April 29th, 2020
TONIGHT: Keith Lee defends the North American Title against Damian Priest
1) El Hijo Del Fantasma vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott - Cruserweight Title Tournament Match
This was pretty run of the mill and it sucks this tournament is falling into that trend, but I guess it should be expected. I always get too excited and am let down, but how can you not be stoked for what would have been a dream match on the indies? None the less, this happened and it's ok for what it is, but doesn't get the chance to build into much. Scott wins with a pinning combo pretty abruptly.
Match rating - **1/2
Donovan Dijakovic pre-taped promo essentially challenging Gargano next week and mentions the millions of Takeover's he's headlined thanks to the company. I love that. Can't wait for this match, could be really good.
During the break, the masked men tried to attack Fantasma again, but he fought them off.
2) Candice LeRae (w/ Johnny Gargano) vs. Kacy Catanzaro
Heel Candice is officially GOAT. Could've done without the Gargano talking her up schtick during her entrance, but Candice has totally changed everything about her game and it rules. Never thought I'd see her in this role, but I love it. This match puts on display what we can expect from Candice going forward and develops her into this new character perfectly. Her finisher is a shout to PWG founder Super Dragon as she uses his curbstomp as her own and it is sick. Candice wins and locks Kacey in the Garganoescape post match.
Match rating - **3/4
Damian Priest backstage says Keith Lee will bask in HIS glory tonight.
Newly Bros w/ Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher
This was so good for so many reasons. Only Riddle could pull something like this off. He seriously has a life long career in WWE if he wants it. He has so much personality to match his athleticism and ability. This partnership is also helping Thatcher wonders I feel. I just hope it translates once live shows with crowds begin again. During the middle of this game show, hosted by Byron Saxton, Imperium members Achner & Barthel attack the duo and it rules. Brutal assault and they pose with the tag titles while standing over Riddle. Can't wait for this match.
3) Charlotte (c) vs. Mia Yim - NXT Women's Title Match
I was mad excited for this. Charlotte is amazing and Mia is a personal favorite and has been for a while. Plus the story is solid. This match ended up being pretty solid as well, a little messy in a spot or two, but overall was intense and high energy. I wish so badly they had a crowd for it because some of the close falls were so awesome. Charlotte retains via submission via the figure four.
Match rating - ***
Io Shorai heads out to confront Charlotte post match and HELL YES. I'm ready for this one to explode.
NEXT WEEK: Finn Balor returns to address his attack from last week.
4) Dexter Lumis vs. Shane Thorne
I'm very interested to see where they go with Dexter Lumis so I enjoyed this although we didn't really learn anything new from it. It was moreso just a way to keep Lumis on TV for the week coming out of his main event spot last week.
Match rating - **
5) Drake Maverick vs. Tony Nese - Cruserweight Title Tournament Match
Perfect first victory for Drake in this tourney. Tony enters the ring saying this tourney is all about him and no one cares about Drake which set the tone for the aggression he shown during this match. Nese dominates early and suplexes Maverick into the turnbuckles. Maverick fights back and gets the win. Simple enough, decent stuff.
Match rating - **1/2
6) Keith Lee (c) vs. Damian Priest - NXT North American Title Match
This was a decent big man main event that had some build to it. There were some cool spots like Lee throwing Priest from the 'crowd' over the railing into the apron, Lee doing a corkscrew plancha, and Priest diving over the corner post. But it never really turned into anything ~great~ just like, solid power stuff. Lee retains. BASK IN HIS GLORY.
Match rating - **3/4
Final thoughts: AEW definitely had the better show this week, but I'm still invested to watch NXT next week with Cole/Dream, Gargano/Dijak and Charlotte/Io on deck along with Finn Balor's appearance to address his attack from the other week. PLUS Killer Kross & Scarlett debut. See y'all then <3