as Wilde covers for a 2 count.
Wilde with more high speed offense and a 2 count on Carter. Wilde grounds Carter in the middle of the ring again as fans rally for MSK. Carter gets free with a jawbreaker. Lee tags back in and they take turns kicking Wilde. Carter with a double stomp to the back and Lee covers for 2 as Mendoza breaks the pin up. All four Superstars are in the ring now. We get some showing up but now all four are down again as fans rally.
The Grizzled Young Veterans come walking down the ramp to ringside. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher come running from the backstage area and attack them. The two teams brawl up the ramp and to the back as the action continues in the ring.
Wilde goes to the floor before Carter sends Mendoza out to the floor. Carter moonsaults onto Mendoza for a big pop. Lee nails a suicide dive onto Wilde at ringside as fans continue cheering MSK on. Lee misses a 450 Splash as Wilde moves out of the way. Lee lands on his feet and then takes Wilde down into an arm bar. The show went to a picture-in-picture commercial break as MSK keeps control back in the ring.
Back from the break and fans chant “NXT!” as Mendoza works over Lee in the corner. Mendoza runs into a big boot. Lee goes to the top but Mendoza jumps with a kick to knock him off. Escobar watches and is still all smiles. Mendoza with another close 2 count on Lee. Mendoza stomps away and tags Wilde back in for a double team slam. They then hit the double team dropkick but Lee kicks out just in time. Wilde mounts Lee with wild strikes all over the place.
Wilde grounds Lee by his arm now as Carter rallies for a tag. Lee fights up and out but Wilde drops him with a stiff elbow. Lee kicks out at 2. Mendoza launches himself in from the apron with a senton. Wilde and Mendoza with more quick tags and offense in their corner. Wilde with a springboard moonsault for 2. Mendoza tags back in and puts a boot to Lee in the corner. Mendoza taunts Carter and goes back to work on Lee but Lee counters and drops him on his head with a big DDT.
Wilde and Carter tag in at the same time. They run wild and Carter mounts offense. Carter with a jumping enziguri to drop Wilde. Carter fights off both challengers with big kicks and high speed offense. Lee tags in and they double team Wilde for another close pin attempt as Lee covers. Wilde crashes into the turnbuckles. Mendoza tags in but Lee misses it. Lee drops Wilde and turns around to a missile dropkick from Mendoza. Mendoza delivers an Exploder suplex and drops Lee on his head for another close 2 count.
Fans chant “this is awesome!” now. Carter gets knocked off the apron with a cheap shot. Wilde and Mendoza continue taking turns on Lee in their corner as Escobar looks on. Wilde delivers a hurricanrana into a powerbomb from Mendoza but Lee still kicks out somehow. Wilde and Mendoza can’t believe it. Mendoza unloads on Lee while he’s down. Lee gets kicked out of the ring, right in front of Escobar. Escobar grabs Lee and sends him into the steel ring steps while the referee isn’t looking.
They bring Lee back in the ring for another double team but Carter breaks the pin up just before the 3 count. Escobar seethes at ringside. NXT North American Champion Bronson Reed runs over out of nowhere and smashes Escobar into the Plexiglas barrier. Reed stands guard to make sure Escobar stays down. MSK turns it back around in the ring and they hit a double team Blockbuster on Wilde for the pin to retain in the middle of the ring.
– After the match, MSK stands tall with the NXT Tag Team Titles as their music hits. We go to replays. Reed, Lee and Carter raise their titles high in the air as Escobar, Wilde and Mendoza look on from the stage. The two sides talk trash back & forth now. MSK hits the turnbuckles to pose while Reed stands in between them, all three titles in the air. NXT goes off the air.