We’re going to be hearing from Velveteen Dream on tonight’s episode. We’ll probably be hearing from Undisputed ERA as well, according to the preview. The only advertised match is Candice LeRae versus Reina Gonzalez, although Mansoor will be in action against an unnamed opponent. And William Regal will reveal the plans for the now vacated NXT Tag Team Championships.
Mansoor def. Sean Maluta
Candice LeRae def. Reina Gonzalez
Undisputed ERA def. Matt Riddle & Johnny Gargano
A recap of Viking Raiders final match, concluding with them laying the titles in the ring, opened the show. William Regal, from his office, announced that, at NXT TakeOver, it will be Street Profits, Forgotten Sons, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch, and Undisputed ERA (O’Reilly/Fish) in a ladder match for the titles.
Undisputed ERA opened the show proper. Adam Cole said Undisputed ERA are going nowhere. They’re stronger than they’ve ever been and they’re all on the same page. They sent out a statement to the rest of the locker room that their contracts might say NXT superstar, but Undisputed ERA owns them. They will not stop until they run this place. They will continue to take what they want when they want, which means soon the Undisputed ERA will be draped in gold. That starts in two weeks at TakeOver. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish will regain the Tag Team Championships and he will take the NXT Championship from Johnny Gargano.
Gargano came out at that point. Sensibly, he kept his distance, and said Cole wanted the title on the line at TakeOver, and he got it. In return, Gargano asked him to be honest and admit that the reason he’s out there celebrating getting his boys back is that he knows he could never beat him alone.
Cole reminded him he beat him in the first fall. Gargano pointed out, again that he beat him in two out of the three falls. He made it really simple for him to understand. Cole shouted at him to shut up.
While Cole was still talking, Matt Riddle attacked Undisputed ERA from behind. Gargano ran down to help when the number started to catch up with Riddle. Many, many, officials came to break it up and, eventually, only Riddle and Gargano were left in the ring.
Mansoor vs Sean Maluta
Considering Mansoor was the advertised competitor on the preview, the result was a bit of a no-brainer. But Maluta is always fun to watch on his, much too rare, appearances, and it was an entertaining match.
A couple of years ago, before WWE’s mass indie talent skim, these are the guys NXT would have been turning into stars. It will be much harder for them to make a big impact on the current roster.
Mansoor got the expected pin after a short but good match.
William Regal announced Matt Riddle will be facing Roderick Strong at TakeOver, and the main event of tonight’s episode will be Matt Riddle and Johnny Gargano vs Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish.
Velveteen Dream said he’s in high demand. And that was about as far as he got before he was interrupted. Tyler Breeze is back on NXT! He got a much deserved ‘Welcome Home’ chant from the Full Sail crowd. He said Prince Pretty is home, and got another one. And much like Velveteen Dream, when he was in NXT he has everybody talking about him, but ever since the fashion left NXT it feels a little lifeless, a little dull. There are wannabe impersonators and cheap knockoffs, and as flattering as that is, there can be only one Prince Pretty, Tyler Breeze.
Velveteen Dream welcomed him back to ‘the dream’s NXT’ and told him they do things differently in NXT. The spotlight wants a real man, not a boy (Breeze is eight years older than Velveteen Dream), especially not a boy who plays cops and robbers. And just because he couldn’t cut it on Monday and Tuesday nights doesn’t mean he gets to come back to NXT and demand a spotlight.
Breeze said rather than couldn’t cut it, lets’ go with uninspired. But Velveteen Dream inspires him. The North American Championship inspires him. And an inspired Tyler Breeze is too much for Velveteen to handle.
Velveteen Dream called him a dollar store detective and referenced him sitting in catering. Then told him the line to face him starts outside, so that’s where he should go. He offered him a selfie before he left. Breeze debated it out loud for a while, then agreed. While they were posing, Breeze said ‘when you write your phone number on your trunks and nobody calls you up, it’s because no one’s interested, then punched him in the face.
Outside, Cathy Kelley asked Tyler Breeze what his motivation was for attacking Velveteen Dream in front of the NXT Universe. Breeze said he’s an NXT OG and he wanted to introduce Velveteen Dream to an inspired Prince Pretty.
Candice LeRae vs Reina Gonzalez
Candice LeRae got bounced around a bit to start with, but Gonzalez is about a foot taller than her.
She attempted to build some momentum, but Gonzalez kept catching her, including a springboard crossbody to the outside. LeRae struggled free from that and sent Gonzalez crashing into the steps to give herself some breathing space.
A hurricanrana from the top turnbuckle gave LeRae her first big impact. She followed up with a series of strikes a missile dropkick and a springboard moonsault for the pin.
That was ridiculously short, but after Gonzalez left Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir turned up to beat up Candice LeRae. Io Shirai turned up with a kendo stick to even the odds. She cleared Duke and Shafir with it, then got a few solid shots on Baszler before she scrabbled out of the ring.
Next week we have Bianca Belair versus Mia Yim, and Kushida versus Drew Gulak.
Matt Riddle & Johnny Gargano vs Undisputed ERA
The opening few minutes between Kyle O’Reilly and Johnny Gargano were just beautiful.
Fish and O’Reilly took Matt Riddle out at ringside when Gargano was still the legal man. Fish was arguing with the ref about it and didn’t see Gargano’s kick until it met with his head. Riddle wanted in then and Gargano held Fish still for Riddle to deliver a few stinging blows.
Riddle suplexed Fish a couple of times, deadlifting him in between, then did the same to O’Reilly, except his ribs gave out on the second one. That gave Fish and O’Reilly a target and an opportunity to isolate and punish Matt Riddle, and they did.
Of course, Gargano came back in and cleaned house, but he could quite get the pin. But with Riddle still down on the outside, Fish and O’Reilly got the better of Gargano. They delivered Chasing the Dragon, but Johnny Gargano kicked out.
Riddle came back in and nearly pinned Bobby Fish from the Floating Bro. Gargano lawn darted O’Reilly into Riddle’s knee, but he still managed to get up in time to break up Riddle’s pin on Fish.
Adam Cole came down to interfere and was met with a suicide dive from Gargano. While the ref was trying to persuade Gargano to stop hitting Cole, Roderick Strong appeared at ringside and delivered a backbreaker on the apron to Matt Riddle.
Back in the ring, Riddle was taken down with a High Low and pinned.
After the match, there was a four on two beatdown by Undisputed ERA. Gargano was held in place to take a Last Shot from Cole.
NXT TakeOver XXV is in less than two weeks. I feel like it’s snuck up on us a bit. We’ve got four matches lined up though;
- Johnny Gargano (C) vs Adam Cole – NXT Championship match
- Shayna Baszler (C) vs Io Shirai – NXT Women’s Championship match
- Undisputed ERA vs Forgotten Sons vs Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs Street Profits – NXT Tag Team Championship match
- Matt Riddle vs Roderick Strong
- Velveteen Dream vs Tyler Breeze – North American Championship match
I am beyond happy to see Tyler Breeze back in NXT. He’s way too talented to be spending his time in filler matches and backstage segments on the main roster (he’s had some killer matches on Main Event though). Straight into the title picture is exactly what he deserves.