More matches were announced for NXT TakeOver XXV as things heated up in both the men’s and women’s division this past week on NXT.
NXT kicked off this past week with a recap of last week’s NXT Tag-Team championship main event where the Street Profits scored a ‘pin’ over the outgoing Tag-Team champions, the War Raiders. That match culminated in chaos with both the Forgotten Sons and the team of Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan getting involved.
General Manager William Regal in his office was the first segment of the show. Regal announced that at TakeOver there would be a four-way Ladder Match for the vacant NXT Tag-Team championship. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins (the Street Profits) vs Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan vs Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler (representing the Forgotten Sons) vs the only former NXT Tag-Team champions in the match, the team of Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish (representing the Undisputed Era).
They only featured in backstage segments last week but NXT’s biggest heel stable was back to their old shenanigans this week as they made their way out for the first in-ring segment of the show. There appeared to be no remaining problems in the UE with Roderick Strong well and truly an integral part of the group once again.
Adam Cole got on the mic and stated that the Era was going nowhere. They would run the place very soon and be draped in championship gold. Before Cole’s impassioned promo could go on any longer, he was interrupted by the NXT Champion, Johnny Gargano.
Gargano came out to tell Cole that the only reason he was happy to have his group back in harmony is because he knows he can’t beat Johnny Wrestling on his own. Johnny Wrestling then went on to give a very edgy and risky math promo given wrestlers and their sketchy history with math promos – just ask Scott Steiner. The NXT champ reminded Cole of their scorecard in past matches with Gargano crucially getting the better in their last title-decider.
However, before the promo could proceed further, Matt Riddle came through the crowd and attacked the Undisputed Era in the ring. After being laid out by Roderick Strong in the back last week, the King of Bros was looking for payback.
Gargano ran to the ring to even the odds as the babyfaces cleaned house. Riddle and Gargano bumped fists as the segment came to a close.
Backstage, an irate Undisputed Era was seen coming out of GM Regal’s office with Regal soon to follow as he told Cathy Kelley that Roderick Strong will now face Matt Riddle in less than two weeks at NXT TakeOver XXV. Regal also announced a big main event for later in the night as Riddle would team up with Johnny Gargano to take on Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish.
Saudi Arabian import Mansoor went one on one with a resurfacing Sean Maluta. Maluta was last seen on NXT at least two years ago though he has made sporadic appearances on 205Live. As Mauro Ranallo pointed out on commentary, Maluta is the nephew of WWE Hall of Famer, Afa. Maluta competed on the inaugural edition of the Cruiserweight Classic as well, losing in the first round to Kota Ibushi.
The NXT management is clearly high on Mansoor given that this was another in a flurry of recent NXT TV appearances. He was given big segments in the past, in losing efforts to monster heels Dominik Dijakovic and Jaxson Ryker, with this being his first moment to shine.
Maluta got some good offense in early on before Mansoor made a comeback and finished the Samoan-American star off with a jumping version of what looked like Cody Rhodes’ Cross-Rhodes finisher.
The Velveteen Dream and an NXT OG
Mr. Flamboyance himself, the Velveteen Dream, came out looking as captivating as ever. Nigel McGuinness called him the “Purple Prince of Pugilism”.
The Dream got on the mic and said the people want “to touch the dream”, such was his high demand. However, the Velveteen Dream was soon interrupted by familiar music.
Tyler Breeze! Tyler Breeze made his way out to interrupt the NXT North American champion, a few months after confronting another former NA champion in Ricochet. Full Sail erupted as it welcomed a beloved former hero.
Breeze got on the mic and said “Prince Pretty is home” to a huge ovation. Breeze proceeded to call the Dream “a cheap knockoff”. Dream responded with the line of the night by first saying that the spotlight deserved to shine on “a real man” and “not a boy, especially not a boy who plays cops and robbers.” He would then add, in a very chilling presentation as he delivered this line by standing behind Tyler, that “just because you couldn’t cut it on Monday and Tuesday nights, doesn’t mean you get to come to NXT and demand a spotlight.” Mic drop.
Prince Pretty rejected those claims by aiming a thinly-veiled dig at WWE creative, calling himself “uninspired” on the main roster. He went on to add that the Dream and his North American title inspires him.
The Dream then cheekily asked Breeze if he would like a selfie with the champ. Tyler responded in the affirmative before knocking the North American champ down with a cheap shot before exiting the ring.
NXT Women’s Division
Candice LeRae took on the much bigger and intimidating Texan, Reina Gonzalez, this week on NXT. The inaugural Mae Young Classic competitor, Gonzalez, was another to feature this week after a long time.
The size difference was very telling, especially when the two stood face-to-shoulder in the ring. Reina dominated the early exchanges before Candice took control after shoving her bigger opponent into the ring steps on the outside. Candice would follow that up with a fantastic springboard hurricanrana before following it up with a missile dropkick and a springboard moonsault for the win.
Shayna the Scavenger
However, that was not all she wrote for Candice LeRae for the night as she had another thing coming. Shayna Baszler, flanked by Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, made their way out and attacked LeRae 3-on-1.
The no.1 contender to the NXT Women’s championship, Io Shirai, came out with a kendo stick in hand as an equalizer as she leveled Baszler, Shafir, and Duke with numerous shots to the body. This was not Bayley vs Alexa Bliss level of kendo stick shots, Io Shirai was swinging for the fences. The champ retreated and lived to fight another day.
NXT Main Event
Matt Riddle and NXT champion Johnny Gargano faced off against Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish in the main event. Riddle’s ribs and back were taped up after last week’s attack by Roderick Strong.
The babyfaces took control early on with delivering a multitude of impressive suplexes on both opponents. But the UE would take control after Fish took Riddle out. Gargano got the hot-tag late in the proceedings but the experienced team of RedDRagon took control again, even hitting Chasing the Dragon on the NXT champion only to see a near fall.
Riddle and Gargano soon retook control with hard kicks and a spinning spiral-tap like maneuver from Riddle on Fish. However, predictably, Adam Cole and Roderick Strong came out to help their stable-mates. Gargano took Cole out but Strong managed to get a decisive shot in on Riddle before delivering a suplex on the apron to the former UFC star.
O’Reilly and Fish then hit the high-and-low finish on Riddle for the 1-2-3. But the heels were not done here as Cole and Strong got in the ring a beatdown began on the TakeOver XXV opponents. The Undisputed Era reminded of Evolution in this attack from their 2002-04 heyday.
Mia Yim vs Bianca BelAir was announced for next week after numerous of altercations between the pair. Drew Gulak’s mysterious appearance during KUSHIDA’s match last week also found reason as it was made official that the 205Live star would face NXT’s newest star next week.
Also, the NXT North American championship would up for grabs at TakeOver XXV with the Velveteen Dream defending against Tyler Breeze.
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