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NXT 5/18/2021: Gargano vs. Reed in Steel Cage Main Events; Plus More!

Here's what's on tap for tonight’s NXT:

  • Zoey Stark vs. Toni Storm

  • "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase will be live

  • Pete Dunne sits down with Arash Markazi for an exclusive interview

  • Prime Target for the NXT Championship Match between champion Karrion Kross and challenger Finn Balor

  • Steel Cage Match for the NXT North American Championship: Bronson Reed vs. Johnny Gargano (champ)

It's Tuesday so we're in the Capitol Wrestling Center for NXT! The opening video package hypes what's to come tonight focusing on Stark/Storm and Gargano/Reed.

We're starting with ladies action!

Toni Storm vs. Zoey Stark

Trash talk to being and Storm slaps Stark! An aggressive Stark goes on the attack and pounds on Storm in the corner. Drop kick by Stark and Storm is sent out of the ring. Stark with a cross body to the outside to take down Storm. Back in the ring, SPRING BOARD MISSILE DROP KICK by Stark! Storm rolls out on the outside. Stark goes to the apron and looks for a kick by Storm catches the leg and brings Stark down hard. Storm sends Stark into the steps and follows with a running knee with Stark against the steps! Storm gets back in the ring as the ref counts. Stark beats the count at 8. Right hands by Storm backs Stark into a corner where Storm stomps her. Both ladies trade rights and Storm hits a suplex for a near fall. Storm works the head and neck of Stark now with a submission. Back up and Storm sends Stark into the ropes before hitting a kick for a near fall. Stark with elbows and a knee trying to fight back but Storm with a big right. Storm throws Stark across the ring and more kicks. Back breaker by Storm before bending Stark's back across her knee. Near fall for Storm. Uppercuts by Storm but Stark counters with a back slide for a near fall. Jumping enziguri by Stark to stop Storm's momentum. Both ladies are down as we go to a split screen break.

During the break, both ladies go back and forth. Storm continues to work on the head and neck area. When we return from the commercial, both ladies are trading blows. Storm sends Stark into the corner but misses a charge Nice kick by Stark followed by a clothesline. Near fall for Stark. Half Nelson by Stark but Storm counters. Storm looks for Storm Zero but Stark counters for a near fall. Half and half suplex by Stark gets another near fall. Stark tries another suplex but Storm counters with a German!! STORM HITS STORM ZERO!!! 1...2....NO!!! Damn!! STORM PICKS UP STARK AND HITS HER WITH MODIFIED SUPLEX BRAIN BUSTER THAT LOOKS PRETTY SWEET AND THAT FINISHES IT!! Good opener from the ladies!

W: Toni Storm via pin @ 11:21

Post match, Storm gets to her feet when the lights go out! FRANKY MONET IS HERE!! The tron reminds us that her in ring debut is next week!

McKenzie Mitchell is backstage is backstage with Legado del Fantasma minus Santos Escobar. McKenzie asks where Escobar is. They say don't worry about it. They want a tag title shot against MSK. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher interrupt. This leads to these two teams having a match later tonight.

We see Cameron Grimes arriving earlier today. He wants someone to park his limo up front but Jake Atlas informs that Ted DiBiase parked up front. Grimes will face Atlas tonight.

Prime Target for Kross vs. Balor is next!

We see Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell getting massages and facials earlier today. They have their eyes closed and DEXTER LUMIS is the one working on Hartwell. LeRae and Hartwell trash talk Lumis and he leaves. The champs high five each other. They never know he was there.

Prime Target for Kross vs. Balor airs. We see highlights of their match at NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver. Balor and Kross both talk about the match as we see the highlights. Kross says it was a matter of time before he won the title. Balor says he fell down but vows to get back up. Pat McAfee weighs in on the rematch. McAfee says it'll be epic and says Balor will win. Paul Heyman chimes in and says it's a little too close to call. Per usual with these Prime Targets, this is great stuff and makes the match feel like a big deal.

Cameron Grimes comes out for his match with Jake Atlas. Before the match, Grimes has a highlight of some of Ted DiBiase's most embarrassing moments. The crowd begins chanting "DiBiase" much to the chagrin of Grimes. Atlas attacks Grimes!! The match will begin after a break.

Jake Atlas vs. Cameron Grimes

The match is already in progress when we return and Grimes is in control. Grimes lowers his head and eats a kick from Atlas. Grimes charges into another boot. Atlas runs the ropes and arm drags Grimes. Atlas goes to the middle rope and leaps off to rana Grimes for a near fall. Grimes kicks Atlas away. Grimes is able to send Atlas to the apron. Atlas flips back into the ring but Grimes catches him with a knee to the stomach and clothesline gets a near fall for Grimes. Grimes beats on Atlas in the corner before sending him hard into the opposite corner. Grimes gloats and Atlas fights back with chops. Kicks by Grimes but Atlas catches one and slaps Grimes. Grimes is sent into the corner sternum first. Grimes lifts Atlas but Atlas counters. TED DIBIASE ARRIVES IN THE PARKING LOT!! Atlas hits a pump knee to the jaw of Grimes. A clothesline by Atlas turns Grimes inside out! 1...2...NO!! Atlas goes to the top rope but Grimes is up. Atlas charges but Grimes hits a mid-air cross body! Grimes sets up for the Cave In but TED DIBIASE IS HERE NOW!! ATLAS BEATS GRIMES WITH A ROLL UP OFF THE DISTRACTION!! DiBiase leaves as Grimes is pissed! Grimes tries to come back to the ring but Atlas hits him off the apron.

W: Jake Atlas via pin @ 4:51

Grimes goes searching for DiBiase in the back. Grimes hits the window of DiBiase's limo. DiBiase rolls down the window and says Grimes is no DiBiase. DiBiase rides off as Grimes throws a fit.

Bronson Reed promo where he talks about tonight being the biggest match of his life. Reed talks about the journey to get to this match. Reed says he won't let Gargano deny his destiny. Reed says he will become the new NXT North American Champion and then we will celebrate with his wife!

Pete Dunne is with Arash Markazi. Markazi says when someone calls out a champion, it's normally specific person and not everyone. Dunne says it was for everyone. Dunne addresses WALTER, Gargano, and Kross. Markazi if Dunne believes he doesn't get the respect he deserves? Dunne doesn't care because he knows he hasn't had a bad match. Dunne is asked to describe his style. It's a mix of British style with other styles he's learned here and in Japan. He's tried to make it more violent and aggressive. Dunne is asked about fan reaction. Dunne describes the reaction when he bends fingers. Dunne is asked about where he sees himself in five years and he plans to target the NXT Championship.

Alexander Wolfe w/ Imperium vs. Killian Dain w/ Drake Maverick

Wolfe controls the match early after kicking Dain in the face. Wolfe grounds Dain and then fires off some uppercuts. Dain fires back with some of his own. Dain backs Wolfe into the corner. Wolfe is sent into the opposite corner and squashed. Aichner gets on the apron and gets into with Maverick. Dain knocks him off the apron. German by Wolfe. Barthel tries to put a chair in the ring. The ref gets rid of that and DAIN HITS A RUNNING CROSS BODY TO WOLFE TO WIN!! Too short to mean much.

W: Killian Dain via pin @ 1:51

Post match, Aichner and Barthel go to do their pose with Wolfe and THEN AICHNER AND BARTHEL ATTACK WOLFE!! IMPERIUM BOMB TO WOLFE!! They pose over top of him!

Ciampa and Thatcher face Legado del Fantasma next!

Backstage, McKenzie is with NXT Women's Championship Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai. McKenzie asks about the altercation after the match. Raquel still respects Mercedes. They say they can be friends and still disagree. Dakota says they're focused on the NXT Women's Tag Titles. Ever-Rise interrupts! They run their mouths and get slapped by Raquel.

Legado del Fantasma vs. Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher

We're starting with Ciampa and Wilde. Wilde uses his speed to avoids Ciampa early. Wilde runs outside and Ciampa chase and eventually catches him. Ciampa sends Wilde into the barricade and they go back into the ring. Shoulder tackle by Ciampa for a near fall. Front face lock by Ciampa now and he transitions to a chin lock. Thatcher gets a tag and he delivers head butts to Wilde. Wilde is able to back Thatcher into the LDF corner. Mendoza tags in and Thatcher takes him down and begins working on the arm. Mendoza gets to his feet and Thatcher tries to hyperextend the arm. They go into the ropes where Ciampa gets a tag. Ciampa grounds Mendoza. Mendoza is sent to the corner and Ciampa hits him with a forearm. Ciampa charges into a boot by Mendoza. Mendoza charges into a boot from Ciampa. Thatcher gets a tag and works on the neck. Mendoza counters to a side head lock but Thatcher escapes and goes after the arm. Mendoza looks like he has a busted nose. Mendoza is sent into the ropes and he drops kicks Thatcher's knee. Mendoza with a kick but Thatcher catches and locks in an ankle lock! Wilde comes in to help and Ciampa comes in to get him in an ankle lock as well! LDF both rolls through with double pins but the ref won't count. Things breaks down with everyone dishing out kicks and all four men are down as we go to a break.

We're back with Ciampa taking to both members of LDF in different corners. Clothesline for both men and then he takes down both of them with a double clothesline. Ciampa tries Willow's Bell but Wilde pulls Mendoza to safety. Legado takes over now. They plant Ciampa with a double spine buster. Wilde gets a near fall on Ciampa. Mendoza was checked by the medical team during the break and he's good. Mendoza tags in and takes it to Ciampa and even bites him! Mendoza misses a charge in the corner and hits the ring post before falling outside. Thatcher tags in. Belly to belly to Wilde and uppercuts to Mendoza. Underhook suplex to Mendoza for a near fall. Thatcher takes Mendoza to the corner and tags Ciampa. Ciampa right rights before a quick tag to Thatcher. He gets in a few shots before Ciampa comes back in. Ciampa hits Mendoza with a big knee to the temple for a near fall. Mendoza is sent to the corner but counters and hits a kick. Both men hits some stiff strikes. Ciampa looks for the Fairy Tale Ending but Mendoza counters. Ciampa ends up in the LDF corner. Wilde tags in and hits a suplex. Mendoza comes back in and they hit a spring board splash and moonsault for a near fall. Mendoza knocks Thatcher off the apron and Wilde tags in. Thatcher pulls Mendoza out. CIAMPA HITS WILDE WITH WILLOW'S BELL!!'s broken up! Thatcher is outside with Thatcher! GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS ARE HERE TO ATTACK CIAMPA OUTSIDE!! THEY THROW CIAMPA BACK IN THE RING! LDF GETS THE PIN AND WIN!! Awesome tag match and good work by all involved.

W: Legado del Fantasma via pin @ 15:39

McKenzie is backstage with Bobby Fish. Fish says last week had nothing to do with Kyle O'Reilly. It had everything to do with Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan. There the one's who injured him. Fish is back now and he can't think of a better place to start than with Pete Dunne. Fish is calling out Dunne next week!

Back to Candice and Indi getting pampered. They stretch and say it was great. Candice's credit card gets declined. They blame it on Austin Theory. The sales lady says the over charge is from three weeks ago when someone purchased flowers. Indi puts it together that Candice bought the flowers and not Dexter. Indi is happy now and says Dexter still loves her.

Johnny Gargano promo now and he says he's the number one champ on this brand. Gargano says he left Kross laid out and no one else could. Gargano says he's unstoppable and unbeatable.

Aliyah w/ Robert Stone & Jessi Kamea vs. "Warrior of the Sun" Sarray

Sarray offers a hand shake and Aliyah attacks! Sarray comes back with a spring board arm drag. Sarray picks up the pace but she's tripped by Kamea. That allows Aliyah to take over. Elbow by Aliyah for a near fall. Aliyah takes down Sarray by the hair and throws her across the ring. Aliyah with a knee to the jaw and we get a black out to avoid a malfunction. Sarray fires back as the ladies trade strikes. Heel kick by Sarray for a near fall followed by a suplex. Sarray goes to the top and HITS A MISSILE DROP KICK! Running drop kick by Sarray! SARRAY WITH A NICE SIDE SUPLEX WITH ALIYAH LANDING HIGH AND TIGHT!! THAT DOES IT! Squash as Sarray continues to pick up wins.

W: Sarray via pin @ 2:24

Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon promo now. They tell Candice and Indi this is far from over. They're coming for the tag titles.

Hit Row is in action next!

We get another Diamond Mine vignette. I still have no idea who it is.

Hit Row w/ B-Fab & Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari

Ashante Adonis and Top Dolla are representing Hit Row. Adonis attacks Daivari right away! Flap jack by Adonis and he tags Top Dolla. Dolla launches Daivari across the ring. Daivari tags in. Dolla lifts both men and slams both of them at the same time. Clothesline by Top Dolla. Adonis tags back in. Daivari fights back but Adonis with a nice drop kick. Adonis mounts and pounds Daivari. Top Dolla comes in and pulls him off. Adonis super kicks Nese. TOP DOLLA DESTROYS DAIVAIRI AND FINISHES HIM WITH A NECK BREAKER SLAM!! Squash.

W: Hit Row via pin @ 2:15

Post match, Hit Row says they're putting everyone on notice. Swerve talks about the main event. He'll be watching and he's coming after the winner.

McKenzie is backstage with William Regal. Regal says Legado del Fantasma gets a tag team championship match against MSK in two weeks. He's looking for someone to step up against Raquel Gonzalez and Kushida. Regal announces that next week Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell will defend against Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon.

The main event is next!

A vignette hypes Franky Monet's world premiere next week.

Commentary hypes next week. Balor vs. Kross 2! Ted DiBiase will also meet Cameron Grimes face-to-face.

Steel Cage Match for the NXT North American Championship

Bronson Reed vs. Johnny Gargano (champ) w/ Austin Theory

Gargano immediately tries to escape out the door but Reed pulls him back in. Reed sends Gargano to the corner and Gargano tries to climb but no luck. Gargano keeps trying to escape but Reed cuts him off at every path. Reed runs through a Gargano clothesline. Gargano leaps but Reed swats him in the air. Reed chucks Gargano into the cage. Gargano gets sent into the cage again. Reed picks up Gargano and long darts him into the cage. Commentary says Bobby Fish will face Pete Dunne next week. Reed grinds Gargano's face against the cage. Reed charges but Gargano ducks and Reed hits it. Reed regroups and plants Gargano. Gargano avoids a suplex and chop blocks Reed. GARGANO WITH A MOONSAULT OFF THE SIDE OF THE CAGE!! Gargano tries to climb but Reed is up. Reed pulls him off and plants him with a fireman's carry slam. Reed climbs now. Theory begins climbing on the outside! Gargano super kicks the left knee of Reed as we go to a picture in picture break.

During the break, Gargano racks Reed on the ropes and then bounces the top rope up and down. Gargano mounts and punches Reed in the corner. Reed gets trapped between the ropes and cage where Gargano sends Reed's head into the cage. Gargano charges into a punch from Reed. Gargano maintains control though. Gargano chokes Reed across the middle rope.

We come back to Theory getting in a cheap shot. Near fall for Gargano. Gargano tries to climb but Reed with a massive power slam. Atomic drop by Reed and he catapults Gargano face first into the cage! Reed puts Gargano on his shoulder and climbs the ropes. SAMOAN DROP OFF THE SECOND ROPE!! 1...2...NO!! Reed was delayed making the cover. Reed begins to climb but Gargano is up and grabs a leg. Gargano with shots to the knee. Gargano climbs to the top rope and sends Reed face first into the cage. GARGANO SUNSET POWER BOMBS REED!! 1...2...NO!! Gargano crawls for the door! Theory tries to help pull him out!! Reed holds on!! Reed pulls Gargano back in and sits on him!! Reed tries to get through the door but Theory holds it closed. Reed sends Theory flying. Gargano with a super kick but Reed with a right hook. Gargano tries a power bomb but Gargano counters and stands on the top rope. POISON RANA BY GARGANO!! Gargano tries to climb!! Gargano stops and tries One Final Beat but Reed catches him. Reed goes for the door but THEORY SLAMS IT IN HIS FACE!! ONE FINAL BEAT DDT BY GARGANO!! 1...2....NO!! Gargano climbs but Reed grabs his foot. Both men battle in the corner now. REED POWER BOMBS GARGANO FROM THE TOP!!! Reed climbs the side closest to Theory and Theory climbs as well! Gargano is up and climbing too!! Reed sends Gargano back into the ring with a head butt. Theory gets knocked to the floor. GARGANO CRAWLS TOWARDS THE DOOR AND REED SPLASHES HIM!! REED CLIMBS UP AGAIN AND TSUNAMI SPLASH FOR THE WIN!!! We got a new champ!!! Great main event that definitely delivered!

W: Bronson Reed via pin @ 15:29

Reed celebrates to end the show!!

Next Week:

  • Cameron Grimes and Ted DiBiase meet in a million dollar face off!

  • Franky Monet's World Premiere

  • Bobby Fish vs. Pete Dunne

  • Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon vs. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez (NXT Women’s Champion)

  • NXT Championship Match: Finn Balor vs. Karrion Kross (champ) w/ Scarlett

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