NXT's two warring mafia bosses will go head-to-head tonight.
Tony D'Angelo vs. Santos Escobar headlines tonight's episode of NXT. The two will be looking to prove which of their respective "families" is superior.
Each side has participated in a kidnapping in recent weeks. After Legado del Fantasma kidnapped AJ Galante, D'Angelo responded by having Cruz Del Toro abducted. Escobar and D'Angelo then agreed to settle things in the ring and let Galante and Del Toro go.
The Creed Brothers are set to take on The Viking Raiders in a rematch from Spring Breakin' tonight. In their first meeting, The Creed Brothers got the win after Roderick Strong interfered. The Creed Brothers were unhappy that Strong got involved and have vowed to win the right way this time.
Plus, Cameron Grimes & Solo Sikoa take on Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams, Wes Lee faces Xyon Quinn, the NXT Women's Breakout Tournament continues, and Bron Breakker will respond to Joe Gacy's call for Breakker to join his movement.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
NXT is on the air live from a soundstage at the WWE Performance Center.
The show is opening with a tag team match, but first some braggadocious promos from Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams on their way to the ring.
NXT North American Champion Cameron Grimes & Solo Sikoa defeated Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams
Sikoa pins Hayes to win the match for his team. Good opener.
Hayes and Grimes meet in a title match at In Your House, but Sikoa firmly establishes himself as the next challenger with a pinfall over Hayes. The crowd chants "you got next" at Sikoa after the match.
The match settled into a story where Hayes & Williams work well together, which makes sense. They are actually a team, unlike Grimes & Sikoa. The babyfaces even teased some dissension for a moment.
They wrestle through a commercial break, with Williams & Hayes working over Sikoa. Hot tag, and Grimes clean house, and the crowd inside the soundstage comes alive.
Grimes flew through the air with a high cross, and he was on a roll. Sikoa makes a blind tag. Grimes briefly bickers with Sikoa about the tag. Grimes comes back again moments later anyway.
Hayes cuts off Grimes after springboarding into a forearm smash. However, Hayes a second later is planted with an uranage slam by Sikoa.
Grimes delivers a Cave In to Hayes, while Sikoa climbs the turnbuckles. Sikoa leaps off the top rope with a Superfly splash, and he covers Hayes for a pinfall.
NXT Champions Pretty Deadly cut a promo on The Creed Brothers in a backstage interview with McKenzie Mitchell.
Thea Hail is featured in a video package as a new signee in WWE. She is 18 years old from Pittsburgh. She graduates high school next week, but she is already signed to WWE. Hail says she will attend college while training with WWE.
Lash Legend defeats Tatum Paxley to advance in the Women's Breakout Tournament
Legend pins Paxley in this first round match, and Legend advances to the tournament semifinals.
Legend at one point traps Paxley in a stretch muffler, as Legend continues working the leg. Paxley escapes, and she fight back.
Paxley goes to lift Legend into an electric chair, but she sells on her knee. Paxley tries three times to lift Legend. On the third try, Legend counters with a high kick. Legend then covers Paxley for a three count.
Pre-tape promo from Tony D'Angelo with his new henchmen. He tells them tonight be beats Santos Escobar alone, apparently meaning no henchmen at ringside. We'll see about that.
A public relations video package focuses on WWE's involvement with Special Olympics and the USA Games.
The announcers plug tickets going on sale this Friday for Clash at the Castle stadium show in Cardiff, Wales. Announcers Vic Joesph and Wade Barrett then pitch to a package that hyping NXT going back on road.
NXT live events resume with eight dates including June 10 in Tampa, and tickets go on sale this Friday. June 11 is in Largo. The next weekend is NXT house shows in Jacksonville on June 24, and Venice, FL on June 25. July 8 is Citrus Springs, and July 9 in Orlando. July 22 in Melbourne, and July 23 in Cocoa Beach.
Duke Hudson in a backstage interview with McKenzie Mitchell is asked what is next for him. He says no one around her on measure up to him when he is suddenly interrupted by NXT Champion Bron Breakker.
Breakker storms past Hudson as if Hudson was not even there. Headed to the ring, Breakker aims to answer Joe Gacy's invitation.
Joe Gacy challenges Bron Breakker
Breakker reveals that Gacy left him in the "wilderness" after abducting him a few weeks ago. Gacy last week invited Breakker to join his faction or cult, or whatever it is. Of course, Gacy also kidnapped Breakker at one point, and held him hostage.
Breakker declines Gacy's invite by saying loudly that Gacy can kiss his ass. Gacy soon interrupts Breakker's speech. Gacy stands on a perch looking over the ring, with two hooded druids flanking him.
Gacy claims he is not here to start trouble. Breakker on the other hand, he wants to fight right here and now.
Gacy attempts to bore Breakker, and the rest of us watching, with a rambling speech. Gacy says a lot of words just to ask for a rematch with Breakker, and Breakker is quick to accept the challenge, but there is a catch.
Gacy wants to "up the stakes," so he asks for a stipulation where the disqualification rule is waived for the champion. If Breakker is disqualified, he loses the championship. Breakker agrees, so the title match is on for In Your House.
Indi Hartwell during a pre-tape promo challenges NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose to a match.
Wes Lee had a match scheduled for tonight against Xyon Quinn, but it is again postponed because Quinn is no cleared to compete. Lee cuts a promo on Quinn, and Nathan Frazier interrupts in a polite manner. Frazier is replacing Quinn in a match tonight against Lee.
Viking Raider (Erik & Ivor) defeat The Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed with Roderick Strong & Damon Kemp)
Erik pins Julius Creed after interference by Roderick Strong backfires. Good match, and quite possibly the best bout on the show so far.
More tension in Diamond Mine as they bicker among themselves after the match. This is a rematch from two weeks ago, when the Creeds won after outside interference by Strong. Raider get their win back this week.
The bout is a hoss fight from the start. Just before cutting to a commercial break, Brutus leaps off the top with a cannonball to the outside.
The Creeds are in control when the match returns from the break. The Raiders soon rally, but the Creeds are able to cut them off for a near fall.
Raiders use their veteran instincts to counter the Creeds' explosiveness. Erik assists Ivar in giving Juluis an avalanche slam off the middle rope. Brutus jumps in to break up a pinning attempt.
Julius dispatches Erik with a German suplex, but a moment later Julius takes a flat back bump off the top rope after being shoved off by Ivar. Julius is able to roll away when Ivar goes for a Superfly splash. Ivar crashes and burns. Julius cradles him la magistral, but Erik is able to jump in to make a save and break the count.
They face off in a staredown, and a slugfest ensues. Damon Kemp distracts the referee. Roderick Strong tries to interfere, but Julius sends Strong sailing out of the ring. Strong went for a running knee strike, but Julius blocks him. Julius screams at Strong that they do not need him.
After yelling at Strong, Julius turns around. He walks into a roundhouse kick by Ivar. Tag to Erik, and the Raiders execute a stereo powerbomb on Julius. Erik then covers Julius for a three count.
Santos Escobar in a pre-tape promo has words for Tony D'Angelo. Escobar says tonight is one-on-one without Legado del Fantasma at ringside.
Tiffany Stratton wants Grayson Waller to "take care of this Andre Chase situation." She says so in backstage skit.
Duke Hudson confronts Bron Breakker in the parking lot about interrupting him earlier tonight. Breakker says they should settle it in the ring tonight. Hudson responds by saying next week instead, so looks like Hudson against Breakker next Tuesday on NXT (presumably in a non-title match).
Grayson Waller defeats Andre Chase (with Bodhi Hayward)
Waller pins Chase. While part of an ongoing storyline, this also feels like filler.
Chase was doing well when he backdrops Waller over the ropes, and Waller lands on Hayward at ringside. Chase checks on Hayward, allowing Waller a moment to recover.
When Chase rolls back into the ring, Waller strikes with a roll through into a pop-up cutter. Waller then covers Chase for a pinfall.
A backstage skit with Toxic Attracton has Mandy Rose accepting the challenge for a match against Indi Hartwell.
More tension within Diamond Mine as they argue in their locker room. Pretty Deadly then confronts Roderick Strong, leading to Strong challenging Pretty Deadly to a match next week against Strong & Damon Kemp.
Roxanne Perez defeats Kiana James to advance in the Women's Breakout Tournament
Perez pins James in the last first round match, and Perez advances to the semifinals where she faces Lash Legend.
Perez looks so much better in the ring than almost anyone else in the tournament. Yet Perez has to sell for much of this match, which dampens the excitement level. Loud cheers and chants for Perez from the live studio audience, as she is clearly a favorite.
For the finish, Perez counters into a Code Red. She then scores a three count on James.
Edris Enofe & Malik Blade spoof Escobar & D'Angelo as they do an impression of the two. D'Angelo's henchmen, Stacks and Two Dimes, confront Enofe & Blade. This sets up a tag team match between the two teams. Next Tuesday is Enfoe & Blade against Stacks & Two Dimes.
Nathan Frazier vs. Wes Lee ends in a no contest
Wagner runs in to attack both Lee and Frazier, so the match is thrown out. Lee is also thrown out, and he takes a bump on the announce desk in the process.
The pacing is fast, which is also played up on commentary. "High octane" and "high risk" were a few buzzwords used to describe by the announcers.
No matter how good the match, it ends with a run in. So much for getting over Frazier or Lee. Instead, Von Wagner is the star of the segment.
Wagner runs in and boots Frazier in the face. Wagner tosses Frazier out of the ring like a sack of potatoes, and Frazier by mistake clothesline himself on the bottom rope.
Lee attack Wagner, but to no avail. Wagner boots him in the face as well. Wagner lifts Lee into a military press. Wagner then throws Lee out of the ring, and Lee takes an ugly bump on the announce desk. Lee bounces off the desk.
Wagner stand tall in the ring with Mr. Stone. Sofia Cromwell is also in attendance, and the announcers mention her presence.
After a commercial break, Lee is backstage when he feels disrespected by Sanag. Frazier tells Lee to let it go, but Lee instead challenges Sanga to a match next week. Add that to the list of matches for next Tuesday.
Announced for next week on NXT:
- NXT Champion Bron Breakker vs. Duke Hudson in a non-title match
- NXT Women's Champion vs. Mandy Rose in a non-title match
- Edris Enofe & Malik Blade vs. Stacks & Two Dimes
- NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly vs. Roderick Strong & Damon Kemp in a non-title match
- Alba Fyre vs. Elektra Lopez
- Sanga vs. Wes Lee
Santos Escobar defeats Tony D'Angelo
Escobar pins D'Angelo after a distraction and a loaded punch. It was mid.
Escobar only got to shine for brief moments in this match, but when he did, he shone like a superstar.
The match in this blood feud between "the two families" (that has involved such heinous acts as assaults and kidnapping) begins with a collar-and-elbow lock-up. It was at least a tense tie-up, for what that is worth.
Despite being the main event, this bout in what is a supposed heated rivalry has more the feel of a mid-card match on a house show. Then comes the screwy finish.
D'Angelo works over Escobar as the match goes through a commercial break. Comeback by Escobar, and he launches into the type of fantastic tope he was known for as El Hijo del Fantasma.
Escobar is cut off by D'Angelo, and D'Angelo uses a trifecta of belly-to-belly suplexes. D'Angelo is soon cut off, and they set up a high spot.
They fight while perched on the turnbuckles, setting up a Super Frankensteiner by Escobar. The audio is muted on the USA Network after a "holy s**t" chant from the studio audeince.
D'Angelo goes looking for a hidden weapon, possibly the crowbar he used in the past. He cannot find it. Legado del Fantasma appear at ringside. They have stolen the crowbar. Stacks & Two Dimes run in to attack Legado del Fantasma. The two teams brawl.
Meanwhile in the ring, D'Aneglo is distracted by the brawl at ringside. Phantom foreign object spot like Jerry Lawler in Memphis, as Escobar digs in his tights. He appears to load up his hand with something, and he decks D'Angelo with a closed fist.
D'Angelo falls like a stone, and Escobar covers him for the deciding pinfall. The announcers at first miss the loaded punch, but they catch it on a replay.
The show closes with a promo from Joe Gacy, because we apparently have not suffered enough Joe Gacy promos. Spare me. His act is getting long in the tooth.
Overall, a much better show than last week, but last week had a far better main event in my opinion.