COMMENTATORS: Vic Joseph & Wade Barrett
NXT this week not only features fallout from this past Saturday’s Stand & Deliver special but also the first appearance of new NXT Champion Bron Breakker, who shocked the world by beating Dolph Ziggler for the title last night on Monday Night Raw. What does he have to say? Who will step up to challenge the Pup-faced Gremlin? Your guess is as good as mine!
- NXT CHAMPION: Bron Breakker
- NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION: Mandy Rose
- NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION: Cameron Grimes
- NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter)
- NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez
- The Creed Brothers vs. Imperium (***1/4) [RECAP]
- Dexter Lumis vs. Duke Hudson (*1/2) [RECAP]
- Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez [c] vs. Toxic Attraction for the NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (***) [RECAP]
- Nikkita Lyons vs. Lash Legend (***) [RECAP]
- Bron Breakker [c] vs. GUNTHER for the NXT CHAMPIONSHIP (***3/4) [RECAP]
-LAST SATURDAY: Stand & Deliver happened. You can read all about it by clicking these words but lemme sum it up: Cameron Gimes won the North American Title, Tony D’Angelo beat Tommaso Ciampa to become the Don of NXT, MSK completed their year-long journey to regain the Tag Team Championship (just in time for Nash Carter to be outed as a big ol’ piece of sh*t), and Dolph Ziggler surprised the world by retaining the NXT Championship. UNTIL…
-LAST NIGHT: Bron Breakker beats Dolph Ziggler to win the NXT Championship on the RAW After Mania.
NXT Champion Bron Breakker makes his way out to the ring to address the NXT Universe. A dueling “WE WANT ZIGGLER/NO WE DON’T” chant breaks out as Breakker talks about his weekend, starting with inducting his father Rick and uncle Scott Steiner into the Hall of Fame on Friday, then failing to regain the NXT Championship at Stand & Deliver on Saturday. After going to WrestleMania and being inspired to one day headline the event himself, he vowed not to leave Texas without the NXT Championship and beat his ass on Monday in the center of the ring, bringing the title back where it belongs.Breakker doesn’t get too long to bask in his glory, however, as out comes Imperium (GUNTHER, Marcel Barthel, & Fabian Aichner) to interrupt. GUNTHER says nobody cares about Breakker’s weekend; all he cares about is the title and what that title stands for. The NXT Championship stands for being the best in NXT, but Breakker can’t call himself the best until he steps into the ring with GUNTHER. Breakker happily accepts the implied challenge for tonight and the two stare one another down heading into the commercial…as The Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed) make their way to the ring, Malcolm Bivens in tow. What do they want? WE’LL FIND OUT AFTER SOME PIZZA HUT COMMERCIALS!
The Creed Brothers (Brutus & Julius Creed) [w/ Malcolm Bivens] vs. Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner)
Match started during the commercial break, answering the question as to what The Creed Brothers wanted. They wanted to FIGHT. After some brief offense by Brutus Imperium take control, Aichner working him over with corner European uppercuts. Aichner drops Brutus with a shoulderblock and makes the tag to Barthel, Brutus escapes his grasp and counters into a Gator Roll neckbreaker. Julius tags in and talks trash, Barthel dazes him with a strike and tags out to Aichner, who catches him in mid-air and plants him with a rolling senton. Julius catches a charging Aichner with an elbow and charges, Aichner turns it into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and tags out to Barthel. Julius knees Barthel in the ribs and tags out to Brutus, Barthel drops him to one knee with a strike and Aichner tags in. Brutus clears Barthel from the ring, Aichner slams Brutus into the ropes and Imperium are back in control. Brutus sweeps the legs, Aichner stomps him down and grabs an ankle, making the tag to Barthel for a kneedrop right across the bridge of the nose. Barthel stuns Brutus with a series of rights, Brutus tries to counter a charge with a kick but Barthel catches it and connects with a kick of his own for the 1…2…not yet. Barthel runs Brutus over with a PK, Aichner tags in and brings Brutus to the canvas for a chinlock/wristlock combo.
Aichner locks in a toehold, Brutus escapes and tosses Aichner across the ring with a slam. Barthel makes the tag but so does Julius who dropkicks Aichner off the apron (doesn’t look like he really got much contact but it still counts). Julius uses his brute strength to pick Barthel up with ease for a slam, covering for the 1…2…Aichner breaks it up and connects with a right hand while the ref gets distracted with Brutus. Imperium hang Julius on the ropes and Barthel connects with a dropkick…but he gets abandoned out of nowhere as FABIAN AICHNER WALKS AWAY. Oh dang. Creed Brothers take advantage and beat the bloodied Barthel down for the 1…2…3.
The Creed Brothers defeated Imperium via pinfall (11:39 shown)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Weird they started the match during a commercial but it is what it is, turned out to be pretty damn good anyway. Not sure what the miscommunication was there between Imperium, I guess Aichner “accidentally” punched Barthel when he made the save? Huh. GUNTHER getting a title shot the same night his group appears to be splintering, that’s bad luck. (***1/4)
The Creed Brothers get no time to celebrate as they’re attacked by a pair of masked man…revealed to be former NXT UK Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton prince). They introduce themselves to the Creeds (and by proxy the rest of us because who the f*ck watches NXT UK).
–McKenzie Mitchell is standing by with Toxic Attraction (Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin, & Jacy Jayne). Dolin & Jayne vow to end the careers of Kai & Gonzalez tonight. Rose says after tonight she’ll still be holding her Women’s Championship while Dolin & Jayne will be two-time champs.
–Cameron Grimes, all smiles, is shown backstage with his newly-won North American Championship. He’s got something to say NEXT!-Nikkita Lyons and Lash Legend are shown backstage getting ready to do battle later tonight.
Cameron Grimes is introduced to the ring, making his first appearance since winning the North American Championship at Stand & Deliver in a Ladder Match. Helluva thing that was. NXT ladder matches do not f*ck around. Grimes says that time stood still atop the ladder on Saturday, all the moments that his father gave his blood, sweat, and tears to not only professional wrestling but to making Grimes the man he is today. Grimes says he’s been busting his ass for the past three years because he needed to prove his Dad right that he deserves to be a WWE Superstar. Grimes refuses to get complacent, vowing to make sure the North American Championship goes on multiple trips to the MOOOOON.Grimes’ victory speech is interrupted by Solo Sikoa, who congratulates Grimes on his performance at Stand & Deliver. Sikoa says Grimes winning the title is cool but now comes the hard part: hanging onto it. Sikoa has come to NXT to face the best and championships run in his BLOODLINE (eyyy I get that reference). Sikoa challenges Grimes, Grimes says that if he’s a champion like he says he is he needs to beat people like Sikoa and accepts. Grimes and Sikoa shake on it, Sikoa then pulls Grimes in and they continue to talk trash BUT NOT KISS so what’s the point.
–Joe Gacy and Harland are backstage to talk crazy sh*t. Gacy says family is imperative to success and if you don’t have family it leads to self-destruction.
–Draco Anthony seems to be moved by the message, but gets interrupted in the locker room by Xyon Quinn who tries to offer advice. Anthony tells Quinn not to tell him what to do, Quinn says he needs to learn a lesson in respect.
-STAND & DELIVER: InDEX beats DuSIA for “Hottest Couple in Texas”. Duke Hudson and Dexter Lumis come to blows and have to be separated by officials.
–Duke Hudson and Dexter Lumis, joined by their respective significant others Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell, are shown heading towards the ring. They do battle next!-McKenzie Mitchell is standing by with Tiffany Stratton, who’s still mad about Sarray beating her last week and is very insistent that she’s not a loser. Okay.
Dexter Lumis [w/ Indi Hartwell] vs. Duke Hudson [w/ Persia Pirotta]
Hartwell kisses Lumis on the cheek so Pirotta one-ups her and full on makes out with Hudson, Barrett giving a big ol’ “nice” for all the pervs out there. Hudson attacks Lumis, Lumis fights him off and rolls a distracted Hudson up a two-count. Lumis charges at Hudson, Hudson counters with an STO and goes on the offensive with a series of stomps and a back elbow for a one-count. Hudson slows things down with a chinlock, Lumis almost gets to his feet but Hudson throws him back to the canvas and wrenches a deeper chinlock in. Lumis gets to his feet again and breaks the hold with a back suplex, Hartwell giving her man a thumbs up (their love language). Lumis nips up right into a legdrop, beginning his comeback that includes all sorts of rights, a corner clothesline, and a bulldog. Lumis follows up with a spinebuster, covering for the 1…Hudson gets her foot on the rope but Hartwell pushes it off, 2…Hudson kicks out anyway. Hudson escapes to the floor, Lumis slithers out after him and they engage in a tug of war, as do Hartwell & Pirotta. They let go and Lumis & Hudson crash into the ring post, knocking them both out and causing a double countout. Word.
Dexter Lumis & Duke Hudson fought to a double-countout (4:55)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Well that was certainly something I watched with my face. I like Dexter Lumis enough to power through most things so I didn’t super hate it but that finish…woof. Can’t imagine a lot of people are invested in this but whatever gets my favorite professional wrestler/serial killer paid. (*1/2)
–McKenzie Mitchell interviews Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai ahead of tonight’s title defense, an audible chant of “THAT WAS STUPID” playing out from that finish. They aren’t concerned about Toxic Attraction as they can’t do worse damage than they’ve done to each other.-Marcel Barthel yells at GUNTHER in the locker room. GUNTHER tells Barthel to get his head on straight and vows to win the NXT Championship tonight to restore honor to Imperium. No more distractions!
Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez [c] vs. Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne) for the NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Kai & Gonzalez defeated Toxic Attraction during Saturday’s Stand & Deliver Kickoff show, making it the only WWE Kickoff show that actually had a match this weekend. FOUR HOURS OF WRESTLEMANIA KICKOFF AND NOT ONE-sorry, sorry. Wendy Choo helped Kai & Gonzalez get the win on Saturday so I wouldn’t be surprised if she shows up here as well…you know if she isn’t taking a nap.
Jayne uses her speed, sliding under Gonzalez and jumping on her back. Dolin tags in, Gonzalez catches a crossbody attempt, Dolin escapes but Gonzalez changes it up and connects with a spinning slam. Kai tags in and throws Dolin around the ring with a pair of armdrags, Kai dodges her in the corner and rolls her up for a one-count. Kai connects with a dropkick, another cover for the 1…2…not yet. Dolin tries a hurricanrana but it does not go well, woooof. It’s enough to give Toxic Attraction the offensive advantage and they work Kai over in the corner. Kai fights out of the corner and makes the leaping tag to Gonzalez, who throws Jayne across the ring with a fallaway slam. Gonzalez kicks Dolin off the apron but Jayne attacks from behind, tying her up in a tree of woe and following up with a cannonball of sorts. Gonzalez clutches her recently-injured knee as the show goes to commercial.
Back live Gonzalez clears Jayne from the ring; Dolin tags in but so does Kai, who takes her head off with a running corner boot for the 1…2…Dolin kicks out. Kai tags to Gonzalez then hits a flying double stomp, Gonzalez follows up with a slingshot elbow for the 1…2…Jayne breaks it up and gets tossed to the floor. Kai tags in and tries to roll Dolin up but Jayne tags herself in and breaks that up with a neckbreaker. She clears Gonzalez from the apron and connects with another kick on Kai for the 1…2…Kai kicks out. Dolin tags in and connects with a lariat after a Codebreaker from Jayne and covers for the 1…2…Gonzalez makes the save. Gonzalez charges into the ring and drops Jayne with a big boot but unfortunately she uses her injured knee and down she goes. A “THIS IS AWESOME” chant breaks out as Dolin counters a powerslam with a stunner. Wendy Choo comes out to cause another distraction but gets thrown into the steps by Mandy Rose. Jayne chop blocks Gonzalez, Dolin clears Kai from the apron, TOXIC SHOCK on Gonzalez for the 1…2…3.
Toxic Attraction defeated Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez [c] via pinfall to win the NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (8:38 shown)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Had some messy moments at the start but it was all fire after the commercial break. Lots of fun. Kai & Gonzalez can’t hold onto those titles to save their lives man, this is the second time they’ve beefed it during their first defense. (***)
–Joe Gacy is back for more crazy talk, flanked by Harland. Gacy asks what happens when you can’t control the chaos; the chaos controls YOU.
AJ Galante lets people know who he is (he managed a hockey team?) then introduces the “made man” himself Tony D’Angelo to the ring. D’Angelo says what he did Saturday (beat Tommaso Ciampa) was unbelievable but tonight it gets even better. Galante says on the table is a card with his blood, signifying he’s ready to take the oath of the Don. When his blood hit that card, D’Angelo accepted the unbreakable oath and if he betrays it he leaves on his back. Galante says D’Angelo’s loyalty can never be questioned and the cone of silence can never be broken (or may his soul burn in Hell). Galante asks if D’Angelo is ready to accept his position (the crowd chanting “BORING” through it). D’Angelo accepts and Galante gives him a ring to cement his position as the DON.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Galante got flustered with the crowd but covered pretty well. Segment died a death in front of the NXT crowd though and I don’t blame them…however I like D’Angelo’s whole thing so I had fun.
–McKenzie Mitchell is standing by with the NXT Tag Team Champs MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter). They appreciate these titles a lot more than they did the first time they won them, and tell all the teams who want some to come and get it. They get interrupted by Grayson Waller and Sanga, Waller bragging about going viral on Saturday. Lee says he can be as viral as he wants but he’ll never be what MSK is: champions. Sanga says they won’t be champs for long, MSK is ready to fight right now but Waller, whose arm is in a sling due to falling through a ladder Saturday, says they aren’t ready yet…but soon.-An angry Dakota Kai destroys the backstage area and tells Mandy Rose she is NOT safe.
Nikkita Lyons vs. Lash Legend
Lyons grabs a wristlock, Legend yanks the hair to break it up, Lyons trips her and they both kip up and stare each other down. OH IT IS ON. Legend elbows Lyons, Lyons responds with a kick followed by a running clothesline. Lyons hurts her ankle in the corner and Legend drops her with a pump kick, following up with an elbowdrop to the spine for a two-count. Legend traps Lyons in a chinlock, knee directly into the spine, Lyons escapes but gets IMMEDIATELY dropped with what looked like a headbutt but could’ve been a right hand, either way that was stiff. Legend follows up with a back handspring moonsault (!!!) for the 1…2…Lyons kicks out. Lyons dodges a corner charge and connects with a release German suplex. Lyons and Legend THROW BOMBS, Lyons drops Legend with a roundhouse kick and follows up with shoulders to the midsection in the corner. Lyons sits Legend on the buckle and connects with a middle-buckle superplex, covering for the 1…2…Legend kicks out. Legend trips Lyons up and ties her up with a bridge for the 1…2…Lyons kicks out. Lyons connects with another kick, this time to the back of the head (not sure if on purpose or not), and follows up with a splits cover for the 1…2…3. YEAH.
Nikkita Lyons defeated Lash Legend via pinfall (4:41)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Lyons and Legend did a lot with a little. Hard-hitting match, they threw BOMBS at each other. I loved it, jank and all. (***)
–Legado del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza, Elektra Lopez) catch up with Tony D’Angelo and AJ Galante. Escobar congratulates D’Angelo on becoming a Don and gives him advice: stay out of Legado business. Seems a little unnecessary but alright, be a jerk.
-LAST WEEK: Von Wagner attacks Ikeman Jiro and RIPS UP HIS JACKET, the monster. Kushida vows revenge for his Jacket Time partner.
-NEXT WEEK ON NXT: Grimes/Sikoa for North American Championship, Rose/Kai for the Women’s Championship, & MSK/Waller & Sanga for the Tag Team Championship. Well damn is there some sporting event next week they’re programming against or something?
Bron Breakker [c] vs. “The Ring General” Gunther for the NXT CHAMPIONSHIP
I’ll go with normal-case Gunther for this match, why not! Gunther beat LA Knight at Stand & Deliver so he’s also coming into this match with some momentum. Gunther having abs and being so lean just feels WRONG. I mean good on him but goddamn, man.
Breakker and Gunther jockey for position to start, Breakker grabbing a headlock and Gunther forcing him against the ropes. Gunther clubs Breakker in the chest and they trade side headlock takedowns, Breakker managing to hang onto his. Breakker runs into Gunther, Gunther responds with a chop. Breakker charges again, Gunther hops over with a leapfrog and connects with a BIG OL’ BOOT. Breakker powers Gunther into the corner, Gunther clubs him in the back, Breakker dodges a chop and counters a leapfrog into a powerslam. Gunther dodges a Steinerline and grabs a chinlock, Breakker whips him off and follows up with a spear. Straps come down and Breakker tries for the military press but hurts his arm in the process, Gunther sending him to the floor with a chop. Gunther focuses on the shoulder, sending Breakker arm-first into the steps as the show moves to picture-in-picture. Gunther rolls Breakker in and continues softening Breakker’s left arm, driving it to the canvas with a knee and throwing him shoulder-first into the corner. Gunther grabs a double wristlock, driving his knee into the spine and pulling the arms back.
Breakker starts fighting back, Gunther responding with lethal chops that drop the champion. Breakker blocks a chop but doesn’t block the release German. Gunther charges, Breakker ducks a clothesline and hits a release German suplex of his own. Gunther chops Breakker, Breakker responds with a Steinerline and both men are down. Gunther goes back to the arm, applying a keylock-style hammerlock, Breakker escapes with a slam and follows up with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex like dear old Dad. Breakker charges, Gunther connects with a dropkick followed by a powerbomb, stacking the champ up for the 1…2…Breakker kicks out! Gunther takes flight, connecting with a top-rope splash for the 1…2…BREAKKER GETS THE SHOULDER UP. Gunther connects with a short-arm clothesline for the 1…2…Breakker kicks out again! Gunther takes flight again but gets SPEARED out of the air by Breakker. Gunther and Breakker trade stiff shots, Gunther grabs a sleeperhold, Breakker escapes with a jawbreaker and follows up with a Steinerlne. Breakker fights through the shoulder pain and picks Gunther up with the military press into a powerslam for the 1…2…3!
Bron Breakker [c] defeated Gunther via pinfall to retain the NXT CHAMPIONSHIP (13:07)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Gunther played the hits here but he’s so f*cking good that it ruled anyway. Great hard-hitting match and a STRONG first defense from Breakker over one of the big bads of the NXT system. Still feels wild to see Gunther lose matches after all that time he had spent as NXT UK Champ but it had to happen eventually. (***3/4)
Bron Breakker celebrates with the NXT Championship but before Joseph & Barrett can sign off we go to the NXTron where Rick Steiner tells Breakker he’s proud of him. The camera pans back to reveal that he’s tied up and locked in a cage, with Joe Gacy and Harland as his captors. Gacy says it’s time to see if they can teach an old dog new tricks and that…concludes the episode!
A banger of an NXT this week from an in-ring perspective, with most of the matches delivering and in the case of Lyons/Legend overdelivering. Lumis/Hudson was kind of dumb but we’ll move past that. I was surprised to see the Women’s Tag Team Championship change hands so quickly but with Dakota Kai getting a Women’s Title shot next week maybe that’s a positive thing. No one in that NXT locker room is more deserving than she is for a run with the title. Breakker/Gunther was everything I was hoping for and gave Breakker a tremendous first defense of his gold…and we even got a surprise setup at the end with Joe Gacy looking to be his next opponent. A little surprised tbh but he’s been on point with his character so hey why not. They’re all just keeping the belt warm for Tony D’Angelo anyway. Looking forward to next week’s show, with three title matches it should be fun.
- FAVORITE MATCH: Bron Breakker vs. Gunther
- FAVORITE MOMENT: Mandy Rose makes Wendy Choo eat sh*t during her attempt to distract Toxic Attraction again. NOT THIS TIME, PAL.