Recorded in Winter Park, Florida, at Full Sail University
Broadcast on April 8, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] NXT started with a video focusing on the match Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa…
Mauro Ranallo was in solo commentary. Io Shirai came in with turquoise and purple colors (unlike the Kamen Rider Zero One colors she was wearing). Tegan Nox was out then. Before Chelsea Green entered, Robert Stone introduced Green. The other women of the match made their entrance. The graphics of NXT Takeover: Tampa was on the video wall…
1. Io Shirai against Tegan nox against Chelsea Green (with Robert Stone) against Mia Yim against Candice LeRae against Dakota Kai (with Raquel Gonzalez) in a scale match for a future shot in the NXT women’s championship. Each woman got paired early. Nox, LeRae and Yim took turns hitting Kai in the corner. Shirai pulled the women out of the ring with a slingshot dropkick. Stone and Green set up a table at the edge of the ring. Shirai tried to climb a ladder in the ring but got into a fight with LeRae. Chelsea Green gave the two opponents a bulldog on the ladder to head for traditional advertising. [c]
Nox and Kai fought in the ring while Yim and Green fought on the edge of the ring. Kai caught Nox with a scorpion kick while Nox returned with a whim. Kai gave Nox a face wash in the area. Nox hit Kai with a strangled choke to honor his favorite wrestler Kane. Nox went to play in the briefcase, but Kai dropped it. LeRae pulled Kai down. The other women ran to prevent games in the case. Yim managed to hit LeRae with Eat Defeat. Yim used a chair to push Green’s knee down a ladder.
Shirai catapulted Yim down a ladder. Raquel Gonzalez overturned the ladder when Shirai was on it. Shirai jumped from the ladder to the pile of women at the edge of the ring toward the salesperson.[c]
Gonzalez was cleaning the house and Mauro noted that it was legal due to the No-DQ stipulation. Robert Stone was still checking on Chelsea Green, who was selling Io Shirai’s chair kick on his knees. Gonzalez used the firefighter to put Dakota Kai on the ladder, but Yim came to bring her down. Yim and Gonzalez fought on the top rope. Two unpleasant bumps then occurred. Nox strangled Gonzalez from the top rope to the table at the edge of the ring (where there was a bad camera angle). Kai threw Nox the top rope to a ladder at the edge of the ring.
Shirai, Lerae and Kai fought and bumped outside. Chelsea Green tried to climb with Robert Stone trying to inspire him. Robert Stone tried to climb to the top of the ladder to grab Chelsea Green to get the briefcase. Shirai and LeRae tilt the ladder to empty Green and Stone from the top. Shirai and LeRae got into a fight. Shirai raked LeRae’s eyes, then palm pushed LeRae from the top rope to the ladder on the floor.
Io Shirai defeated Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Mia Yim and Chelsea Green in 11.51 hours of television air time in a ladder match to win a future header for the NXT Women’s Championship.
Highlights of the match played. Shirai posed at the top of the ladder with the briefcase. Mauro exaggerated Gargano against Ciampa for later in the series…
They shot footage of two months ago when Finn Balor’s challenge was accepted by Imperium and Walter for a future NXT UK Championship match. Mauro Ranallo has announced the next decision of Finn Balor after the advertisement…[c]
John’s thoughts: A beautiful scale match for the allotted time. Some faults include the two commercial breaks. It is difficult to take them in takeover matches when they are interrupted by multiple advertisements. There were also strange camera angles that were missing points, which is not the case with WWE and you would think they could cover that because of the ability to re-photograph the points if necessary. After that, Shirai was a good choice to win and my favorite. If it goes against Charlotte, it should be an incredible match. Hopefully we get some sort of build as opposed to the opponent of the week build that WWE sometimes uses.
Last month, they broadcast footage of Finn Balor attacking Imperium at NXT UK. NXT then cut footage from the Finn Balor vs. Alexander Wolfe game that followed the opening segment. Balor ended up winning this match…
They cut a promo from Finn Balor’s darkroom. Balor spoke of being similar to Walter in the way that they both have creative control in their own world. Balor spoke about the title that Walter holds over the borrowed time…
Mauro Ranallo has hoisted the debut of Indus Sher, the Indian tag team led by Malcolm Bivens (ex. Stokely Hathaway), for after the break…[c]
John’s thoughts: So Balor’s next move is the same as it was two months ago. It’s been a while so I guess it was okay to update. I was just hoping that we would have an intermediate feud if Walter was unable to make it to a match against Balor. Maybe Walter is in the United States? Who knows?
The promo teaser of Kevin Kross played with the female voice in the background. The words “The end is near” and the clocks were in sight …
NXT has broadcast footage of Raul Mendoza kidnapped by luchador kidnapping ninjas. They also showed that Joaquin Wilde was kidnapped …
Malcolm Bivens came in with the video wall saying “Bivens Enterprises”. Once he entered, Rinku and Saurav made their own entrance with different music. This allowed Mauro to make a Malcolm in the middle joke (I missed Mauro) …
2. “Indus Sher” Rinku and Saurav (with Malcolm Bivens) against “Ever Rise” Matt Martel and Chase Parker. Martel started the match against Rinku. Rinku sent Martel back to his corner. Parker scored. Parker hit a flurry of punches, but Rinku went with the expected sales. Martel entered. The two men exchanged quick beacons to dominate Rinku. Rinku kicked two o’clock and gave his opponents a lariat. Mauro referred to Rinku having a million dollar arm (since he was a former MLB pitcher). Saurav scored and continued to use power moves on Parker. Sher swapped quick tags to dominate Parker.
Saurav gave Parker a lariat in the area. Rinku scored and the big men cut the ring in half on Parker. Rinku hit Parker with a baton. Rinku slapped Martel on the apron. Saurav scored. Saurav gave Parker a big boot. Indus Sher hit Parker with a double team Top Rope Elbow Drop backbreaker for the win.
Indus Sher defeated Ever Rise in a fall in 4:42.
The show stopped at Adam Cole’s pool. Cole talked about being the greatest NXT champion of all time. He spoke to Velveteen Dream and said that Dream did not deserve a title hit. Cole teased that one day he will challenge Dream, but it’s not now. After the promotion, Mauro hyped Gargano against Ciampa. Mauro also caused a sensation on Rhéa Ripley against Charlotte Flair for after the break…[c]
John’s thoughts: A decent introduction, I suppose, but not entirely dominant for what was supposed to be a new dominant team. For some reason, I remember the authors of the pain made a bigger impression than Saurav and Rinku. The most impressive part of this act is already Malcolm Bivens who radiates much more charisma than his customers just by standing there. Understandably, these two tall men are green. Maybe they will get better. They have the WWE performance center for that.
[Hour Two] Mauro has announced the NXT Interim Cruiserweight Championship for next week. He then moved on to a WrestleMania highlight video package with highlights from the Rhea Ripley Championship game against Charlotte Flair. Flair ended up winning this match…
They broadcast footage of Charley Caruso interviewing Charlotte Flair after her championship victory. Flair talked about Ric Flair’s custom cars and costumes. Charlotte explained how Ric said that it was the man who made the costume. Charlotte said it was the woman who made the title. Flair talked about withdrawing the Diva title and now she is the NXT champion again. Flair said Ripley was fine, but she did what everyone else did, bow down to the queen.
The show showed Ripley an emotional look behind the scenes. Ripley said Flair was much better than expected. Ripley ended his interview by saying “good” …
Mauro once again raised Black Heart against Rebel Heart…
The show cut the Gargano vs Ciampa match five minutes after the start of the hour. It looks like they are giving the Gargano vs Ciampa match cinematic treatment. Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae got out of an SUV. LeRae gave something to Gargano before leaving in an SUV. Paul “Triple H” Levesque was shown seated in the corner. Hunter presented the game and laid down the rules before leaving. Drake Wuertz was the match umpire …
3. Johnny Gargano versus Tommaso Ciampa in an empty arena match from an unknown location (cutscene). Gargano and Ciampa fought to start the match. The match was about equal and they quickly switched to advertising.[c]
Gargano and Ciampa continued to fight. Ciampa dominated Gargano and there were curses from Gargano. Gargano reversed the trend by snapping Ciampa’s knee in the ringpost several times. Ciampa rolled to the edge of the ring to recover. Gargano sacked spoke of Ciampa having a previously torn ACL. Ciampa countered a suplex with a front suplex in the ringpost on Gargano. This allowed Ciampa to rest and empty a wooden table of the stuff on top. Gargano punched Ciampa and a suicide dive.
Gargano rested on the apron while mocking Ciampa’s self-signing hind leg. Gargano then threw several cardboard garbage containers onto Ciampa. Gargano beat Ciampa against a trash can while mocking Ciampa for calling himself the new heart and soul of NXT. Gargano slammed the trash can in the back of Ciampa. Gargano put the boots on in Ciampa while making fun of Ciampa surgeries, like ACL and neck surgeries. Gargano took a chair and pushed it into Ciampa’s spine. Gargano then rested on a chair to gloat a little on Ciampa.
Gargano has installed a chair in the corner. Ciampa turned the tables over and threw Gargano in the chair. The two men lay down before the break. [c]
Ciampa caught a Gargano flying from a plancha with a blow from the lid. Ciampa then followed Gargano with a chop block. Ciampa pilmanized Gargano by wrapping a chair around his neck and throwing Gargano into the ringpost. Ciampa pulled out his signature crutch and used it to smother Gargano while Ciampa yelled at Gargano about the things Gargano just mentioned while talking about garbage. Gargano sprayed a fire extinguisher in Ciampa, which he found in one of the supply baskets. Ciampa battled the pain and the power bombed Gargano across a table.
Ciampa found cutting pliers and cut the ring skirt. After cutting the skirt, Ciampa began to remove the padding from the ring. Drake Wuertz tried to convince Ciampa to end the game now, but Ciampa kept saying that everything Gargano does is a charade. Ciampa came out of the ring to keep Gargano on the ground with a running knee. Gargano crawled to the exit door. Gargano recovered and slammed a roadie trunk in Ciampa. Gargano then threw Ciampa several times into the WWE semi-trailer truck. Ciampa fled and then climbed on top of the WWE truck.
Ciampa said it was Ciampa’s world and he dared to join Johnny up there. They cut drone shots of Gargano and Ciampa fighting over the truck (Hey! It’s probably OG Vanguard 1!). Gargano took over and tortured Gargano on the edge of the truck, asking if it was fun. Gargano has recovered and put Ciampa in the GargaNo Escape. Ciampa stood up, but Gargano brought Ciampa to his knees after hitting him with a series of super kicks. [c]
Ciampa returned to the building with Ciampa following him. Gargano caught Ciampa with a diving lariat who sent Ciampa through a table and bottles of water. Gargano rolled Ciampa into the half-exposed wooden plank ring. Gargano put the boots in Ciampa on the wooden planks. Gargano and Ciampa fought at the top. Ciampa took the upper hand with nudges in the back. Ciampa gave Gargano an air raid crash from the top of the rope to the edge of the ring (I hope there was a creative edition, just because they can). Ciampa threw Gargano into the ring and then got a count of two. [c]
Ciampa brought his camouflage pouch to the ring. Gargano hit Ciampa’s knee with a trash can lid. Gargano tried to use the kickstand to lock the GargaNo Escape, but Gargano used the cover to escape. The Gargano hit Ciampa several times with the cover. Gargano used the kickstand to help him nail Ciampa with a back kick. Gargano told Ciampa that Ciampa is a failure as a man, husband and father. Gargano held Ciampa’s head with the crutch and said that Ciampa is a monster. Ciampa fired and hit the Gargano with the kickstand. Ciampa kept saying Gargano was shit. [c]
Ciampa pulled Gargano’s head back with the crutch. Gargano came out, but Ciampa ran to Gargano with one knee. Gargano recovered and was about to go to Ciampa, but Ciampa struck Gargano with the willow bell on the exposed wooden planks. In a moment of compassion, Gargano put his hand gently on Ciampa’s hand which Ciampa shrugged emotionally. Ciampa was about to hit Gargano with the broken handle on his crutch, but Gargano gave Ciampa a superkick. Ciampa and Gargano then got knocked out with different parts of the crutch.
Candice LeRae entered the ring, looking worried. She wept over the lying bodies of Ciampa and Gargano. She begged Gargano and Ciama to stop fighting. Ciampa got up first. LeRae cried and asked Gargano who Gargano is now. LeRae said she hates Gargano now and told Ciampa to “finish”. LeRae said “I’m going to finish it”. LeRae kicked Gargano in the testicles. This caused Gargano to roll in pain and Ciampa sat on the ropes in shock. Ciampa then knelt and tried to get hold of Gargano, but was in conflict.
Gargano then said, “It’s over because it allowed Gargano to kneel. Gargano was on his knees. Ciampa got up and said “I’m sorry”. Candice LeRae appeared from behind and then kicked Ciampa in the balls. Gargano laughed as he took a cup of nuts out of his pants. Gargano said “you lose” when hitting Ciampa with the fairy tale ending for the final victory.
Johnny Gargano defeated Tommaso Ciampa in a fall in 48:16.
LeRae helped Gargano outside because Gargano said he was feeling better than good. While Gargano was walking towards his car, you could see the bright lights in a car they were passing with a woman and a man inside (Kross and Bordeaux?). Gargano and LeRae then left via the black car…
John’s thoughts: Mixed thoughts here. It was a good game. In fact, I think this match would have worked better if they hadn’t chosen the cinematic camera setup given the uncut format they went with. I’m going to give them this, even if they used cinematic shots, they ultimately treated it like a live broadcast. Not necessarily the film production we got from Mania. What I thought ultimately retained this match was the duration of this match with the usual slow starts of the matches of Gargano. Where I thought the cinematic format might have helped was if they fought a bit in certain lanes, but we only got 80% in the ring and 20% in the parking lot. Because they had cutting and commercial powers, I felt like they could have rationalized that in about 30 minutes. In fact, if they wanted to, they could have played the game seamlessly for next hour for an hour like an extra great DVD.
When it comes to the actual match, when you’ve passed a lot of slow points, I thought it was a good chapter in the endless feud of Gargano and Ciampa. Triple H said it was the last game, but given LeRae’s involvement at the end, this feud lasted for months, if not a year, if these two are destined to fight forever. They set up the viewer to expect an end every time everything LeRae gave Gargano at the start of the game came into play, and I thought it was smart to have a cup of nuts. I didn’t expect it to be a cup of nuts. I thought it was going to be a cup or knuckles or something. Anyway, a takeover match, a cutscene from Jeremy Borash, but I still think it went on too long in an uncut form (at least for a first preview). I’ll be here tomorrow with my member’s exclusive audio review and Jason Powell will be with his hit list.
New edition of Pro Wrestling Boom podcast with Jason Powell stars former ROH TV champion Shane Taylor as he explains how his past prepared him for the world today, his race with Keith Lee, why the win from Kofi Kingston to the WWE Championship was so meaningful, and much more. ..