NXT – July 20, 2021: Something About NXT
Date: July 20, 2021
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett
Things are getting interesting around here as Karrion Kross choked out Samoa Joe last week, only to go up to Raw and get pinned in less than two minutes by Jeff Hardy. That would suggest that a title change is afoot, and hopefully they find an interesting way to set it up. Let’s get to it.
Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.
We open with a look back at Karrion Kross choking out Samoa Joe.
Here is Samoa Joe to get things going and he looks ready to fight. Joe calls him out but gets William Regal instead. Regal says this isn’t what they agreed to and Joe can’t do this but Joe says he was provoked. Did Regal know about Kross’ trip to Raw last week? Of course not, because Regal doesn’t control the man. Regal says Kross is on his way here and things will be settled peacefully. Joe says that due to his respect for Regal, this will end tonight, but he can’t guarantee peace, because someone is going to sleep. Big difference between Raw and NXT: the opening sequence is done five minutes after the show starts.
Xia Li is ready to defeat Raquel Gonzalez and become Women’s Champion because she has been waiting for this chance.
Tyler Rust/Roderick Strong vs. Kushida/Bobby Fish
The rest of the Diamond Mine is here too but Kushida and Fish jump them from behind to start and clear the ring before the bell. We take a break and come back joined in progress with both of Strong’s arms being cranked on, setting up a double armbar from Kushida. That’s broken up and Rust comes in, only to get caught with Fish’s slingshot hilo. Kushida comes back in but has to fight out of the corner.
Strong goes back to basics with the backbreaker to take over and the chops in the corner keep Kushida in trouble. There’s the butterfly suplex for two and the chinlock goes on. That doesn’t last long as Kushida fights up and hits the double handspring elbow. Fish gets the tag and it’s time to clean house (including telling Rust which corner to go to) again. Everything breaks down with the good guys being knocked outside as we take a break.
Back with Fish still in trouble, with Rust hitting an ax kick for two. The arm cranking goes on but Fish manages a spinebuster, setting up the hot tag to Kushida. The hiptoss into the basement dropkick drops Strong and a kick to the head gets two. Rust comes back in and gets enziguried but he switches a half crab into the ankle lock. That’s broken up as well so Kushida pulls him into the Hoverboard Lock for the tap at 15:02.
Rating: C+. This is a feud that is technically fine but it is not exactly a thrilling story. Kushida is rapidly becoming the “I forgot he was champion” champion and that is a bad sign for his title reign. Having the other guy in the team tap to a champion isn’t a bad thing, as the Diamond Mine is more about Strong than anyone else. Just get them a big win soonish.
LA Knight arrived earlier, with Cameron Grimes driving. Knight tells him to get all of the bags (all four of them), so Grimes has a story carrying bags. As Knight freaks out about Grimes having a story for everything, Drake Maverick comes up to give Grimes a hand with the bags. That’s not cool with Knight, so a match with Maverick is set up for later.
The next Takeover is August 22, the day after Summerslam.
Video on Odyssey Jones, who is in the Breakout Tournament tonight.
Frankie Monet vs. Jacy Jane
Jessie Kamea is here with Frankie but Robert Stone joins them, seemingly sans invitation. Monet misses a right hand and gets rolled up, only to get sent into the corner. Jane misses a charge and Monet hits the running knees in the corner. The chinlock goes on and here is Mandy Rose to lay on the commentary table. Jane fights up and hits a pump kick as Barrett tries to give Rose his number. A running neckbreaker gives Jane two but Jane yells at Rose, allowing Monet to hit Road To Valhalla for the pin at 3:20.
Rating: C-. I wasn’t feeling this one and a lot of that was over having a bit too much going on. You had Stone and Rose at ringside, plus a no name like Jane putting up a pretty good fight. Monet has lost a bit of her personality since getting here, but that is often the case with someone who has something that works outside of NXT. It should come back over time, but it makes for a bit of a rough start.
Kyle O’Reilly is arguing with Johnny Gargano when Austin Theory comes in. Theory vs. O’Reilly is set for later, with O’Reilly saying he is putting his dancing shoes on. Gargano dubs himself Papa John.
The next two weeks are on SyFy due to the Olympics.
Bronson Reed had a sitdown interview with Wade Barrett earlier today and talked about how losing the North American Title was a hard thing to take. He has to move forward though, and that includes facing Adam Cole next week. Reed wants to fight the best and he already shut Cole down last week. He’ll do it again in the ring.
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Austin Theory
No one is here with Theory, who loads up the no look high five anyway, only to realize his mistake. Feeling out process to start with O’Reilly taking him down but missing a shot in the corner. That lets Theory headlock takeover him and talk to the camera a bit. That’s broken up and O’Reilly low bridges him to the apron, setting up a running knee to the back. We take a break and come back with O’Reilly striking away but Theory fights back. A slingshot rolling dropkick is countered into a heel hook, sending Theory straight to the rope.
Theory hits a slingshot stomp into an armbar but O’Reilly escapes and grabs an ankle lock. Theory grabs the rope and plants him for but stops to go after the steps. O’Reilly is all ticked off and sends Theory into various things, which commentary thinks is a flashback to the brainbuster onto the steps. Another shot to the head drops Theory and the top rope knee to the knee connect. The heel hook makes Theory tap at 14:09.
Rating: C+. This was a nice, hard hitting fight and that’s what it should have been. I know Theory plays the idiot really well but it is nice to see him getting to do something else every now and then. He has a lot of talent in the ring and getting to showcase it is one of the best things he can do. O’Reilly snapping was pretty awesome though and I could go for more of that kind of personality.
Raquel Gonzalez, with Dakota Kai, is ready to destroy Xia Li and then there will be no one left. That last line gets a look from Kai.
Here is Legado del Fantasma for the MARIACHI MADNESS MUSICAL (complete with a band) but Santos Escobar says these people don’t deserve it. He isn’t here to be like Hit Row because this isn’t a battle of styles. His style is to be the real champion with blood, sweat and tradition…but here is Hit Row to interrupt. Rhyming and Spanish ensue, with Top Dolla talking about how much better they are and Swerve talking about how it took all three of Legado to beat him.
Swerve can’t believe that there were kidnappings in the parking lot but the guys got returned. The challenge is on and Hit Row is ready with the brawl being on. Escobar loads up a guitar but B Fab takes it away. Swerve misses the big swing and Escobar bails, leaving Mendoza alone with the entire Hit Row. The guitar is cracked over Mendoza’s back and Hit Row stands tall. The gimmick is absolutely not my thing but there is absolutely something here with them.
The Way is complaining about the issues they have been having lately, with Indi Hartwell saying Theory can kiss Dexter if he wants to. Candice: “Ok I’m calling the therapist.” Everyone but Theory bickers so he leaves.
Breakout Tournament First Round: Andre Chase vs. Odyssey Jones
Chase strikes away at the much bigger Jones and manages to knock him to the floor. The big dive mostly connects and Chase posts him for a bonus. Back in and a dropkick to the knee sends Jones face first into the buckle and a slingshot flipping Stunner staggers him as well. Chase hits a top rope moonsault press for two and he charges at Jones, only to get caught in kind of a lifting Boss Man Slam for the pin at 3:20.
Rating: D. This really didn’t work and Jones is little more than a guy with size. That is going to work for a bit, but he really didn’t showcase himself well here. Chase could only do so much here and he was pretty limited due to what Jones was doing. Not a good display here for Jones, though Chase looked fine enough.
MSK is ready for anything but McKenzie Mitchell points out we still don’t know what MSK stands for. Wes Lee is about to explain but Imperium interrupts the feed to say they are serious, unlike all of these goofy teams. They are fixing this by any means necessary. Cut back to Lee: “And that’s what MSK stands for.” Yay, Imperium.
Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan want to have a scrap with Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa next week.
LA Knight vs. Drake Maverick
Non-title and Cameron Grimes is here with Knight. Maverick starts fast with a dropkick to the knee but Knight is right back with a knockdown of his own. Hold on though as Knight makes sure that Grimes is holding the title up through the whole match. Maverick snaps off a hurricanrana and nails a high crossbody for one. Knight runs him over again but stops to yell at Grimes, allowing Maverick to grab a rollup pin at 2:28.
Post match Knight beats Maverick down but Grimes pulls him off. Grimes goes to leave but Knight orders him to do it. He has Grimes’ word, so Grimes reluctantly hits Maverick and eventually leaves with Knight.
Video on Xia Li vs. Raquel Gonzalez.
A guy who looks a bit like Karrion Kross arrives so Joe jumps him, only to be told that Kross came in through the front.
Women’s Title: Xia Li vs. Raquel Gonzalez
Gonzalez is defending and has Dakota Kai in her corner. Li goes right at her for a test of strength but gets slammed down. That’s fine with Li, who tries to climb over her for a sunset flip but gets sent into the corner. A big boot puts Li on the floor for a lawn dart into the post to keep her in trouble. Gonzalez misses a big boot though and the leg is wrapped around the post, with Li swinging it into the steel a few times.
We take a break and come back with Li working on the leg again. The half crab is broken up and Gonzalez hits a good looking dropkick for two. Li rolls her up for the same and kicks Gonzalez’s knee out again. There’s a running kick for two more but Gonzalez runs her over again. A Vader Bomb spun into a backsplash gives Gonzalez two and hang on as the medical staff has to check on Li. Things are allowed to continue after a few minutes and it’s the lifting powerbomb to give Gonzalez the pin at 10:50.
Rating: C+. This was a good hoss fight but I’m curious to know what happened on that landing. The match just stopped cold and they went home immediately, so hopefully it was nothing more than Li having the wind knocked out of her. It was a hard hitting match and that’s all you could ask for here, though Gonzalez is starting to run out of readily available challengers.
Post match here is Samoa Joe to demand that the young champion come out here right now and take his beating. Karrion Kross pops up on the screen to say this is his world now. He is the new beginning and the title means that he can go anywhere and do anything he wants. For example….and we cut to a knocked out William Regal. Kross: “Hey Joe, do you still feel like you’re in control?” Kross gets in his car and leaves to end the show, with Joe showing up just too late.
Overall Rating: C+. For a show where no one was going to be watching in the second hour due to the NBA Finals, this worked out pretty well. Things were moved forward towards Takeover and I’m curious to see what we are going to be getting. You can see a good bit of the card from here and as usual, things should work out. Not a great show, but a fine use of two hours, as is the NXT mantra.
Kushida/Bobby Fish b. Tyler Rust/Roderick Strong – Hoverboard Lock to Rust
Frankie Monet b. Jacy Jane – Road To Valhalla
Kyle O’Reilly b. Austin Theory – Heel hook
Odyssey Jones b. Andre Chase – Lifting Boss Man Slam
Drake Maverick b. LA Knight – Rollup
Raquel Gonzalez b. Xia Li – Lifting powerbomb
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“Swerve misses the big swing and Escobar bails, leaving Mendoza alone with the entire Hit Row. The guitar is cracked over Mendoza’s back and Hit Row stands tall. The gimmick is absolutely not my thing but there is absolutely something here with them.”
I’m pretty sure it was Wilde and not Mendoza, who seemingly disappeared.
Also, I absolutely do not like the Hit Row gimmick either and feel like it’s better off staying heel.
As for the main event, I don’t know if I would call that a hoss fight as Li is not really a hoss at all or anything close to it.
Li has some hoss thighs and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way.
I do like Hit Row, but I agree they should stay heel. Not getting the feud.
A hoss fight isn’t about size but rather how hard they hit, ala Li’s strikes.