A Love Her or Lose Her match headlines tonight's episode of NXT.
Johnny Gargano and Dexter Lumis will face off in tonight's main event. If Lumis wins, he'll be able to date Indi Hartwell. If Gargano wins, Hartwell -- who has been infatuated with Lumis for months -- will have to stop pursuing a relationship with Lumis.
The first round of the NXT Breakout Tournament will conclude tonight as Trey Baxter faces off with Joe Gacy. Plus, Bobby Fish vs. Roderick Strong, Hit Row (Top Dolla & Ashante "Thee" Adonis) vs. Legado del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde), LA Knight & Cameron Grimes vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans, and the in-ring return of Ridge Holland are set for the episode.
Dakota Kai will also address why she turned against NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez.
Due to a scheduling conflict with the Olympics, NXT will air on Syfy for the second straight week tonight. The show will move back to USA Network next Tuesday.
Our coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The show opened with a tag team grudge match.
Hit Row (Ashante "Thee" Adonis & Top Dolla with Isaiah "Swerve" Scott & B-FAB) defeated Legado del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde with Santos Escobar) via disqualification
Santos Escobar interfered by hitting Top Dolla with a chair, causing the DQ. Lame finish, but it led to an angle afterwards.
Like any grudge match, they started with a brawl. After things settled into a tag match, Top Dolla displayed his strength and power. He manhandled Wilde. The tide turned when Esocbar caused a distraction, and a low bridge by Mendoza sent Adonis crashing to the floor.
Legado del Fantasma worked over Adonis through a commercial break, inlcuding quick tags and double team moves. Hot tag to Top Dolla, and he cleaned house. Escobar then smacked Top Dolla with a steel folding chair, and the referee called for a DQ.
Escobar continued his assualt after the match. Escobar hit Top Dolla a few more times with the chair, and then Escobar sent Top Dolla crashing into the steps. Legado del Fantasma turned their attention to Isaiah Scott. They held him while Escobar hit Scott with the chair. Escobar then stole Scott's grill out of his mouth.
Top Dolla eventually got to his feet, and he was quite angry. B-FAB jumped in to hit Wilde with a chair. Top Dolla struck with a shotgun dropkick on Escobar. Adonis took down Mendoza. Scott also got some revenge as he executed his finisher on Mendoza. The heels soon fled up the ramp, but Escobar still had Scott's grill.
General Manager William Regal brought a team of security guards to watch over Samoa Joe. Security was supposed to keep Joe and Karrion Kross away from each other until TakeOver. With the history of security teams such as this in pro wrestling, I do not like their chances.
Dexter Lumis was drawing creepy pictures.
A recap of Ridge Holland hyped his in-ring return that was up next.
Ridge Holland (with Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan) defeated Ikemen Jiro
Holland pinned Jiro in a glorified squash.
Jiro was basically fed to the monster that is Holland. Jiro did land some strikes with the help of his sports jacket. Holland countered by shoving Jiro over the top rope, and Jiro crashed to ringside. Holland threw Iro into the barricade, and Holland suplexed him when they got back into the ring. '
Then came the most dastardly thing Holland could do, he tore Jiro's sports jacket. Holland tossed the jacket out of the ring. That almost fired up Jiro, but he was suplexed by Holland instead. Holland ended the match with a powerslam, followed by a three count.
Pete Dunne cut a promo after the match on behalf of Holland. Dunne warned Thatcher that Holland will knock his teeth out. That was not very nice.
Franky Monet was upset that she lost last week in a tag match with Jessi Kamea, and she let Robert Stone and Kamea know about it. Monet blamed Stone's botched interference for the loss. She said Stone and Kamea are used to being "losers," but Monet does not even know what that word means. Monet said for this group to work, they have to rebuilt in Monet's image.
Roderick Strong (with Diamond Mine) defeated Bobby Fish
Strong pinned Fish in a pretty darn good match. This match to me felt like it should be a bigger deal than it was here. Nonetheless, Strong looked ... well, strong in winning.
Intense grappling at the outset. As the match went to a picture-in-picture commercial break, Strong was reeling. During the break, Strong gained the upperhand. Fish fought back as the show returned from the break, but Strong struck him down.
Comeback by Fish with a series of kicks. Lots of kicks in fact, including a mule kick. That is a kick that is not done enough in pro wrestling anymore. Bless you Fish. Nevertless, Strong cut off Fish with a backbreaker.
They traded near falls. First Strong got a two count. Fish again came back with a kick, this time a roundhouse that led into a near fall. Fish went for a high risk move off the ropes after being briefly distracted by Diamond Mine, but Fish was instead shoved over the ropes.
Strong with a jumping knee lift, and Strong followed with a falling backbreaker for a pinfall.
Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) defeated LA Knight & Cameron Grimes
Drake pinned Grimes to win the bout after it turned into an impromptu two-on-one handicap match. Knight refused to tag in, leaving Grimes to the wolves. Ted DiBiase came to Grimes' aid after the match.
Knight made Grimes wrestle in his butler's outfit, and Knigth also made Grimes start the match. Knight soon tagged in when Grimes had Drake under control. Knight was soon getting his butt kicked, and Knight had to tag out.
Grimes leapt into the ring with a flying crossbody in a butler's outfit. Blind tag allowed for Drake to waylay Grimes. Heat on Grimes, but he soon created separation. Knight refused to tag in. Grimes was pissed about that. He threw his gloves down in anger, and Grimes took off his coat. He motioned for the GYV to bring it. They brought it, which was a double team.
Grimes made his own comeback. He punted Drake, and he caught Gibson in a running Spanish Fly crossbody for a two count. Grimes signaled for the Cave In, but he was outnumbered. GYV with a double team finisher called the Ticket to Mayhem, and Drake pinne Grimes for the pinfall.
Ted DiBiase walked to ringside after the match, coming to help Grimes. DiBiase told Grimes he had to figure a way out of this situation with Knight.
Dakota Kai in a vignette explained her turn on Raquel Gonzalez. Ever the heel, Kai blamed Gonzalez for being selfish. Of course, Kai is actually being the selfish one.
Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae cut a promo saying they what is best for Indi Hartwell. Gargano vowed to end In-Dex for good.
Announced for next week on NXT is face-to-face between Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly mediated by William Regal.
Trey Baxter defeated Joe Gacy to advance in the NXT Breakout Tournament
Baxter pinned Gacy clean to win the match. Baxter moves on to the semifinals against Odyssey Jones.
Baxter with a 450 foot stomp before scoring the pinfall. Really good match, albeit short.
Next came a wacky skit with Io Shirai and Zoey Stark. They went together to a sushi restaurant. Shirai ordered in Japanese. Stark in English said she would have what Shirai ordered. The food came and it looked like squid. Stark was very unsure, but she tried to play it off. She acted like she was eating the food, but Stark spat it into napkicks and threw it on the floor. Stark ate too much wasabi, and it was spicy. Shirai hugged the waitress after she brought them the bill. Stark went for a hug, but Shirai pushed her away and gave her the bill.
Indi Hartwell was lovestruck ahead of the main event.
NXT Champion Karrion Kross stormed into the CWC, calling out Samoa Joe. Out comes Joe as security tried to hold him back. They were no match for an enraged Samoa Joe. He tossed them aside and stormed into the ring. The security team bunmped and fed into the ring as Joe dismantled them one-by-one. He chocked one dude out, and Joe glared a hole through a camera. Joe let out a primal yell before leaving the ring.
A "Prime Target" video package hyped the upcoming title match with WALTER defending the NXT UK Championship agiainst Ilja Dragunov at TakeOver 36. Gerat stuff.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida said he would give Roderick Strong a shot at the title.
NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez "breaks her silence" next week on NXT. Also announced for the show is Ember Moon vs. Sarray in a first time match. In additon, Ilja Dragunov will be in the CWC. Plus, already announced for next week is face-to-face with Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly.
Johnny Gargano defeated Dexter Lumis in a "Love Her or Lose Her" match
Gargano pinned Lumis, but Lumis and Hartwell got together in the end. Go figure. That is reneging on stipulation in record time.
Indi Hartwell came out to ringside during the match. Lumis went underneath the ring at one piont. Hartwell went under the ring after him. Candice LeRae came ringside. She and Gargano dragged Hartwell out from under the ring. Hartwell was also holding on to Lumis, so he was dragged out also. An enchanted moment broken up by a Gargano punt to Lumis' ribs.
The match went through a picture-in-picture commercial break. Meanwhile, Gargano retrieved his headband that had fallen off earlier in the match. Gargano also dashed a hope spot from Lumis.
Comeback by Lumis after the show returned from the break. Bump and feed by Gargano, and Lumis was on fire. Gargano cut him off, and he executed a tope suicida. Lumis countered a slingshot spear, and Lumis used a slingshot Falcon Arrow.
Lumis leapt off the top rope, but no water in the pool. Lumis ate a superkick for a near fall. Gargano was soon countered, and he was down prone on the mat. Lumis signaled to Hartwell that he was going for an elbow drop off the top rope. Gargano rolled out of the way, and Lumis missed a springboard flying elbow.
Gargano applied his crossface submission finisher, but Lumis got a rope break. Hartwell got on the apron, distracting Gargano. Lumis with a school boy roll-up for two. When Gargano kicked out, that sent Lumis crashing into Hartwell. She was knocked off the apron into the arms of LeRae. Lumis went outside the ring to check on Hartwell, and Gargano caught Lumis with a swinging DDT on the floor. Gargano followed up with One Final Beat, and Gargano covered Lumis for a pinfall.
Gargano and LeRae tried to make Hartwell leave with them. Hartwell turned away from them, and she dashed into the ring. Hartwell tackled Lumis with a Thesz press, and then she and Lumis embraced with a kiss. Ol' Lou never did that after when he did a press. Hartwell and Lumis made out for awhile. And they all lived happily ever after ... at least until next week.