NXT returned last night (May 4) from the Capitol Wrestling Center (CWC) in Orlando, Florida. You can find the results on the live blog here.
It’s a STREET FIGHT
If you have a moment free, take it to enjoy this sleeping gem from the Street Fighter soundtrack. The moment I heard that Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon were defending their tag team titles in a STREET FIGHT against Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell, I eagerly anticipated tiger recipes, hadoukens and maybe even some YOGA BRAND.
LeRae seemed very worried about going into the fight that Hartwell spent too much time “thinking about boys”
There were less than ten minutes left on the clock when the ring introduction began, so all four women cut off the advertiser by fighting, which makes sense since it’s a street fight anyway, so anything goes. You would also expect a lot of looting in a street fight and you would not be disappointed with the crowd here – chairs, tables and a fire extinguisher all came into play before we got a very late commercial break that guaranteed an overrun!
I will coin the word PLUNDERIFFIC to describe this competition. If this had been given half an hour or so close to it instead of the approximately 18 minutes it came from the start through the overrun, it could be remembered as a TLC match for ages. It certainly had the lack of sales you would expect from Hardy Boys, Dudleys, et cetera in their prime – all went through tables and ladders and sold only briefly before returning to battle. Even Blackheart’s leap from the rig through the billboard to Hartwell kept no lady down for very long!
In the end, everything ran The Way’s riveting and trickery to get the women’s roof team champions to this match. Hartwell took Moon out by diving from the ring down on a table outside, and LeRae stepped Blackheart’s head down into a steel chair and pinned her to 3. We have new women’s brands!
Shoe off if you hate Gibson!
In last week’s edition of NXT, Tommaso Ciampa sang a little tune for Zack Gibson to spot the Grizzled Young Veterans. I’ve been told that “less than one percent of US network audiences watch NXT UK”, so if you did not get the referral he came up with … here you go.
James Drake and the aforementioned Gibson would have a chance for revenge in a tag team competition against Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher. With a win, the Grizzled Young Veterans were able to prove they are SSSSSSSOON for being in contention again over MSK’s tag team titles. Did they get the upper hand or did they equally grizzled veterans humiliate GYV again?
There was no shortage of dirty tactics in this competition, including distracting the judge with an illegal mark so James Drake could try to rip Thatcher’s ear off his head. Ciampa was beaten across the billboard and Wade Barrett began complaining that he lost a shoe in the process. I think you can see where it goes! Thatcher somehow got the shoe from Ciampa and looked at Zack Gibson with him and then put on the arm wrestler while dazed and confused. Gibson tapped out and the MORE grizzled veterans got the win!
The ring can not contain their anger!
Leon Ruff and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott continue to raise ante with their attacks on each other, so General Manager William Regal did the only sensible thing he could do in response. If they can not keep their fight within the confines of the square circle, let them take it all over the Capitol Wrestling Center instead – falling, counting, anywhere.
This match started live broadcast live. Leon Ruff was the first to come in and tried to attack Scott as he hit the ring and was held back by the referee until the clock, at which point Scott immediately hit him with a knee when he charged. Scott remained in control until Ruff gave him an arm drag that sent him through the ropes, but Scott also managed to get the upper hand there. Ruff had his moment when he was on the outside selling a superplex from the top, avoiding a charge from Scott that left him hanging, giving him a dropkick while he was upside down. Scott got the advantage again and threw a toolbox in his head before the break.
During the commercial break, the fight backfired, the locker room and “anywhere” they wanted to go. Both men picked up the pace as we got back to live action, with Ruff making his big comeback as Scott first knelt into the ring step and attacked him with the toolbox to further injure his knee. Scott tried to escape from a dueling leg lock, but ate a cutter in the ring AND on the floor. Ruff sent him over the barricade and went through the curtain to climb to the top, but AJ Francis from Swerve’s entourage followed him, jumping off and saying “You must be out of your DAMN mind!” He dumped Ruff back over the barricade, and Scott took him back into the ring to hit the JML driver and get the needle.
Does the “Prince” want his throne back?
It’s more than a minute since “Prince” Finn Bálor lost his crown to Karrion Kross in the takeover: Stand & Deliver night two. As the longest reigning NXT champion in the brand’s history (504 days over two different spans), Bálor has nothing to prove, but that did not mean he planned to just roll over and let Kross or someone else take his place.
Although billed as Bálor’s big return on entering, it was actually a segment designed for (and all about) Karrion Kross. He walked into the center and once again dared the NXT locker room to have something drawers. Kyle O’Reilly came out and told him that there was only one match he wanted and he was pretty sure Kross wanted it too.
Pete Dunne declared this a “laugh” and dared them both to prove that they were worse than him. Bálor came out and declared that he had beaten Dunne, beaten O’Reilly (twice) and wanted Kross when he finished Austin Theory next week, which immediately led to fights!
Kross cleared the ring almost alone, but as he stared at Bálor down the ramp, he was jumped by Austin Theory and Johnny Gargano. They gave him stereo super kicks, and Gargano put him down with a North American title shot in the head.
What else do you need to know?
Cameron Grimes had an unannounced match with Asher Hale. Despite a few moments of offense here and there, the end result was clear from the start – Cave In for pin. Grimes promised to celebrate in a VIP lounge Ever-Rise tried to tag along, but he told them there was only room for three: “Me, myself and Cameron Grimes.” Is he and De La-fan?
Franky Monet has no respect for Kacy or Kayden (nor her little dog)
Sarray had a fight with Zayda Ramier
So we gave Ramier a win over Toni Storm last week, just to give her to “Warrior of the Sun” this week? Don’t get me wrong, I like Sarray a lot, but this seems completely uncomplicated if you try to proclaim Ramier as a “future prospect” from her “big upset victory” last week, which they did during the broadcast repeatedly.
LA Knight crushed Jake Atlas in a short fight
The most memorable part was the Knights promo before the match, where he promised to beat his opponent so hard that he needed an atlas just to find his way back into the building.
If you like talking, this was the show for you
I thought there was a lot of time to kill last week, but I should have gotten a coffee machine out and set it to “auto refill” for this week. We had the promo segment from Kross and crew, a long promo segment by Legado del Fantasma to create his flunkies that challenged MSK and him challenging KUSHIDA (2 out of 3 falls next week), a backstage promo by Toni Storm on Zoey Stark, all of the segments with Gargano & Theory with Regal, a split screen interview for Mercedes Martinez & Raquel González, and several sketches involving Cameron Grimes that culminated in the nightclub, he rented a room to be BOUGHT by Ted DiBiase. It’s vintage “Million Dollar Man” and anything but for some reason I hardly got the laugh out of Grimes as I expected.
Oh and Franky Monet’s dog apparently looked in Shotzi Blackheart’s tank too. I do not have a clip of it – not that I want to see it, nor do I think any of you will.
It seems to be tough, I know, but every match given any significant time became the gimmick to hell and back – yet became the one gimmick match that MUST have had more time as the main event did not come close enough on. I think I’m about to finish Swerve and Ruff by now, and so should they. Sarray is in danger of getting lost in the mix if they do not give her any direction and promote her matches in advance. I do not understand the point of the Diamond Mine campaigns, and honestly I do not care. With three different matches involving foreign objects (legal or illegal), it was pure overkill, despite some good moments from bell to bell in each. Try to have only one looting match per. Show thanks, and for the love of all that’s good at wrestling, cut down on the promo segments.
Get up from your seats next to the cage and make noises below. See you in seven days!