The Go-Home Show: NXT Review—June 8th

NXT aired live on USA Network on June 8th from the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Fla. This week’s show was the “go home” for Sunday’s TakeOver: In Your House. I’m glad that NXT dusted off the In Your House name and even brought back “Handsome” Dok Hendrix (WWE Hall of Famer Michael Hayes) to hype the event.

The opening video package showed what led up to this weekend’s Fatal 5-Way for the NXT Championship featuring Karrion Kross, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Johnny Gargano, and Pete Dunne.

Oney Lorcan vs. Austin Theory

Oney Lorcan has low-key been one of my favorites to watch for some time. He may not have been blessed with loads of charisma, but he can definitely go in the ring and he and Theory had a great match to open the show. This was a bit of a spillover from the main event feud as Lorcan is attached with Dunne and Theory with Gargano. The match featured a lot of chain wrestling before the two took the fight to the outside. That led to Dunne and Gargano coming to ringside. The action continued to heat up, with Theory hitting a great-looking leaping springboard Spanish fly for a near fall. Dunne and Gargano came to blows on the outside and were separated by officials. Lorcan used the distraction to run Theory headfirst into the outside post and hit his finisher for the pinfall.

Winner: Oney Lorcan

A segment showed L.A. Knight in a palatial estate, which served to promote his upcoming match with Cameron Grimes. After the break, Hendrix gave the lineup for Sunday’s TakeOver, but as is advertised, the card is subject is change and will a few more times before the night is through.

A recap showed MSK beating Legado del Fantasma in last week’s main event before the Legado trio was shown in the ring. Bronson Reed interrupted the exchange, showing video footage of him continuing to flatten Santos Escobar into the barricade. MSK came out to back Reed up, leading to Escobar making a challenge for a six-man match at TakeOver. The match will be “Winners Take All,” with both Reed’s North American Championship and MSK’s NXT Tag Team Championship up for grabs. The Hit Squad also made their entrance and had a stare-off with Reed and MSK before the break.

Killain Dain vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

I enjoy the team of Dain and Drake Maverick, but there was no way Dain was going over in this match. That was my issue with several matches on this show; perhaps because it was the “go home” show, the outcome wasn’t in question, leading to a lack of interest. NXT definitely has something with Scott and the Hit Squad though so the right call was made here. There was some good action in this match and Scott got to show off some of his high-flying ability. Another distraction—this time with Maverick being outmatched by the other members of the Hit Squad—led to the finish.

Winner: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

Poppy was shown walking the hallway before Candice LeRae was interviewed about her issues with the singer. Indi Hartwell is still fascinated with Dexter Lumis, and I’m already bored by that storyline.

A similar segment to the one before was shown with Cameron Grimes. Grimes lit a Cuba cigar with a $100 and choked after sipping some Scotch. He received a massage from a personal masseuse before giving one of his own, and drove off saying he was going to “To the Moon.” I loved these two segments showing both Knight and Grimes in a modern day “Million Dollar Man” style role. Grimes has really connected with this character and should help make him a complete package.

Mercedes Martinez vs. Unnamed Opponent

Xia Li jumped Martinez on her way to the ring. The two brawled around ringside with Martinez ultimately tossing Li over the barricade. The referees separated the two and ordered Martinez into the ring. Martinez made quick work of her opponent with an Air Raid Crash and told Li she messed with the wrong person.

Winner: Mercedes Martinez

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Breezango backstage who talking about their issues with Imperium in their usual jovial way. There was perhaps a dig at the (rumored) heat between AEW announcers Jim Ross and Excalibur, with Fandango correcting Tyler Breeze over their opponents’ names.

Triple H and William Regal promoted Poppy’s new album before Lumis interrupted to present Poppy with a drawing he made of her. Poppy hugged Lumis and Hartwell saw the hug and ran off.

Grimes and Knight were shown arriving at the building simultaneously prior to DiBiase’s announcement in the ring. DiBiase told the two they would be climbing the ladder…of success at TakeOver, as a gold-plated ladder descended from the ceiling. Grimes asked what would they would be fighting for, which led DiBiase to have his security guards display the Million Dollar Championship.

Backstage, Regal and security were separating Kyle O’Reilly and Karrion Kross.

EverRise announced they would be hosting a Pre-Pre-Show for In Your House.

Grizzled Young Veterans vs. August Grey & Ikemen Jiro

This match obviously served as prop to give Grizzled Young Veterans a win and continue their feud with Timothy Thatcher and Tomasso Ciampa, who were shown watching at ringside. The Veterans finished off Gray with a Ticket to Mayhem for the win. After the match, the Veterans exchanged words with Ciampa and Thatcher leading to a tornado tag match next week. I’m really looking forward to this match. If nothing else, it should be one hell of a brawl. Both these teams are valuable parts of the division.

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans

Bobby Fish was shown training for his comeback.

Candice LeRae came out to the ring, calling out Poppy. Poppy made her way out but said she’s not a wrestler but knows someone who is, introducing a returning Io Shirai. Shirai quickly cleared LeRae out of the ring and celebrated with Poppy. I knew this was going somewhere. I just didn’t know where. Good use for Poppy.

Hendrix gave the final rundown for Sunday’s TakeOver, which added the six-man tag for the North American and Tag Team Championships and the ladder match.

Ember Moon vs. Dakota Kai

This was technically the main event, as the five men competing for the NXT Championship was the final segment. But, again, the match was a foregone conclusion to me, leading to a bit of decreased interest. Ember Moon and Dakota Kai had several nice exchanges, with both women getting a share of the offence though Moon did appear to be getting the upper hand. Moon landed on both Kai and Raquel Gonzalez with a dive to the outside, leading to Gonzalez attacking Moon inside the ring for the DQ. After the match, Moon battled with Kai and Gonzalez, countering a powerbomb attempt by Gonzalez. Moon hit her Eclipse off the top rope and draped the title over a fallen Gonzalez before exiting.

Winner: Ember Moon (by DQ)

The final segment featured the five men stating their case for the TakeOver main event before it ultimately came to blows. Adam Cole first talked over the video screen, eventually surprising Kross from behind to be the last man standing.

Final Thoughts

This was a full two hours driving home the matches already booked and adding several more to the lineup for TakeOver. As is usually the case, the NXT Championship match is going to attract the most eyeballs, but the “Winners Take All” and ladder match for the Million Dollar Belt are also intriguing. This was definitely a fun watch. I was already going to watch TakeOver, but this would have helped seal the deal. My 90’s loving heart is happy.

Written by David Owens

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