WWE NXT Report – 5/18/2021
– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode opens live on the USA Network with a video package to hype the show. 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. Fans chant “NXT!” as we go right to the ring.
Toni Storm vs. Zoey Stark
We go right to the ring as Toni Storm makes her way out for the opener. Zoey Stark is out next as Alicia Taylor does the introductions.
The bell rings and they size each other up, then meet in the middle of the ring. Storm slaps Stark but Stark backs her into the corner and unloads. Storm comes out but Stark beats her right back into the corner. Stark with a dropkick, sending Storm to the floor to regroup. Stark launches herself over the top rope to the floor, taking Storm down. Stark stands tall and yells out.
Stark brings Storm back in, then springboards in with a big dropkick. Storm goes to the floor and Stark tries to kick her from the apron but it’s blocked and Stark lands hard on the edge of the apron. Storm launches Stark into the steel ring steps now, then charges and smashes her into the steps. The referee checks on Stark as Storm returns to the ring to stand tall. Stark makes it back in at the 8 count.
Storm works Stark over with strikes now. Storm unloads with kicks in the corner now. Stark fights back but Storm nails a snap suplex for a 2 count. Storm grounds Stark with a hold now. Storm whips Stark into the ropes and levels her with a big boot for another close 2 count. Stark fights back but Storm sends her to the corner, then tosses h er across the ring. Storm keeps control and hits a backbreaker, holding Stark over her knee and stretching her. Storm covers for 2.
Storm continues to dominate with strikes. Stark dodges an uppercut and back-slides Storm for 2. Stark mounts offense now and nails a big jumping enziguri to the head. Storm goes down and we go to a picture-in-picture commercial break.
Back from the break and Stark rocks Storm in the corner, then clotheslines her. Stark with a sliding knee for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. Storm counters but Stark blocks the Storm Zero with a hurricanrana and covers her for a 2 count. More back and forth. Stark with a big suplex for 2. More back and forth. Storm drops Stark on her neck with a German suplex. Storm follows up with Storm Zero but Stark kicks out just in time.
Storm can’t believe the kick out. She re-groups and comes right back with a new finisher, some kind of spinning driver, dropping Storm on her neck. Storm holds it for the pin to win.
Winner: Toni Storm
– After the match, Storm stands tall as her music hits. We get a replay of the new finisher. After the match, Storm stands tall until the lights go out. They come back up and Franky Monet is making her entrance to the stage, Pomeranian in hand. Storm seethes in the ring as Stark recovers at ringside. Monet shows off and poses on the stage as she prepares to make her in-ring debut next week.
– McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde. She asks where Santos Escobar is but they tell her don’t worry, they want to talk about when they will get a title shot from NXT Tag Team Champions MSK. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher interrupt and the two teams have words over who deserves a title shot. This sets up a match for later tonight as Ciampa and Thatcher walk off.
– We see Cameron Grimes arriving in the parking lot earlier today. He tossed his keys to Jake Atlas and told him to park the car, but Atlas gave the keys back and said WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase is the only one with a parking spot upfront. This caused some of the other recruits standing around to laugh. Grimes says Atlas probably thought that was funny but what will really be funny is when he kicks Atlas’ ass in the ring later tonight. Grimes tosses a few dollars and walks off.
– Still to come, a Prime Target preview for next week’s NXT Title match. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae are at the spa getting massages and facials. Dexter Lumis is the one massaging Indi’s head but they can’t see this. They start talking about how Lumis is a creepy loser who just stares at Indi every time he sees her. Indi thanks Candice for helping her see the truth about Lumis. Lumis stops massaging Indi and walks off.
– We get a Prime Target preview video package for next week’s title match between Finn Balor and NXT Champion Karrion Kross. The video features Kross and Balor watching their “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” match, plus new comments from each competitor. The video also features comments from former UFC commentator Jimmy Smith (billed as a NXT analyst), Pat McAfee and Paul Heyman.
Jake Atlas vs. Cameron Grimes
We go back to the ring and Jake Atlas is wrapping up his entrance. Out next comes Cameron Grimes. Grimes calls for his music to be cut. He says everyone finds it funny how WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase keeps embarrassing him, but wait until we see the real Million Dollar Man. Grimes plays a video package that shows several not-so-great moments from Ted’s career, including losses he took.
Grimes laughs as he enters the ring but fans are chanting “DiBiase!” now. Grimes is upset. He goes for Atlas but Atlas dropkicks him out of the ring. The referee holds Atlas back as Grimes clutches his jaw on the floor. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and the match is officially underway. Grimes with uppercuts in the corner. Atlas fights back but Grimes keeps rocking him with strikes. Atlas kicks Grimes and grabs from behind but Grimes elbows him away. More back and forth now. Grimes with a running kick into the corner. Atlas with a flying hurricanrana from the corner for a close 2 count. Grimes kicks Atlas away from the mat. Grimes dumps Atlas to the apron but Atlas fights back in. Atlas charges but a knee to the gut takes him down.
Grimes comes right back with a big clothesline for a 2 count. Grimes keeps Atlas down and kicks him in the corner. Grimes whips Atlas across the ring and into the turnbuckles. Grimes talks some trash and wastes time. Atlas fights him with punches and a chop. Grimes kicks him but Atlas catches the second kick. Atlas with a big slap across the face.
Atlas whips Grimes hard into the turnbuckles and he hits chest-first. Atlas counters a move and hits a German suplex as we see a white limousine pull up outside. This is The Million Dollar Man arriving. Atlas keeps mounting offense on Grimes. Atlas with a big clothesline for 2. Grimes still has not seen the limo arrive outside. Atlas goes to the top and stops Grimes from pulling him off. Atlas comes off the top but lands on his feet. Grimes follows right up with the big crossbody collision but Atlas hangs in.
Grimes waits in the corner for Atlas to get up to deliver the Cave-In, but the familiar Million Dollar Man music hits and out comes Ted Sr. on the stage. Grimes is distracted. Atlas takes advantage and rolls Grimes up for the pin to win.
Winner: Jake Atlas
– After the match, Ted does his signature laugh as his music keeps playing. Grimes is furious. Ted walks to the back. Atlas kicks Grimes off the apron. Grimes stumbles to the backstage area. A camera follows and we see Grimes looking for Ted. Grimes goes outside and approaches the limousine, then tries to open the door but it’s locked. Grimes yells at Ted to open the door. Ted rolls the window down and refuses to open the door, saying, “Not bad kid, but you’re still no Million Dollar Man!” Ted tells his driver to take off as he starts laughing again. Grimes throws a fit in the parking lot as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a video package with Bronson Reed talking about his journey to tonight’s Steel Cage main event.
– We go to sports journalist Arash Markazi for his sit-down interview with Pete Dunne. Arash asks about Dunne recently calling out the roster and asks if there’s anyone specific he wants to face. He mentions NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida and NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano, and says he could also go back to NXT UK to take back the NXT UK Title from WALTER. He wants to challenge for Karrion Kross’ NXT Title as well. Dunne also talks about respect and how he came up with his physical style. He mentions being influenced by Fit Finlay and says he tries to make it more violent. Dunne is asked about setting goals and where he sees himself in 1 year, then 5 years. He used to set goals but now he’s just taking opportunities. He goes on and says at this point in his career it’s time to win the NXT Title. Markazi thanks Dunne and they wrap the interview.
Alexander Wolfe vs. Killian Dain
We go back to the ring and Imperium is out – Alexander Wolfe with Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner. We see a sidebar video from earlier today with Imperium and NXT General Manager William Regal backstage as medics cleared Wolfe to compete after the “stomach bug” prevented this match from happening last Tuesday. Out next comes Killian Dain with Drake Maverick.
This will be Wolfe’s first match since losing to Joe Coffey on the December 3, 2020 NXT UK episode. The bell rings and they lock up, then break for a brief staredown. They go at it with strikes now. Wolfe drops Dain to one knee and then delivers a big boot. Wolfe mounts Dain with more offense. Vic says Hit Row will be in action tonight.
Dain fights Wolfe off and delivers several big uppercuts. Dain fights Wolfe into the corner and unloads. Dain runs Wolfe face-first from turnbuckle to turnbuckle, then drops him. Aichner gets on the apron and tangles with Drake. Dain has to drop Barthel off the other side of the apron. Wolfe takes advantage and hits a big German suplex on Dain.
Barthel slides a steel chair into the ring but the referee catches him. The referee is calling for someone to come take the chair but Wolfe grabs it anyway. Wolfe approaches Dain with the chair to swing it but Dain ducks, then nails his crossbody for the pin to get the fairly quick win.
Winner: Killian Dain
– After the match, Dain and Drake head to the back together as we get replays. Imperium poses together in the middle of the ring and there’s some tension. Wolfe acts like he doesn’t need their help getting up and standing back straight. Barthel and Aichner suddenly attack Wolfe and beat him down. They hit the double team Imperium Bomb and leave him laying in the middle of the ring. Barthel and Aichner pose over Wolfe now as fans boo them.
– Still to come, Legado del Fantasma vs. Thatcher and Ciampa. Back to commercial.
– McKenzie is backstage with Dakota Kai and NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez. She asks about last week’s post-show segment in the trainer’s room with Mercedes Martinez having a show of respect with Gonzalez. Kai says they saw the comments, so McKenzie should stop trying to stir things up. Raquel says she beat Mercedes like she said she would. They go on and Kai says they will be going for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles again. Ever-Rise interrupts and they plug their Saturday social media show, Ever-Rise Live. They joke around with Gonzalez and she slaps Matt Martel in the face, knocking him down. Kai and Gonzalez walk off laughing as Chase Parker helps him up.
Legado del Fantasma vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher
We go back to the ring and Legado del Fantasma’s Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde are already out. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher head to the ring next.
Wilde charges Ciampa to start but he misses. They stall some more as Wilde dances around to taunt Ciampa. Ciampa chases him around the ring and back in. Ciampa pulls Wilde to the floor and launches him into the barrier. Ciampa plays to the crowd for a pop now. He brings Wilde back in and ducks a clothesline, then runs over him with a shoulder for a quick pin attempt.
Ciampa grounds Wilde now. Ciampa twists the arm up and tags in Thatcher to take over. Thatcher drives shoulders into Wilde while keeping him in a hold. Mendoza tags in but Thatcher shoves them both away. Mendoza and Thatcher lock up but Thatcher takes him down and works on the arm. Ciampa tags in and decks Mendoza while Thatcher holds him. Ciampa takes Mendoza down with a head scissors now. Ciampa with a running clothesline in the opposite corner. He tries for another but Mendoza gets a boot up to Ciampa’s jaw. Mendoza works Ciampa over with strikes now. Ciampa keeps fighting, taking Mendoza back to his corner as Thatcher tags back in. Thatcher grounds Mendoza and works him over. Mendoza makes a comeback and dropkicks Thatcher’s knee out.
Mendoza with kicks while Thatcher is on his knees. Thatcher catches a kick and applies the ankle lock. Wilde tags in but Ciampa catches a kick and takes him down for the ankle lock. Ciampa and Thatcher have double ankle locks applied now. They roll into double pins for 2 counts. Mendoza ends up nailing a big enziguri on Thatcher. Ciampa levels Wilde with a clothesline but Mendoza drops Ciampa with an enziguri. Thatcher comes back and takes Mendoza down. We go to commercial with all four competitors on the mat.
Back from the break and fans cheer as Ciampa runs wild from corner to corner on both opponents. He keeps going and ducks a double team, then takes them both down at once with a flying clothesline. Mendoza saves Wilde from the Willow’s Bell DDT. Mendoza drops Ciampa and stomps away. Vic says WWE medics cleared Mendoza to finish the match during the break. We get a replay of a stiff forearm to the nose Ciampa delivered to Mendoza, which required a medic to check him out.
Wilde and Mendoza unload on Ciampa with double teaming now. Wilde covers for a close 2 count. Mendoza slaps Ciampa in the corner after more strikes. Ciampa fights back but Mendoza delivers a big thrust to the gut. Mendoza runs into the corner again but Ciampa moves and Mendoza hits the ring post, then falls to the floor. Thatcher tags in and tosses Mendoza to the mat, then tosses Wilde as he runs in. Thatcher uppercuts Mendoza, and again. Thatcher with a running uppercut in the corner, then a big overhead suplex for a 2 count. Thatcher sends Mendoza to the corner for more uppercuts. Ciampa tags in and takes over, unloading on Mendoza with strikes in the corner as the referee warns him.
Thatcher tags back in and keeps pounding on Mendoza. Another tag to Ciampa as they double team Mendoza now with quick offense. Ciampa with a running knee to the face for 2. Mendoza nails a big kick to the chin from the apron. Mendoza rolls through off the top as the back & forth continues. Mendoza blocks the Fairy Tale Ending and ends up rocking Ciampa with a shot to the face. Wilde tags back in and they double team Ciampa with several moves. Mendoza with a bottom rope moonsault for a 2 count. Thatcher runs in and beats on Mendoza but Mendoza shoves him to the floor. Thatcher prevents a double team to Ciampa. Wilde leaps to the floor and takes him down. Wilde comes back to the apron but Ciampa drops him with Willow’s Bell DDT for a close 2 count as Mendoza breaks it up out of nowhere.
The Grizzled Young Veterans suddenly appear at ringside, double teaming Ciampa and slamming him into the edge of the apron as fans boo. The referee didn’t see the sneak attack. Wilde and Mendoza follow up with a double team to Ciampa and Mendoza covers for the pin to win in the middle of the ring.
Winners: Legado del Fantasma
– After the match, Wilde and Mendoza celebrate and make their exits as Ciampa and Thatcher recover.
– McKenzie is backstage with Bobby Fish. He says last week’s return had very little to do with Kyle O’Reilly but everything to do with Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan as they put him on the shelf at WarGames last fall. Fish says he’s back now and that means there’s a debt to be paid and he can’t think of a better place to start than with Dunne. Fish goes on cutting a promo on Dunne and challenges him to show up next week so Fish can finish their unfinished business. Fish walks off and we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae finishing up their spa day. The employee comes in and says LeRae’s credit card has been declined. She called the credit card company and there’s some kind of issue with an unpaid expense. They think it’s Austin Theory charging pizzas to the card but the spa employee says it was some kind of charge to a florist about 3 weeks ago. She asks Candice if that rings a bell and it doesn’t, but clearly it does. We see Indi thinking about it in the background. Indi puts it all together and wonders if Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart received those flowers from Dexter Lumis or Candice a few weeks back. Indi asks Candice if she realizes what this means? He still loves me! Indi runs away yelling about how Dexter still loves her. Candice looks shocked and confused at Indi’s way of thinking.
– Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory are backstage cutting a promo on Bronson Reed to hype tonight’s main event.
Aliyah vs. Sarray
We go back to the ring and The Robert Stone Brand is waiting – Aliyah with Jessi Kamea and Robert Stone. Out next comes Sarray.
The bell rings and Sarray goes for a show of respect to start but Aliyah kicks her. They go at it and Sarray tosses her with a big arm drag, and another. Sarray with a dropkick for a pop. Kamea tries to grab Sarray from the floor but she misses. Aliyah takes advantage of the distraction and unloads on Sarray with strikes.
Aliyah drops Sarray with a big back elbow for a 2 count. Aliyah slams Sarray by her hair as Stone cheers her on. Aliyah launches Sarray across the ring again, then delivers a knee to the jaw in the corner. Sarray kicks out at 2. Sarray fights back with strikes. Sarray drops Aliyah with a heel kick for a 2 count. Sarray with a bridging German suplex for a pop. She yells out and goes to the top.
Sarray with a missile dropkick now. She yells out again and delivers a running dropkick against the bottom rope. Sarray dumps Aliyah on her head with another big suplex, covering for the pin to win.
– After the match, Sarray stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Sarray celebrates in the ring as The Robert Stone Brand re-groups at ringside.
– We get a video message from Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart, who send warnings to NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions The Way, and the team of Dakota Kai and NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez.
– We see Hit Row Records walking backstage. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see the same vignette for The Diamond Mine that has been airing.
“Top Dolla” AJ Francis and Ashante “Thee” Adonis vs. Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari
We go back to the ring and out comes Hit Row – “Top Dolla” AJ Francis and Ashante “Thee” Adonis with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and Briana “B-Fab” Brandy. Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari are already waiting in the ring.
The bell rings and Adonis immediately nails Nese. They go at it and Adonis drops him on his face, then kips up in the middle of the ring. Dolla tags in and tosses Nese across the ring by one arm. Daivari tags in but Dolla runs over him. Dolla pulls Nese in from the apron, onto his shoulders, then grabs Daivari at the same time and slams them both with a super Wasteland.
Dolla levels Daivari with a big lariat. Dolla drags Daivari to the corner and tags Adonis back in. Adonis slaps Daivari around and gets in his face with trash talking. Daivari fires back and unloads with chops and punches. Adonis nails a dropkick, then mounts Daivari with lefts and rights in the corner as the referee warns him.
Dolla tags back in and pulls Adonis off Daivari, but sends him into Nese with a big superkick across the ring. Dolla levels Daivari again and hits a big slam off his shoulders. Dolla then covers Daivari for the pin to win.
Winners: Hit Row
– After the match, Hit Row celebrates in the ring as the music hits. We go to replays. Dolla takes the mic and tells B-Fab to put them on notice. They all cut promos now and pose together in the corner. Swerve says he doesn’t care who wins tonight’s main event, but he will have his eye on the NXT North American Champion after it’s over. The music hits again and they celebrate some more.
– McKenzie is backstage with NXT General Manager William Regal. He names Legado del Fantasma as the new #1 contenders and says they will challenge NXT Tag Team Champions MSK in two weeks. Regal says there’s a lot of opportunity in NXT right now and they have the greatest women’s division in the world. He wants to see who will step up there. He’s also bringing in new talent in the coming weeks, and wants to see who can step up to NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida and the others in that division. He will be keeping an eye on the various divisions here in NXT. Regal also announces Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart vs. Dakota Kai and NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez for next week.
– We see the main event participants walking backstage. We also see the Steel Cage being lowered from the rafters. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a quick promo for Franky Monet’s world premiere in-ring debut next week. There will also be a Million Dollar Face Off between Ted DiBiase Sr. and Cameron Grimes next week.
Steel Cage Match for the NXT North American Title: Bronson Reed vs. Johnny Gargano
We go to the Steel Cage for tonight’s main event as Bronson Reed makes his way out. NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano is out next with Austin Theory. We get formal ring introductions from Taylor. Gargano taunts Reed with the title and Reed shoves him to the mat before the introductions are over.
The bell rings and Gargano dives for the door but Reed stops him. The door is closed as Reed goes to work but Gargano tries to climb. Gargano keeps trying to escape but Reed keeps cutting him off. Reed with a big strike to the face. Gargano runs the ropes but Reed knocks him out of the air with ease. Reed keeps control and tosses Gargano into the steel, and again. Reed scoops Gargano on his shoulder and launches him into the steel wall of the cage again.
Vic confirms Pete Dunne vs. Bobby Fish for next week. Reed traps Gargano between the ropes and the cage wall now, smashing him into the steel with his weight. Reed runs to splash Gargano into the steel but Gargano ducks and he hits the steel. Gargano has his springboard Spear blocked. Reed then drops him with a DDT. Reed with a suplex attempt but it’s blocked. Gargano slides out and chops the knee out. Gargano climbs the cage and hits a moonsault. Gargano mounts Reed with right hands as Theory cheers him on.
Gargano starts climbing again but Reed grabs him and puts him on his shoulders for a big slam. Gargano kicks out at 2. Reed climbs up in the corner now. Theory climbs up on the other side of the cage as fans boo him. Gargano takes advantage of the distraction and superkicks Reed back down on the top rope, crotching him and hurting his knee. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and fans chant “NXT!” as Gargano dropkicks Reed into the steel wall as Theory smashes him on the other side at the same time. Reed kicks out at 2. Reed counters a move and nails a big powerslam in the middle of the ring. Reed keeps dropping Gargano with strikes, then hits an inverted Atomic Drop. Reed catapults Gargano into the steel. Reed scoops Gargano on his shoulders and climbs up to the second rope. Reed with a super Samoan Drop but he’s slow to make the pin attempt. Gargano kicks out at 2.
They fight on the top rope now. Gargano slams Reed face-first into the steel a few times, then brings him to the mat with a huge powerbomb. Fans chant “NXT!” as Gargano covers for a 2 count. More back and forth now. Reed ends up swinging the door open with Theory on the other side, sending Theory to the floor. Gargano slides out of a powerbomb attempt and climbs the cage but turns it into a big hurricanrana, dropping Reed hard. The cage door is still open. Gargano goes for One Final Beat but Reed catches him and sends him into the steel. Reed also goes down but he crawls for the cage door. Theory slams it in his face and fans boo as the referee yells at Theory.
Gargano follows up with One Final Beat but Reed still kicks out at 2. Gargano crawls to the top of the cage but comes back to the top rope when Reed grabs him. Gargano uses Reed’s shoulders to step near the top of the cage but Reed pulls him back down and delivers a super powerbomb. Fans go wild as they hit the mat hard. A “this is awesome!” chant breaks out now. Reed climbs up but Theory climbs up from the floor.
Gargano meets Reed on the top rope and they trade shots. Reed headbutts Gargano to the mat. Reed knocks Theory off the other side of the cage to the floor. Reed delivers a huge splash from the top of the cage to Gargano. He goes for the cage door but shuts it instead of exiting. Reed then goes to the top and delivers a Tsunami Splash to Gargano for the pin to win the title.
Winner and New NXT North American Champion: Bronson Reed
– After the match, Reed stands tall as his music hits. We go to replays. Reed stands tall with the NXT North American Title as pyro shoots up around the ring. A “NXT!” chant breaks out as Reed gets emotional and starts crying. He raises the title in the air and continues celebrating as NXT goes off the air.