NXT 3/31/2021: Battle Royal Main Events; Gonzalez & Shirai Brawl All Night; Plus More!
Here's what's on tap for tonight’s NXT:
12 Man Battle Royal to determine Gauntlet Eliminator Participants: Austin Theory, Pete Dunne, LA Knight, Tyler Rust, Cameron Grimes, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, Jake Atlas, Bronson Reed, Roderick Strong, Dexter Lumis, Kushida, Leon Ruff
Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter confront Tian Sha
Roderick Strong vs. Cameron Grimes
Zoey Stark vs. Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell are in tag team action
We're in the Capitol Wrestling Center with just a week until NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver. A video package hypes the matches for NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver. We get welcomed to the show and we're kicking it off with some action!
Roderick Strong vs. Cameron Grimes
This is the first of two matches tonight for both men. New music for Strong! Grimes has a mic and offers Strong the chance to keep the Undisputed going with a new t-shirt...."Grimes The System" with new music. Roddy attacks before the bell! The match official begins and Strong takes Grimes to the mat and goes on the attack pounding Grimes. Strong tells Grimes to shut up only for Grimes to cheap shot him. They battle in the corner and Grimes maintains the upper hand. Strong fights back out of the corner and runs through Grimes. They trade blows and Strong hits a huge chop! Strong again tells Grimes to shut up. Grimes stops Strong with a thumb to the eye. Strong with a leg lariat and a clothesline to send Grimes to the outside. Wrecking ball drop kick by Strong and he beats down Grimes on the outside. Strong gets distracted and Grimes sends him into the plexiglass/scaffolding as we go to a picture in picture break.
Grimes controls during the break before we return. We come back with Grimes controlling the arm of Strong. Strong attempts a rally but Grimes hits a big kick. Strong runs into a big forearm by Grimes that gets a near fall. Strong fires back and suplexes Grimes. Strong catches Grimes again and delivers a back breaker for a near fall. Strong with chops in the corner before putting Grimes on the top turnbuckle. SUPERPLEX BY STRONG!! 1...2...NO!! Strong with a series of running forearms now UNTIL GRIMES COUNTERS WITH A MOONSAULT SLAM!! 1...2...NO!! Grimes reaches into his trunks and gets something black. STRONG WITH AN OLYMPIC SLAM!! Strong picks up what Grimes dropped and IT'S AN UNDISPUTED ERA ARM BAND!! STRONG IS DISTRACTED AND GRIMES HITS THE CAVE IN TO WIN!! Solid opening match! Post match, Strong is frustrated.
W: Cameron Grimes via pin @ 11:48
A vignette shows Karrion Kross preparing for Takeover.
A video package of NXT UK Champion WALTER. WALTER knows that Ciampa used to be a locker room leader. He was a dominant and ruthless champion. Then Ciampa got injured. Now, Ciampa doesn't view championships as important and that's the difference between Ciampa and WALTER. WALTER is committed to the sport and the championship.
Commentary talks about NXT's move to Tuesdays starting April 13th!
Legado del Fantasma is in the ring now. Santos Escobar issues an open challenge to prove he runs things around here. Escobar puts himself over and talks about his accolades. TYLER BREEZE CUTS HIM OFF!! Breeze says Escobar thinks he's entitled while Breeze has had to work his ass off. Breeze accepts the challenge.
Santos Escobar (NXT Cruiserweight Champion) w/ Legado del Fantasma vs. Tyler Breeze
Escobar attacks right away and stomps Breeze in the corner. Trash talk by Escobar followed by a running drop kick in the corner. Breeze slides of Escobar's back and hits a drop kick of his own. Breeze now with stomps in the corner. Escobar avoids a charging Breeze but Breeze hits another running drop kick. Breeze sends Escobar out of the ring. Breeze follows outside and throws Escobar back in. Escobar catches Breeze coming in and takes control. Escobar with a nice drop kick off the ropes for a near fall. They battle in the corner where Breeze gets the upper hand after posting Escobar's leg. BREEZE TAKES OUT WILDE AND MENDOZA. A kick to the face of Escobar as we go to a break.
We're back with Escobar in control. Escobar beats on Breeze in the corner and hits double knees for a near fall. More stomps to Escobar followed by a gut buster. Escobar locks Breeze in a surfboard stretch. An arrogant Escobar breaks the hold and takes Breeze to the corner again. Escobar talks trash and slaps Breeze. Breeze fights back with a rana and mounts Escobar and delivers a series of punches. Breeze attacks the left knee of Escobar. Spine buster by Breeze and BREEZE LOCKS IN THE SHARPSHOOTER!! Escobar is able to crawl to the ropes to force a break. Escobar catches Breeze with a kick and HITS THE PHANTOM DRIVER TO PUT BREEZE AWAY!
W: Santos Escobar via pin @ 10:40
Post match, LDF beat down Breeze until MSK makes the save. GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS ARE ON THE TRON. They say Legado is distracted pleasing Escobar while MSK is distracted by bright lights and memes. GYV claim to only be focused on winning the tag titles.
McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with The Way. Johnny Gargano complains about the gauntlet eliminator and William Regal. Gargano asks why Austin Theory is even in it. Theory references the finger poke of doom. Oh geez. Candice says her and Indi plan on showing everyone what a real women's tag team looks like.
A small dog is outside walking up the Performance Center. Beth Phoenix says, "What is this all about?" Alright then....
We see highlights of Raquel Gonzalez dominating NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai last week. McKenzie interviews Io and asks if she bit off more than she can chew. Io says that's why she picked Raquel.
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs. Gigi Dolan & Zeda Zhang
Hartwell and Dolan start the match. Hartwell backs Dolan to the corner and we get a clean break. Snap mare by Dolan followed by a kick to the back. Dolan taunts before missing a kick. Hartwell lifts and drops Dolan face first on the turnbuckle for a near fall. LeRae tags in. Dolan kicks her away. Hartwell tags back in but Dolan is able to tag Zhang. Zhang builds momentum with a series of kicks and an enziguri to Hartwell for a near fall. Hartwell turns it around and hits a spine buster. LeRae tags in and knocks Dolan off the apron. Zhang with a cradle for a near fall. LERAE HITS THE WICKED STEP SISTER AND HARTWELL HITS A SPRING BOARD FLYING ELBOW TO WIN IT!! Winner was never in doubt.
W: Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell via pin @ 3:08
LeRae grabs a mic and says no one in the back deserves to be a champion more than her. LeRae says Hartwell and her deserve to be tag champs. Candice says they're coming for the tag titles at NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver. HERE COMES SHOTZI BLACKHEART AND EMBER MOON!! Moon takes exception to LeRae's comments. SHOTZI AND EMBER ACCEPT!! SHOTZI SHOOTS THE CANNON AT INDI'S CROTCH!
Zoey Stark vs. Raquel Gonzalez is next! Raquel and Dakota Kai are walking towards the ring when they run into Io Shirai. THEY BRAWL. Raquel sends Io into some pipes.
More footage of this dog coming into the PC. Beth still wants to know what's going on with it? Me too!
Roderick Strong is shown leaving the building. McKenzie tells her the battle royal is still later tonight. Strong says he's done. McKenzie asks what does he mean? Strong says he's going home.
Zoey Stark vs. Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai
Gonzalez over powers Stark in the early going as Stark tries to constantly escape. Stark is able to take Gonzalez down with a rana. Stark flips over Gonzalez and hits a drop kick sending Gonzalez to the corner. Gonzalez turns the tide and plants Stark face first for a near fall. Multiple elbow drops by Gonzalez for a near fall. Gonzalez works a submission to wear down Stark. Stark fights back and avoids a charge. Stark builds momentum with a running knee. Gonzalez is sent outside but she catches Stark when she tries a plancha! Stark sends Gonzalez into the ring post. Kai attacks when the ref is distracted so Stark takes her out with a clothesline over the barricade. Back in the ring, pump knee and a forearm by Stark. A big knee by Stark gets a near fall. Stark goes to the top and Gonzalez cuts her off. Stark fights her off and HITS A FLIPPING NECK BREAKER!! 1...2...NO!!! That was nice looking! GONZALEZ STOPS THE RALLY AND HITS THE ONE ARMED POWER BOMB FOR THE WIN!! Stark got more offense than I expected as she continues to impress.
W: Raquel Gonzalez via pin @ 4:54
Post match, HERE COMES IO SHIRAI FOR MORE!! Shirai knocks Gonzalez out of the ring. They brawl until GONZALEZ GRABS SHIRAI BY THE NECK AND LAUNCHES HER INTO THE PLEXIGLASS!!
Kyle O'Reilly and Adam Cole Prime Target is next.
Meanwhile, the dog has gone up a flight of stairs.
Kushida is interviewed backstage. He says nothing will stop him from winning. PETE DUNNE INTERRUPTS! Dunne says he's the best technical wrestler in the world. He dares Kushida to prove him wrong. Kushida plans to prove him wrong tonight.
Time for Prime Target for the Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly match. It goes over their history going all the way back to them meeting in 2009. We see lots of old pictures of them including from Japan. This is really well done and I highly recommend checking it out!
Commentary talks more about NXT's move to Tuesday nights!
Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro vs. Tian Sha (Mei Ying & Xia Li) w/ Boa
Mei Ying is staying in the chair. So I guess Xia Li is going it alone. Kacy attacks and jumps on Xia's back as we get started. Xia throws her off and Kayden tags in. Kayden hits a drop kick before taking Xia to the corner. Kayden and Kacy double team in the corner with quick tags. Kacy with a clothesline to get the upper hand. They go to the outside where Xia turns it around by sending Kacy back first into the apron. Kacy blocks a suplex with a cradle for a 1 count! KACY WITH A SWEET CODEBREAKER!! Kayden wants a tag and then looks up at Mei. KAYDEN GOES AFTER MEI BUT MEI GRABS HER BY THE THROAT AND BLOWS SMOKE IN HER FACE!! KAYDEN IS OUT!! Back in the ring, KACY RUNS INTO A KNEE STRIKE! XIA HITS A SPINNING KICK TO WIN!!
W: Mei Ying & Xia Li via pin @ 3:07
Backstage, McKenzie is with Raquel and asks her about Takeover. IO IS BACK TO ATTACK AGAIN!! Raquel gets the upper hand and THROWS IO THROUGH A WALL!! Damn!
The dog is still running and runs by a lady wearing high heels. "See you April 13th Franky" comes across the screen. Possibly Taya Valkyrie?
Tommaso Ciampa is backstage for a promo. Ciampa says the necklace WALTER ripped off of him was from his wife and baby girl. Ciampa knows WALTER didn't know that but it reminded Ciampa of his journey. Ciampa has heard the talk that he isn't the Ciampa of 2018. Ciampa still sees and feels his supporters. Ciampa says at Takeover, he will chop off the head of the dragon that is WALTER. Ciampa says he's changed but he would rather be the man that fights for something than the one who fights nothing. Ciampa says he's rediscovered the Blackheart and Psycho Killer. Ciampa tells WALTER it's a long fall from the top!
Commentary runs down the NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver card. I'll be posting an updated card after NXT is over.
NXT Champion Finn Balor promo now. He's been waiting for Karrion Kross for a while now. Balor talks how he is used to Takeovers. Balor puts over his stamina and says the longer the match goes, the closer Kross gets to drowning. Balor says at Takeover, Kross will choke.
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett are in the ring now to go over the rules (implications) for the battle royal. 11 men will compete and the final 6 left will all qualify for the gauntlet eliminator. The order the final 6 men are eliminated will determine their entry order in the gauntlet eliminator match on night one of NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver. The winner of the battle royal will enter last! The winner of the gauntlet eliminator match will face Johnny Gargano on night two for the NXT North American Championship.
11 Man Battle Royal
Final 6 Men Advance to Gauntlet Eliminator Match on Night 1 of NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver (Order of Elimination Determines Entry for that Match)
Participants include: Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, Leon Ruff, Austin Theory, LA Knight, Tyler Rust, Cameron Grimes, Jake Atlas, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumis, Kushida, and Pete Dunne
Ruff attacks Swerve during the entrances. We go to a break. After the break, everyone is in the ring. No Roderick Strong. We officially start with everyone brawling! I should says everyone except Lumis who is just standing there. Not a bad strategy haha. Dunne stares down Lumis but doesn't do anything. Malcolm Bivens helps Rust eliminate Atlas! Ruff almost has Swerve but Swerve survives. Ruff throws Rust into Swerve and Swerve back drops Rust out of the ring! He's gone! Knight works on Ruff now but is stopped by Swerve. Reed and Dunne are paired off. Kushida has Grimes in an arm bar near the bottom rope. REED KNOCKS THEORY TO THE FLOOR BUT HIS FEET DON'T TOUCH. In a dumb moment, Theory kips up to effectively eliminate himself. Reed tries to eliminate Kushida. Grimes and Knight work together to get Reed over onto the apron. Knight turns on Kushida and attacks. Kushida with a hand spring elbow. Dunne targets Ruff and stomps the arm. Lumis still hasn't moved. Dunne and Kushida have a stare down. They have a nice exchange. KUSHIDA AND DUNNE ELIMINATE EACH OTHER AT THE SAME TIME!! We're down to the final six! IT'S LUMIS, REED, GRIMES, KNIGHT, SWERVE, AND RUFF! We go to a split screen break.
The next two eliminated will start the gauntlet eliminator. WILLIAM REGAL SAYS DUNNE AND KUSHIDA WILL FIGHT ON NIGHT ONE OF TAKEOVER. Johnny Gargano joins commentary now and runs down Regal. Swerve and Ruff are fighting on the top turnbuckle and REED GRABS THEM BOTH AND TOSSES THEM BOTH! No shock there in my opinion. They start the gauntlet eliminator. Grimes and Knight team up on Reed. Lumis still hasn't done anything! LUMIS HELPS KNIGHT AND GRIMES DUMP REED! Grimes overs both men a fistful of cash to let him win! Knight says it's not a bad idea. Lumis decks him and money goes everywhere. GRIMES GETS ELIMINATED!! We're down to Lumis and Knight! Lumis gets control with strikes. Big back body drop by Lumis. Lumis tries to send Knight over the top but Knight sends Lumis to the apron. KNIGHT RUNS AT LUMIS BUT LUMIS SIDE STEPS AND KNIGHIT GOES THROUGH THE MIDDLE ROPE!! KNIGHT PULLS LUMIS OFF THE APRON AND HIS FEET HIT!! KNIGHT WINS!!
W: LA Knight via last eliminated Dexter Lumis @ 12:56
Post match, Knight gets in the face of Gargano!
HERE COMES IO SHIRAI AGAIN!! She grabs a mic and demands Gonzalez come out. Gonzalez comes out and Shirai attacks! Officials and the whole locker room are out to try to separate them! Gonzalez gets away but Shirai drop kicks her off the apron! Shirai fights off The Way. SHIRAI WITH A SPRING BOARD SPLASH TO TAKE OUT EVERYONE ON THE OUTSIDE!! End Show.
JOIN US FOR LIVE COVERAGE OF NXT TAKEOVER: STAND & DELIVER NEXT WEEK!!
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