With just one week left until TakeOver: Respect, the stakes have never been higher in NXT. The final spot in the semifinals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic was up for grabs, Apollo Crews and Tyler Breeze were both in action, tuning up for their showdown, and the NXT Universe found out that NXT’s newest signee, Asuka, will make her debut next Wednesday!
This highly anticipated bout started off with each team’s powerhouse, Samoa Joe and Colin Cassady, squaring off. The two bruisers traded blows, even as the bout spilled to the outside, where Enzo Amore and Finn Bálor joined the fray, following up with dives of their own to the arena floor.
Back in the ring, Amore showboated a second too long, allowing Joe to knock him off the top rope and take control of the match. The submission master and the NXT Champion worked over Amore, wearing down the brash New Jersey native. Enzo staggered Bálor with a diving DDT off the ropes and finally tagged in Big Cass, who took on both Bálor & Joe by himself.
Enzo & Cass looked to have the win wrapped up, after Cass tossed Enzo onto Joe, but the submission specialist rolled through Amore’s pin while Bálor neutralized Cassady. Samoa Joe hit Amore with the Muscle Buster and left him in perfect position for the NXT Champion to connect with the Coup de Grace and cement their spot in the semifinals next Wednesday, where they will face Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder.
With his TakeOver: Respect showdown with Tyler Breeze looming, Apollo Crews prepared for the bout by taking on an old friend from the independent scene, Johnny Gargano. The free agent, however, was out to prove that he belonged in NXT. The two friends showed just how well they knew each other, trading holds and counters until Crews staggered his opponent with a big dropkick. Gargano answered with a highlight reel-worthy move of his own, catching Crews with a slingshot spear through the ropes. Despite Gargano’s determination, Crews fought on and picked up the win with his trademark gorilla press/standing moonsault combination.
After being stunned by the news that she’ll be facing the hard-hitting international star Asuka next Wednesday at TakeOver, Dana Brooke had to team up with Emma to take on the hungry duo of Billie Kay & Peyton Royce. The newcomers gave Dana & Emma a run for their money, but the ruthless Divas took control and toyed with their opponents on their way to victory. Dana picked up the three-count this week, can she put in a repeat performance next week against the dangerous Asuka?
NXT General Manager William Regal was eager to approve this match after Prince Pretty interrupted free agent Tommaso Ciampa during a backstage interview. Ciampa asserted himself early, staggering Tyler Breeze with a series of staggering blows, including a flurry of knees in the corner. Eventually, Breeze lost his cool and took control, stomping Ciampa to the canvas. Despite a late burst of offense from Ciampa, it was Breeze who walked out with the win following his own version of the Killswitch.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Chad Gable & Jason Jordan defeated Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson
- Finn Balor & Samoa Joe defeated Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady (w/ Carmella) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament First Round (3:43)
- Apollo Crews defeated Johnny Gargano (4:06)
- Dana Brooke & Emma defeated Peyton Royce & Billie Kay (6:46)
- Tyler Breeze defeated Tommaso Ciampa (7:43)
Other on-screen talent