Real Rasslin Reviews: WWE NXT 31st March 2021
The final NXT Review before NXT Takeover Stand And Deliver!
Well it's the final episode of NXT before Takeover, so we get the video package showing us what to expect next week with the two night special Takeover : Stand and Deliver. I'm Pixc, your NXT correspondent and this is your weekly NXT review, let's see what went down.
Roderick Strong is in the ring set to face Cameron Grimes, but Grimes wants to keep Undisputed Era going, he has come prepared with a new t-shirt and a new theme song, funny stuff but Strong is not impressed.
Roderick Strong vs Cameron Grimes
Strong brings Grimes to the ring and they brawl in the ring. Grimes turns things around and slows the pace down. Strong gets some offense in but it is pretty much a solid back and forth affair. Strong clotheslines Grimes to the outside then hits a diving knee from inside the ring, he then beats down Grimes, who fights back before we enter picture in picture. Grimes whips Strong into the turnbuckle hard, Grimes remains in control really for majority of this segment, but as we return to full screen he is trying to fight back. After hitting a backbreaker Grimes kicks out from the pin. Strong follows this up with some nice chops in the corner and goes for a big suplex from the top rope, but again fails to get the win. Strong hits the runnning strikes where he bounces from rope to rope with his opponent in the middle. Grimes hits an epic reversal Spanish Fly and when Strong hits his next move Grimes appears to get a foreign object out of his trunks. It turns out to be an Undisputed Era armband. He still gets hit with the move and drops the armband which Strong sees and picks up, distracting him enough for Grimes to get the Cave In and the pinfall victory.
It was a good match, but really what we are all intrigued by surely, is where they are going with Roderick Strong. It developed Grimes a bit more too. Nothing special from this one, but a solid bout with an interesting finish for me.
Winner Cameron Grimes
Next up Karrion Kross is shown doing his preparation for his big title match vs Finn Balor. He comments on what Balor expects and how things are going to go down, he is training for maximum damage. Going back to basics, stick to his strengths, Tick Tock people, Tick Tock.
Walter is telling us Ciampa is a shell of the man he once was and Walter is commited to this sport, he is the longest reigning champion, the mat is sacred and Walter is out to prove it.
We have confirmation next that NXT will move to tuesday nights. What do you think guys? Personally I think it is a good move, I look forward to it.
We have Santos Escobar and Legado del Fantasma in ring next. He is issuing an open challenge, he was born a champion and he wants to show Jordan Devlin what he is in for. Tyler Breeze answers this challenge, claiming he has to work his ass off to get everything, calling Santos Escobar entitled, challenge accepted!
Tyler Breeze vs Santos Escobar
Escobar has Breeze down in the corner straight from the get go. Breeze firing back and it's now Santos Esccobar getting stomped in the corner. A near fall of a dropkick from Escobar, Breeze dodges him in the corner and looks to punish him against the ringpost. He then takes out both Legado del Fantasma before a final shot to the champ. Escobar then takes over control of the match, quickly going for a pin and getting nothing but a kick out. Escobar puts Breeze in a surfboard and gets another pointless pinfall, kick out by Breeze. Santos is constantly trash talking saying he runs the bingo, Barrett is lovin' it more than a McDonalds happy meal! Breeze goes to work on the knee, before locking in a sharpshooter. Wonder where this one ranks guys? Better than The Rock or Shawn Michaels? Out of nowhere Escobar flips the match on it's head and Phantom Driver, boom, one, two and three. Escobar wins. The three look to beat down Breeze but MSK run down to stop it all. Grizzled Young Veterans then appear on the wall of screens, to say their piece. They think MSK are distracted by funny memes and well anything, with Legado del Fantasma just pandering after their leader.
I mean this is great build for the tag team match but as for the match itself, though good, was a bit of filler let's be honest. I think it was an open challenge but not in the true sense, it certainly didn't look like the title was on the line and we all knew Escobar was not losing this one. Great choice for an opponent just should have tried to make it seem more like Breeze was going for the title and could win, or word it differently, maybe he offers whoever beats him the first shot at the title once he proves he is the ultimate cruiserweight champion? Anyway solid match again but filler.
Winner Santos Escobar
Backstage The Way are with Mackenzie. Johnny is not happy with William Regal again, they mention the finger poke of doom and decide Austin is going to win it all and they will pull off some wait for it ........... told ya wait for it . . . . . . . . Shenangians! Candice takes over the interview and just expects Shotzi and Ember to be watching as they are set for tag team action, they clearly have their eyes on them tag titles.
Next Io is asked if she bit off more than she can chew with challenging Raquel Gonzalez, but Io said that's why she picked her. Fighting champion if ever I saw one.
The Way vs Zayda Ramier & Gigi Dolin
Firstly can I just point out, this was very poor by NXT barely showing the opponents names or even mentioning them, took a lot of effort pausing it so I could make a note of them. Yes they are jobbers, but least tell us who they are for longer than a millisecond!
Indi starts us off and pushes her opponent into the corner. Gigi gets some offense in and she looks pretty good, wasting too much time but showing potential for sure. Candice gets the tag in and only after a mistake do we see Zayda and Indi respectively get tags into the match. Zayda looking good also before Indi plants her with a spinebuster. Candice is back in and quickly runs over to take Gigi off the apron. The wicked step sister is hit then followed by a springboard elbow drop from Indi as she tagged in, that's the way to do it! Punch and Judy eat your heart out, victory for The Way. They then big themselves up to challenge the champs at Stand and Deliver! This prompts an appearance from the tag champs, without the belts, which seems a bit weird. They accept and the shot is fired, it looks to hit Indi but she doesn't react so not sure if it does.
Image Courtesy of Digging Sports
Winners The Way
Io meets Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai on their way to the ring and brawls with Gonzalez. Ends up getting the worst of the situation.
Roderick Strong is seen leaving next, apparent done with everything and not competing in the battle royal later.
Zoey Stark vs Raquel Gonzalez
A little game of cat and mouse to start as Zoey Stark looks to dodge Gonzalez, she clearly knows what she has to do and she uses her speed and agility to try and avoid the strength of Gonzalez but off a power move Gonzalez gains control, but is unable to get the pin. Gonzalez seems to be too strong but Stark never gives up, she is a wily competitor, lots of reversals and dodging, she hits a nice knee but only gets a near fall, after which a bit of interference from Kai resulted in her being clotheslined over the barricade. Following this she hits a necbreaker from the top rope, another move reminding me of Leon Ruff but unlucky no pinfall and the next move from Gonzalez wins it; her traditional single arm powerbomb. Boom! Gonzalez has the momentum! Shirai hits the ring and drop kicks Gonzalez from the ring, Gonzalez grabs her and throws her into the barricade, walking off telling Io to stay down.
Stark is all kinds of potential but there's something I'm not sure about, good match and nice use of Dakota Kai and the brawl after the match with Io builds nicely towards the match at Takeover Stand and Deliver.
Winner Raquel Gonzalez
A new signing, a dog, we are NXT, what's this? Someone is coming and all I know is they are a dog person, weird but I want to know more dammit! #AreYouWatchingVinceMcMahon?
Kushida is backstage about to claim he is going to go all the way, Pete Dunne arrives and the verbal altercation is my confirmation that neither will win this battle royal, I called it, these two are going to fight each other!
A bit of build for the Adam Cole vs Kyle O'Reilly match/feud next. Prime Target is it? So much promo and backstage stuff in a row that it sometimes is hard to keep track of what is what. They talk about their history, how long they've known each other, and how intertwined their careers have been, either as opponents, friends, or in Undisputed Era. Reminding us of last weeks comments by Kyle that he became a better person whereas Adam Cole is still the same asshole that came in to NXT years ago. Cole claiming it was never about brotherhood it was about being the best and essentially him! Essentially good build and Regal is epic, appreciate the real man's man, the legend, the black and gold standard of general manager, Unsanctioned match incoming at Takeover Stand and Deliver!
Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs Xia Li (was meant to be Tian Sha)
So Mei Ying was apparently supposed to be involved in this match, but Xia Li goes it alone. Saw people in comments sections expecting Boa would be involved but no I'm pretty sure Mei Ying was expected. Kacy starts off but after a brief scrap she falls into her corner and Kayden comes in. The two then use quick tags to dominate Xia Li for a time. On the outside Xia Li turns the match in her favour, impaling Kacy on the ring apron before bringing her back in the ring. Kacy gets a near fall from a reversal roll up. Kacy hits a nice twisting lungblower, apparently commentary came up with the name, personally it looks like Jericho's Codebreaker with a slight turn involved. Kayden heads up the ramp to confront Mei Ying but is taken out by a choke and some smoke, Tian Sha vs Street Profits we want the smoke match confirmed? Only joking, Xia Li gets the win in the ring on Kacy.
This match was filler, definitely building but hard to see what, a lot of mysterious waffle for me, it's a slow burner this one and I think they need to do something very soon as this seems to be nearing it's breaking point with me. I like the ideas that have come from this but I want something more from it now. I also want to move Kacy & Kayden into the tag title picture soon, as they will shine there.
Winner Xia Li
Io and Gonzalez brawl some more backstage with Gonzalez slamming Io through a fake window wall thing, again telling Io to stay down.
Finally the dog reaches it's owner, Franky is coming people, okilidokily who's this then, anyone know? let me know if you do in the comments.
After a brief video commending the new NXT UK Tag champs Pretty Deadly, Ciampa is backstage responding to Walter. He is confirming he has changed, but he thinks of the people who support him and he is coming for Walter! It's a long fall from the top but will he topple the Ring Generale?
Finn is next up, saying he has been expecting Karrion Kross. Claiming he will retain and Kross will choke. Interesting choice of words, consider Kross uses a sleeper type move as one of his finishers.
NXT North American Title Qualifier Battle Royal
Swerve heads to the ring and Leon Ruff attacks him and the two enter the ring with the match not officially started, Ruff is clearly riled up! The brawl eventually begins and it is hard to pick out scenarios to follow the action but Dexter Lumis stands in the corner not getting involved. Nobody seems to want to approach him and continue brawling amongst themselves. Malcolm Bivens gets involved grabbing Atlas who is promptly eliminated by Swerve then we see Rust eliminated which to me might open a feud between Rust and Atlas or at least a match. Lumis still motionless in the corner. Theory is on the floor but not eliminated as his feet are not touching the floor. He says he can figure it out before performing a kip-up which eliminates him. Bronson hangs on to avoid elimination in a nice sequence. then we get our face off between Dunne and Kushida, the two brawl in the ring before eliminating each other in a very obvious way. Picture in picture interrupts the action following this. Lumis still standing alone, the next two eliminated will start the gauntlet match next week and we have confirmed Pete Dunne and Kushida night 1. Johnny Gargano has joined us on commentary. Johnny uses the line "You think you know me?" on Beth Phoenix, wow did not expect that, nice little nugget there. Swerve and Ruff are eliminated and Bronson looks to send LA Knight out but Grimes and then Lumis come over to help send Bronson out. Grimes tries to cut a deal with Lumis and LA Knight but Lumis isn't having it and the two eliminate Grimes in a flash. LA Knight tries to suss out Lumis and takes a few strikes for his trouble, followed by a back body drop. LA Knight has Lumis on the apron and he ends up going outside to the floor but not over the top. He then manages to get Lumis out. LA Knight wins.
Image courtesy of Wrestling Headlines
This match was a bit busy, I'm not sure if I like the idea, but it gets more wrestlers screen time. I can see this being interesting next week. I think Lumis not getting the win here could spell victory for him next week. More on this in our predictions, so keep your eye out for that over on YouTube.
Winner LA Knight
LA Knight goes over to trash talk to Gargano who returns the favour but they are interrupted by Io Shirai. Who still isn't done with Gonzalez, calling her out, the show ends with Io hitting a dive on Gonzalez after dispatching two rookies who were sent to stop her getting out to brawl with Gonzalez. Made Io look great at the end but I fear Gonzalez may take it from her come next week.
In summary then, this was a good show, I enjoyed the build towards next week and felt it was balanced ok for a final show before Takeover Stand and Deliver. I just felt the matches were often a bit too filler and there was no need for them to be. I am excited to see what goes down next week!
Thanks for reading. That's all from me folks, I'm Pixc and I'm out!