WWE NXT, March 31, 2021 results: Io Shirai stands tall ahead of TakeOver tussle
The NXT Women’s Champion and Raquel González battered each other in a wild brawl, but The Genius of the Sky had the last laugh prior to their showdown at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. Elsewhere, LA Knight claimed the final entry and five other Superstars qualified for the Gauntlet Eliminator for an NXT North American Title opportunity, Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell issued a challenge for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships, Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter felt the wrath of Tian Sha and more.
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WWE NXT Results : Quick Hits
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WWE NXT results, March 31, 2021
Cameron Grimes def. Roderick Strong
Cameron Grimes remained persistent in his bid to purchase The Undisputed ERA intellectual property from Roderick Strong, and he came armed with a "Grimes The System" shirt and new mashed-up theme music. But the beyond annoyed Strong snapped and channeled his frustration with the situation involving Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly into aggression against The Technical Savage.
That same emotion proved costly for Strong, though. Grimes appeared to pull a foreign object from his tights, only for it to be an Undisputed ERA armband. With his focus halted, Strong was a sitting duck for a devastating Cave-In by Grimes.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar def. Tyler Breeze
Looking to prove his championship bonafides — and not-so-subtly taking a page out of TakeOver opponent Jordan Devlin's book — Santos Escobar issued an open challenge that was answered by former NXT Tag Team Champion Tyler Breeze.
While Prince Pretty gave Escobar far more than he likely bargained for, the leader of Legado del Fantasma emerged victorious after planting Breeze with a Phantom Driver. Afterward, Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde looked to continue the assault on Breeze, but MSK had other ideas, chasing them off. Finally, The Grizzled Young Veterans offered a confident message ahead of next week's NXT Tag Team Title Triple Threat Match at TakeOver.
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell def. Gigi Dolin & Zayda Ramier and challenged NXT Women's Tag Team Champions Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon
The upstart duo of Gigi Dolin and Zayda Ramier gave The Way a spirited challenge, but they were no match for the well-oiled machine of Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell. LeRae laid out Ramier with the Wicked Stepsister, setting her up for a big springboard elbow from Hartwell for the win.
Afterward, LeRae declared that The Way had decided that they should challenge for the NXT Women's Tag Team Titles at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, and as fighting champions, Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon were happy to throw down.
Raquel González def. Zoey Stark
One week before she challenges for the NXT Women's Title, Raquel González looked almost unstoppable. While Zoey Stark once again showed she could more than hold her own against the black-and-gold brand's elite — and even scored several near-falls against the No.1 Contender — she had no answer for González's devastating one-armed powerbomb.
Though González had already gotten the better of NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai during an altercation earlier in the evening, The Genius of the Sky came back for more. And once again, Shirai was left lying in tatters after González launched her into the ringside plexiglass and demanded she stay down.
Xia Li def. Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter
Though a tag team bout was on tap, Tian Sha had a curveball for Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter, as they instead faced off with only Xia Li in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match, and that wasn't the only surprise.
With Mei Ying looking on from the ramp, Carter eventually confronted her — only to be incapacitated by a unique pressure point hold and a mysterious smoke blown into her face. Meanwhile, Li decimated Catanzaro with a huge spin kick to pick up another vicious victory.
LA Knight won an 11-Man Battle Royal; Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, Leon Ruff, Bronson Reed, Cameron Grimes and Dexter Lumis also qualified for the Gauntlet Eliminator
Even the usual chaos that comes with a Battle Royal ramped up a notch, as Leon Ruff attacked rival Isaiah "Swerve" Scott prior to the bell, setting the tone for a tumultuous bout — one that Roderick Strong no-showed after declaring earlier in the evening he was "done" while on his way out of the Capitol Wrestling Center.
Kushida and Pete Dunne had no love lost for each other after a tense previous confrontation. Their beef proved costly, as both men eliminated each other with NXT's resident Time Splitter refusing to relinquish the Hoverboard Lock until referees separated the two.
Though "Swerve" and Ruff clinched spots in the Gauntlet Eliminator, Bronson Reed impressed by launching both men out of the ring in powerful fashion.
After standing almost motionless in the corner for the entire bout, the bizarre Dexter Lumis finally joined the action, uniting briefly with LA Knight and Cameron Grimes to toss the colossal Reed.
With three men remaining, Grimes appeared set on buying his way to victory, but Lumis and Knight weren't interested, sending The Technical Savage soaring over the ropes.
Finally, Knight claimed victory — and the final entry in the Gauntlet Eliminator — with a bit of cunning. After being sent over the top rope but catching himself on the apron, Lumis sent Knight through the ropes. Knight deftly ripped Lumis off the apron for the elimination, giving himself plenty to brag about.
All hell broke loose when Io Shirai called out Raquel González
Despite being battered repeatedly throughout the evening by "Big Mami Cool" — who even hurled Shirai through a wall backstage — the NXT Women's Champion took the ring, calling out González, who gave Shirai exactly what she wanted. This time, though, not even every female NXT Superstar could contain Shirai, who left González and everyone else in pieces after a spectacular springboard plancha to the outside, showing González what she was in for come NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.