The final build to TakeOver: Vengeance Day takes place on tonight's episode of NXT.
The finals for the men's and women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classics will both be set following tonight's show. In the men's Dusty Classic, both semifinal matches are taking place tonight. Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher are facing The Grizzled Young Veterans, while MSK are taking on Legado Del Fantasma's Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde.
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell are facing Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon in a women's Dusty Classic semifinal match tonight. The winning team will advance to face Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez in the finals.
Both Dusty Classic finals are taking place at TakeOver: Vengeance Day.
NXT Champion Finn Balor and Pete Dunne will take part in a face-to-face segment ahead of their title match at Sunday's TakeOver event. Johnny Gargano defending his North American Championship against Kushida has also been announced for Vengeance Day, but Austin Theory posted a video on Tuesday night claiming that Gargano is out of the match after brawling with Kushida last week. Theory promised to make Kushida pay as they face off in a match tonight.
Plus, Karrion Kross and Scarlett will appear, Xia Li will be in action, and Cameron Grimes will make his return.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter) defeated Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde) to advance to the Men's Dusty Classic finals
Carter pinned Wilde in this semifinal match. Great flying and exciting action in this bout.
Heat on Lee as the rudos worked him over. Hot tag to a fresh Carter, and he was running wild for a moment. Not for long as a double team effort led to Lee being dropkicked off the apron, and the show cut to a commercial break with the rudos standing tall.
Babyface comeback began as the show returned from the commercial break. Lee cleaned house after a hot tag. Carter with an assisted shooting star press off the apron to the floor. Lee followed up with a tope con giro over the ropes to the floor.
Lee was cut off, and Mendoza rocked him with a missile dropkick. Wilde then struck with a poison rana on Lee, and he picked up Lee for to deliver a brainbuster. Carter jumped in the ring to make a save by breaking up a pin attempt.
Mendoza held Carter in a fireman's carry. Wilde then jumped off the top rope, springboarded off the back of Carter (who was still in the fireman's carry), and Wilde hit a 450 splash on Lee. Not sure if the description did it justice. It was a helluva deal. Except Lee was able to catch Wilde in a small package for a near fall.
Another comeback by MSK, and they execute their Hart Attack/Blocbuster finisher. Carter covered Wilde for a pinfall.
Mercedes Martinez in a vignette talked about her challenging for the NXT Women's Championship in a triple threat at TakeOver.
Xia Li (with Boa & Tian Sha) defeated Cora Jade
Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter were at ringside telling Li they are worried about her. So they picked her match as the time to speak to her about it? Whatever.
Jade attacked Li while Li was distracted by Catanzaro & Carter. That made little difference. Li quickled ran through Cade, and nailed her with a spinning kick for a quick pinfall.
Carter & Catanzaro were in disbelief. They pleaded with Li to came to her senses. Carter walked up the ramp to confront Tian Sha, who was sitting on a thorn at the top of the ramp.
Carter demanded Tian Sha identify herself. I guess Carter did not watch the animated video from last week. Li did not like Carter harassing Tian Sha, so Li tossed Carter off the ramp. Carter did flip and took a bump off the ramp.
Tian Sha was still not pleased, so grapped Coa by the throat. Li then assualted Catanzaro, and Tian Sha left go of her grib on Boa.
Scarlett was waiting for William Regal in his office. She wanted a match for next week with Karrion Kross against Santos Escobar, and Regal booked the match.
Johnny Gargano is injured ... or is he?
The Way made their way to the ring for the next match. NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano was haggard. Poor guy was apparently unable to walk due to a broken arm. Austin Theory and Indi Hartwell had to carry him from his wheelchair to the ring. They perched him on the top turnbuckle with his arm in the sling. Gargano put on a brave face, and he waved to the crowd.
The wheelchair was placed in the ring, and Gargano was carried to it. He addressed the crowd while being unfortunately heckled by seemingly ungrateful fans. They booed such a brave man. He had trouble speaking. This broken arm must be a very debilitating injury.
Gargano blamed Kushida for the injury. Footage showed Kushida kicking Gargano's arm. Gargano said he suffered four fractures in his arm. He is power walker that swings his arms, but he cannot do that because his arm hurts. Bless his heart. We know how much he hates wheels, and not he is in a chair with wheels. He admitted this was bad. Fans chanted "Johnny Wheelchair" at him.
Gargano said he was now unable to defend his title at TakeOver. He was really looking forward to it. Gargano insisted that Kushida be suspended for his actions. William Regal interrupted Gargano, but he did not suspend Kushida.
Regal revealed that Gargano was cleared to wrestle as of yesterday. Gargano disagreed completely, and he claimed he went to his own doctor. Gargano even had an X-ray. He showed it on the screen, and it showed four breaks in the longest bone on his arm.
Regal scoffed, and he said that was not Gargano's X-Ray. Regal even pointed out it was an X-ray of a right arm, and Gargano injured his left arm. Gargano insisted it was real.
Regal said Gargano had two options: forfeit the title or let Theory defend the title in his match against Kushida later on.
Kushida snuck into the ring, and he jumped The Way in a funny spot. He got Gargano to play tug-o-war with the North American title belt. Kushida led Gargano win, and Gargano snatched the title away. Gargano was using both hands, and he held the title with his supposedly injured hand. This proved Gargano was faking the injury this whole time.
Kushida decked Gargano with a punch, and Gargano took a Bret Hart bump backwards in the wheelchair.
Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon defeated Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell to advance to the Women's Dusty Classic finals
LeRae pinned Hartwell to win the match. Really good match, albeit with a convoluted finish where it seems like a million things happened in a row. Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai
The heels worked over Shotzi during the match. Moon was able to tag in, turning the tide for a moment. She was soon cut off before a commercial break. Heat on Moon through the breal.
Blackheart cleaned house when the show returned from the break. She came in off a hot tag. Moon was soon back in the match. LeRae with an assisted springboard quebrada, and then a tope to the outside.
Blackheart took a Wicked Stepsister from LeRae, and then Hartwell with a springboard flying elbow drop on Blackheart. Moments later Blackheart was fighting back. She caught Hartwell with a DDT. Moon flew into the ring for an Eclipse on LeRae, stunning her into falling backwards. Blackheart went for a senton. Hartwell jumped on top of LeRae to save her. Blackheart hit the senton, and she covered Hartwell for a pinfall.
The finals are set for the Women's Dusty Classic, which is Blackheart & Moon vs. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez. Regal also announced the winners of the Women's Dusty Classic will get a title shot at the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship
Escobar ordered his henchmen to attack Kross.
A video package hyped the NXT Championship match on Sunday at TakeOver where Finn Balor defends against Pete Dunne.
Kushida defeated Austin Theory (with Johnny Gargano) via disqualification
Gargano interfered to cause the DQ.
No entrances. Just right into the match as the show returned from a commercial break. They started with a brawl since this was a grudge match.
Kushida was super aggressive, and he showed a lot of fire. Gargano tried to distract him, but Kushida instead punished Theory with kicks and such. Theory was seemingly supposed to trip up Kushida on a springboard, but Kushida appeared to trip himself on the ropes for real. Nonetheless, Theory knocked him off the apron before a commercial break.
Theory was working over Kushida as the show returned from the break. Comeback by Kushida, and he targeted an arm. The fight spilled outside. Kushida caught Theory in an armbar on the apron, but Gargano superkicked Kushida. The referee called for a DQ as Gargano and Theory both attacked Kushida.
The heels were beating down Kushida, and they rolled him back into the ring. Someone from under the ring snatched Theory, and Theory was being dragged under the ring. Gargano went to save him, but he was too late. Theory was pulled under the ring into the unknown.
Gargano still thought he was saving the day. He dragged someone out, but that person was Dexter Lumis. This startled Gargano, and he backpeadaled away. Lumis also frightened Theory, who has crawled out from underneath the ring. Kushida caught Theory in an armbar. Gargano ran down to save Theory. Gargano was then caught in the Hoverboard Lock. Lumis choked out Theory as Kushida held the North American title high.
Toni Storm in a vignette cut a promo ahead of her challenging for the NXT Women's Championship in a triple threat at TakeOver.
Another vignette hyped Imperium.
Legado del Fantasma's Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde were laid out backstage. Kross has beaten them up, and then he cut a promo on Escobar. Kross meets Escobar in a match next week.
Enter the Southern Million Dollar Man
Cameron Grimes arrived to the arena driving a Lamborghini. He was passing out money left and right. He was wearing a suit with no shirt. His top hat was of course on his head. What a character!
Grimes came to the ring for a promo. He began a funny rambling rant about getting injured by Timothy Thatcher. He ranted and raved about his recovery where he played video games. He found a store called GameStop. So he decided to buy stock in the company. He got rich. He also bought some Dogecoin. Now he is even more rich.
Grimes was elated. He took off his sports coat like an excited Ric Flair. Grimes screamed he was richer than Elon Musk. Grimes started hollering that everyone can kiss his grits. Grimes said he got so much money it was hilarious. He made a snow angel in the ring with money. What a character!
A vignette hyped NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai ahead of her title defense this Sunday.
Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) defeated Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa to advance to the Dusty Classic finals
Gibson pinned Ciampa to win the match.
Ciampa was shoved into the ring steps before a commercial break. Thatcher was worked over until the show returned from the break. He fought back, but he was outnumbered by Grizzled Young Veterans. Ciampa was still down selling the spot from earlier. He soon recovered to make a hot tag.
Ciampa cleaned house with a fury. However, he was cut off. Drake then knocked Thatcher off the apron, blocking Ciampa from tagging out. Ciampa took a Doomsday Device. Thatcher jumped back into the ring to make a save, and he broke up a pinning attempt.
A melee developed in the closing moments. Thatcher was dispatched after taking a tope. Ciampa was blocked from executing Widow's Bell. Ciampa then took a Ticket To Mayhem, and Gibson covered Ciampa to score the pinfall.
The Men's Dusty Classic is now set for Sundau with MSK vs. Grizzled Young Veterans.
The show closed with a hard sell for TakeOver with the announcers running down the matches. This was mixed with footage of the particpants in face-offs.