By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Taped today in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Aired July 15, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] Highlights from last week’s Adam Cole vs. Keith Lee champion vs. champion match aired. Words from other NXT wrestlers were in the promo, with each wrestler saying they were coming after Keith Lee’s championships. The promo ended with Karrion Kross saying “tick tock”…
Mauro Ranallo, Tom Phillips, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was in the ring to start the show, where she introduced the new NXT Champion, Keith Lee. Keith Lee made his entrance to cheers and plexiglass banging from the developmental wrestlers in the crowd. Lee asked Alicia Taylor to introduce him as champion a second time, which she did. Lee talked about the last few months being very trying, with lots of suffering. Lee said he understands more than anyone that losses hurt, with pain. Lee said there is something incredible in the ring today.
Lee said he feels it right now. Lee said not just through the crowd or Alicia. Lee said he feels the reality through these championships. Lee said he’s not just standing here as North American Champion, but also as NXT Champion. Lee laid down both title belts in front of him. Lee said he’s not here in disbelief. Lee said it’s time to get back to reality where a locker room of friends and enemies want the same opportunity that Lee earned before becoming champion. Lee talked about how he didn’t do all this on his own and how opportunity and chances brought him here.
Lee acknowledged Tim Brooks, his trainer that past away a few weeks ago, being a father figure to him and helping him get here. Lee said the NXT universe also brought him here, accepting him with open arms, and singing to the world “oh, bask in his glory”. Lee thanked the fans. Lee said there was one more person to thank. Lee said he wanted to chat with his number one Frenemy, Dominik Dijakovic.
Dominik Dijakovic made his entrance to Full Sail. Dijak said there was no one more proud of Lee than Dijak. Lee said this isn’t just about Lee, but also Dijakovic. Lee talked about how the competition between Lee and Dijakovic brought Lee to these opportunities. Lee talked about how no one tested Lee’s limits more than Dijakovic. Lee said the best way to celebrate these accomplishments is with competition. Lee said he talked with Regal and Regal agreed that the first challenger to these two championships should be Dominik Dijakovic. Dijak asked Lee when he wants to do this. Lee said since he’s in his gear, they should wrestle tonight.
Dijakovic couldn’t get his words out. Lee told Dijak to just say yes. Dijak smiled and agreed with a “yes”. Lee and Dijakovic fist bumped to close the segment…
Tegan Nox was shown outside of Full Sail, heading to the arena. Beth Phoenix hyped up Io Shirai vs. Tegan Nox for the NXT Women’s Championship later tonight. Tom Phillips advertised Damian Preist vs. Cameron Grimes for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A very good “thank you” promo from Keith Lee and a good first challenger for Keith Lee in Dominik Dijakovic. Dijak’s been off television for months (unless you’ve been watching Brennan Williams’s Twitch Streams), so there was a good level of surprise here. The fun part about these two having a match today is you konw that Lee and Dijak deliver every time they’re in the ring. Dijak’s time off makes this match even fresher.
1. Damian Priest vs. Cameron Grimes. Grimes tried to get a cheap shot on Priest before the bell, but he ran right into Damian’s boot. Priest pummeled Grimes, after the bell, with Muay Thai foot strikes. Priest hit Grimes with a spinning back knee. Priest went for a slingshot move, but he flew right into a right hand by Grimes. Grimes planted Priest with a twisting side slam for a two count. Grimes hit Priest with a high dropkick. The show then transitioned into picture-in-picture. [c]
Priest caught Grimes with a thunder clap and spinning punch. Grimes dumped Priest outside with a lariat. Grimes shoved Priest away. Priest blocked a cave in attempt with a punch. Priest hit Grimes with a Razor’s Edge on the ring apron. Grimes ducked a cyclone kick and Priest reversed a deadlift German. Priest kicked out of a Grimes rollup at two. Priest hit Grimes with a flatliner for a two count. Grimes reversed Priest into a small package for a two count. Grimes hit Priest with his cool looking Spanish Fly Power Slam for a two count.
Grimes started to gloat while standing over Priest. Priest gave Grimes a series of punches. Grimes got tangled in the ropes and ate a cyclone kick from Priest. Priest hit the draped Grimes with a Draping Reckoning for the victory.
Damian Priest defeated Cameron Grimes via pinfall in 9:53.
Priest went up to the camera, saying he’s very interested to see who comes out double champion after the Lee vs. Dijakoviic match…
Io Shirai was shown outside of Full Sail…
The show cut to this week’s edition of Thatch as Thatch Can with Timothy Thatcher. He said he was teaching the students the same lessons he gave to Oney Lorcan at Great American Bash. Thatcher “taught” one of his students the Fujiwara Armbar…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good showcase for newly turned Damian Priest and WWE continues to allow Cameron Grimes to look very credible in the ring despite being a rung blow the stars in NXT’s depth chart. I’m ready for Cameron Grimes to take a step up, because I’ve seen this guy show main event level work rate for years, only to be in the mid and under card for that many years. He’s proven he has the in-ring ability, I’m just waiting for him to take some next steps in terms of character credibility.
Shotzi Blackheart made her entrance, driving her toy tank to the ring. They aired a recap of Blackheart running over Robert Stone’s foot with her toy tank and yelling “Eat My Tank!” during the Great American Bash…
2. Shotzi Blackheart vs. Indi Hartwell. Blackheart took down Hartwell with an armdrag. Blackheart then got a two count after a delayed victory roll. Shotzi gave Hartwell a huracanrana into the second turnbuckle. Hartwell countered Shotzi and dropkicked her to outside. Hartwell punched Blackheart to the mat for a two count. Hartwell worked on Blackheart with methodical offense, getting a few two counts. Blackheart reversed a body stretch and caught Hartwell in the corner with a splash. Blackheart hit Hartwell iwth a facebuster.
Blackheart hit Hartwell with a switchblade kick and draping senton. Robert Stone then started marching to ringside, wearing a foot cast. Aliyah shoved Blackheart off the top rope while Stone distracted the referee. Indi Hartwell hit Shotzi Blackheart with a running boot for the victory.
Indi Hartwell defeated Shotzi Blackheart via pinfall in 4:07.
Tom Phillips was in support of Stone’s heel tactics. The commentators then advertised Santos Escobar and Legado Del Fantasma appearing after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A harmless midcard program for the women and I’ve grown to enjoy a little bit of Robert Stone comedy here and there. Indi Hartwell is still very green, but has a good unique look. I’m guessing we’re building up to Stone getting his ass kicked by a woman again, which can be fun given Stone’s selling. I know it’s just Robbie E 2.0, but at least it isn’t a Jersey Shore ripoff act this time.
McKenzie Mitchell asked Tegan Nox on her thoughts on facing the woman seen by many as the best women’s wrestler in the world. Nox talked about it being her night and how she wants to be seen as a legend like Molly Holly and Kane…
Tom Phillips checked in from the commentary table and transitioned to a Santos Escobar cinematic cutscene. Santos Escobar toasted with Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza in celebration of their victory at Great American Bash. Escobar also toasted to the end of Drake Maverick and joked about Maverick only having a job in WWE due to crying on YouTube. Wilde called Maverick a chihuahua. Mendoza pointed out that they shouldn’t let Breezango off the hook for disrespecting Lucha Libre with their stripper routine last week.
Escobar noted that Lucha Libre is not a party, it’s an art. Escobar called Raul Mendoza a “technical assassin”. Escobar said when people see Joaquin Wilde, that means the end of them. Escobar talked about taking the Cruiserweight Title away from the side show to the main show. Escobar talked about how Legado Del Fantasma is building an empire. Escobar said you have to take things down sometimes to build them back up. Mendoza ended the segment by saying “we are famillia”…
A Keith Lee hype package aired. Beth Phoenix hyped Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic for all the gold happening next…[c]
John’s Thoughts: That was a refreshing cinematic with Legado Del Fantasma. Part of the nostalgia comes from King Cuerno being a part of it, but it was shot and presented like a Lucha Underground cutscene. A part of me misses it when cinematics were reserved for cutscenes instead of being “matches” like we see too much of these days. Escobar is getting a chance to show why I’ve been so high on him for years. Part of that is his eloquent English speaking, which already gives him a leg up on a lot of WWE luchadores (at least in the shallow eyes of Vince McMahon). What I’m also willing to bet the bank on is this guy’s wrestling ability. The dude is a great storyteller. Similar to Eddie Edwards or Randy Orton. Just wait until they give this guy 20 minutes at a Takeover. Let’s also not forget, you can ask any wrestler and they’ll tell you that El Hijo Del Fantasma has the best suicide dive in all of pro wrestling.
[Hour Two] Entrances for Keith Lee’s first title defense aired…
3. Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic for the NXT Championship and NXT North American Championship. Lee and Dijak kept a their distance from each other to start the match off. Mauro noted that Lee and Dijakovic were the highlights of NXT’s debut on USA. Lee and Dijak started the contact with a Test of Strength. Beth noted that Lee has the size advantage, but Dijak has a height advantage. After the stalemate, both men went into a collar and elbow. Dijak powered Lee to the rope and released for the respectful rope break.
Lee dominated the next collar and elbow. Lee slammed Dijak to the mat. Dijak dodged Lee’s ground strikes. Dijakovic held out his hand for the handshake. Lee accepted and pulled in Dijakovic for the side headlock. Phillips noted that Lee understands that Dijakovic has tricked Lee in the past. Lee no sold a series of Dijakovic shoulder blocks. Dijakovic asked for another handshake. Lee aceepted, and Dijak gave Lee a chest chop. Lee returned the favor with a Grizzly Magnum.
Lee went high risk, but Dijak pulled Lee in the Torture Rack. Lee slipped away to avoid the Feast Your Eyes.[c]
Dijak was shown dominating Lee back from break. Dijak kept Lee under control with clubbing blows to the back. Lee used his weight to block Dijak’s Time to Fly suplex. Beth noted that Dijak should lower his center of gravity to lift Lee. Lee escaped and gave Dijakovic shortarm punches. Lee hit Dijakovic with a shoulder tackle and running pounce. Dijakovic dodged and avoided a Pounce at ringside. Lee clocked Dijakovic with a left hand in the ring.
Dijakovic caught a running Lee and hit Lee with a side slam for a two count. Dijakovic went for a strike but he went right into Lee’s arm, and tangled on top of the second rope. Lee hit Dijakovic with a draping Blade Runner. Lee and Dijakovic brawled to the top rope. Dijakovic fought Lee off with headbutts. Dijakovic hit Lee with a top rope Blockbuster for a two count. Dijakovic hit Lee with a cyclone boot for a two count. Dijakovic went for a diving elbow, but he dived right into a Grizzly Magnum.
Lee hit Dijakovic with a Grizzly Magnum. Lee lifted Dijakovic and planted him with the Big Bang Catastrophe for the victory.
Keith Lee defeated Dominik Dijakovic via pinfall in 11:54 of on-air time to retain the NXT Championship and NXT North American Championship.
Highlights of the match aired and Tom Phillips noted that Dominik Dijakovic defeated Lee in the past with some of the moves he used. Keith Lee posed holding both title belts while Dijakovic laid down on top of the bottom rope. Lee helped Dijakovic to his feet. Lee and Dijakovic hugged in the ring.
Suddenly, the lights went off and a spotlight shone at the end of the ramp. It was Scarlett [Bordeaux]. Scarlett slowly walked to the ring with the ramp looking like a cloud. Scarlett emptied a black bag with broken pieces and sand. I’m assuming it’s the hour glass that Keith Lee broke about a month ago. Scarlett then went back up the ramp, flashing Lee a stare before leaving…
Tom Phillips hyped Timothy Thatcher “in action” after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Was this Dominik Dijakovic’s NXT farewell match? Maybe? I kinda looked like that with the way Lee and Dijak embraced, along with the impromptu booking of this match. It was a good match. This was different than most Lee-Dijak matches. It was more grounded and mostly focusing on slams and strikes as opposed to flips and corkscrews. Refreshing from these two, and these two keep putting on great matches every time they’re in the ring with each other. Good stuff. Afterwards, they kicked off the build of what should be a highly anticipated Lee vs. Kross encounter.
Io Shirai was shown stretching backstage…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Dominik Dijakovic about facing Keith Lee. Dijakovic said that Lee is on another level now as champion. Dijakovic said Kross may be good, but he’s not at Keith Lee’s level. Karrion Kross then confronted Dominik Dijakovic. Kross spoke in some foreign tongue (Maybe Latin? or some lovecraftian devil words? I don’t know? Forgive me for not knowing what Kross was saying).Kross tossed Dijakovic into some crates backstage and left him lying. Kross walked away, saying “tick tock”…
4. Timothy Thatcher vs. Denzel Dejournette. Beth said it would be intresting seeing the catch style vs. the amateur wrestling style. Denzel managed to get Thatcher to the mat with his mat wrestling. Thatcher managed to get control of the match after a wrist lock. Dejournette separate and turned the tables with a chokehold. Thatcher escaped and got the heel of Denzel. Thatcher shrugged off boots form Dejounette and transitioned over to a Half Crab for the victory.
Timothy Thatcher defeated Denzel Dejounette via submission in 1:51.
After the match, Thatcher re-applied the Half Crab on Dejournette. Oney Lorcan ran out and attacked Thatcher, sending Thatcher into retreat…
They cut to a Rhea Ripley tweet, saying that she’s done with Robert Stone Brand and is coming after the NXT Women’s Championship. Beth hyped up Shirai vs. Nox as the main event…[c]
John’s Thoughts: When did Timothy Thatcher become one of my favorite wrestlers to watch? Especially after I dubbed the guy one of the most bland wrestlers in the world after he started teaming with Walter in the OG Imperium? Thatcher has never failed to impress me since he made his MLW debut and continues to put on great martial arts matches in pro wrestling. Denzel Dejournette didn’t look bad either and I liked the quick battle between jujitsu vs. amateur wrestling. Dejournette has shown flashes of greatness here and there. Hopefully the guy gets a new look and name once they start taking him seriously because “Denzel Dejournette” has been getting a lot of TV time as the designated enhancement wrestler of WWE and could use a repackage.
The camera cut to Robert Stone trying to apologize to Killian Dain for pouring coffee on him. Dain tried to shrug off Stone’s apology. Aliyah showed Stone one of Dexter Lumis’s caricature drawings, which was a Great American Bash highlight poster. A part of the cariature poster showed Stone spilling coffee on Dain. This angered Dain and Dain demanded that Robert Stone go to William Regal to book a Killian Dain vs. Dexter Lumis match…
Beth Phoenix advertised Killian Dain vs. Dexter Lumis for next week. Mauro Ranallo hyped up Karrion Kross vs. Dominik Dijakovic for next week (so Dijak isn’t quite gone… not yet anyway?)…
Entrances for the championship main event took place. A Tale of the Tape graphic appeared on the screen. Alicia Taylor tried to handle the formal in-ring introductions, but Tegan Nox wanted the match to start quickly, so they rushed past the intros…
5. Io Shirai vs. Tegan Nox for the NXT Women’s Championship. Both women were at a stalemate during the initial collar and elbow. Shirai got Nox to the mat and got some pin attempts during the lockup. Nox got a few tosses on Shirai and got a pin attempt after a bridged waistlock. Mauro noted that Io Shirai, Mio Shirai, and Asuka were once a faction in Japan. Nox tried to PK Shirai from the apron but Shirai caught it and tripped up Nox heading into commercial. [c]
Shirai had Nox under control with a headlock. Nox got to her feet and hit Shirai with a series of uppercuts. Nox countered a Shirai crossbody into a Fallaway Bridge for a two count. Shirai stomped on Nox’s fingers from several positions. Shirai then used that advantage to get Nox in a headlock. Nox countered into a rollup for a two count. Shirai choked Nox a bit with a legscissors against the second rope. Nox rolled away from Shirai’s running elbow drop. Shirai kicked out of Nox’s rollup at two.
Nox used forearms to fight away Shirai. Shirai hit Nox with a handstand into a double knee drop for a two count. Phillips noted that Nox has a high threshold for pain due to surviving two serious injuries in her career. Nox hit Shirai with a flapjack to get a two count on her. The show cut to picture-in-picture commercial.[c]
Shirai was dominating Nox at ringside with strikes. Shirai tossed Nox into the ring steps. Shiri accidentally hurt herself, hitting the steel steps with a meteora after Nox got out of the way. Shirai recovered in the ring and hit Nox with a Tiger Driver backbreaker. Shirai sold the pain due to hurting her knees earlier. Shirai got a few pin attempts on Nox. Nox trapped Shirai in the Tree of Woe. Nox hit Shirai with an inverted cannonball for a two count. Nox rallied against Shirai with lariats.
Nox dragged Shirai to the bottom buckle and hit Shirai with an imploding cannonball. Nox hit Shirai with a diving crossbody for a two count. Nox hit Shirai with the Lady Kane Chokeslam for a two count. Nox ran at Shirai with two European Uppercuts. Shirai dodged a third and hit Nox with a scary looking German Suplex (because it looked like Nox’s neck might have caught the bottom rope). Shirai hit Nox with a corner meteora and 619. Shirai hit Nox with a slingshot dropkick for a two count.
Nox kicked Shirai in the Knee and hit Shirai with a front suplex. Nox hit Shirai with a Molly Go Round for the two count. Shirai blocked a Shiniest Wizard with a rising palm. Io Shirai beat Nox after hitting her finisher, the moonsault (didn’t catch a lot of it though).
Io Shirai defeated Tegan Nox via pinfall in 19:25 of on-air time to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
Shirai posed up the ramp. Before the show cut off, Dakota Kai gave Shirai a running boot to leave Shirai lying to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A really good women’s match that was taken down a few notches due to the presentation of Nox. Give the women credit, they were given about a half an hour and delivered a well-worked match. The only problem is despite the time and nearfalls, they never made Tegan Nox look like a real threat to take the title off of Io. The match contents were fine, but there wasn’t much ethos put behind Nox. So far, NXT has banked on the pathos of Nox’s injury scares, but now that she’s getting all this TV time they haven’t really defined her character much. What’s a bit disappointing is I got to see a lot of her personality before WWE and she has it in her to be this really good “girl next door” personality, that they don’t express on WWE TV (the closest we got, was when she ate all of Keith Lee’s pizza that one time).
That said, great match and I’m even more excited for Dakota Kai facing Io because NXT has spent a good amount of time building up Dakota’s ethos in contrast. The looming threat of Raquel Gonzalez will make for some compelling TV too. Overall, this was a good NXT show. After two weeks of hot shot and impromptu booking (well booked hot shot booking) it was good to see NXT going back to their older serialized approach of building and telling stories. I’ll have more thoughts for the Dot Net Members in my Member’s Exclusive Audio Review. Jason Powell will be by tomorrow too with his Hit List for this show.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...