Tuesday 13 April 2021

WWE NXT Highlights 13 April 2021


WWE NxT Live 4/13/21 April 13th 2021

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WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 13

Sana Ejaz Khan

    Credit: WWE.com

    NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver redefined the landscape of WWE NXT. The April 13 edition of the black-and-gold brand was the aftermath of that show as well as the debut of NXT on Tuesday nights.

    New champions Karrion Kross and Raquel Gonzalez were set to appear and address their title victories while re-establishing the hierarchy in their divisions. Finn Balor and Io Shirai were sure to be watching closely.

    MSK also won new gold at TakeOver but did not choose to wait, putting the NXT Tag Team Championships on the line against Killian Dain and Drake Maverick. Now officially the undisputed NXT cruiserweight champion, Santos Escobar issued an open challenge to the cruiserweight division.

    The Way has got in the way of many top stars, so it was only a matter of time before they banded together. Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell and Austin Theory would battle the team of Bronson Reed, Ember Moon, Shotzi Blackheart and Dexter Lumis.

    Nothing has kept Leon Ruff and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott apart, so William Regal wanted them to settle their differences. These heated rivals would do battle.

    After several weeks of build, tonight was also the promised night where Franky Monet would arrive in NXT.

    This was a chance for the black-and-gold brand to begin a new era. With so many new champions, anything could happen with fresh challenges to come in every division.

Karrion Kross Promises to Remain at the Top of NXT for a Long Time to Come

1 OF 7

    Karrion Kross and Scarlett arrived to complete their proclamation. The time had arrived, and The Herald of Doomsday had his title back. He made an emphatic statement on the future of NXT, demanding competition that could feed his hunger.






    This promo showed one of NXT's biggest problems. Kross has been built as a monster, who lets his actions and Scarlett speak for me. When he has spoken in the past, his words dripped with malice. He only said what he needed to say. He has the talent on the mic to deliver but not with this much standard WWE scripting.

    His first words since becoming the top guy in NXT made him sound like just another Superstar. He threw out a few signature catchphrases and put himself over as the hungriest man in the hungriest locker room. He especially seemed uncertain how to deal with a few loud fans.

    NXT is built so much on the performances over the characters. Kross has been established more as a Raw or SmackDown character than one made for the black-and-gold brand. If NXT continues to script him like this, the company will lose that spark that makes The Herald of Doomsday unique.

NXT Tag Team Championships: MSK (c) vs. Killian Dain and Drake Maverick

2 OF 7

    Credit: WWE.com

    As always, Drake Maverick found himself the weak link early in this match-up, isolated by MSK. However, Killian Dain got back into the action with more urgency, knowing what was on the line. The Beast of Belfast saved his partner from a pinfall and carried him to the corner.

    Wes Lee and Nash Carter used a series of impressive tag team maneuvers to nearly take the win. Dain and Maverick fired back with their own tag team synergy, but it backfired as they miscommunicated late. MSK took out Dain then hit End Transmission on Maverick to win.

    Alexander Wolfe walked out to distract The Beast of Belfast, and Imperium made a statement, taking out Dain with malice.



    MSK def. Dain and Maverick by pinfall to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.






    Despite the potential of this match-up, MSK vs. Maverick and Dain was no better than their first match together. Lee and Carter continue to pull impressive high-flying offense in every match. It just does not land as well without a capable heel team to work off them.

    Still, for a random NXT title defense, this was more than good enough. It was fun action between capable teams where MSK built more momentum without taking away from the potential threat of Dain and Maverick as an odd pairing that works well together.

    Dain and Maverick vs. Imperium could be interesting. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Bartel deserve more opportunities than they have been given lately beyond backing up WALTER.

Mercedes Martinez vs. Jessi Kamea

3 OF 7

    NXT showed exclusive footage of both Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly following their NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver match. Afterward, they had to stretchered to a nearby medical facility where Cole still cursed out O'Reilly.

    Mercedes Martinez wanted her money back from Robert Stone, but Jessi Kamea got in her way. The two met in the ring where Kamea took over the action early. Martinez turned it around with an emphatic over the shoulder back-to-belly piledriver for the win.

    After her victory, she choked out Stone until he gave her the money. She then told commentary to give Raquel Gonzalez a message that she was after the NXT Women's Championship. Later in the night Martinez got in Zoey Stark's face for assuming she had a shot at the champion over the veteran.



    Martinez def. Kamea by pinfall.






    This angle did not mean much in the long run, but at least it got Martinez back on television. She has moved past The Robert Stone Brand and called her shot on the NXT women's champion. That could be the perfect first rivalry for Gonzalez.

    The champion needs a veteran challenger. Few in NXT are better than Martinez. Once she has completed her business with Io Shirai, Gonzalez will need someone like the hard-hitting technical veteran.

    Kamea got squashed here, but she is starting to find her footing in an NXT ring. She could be a future star for NXT, though that may only come once she has moved past Stone.

NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar (c) vs. Kushida

4 OF 7

    Santos Escobar explained that his legacy is as a champion, and he would defeat anyone that stepped up to him in an open challenge title match. Kushida answered the call, sending the NXT cruiserweight champion out of the ring with a dropkick.

    Escobar sent Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde to the back, certain he could beat Kushida. He was quickly overwhelmed by the speed of the Japanese Superstar. The champion caught Kushida outside by slamming him into the steel steps. He followed up with a Boston crab on the steps into the post.

    The cruiserweight champion continued to wear out his challenger. Kushida answered the Phantom Driver with an atomic drop and a series of strikes that set him up for a double underhook superplex. A second double underhook suplex nearly put the match away.

    Both men were exhausted, missing their signature moves. Once again, Kushida reversed the Phantom Driver, starting a series of pinfall attempts that allowed Kushida to stack up Escobar and win.

    William Regal congratulated Kushida backstage, only fro Jordan Devlin to interrupt. He made clear he would get his own shot at that gold soon. Tomasso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher warned MSK of their title aspirations.



    Kushida def. Escobar by pinfall to become the new NXT cruiserweight champion.






    That was a complete shock. After doing so much to establish Escobar as the one-and-only cruiserweight champion, Kushida arrives to knock him down a peg. Adding a true surprise to the night elevated the show as a whole.

    While Escobar was a great champion, he was running low on challengers. The division just got a bold restart that it needed. The former champion is on the hunt. The Irish Ace has also staked his claim. There are many great matches now in store.

    The match was good, though it felt like they did not quite hit their highest gear. These two have a great match in store down the line.

Franky Monet Arrives to Interrupt Raquel Gonzalez's Championship Celebration

5 OF 7

    Dakota Kai introduced Raquel Gonzalez. The NXT women's champion explained that every day before this night had built her to this moment. She put Kai over as instrumental to her rise, seeing her potential when no one else would.

    The lights went out, and Franky Monet arrived. With her dog in hand, she established that the NXT women's division was her division now. Gonzalez and Monet almost came to blows, but the newcomer stepped away for the moment.

    Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair arrived to celebrate with the new NXT women's champion. The best friends hugged in the center of the ring, celebrating their rise to gold together.

    William Regal put over another recent signing for the women's division. It was announced that Sarray would debut next week.






    WWE rarely lets the veils drop and celebrates the accomplishments of talent as friends. It was awesome to see Ripley and Belair together with Gonzalez, standing as champion. The three women truly got their start in the Mae Young Classic and have never looked back.

    For the long term story, Monet has arrived. La Guera Loca was one of the best women outside WWE for the past few years. Her arrival only solidifies how overwhelmingly talent the NXT women's division is. While she and Gonzalez should not immediately clash, at the right time, they can do something special.

Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott

6 OF 7

    Credit: WWE.com

    Isaiah "Swerve" Scott put himself over, ready to move past Leon Ruff after this match. Pete Dunne established that he was after gold again and would not stop until he was champion. Roderick Strong and his wife Marina Shafir handed in his papers to William Regal, stating that he was done.

    Swerve and Ruff played nice until the bell rang, but their brawl from the past few weeks continued once the referee allowed. The underdog looked to have Scott's number, nearly winning off a springboard stunner as well as a Frankensteiner.

    Ruff hit a rebound clotheline that was answered by a discus lariat from Swerve. Recovering quickly, Ruff nearly stole the win with a jackknife pin. However, Scott barely kicked out then hit the JML Driver for the win.

    Ruff attacked Scott backstage, making clear that despite losing clean, he was not done with Swerve.



    Swerve def. Ruff by pinfall.






    This was a great near-end to this rivalry. Both men fought hard, and the nearfalls in this contest sold that either man could win. It was exciting and easily the strongest match on the show.

    It took a while, but Swerve is finally building momentum as a heel. Hopefully, he gets even more once this rivalry is over. He and Ruff have looked great together and deserve an NXT main event for their final fight.

    Either Swerve will finally put an end to this fight with Ruff, or the new attitude shown by Ruff backstage could be a sign that these two could reconcile and become an exciting heel tag team together.

Dexter Lumis, Bronson Reed, Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart vs. The Way

7 OF 7

    Credit: WWE.com

    The Way promised victory in their first eight-man tag match together, but Indi Hartwell was a little too focused on getting in the same ring as Dexter Lumis.

    Hartwell was kept out of the action whenever Lumis was nearby. The women could not directly fight the men in this match, but that did not stop any of the women from attacking everyone. Ember Moon caught Johnny Gargano with a suicide dive, and Candice LeRae DDTed Lumis outside.

    After The Colossal threw Shotzi Blackheart onto the crowd outside, Lumis trapped Johnny Wrestling in the Silence. Hartwell got herself intentionally taken backstage by The Tortured Artist. Moon hit an Eclipse off Reed's shoulder, and no one could stop Reed from hitting the Tsunami on Austin Theory to win.



    Reed, Lumis, Moon and Blackheart def. The Way by pinfall.






    This was a ridiculous but very fun main event for the night. Reed worked really really off of Moon and Blackheart, and Gargano and LeRae's equal inability to even slow The Colossal put him over in a major way.

    Hartwell got what she wanted, showing that The Way was too dysfunctional to actually pull out a victory. Reed got a big win over Gargano that should set him up for a rematch soon for the NXT North American Championship.

    It will be interesting to see what becomes of The Way after a night that is certain to break the group's confidence.

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