WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 22

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2019

WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 22

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    The Undisputed Era
    The Undisputed EraCredit: WWE.com

    Bleacher Report's Erik Beaston usually recaps NXT every week, but he is in Las Vegas this week for AEW: Double or Nothing, so I will be filling in for him for the May 22 episode.

    WWE's developmental system has TakeOver: 25 coming up on June 1, so most of this week's show was dedicated to building up the big event.

    General manager William Regal kicked off the show by announcing a Fatal 4-Way ladder match for the vacant NXT Tag Team Championships after The Viking Raiders relinquished the belts last week.

    Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly will be one of the teams, and with Adam Cole already set to challenge Johnny Gargano for the NXT title, The Undisputed Era might leave TakeOver: 25 with a lot of gold.

    Let's take a look at what happened on this week's episode of NXT.

Opening Segment

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    Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole
    Johnny Gargano and Adam ColeCredit: WWE.com

    Cole, Fish, O'Reilly and Roderick Strong came out to open the show with a promo talking about how they will leave TakeOver with the NXT and Tag Team Championships.

    Gargano came out to respond, but an angry Matt Riddle interrupted their interaction. The former MMA star managed to take on all four men until Johnny Champion made it to the ring to help him out.

    The Bro and Gargano sent The Undisputed Era fleeing and ended the segment with a fist bump. This was a standard match-building promo and fight, but the people involved helped keep it from feeling like every other interaction we see on WWE television.

    Cole and Gargano are great as rivals, and having Riddle in the mix only served to make everything a little more entertaining.


    Grade: B-


    Notes and Highlights

    • This was a basic segment to push a match. There was nothing extra to note.

Mansoor vs. Sean Maluta

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    MansoorCredit: WWE.com

    NXT newcomer Mansoor battled a man who is very familiar with WWE in the opening match when he took on Sean Maluta.

    Maluta is a member of the Anoa'i wrestling family and has competed in a WWE ring several times over the years, including in the Cruiserweight Classic.

    Mansoor is still establishing himself in NXT, but the crowd already seems to appreciate his work. He has a good look, appears smooth in the ring and has the foundation to grow into a true WWE Superstar someday.

    This was a short match, but it told you everything you needed to know about Mansoor's style in the ring. With any luck, Maluta will soon join him as a full-fledged member of the NXT roster because he is too talented to let slip through the company's fingers.

    Mansoor scored the win with a twisting suplex.


    Grade: B


    Notes and Highlights

    • Mansoor has a beautiful dropkick. He gets great elevation.
    • Maluta's codebreaker from the middle rope looked great.
    • Mansoor hit an awesome neckbreaker from the apron that was much better than the finisher he used.
    • Maluta would fit right in with The Usos. It would be great to see an Anoa'i stable someday with The Usos, Roman Reigns, Maluta, Tamina and Nia Jax.

Velveteen Dream, Meet Prince Pretty

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    The Velveteen Dream came to the ring with the NXT North American Championship and the crowd chanting his name. He played to the crowd a bit before talking about how he is such a hot commodity.

    Before long, Tyler Breeze's music hit to a big pop from the Full Sail audience. Prince Pretty might not be used on the main roster too much, but he is still over with the NXT crowd.

    Breeze said NXT has been dull since he left and called Dream a Prince Pretty knockoff. The fashionable foes exchanged plenty of barbs, and Dream even offered Breeze a selfie with the champ.

    Breeze agreed to the selfie, but it was just a ploy to get Dream to drop his guard. Breeze laid him out before heading up the ramp to the back.

    It looks like we might get Breeze vs. Dream at TakeOver, and that is a match everyone should look forward to.


    Grade: B+


    Notes and Highlights

    • It was good to see Breeze back in full Prince Pretty mode. It's easy to forget how much fun this gimmick can be since he doesn't use it on the main roster anymore.
    • Dream cut deep by saying Breeze couldn't cut it on Monday and Tuesday. Breeze responded by saying he had been uninspired until he decided he wanted the North American title.
    • Dream and Breeze had good chemistry right away. This is a feud that would be great on the main roster because their personalities would keep people interested more than any title.

Candice LeRae vs. Reina Gonzalez

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    The next match had a David vs. Goliath feel with Candice LeRae taking on the six-foot powerhouse Reina Gonzalez.

    Anyone who has followed LeRae's career since before her time in WWE knows she has plenty of experience fighting larger opponents in intergender matches.

    LeRae used some unique offense to combat Gonzalez's significant size advantage, including some high-flying offense both in and out of the ring.

    She picked up the win with a gorgeous springboard moonsault from the middle rope. Like the first match of the night, this was a quick but solid performance from two talented competitors.

    Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke came out and attacked LeRae, but Io Shirai made the save with a kendo stick to send the Horsewomen retreating to the back.


    Grade: B+


    Notes and Highlights

    • LeRae should already be on the main roster. She has the look, charisma, in-ring ability and experience to fit right in with the rest of the women's division.
    • Shirai was swinging for the fences with that kendo stick. It wouldn't be surprising to see a few bruises on Duke, Shafir and Baszler from this segment.
    • Gonzalez should be portrayed as being far more dominant than she looked here. She is a giant in the women's division, and weak booking early will make it hard for her to get over later when the company decides to push her.

Matt Riddle and Johnny Gargano vs. Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly

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    Whenever Fish and O'Reilly work as a tag team, you know you are in for a good show. They have been together for years and have more chemistry than most of the tag teams on the main roster.

    O'Reilly and Gargano showed off their technical prowess early on with a furious exchange of holds and counters. Fish came in and kept the sequence going.

    The former tag team champions took Riddle out at ringside, but taking their eyes off Gargano allowed him to take control and bring in everyone's favorite Bro.

    Fish and O'Reilly more than made up for any missing chemistry from Riddle and Gargano to make this a fun contest. All four men had their moments to shine at different points in the match.

    Riddle was on a roll when Cole and Strong interfered while the referee was distracted. Fish and O'Reilly scored the win, and all four members of Undisputed Era delivered a beating to The Bro and the NXT champion.


    Grade: A-


    Notes and Highlights

    • This might not be a universal opinion, but Riddle needs new entrance music. It fits his personality but sounds too generic, even for a WWE theme.
    • Riddle will be wearing boots within six months of being called up to Raw or SmackDown just like Rusev.
    • Fish is no stranger to martial arts and striking. When he and Riddle started exchanging hits, the crowd loved every impact.
    • I know it has been several years, but the black-and-yellow aesthetic used by The Undisputed Era always makes me think of Nexus.
    • O'Reilly's seated abdominal stretch looks painful enough to be his finishing move.