POLLOCK’S NXT REPORT: Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong

John Pollock's review of this week's NXT episode featuring Pete Dunne taking on Roderick Strong, the semi-finals of the Breakout Tournament, and more matches for TakeOver.

It’s the penultimate edition of NXT before TakeOver: Toronto next weekend. With two episodes to go, Wednesday night’s program featured several additional matches confirmed for the special bringing the match total to six.

The show was taped at Full Sail University with Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, and Nigel McGuinness on commentary.

*Tyler Breeze over Jaxson Ryker in 3:21
*Cameron Grimes over Bronson Reed in 5:54 in the semi-finals of the Breakout Tournament
*Pete Dunne over Roderick Strong in 16:01


Breeze attacked Ryker with stomps into the corner until he was lifted for a uranage. Breeze cut him off with a high knee and enzuigiri. Ryker attempted a chokeslam and was countered with a roll-up for the win.

WINNER: Tyler Breeze at 3:21

The Forgotten Sons jumped Breeze immediately after the pin. Breeze attempted to fight back and was beaten in the corner. Ryker went for a powerbomb when Fandango appeared and helped fight off the Forgotten Sons. Fandango received a solid reaction as they double-teamed the Sons and hugged in the middle.

The match was too short to have a strong opinion either way, it was all about the post-match attack and introduction of Fandango on NXT. Their addition to the tag division on NXT is their best-case scenario as opposed to being part of “The Forgotten Main Roster”.


Grimes worked a very physical style to combat Reed’s size. The detriment was the audience seemed to have minimal interest in the match.

They trade strikes and Grimes hit the jumping double stomp and pinned Reed.

WINNER: Cameron Grimes at 5:54

This was a good match for the limited time they had but the audience was checked out and killed the atmosphere for it. Grimes played a strong babyface fighting from underneath.

This sets up Grimes meeting Jordan Myles (the former ACH) in the finals at TakeOver next weekend in Toronto.

Matt Riddle responded to Killian Dane’s attack and challenged him to meet him face-to-face. Their match will take place on next week’s episode.

Shayna Baszler came out, she called out Mia Yim for attacking Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. She said they are professionals and don’t fight in the streets. She’s going to put Yim to sleep and said, “street rats don’t survive long in my world”.

Yim came out and we immediately had contrast in musical influences as Yim wore an N.W.A. shirt while Baszler represented Slayer. Yim said “game recognizes game and you’re looking pretty unfamiliar now” and said this fight is one Baszler can’t train for. Baszler called her “street trash” and held up the title. Both were very strong with their promos, simple and effective segment setting up the TakeOver match.

Candice LeRae is in the parking lot awaiting Io Shirai. William Regal informed LeRae that Shirai isn’t permitted here tonight. LeRae wants a match against her at TakeOver and he agrees.


The two are set for a three-way match with Velveteen Dream for the North American title at TakeOver.

There was an exchange of chops in the corner with Strong stomping down Dunne. Strong took control and kept Dunne down with repeated kicks and attacked the back. Strong went for a superplex and was dumped to the mat by Dunne, as he fought back for the first time in seven minutes.

Dunne hit an X-Plex and PK for a two-count. Dunne hit a sit-out powerbomb that Strong kicked out from.

Strong grabbed Dunne by the legs and yanked him off the turnbuckle to land back first on the edge.

Strong hit an Olympic Slam, lifted Dunne and he hit Strong with a DDT as both went down and the audience chanted “NXT”. They went to the top turnbuckle, Strong attempted another Olympic Slam and was turned into a sunset flip by Dunne to the injured left arm of Strong.

The Bitter End was countered with a flying knee and Strong hit a Tiger Driver for a two-count. The Strong Hold was applied with Dunne’s back weakened from the apron spot. Dunne fought the hold and kicked free to apply a triangle while manipulating the fingers and snapped them leading to Strong tapping out.

WINNER: Pete Dunne at 16:01

This was a solid television match that focused on Dunne’s back injury and Strong’s left arm being hurt. The final minutes were great ending with the triangle into the mount and then bending the fingers for the submission.

Velveteen Dream entered the ring. Dream posed with the title, Dunne grabbed him by the fingers and hit Dream with the Bitter End and stood tall in the ring with Strong exiting up the ramp.


A very good episode building the anticipation for TakeOver.

The main event was a really good television main event and they had plenty of time.

I enjoyed the promo segment with Shayna Baszler and Mia Yim a lot, both came off as strong characters, which is easy to expect from Baszler, but this was a really good showing from Yim in a speaking capacity.

Grimes and Reed would have been better received if the audience was into it. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but the work was fine it had the stakes attached of going to the finals at TakeOver.

About John Pollock 3944 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.