This week on NXT, NXT Champion Adam Cole retained against The Velveteen Dream at NXT TakeOver: In Your House and he looks to deal with another thorn in the Undisputed Era’s side by taking on Dexter Lumis tonight!
We are LIVE from Full Sail Live in Orlando, Fla. Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, and Tom Phillips have the call for this week.
Undisputed Era make their way out with NXT Champion Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, and Bobby Fish. Cole says his run as NXT Champion will continue and no one in their right mind thought The Velveteen Dream would defeat him. That’s not a knock on Dream because that means he is just not Adam Cole, “baybay.” Cole asks now that he has beaten Dream, what is next for him? Cole says it doesn’t freaking matter because no one has held the NXT Championship the way he has. Cole says no one in NXT and WWE will be able to beat him for the NXT Championship. Cole says his focus is now on Dexter Lumis and says what that freak did to Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong at TakeOver was an embarrassment. Fish and Strong both complain and Strong freaks out as Lumis keeps popping up at ringside and ducking down when Cole and Fish turn around. Cole tells everyone to stop and he says he will face Lumis tonight, and even though he is not 100%, he will beat Lumis and send him back to the drawing board where Lumis belongs.
After the break, NXT North American Champion Keith Lee and Mia Yim catch up with Undisputed Era. Lee says he has an idea what’s next for Adam Cole and Roderick Strong steps to Lee. Cole holds him back and says in Lee’s dreams.
Keith Lee & Mia Yim vs. Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae
The two teams talk trash and Yim gets in Gargano’s face while LeRae gets in Lee’s. Lee lifts LeRae and sits her to the side, allowing Gargano to attack him. The two teams brawl. The Garganos kick out of the corners and try hurricanranas, but get blocked. Lee and Yim with powerbombs and clotheslines.
Yim and LeRae legal for the first bell and Yim slaps LeRae against the ropes. Gargano drags LeRae out for the save, but Lee holds both for a suicide dive attempt. Gargano and LeRae move, but Lee catches Yim. The Garganos dropped on the apron as we break.
LeRae with a straitjacket as we return and action from the break shows Gargano causing a distraction on Yim and letting LeRae take advantage. LeRae works Yim in her corner and tries to prevent the tag. Yim hits Sole Food out of nowhere and Lee and Gargano brought in. Lee runs over Gargano as he works the comeback. Lee throws Gargano across the ring. Gargano tags LeRae and Lee lifts both of them, but LeRae rakes the eye to set up an enzuigiri and tornado DDT combo on Lee. Yim comes in with dropkicks and she hits a bridging Dragon Suplex for a nearfall. Yim slaps Gargano around for breaking the pin. Yim with head kicks and German suplexes on both Garganos. LeRae hits Sole Food on Yim and a springboard moonsault gets a nearfall. Yim comes back with kicks against the apron. Lee hits a Pounce on Gargano that knocks Yim off the apron. Gargano with a superkick and he hits a slingshot DDT on Lee that crushes LeRae under him. Lee lifts LeRae up and tries to carry her, but Gargano with a schoolboy.
Winners by pinfall: Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae, 3 stars
Solid opener with some fun exchanges between the couples throughout. The way Gargano managed the win fit really well with his current character and added a little more to the win.
Video recaps Finn Balor defeating Damian Priest at NXT TakeOver: In Your House. Priest interviewed after the match and he says he has no excuses because everyone knows how good Balor is. Priest says this wasn’t about wins or losses. This was about the next step in his name living on and his name is going to live forever.
Cameron Grimes interviewed about his match with Finn Balor tonight by McKenzie Mitchell. Grimes calls Priest a loser for his loss against Balor last night and Grimes says he is not sure what he gets out of NXT General Manager William Regal rebooking this, other than him going 2-0 over Balor. Grimes says it is so nice, he might as well do it twice. Grimes says there is no fear in his eyes. Damian Priest steps up and Grimes says he was just telling Mitchell how great Priest looked at TakeOver. Priest lays him out with a forearm as we go to commercials.
Video package for NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai recaps her winning the title at TakeOver against Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley.
Indus Sher (w/Malcolm Bivens) vs. Mikey DelBrey & Mike Reed
The announce team reveals that Cameron Grimes announced he would not be able to compete tonight against Finn Balor.
Saurav with a big boot and he throws DelBrey into the corner. Reed kicked off the apron with a big boot. Rinku with a corner splash and a leg drop and sidewalk slam combo land for Indus Sher.
Winners by pinfall: Indus Sher, No Rating
Impressive squash and it appears they are building depth in the tag team division.
McKenzie Mitchell catches up with Drake Wuertz backstage on video chat with NXT General Manager William Regal. Wuertz is discussing Cameron Grimes’ condition with Regal and he says Grimes will be unable to compete tonight because he thinks he has a broken jaw. Regal tells Wuertz to find Grimes so they can talk as we head to break.
Mitchell and Wuertz catch up with Cameron Grimes talking to two women’s talents and Wuertz tries to cut in. Grimes says he is busy and tells the women Damian Priest didn’t do anything to him and says he is fine. Wuertz cuts in again and says he has GM Regal on video call. Grimes’ eyes go wide and he clutches his jaw as he greets Regal. Regal asks what is going on and says Grimes’ jaw didn’t appear to be broken when he was talking to these two nice ladies. Regal tells “sunshine” that he’d drop the act and get warmed up. Grimes tells Wuertz off for being a stooge and tells the ladies to go away so he can get ready.
Video package for Breezango and they will face NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium next week.
Video package recaps Karrion Kross defeating Tommaso Ciampa at TakeOver: In Your House. A WWE Network exclusive shows cameras catching up with Ciampa leaving TakeOver hours after the event and not answering questions before he drives off.
Rhea Ripley with McKenzie Mitchell and she asks how Ripley plans to bounce back after TakeOver. Ripley credits Io Shirai, but the interview gets interrupted by Robert Stone. Stone tells Mitchell to hit the bricks, but has second thoughts and asks Mitchell to stay. Stone asks Ripley if she feels the manager and client energy between them. Stone says they were both losers last night and Ripley has been a loser in 2020, but he has been an even huger loser. Stone says moving forward, they could be like a phoenix rising. Ripley says the chances of her joining the Robert Stone Brand are one-in-a million. Stone says there’s a chance and Ripley tells him to follow her. Ripley punches him in the stomach and slams him into an equipment cart.
Cameron Grimes vs. Finn Balor
Grimes begs off in the corner to start as Balor tries to lock him up. Balor pushes Grimes into the corner and Grimes with a body shot as the referee tries to break them. Balor comes back with a back elbow and he kicks Grimes around the ring. Grimes with shoulder tackles to the body in the corner and Balor snaps Grimes down. Grimes chops Balor in the corner and Balor answers back with running chops. Grimes spikes Balor with a slam to the mat and lands a knee to the body. Grimes works Balor down. Balor comes back with a basement dropkick. Balor chops Grimes outside, but Grimes with a lariat back inside. Grimes works Balor down and Balor dropped out of the corner as we break.
Balor with forearms as we return and Grimes drops him. Balor kicks out of the corner and lands a double stomp to start his comeback. Sling Blade connects and a dropkick bounces Grimes out of the corner. Coup de Grace misses and Grimes with an Oklahoma Roll for a nearfall. Grimes with a head kick and a suplex blocked by Balor. Grimes with a small package nearfall. Balor hits the inverted DDT. Grimes drops Balor, but Balor with 1916 and the Coup de Grace. Another 1916 lands.
Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor, 2.5 out of 5 stars
After a promising start with Grimes playing the opportunist, they sort of just chained together signature moves and finisher attempts down the stretch until Balor rallied for the win. This was half of an inspired match.
Post-match, Balor says he has never won the NXT North American Championship and he calls out Keith Lee.
Kacy Catanzaro vs. Dakota Kai (w/Raquel Gonzalez)
Kai pie-faces Catanzaro and backs her into the corner to do it again. Catanzaro trips Kai from the apron and lands a senton atomico. Apron-spun headscissors drops Kai to the floor and a somersault kick gets a nearfall inside on Kai. Kai drops her to the second turnbuckle face-first and lands corner kicks. Kai toys with Catanzaro and Catanzaro strikes back in the corner. Kai with a scorpion kick to set up the GTK, Go to Kick.
Winner by pinfall: Dakota Kai, No Rating
Catanzaro played a great underdog here that fell short to a vicious Kai in a quick match.
Post-match, Gonzalez attacks Catanzaro. Kayden Carter comes out and makes the save, dropping Kai in the corner. Gonzalez lifts Carter for the pumphandle uranage to lay her out.
Video package for Timothy Thatcher sees him promise “Thatch-as-Thatch-Can” training next week.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion El Hijo del Fantasma introduced. Fantasma starts to speak, but Drake Maverick interrupts. Maverick says they haven’t had the opportunity to talk since last week and he wants to congratulate Fantasma and thank him for the match last week. Maverick says that everyone has been talking about his situation, but people should be talking about how Fantasma deserves the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Maverick says he wonders how he could have done with a clear head now that he is on a full-time contract with NXT. Maverick says he knows he can beat Fantasma if he gets another shot. Fantasma agrees to a rematch.
The masked kidnappers walk down the ramp and cover two sides of the ring. Maverick and Fantasma get back-to-back to fight them off, but Fantasma turns around as the masked men get to the apron. Maverick turns around and Fantasma headbutts him as all three beat Maverick down. The men unmask to reveal Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde and Fantasma stands over Maverick. Fantasma unmasks and says he is Santos Escobar and no one can touch him. Wilde and Mendoza hit a double splash on Maverick. It is great to have the cruiserweights have a stable and a champion that everyone will need to chase now, but having the tired name-change and unmasking was an expected letdown.
Undisputed Era in the locker room and NXT Champion Adam Cole says it is time to make an example of Dexter Lumis. Roderick Strong freaks out when he finds a drawing Lumis did of the UE laid out and bleeding. Undisputed Era leaves and Strong looks back at the drawing, only to find Lumis peeping into the locker room through a window. Strong panics and goes to tell the UE that Lumis is here as we break.
The announce team previews Backlash and announce that Shotzi Blackheart & Tegan Nox will face the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions coming out of Backlash next week. Plus, Imperium defend the NXT Tag Team Championships against Breezango.
Dexter Lumis vs. Adam Cole (w/Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong)
Lumis backs Cole into the corner to start and Cole shoves him away and calls him a freak. They exchange strikes in the corners and Lumis with a back elbow. Cole stomps Lumis down and locks in a headlock. Lumis throws him off and lands a sliding punch to the outside. Lumis drops Cole with a right hand and they go to the apron. Cole with a big boot to drop Lumis to the floor as we break.
Cole lands a backstabber for a nearfall as we return. Cole calls Lumis a freak and a weirdo as he punches him. Lumis pops up and Cole with a neckbreaker. Cole works Lumis down and Lumis challenges him to keep punching. Lumis returns fire with right hands. Slingshot suplex nearfall for Lumis. German suplex counter from Lumis gets another. Cole drops Lumis and looks for the Last Shot. Lumis looks for the Kata Gatame arm triangle choke. Cole with a superkick for a nearfall. Last Shot misses and Lumis with a spinebuster and ground-and-pound. Cole dumps Lumis outside and Lumis slides under the ring and back to the other side to sneak up on Cole for a spinebuster nearfall. Swanton Bomb lands on the knees of Cole. Cole tries a Destroyer and gets caught in the arm triangle. Fish distracts the referee and Strong kicks Cole free. Last Shot lands.
Winner by pinfall: Adam Cole, 3 out of 5 stars
Lumis is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea in the ring, but he works well to his character and Cole played scared here really well. The usual Undisputed Era tactics felt actually needed to get the win.
Post-match, Cole stands over Lumis and taunts him. Lumis snatches the arm triangle and Undisputed Era kicks him down. The Velveteen Dream makes the save and takes out Fish and Strong. Strong runs for his life when Lumis walks him down.
Adam Cole left in the ring to celebrate, but the lights go out. Scarlett appears on stage and walks down to the ring as the crowd chants “Fall and Pray.” Scarlett sits an hourglass in the ring and turns it over. The crowd chants “tick, tock” and Cole is left looking at the hourglass as the show closes. What a great close to the show with Kross feeling like an immediate impact player in the main event picture.
Full Sail Live, Orlando, Florida
Lots of filler in the ring this week, but there was a lot of progress for post-TakeOver storylines and those moments delivered.