NXT returned last night (March 24) from Capitol Wrestling Center (CWC) in Orlando, Florida. You can find the results on the live blog here.
Adam Cole is out of control (just like O’Reilly)
The war between old friends Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly could no longer be limited to the confines of Capitol Wrestling Center. The fight spread in public and left Regal praying that law enforcement would drop the charges… but that was only because HE wanted to be the one to inflict the punishment.
Cole was going to have to face the music when he arrived, with O’Reilly and Regal on hold. The CEO would be forced to make a decision with Stand & Deliver in just two weeks!
Regal started the reunion (which was the show’s “main event”) calmly, but quickly started yelling at both Cole and O’Reilly for involving POLICE BLOODY. He told them the only way to allow an injured Kyle O’Reilly to make it into a game as the main takeover night co-event was to both sign a retainer agreement exempting NXT from any responsibility for what would happen.
Adam Cole signed on first, but not before he took the opportunity to belittle Kyle O’Reilly as nothing more than a “pocket dog” and “sidekick.” He told William Regal that he was like a blind man seeing the world for the first time, and his revelation was that he didn’t need The Undisputed Era – in fact, they were holding him back. The record title reigns, the main events, t-shirt sales, everything ADAM COLE BAY BAY. He said the Takeover winner was obvious to everyone except the man in front of him.
Equally passionate was O’Reilly’s rebuttal. He couldn’t believe that the last three and a half years had been a waste of time, that their friendship had been a lie, but he had to accept it or he wouldn’t be able to do what was necessary for Takeover. O’Reilly said they became better wrestlers, better fighters and world champions in The Undisputed Era… but only one of them became a BETTER MAN. He vowed to take responsibility for all his misdeeds, starting with eliminating the man he trusted with everything. He signed the contract and threw the pen at Cole, Cole burst into a rage and the game for Takeover was official!
No more team champions
Due to Danny Burch’s unfortunate injury last week, general manager William Regal felt he had no choice but to strip Burch and his partner Oney Lorcan of their tag team titles.
I can confirm this incredibly unfortunate news and make the difficult decision to leave the #WWENXT Tag team titles. In addition, I will discuss the status of titles in more detail tomorrow night on @WWENXT. https://t.co/z3iQdC1Ruc
– William Regal (@RealKingRegal) 23 mars 2021
This left a huge void in the title image, which could possibly be resolved before or during Takeover: Stand & Deliver. What would William Regal’s decision be? He invented a triple threat for Takeover’s first night – MSK, Grizzled Young Veterans, and Legado Del Fantasma would face each other for the vacant belts!
Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon contre Mercedes Martinez & Aliyah
While it seemed unlikely that the women’s tag team titles would change hands again so soon after their inauguration, that didn’t mean that Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon could just laugh at the challenge that Mercedes Martinez (replacing an injured Jessi Kamea ) and Aliyah brought to the table, especially with Robert Stone ready and willing to interfere on their behalf.
WALTER vs. Drake Maverick
I am not joking. Long-reigning British Champion WALTER faced tiny Drake Maverick in an untitled defense on WWE NXT this week.
It lasted exactly as long as you expected. WALTER destroyed it with a single powerful bomb and put it on hold for submission, but the referee stopped the match after declaring that Maverick was already out. Tommaso Ciampa came out to challenge WALTER for his NXT UK title at Takeover, and WALTER agreed… but only after Imperium left him in a heap in the middle of the ring.
Bronson Reed is no longer playing
Last week, Bronson Reed thought it was fun doing the “fat man in a little coat” with the LA Knight designer jacket. This week Reed was all business – no more time for jokes.
LA Knight did his best to keep “The Colossal” Bronson Reed at bay, but eventually he pissed off Reed once too often and he “hulked” himself for the comeback. Knight tried to crotch him onto the top rope and suplex him, but Reed overpowered him and sent him flying, then came out of the top for a TSUNAMI to end the contest decisively.
Karrion Kross vs. Oney Lorcan
If it wasn’t enough that Karrion Kross destroyed Danny Burch by accident last week, now he was going to raise the bar in trying to destroy Burch’s tag team partner on GOAL.
Kross mocked Lorcan during the match, telling him that he enjoyed hurting Danny Burch and didn’t regret his actions at all. This caused Lorcan to make a furious comeback filled with upercuts, but he still succumbed to the forearm on the back of the head, just like most of Karrion Kross’ opponents do. The victory was just an excuse for Finn Bálor to come out and tell Kross that he showed his weakness last week – he’s a hot young head ruled by emotion. Bálor vowed to be cold and impartial at Takeover: Stand & Deliver, where he vowed to drown Kross in “the deep waters”.
Jordan Devlin vs. KUSHIDA too
Did they really have enough time to put it all into one two hour episode? Apparently yes! Like WALTER, it was also an untitled game for cruiserweight champion Jordan Devlin.
Legado Del Fantasma tried to provide a distraction and cost Jordan Devlin the match, but he avoided both Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde, stepping back into the ring and connecting KUSHIDA for the pin. The damage had been done as KUSHIDA had been working on his left arm the entire match, possibly sending him into the title unification match (at least in kayfabe) in a weakened state. Santos Escobar stepped into the ring to face him and show him the working title, but the music of Shawn Michaels hit them and interrupted them both!
The Heart Break Kid didn’t say anything, but he didn’t need to. He lifted the apron and slipped a ladder into the ring, and both men took that as a signal that they would have a ladder match to unify the Cruiserweight belts at Takeover. It’s on!
Raquel sends a message
Io Shirai and Zoey Stark vs. Dakota Kai and Raquel González was the opening contest for this week’s show. It was a good opportunity to remind everyone that Io Shirai vs. Raquel González will be headlining NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver night one. It was an even better chance for González to prove a point by showing his dominance to Shirai. She gave him a boot in the face on the apron and pelted Zoey Stark in the middle of the ring for the pinfall, then just to add insult to injury, she slammed Shirai right up from the announcements desk after the game. Shirai writhed in pain as González rejoiced in her.
Oh, and one more thing
William Regal has announced a 12-man battle royale to determine a new number one contender for North American NXT champion Johnny Gargano.
Quality: B +
Without disrespecting Jessi Kamea, the game was improved by having Mercedes Martinez as Aliyah’s tag team partner for the title. Sadly, they rushed to give their all to give the segment more time at the end of the series, and that’s my biggest hit on the episode as a whole. Title games should be important even if the opponents change at the last minute. There was an unnecessary Cameron Grimes shtick where he tried to buy the intellectual property of The Undisputed Era from Roderick Strong and adorned himself in the face, but at least it was short. I would have preferred WALTER to have a live match instead of a squash, but every week he’s on NXT is a good week for me.
Get up from your seats next to the cage and ring below. See you in seven days!