JUNE 13, 2021

Watch: Peacock (US); WWE Network (International)


Jeri Evagood: Your resident Magic Writing Girl came home to find NXT IN HER HOUSE, so now she must review them in order for them to leave. They didn’t even bother ordering food. Rude. With that said follow her at @TheJerriest_Jer on twitter if you want room temperature takes.

Fred Morlan: Prior to Stand & Deliver, I hadn’t watched NXT in a couple of years. I’m hoping this one delivers as much as night one of that show. @flagrantstats for basketball and wrestling tweets.

NXT North American and NXT Tag Team Championships
Bronson Reed & MSK def. Legado Del Fantasma

Jeri: Winner takes all and there was a lot of action and it was energetic and fun. Given the majority of the wrestlers in this match, you’ll want that out of this match. Production is what it is by now with WWE and that’s not me being flippant, it’s just the reality it’s either going to hurt your enjoyment or you’ve gotten accustomed to it at this point that… eh it sucks but the work is good enough to overcome. Don’t think this would reach a great level for me, but it was damn good and succeeded it’s job as an opener to get energy levels up. Some good teamwork, choreography and they were able to gell well and click enough to make this a positive beginning to the show. Not a great opener, but a good one and I appreciate they kept things going and even the one thing that always threatens to bring tag matches down (the heel control spot) ended up being just the right length and decently entertaining. The one thing I did dislike? The good old “everyone gets a turn jumping to the outside” routine. I’m just tired of it. Oh, Bronson put Escobar through the barricade. I almost forgot about that spot because they’ve become meaningless.  ***1/4

Fred: The entire concept of this match – a singles belt and the tag titles on the line in a six-man tag – is far more 2000-era WCW than In Your House. They worked hard, of course, but the gimmick and the meager crowd weakened this to me. Some of the spots were inspired – Reed did an impressive double Samoan drop to Mendoza & Wilde and there were several decent dives – but a lot of them lacked connective tissue to make them mean more. There was a cool spot with Reed pouncing Santos Escobar through the barricade, but they also do that spot on a seemingly weekly basis.

I counted at least 204 camera cuts in this ~20 minute match. ***

Xia Li def. Mercedes Martinez

Jeri: I would’ve loved for this to have gotten more time. I was getting into it and feeling the vibe it was presenting. Xia Li looked very good and seemed motivated to showcase herself. Martinez is a badass. There were some nice shots and hard hits. Overall I dug this. Maybe more than it deserved to be drugged but that’s how it goes sometimes. I simply appreciated the no-nonsense approach with very little B.S (well during the match at least). I’m going to give this the lady’s ***.

Post-match Mae Ying death gripped Mercedes and threw her into the barricade. You remember how I was feeling about things due to the lack of B.S, I forgot it’s WWE. the B.S is always on its way. Expedite delivery.

Fred: I liked the spot where Xia Li did a cobra clutch while in the ropes. Xia Li hit a big kick for the pin. This felt rushed. Li looked really good in it. I don’t think Martinez got nearly as much shine out of it. **½

After the match, Mercedes was murdered to death by Mei Ying.

Million Dollar Championship
L.A Knight def. Cameron Grimes

Jeri: Potentially embarrassing fact. The most ecstatic I ever was in my early days of wrestling fandom was how much I jumped up and down when Virgil won the Million Dollar Championship.. Also, these days I loathe DiBiase’s forced evil laugh. It grates on me at a level not seen since David Hester’s YUPPPPP on Storage Wars. Yes, my lamest reference ever (SO FAR!). Oh yeah, there’s a match to review. I can see how many will find this good, but it just didn’t click with me. In fairness I came into this quite coooolllld to begin with but in the final third, they began to thaw my disinterest so I have to give them credit. It wasn’t enough though. The bigger bumps were in the second half and they at times both had a feeling they were legit trying to hurt each other, while at the same time not legit hurting each other. That’s a good balance to have. Grimes did his best to make this match overall good. This sparks joy. La Knight… he… exists and got the win. This does not spark joy. 1. Find someone who loves you like NXT loves Ladder Matches. 2. There are legit amazing ladder matches out there. Rewatch those and forget about this one. **3/4

Fred: This was a slower-paced match, which itself would be fine but I feel like every match has been paced slower than I would expect. LA Knight spent a lot of the match getting heat. They did structure this so that the couple of wild bumps came at the end and really mattered, which is better for the workers’ safety than the wilder ladder matches I’ve seen. Outside of the big Grimes spots, this felt plodding at points. LA Knight is not interesting when he’s on offense. This feels like the wrong finish. ***

NXT Women’s Championship
Raquel Gonzalez (c) def. Ember Moon

Jeri: Raquel Gonzalez is on my television screen. Life’s been good to me. My favorite match of the show so far, which looking at the ratings to the previous matches feels like damning with faint praise. Gonzalez looked impressive, especially in power spots, Moon looked better and motivated and they worked hard and had a good title match with each other. The ending in particular looked really good with Gonzalez hitting her finisher after a snake’s eyes and it looked quite nice. Ember Moon hit a really good Code Red at one point and Gonzalez got to show off as a dominant force by showcasing her strength. Dakota Kai was a nuisance and Shotzi returned (although she mind-bogglingly waited for Dakota to interfere SEVERAL TIMES, just cut her off right away damn it.) Not a great match, but it’s good. The bar on this show isn’t high, but it doesn’t change the fact they cleared it with just a smidgen of clipping the bar. ***1/4

Fred: Moon looked pretty good in this match, pulling off several nice spots. She isn’t the absolute smoothest in the ring, but she’s still athletic enough to hit her high spots and make them look good. Gonzalez is quite impressive doing her power spots, but she looked less fluid at some points than you’d want. It didn’t feel like there was a transition from Moon controlling the match to Gonzalez getting the win at the end. All in all, this was a fun match. The idea that this’ll be the second best match on a TakeOver is sobering, though – this card has been a disappointment compared with the history of TakeOvers. ***1/2

NXT Championship
Karion Kross (c) def. Adam Cole,  Kyle O’Reilly, Pete Dunne & Johnny Gargano

Jeri: This has been an excellent episode of Sunday Night Heat so far, but a very low quality Takeover. My cat wrestled a paper bag right before this match. *** ¾, can’t wait for the rematch. If the flagship doesn’t review it, it’s because they are biased against cat as catch can wrestle. Lots of moves, nonstop movement, Four of the men in this match are incredibly talented and can be interesting, the other one is our champion Karrion Kross. Kross would be removed from the equation at times leaving the four men to work their asses off trying to save this show, when Kross would return all four men would sell their asses off to keep his image as a badass intact. The formula for the most part worked, at times it does end up throwing too much at you, like a hamburger ruined by way too much going on with the toppings. In the end I give this match a thumbs up. I thought it was a damn good main event, kept going, Kross didn’t bring it down, and the show REALLY needed this. Wasn’t enough to save how lackluster this show ended up being though. ****

The main event was great, but not good enough to keep this from being a lukewarm, lackluster, low-quality Takeover. Probably the weakest I’ve ever watched.

Fred: The odds are against this match being good enough to pull it up to the normal level of a TakeOver.

Because Kross is five inches taller than the other guys in this match, he’s booked like the most dangerous man alive in this match. This was pretty much nothing but moves – the non-Kross competitors really worked hard, as predicted. Kross himself worked hard but was slotted like prime Big Show in 2005 – he’d come in for a few minutes and throw everyone around until he would get tossed out of the ring for a few minutes. The crowd has been mic’ed poorly all night and it particularly hurt this match. All in all, this was a fairly entertaining spotfest where everyone worked well. ****

The show closed with a tease that this would be the end of William Regal as GM for NXT.

This show was fine, but it was far from a vintage TakeOver where it was a fantastic show from top to bottom. There are only two matches I’d recommend off this show, and those would be with some qualifications. I’d give this a thumbs in the middle overall as a show.