Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of WWE NXT. Please keep refreshing throughout the show for constant updates once it kicks off at 8:00 PM EST.

For our final episode of NXT before TakeOver: XXX, 5 segments have been announced, all with potential implications for TakeOver this Saturday. Let’s run down tonight’s announced card.

First up, in one of the only matches that might not have any impact on TakeOver, Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart will team up to take on the two members of the Robert Stone Brand, Aliyah and Mercedez Martinez. Ripley and Blackheart have had their fair share of issues with the Robert Stone Brand, especially since Martinez cost Ripley a shot at Io Shirai’s NXT Women’s Championship, and Ripley and Blackheart look to get their revenge tonight.

In tag team action, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott will team with Breezango against Legado del Fantasma. Scott drew the ire of the NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar recently when he claimed that he is the only man in NXT who has a singles victory over Escobar, which is a true statement, and El Legado have had their own issues with Breezango. These two teams will clash tonight.

To fill out the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match, we will have two Second Chance Qualifying Matches: Finn Balor vs. Velveteen Dream and Johnny Gargano vs. Ridge Holland. Balor hasn’t had the best luck since defeating Damian Priest at TakeOver: In Your House, and Gargano has been on a little bit of a losing streak as well, despite his victory over “Swerve” Scott at The Great American Bash. Will the NXT veterans put over the younger talents tonight, or will their experience get added to the ladder match?

Finally, after being called out by Adam Cole and the Undisputed Era last week, Pat McAfee will be live on NXT tonight and come face-to-face with Adam Cole. With onl a few days before these two are set to go head-to-head, does McAfee have something up his hand for his appearance tonight, or is it simply a trap set by Undisputed Era?

We are at the go-home show for the next NXT TakeOver, and we will begin coverage of the show when NXT goes live tonight at 8:00 PM EST!

Opening Segment

For tonight’s episode of NXT, we do not have a recap of any kind. Instead, we head straight into a match.

Johnny Gargano (w/Candice LeRae) vs. Ridge Holland in a Qualifying Match for the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match

Gargano out speeds Holland and dodges a strike, but Holland catches him and throws him into the corner, hitting him with an uppercut. Holland gets a wristlock in on Gargano, then tosses him to the ground. Holland takes Gargano down with a hip toss and a shoulder tackle, sending Gargano out of the ring.

Holland gives chase around the ring, but Gargano gets back in the ring before Holland can catch him. Gargano hits a diving crossbody onto Holland on the outside. Holland catches Gargano, but Gargano pushes Holland into the steel steps, then stomps on his hand on the apron, before following everything up with a PK from the apron.

Back in the ring, Holland is able to get the upper hand back on Gargano, hitting him with a huge uppercut and knees to the midsection. Holland whips Gargano hard into the corner, sending Gargano over the top rope and to theapron. Holland drags Gargano back into the ring, but Gargano is able to swing the momentum back into his favor with strikes to Holland’s right arm.

Holland takes Gargano down with a forearm, and Gargano picks the toe and locks in a submission hold on Holland’s leg. Holland kicks away at Gargano with heel strikes, breaking the hold. Gargano retreats to a corner and Holland runs at Gargano in the corner. Garagno dodges, and Holland runs hard into the corner, sending him over the top rope to the outside. Gargano hits a tope onto Holland as we go to commercial break.

Back from commercial break and we see Holland dropping Gargano on his head while attempting a power slam. Gargano looks to be in a lot of pain and looks dazed. Gargano gets to his feet and, while he is stunned, he looks like he will be able to finish the match. Gargano uses the distraction to hit Holland with a superkick, pinning him for two.

Gargano pulled Holland to the side of the ring and went for the One Final Beat DDT, but Holland punches Gargano in the face and blocks. Gargano goes for a slingshot spear, and Holland catches him, spinning him by the head, then hitting a power slam, pinning Gargano for two.

Gargano goes for the Gargano Escape, but Holland blocks with a knee to the midsection. Gargano hits Holland with a superkick and a series of clotheslines, but Holland doesn’t go down. Gargano runs the ropes, but Holland hits Gargano with a pounce, sending him out of the ring.

Holland gives chase to the outside, hitting Gargano with snake eyes on the apron. Gargano rolls back in the ring and, while the referee is distracted, checking on Gargano, LeRae grabs Holland’s leg, preventing him from getting back in the ring.

Gargano takes advantage and kicks Holland with a low blow. A stunned Holland is hit by the One Final Beat DDT. Gargano pins Holland for the victory.

Winner: Johnny Gargano

We are told that Dakota Kai will be in action, up next, right after this commercial break.

Back from commercial, we head into the next match.

Dakota Kai vs. Jessi Kamea

Kai runs right at Kamea with a double leg takedown and a ground and pound. She picks up Kamea and tosses her face first into the corner, then slams her down by her hair, covering her for two.

Kai shoves Kamea in the face, then chokes her against the ropes. Kamea fights back with hits the midsection, but Kai runs back with a pair of face wash kicks, then covering for two again.

Kai locks in a straight jacket submission, but Kamea breaks out. Kai goes for a face wash kick again. Kamea rolls up Kai for two. Kamea hits Kai with a running kick, then a leaping forearm smash and a sliding dropkick on Kai in the corner. Kamea hits a power slam on Kai, covering her for two.

Kai drops Kamea neck first on the ropes, then hits her with a Go To Kick, covering her for three.

Winner: Dakota Kai

Kai gets on the mic and says that Io is out of her mind. She says that she isn’t afraid of Io. She says that Io is focused on Kai’s past, while Kai is focused on her future, and her future will be as NXT Women’s Champion.

During Kai’s promo, Io Shirai comes out. Shirai runs to the ring and takes down Kai, then lays into her clubbing blows. Kai rolls out of the ring, but Shirai doesn’t let her run, and Io follows her. Io chases Kai back towards the ramp and shoves her down.

Io goes to continue her attack on Kai, but Raquel Gonzalez comes from out of nowhere and kicks Io in the face. Gonzalez picks up Io and carries her back to the ring. Kai stares down Io and trash talks her. Io gets to her feet and attacks Kai, but Gonzalez gets back in the ring and lays her out with a strike to the back of the head.

Gonzalez hits Shirai with a power bomb, and Gonzalez and Kai stand tall over a downed Io.

Backstage, Tegan Nox is interviewed about Candice LeRae’s remarks from last week. Nox says that she was hurt by Candice’s words, but Nox refuses to give up on her friendship with Candice. She wants to fix it and says that she is ready to talk, then walks away from the interview as we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and we get a backstage promo from Finn Balor. Balor says that their first encounter was interrupted, referencing the encounter between the two that was derailed by Damian Priest. Balor says that Dream has gotten too many chances and keeps failing, and he will beat Dream and become the next NXT North American Champion.

Legado del Fantasma vs. Breezango and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

All six men attack each other. Fandango and Breeze attack Mendoza and Wilde while Scott goes after Escobar. Fandango and Raul Mendoza seem to be the legal men as the other four men make it to their respect corners.

Mendoza drives Fandango shoulder first into the corner and tags in Joaquin Wilde. Fandango picks up Wilde and drops him on the top rope. Fandango tags in Breeze and they hit a pair of superkicks on Wilde. Breeze tags in Fandango. Fandango is sent out of the ring.

Mendoza looks like he is going to come over and attack Fandango, but Isaiah Scott attacks him and stops Mendoza cold. Santos Escobar looks like he will hit a tope through the ropes onto Scott, but Scott jumps up and catches Escobar with a kick to the face. Breeze and Fandango hit Mendoza and Wilde with stereo superkicks on the outside as we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and Fandango is in control of Wilde. Fandango goes to the top turnbuckle, but Santos Escobar distracts Fandango enough for Wilde to push Fandango off of the top rope and down to the floor.

Wilde tags in Escobar, who tags in Mendoza, and they hit Fandango with some tag team offense. Mendoza drops his shin on Fandango’s arm, then kicks away at his back. Mendoza bars Fandango’s left arm.

Mendoza kicks Fandango into the corner and continues to work away at Fandango’s arm. Fandango uses his good arm to chop at Mendoza, but Mendoza kicks at Fandango’s arm, sending Fandango back to the mat.

Mendoza picks up Fandango and continues to target his injured arm. Mendoza tags in Wilde and Wilde and Mendoza attack Tyler Breeze and Isaiah Scott, sending both men off the apron. Fandango takes down Mendoza and Wilde. Scott makes it back to the corner with just enough time for Fandango to make the tag.

Wilde tags in Santos Escobar. Scott lays into Escobar with strikes. Scott takes out Wilde and Mendoza, then hits his Rolling Flatliner on Escobar. Scott is distracted by Mendoza and Wilde, Scott goes for a dive from the top rope, but Escobar hits Scott with a boot to the face.

Mendoza goes for a dropkick from the top to hit Scott, but Scott maneuvers Escobar into the kick. Escobar drops Scott, sending him into the corner against Breeze. Scott hits a Tiger Driver on Escobar, then pins him, but the referee says that Scott is not legal as Tyler Breeze became the legal man when Scott bumped into him.

Wilde and Mendoza hit Scott with double drop kicks to the side of the head. Tyler Breeze comes into the ring and Escobar hits Breeze with a Phantom Driver, pinning him for three.

Winners: Legado del Fantasma

Pat McAfee is shown arriving to the Performance Center with three former Colts teammates in tow. McAfee and Cole will come face to face next, right after this commercial.

Back from commercial and we are told that on the TakeOver: XXX pre show, there will be a triple threat tag team match between Breezango, Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan, and Legado del Fantasma to determine the #1 contender for the NXT Tag Team Championships.

Undisputed Era make their way to the ring. McAfee and his teammates come out through a door in the audience. McAfee gets on the mic and says that he answered Cole’s challenge and brought his teammates to nullify the involvement of the rest of Undisputed Era.

Cole sends Fish, Strong, and O’Reilly out of the ring, and McAfee does the same with his teammates. McAfee enters the ring and talks about when he kicked Cole’s head in two weeks ago and about how Cole ranted last week.

McAfee takes issue with Cole saying that he isn’t special. McAfee hypes up Cole and says that, while Cole was undefeated for over 400 days, he knocked out Cole in 1 minute. McAfee says that’s special.

McAfee runs down everyone and says that he could stick in wrestling if he wanted to and make a million dollars. He says that, while he only has two weeks to prepare, McAfee will still beat Cole. He says that he is better than Cole as an athlete and a human. He says that he will kick Cole’s head to the moon.

McAfee finishes his promo and throws the mic at Cole. Cole moves forward towards McAfee and WWE security step in to stop him from getting to McAfee. Cole clears out the security and McAfee looks terrified. Cole steps to McAfee and his teammates get in his corner. Undisputed Era get in the ring.

Cole taunts them all to get in the ring and take him and his team on. They don’t get in the ring, so Cole gets in McAfee’s face and says, loud and clear, “This Saturday at TakeOver, I’m going to make you my bitch.”

Undisputed Era pose at the bottom of the ramp as McAfee and his teammates enter the ring and stare them down.

Up next, Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart will team up to take on Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez, right after this commercial break.

Back from commercial and we head into the next match.

Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez (w/Robert Stone) vs. Shotzi Blackheart and Rhea Ripley

Ripley runs straight at Martinzez. Martinez pushes Ripley into the corner and tags in Aliyah. Ripley tags in Shotzi, who lays into Aliyah. Shotzi rolls up Aliyah for two. Martinez takes a swing at Shotzi, who gets briefly distracted, though the strike misses. Aliyah grabs Shotzi’s hair and tosses her down to the mat, then tags in Martinez as we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and Shotzi hits a sunset rollup on Aliyah for two. Aliyah drags Shotzi into her corner and tags in Martinez. Martinez kicks away at Shotzi, then chokes her through the ropes. Martinez picks up Shotzi and puts her in the corner, punching away at her, then tagging in Aliyah.

Aliyah grabs Shotzi’s arms and pulls them behind her, then tags in Martinez. Martinez strikes away at Shotzi’s midsection, then punches her in the face. Martinez pins Shotzi for two. Martinez locks in an abdominal stretch. Martinez maneuvers it into a pinfall attempt for two.

Martinez hit a butterfly suplex, covering her for two. Martinez foes for another suplex, but Shotzi reverses into a rollup. Martinez kicks out at two, but Shotzi follows it up with a DDT. Aliyah and Ripley get the hot tags.

Ripley lays into Aliyah with knee strikes. Ripley gets Aliyah in an electric chair and hits a facebuster. Ripley pins Aliyah, but Martinez breaks up the pin. Shotzi hits an enziguri on Martinez. Ripley hits Aliyah with a Riptide and tags in Shotzi. Shotzi goes to the top rope, but Martinez crotches her on the top rope.

Ripley gets Martinez to the outside and hits her with a power bomb to the concrete on the outside, over the barricade. Shotzi hits a senton on Aliyah, pinning her for the victory.

Winners: Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart

Robert Stone is shown checking on an unconscious Mercedes Martinez outside of the ring while Ripley and Blackheart taunt him from inside of the ring.

Up next, we have an exclusive preview to hype up the NXT Championship match between Keith Lee and Karrion Kross, right after this commercial break.

Back from commercial, we get the preview of the upcoming match between Lee and Kross. It starts with Keith Lee beating Adam Cole at The Great American Bash, becoming double champion. Karrion Kross cuts a promo over footage of himself, an hourglass, and a volcanic eruption.

We see more clips from Karrion Kross’s previous matches, including him taking out Tommaso Ciampa and Dominik Dijakovic. This is followed by fire imagery and the fireball blowing up in Lee’s face.

The rest of the footage is just a mashup of Kross and Lee footage, ending with an end car for TakeOver: XXX.

Finn Balor vs. Velveteen Dream in a Qualifying Match for the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match

Dream plays mind games with Finn Balor at the start of the match, not letting Balor get close. Balor eventually gets a headlock in on Dream and takes him to the mat. Dream escapes the hold and goes for a sunset rollup, but Balor rolls through and points his finger guns at Dream. Dream backs up out of the ring and we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and Balor is chopping away at Dream. Balor runs the ropes, but Dream hits a Thesz Press on Dream, then taunts at the camera. Dream picks up Balor and throws him face first into the turnbuckle, then slaps him around.

Dream clubs away at Balor’s back and tries to toss his face into the turnbuckle again, but Balor blocks and takes down Dream by kicking away at Dream’s legs. Balor hits an elbow drop on Dream’s leg, then locks in a submission on Dream’s leg. Balor transitions into a modified STF, but Dream gets to the ropes.

Balor immediately hits a single leg takedown on Dream, then stomps on The injured leg. The referee forces a break, but once Dream gets back to his feet, Balor goes right back after Dream’s leg. Dream kicks away at Balor’s head, forcing Balor to break the submission hold.

Balor goes back for the same leg, but Dream kicks Balor away, then nails him with a leaping kick to the face, sending both men to the mat. Dream and Balor are back to their feet. Dream and Balor trade blows until Dream gets Balor in the corner, then mounts the corner and punches Balor.

Dream jumps off the corner and goes for a running kick, but Balor avoids and stomps and kicks away at Dream. Dream catches Balor with a back elbow and a leaping double ax handle from the second rope. Dream attacks Balor, snapping his neck over the top rope as Dream goes out of the ring.

As Dream is recovering out of the ring, Cameron Grimes comes out of the back. Grimes starts taunting Dream, saying that Dream is “the guy that lost to me.” Grimes continues to strut down the ring to the confusion of both Balor and Dream as we go to commercial break.

Back from commercial, Grimes is sitting on top of a ladder outside the ring, holding the NXT North American Championship. Dream picks up Balor and hits a pendulum backbreaker. Dream taunts Grimes and looks away from Balor, then hits an uppercut on Balor, taking him to hte mat.

Dream goes for a sunset flip rollup again, but Balor rolls through and hits a basement dropkick on Dream. Dream jumps to the top rope, but Balor crotches him. Balor wraps Dream up in the tree of woe and Balor stomps and kicks away at Dream’s face.

The referee forces a break, but Balor goes right back after Dream, tossing him corner to corner. Balor whips Dream hard into the corner, sending him over the top rope to the outside. Balor gives chase and kicks away at Dream. Grimes taunts Balor and Balor begins to climb the ladder that Grimes is sitting on, but Dream disrupts Balor’s climb and hits him with snake eyes on the apron.

Back in the ring, Dream goes for the DreamDT, but Balor reverses and takes him down. Balor hits a dropkick on Dream into the corner, sending him down. Balor climbs the ropes and goes for the Coup de Grace, but Grimes distracts him in enough time for Dream to take Balor off the top rope.

Gargano comes down the to the ring and pushes the ladder that Grimes is on, sending Grimes into the ring, taking the referee out at the same time. Balor and Dream take on Grimes. Gargano grabs the NXT North American Championship and starts to walk to the back, but Bronson Reed stops him and chases him back into the ring, where Damian Priest is waiting. Reed and Priest take out Gargano.

Priest tries to take out Reed, but Dream catches Priest with a DDT. Reed and Dream also end up on the outside, but Balor hits a tope onto Dream and Reed on the outside. Balor gets to his feet when suddenly Timothy Thatcher comes out of nowhere and takes out Balor.

Thatcher tosses Balor back into the ring right into the waiting arms of Velveteen Dream. Dream hits Balor with a Dream Valley Driver, then pins Balor just in time for the ref to regain consciousness and count the pinfall victory.

Winner: Velveteen Dream

Johnny Gargano comes in and hits a superkick on a celebrating Dream. Grimes takes out Gargano, and Damian Priest takes out Cameron Grimes. Bronson Reed takes out Damian Priest and Velveteen Dream, and NXT goes off the air with Bronson Reed holding the NXT North American Championship in the middle of the ring.

Adam Dunnells

Adam is an English graduate student currently studying young adult literature at The University of Southern Mississippi. He has been watching pro wrestling since the infamous invasion storyline from the early 2000s.

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