NXT: Karrion Kross and Samoa Joe face-off


The final stop before NXT TakeOver 36 featured a big title match as MSK defended their titles against Imperium and Roderick Strong introducing the Diamond Mine Invitational. But this show was meant to set the stage for the WWE Network special on Sunday and that is exactly what happened by the end of the night.

The night was started with Diamond Mine calling out anyone in the back and the man that answered was Ilja Dragunov.

The match starts out with mat work and neither man could get the first advantage until Strong hit a single leg sweep into a double-wrist lock. Strong backed Dragunov into the ropes and laid into him with chops. That ended up with both men plastering each other with chops to the chest. Dragunov dropped Strong with a chop and followed up with a senton. Strong was able to kick out at one.

After launching Strong into the corner, Dragunov followed up with a knee and then a suplex. Strong would run right into another knee to the face. Strong attempted to come back, but Dragunov’s offense continued to control the match. That was until Strong countered, knocking Dragunov outside the ring. The distraction by Hachiman allowed Strong to smash Dragunov’s face into the steel steps to regain control.

Back in the ring, Strong stood tall. Dragunov even tried to fight back, but Strong remained on top of him, locking in a combination knee bar to toe hold. Dragunov was able to roll through into side position, laying elbows on Strong. Dragunov followed up with three German Suplexes. He followed up with another variation of a suplex but Strong kicked out.

Dragunov went for the Torpedo Moscow but Strong countered. However, Dragunov bounced back up and hit it again to lay out Strong and pick up the win.

Ilja Dragunov defeated Roderick Strong by pinfall.

Cameron Grimes and Josh Briggs were the next match out.

Briggs was immediately all over Grimes, looking to make the money that LA Knight promised him to beat Grimes. Briggs tossed Grimes to the mat and followed up with a splash but did not get the pinfall.

Grimes was finally able to take Briggs off his feet, but almost ran into a chokeslam. Grimes picked up the pace enough to get Briggs reeling, eventually hitting the Cave In to pick up the victory.

Cameron Grimes defeated Josh Briggs via pinfall.

Robert Stone and Jessi Kamea were out with Franky Monet to take on InDex in tag team action.

Strone attempted to duck out of the ring instead of face Dexter Lumis, but Monet tossed him right back in. Strong would run into a fist from Lumis and both he and Indi Hartwell would stomp their opponents down in the corner. Monet attempted to make the distraction, but she ended up getting pulled into the ring as well, only to be tossed from ringside.

Kamea was able to take control of the match after slamming Hartwell’s head to the mat. She missed a springboard senton but was pushed back into Stone which brought in Lumis. Hartwell came back into the ring and nearly pinned Kamea, but Stone broke the pin. The shenanigans continued until Hartwell locked in the silence on Kamea to get the victory.

Dexter Lumis and Indi Hartwell defeated Robert Stone and Jessi Kamea via submission.

Carmelo Hayes and Duke Hudson were the next two up for the NXT Breakout Tournament.

Hudson was the bigger and stronger man, making that clear from the start. Hayes attempted the headlock but Hudson was immoveable. Hayes was able to knock him down with a springboard clothesline, but he found himself dumped outside the ring for his trouble.

Hayes was in trouble in the ring and could not overcome the power of Hudson. He bounced Hudson off the corner and launched him over the top. But Hayes was able to take control after catching Hudson coming back into the ring. After multiple kicks he hit a DDT on Hudson on the apron that looked bad. Hayes dropped Hudson face first but was unable to get the pin.

Hayes hit the leg drop to the back of Hudson’s head and pinned him to get the victory and move onto the finals of the NXT Breakout Tournament.

Carmelo Hayes defeated Duke Hudson via pinfall.

The main event was MSK defending the tag team titles against Imperium.

Fabian Aichner and Wes Lee started the match out. Lee could not match Aichner’s strength but he was able to out quick the stronger man. He attempted a crucifix pin but Aichner kicked out with ease. Nash Carter made the tag and they hit some combined offense on Aichner. But he was able to get over to Marcel Barthel for the tag.

Barthel was in firm control, but Carter was fighting back out of the corner but was planted with a double-underhook suplex for his trouble. Aichner made the tag, but Carter did as well and they hit a series of tandem strikes on him before throwing Barthel over the top. They tried to follow up with dives but Imperium caught them, slamming their backs into the mat outside the ring.

Lee was at a disadvantage and Barthel grinded him into the mat. Barthel locked in an ankle lock and dragged him back over to Aichner. Lee looked hurt after Aichner tossed him into the corner, but they continued their tag team maneuvers. Lee made the tag to Carter who went on a tear against both men. They hit the assisted moonsault for a two count.

Walter’s presence nearly allowed for the Imperium bomb but Dragunov came down to make the save. In the pending madness, MSK hit a comb blockbuster on Aichner, pinning him for the victory.

MSK defeated Imperium to retain the NXT Tag Team titles.

Samoa Joe and Karrion Kross faced off in the middle of the ring and as expected a brawl broke out before the two men compete for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver 36.