With TakeOver just days away, will the face to face meeting between Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly be kept under control?
We began NXT with highlights from last week show. The video showed how Candice LeRae and Kyle O’Reilly became Number 1 Contenders.
Then Shotzi Blackheart made her entrance to the ring. After her Dakota Kai made her way to ringside accompanied by Raquel Gonzalez.
Shotzi Blackheart defeated Dakota Kai via Pinfall (Rollup)
After Blackheart eliminated Kai in the battle royal last week, Kai was out for revenge. Unfortunately for her, after a hard fought contest, there was a move Blackheart went for on the apron that she actually got the worst of, Kai couldn’t get the victory. Rhea Ripley came out and stopped Raquel Gonzalez from interfering and this brought out more refs from the back. The distraction was perfect timing for Blackheart to get the win.
After the match, Tom Phillips interviewed Isaiah Swerve Scott and Santos Escobar. Swerve said he has had opportunities in the past, but has a hard time believing they were fair. He believes is he still the better competitor and the only man who has beat Escobar in the company. On Sunday? Swerve said he will come out on top.
Escobar then called Swerve a parasite because no matter what he does, Swerve still lingers. He promised their match would be fair, but Swerve doesn’t buy it because there is always some sort trickery going on. Escobar said Swerve is just making up excuses because when it really matters, Swerve can’t deliver.
To counter that, Swerve said that he has had to adapt to things his whole life. He is ready to showcase to the world what he’s capable of, while showing Escobar is a fraud. Escobar said he has made the cruiserweight division in his image, with an infusion of respect the lucha culture brings. With the lucha traditions, Escobar said he will bury Swerve on Sunday.
Then we went to a commercial break.
When we returned from break, another video for our mystery return was shown. This time they talked about how people say you can’t go home again and sometimes you have to look around to see home isn’t the same as when you left it. Apparently doing something about these changes will be this person’s destiny.
After the video a Prime Target video on Kyle O’Reilly was shown. He talked about how he has poured every ounce of who he is to being a wrestler. O’Reilly also talked about his relationship with his Undisputed Era members, they are the best thing to ever happen to him. Adam Cole also made an appearance in the video.
O’Reilly said he has had his sights on a match with Finn Balor for a long time, but they have kept missing each other. Their match at TakeOver now seems like destiny. O’Reilly considers this opportunity the second wave of the golden prophecy.
Then we went to another commercial break.
Back from break, we are informed of Tegan Nox’s ACL injury. Then backstage Sarah Schreiber interviewed Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae. LeRae said that the injury Nox suffered had to be done. While Gargano said because Nox broke his TV, they’re now even.
Schreiber tried to talk about their match tonight. Gargano turned it to their matches on Sunday and how destiny will be fulfilled. LeRae said it all starts tonight. Then they mocked Schreiber after she left.
At ringside, Cameron Grimes made his entrance. Once he got the mic he said because of what happened in last week’s Gauntlet Eliminator match, he wasn’t in a good mood. He called the eliminator match stupid, but to cheer himself up Grimes made a match of his own: The Cameron Grimes Invitational Stepping Stones to the Moon!
Grimes hand picked all of his opponents. First up was a man named Joey Pistachio who was a NCAA champion in the 80 pound weight class.
Cameron Grimes defeated Joey Pistachio via Pinfall (Cave In)
Poor Joey Pistachio never had a chance. As soon as he was in the ring, Grimes hit the Cave In and that was all she wrote.
Grimes introduced his next opponent as Joey Strong. Unfortunately for Joey Strong they were thrown about the entrance ramp by Ridge Holland. Holland didn’t seem to be in a good mood as he destroyed Joey Strong and then set his eyes on Grimes. Grimes tried to talk his way out of a confrontation with Holland by saying he wasn’t apart of the invitational, but they could shake hands.
Ridge Holland defeated Cameron Grimes via TKO
Holland wasn’t in the mood for handshakes. Immediately after taking Grimes’ hand, Holland gave him a head butt. The bell rung after and Holland was quick on the attack. He continued to beat the hell out of Grimes until the ref called for the bell.
After the match we went backstage where Sarah Schreiber was interviewing Austin Theory. Apparently Theory asked for the interview, but when asked if this had to do with his recent struggles he got very upset. Theory said last week his match with Damian Priest should have never happened because he should have been in the eliminator match.
Theory said he requested the interview because he watched Kyle O’Reilly’s video. He said it was inspirational that it took O’Reilly 15 years to get his NXT title shot, while he worked Wrestlemania at 22 years old. He doesn’t like that O’Reilly is being called the future.
After Theory walked away, a video on Kushida played. He said moving to the United States was the biggest thing to happen to his family, but it has come with its struggles. Now things are set up and he can concentrate on his in ring work. At TakeOver, Kushida said he will explode and beat Velveteen Dream to the core of NXT.
We then went to commercial break.
Kushida defeated Tony Nese via Submission (Hoverboard Lock)
Kushida certainly put his new vicious side on full display in this one. Tony Nese though was no slouch, but Kushida just attacked his left arm. Kushida drove Nese into the mat multiple times, hyperextending the elbow as Beth Phoenix put it.
After the match the lighting changed to purple because Velveteen Dream was on the tron. Dream asked for the real Kushida to stand up, then said no matter what Kushida shows up Sunday it won’t matter. Then Dream said he always performs the best under the brightest spotlight.
We then saw Cameron Grimes walking backstage holding a towel to his face. He didn’t want to talk to anyone unless it was William Regal. Then Grimes ran into Dexter Lumis, who of course just stared at him. Then we went to commercial.
Back from break, Adam Cole was in the ring with a mic. Cole started by talking about how Undisputed Era has done everything they said they would since they showed up in NXT three years ago. They have done what they want, when they’ve wanted without anyone stopping them. Cole said the prophecy came true, but more so than that the locker room knew if they crossed UE, they would pay.
Fast forward, they lost the championships and somewhere along the way people thought the UE had changed. Apparently people think they can say whatever they want about UE and face no repercussions. Cole made it clear that nothing had change. It’s the same UE that won War Games and has dominated NXT like no one ever has. Then Cole called out Austin Theory.
Theory ended up coming out, but didn’t look like he would get in the ring. Cole then gave him some options: bring his stupid face into the ring and fight Cole like a man or stay where he is and the entire UE will come beat him up.
Adam Cole defeated Austin Theory via Pinfall (Last Shot)
For the most part Cole just had his way with Theory and completely wrecked him. Cole was out to hurt Theory. He put Theory in the corner and drop kicked him, leaving Theory’s leg stuck in the ropes. None of what Cole did to Theory stopped him from talking trash though. Theory did wind up getting a small amount of offense in, but with a kick and a few clotheslines Cole was able to gain back control.
After his victory Cole looked at the camera and said that Kyle O’Reilly was born ready. Cole said no one has earned a title shot more. Sunday O’Reilly will shock the world, but it won’t shock Cole. As Cole posed on the entrance ramp we went to commercial break.
Upon returning, Sarah Schreiber was with Damian Priest and Io Shirai backstage. Priest made fun of the Garganos for calling themselves the Power Couple and said they could keep that. Sunday, Priest and Shirai will keep their titles. Tonight will be just a preview of TakeOver.
Shirai said a few things in Japanese and then agreed with Priest’s assessment that they are the rockstars of NXT. Priest walked away saying she was cool as hell. Shirai said he wasn’t bad.
Kayden Carter defeated Xia Li via Pinfall
Xia Li definitely showed off a different side to herself with wild offense. Li seemed to bring the frustrations from the tag match a few weeks ago into this match. Carter was able to come back at Li with some aggressive strikes. After a trade of pin attempts, Carter was able to keep Li’s shoulders down for the three count.
The match may have began with a sign of respect, but Li was in not having it after her defeat. Li pushed Carter down after she was helped up and also took a shot at Kacy Catanzaro.
Then we went to break.
When we returned from break, Shawn Michaels was in the ring and introduced Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly. (This of course was previously taped.) O’Reilly and Balor came face to face in front of the table and shook hands.
Once the men sat down, Balor wanted to begin by congratulating O’Reilly on becoming number one contender. He said he has a lot of respect for O’Reilly as a competitor and is looking forward to their match. O’Reilly said there was nothing but respect.
Michaels was glad to see the mutual respect, but wanted to get right to the heart of the matter. HBK believes we are seeing the best Balor we have ever seen, but asked how he is preparing for the best kept secret in O’Reilly? Balor doesn’t believe O’Reilly is a secret because he knows how good O’Reilly is. He said O’Reilly has proven himself as a tag team competitor in NXT, but all over the world as a singes competitor.
O’Reilly said he was a fan of Finn Balor, but that Balor is good at stroking his own ego. While Balor may be a fighting champion, O’Reilly said his defeat is absolutely certain. Balor said he wasn’t certain that O’Reilly would show up with UE or show up like a man without them.
O’Reilly made it clear that this Sunday isn’t about the UE, but its about Kyle O’Reilly and his moment. Michaels then said O’Reilly wanted to address something about UE. O’Reilly said there is no power struggle in the UE. O’Reilly said that Cameron Grimes may have had a point last week when he said Kyle wasn’t like Adam Cole (the Grimes impression was gold).
Kyle talked about the differences between him and Cole. Then Balor said Sunday he would slap the freckles off O’Reilly, which just seemed to make O’Reilly smile. O’Reilly welcomes it. Balor said Sunday there won’t be room for luck, excuses, or jokes.
Sunday is the biggest moment of Kyle O’Reilly’s life. Balor said he knows the difference between a main event that lasts one night and a main event that is life altering. O’Reilly hates the fact that he is the underdog in this match because Balor hasn’t stepped in the ring with anyone like him. The final word went to Balor, who said that if the NXT Championship was on anybody else, O’Reilly would win, but its not. Then HBK ended the face to face and we went to commercial.
Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae defeated Damian Priest and Candice LeRae via Pinfall (One Final Beat DDT)
Johnny and Priest began the match and Priest dominated Johnny. When Johnny rolled over to his corner for a breather, Priest tagged in Io Shirai. LeRae was able to get a pin attempt, but then Shirai took control or did until Johnny stopped her. Priest and Shirai then worked together to take out the Garganos….Shirai got on Priest’s shoulders and leapt to the floor!
Later in the match, Shirai landed a moonsault on Johnny, Priest and Johnny were the legal competitors so Shirai then had to leave the ring. Priest had Johnny set up for Reckoning, but because the ref was dealing with Shirai, Candice was able to sneak in and low blow Priest. The low blow helped Johnny get the win.
After the match, Shirai got in the ring to confront Johnny. LeRae was able to sneak behind her and hit her with a backstabber.
The show ended with the Garganos holding the championships.