Date: July 27, 2021
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett, Vic Joseph
Things got serious around here last week as NXT Champion Karrion Kross attacked William Regal to close the show. Samoa Joe is ready to destroy him as a result and that is all this needs to be. We are less than a month away from Takeover and that means it is time to start getting the card ready. Let’s get to it.
The opening video recaps the end of last week’s show, as Karrion Kross left William Regal laying.
Tommaso Ciampa/Timothy Thatcher vs. Pete Dunne/Oney Lorcan
Thatcher and Dunne get things going with neither being able to get very far on the mat. Ciampa and Lorcan come in with Ciampa grinding on a headlock. A shot to the face knocks Lorcan outside and the beating continues back inside. Ciampa wants Dunne, who comes in and blasts him with a clothesline. Everything breaks down for a second with Ciampa and Thatcher pounding away with forearms to the chest. Everyone heads outside with Dunne and Lorcan being sent into the barricade as we take a break.
Back with Dunne surfboarding Thatcher so Lorcan can fire off more chops. Thatcher slips away and brings in Ciampa so everything can break down. Lorcan is sent outside, leaving Ciampa to go after Dunne’s arm. Thatcher and Lorcan brawl on the floor but the returning Ridge Holland takes Thatcher down. Lorcan is able to save Dunne and it’s the Bitter End to finish Ciampa at 11:55.
Rating: C+. This was about people hitting each other hard and laying things in, which is why you have this match in the first place. The return is a nice twist too as we never got to see what Holland can do. Having him as the big bruising villain works out well and he could become a player around here in a hurry. Good brawl here, but the surprise is the important part.
Post match Lorcan and Dunne hold Ciampa back as Thatcher gets destroyed by Holland. The villains stand tall.
Carmelo Hayes is ready to win the Breakout Tournament.
Hit Row is ready to take apart Legado del Fantasma, with Top Dolla throwing in some Spanish.
Here is Samoa Joe to set up a table and chair in the ring. He knows Kross isn’t going to come do anything himself, so he would like William Regal out here right now. Cue Regal, with Joe saying he knows Regal is going to fire Kross. Joe has a better idea though, and it is in three steps.
First up, he presents Regal with his resignation as part of NXT management. Step two is another piece of paper, which needs Regal’s signature to bring Joe back to the main roster. Regal signs, which brings us to step three: signing Joe vs. Kross for Takeover, which Regal does as well. Regal didn’t say a word (at least not one we could hear).
Josh Briggs is ready to win the Breakout Tournament.
Earlier today, LA Knight and Cameron Grimes were on the golf course. Grimes is busy washing Knight’s (golf) balls and then gets confused by which club to use (Grimes: “Driver? I’m your driver!” Knight: “That’s a sand wedge.” Grimes: “Sandwich? Now you’re hungry?”). Grimes even throws out a $5,000 bet on Knight hitting it into the trees. Knight does just that and then yells at Grimes for mentioning it.
Breakout Tournament First Round: Carmelo Hayes vs. Josh Briggs
Hayes is a cruiserweight and Briggs is a giant. Briggs slams him down to start so Hayes is back with some rights and lefts in the corner. A dropkick sends Briggs face first into the middle buckle and it’s time to go after Briggs’ knee. That just earns Hayes a backdrop to the floor for the crash. Back in and Hayes catches him with a springboard legdrop for two, setting up the front facelock. Briggs gets in a shot of his own though and we take a break.
Back with Duke Hudson, who faces the winner in the next round, on commentary as Briggs gets two off a splash. Hayes counters a powerbomb attempt with a hurricanrana into the corner, followed by a pair of enziguris. A Codebreaker gives Hayes two more and he hits a running boot in the corner. Briggs shows him how to hit a big boot and a chokeslam gets two. The side slam is countered into a faceplant and Hayes does it again for good measure. A top rope Fameasser gives Hayes the pin at 10:43.
Rating: B-. This was a power vs. speed match and that is wrestling 101. Hayes is someone who made an impact when he debuted a few weeks ago and he looked good again here. The high flying is effective as Hayes looks polished, which is what you could use in a tournament like this. Briggs is going to be fine as an enforcer of some kind and I’m sure he will be around in the future.
Frankie Monet is ready to take the Robert Stone Brand to the next level. Maybe they can even win the Women’s Tag Team Titles. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter come up to say not so fast, because you can’t create chemistry like theirs.
Back on the golf course, Cameron Grimes imitates a commentator and LA Knight hits his ball into the water. Grimes cracks up, until Knight sends him after the ball. He finds the ball, but here is Ted DiBiase in a golf cart. DiBiase talks about how people like Knight are always going to hold people like Grimes down. Grimes was born to be a champion and DiBiase sees him as a fighter. Think about that. The wheels continue to turn on this one and that’s a good thing.
Here are Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez for a chat. Gonzalez talks about destroying Xia Li last week and wonders who is next. Bring them on, because no one is stopping her. Kai says Gonzalez is the most dominant woman in NXT history and lists off the greats of the women’s division.
This division is great because of one woman (though Kai doesn’t say who) and asks who is woman enough to challenge Gonzalez at Takeover. Kai says Gonzalez will be champion as long as she has Gonzalez’s back and posing ensues. Gonzalez turns around….and gets kicked in the face. Kai holds up the title and the fans seem to approve. This works.
Adam Cole thinks NXT is nuts right now, including Bronson Reed calling Cole his rebound. That’s not what Cole is because he is at the top of the mountain. Tonight, Reed is falling off of that mountain because he isn’t good enough. Cole doesn’t care about Reed’s fourteen year journey and tonight is another sad chapter.
Zoey Stark comes up to Io Shirai to ask for some partner bonding time. Shirai doesn’t seem convinced but eventually gives in.
Mandy Rose talks to Gigi Dolin and Jayce Jane until she has to throw the cameras out.
Kacy Catanzaro/Kayden Carter vs. Jessi Kamea/Frankie Monet
Robert Stone is here with Kamea and Monet. Kacy takes Kamea down for an early two and brings in Carter for a rollup. Monet comes in for a DDT out of the corner to take over on Carter, including the running knees in the corner. Rights and lefts keep Carter in trouble, with Monet getting to shout. Hold on though as Stone throws in his purse (yes purse) to get her attention. The distraction lets Carter hit a pump kick, setting up the neckbreaker/450 combination for the pin at 3:29.
Rating: D+. I get what they’re going for with the story but egads did they need to have Monet take a fall here? There was no way to have this set up Kamea taking a fall? Or anything but Monet taking a pin? That feels like something they would do on Raw and that is not a good thing these days.
Wade Barrett had a sitdown interview with Malcolm Bivens and Roderick Strong. The Diamond Mine was perfect for Strong, because he was tired of the drama of the Undisputed Era. Bivens talks about how great of a talent Strong is and anyone, including William Regal, can understand that. Barrett asks about the Cruiserweight Title and Bobby Fish, so Strong promises to end Fish next week.
We look at Dakota Kai turning on Raquel Gonzalez.
Kai leaves without saying a word.
Hit Row vs. Imperium
Ashante Adonis and Top Dolla for Hit Row. Adonis starts with Marcel Barthel, who takes him into the corner. It’s quickly off to Fabian Aichner, who gets dropped with a neckbreaker for one. Dolla comes in for a jumping knee to drop Aichner and Adonis comes back in for a dropkick. Another neckbreaker is countered into a belly to back suplex but B Fab breaks up the double dropkick in the corner. Adonis uses the distraction to take Aichner down again and we take a break.
Back with Adonis having his spine bustered but he kicks Barthel away anyway. The ankle lock cuts off the hot tag though and Aichner adds an elbow to the back for two. The beating continues, including Barthel grabbing a butterfly suplex for two of his own. Adonis finally manages a backdrop though and the hot tag brings in Dolla to clean house. Dolla knee lifts Aichner and a side slam putts him down again. Adonis plants Barthel but here is Legado del Fantasma to take Adonis out. Dolla chases them off and the European Bomb finishes Adonis at 12:23.
Rating: C. Not the best match but you’re not going to have Imperium in there for something energized. I’m not wild on Hit Row losing but at least it wasn’t a clean loss. Hit Tor vs. Legado will be pretty awesome once we get there and Hit Row isn’t going to lose any kind of momentum as long as they can keep talking.
Post match Legado comes in for the beatdown until Swerve makes the save.
The Way is looking for Austin Theory, with Johnny Gargano saying he ran away from home. Indi Hartwell gets a present, which is a drawing of Dexter Lumis with the Way. Gargano freaks out and says no way, even as Hartwell asks them for a chance. Gargano: “NO CHANCE!” A match is set up with Gargano vs. Lumis, with Lumis’ inclusion in their lives seemingly on the line. Hartwell goes to find Lumis.
It’s back to the golf course where the Grizzled Young Veterans pop up to ask if they can pick up the pace. Just let LA Knight hit the ball into the woods again so we can move on. Cameron Grimes makes another bet on who can get it into the hole next, with $20,000 on the line.
Knight hits the ball into the water again, so Grimes busts out a gold ball and, after hitting Knight low with the club, knocks it into the hole with one shot (and hits Knight in the head with the club on the way back). Grimes blames Knight for the club shots so the Veterans bail in the golf cart. As usual, this feels like Knight and Grimes were given a script saying “hijinks on a golf course” with a few bullet points and told to fill in the gaps. It’s the best thing on this show because it doesn’t feel forced. This is how these two would act on a golf course and it works as a result.
Adam Cole vs. Bronson Reed
Reed runs him over to start and sends Cole flying with ease. That lets Reed sit on his chest for two, and then stay there despite the referee not counting due to a foot under the rope. A superplex is loaded up but Cole slips out and kicks the knee. We take a break and come back with Cole working on the knee, including a dragon screw legwhip.
Reed gets up and runs Cole over again to get a breather. A suplex drops Cole and Reed punches him in the corner, only to get kicked in the face for two. Reed chops away until Cole gets in a shot of his own. The Panama Sunrise gets two and Cole is stunned by the kickout. Back up and Reed blasts him with a clothesline to set up a powerbomb. The Tsunami misses though and the Last Shot gives Cole the pin at 11:19.
Rating: B. Another power vs. speed match here, with Cole being just smart enough to make the difference. Cole is primed for a huge match against Kyle O’Reilly at Takeover and Reed seems likely for the main roster. The good thing for Reed is that his size and that splash are going to be more than enough to carry him anywhere he needs to go, so this loss doesn’t do much damage.
Post match Cole poses, but here is Kyle O’Reilly to chair him down. A brainbuster onto the steps leaves Cole out cold to end the show. I’m not sure how popular that made O’Reilly.
Overall Rating: B+. The wrestling was good here and the antics on the golf course made it even better. This show felt much more NXTesque as they seem to know where they want to go and are taking steps to get there. Not only did stuff happen on this show, but stuff happened that advanced the stories and got us closer to a Takeover card. That’s where NXT shines and it is great to have that feeling back, even if it is just for a week.
Oney Lorcan/Pete Dunne b. Tommaso Ciampa/Timothy Thatcher – Bitter end to Ciampa
Carmelo Hayes b. Josh Briggs – Top rope Fameasser
Kacy Catanzaro/Kayden Carter b. Frankie Monet/Jessi Kamea – 450/neckbreaker combination to Monet
Imperium b. Hit Row – European Bomb to Adonis
Adam Cole b. Bronson Reed – Last Shot
NXT, 2021, Oney Lorcan, Pete Dunne, Tommaso Ciampa, Timothy Thatcher, Carmelo Hayes, Josh Briggs, LA Knight, Cameron Grimes, Grizzled Young Veterans, Kacy Catanzaro, Kayden Carter, Samoa Joe, William Regal, Frankie Monet, Jessi Kamea, Imperium, Hit Row, Legado del Fantasma, Adam Cole, Bronson Reed, Roderick Strong, Malcolm Bivens, Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez
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