– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode on the USA Network opens up with a video package, looking back at last week and hyping tonight’s show. We’re live from the Capitol Wrestling Center inside the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida as Vic Joseph welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett. Vic says WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix is not here tonight as she’s on a much-needed vacation. Fans chant “NXT!” now. Vic talks about how Ember Moon is not cleared to compete, and was replaced by Dakota Kai.
Dakota Kai vs. Sarray
We go right to the ring for the opener as Dakota Kai makes her way out. The announcers hype Kai vs. NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez at Takeover 36. Kai takes the mic and hopes Gonzalez is watching tonight because she’s about to defeat the undefeated Sarray and prove she’s no one’s sidekick, because we’re looking at the next champion. The music hits and out comes Sarray to a pop.
Kai isn’t interested in a handshake to start. They lock up and trade holds. Fans rally for Sarray as she works on Kai’s arm. Back and forth now. Kai with some taunting and offense in the corner. Sarray counters with an arm drag and a kip-up for a pop. Sarray slams Kai on her neck.
Sarray grounds Kai with a submission as fans cheer her on. Sarray bridges back into another hold but Kai pulls the hair to break it. Kai with offense for a 2 count and some trash talking now. Kai keeps Sarray down and works her over. Kai with more trash talking and playing the heel as fans try to rally for Sarray. Kai with a big kick to the back for a 2 count.
Kai with a float-over suplex for a 2 count. Sarray ends up mounting some offense for a pop now. Sarray with a unique submission but Kai finally gets the bottom rope to break the hold. Sarray stomps the lower back, and kicks Kai again while she’s down. Sarray keeps Kai down with more offense and Kai kicks out at 2. Sarray with a suplex for a 2 count. Sarray stands tall for a pop and then goes to the top as we get a picture-in-picture commercial. Sarray flies and takes Kai back down for another 2 count.
Back from the break and Sarray counters with a big German suplex for 2. Sarray stomps Kai. Kai fights Sarray off wit back elbows. More back and forth now. Kai fights Sarray off and drops her in the corner. Kai with the running knee to the face but Sarray kicks out just in time.
Kai keeps control and delivers a big Scorpion Kick. Sarray stays on her and hits a dropkick. Sarray with a running low dropkick against the bottom rope. Sarray goes for another but Kai moves and she hits the ropes. Kai with a big boot. We see Gonzalez arriving in the parking lot now.
Kai still can’t put Sarray away. Sarray with another suplex and 2 count. Sarray drops Kai with big kicks in the corner. Kai comes back with the Scorpion Kick for the pin to win.
Winner: Dakota Kai
– After the match, Kai stands tall as fans boo and her music hits. Gonzalez rushes out and Kai retreats. Gonzalez takes the mic and says Kai will never be on top and will never have the title. Gonzalez says she is going to tear Kai apart at Takeover 36. A fired up Gonzalez slams the mic and raises the title as her music hits, yelling out as the announcers hype their Takeover match.
– We see the “Love Her or Lose Her” match with Johnny Gargano vs. Dexter Lumis last week, with Indi Hartwell on the line. Gargano won but Indi still picked Lumis to stay with. Vic says Indi and Dexter are on their first date tonight. We see footage of Indi getting ready. We also see Johnny and Candice LeRae at the kitchen table, venting over Indi and Austin Theory. Gargano says they need to make this work for The Family. Lumis rings the door bell and Gargano lets him in. Lumis has brought flowers but Gargano isn’t happy. Candice is asking Indi if she has protection. Indi flexes her muscles and says she’s a former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion, she doesn’t need protection. Gargano is grilling Lumis on his intentions with Indi. Gargano wants her taken to a nice restaurant, brought home by 10pm and no funny business. Indi and Dexter head out on their date while Gargano and LeRae are apparently following them in their car.
– We get a Sonic-sponsored video on Ilja Dragunov. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see Hit Row at an undisclosed location with their truck. They mention how they were going to let things go with Legado del Fantasma, but they attacked from behind and took Swerve’s grill, disrespecting them and their culture. NXT North American Champion Isaiah “Swerve” Scott tosses a lucha mask into a drum fire as they taunt the group.
– We go back to the ring and out comes NXT UK Superstar Ilja Dragunov for his debut on the brand. The announcers hype his Takeover 36 match against NXT UK Champion WALTER.
Dragunov takes the mic and says he’s never been a man of big words. He talks about how words haven’t meant much, but pain has, the struggle and fighting spirit have. Dragunov has put his strength into his fists, not his mouth. Dragunov says he will witness chaos and rage, an unbeatable kingdom will fall, when he ends WALTER’s title reign at Takeover 36, becoming the NXT UK Champion. Fans pop for Dragunov. He goes on but the music interrupts and out comes Pete Dunne.
Dunne says Dragunov owes him a big thank you because without Dunne traveling the world with the NXT UK Title, putting the brand on the map, and carrying the entire continent on his back, then Dragunov wouldn’t be competing against WALTER, at Takeover, and he damn sure wouldn’t be standing in front of the baddest man in NXT. Dunne says if he would’ve stayed in the UK, he would’ve put Dragunov in his place a long time ago. Dragunov says he’s here because he gave his all, not because of Dunne or anyone else. Dragunov goes on about how he will beat WALTER, something Dunne never did. Dragunov says but that’s in two weeks, how about Dunne show how strong his will to fight tonight is? Fans pop. Dunne promises after tonight, Dragunov won’t make it to Takeover. They face off as the music hits.
– McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with Million Dollar Champion LA Knight and his butler, Cameron Grimes. Knight knocks Grimes for being a failure. He doesn’t care what WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase said last week, Grimes is a failure. He goes on and says Grimes will see what it’s like to win tonight. We go to commercial as they walk off.
Million Dollar Champion LA Knight vs. Andre Chase
Back from the break and Andre Chase waits in the ring as Million Dollar Champion LA Knight makes his way out with his butler, Cameron Grimes.
The bell rings and they lock up. Chase gets the upperhand early on and nails an arm drag. Knight sends him face-first into the ropes, then levels him with ease. Knight drops Chase with his BFT finisher for the squash win via pinfall.
Winner: LA Knight
– After the match, Knight stands tall with the strap, getting Grimes to hold it. He wants Grimes to shine his boot but the music hits and out comes WWE Hall of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase.Knight looks confused. Ted says this has gone too far. He knows Grimes is a man of his word, but he has a lot more for Grimes to do, and Grimes could be doing a lot more. Ted goes on about how he and the people believe in Grimes. Fans rally. Knight asks Ted why he’s out here or if he’s just trying to get punched in the face again. Ted says Knight needs to shut his mouth. Ted says Grimes can be whatever he wants to be, he just has to follow his heart. Ted says Grimes wants to be a champion, and he thinks he can. Ted says if Knight would put the title on the line, Grimes will become a champion. Knight says no, he’s defeated Grimes twice and Ted can quit feeding lies into his head. Knight proposes a third match at Takeover 36 and if Knight wins, Ted will become his butler, not Grimes. Grimes doesn’t like this idea. Ted says he’s a gambling man and his money is on Grimes, and he’s got a lot of money. Ted says Knight is on. The fans pop as Knight runs his mouth to Ted and Grimes looks on.
– We get a vignette with Gigi Dolin. She addresses some of the other NXT women’s division members and talks about how it’s all about surviving and running through everyone else in the locker room. She says this isn’t just a 9-to-5, and tells the others to make sure they watch as she dominates. Dolin says she’s not doing it alone either. She continues to cut roses from stems as they fall. Back to commercial.
Gigi Dolin vs. Amari Miller
Back from the break and out comes Gigi Dolin with Jacy Jayne. Amari Miller is already waiting in the ring.
The bell rings and they size each other up, then lock up. Dolin gets the upperhand before they tangle and trade holds. Dragunov vs. Dunne is confirmed for tonight’s main event. Dolin rocks Miller and taunts her. Dolin fights Miller off with back elbows. Miller with strikes against the ropes. Miller with a neckbreaker for a 2 count.
Dolin goes to the apron and fight Miller off as she approaches. Miller tries to mount more offense but Dolin rocks her. Dolin with a running forearm to the jaw, and another. Dolin catches Miller with an abdominal stretch and uses that to snap Miller to the mat with a modified bomb to the mat. Dolin holds it for the pin to win.
Winner: Gigi Dolin
– After the match, Dolin stands tall as the music hits. We get a replay of her finisher. Jayne stands tall with Dolin to end the segment.
– Still to come, Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole face off. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see Indi Hartwell at a restaurant with Dexter Lumis. She orders a bunch of appetizers to start. She hears something that sounds like Johnny Gargano on a speaker. She gets up and finds Candice LeRae hiding behind a menu, with a pair of binoculars. Gargano is still speaking via the radio, not realizing Indi has found him out. She tells him she’s on a date, to leave her alone. Indi walks back to her table to join Lumis. Candice tells Johnny they have to abort their mission as she leaves the restaurant.
– We go back to the ring and NXT General Manager William Regal has a mic. He announces “The Undisputed Finale” for NXT Takeover 36 – Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole III. Regal asks the competitors to join him in the ring now. Out first comes Adam Cole as Alicia Taylor does the introductions. The ring is full of security, who are standing with Regal.
Out next comes Kyle O’Reilly. Regal says their match will be contested under 2 of 3 Falls rules. They each get to pick a stipulation for the first two falls, and if it goes to the third fall, Regal will pick that stipulation. Kyle says the first fall will be straight up – pinfall or submission.
Kyle goes on about how Cole is such a narcissist that a straight up loss to him will shatter his ego more than a steel chair ever will. Cole responds and goes on about how he’s always proved he’s better than Kyle at this job, in every way possible. Cole goes on and says the second fall will be a Street Fight. Cole doesn’t care about Regal’s stipulation because it won’t make it that far as he will beat Kyle 2-0, and be the one to win The Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly Saga.
Kyle talks about how he doesn’t give a damn anymore, and he will do whatever it takes to put an end to Cole. Cole knocks Kyle for riding his coattails for 13 years, and says Kyle will never be as good as him. Cole says he’s the best Superstar NXT has ever seen, and ever will see, and Kyle is just a footnote in his career. Cole says Kyle’s problem is that he’s soft and has no killer instinct. Kyle paces around and take his jacket off now. Cole taunts him and says Kyle is nothing to him. Kyle strikes and they go to fight but security holds them back. Regal says he knew this would happen. Regal says the third fall will be held in a Steel Cage. Cole and O’Reilly yell at each other while security holds them back.
– Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher are backstage. Ciampa talks about how Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan had to bring Ridge Holland back to help them get a win. Ciampa goes on about how Ridge is not built and seasoned like he and Thatcher are. They go on and suggest Holland vs. Thatcher. Thatcher says class is now in session. Ciampa jumps up and tosses his chair across the room like he does these days. Back to commercial as Thatcher stares at the camera.
– We get a vignette with Imperium’s Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner talking about how they are here to protect the purity of the sport, by any means necessary. NXT Tag Team Champions MSK interrupt with a vignette of their own, mocking the promos by Imperium. MSK says they have brought new life into the tag team division and if Imperium wants a shot at the titles, all they have to do is let MSK know.
– The announcers hype Cole vs. O’Reilly and Grimes vs. Knight for Takeover 36.
NXT Breakout Tournament Semi-finals Match: Odyssey Jones vs. Trey Baxter
We go back to the ring and out comes Odyssey Jones for the first semi-finals match of the 2021 NXT Breakout Tournament. Trey Baxter is out next.
They lock up and Baxter goes behind. Jones breaks free and sends Baxter to the mat as fans chant for Jones. Baxter uses some speed and high-flying to evade but Jones sends him across the ring. Jones taunts Baxter. Baxter mounts offense with quick strikes now. Jones catches him and launches him to the mat. Jones plays to the crowd for another pop.
Baxter fights in from the apron and springboards up but Jones tosses him to the mat from the top rope. Baxter keeps trying to mount offense but Jones swats him away and keeps control. Jones controls Baxter by his leg now. Baxter works on the leg and gets Jones down to one knee as some fans rally.
Baxter drops Jones with a DDT and keeps control for a 2 count. Baxter leaps from the second rope but misses. Jones with a big splash n the corner, then a powerbomb slam for the pin to win and advance.
Winner: Odyssey Jones
– After the match, Jones stands tall and celebrates as he has earned a spot in the finals. We go to replays. Duke Hudson vs. Carmelo Hayes will take place next week to determine who Jones will face in the finals. Fans rally for Jones at ringside now. Jones stops for an interview with Samantha Irvin at ringside. He talks about how excited he is, and is ready to break out for the world to see. Jones gets hyped up and sends a message to his momma. Jones goes back to celebrating with the crowd as the music hits.
– Boa appears on the screen and says disobedience will not be tolerated. Mei Ying appears on the screen next to him and spits her mist as the Tian Sha logo appears on the screen. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and McKenzie Mitchell is outside of William Regal’s office for news on next week’s show. Malcolm Bivens of The Diamond Mine comes out of the office, thanking Regal. Regal approaches McKenzie and announces two matches for next week – Imperium vs. NXT Tag Team Champions MSK, for the titles, plus Roderick Strong vs. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida, with the title on the line.
– Vic shows us how Mandy Rose tweeted to take credit for Gigi Dolin’s win from earlier.
Boa vs. Drake Maverick
We go back to the ring and out comes Tian Sha – Boa with Mei Ying. Ying marches to the ringside area as Boa enters the ring. No sign of Xia Li. Drake Maverick is waiting in the ring.
The bell rings and Drake charges but Boa kicks him, unloading and kicking him back into the corner. Boa misses a running kick and Drake goes to work. Boa rocks him with a throat shot.
Boa runs into boots in the corner. Drake takes the knee out from behind. Drake charges but Boa levels him with a right palm strike to the chest. Boa with more kicks and offense now, bending Drake’s fingers back and keeping control of him.
Mei watches from ringside as Boa easily controls Drake. Boa lifts Drake by his arm and slams him to the mat. Drake counters and tries to mount offense now. Boa rolls to the floor to retreat. Drake goes to the top rope and leaps out, taking Boa down on the floor as the referee counts and fans chant “NXT!” now. Drake brings it back into the ring but stops to slam Boa’s knee into the edge of the apron.
Drake turns around to Ying spraying her mist in his face, blinding him at ringside. Drake stumbles back into the ring but Boa meets him with a big roundhouse kick for the pin to win.
– After the match, fans boo as Ying looks on from the bottom of the ramp. Boa stands tall in the middle of the ring as we go to replays. Ying returns to her throne on the stage and takes a seat as Boa stands next to her. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis are ready for dessert at the restaurant. The waiter brings a cake and is insulting Indi’s date. It’s revealed to be Johnny Gargano. Indi and Johnny do tug-of-war with the cake and it ends up all over Dexter’s face as he remains seated and calm. Gargano runs off. Indi wipes some cake off Lumis’ face with her finger, and licks it. Indi goes to kiss Dexter now, blocking the camera with her hand.
– The announcers lead us to a lengthy video package on the feud between Samoa Joe and NXT Champion Karrion Kross to hype their Takeover 36 match. It’s announced that Kross and Joe will meet face-to-face in the ring on next week’s go-home episode.
– We get a quick promo to hype Ilja Dragunov. Pete Dunne vs. Dragunov is still to come in tonight’s main event. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a promo for next week’s Title Tuesday episode featured bouts – Imperium vs. NXT Tag Team Champions MSK, and Roderick Strong vs. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida.
Ilja Dragunov vs. Pete Dunne
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event as Pete Dunne comes out first. NXT UK Superstar Ilja Dragunov is out next. The announcers hype Dragunov vs. WALTER for the NXT UK Title at Takeover 36.
The bell rings and they go at it as fans rally. Dunne takes Dragunov down first and works on the arm and hands. Ilja fights up and slams Dunne for a quick pin attempt off the Fireman’s Carry. They tangle on the mat now, and go back to their feet, then back to the mat. Dunne with a 1 count. Ilja ducks an attack and takes Dunne to the mat, grounding him.
Dunne turns it around on the mat, snaps the leg back and applies a submission. Dunne pounds on Ilja while keeping him down. Ilja fights up and out of a headlock, slamming Dunne to the mat and applying a headlock. Dunne fights back up and they run the ropes. Dunne with a flying elbow to the face, then a kick to the spine as fans boo. Dunne with another big kick.
Dunne works on the fingers but Dragunov swings. Dunne dodges it but Ilja comes right back with a stiff clothesline. Dunne and Dragunov with impressive counters now as they show each other up. Dragunov with an over head kick to the face. Ilja with a big suplex now. Ilja with a flying knee drop from the middle rope. Dunne kicks out at 2. More back and forth now. Dunne takes it to the top and bends the fingers. Ilja knocks Dunne to the mat with big strikes. Ilja looks to capitalize but Dunne levels him with a big forearm from the corner as a “NXT!” chant breaks out. Dragunov rolls around on the mat as Dunne smirks and shrugs his shoulders. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial.
Back from the break and Dunne has Ilja grounded as some fans boo. Dragunov fights free with a kick but Dunne keeps him down. Dunne with kicks while controlling Ilja by his arm as they get back to their feet. Dragunov rocks Dunne with big strikes. Dunne fights back with strikes of his own. Dragunov levels Dunne in the middle of the ring.
Dragunov looks to capitalize but Dunne fights him off. Dragunov with a series of clotheslines now. They tangle but Dragunov turns Dunne inside out with a big clothesline in the middle of the ring. Fans chant “NXT!” again. Dragunov with big chops. Dragunov lifts Dunne but Dunne bends the fingers and hand back to get back on the mat. Dragunov beats him down with strikes, then drives Dunne into the mat for a close 2 count.
They both slowly get back to their feet. More back and forth offense. Dunne with a running punt kick. Dragunov levels Dunne with a back chop, then hits a senton in the middle of the ring. Dunne avoids the pin and goes for the armbar finisher. They tangle and Dragunov applies a submission on the mat, while driving elbow strikes into Dunne. Dunne fights back with knee strikes from the mat while holding Dragunov by his face. Dunne transitions into an arm submission. Ilja rolls through and goes for the Triangle. Dragunov drops a big elbow but Dunne connects with a knee to the face. Dunne with the armbar but Dragunov powers up and slams Dunn with the powerbomb. Dunne kicks out at 2. More back and forth but Dunne still kicks out at 2. both competitors are down in the middle of the ring as a “NXT!” chant starts back up.
Fans chant “this is awesome!” now. Dunne avoids a big German suplex, going back to bending the fingers back. Dragunov with a big chop. Dunne kicks him to the mat and levels him with a kick. Dragunov is unable to hold the ropes because of his hurt hands. Dunne levels him once again. They tangle again and Dunne applies the armbar. Dragunov rolls through into a reversal, then nails the German suplex with a bridge for a close 2 count.
Dragunov goes to the top for the big senton and he nails it. Dragunov goes to the corner and waits for Dunne to get up, calling for the Torpedo Moscow finisher. The Imperium music interrupts and out comes NXT UK Champion WALTER to the stage. Fans chant “WALTER!” as Dragunov seethes in the ring.
WALTER walks to ringside now, taunting Dragunov. Dunne tries to attack from behind but Ilja fights him off, then nails a leaping knee to the face. Dragunov goes for the Torpedo Moscow but Dunne levels him with a forearm. Dunne takes advantage and drops Dragunov with the Bitter End in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winner: Pete Dunne
– After the match, Dunne recovers and stands tall as his music hits. Fans boo Dunne as he makes his exit, stopping to trade a quick stare with his former rival, WALTER. The leader of Imperium enters the ring and rolls his sleeves up. WALTER attacks Dragunov but Dragunov counters, then drops him with the Torpedo Moscow. WALTER quickly rolls to the floor, holding the back of his head while down on the floor. Dragunov’s music hits as he picks up the NXT UK Title belt. Fans cheer as Dragunov poses with the title, staring down at WALTER, who is still trying to recover on the outside. NXT goes off the air.