Originally published at NXT TakeOver - Kross vs. Cole vs. O'Reilly vs. Dunne vs. Gargano
Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of NXT TakeOver: In Your House from the Capitol Wrestling Center in Florida.
Later tonight, Braden Herrington & Davie Portman will have an NXT TakeOver POST Show streaming live at Twitch.tv/upNXT.
*NXT Championship: Karrion Kross (champion) def. Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, Kyle O’Reilly, and Pete Dunne in 26:15
*NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez (champion) def. Ember Moon in 12:38
*Ladder Match for the Million Dollar Championship: LA Knight def. Cameron Grimes in 19:30
*Xia Li def. Mercedes Martinez in 7:40
*Winner Take All: Bronson Reed & MSK def. Legado del Fantasma in 13:36
The show opened with the old-style WWF signature but customized for NXT followed by a parody of the old In Your House opening. This has become NXT’s “Old School Raw” where it’s the night they lean heavily on nostalgia that actually goes further back than the Attitude Era that the main roster belabors for their reunion episodes.
Naomi Fox attempted to perform the “In Your House” theme for the live crowd at the Capitol Wrestling Center. She was attempting to lip-sync and was less than subtle.
Todd Pettengill is the host for the night and came out to introduce the show.
Our commentary team is the regular panel of Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix & Wade Barrett.
Bronson Reed & MSK vs. Legado del Fantasma – Winner Take All for the NXT North American & NXT Tag Team Championship
They had a nice opener with the clear direction of Bronson Reed and Santos Escobar for a future North American Championship match.
Escobar constantly avoided Reed unless his teammates helped him gain an advantage. After a series of dives, it culminated with Reed hitting a suicide dive to all members of the match.
Escobar used a top rope ‘rana on Wes Lee and they had the heat for several minutes. Reed entered, stared down Escobar but Raul Mendoza clipped his knee as Escobar hit a Michinoku Driver.
On the floor, Escobar grabbed the North American Championship when Reed drilled Escobar with an Avalanche putting him through the barricade.
Inside the ring, Mendoza flew into a superkick by Nash Carter and was hit with Reed’s Tsunami and was pinned.
WINNERS: Bronson Reed & MSK in 13 minutes and 36 seconds
It was a nice opener and the best result with the champions retaining their titles. Despite the added number of fans, I didn’t think the fans sounded any louder than usual in the Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center) and this match largely existed through the effort of the six men with the audience sounding fine but not adding anything beyond that.
Kyle O’Reilly was interviewed in the parking lot earlier in the day and confronted by The Way. William Regal and security separated the two parties.
Todd Pettengill inserted a VHS taped marked “Mae Young Classic 2017” to explain the history between Xia Li and Mercedes Martinez – yes, VHS technology was huge back during the days of the Trump administration.
The funniest part was when McKenzie Mitchell walked up to Todd and he thought she was Stephanie Wiand, a deeper than usual cut on a WWE program. Mitchell explained the digital age because you see, Pettengill left the WWF in 1997, and time has stood still.
Xia Li vs. Mercedes Martinez
Xia Li came out and did a demonstration with a gigantic sword.
The match was so-so and for a TakeOver card, so-so is not what you’re looking for. The match was secondary to the post-match angle involving Mei Ying.
Li sold her shin throughout the match after injuring the body part. Martinez hit the Royal Butterfly and Cliffhanger, but the Air Raid Crash was blocked. Martinez hit the two Kamigoyes when BOA got involved yanking Li to the floor, which led to Martinez confronting him on the floor.
Suddenly, they returned to the ring, and Martinez was hit with a spinning roundhouse kick and Li won.
WINNER: Xia Li in 7 minutes and 40 seconds
The finish came completely out of nowhere where Martinez had the momentum and was stopped in her tracks. Martinez had some nice offensive maneuvers but this was closer to a television match than a TakeOver one where it’s limited to five matches and they’re all killer.
After, Martinez walked up to Mei Ying and was grabbed by the throat with a maneuver similar to the Tongan Death Grip applied to Martinez. Martinez tried to fight her with the chair but was stopped and sent off the stage into the barricade with the fence and left on the floor.
It’s a creative presentation but the Tian Sha story and characters feel very out of place in NXT and this entire match and angle felt like material reserved for television and not one of the major shows of the year.
There was a promo from Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher cutting an impassioned speech about what they will do to GYV on Tuesday.
Ted DiBiase came out with the Million Dollar Championship inside of a glass case to be presented to the winner of the Ladder Match. The belt was hung above the ring while DiBiase sat ringside.
Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight in a Ladder Match for the Million Dollar Championship
In terms of performance, this was the biggest one of Grimes’ WWE career and went above-and-beyond showcasing his wide range of skills. In many ways, this match was the Cameron Grimes Show.
LA Knight did his part playing the foil and outsmarting Grimes at the end with a catastrophic-looking bump to take out Grimes.
They relied on the ladders more as weapons than for big stunts and saved the big moment of the match for the stunt to take out Grimes.
Knight had the heat for most of the match and it was clear the audience saw Grimes as the babyface as his work on television has clicked with the crowd.
Grimes fought back and brought the “golden ladder” that was set up at the entrance area. The two climbed together and Knight was knocked off the ladder but, he tipped it over.
Knight set up a ladder on the ramp with a horizontal one draped on the middle rope as the prelude for the end.
Grimes latched onto the lighting truss and dove onto Knight. Grimes followed by climbing the ladder and reaching for the title when Knight returned, fought with Grimes and it ended with Grimes being tipped off the ladder and crashing through the ladders that were set up on the ramp, which looked brutal.
Knight secured the championship and DiBiase congratulated Knight.
WINNER: LA Knight in 19 minutes and 30 seconds
I was very impressed with Cameron Grimes and while LA Knight won the match, Grimes stock soared with this performance and could be a major player in NXT. His character is heavily based on comedy, but he can evolve when the timing is right.
For Knight, he’s a better fit with DiBiase and with the Million Dollar Championship, so the booking was the right call and it elevated Grimes in defeat, and therefore, this match achieved on several levels.
Hit Row interrupted Pettengill’s merchandise plug, and promoted their own shirt and new single ‘Now You Know’.
There a pull-apart between Karrion Kross and Pete Dunne in the back.
Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon for the NXT Women’s Championship
Dakota Kai was in Gonzalez’s corner and played a big part in the match.
The struggle for this one was getting to a point where you could suspend disbelief that Moon could win. I never thought they got there but Moon worked hard down the stretch and they tried very hard.
Barrett called Gonzalez “the most improved wrestler on the planet over the past year”.
The beginning of the match was Gonzalez dominating Moon until she mounted several kicks and landed a tope sending Gonzalez over the announcer’s desk.
Moon stopped the One-Arm Powerbomb and countered a vertical suplex into a stunner in mid-air. Moon then ascended to the top and hit the Eclipse, but Kai put Gonzalez’s foot on the bottom rope. This prompted Shotzi Blackheart to run out (why wasn’t she there to begin with?) and brawled with Kai to the back.
Moon hit a Tornado DDT onto the ramp for another two-count, Gonzalez blocked the Eclipse, hit Snake Eyes, and hoisted Moon into position for the One-Arm Powerbomb to win.
WINNER: Raquel Gonzalez in 12 minutes and 38 seconds
The two worked very hard and I didn’t find any of the work disappointing. While I won’t say the audience has been negative, it has not been positive by enhancing any of the matches and feels like the same aura as the WWE PC always has for NXT. This match could have been helped with a more heated crowd and getting behind Moon. It was the right decision to have Gonzalez get the strong win as Moon was simply a transitional opponent. It was a good match.
Todd Pettengill played Karate Fighters with Dexter Lumis but upset Lumis when he asked about his love life. Pettengill has very entertaining but the dated material is running thin by now.
They announced the ‘Great American Bash’ special for Tuesday, July 6th.
Karrion Kross vs. Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Pete Dunne vs. Kyle O’Reilly for the NXT Championship
As expected, this was off-the-charts and just an outstanding main event.
It was NXT’s version of The Avengers vs. Thanos where the four challengers had their own history but were forced to work together at certain points or fall to Kross.
Some of the highlights included Cole and Gargano as a tremendous team with some breath-taking double-team spots and would make for a hell of a tag team, which would also give them a break from the top singles mix.
Kross was thrown through the front door of the In Your House set and was one of several instances where he was removed from the match and then emerged and returned. On this one, Kross came back minutes later with suplexes on the floor and a Tree Slam to Gargano on the edge of the apron.
Cole and O’Reilly reluctantly worked together to powerbomb Kross onto the announcer’s desk for his second disappearance. The other four squared off inside the ring. Each hit a big maneuver including Gargano blocking Cole’s Panama Sunrise and hitting the Bastard Driver.
Dunne did a step-up moonsault off the top into a double superkick by Cole and Gargano.
Kross came back from the dead and singled out Dunne leading to Kross kicking out from The Bitter End.
Kross hit a double Saito suplex to Dunne and Cole before applying the Kross Jacket to Dunne, who bent and snapped Kross’ finger and compromised Kross’ ability to apply the Kross Jacket.
The match climaxed with O’Reilly hitting Kross with the Bombs Away knee drop from the top, Cole hit the three other challengers with superkicks but O’Reilly caught Cole in the heel hook. O’Reilly had the submission locked in when Kross awoke to apply the Kross Jacket to O’Reilly, O’Reilly had an incredible facial reaction to the submission and went out cold, forcing him to relinquish the heel hook and Kross was the winner.
WINNER: Karrion Kross in 26 minutes and 15 seconds
I thought this match was phenomenal and head-and-shoulders above anything else on the show. It was smart utilization of Kross as the monster that would not die as the other four fought in the shadow of the champion, who was always lingering even when he was hurt. The work of the other four was top shelf and never felt gratuitous or just going long in match time for the sake of it. It was the perfect length and never did I feel it drag. Of the WWE matches in 2021, this one has to be very high on your list.
The show ended with a cliffhanger as McKenzie Mitchell found William Regal leaving the building, he said he’s never seen so much bedlam in his seven years on the job in NXT and said that he thinks “it’s time for a change” as we ended on an ominous note.
As an overall show, I can’t say this was a strong TakeOver but the main event made the show for me. Besides the main event, Cameron Grimes had a terrific performance in the ladder match and that one over-delivered.