WWE NXT Report – 3/24/2021

Mar 24, 2021 - by Marc Middleton

– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode opens up on the USA Network with a look back at last week. We’re live from the Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida as Vic Joseph welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix. We see Adam Cole entering the building earlier today with a security escort.

Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez vs. Io Shirai and Zoey Stark

We go right to the ring and Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez are already waiting. Out next comes Zoey Stark as Alicia Taylor does the introductions. NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai is out next.

Gonzalez starts off with Stark and overpowers, shoving her into the corner and talking some trash. They lock up again and Gonzalez overpowers into the corner again with more trash talking. They go at it and Raquel works on the arm now. Stark fights back with strikes. Stark with a big hurricanrana takedown and a running uppercut in the corner. Gonzalez sends Stark to the apron but Stark fights back in with a knee to the jaw, and another high knee in the corner.

Stark charges again but Gonzalez levels her in the middle of the ring. Kai tags in and Gonzalez launches her onto Stark with a stomp for a 2 count. Stark ends up rocking Kai in the middle of the ring. Stark tackles Kai and unloads with strikes. Stark takes it to the corner and in comes Shirai to take over. Shirai with a forearm and a chop to Kai.

Shirai scoops Kai but it’s countered. They run the ropes and Shirai ducks a kick, then takes Kai down. Shirai with a basement dropkick for a pop. Shirai unloads in the corner now, then delivers double knees. Gonzalez comes in and argues with Shirai. Kai rolls her up for a 2 count. Two more quick pin attempts in the middle of the ring. Shirai rolls Kai for 2. They tangle some more for another 2 count by Kai. Shirai traps Kai in the corner and in comes Stark with a running uppercut. Stark drops Kai and delivers a low clothesline for 2.

Kai drops Stark off a counter. Gonzalez tags in but gets hit with a head scissors takedown, then a running knee to the jaw. Stark with kicks but Gonzalez catches one. Gonzalez ducks an enziguri. Kai tags back in for a big double team combo with Gonzalez. Stark kicks out at 2 as we go to a picture-in-picture commercial break.

Back from the break and Gonzalez gets rocked by an enziguri from Stark. Kai and Shirai tag in at the same time. Shirai levels Kai with shoulders and then drops her on her face. Gonzalez runs in but Shirai takes her down and hits a double stomp. Shirai fights off both opponents now. Shirai with running knees to Gonzalez and then to Kai in the corners. Shirai with 619 to Gonzalez. Shirai goes to the top as Stark tags in. Shirai with the missile dropkick to Gonzalez.

Stark springboards in with a missile dropkick to Gonzalez, sending her to the floor with Kai. Stark launches herself from the ring to the floor to take Gonzalez back down. Stark ducks a running boot from Kai on the floor and sends her to the ring post. Stark then takes Gonzalez down on the floor using the post. Shirai goes to the top and hits a moonsault to the floor on Gonzalez. Stark brings Gonzalez back in and goes to the top. She goes for the 450 but Gonzalez rolls out of the way. Gonzalez avoids a kick and hits the big slam to drive Stark into the mat. Fans boo.

Shirai slowly pulls herself back in the ring. Gonzalez grabs Stark for the big slam, kicks Shirai off the apron to the floor, and then drives Stark in the mat. Gonzalez covers Stark in the middle of the ring for the win.

Winners: Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai

– After the bell, Shirai crawls in the ring and faces off with her Takeover opponent in the middle of the ring. Kai comes in the ring but Shirai senses it, turning around to knock Kai back to the floor. Gonzalez takes advantage of the distraction and rocks Shirai, knocking her back to the floor. Gonzalez follows and grabs Shirai, then drives her onto the top of the announce table as the boos get louder. Shirai yells out in pain on top of the table. We go to replays. Shirai is still face-down on top of the table as Gonzalez stares down at her.

– We see surveillance footage of Adam Cole attacking Kyle O’Reilly at the Gracie School on Tuesday. Sarah Schreiber stops O’Reilly backstage now, and he also has security. Roderick Strong interrupts and wants to see O’Reilly kick Cole’s ass for all he’s done to them. O’Reilly appreciates that but says there is no more “us” and this is between he and Cole. Strong and O’Reilly stare each other down for a few seconds. Strong says O’Reilly and Cole can both go to hell. Strong walks off. O’Reilly shuts the interview down and walks off with security.

– LA Knight is backstage in his gear. He cuts a promo on Bronson Reed and says tonight won’t be a pleasure for him. Knight goes on about how this is his game and that’s not an insult, it’s just a fact of life. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin cuts a backstage promo on his non-title match against Kushida tonight. Devlin says he’s going to make an example out of Kushida before facing NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar at the “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” event.

Bronson Reed vs. LA Knight

We go back to the ring and out first comes Bronson Reed. Out next comes LA Knight.

They have words in the middle of the ring to start. Reed rocks Knight with big strikes. Knight tries to come back but Reed levels him. Reed with a big back-drop in the middle of the ring. Reed runs into boots in the corner now. Knight looks to capitalize but Reed catches him with a big powerslam.

Reed keeps control and dominates, dropping Knight with another big strike. Reed with a headbutt to put Knight right back down. Reed with a big chop against the ropes. Reed takes Knight down and grounds him with a knee to the back. Reed with a waistlock on the mat now. Knight blocks a suplex but Reed elbows him to the apron. Reed grabs Knight but gets dropped over the top rope. Knight launches himself from the apron with a flying shoulder.

Knight stomps away while Reed is down now, then works him over with right hands. Knight drops a knee and keeps control, stopping to show off and talks some trash. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Knight has Reed grounded as fans rally. Knight taunts Reed while he’s down. Knight ends up unloading with shoulder thrusts in the corner as the referee warns him and fans boo. Knight smiles and turns back around to a shot from Reed. Knight dropkicks the knee out and delivers a running knee to the face. Reed finally fights back but misses a big chop in the corner. Knight drops him again in the corner. Knight with an uppercut to drop Reed to one knee. Reed tells him to keep bringing it as Knight delivers strikes. Reed sends it to the corner but then misses a running splash. Knight comes right back with a neckbreaker for a 2 count.

Knight runs into a big elbow in the corner. Reed takes a big kick and starts fighting back, beating Knight around. Reed levels Knight with a splash on his feet in the middle of the ring. The crowd rallies for Reed and he hulks up for a big splash in the corner. Knight counters a chokeslam and delivers a knee to the head. Reed fights back and delivers the big chokeslam for a pop. Reed goes to the top but Knight cuts him off. Knight works Reed over and climbs up for the superplex. Reed fights back and headbutts Knight tot he mat. Knight leaps back up but gets shoved right to the mat again. Reed nails the big Tsunami Splash for the pin to win.

Winner: Bronson Reed

– After the match, Reed stands tall as his music hits, taunting Knight. We go to replays. Knight recovers on the stage as Reed taunts him from the ring.

– The announcers talk about Danny Burch suffering a separated shoulder last week, which led to NXT General Manager William Regal vacating the titles. Barrett knows Burch and says he’s in good spirits, despite the injury. Vic says Burch may be out for 6 months. They also announce MSK vs. Legado del Fantasma vs. Grizzled Young Veterans to crown new champions at Takeover. We go back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get a Cricket-sponsored video on WALTER. Vic hypes WALTER vs. Drake Maverick for later tonight.

Karrion Kross vs. Oney Lorcan

We go back to the ring and out comes Karrion Kross with Scarlett. Vic hypes Kross vs. NXT Champion Finn Balor for Takeover. Oney Lorcan is out next to boos.

The bell hits and they immediately start brawling back and forth. Lorcan unloads in the corner but Kross tosses him over the top rope to the floor with ease. Kross follows and rams Lorcan face-first into the Plexiglas barrier as the referee counts. Kross works Lorcan around ringside and Lorcan rolls back in at the 6 count. Kross comes back in and mocks Lorcan, sending him right back to the floor with Lorcan retreating. Kross follows. Lorcan goes for a suplex on the floor but Kross counters with a suplex of his own.

The referee keeps counting as Scarlett looks on. Kross brings it back in at the 8 count. Kross rams Lorcan in the corner with a big shoulder thrust. Kross with more thrusts as the referee warns him. Lorcan unloads with two big chops to stun Kross. Kross tosses Lorcan to the floor and follows. Lorcan rams him back into the edge of the apron. Lorcan comes back in and Kross follows.

Lorcan with a big dropkick into the corner. Lorcan with a running uppercut in the corner. He runs again but Kross levels him. Kross stands tall and then covers for 2 as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Kross remains in control. Kross with more thrusts in the corner. Kross with a big boot to the face to keep Lorcan down as the referee warns him. Kross with a suplex into a 2 count. Lorcan looks to mount offense but Kross turns it back around and nails a big throw across the ring. Kross stands tall and laughs again.

Kross mounts Lorcan from behind and talks some trash, saying he doesn’t regret the injury to Danny Burch, and he loved it. Lorcan is angry now. He unloads with uppercuts but Kross shoves him in the corner. Kross charges and Lorcan sends him into the ring post. Lorcan drops Kross on his hurt shoulder, shocking Kross. Lorcan with big chops now. Lorcan unloads with slaps to the face now. Kross swings and misses. Lorcan takes his knee out and delivers a running uppercut.

Lorcan with another running uppercut. More quick back and forth. Kross comes back with a big boot and a big Doomsday Saito suplex. Kross then levels Lorcan with the running forearm for the pin to win.

Winner: Karrion Kross

– After the match, Kross stands tall as Scarlett joins him and the music starts up. Kross clutches his shoulder and is warned by the referee to stay away from Lorcan. We go to replays. Kross takes the mic now and says he’d like to take a moment to address last week’s actions by NXT Champion Finn Balor, a reference to accidentally knocking Scarlett down. Kross says those actions had malice, intention and Kross appreciates that because he realized he was giving respect to a man who doesn’t appreciate it, or deserve it. Despite Balor being a champion, when Kross held his little neck in his hands, it felt just like anyone else because when the fuse is lit, there’s no stopping what’s coming next, which is Kross… the music interrupts and out comes Balor. Balor slowly walks to the ring as Kross and Scarlett look on. Balor stops in front of Lorcan, who is down on the ramp. Balor says Kross took his best show last week and The Prince is still standing. Balor keeps walking to ringside now. He says Kross really showed his weakness last week.

Balor enters the ring with the title. He says when a man is young he fights with emotion, uncontrollable emotion. Some call it demons but really it’s just emotion. It wasn’t until Balor learned t control his emotion, to be cold, that he became untouchable in the ring. Balor says Kross still fights with emotion, everything he does is a reaction and in those moments he’s sloppy, vulnerable. Kross is seething now. Balor says at Takeover he’s going to push Kross to the point where he only has two options – surprise everyone and master his emotions, or what Balor believes will happen, is a repeat of last week where Kross’ emotions master him. And when they do, Balor is going to drag him into the cold, deep water and with no emotion, Balor is going to drown him. They stare each other down in the middle of the ring now. The Takeover logo flashes on the big screen as Balor’s music starts up. Fans chant “NXT!” now.

– NXT General Manager William Regal is backstage with a pair of brass knuckles on his desk. He announces a Gauntlet Eliminator Battle Royal to determine the Takeover opponent for NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano. A 12-man Gauntlet Eliminator Battle Royal will take place next week with Jake Atlas, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Leon Ruff, Austin Theory, Dexter Lumis, Tyler Rust, Kushida, Cameron Grimes, Pete Dunne, Roderick Strong, Bronson Reed, and LA Knight. The final six will be in the Eliminator Gauntlet and their order of elimination will determine the Gauntlet order. The winner will challenge Gargano on Takeover Night Two.

– Still to come, WALTER vs. Maverick. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Kushida cuts a promo in Japanese to hype tonight’s match with Jordan Devlin.

WALTER vs. Drake Maverick

We go back to the ring and Drake Maverick is waiting. We see video of Drake confronting Imperium earlier this week while looking for answering on Killian Dain’s whereabouts. That led to this match. Out next comes Imperium – NXT UK Champion WALTER with Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner, for this non-title match.

The bell rings and Drake charges but WALTER drops him with ease. WALTER follows up with a powerbomb in the middle of the ring, and then applies the single-leg Crab for the squash win.

Winner: WALTER

– After the match, Maverick is out as Imperium poses in the middle of the ring together. The music interrupts and out comes Tommaso Ciampa to the stage. Imperium watches as Ciampa comes to the ring, wearing Timothy Thatcher’s t-shirt. Ciampa enters the ring and stares WALTER down. Ciampa says a few weeks ago he said WALTER intrigued me. He misspoke and meant the NXT UK Title intrigued him. Fans pop. Ciampa says let’s cut to the chase. WALTER and everyone else knows what he wants. Ciampa challenges WALTER to a title match at Takeover. WALTER shakes his head no and fans boo. Ciampa hits WALTER as Imperium attacks him. Fans boo as Ciampa gets double teamed. They hold Ciampa as WALTER yells in his face and snatches his necklace off. WALTER stomps on it and Ciampa seethes, trying to attack but they beat him down again. WALTER with a huge chop to the chest to put Ciampa back down. The boos get louder. WALTER kneels down and puts the NXT UK Title in Ciampa’s face. WALTER says he will see Ciampa at Takeover. The Imperium music hits to end the segment.

– We get a pre-recorded promo from Pete Dunne on how he’s the best. He says he’s going to dominate the Battle Royal next week and then go on to win the NXT North American Title at Takeover.

– The announcers show us the earlier video of Robert Stone paying Mercedes Martinez a bunch of money to replace the injured Jessi Kamea in tonight’s NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles match. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get a sponsored video on Shotzi Blackheart.

– NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano is backstage and he’s not happy about Takeover. He storms into the office of NXT General Manager William Regal and vents about the Gauntlet Eliminator Battle Royal, the Gauntlet Eliminator, and the title defense at Takeover. Regal says if he’s really Johnny Takeover then he will have no problem. Regal suggests Gargano get to studying the competitors.

NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles Match: Mercedes Martinez and Aliyah vs. Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart

We go back to the ring and The Robert Stone Brand is out – Mercedes Martinez and Aliyah. Martinez is replacing the injured Jessi Kamea, who was injured during training. Out next are NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart.

Martinez starts off by dropping Moon. They tangle some and Moon drops her face-first into the mat. Shotzi tags in and they do some double teaming on Martinez. Shotzi with a crossbody from the top. Robert Stone gets on the apron and starts ranting at the referee. Martinez takes advantage of the distraction and levels Shotzi with a big boot. Martinez puts Shotzi on her shoulders and tags in Aliyah. She drops Shotzi and holds her for a Blockbuster from Aliyah. Shotzi kicks out at 2.

Aliyah works Shotzi over in the corner now. Shotzi fights both competitors from the corner. Aliyah runs and kicks Moon off the apron to prevent a tag. Aliyah goes back to work on Shotzi and tags Mercedes back in. Martinez and Aliyah with another big double team move but Shotzi kicks out again. Aliyah tags back in but Shotzi kicks her away. Moon tags in for a pop. She knocks Martinez off the apron and unloads on Aliyah. Moon yells out for a big pop and then hits the Hip Attack on Aliyah in the corner.

Moon catches Aliyah with a powerbomb for 2 as Martinez breaks it up. Shotzi runs in but Martinez scoops her. Shotzi counters that with a big DDT. Martinez gets sent out to the floor. Moon tags in and nails the Eclipse off the top to Aliyah for the pin to retain.

Winners: Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart

– After the match, Shotzi and Moon stand tall to celebrate as the music hits.

– Cameron Grimes approaches Roderick Strong in the locker room. He thinks it’s a shame what has happened to The Undisputed Era but he’s interested in purchasing The Undisputed Era’s IP to take it to the moon. Grimes has all sorts of ideas. Strong never speaks, just drops Grimes with a big right hand. Grimes throws a fit as Strong walks out.

– Back from a commercial and we see Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae confronting Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart in the back. They congratulate them for tonight’s title defense but they tell them they should face a real team for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles next. The two teams have some words and The Way says next time they will do this on their own terms and their own way. LeRae and Hartwell walk off.

– The announcers hype the “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” event.

Jordan Devlin vs. Kushida

We go back to the ring and out comes NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin for this non-title match. The announcers hype his Title Unification match with NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar at Takeover. Out next comes Kushida to a pop.

Back and forth to start. Devlin with a Uranage and a standing moonsault for a 2 count early on. Devlin drops Kushida with a big knee. Kushida works on the arm now as fans rally. They run the ropes and Kushida hits a hip toss, then a low dropkick. Kushida takes Devlin back down by his arm. More back and forth for a few minutes. Kushida slides to the floor but Devlin hits a huge moonsault from the apron. We go to commercial as a “NXT!” chant starts up.

Back from the break and Devlin has Kushida grounded as fans rally. Kushida fights up and then nails a dropkick after a forearm. Cameron Grimes vs. Roderick Strong is set for next week. Devlin and Kushida trade offense now. Kushida with a springboard back elbow, then a big right hand. Kushida with a running kick to the ribs, then the arm breaker takedown. Fans chant for Kushida now. Devlin avoids the Hoverboard Lock. They tangle and Devlin lands a close roll-up for 2. Kushida runs into the turnbuckles as Devlin moves. Devlin launches himself in from the apron with a big Cutter for a close 2 count. Devlin shows some frustration now.

They tangle in the corner after more back and forth. Legado del Fantasma appears on the stage, distracting Devlin. Kushida ends up taking advantage and gets the cross armbreaker applied in the middle of the ring. Devlin goes for the bottom rope but he’s pulled to the floor by Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde.

Fans boo and the referee didn’t see what happened. Escobar looks on from the stage. Devlin turns and stares at him, then turns back around and runs to the ring, ducking Wilde and Mendoza. Devlin runs in and Kushida inadvertently knocks Wilde and Mendoza off the apron. This leads to Devlin taking advantage and rolling Kushida for the pin.

Winner: Jordan Devlin

– After the bell, Kushida leaps out of the ring and unloads on Wilde and Mendoza, beating them around the stage area as Devlin sits up in the ring. Escobar enters the ring now. Devlin gets up and meets him in the middle of the ring. They have words as fans cheer them on. The music interrupts and out comes WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels to a big pop. Michaels slides a ladder into the ring, in between Devlin and Escobar. Fans chant “NXT!” now as Devlin and Escobar raise their titles in the air over the ladder. It looks like we have a Ladder Match at Takeover now.

– HBK’s music keeps playing as we see Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly making their way to the ring from different areas of the building, with security teams. Cole stops and trades a look with Shawn Michaels. Michaels keeps walking as Cole heads to the ring. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and NXT General Manager William Regal is at a table with Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly. Security surrounds the table. Regal thanks everyone for being here.

Regal yells at Cole and O’Reilly for their recent actions, getting police involved. He will not have them ruin what everyone in this company has worked hard to create. He has a solution to this situation – a contract for Cole vs. O’Reilly in the co-main event of “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” Night Two. Regal says O’Reilly is still not medically cleared. They must sign this contract and say NXT is not responsible for whatever happens to both of them. Cole signs first. Cole talks to Regal and goes on about how he recently had a revelation that he didn’t need The Undisputed Era, they were holding him back. Fans boo Cole.

Cole says O’Reilly helped him realize they were holding him back. He sat back and watched O’Reilly challenge NXT Champion Finn Balor twice, then fail twice, and then he tried to become friends with Balor and have him join The Undisputed Era. Cole asks if O’Reilly lost his mind? He says it makes sense because deep down O’Reilly is nothing but a lap dog, a sidekick, someone comfortable being on the sidelines and that is not Cole. Cole is the greatest NXT Champion in history and he will never be on the sidelines because he’s nothing like O’Reilly. Cole goes on about O’Reilly losing sight of what this was. The Undisputed Era was never about friendship or brotherhood, it was about being the best. Cole says O’Reilly should honestly be thanking Cole because he would not have made it to WWE without Cole. He goes on taking credit for everything. He says O’Reilly is nothing without him. The boos continue. Cole cannot wait to face O’Reilly because he and the entire world already knows who wins, only O’Reilly doesn’t already know.

Cole finishes signing the contract. Regal slides it to O’Reilly. O’Reilly has known Cole all this time, or thought he did. He recalls how The Undisputed Era dominated like 4 hungry pitbulls. O’Reilly says he grew up and started taking some accountability for his actions. O’Reilly goes on and says he’s the only one who became a better person, a better human being. He says Cole is the same asshole he was when he walked into NXT 3.5 years ago. O’Reilly thought maybe he and Cole could be cool again one day, maybe go for a beer. He won’t put Cole down for good. He sold his soul for The Undisputed Era and he wants it back. He says Cole is an insecure prick who used his friends and that is so, so cold, and somehow O’Reilly is not surprised at all. O’Reilly says not one single person is going to be surprised after he beats Cole into a pulp and in the first time in damn near 4 years, O’Reilly will sleep like a baby. O’Reilly signs the contract. Cole stands up now and taunts him, telling him to sign his death warrant. O’Reilly launches the contract at him. Cole lunges at him and O’Reilly does the same but security holds them back. Cole and O’Reilly continue to yell in each other’s face as security holds them back. Vic hypes their Takeover match as being a “No Rules, No Liability, Unsanctioned” match. Fans chant “NXT!” as the show goes off the air.

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