WWE NXT Report – 3/31/2021
– The WWE NXT go-home episode for “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” opens up on the USA Network with a video package for the matches at next week’s big two-night event.
– We’re live from the Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida as Vic Joseph welcomes us. Fans chant “NXT!” and cheer. Vic is joined at ringside by Wade Barrett and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix.
Roderick Strong vs. Cameron Grimes
We go right to the ring and out first comes Roderick Strong as Alicia Taylor does the introductions. We see last week’s backstage segment that led to this match being made. This will be the first of a double shot for Strong and his opponent tonight as they will also compete in the 12-Man Battle Royal main event. The music hits next and out comes Cameron Grimes to a mixed reaction.
Grimes takes the mic and is still interested in purchasing the intellectual property of The Undisputed Era. He says he and Strong can keep the name going to make lots of money. He shows Strong a new Undisputed Era t-shirt he had made – Grimes The System. Fans boo. Grimes has a new entrance theme played for Grimes The System but Strong has heard enough. He exits the ring and unloads on Grimes on the ramp. They bring it down to the ring and the referee calls for the bell. Strong keeps control and nails a Spinebuster.
Strong works Grimes around the ring until Grimes rocks him out of nowhere with a back elbow. Grimes grounds Strong with a front face-lock now. Strong rocks Grimes in the corner but Grimes turns it right back around and takes it to the ropes as the referee counts. Grimes claws at Strong’s face. Grimes beats Strong down in the corner and talks some trash. Strong fights back and nails a big chop to bring Grimes to his knees. Strong keeps Grimes down and talks some trash. Grimes pulls Strong into the turnbuckles and he goes down. Grimes with a kick and a big chop in the corner. Strong with a chop of his own. Grimes grabs at the face again and the referee warns him. Fans boo.
Strong with a dropkick in the middle of the ring. Strong clotheslines Grimes over the top rope to the floor. Strong runs the ropes and nails a dropkick through the ropes for a pop. Strong with more chops on the floor as the referee counts. Strong beats Grimes down against the barrier. Strong is apparently distracted by a member of the crowd, allowing Grimes to beat him down at the barrier. Grimes works Strong over on the floor and brings him back in the ring as we go to a picture-in-picture commercial.
Back from the break and Grimes has dominated through the break. Strong with a clothesline to mount some offense. Grimes shuts him down for a close 2 count. Strong with more of a comeback now. They trade offense for more back and forth. Strong chops Grimes in the corner and takes him to the top as fans rally. Strong climbs up for a superplex and he hits it for a big pop. Strong covers but Grimes kicks out just in time.
Strong runs from corner to corner with the big strikes but Grimes meets him in mid-air with the big crossbody collider for a close 2 count. They get up and Strong hits the Olympic Slam out of nowhere. Strong picks up an Undisputed Era armband from the mat and looks at it, distracting him. Grimes pulled this from his trunks and dropped it to distract Strong. Grimes takes advantage of Strong being distracted by the Undisputed Era logo, allowing Grimes to deliver the Cave In stomp for the pin to win.
Winner: Cameron Grimes
– After the match, fans boo as Grimes celebrates the win. We go to replays. A disappointed Strong makes his exit.
– The announcers send us to a video on Karrion Kross training for NXT Champion Finn Balor at Takeover. He talks about going back to the basics – catch wrestling, judo and more, to take care of Balor and win the NXT Title. Scarlett is also there with Kross. They both hype up the match and send a “Tick, Tock…’ warning to Balor. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a video package with NXT UK Champion WALTER cutting a promo on Tommaso Ciampa to hype their Takeover match. WALTER says Ciampa is just a shell of what he once was, while WALTER’s commitment to this sport is un-reached. WALTER says he’s the one who respects this sport like no one else, and he’s going t prove that at Takeover. He’s going to prove what it means when he says the mat is sacred.
– The announcers talk about NXT moving to Tuesday nights on the USA Network, beginning April 13. They also plug WrestleMania 37 on Peacock and the WWE Network.
– We go back to the ring and Legado del Fantasma is out – NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde.
Escobar takes the mic and says he wants to issue an open challenge tonight. He wants to show fellow NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin what he’s gotten into. Escobar says he was born a champion and that’s what makes he and Devlin different. He goes on and says he represents 100 years of Lucha Libre tradition. Fans boo as Escobar goes on, saying the cruiserweight division will belong to him as long as he wants it to. Blood and tradition says he is the best cruiserweight in the history of NXT. He speaks some in Spanish now but the music interrupts as Tyler Breeze makes his way out.
Breeze takes the mic and says Escobar thinks the division is his because he’s entitled, while Breeze has worked his ass off to get here. Breeze goes on and then accepts the challenge. Escobar gets ready for the match as Breeze walks down the ramp.
NXT Cruiserweight Title Match: Tyler Breeze vs. Santos Escobar
The referee meets Tyler Breeze and NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar in the middle of the ring as Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza head to ringside.
The bell rings and Escobar strikes first with a kick. Escobar takes it to the corner and unloads, beating Breeze down as fans boo. Escobar talks some trash and keeps stomping as the referee warns him. Escobar with a running basement dropkick in the corner. Breeze slides out of a hold and nails a dropkick for a pop. Breeze stomps away in the corner now as the referee warns him. Wilde and Mendoza look on from ringside. Breeze keeps control and keeps Escobar down in the corner as the referee backs him off again.
Breeze knocks Escobar to the floor now. Breeze brings it back in but Escobar levels him and goes back to work on him. Escobar with a big dropkick for a 2 count. Breeze turns it around and wraps Escobar’s leg around the ring post. Wilde charges but Breeze superkicks him at ringside. Breeze then takes out Mendoza, sending him into the ring post. Escobar tries to take advantage through the ropes from the ring but Breeze rocks him from the floor. We go to commercial with Breeze in control, making his way back into the ring to Escobar.
Back from the break and Escobar remains in control, working on the knees as fans boo. Escobar works Breeze over in the corner now as the referee counts and the boos get louder. Escobar backs off and delivers a big high knee for another pin attempt. Escobar ends up rolling Breeze into a surfboard submission now. More back and forth but Escobar keeps control. Escobar slaps Breeze and talks some trash in the corner now.
Escobar with a big chop and some trash talking. Breeze finally mounts a comeback and nails a hurricanrana takedown, then mounts Escobar with right hands. Breeze blocks a submission and goes to work on the leg and knee. Breeze keeps going and hits a flying splash in the corner. Escobar turns it around but Breeze catches him with a Spinebuster. Breeze goes for the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring and he locks it in.
Escobar finally breaks the hold but he’s hurting. Escobar blocks the Unprettier and nails a dropkick to the face. Escobar scoops Breeze for the Phantom Driver in the middle of the ring for the pin to retain.
Winner: Santos Escobar
– After the match, Wilde and Mendoza hold Breeze for a triple team but the music interrupts and out comes MSK to a pop. Wes Lee and Nash Carter rush the ring but Legado del Fantasma exits before anything happens. The Grizzled Young Veterans appear on the big screen. They knock MSK and Legado del Fantasma being distracted by any and everything while they are laser focused and will be the next NXT Tag Team Champions at Takeover when they win the vacant titles. They disappear on the screen as MSK and Legado del Fantasma talk trash from the ring and ramp.
– The Way is backstage with McKenzie Mitchell. NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano is upset about how his Takeover opponent will be determined, giving him short notice to prepare. He says NXT General Manager William Regal is once again showing how he’s unfit to run NXT. He turns to Austin Theory and asks him why he’s trying to get in the title match. Theory brings up the infamous Finger Poke of Doom from WCW and Gargano says that killed the business. Theory says the business is still here. Gargano changes his mind and is up for the idea now. Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell hype their tag team match tonight. LeRae says they’re going to show Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart how champions do it.
– We get a brief vignette that shows a small dog outside of the WWE Performance Center at different angles. The dog looked to be a Pomeranian and there may have been two of them. The announcers wonder what this is? We go to commercial.
– We see how Raquel Gonzalez laid out NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai last week, and Shirai’s post-show comments on how dominant Gonzalez is, saying that’s why she picked her for her next title defense.
The Way vs. Gigi Dolin and Zayda Ramier
We go back to the ring and out comes The Way – Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae. Their opponents are already waiting in the ring – Gigi Dolin and what sounds like Zayda Ramier. This appears to be the former AQA, who was trained by WWE Hall of Famer Booker T.
Hartwell starts off with Dolin and they tangle. Dolin mounts some offense and delivers a big kick. Hartwell dodges a running kick, then drops Dolin into the top turnbuckle. Hartwell with a sidewalk slam for a close 2 count. Hartwell decks Dolin and then tags in LeRae. Dolin crawls for a tag but Hartwell tags in and stops her Dolin finally tags Ramier in.
Zayda runs wild on Hartwell and mounts offense. She nails a running clothesline in the corner and more offense. Zayda drops Hartwell with an enziguri for a close 2 count. More back and forth now. Hartwell nails a Spinebuster. LeRae tags in and runs to knock Dolin off the apron. Zayda takes advantage and rolls LeRae for a 2 count. LeRae with a superkick to the jaw. Hartwell tags back in as LeRae hits the Wicked Stepsister on Zayda. Hartwell follows up with the big flying elbow drop for the pin to win.
Winners: The Way
– After the match, LeRae and Hartwell stand tall as their music hits. We go to replays. LeRae takes the mic and cuts a promo on the women’s locker room. She then talks about NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart, saying the titles are theirs and they will take them at Takeover. The music interrupts and out comes the champs on Shotzi’s tank. They cut promos of their own and accept the match for Takeover. Shotzi fires her projectile at The Way and then they drive off in the tank as the music hits.
– We see Zoey Stark walking backstage. We also see Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai walking. NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai stops Gonzalez and attacks her. They start brawling as officials try to break it up. Gonzalez slams Shirai face-first into a production case. Officials back Gonzalez off and check on Shirai.
– We get another vignette of the dog. The dog enters the WWE Performance Center and the Capitol Wrestling Center now. Beth asks what’s with the dog? Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and McKenzie stops Roderick Strong in the back. He’s disappointed and is leaving the building. She asks about the Battle Royal but he doesn’t care, he’s leaving.
Zoey Stark vs. Raquel Gonzalez
We go back to the ring and out comes Zoey Stark. Raquel Gonzalez is out next with Dakota Kai.
Gonzalez strikes first and mounts some offense in the corner. Stark fights back and ends up taking her down with a hurricanrana. Stark keeps control but gets sent to the apron. She fights back in and dropkicks Gonzalez into the turnbuckles. Gonzalez catches Stark in mid-air and plants her face-first in the middle of the ring for a 2 count.
Gonzalez talks some trash and keeps Stark down. Gonzalez drops a series of elbows for another 2 count. Gonzalez grounds Stark now as fans rally. Stark finally turns it around in the corner and delivers high knees to the jaw. Gonzalez charges but gets dropped over the top to the floor. Gonzalez catches Stark on her way out and rams her to the post but it’s countered. Kai runs over and attacks Stark but Stark fights back and drops her. They bring it back in the ring and Stark unloads on Gonzalez.
Stark with a running knee strike to the jaw for another close 2 count. Stark goes to the top but Gonzalez cuts her off. Gonzalez overpowers from the corner but Stark fights her back off. Stark leaps off the top with a super neckbreaker for a close 2 count. Gonzalez goes on and hits the big one-arm chokeslam for the pin to win.
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez
– After the match, Gonzalez stands tall as we go to replays. NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai runs down for a big pop and she unloads on Gonzalez, sending her to the floor. Officials are behind them trying to break it up. Shirai keeps control until Gonzalez grabs her and launches her into part of the set. Shirai lands hard and officials check on her. Gonzalez, clutching her neck, heads to the stage with Kai.
– Still to come, a Prime Target preview for Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly.
– We get another video of the dog running through the WWE Performance Center. Back to commercial.
– McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with Kushida, talking about tonight’s Battle Royal and potential Takeover title shot. He’s interrupted by Pete Dunne. They have words and face off to hype tonight’s main event.
– We get a lengthy Prime Target preview video for the Unsanctioned Match between Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly during Night Two of the “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” event. The full Prime Target video will be on the WWE Network tomorrow.
Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro vs. Tian Sha
We go back to the ring and out comes Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and the announcers hype NXT moving to Tuesdays beginning on April 13. They also plug Peacock and the WWE Network. We go back to the ring as Carter and Catanzaro wait for their opponents. Out next comes Tian Sha – Xia Li and Mei Ying with Boa. We see Ying sitting on her throne on the stage. Boa and Li are on each side. Boa and Li walk down to the bottom of the ramp. Boa removes Li’s headdress and she does a quick performance with a sword. Li heads into the ring by herself and poses.
The bell rings and Kacy charges but Li takes her down. This was supposed to be a tag team match but Li is in the ring by herself. Kacy jumps on her back and fights her but Li slams her right to the mat. Carter tags in and dropkicks Li. Carter takes Li to the corner and kicks away. Li catches a kick but Carter rocks her. Kacy tags back in and unloads with strikes. Li takes them and in comes Carter for more fast offense. She takes most of the shots and blocks some.
Kacy with another quick tag and a running clothesline to finally drop Li. Kacy flips on her back for a 2 count. Li rolls to the floor to regroup. Kacy follows but Li rams her back into the edge of the apron, then launches her into the barrier. Li brings Kacy back in the ring and goes for a suplex but it’s blocked for a small package. Li kicks out at 1. Kacy comes right back with a big twisted Lungblower type move.
Kacy starts taunting Ying and Boa. She walks up to Ying talking trash but Ying grabs her by the throat as fans boo. Kayden starts gasping for air and finally fades out as Ying blows some kind of smoke in her face, then tosses her to the ground as the boos continue. Ying sits back down on her throne.
Back in the ring, Kacy kicks Li’s leg out but then runs into a jumping knee to the jaw from Li. Li follows up with a big kick for the pin to win.
Winner: Xia Li
– After the match, Li stands tall as the music hits and we go to replays. Li stands with Boa and Ying on the stage now. Kayden is still laid out at their feet.
– McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with Raquel Gonzalez now, asking about NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai. Gonzalez goes to speak but Shirai attacks her again and they start fighting. Gonzalez grabs Shirai by her neck and launches her through a covered window, into the next room. Gonzalez yells at Shirai to stay down. Officials come tend to Shirai as fans boo in the arena.
– We see the dog running again. This time it stops at a woman wearing boots but that’s all we can see. Writing appears on the screen that says someone named “Franky” will see us soon. She’s coming on April 13, which is the first Tuesday show. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a promo for tomorrow’s NXT UK episode.
– Tommaso Ciampa is checking in with a pre-recorded promo. He warns NXT UK Champion WALTER and says the necklace he stomped last week was given to him by his wife and kid, but WALTER didn’t know that. He goes on about how he always hears people saying he’s changed, he’s not the same he used to be. Ciampa says maybe he has changed in some ways but then again he hears all of his supporters, he sees them and feels them, and at Takeover, they’ve got to remind the world. He’s going to chase the dragon at Takeover, climb to the top of his mountain, look him in the eye and chop his damn head off. Ciampa gets loud now and goes on with the promo, with harsh words for WALTER. Ciampa goes on and says he’d rather be a man who really fights for something than a man who fights for nothing to lose every day of the week and twice on Wednesday. If WALTER wants to know if Blackheart still lives, if the Psycho Killer still lives, then he will get his answer in 7 days and it will cost him the title. Ciampa tells WALTER it’s a long, long fall from the top, so buckle up. He walks off.
– The announcers hype the “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” card.
– NXT Champion Finn Balor checks in with a pre-recorded promo. He talks while we see him training at the WWE Performance Center. Balor says he doesn’t gas out and Karrion Kross may try to dictate the pace of their match, but that’s fine because the longer it goes, the better for him. Balor warns Kross that there will be no fairy tale ending at Takeover because he will leave still as champion.
11-Man Battle Royal to Determine Gauntlet Eliminator Participants: Jake Atlas, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Leon Ruff, Austin Theory, Dexter Lumis, Tyler Rust, Kushida, Cameron Grimes, Pete Dunne, Bronson Reed, LA Knight
Vic and Barrett are in the ring now, going over the rules for tonight’s main event. It’s now an 11-man match as Roderick Strong left the building. The final 6 competitors will make it to the Takeover Night One Gauntlet Eliminator match. Tonight’s order of elimination will determine their Gauntlet entries, and the winner of the Battle Royal will enter the Gauntlet Eliminator last. The winner of the Gauntlet Eliminator at Takeover Night One will advance to Night Two to challenge NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano.
Out first comes Isaiah “Swerve” Scott as fans boo. He’s attacked out of nowhere by Leon Ruff at ringside. They brawl and bring it int he ring. Ruff keeps control and sends Swerve to the floor. Ruff runs and goes to leap out but Swerve retreats to the other side of the announce table. Ruff puts the brakes on in the ring and stands tall as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Pete Dunne is out. The ring is full of everyone else. The bell rings and everyone goes at it as Dexter Lumis watches from the corner. Kushida works on Austin Theory. Tyler Rust and Jake Atlas go at it. Swerve and Dunn trade shots. Ruff and Swerve go at it now. Bronson Reed tries to dump Cameron Grimes. LA Knight beats on Kushida in the corner. Malcolm Bivens tries to help Rust eliminate Atlas but gets caught. Swerve dropkicks Atlas and eliminates him.
Rust gets eliminated next, apparently by Ruff as he also fought with Swerve. Lumis is still watching intensely from a corner. Swerve works on Knight now. Kushida has Grimes tied up in the bottom rope. Dunne with a low dropkick to Ruff. Reed sends Theory out but he falls without his feet touching the floor. He has a bright idea and thinks he’s going to kip up to get back to his feet to stay in match. However, he kips up to his feet and eliminates himself. Theory throws a fit but the referee orders him to the back.
Reed knocks Kushida but he hangs on. Knight and Grimes double team Reed now, sending him to the apron. Reed fights back from the apron. Kushida drops Reed on the apron. Knight attacks Kushida. Kushida double teams Knight and Grimes with elbows. Dunne takes out Swerve then Ruff. Dunne goes to work on Ruff’s fingers and limbs now. Kushida with a punt kick to Grimes.
Dunne and Kushida face off in the middle of the ring now. They unload with strikes and go at it. Lumis is still watching from the corner. Kushida and Dunne are eliminated at the same time as Kushida tumbles them over the top rope to the floor with the Hoverboard Lock applied. They yell at each other as officials try to break them up and get them to the back. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial.
Back from the break and the final 6 going to Takeover are Reed, Grimes, Ruff, Swerve, Knight and Lumis. Lumis is still watching from a corner. Reed and Grimes go at it. Ruff and Swerve go at it. Knight talks some trash from the ring. The announcers reveal Kushida vs. Dunne for Night One of Takeover. NXT General Manager William Regal made the match and said he wants to see a technical masterpiece.
Gargano has joined the announcers for commentary. Knight works over Reed in the corner. Swerve and Ruff keep fighting on the ropes and the apron. Lumis continues to stand guard in a corner. Reed eliminates Ruff, meaning he will be in the Gauntlet at #1. Reed then eliminates Swerve, meaning he will go into the Gauntlet at #2.
Knight attacks Reed and works him over to some boos. Grimes joins in but Reed fights them off. Reed sends Knight to the apron. Knight launches himself in but Reed catches him in mid-air. They tangle. Grimes and Knight try to dump Grimes now. Lumis comes over and interferes in their attack, dumping Reed himself. Reed will enter the Gauntlet at #3.
It’s down to Knight, Lumis and Grimes now. Fans chant for Lumis. Grimes brings out a bunch of money and tries to buy them off to eliminate themselves. Grimes is decked, sending the money flying, and they both toss him over the top rope to eliminate him. Grimes will enter the Gauntlet at #4 at Takeover. Knight and Lumis face off in the middle of the ring now. Fans chant for Lumis. Knight approaches but Lumis uppercuts him and goes to work. Lumis with a huge back body drop for a pop.
Lumis tries to toss Knight but he hangs on, then sends Lumis to the apron. Lumis hangs on and keeps fighting. Lumis tries for a suplex to the floor but Knight blocks it and drops him. Knight charges but Lumis pulls the rope down, sending Knight through the ropes to the floor, but not over the top rope for an elimination. Knight then immediately follows up and pulls Lumis from the apron to the floor to get the final elimination for the win. Lumis will enter the Gauntlet last at Takeover.
Winner: LA Knight
– After the match, Knight stands tall as his music hits. He goes right to Gargano and taunts him. They have words over the NXT North American Title as the announcers hype the Gauntlet for Takeover.
– The music of NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai suddenly hits and out she comes to a pop. Shirai is fired up. She takes a mic and yells in Japanese. She drops the mic and here comes Raquel Gonzalez with referees trying to hold her back. Shirai meets her at ringside and they start brawling.
Referees try to keep them apart as do the other female NXT Superstars from the locker room. Shirai goes into the ring with other women holding her back. Gonzalez fights free from those holding her back at ringside, and goes to the apron to attack. Shirai ends up dropkicking her off the apron. Shirai goes to the top and leaps to the floor with a big splash, taking down Gonzalez and a big group of women.
Shirai yells out and gets fired up at ringside as a “NXT!” chant breaks out. Shirai continues celebrating as her music hits and the announcers hype Gonzalez vs. Shirai as the main event of Night One of Takeover. We go to replays. The NXT go-home show for “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” goes off the air with Shirai standing over Gonzalez and yelling out.