By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired June 22, 2021 on USA Network
[Hour One] A narrated recap package of last week’s NXT aired…
Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Adam Cole made his entrance to start the show. Of course, Cole’s self-chosen opponent wasn’t announced before the show. Cole took a mic and brought up Regal booking him in a match against Kyle O’Reilly at Great American Bash. Cole noted that he was also assaulted and attacked by Samoa Joe. Cole talked about how he has to pick his opponent for this week’s show, but he’s saying “hell no” to choosing an opponent this week. Cole was about to leave, but Carmelo Hayes made his entrance.
Hayes said Cole may not know who he is, but he knows who Cole is. Hayes said his name is Carmelo Hayes and if anyone is going to change Cole’s mind, it’s Carmelo. Cole asked Carmelo to show him how he’s going to change Cole’s mind. Hayes mimiced John Cena’s classic “Ruthless Aggression” line that Cena did during his debut. Hayes slapped Cole in the face and the match started…
1. Adam Cole vs. Carmelo Hayes. Hayes showed off some agility early on. Cole got the advantage after pump kicking Hayes off the apron. Cole dominated Hayes with methodical offense. Hayes blocked a superkick and gave Cole a facebuster on the knee for a two count. Hayes gave Cole clubbing blows in the corner. Hayes went for a move at the top rope, but he was shoved to ringside by Cole. Cole tossed Hayes several times into the plexiglass. The show cut to picture-in-picture commercial.[c]
Cole got a two count off an Ushigoroshi. Cole dominated Hayes for a stretch of the match. Hayes did nail Cole with a jawbreaker, but Cole came back with a pump kick. Hayes reversed Cole’s suplex with a Final Cut suplex. Cole kept at Hayes, but Hayes grounded Cole with a codebreaker for a two count. Cole reversed Hayes and hit Hayes with a backstabber for a two count. Cole went for a Panama Sunrise, but he dove right into a Superkick by Hayes. Hayes went for a springboard move, but he leapt right into a superkick. Cole pinned Hayes after a Panama Sunrise.
Adam Cole defeated Carmelo Hayes via pinfall in 12:27.
The show cut to Franky Monet, from earlier today, chatting with Aliyah and Jessi Kamea. Monet was psyching up Aliyah and Kamea. Robert Stone showed up late and was freaked out by Monet’s dog…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Zoey Stark about teaming with Io Shirai. Stark was excited to team with Shirai. Shirai showed up and said even though she respects Stark, she doesn’t like Stark (what did Stark do?). Stark said she thinks they have a mutual respect…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Initially, I was a bit confused that Cole didn’t pick an enhancement guy to wrestle, but at the same time Cole rationalized it well that he didn’t want to follow Regal’s orders. What I did like was the match. I didn’t have too much exposure to Christian Casanova, but Carmelo Hayes has really impressed in his first two showings in NXT. Guy has a good look and good aura about him. The commentary team is painting him out to be a blue chipper and he’s living up to the hype so far. Kudos to Cole for allowing Hayes to look good in his loss, allowing him to look like the plucky newcomer.
LA Knight was cutting a promo poolside from his “mansion”. Knight bragged about laying out Ted DiBiase. Knight mocked Cameron Grimes’s “too the moon” catchphrase. Knight called Grimes a hilljack and moron-idiot. Knight talked about how he’s going to plant Grimes on his head. Knight ended his promo by taking a drink from a lady while also saying his new catchphrase, “Who’s game is it? it’s LA Knight’s game”…
Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory made their entrance for an in-ring promo. Gargano said it was exciting times with new management in town. Gargano said there needs to be a new champion. Gargano said they don’t need the mean face looking doomsday guy (Kross), they need the handsome Johnny Gargano. Gargano said NXT was paradise when he was champion. Gargano said at In Your House, he proved that Kross is not at Gargano’s level. Gargano said he outclassed Kross. Gargano said everybody knows that he can outwrestle Kross on even his worst day.
Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan made their entrance. Dunne said Gargano must be mad and stupid if he thinks he’s number one contender over Dunne. Dunne told Theory to shut up. Gargano held Theory back and told him not to get provoked. Gargano sand he and Theory don’t get involved in shennanigans anymore and are law abiding citizens. Gargano said Dunne isn’t getting a fight from him and Theory. Gargano and Theory were about to leave. Theory pointed at Dunne for some reason, which provoked Dunne and caused him to snap Theory’s pointing finger.
The camera cut to footage from “Earlier Today” where Cameron Grimes got out of a car. Grimes was talking in his natural voice. Grimes handed out money to some of the NXT crew. Some random guy (a developmental wrestler?) with colorful hair mockingly talked about Grimes being very concerned about Ted DiBiase. Grimes punched out the guy, and then dropped a few bills over his prone body…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Adam Cole who was sitting in a chair. Mitchell wanted Cole’s thoughts on O’Reilly. Cole said he doesn’t care about Kyle and doesn’t care about Kyle’s opponent later on, Kushida. William Regal showed up and Cole protested at Samoa Joe laying his hands on him. Cole stormed off the interview set…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Weird segment between Gargano and Dunne. Are they going to put them in a feud? If so, who’s the babyface? I wouldn’t turn either. Gargano’s a chicken heel, and doing it well. Dunne is doing a great job as the protected badass heel. It’ll be easier to turn Dunne, but I think that would be premature.
The random NXT cell phone charge graphic was at 31%…
Gargano and Theory barged into William Regal’s office to suck up to Regal. Theory and Gargano thought that Regal was sending Samoa Joe against Dunne and Lorcan. Regal instead booked Gargano and Theory in a match against Lorcan and Dunne on this week’s show. Gargano talked about how he’s not even in ring gear. Gargano and Theory left the office disappointed…
Stark and Shirai got televised entrances while Aliyah and Jessi Kamea were already in the ring…
2. Io Shirai and Zoey Stark vs. “The Robert Stone Brand” Aliyah and Jessi Kamea (w/Robert Stone). Shirai took down Aliyah with a dropkick. Stark tagged in and put Aliyah in a armbar. Stark took down Aliyah wiht a lariat. Kamea hit Stark with a kick for a two count. Both women traded quick pins. Kamea grounded Stark and hit Stark with a twisting slingshot elbow. Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell showed up at ringside. The heels in the ring traded tags to isolate Stark away from Shirai. Beth Phoenix mocked Stone’s suit, saying his shirt looks like a training bra. The show cut to regular commercial.[c]
The heels continued to dominate and isolate Zoey Stark. Shirai tagged in and cleaned house. SHirai hit Kamea with a 619. Shirai then hit Kamea with a slingshot dropkick after kicking Aliyah from the apron. Kamea hit Shirai with a shortarm kick. Aliyah hit Shirai with a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Shirai tagged in Stark who took down Kamea with a slingshot dropkick. Shirai tagged back in and hit Kamea with a moonsault for the victory.
Io Shirai and Zoey Stark defeated The Robert Stone Brand via pinfall in 6:10 of on-air time.
The Way were about to enter the ring, but Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez showed up on the other side to confront Shirai and Stark. Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart cut a goofy promo about how they were also coming after the tag team titles. After Blackheart talked about kicking all of their asses, a brawl ensued between the three teams that weren’t The Way. Samoa Joe and security guards showed up to calm down the brawl. The show cut immediately to a Kushida video package…
Wade Barrett hyped up Kushida vs. Kyle O’Reilly as the main event of this week’s show…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A tune-up match for the new Stark-Shirai tag team who seem to be The Way’s next challengers. I’m curious as to what story they ultimately want to get to? It looks like they’re putting the NXT Women’s title on ice for a bit while Gonzalez goes after the tag belts. My guess is that they’re ultimately trying to get to the Gonzalez and Kai breakup sooner rather than later. Just call that a hunch.
[Hour Two] Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix checked in from the commentary table. Joseph recapped last week’s main event, The Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Ciampa and Thatcher. Barrett announced MSK vs. Ciampa and Thatcher for the Tag Team Championship at the Great American Bash show. Beth hyped up Cole vs. O’Reilly II at the Great American Bash show…
Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory made their entrance. Both men were selling like they were just putting on their ring gear…
3. “The Way” Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory vs. Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan. Lorcan and Gargano started off the match. Gargano hit Lorcan with a huracanrana. Dunne tagged in and ran right into Gargano’s armdrag. Gargano tagged in Austin Theory, but Theory was selling Dunne’s finger break from earlier. Dunne took down Theory with a lariat and tagged in Lorcan. Lorcan and Dunne traded tags while working on Theory’s injured hand.
Theory managed to slam Dunne with the help of Gargano for the one count. Dunne got control again with the joint manipulation. Lorcan tagged in. Lorcan and Dunne gave Theory a Uranage on the ring apron heading into the regular commercial break.[c]
Lorcan and Dunne used quick tags to isolate and double-team Theory. Theory managed to swat away Lorcan to tag in Gargano for the hot tag. Gargano took down Dunne and Lorcan with running chops. Gargano hit Lorcan with a slingshot spear and took out Dunne with a Suicide Dive. Theory tagged in. Theory hit Lorcan with an impressive seated Spanish Fly for a two count. Gargano reversed a Bitter End and ran into Dunne with a rebound lariat. Lorcan and Theory traded punches. Lorcan hit Theory with a blockbuster.
Dunne put Theory into a hyperextended armbar. Lorcan tried to knock Gargano off the apron, but Gargano tossed Lorcan into Dunne to break the submission. After a bit of an exchange. Lorcan and Dunne hit Theory with a double team power bomb move. for a two count. Gargano caught Theory with a superkick and caught Dunne with a Tope into a Tornado DDT at ringside. Gargano hit Lorcan with One Final Beat for the victory.
The Way defeated Oney Lorcan and Pete Dunne via pinfall in 10:42 of on-air time.
As Gargano was celebrating at ringside, he was knocked out by a running lariat from NXT Champion Karrion Kross. The PC crowd showered Kross with boos as Theory went to check on Johnny…
A Franky Monet hype package hyped up Franky appearing after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I’m a bit surprised they gave Gargano the win here, but not surprised that they kept Dunne away from the finish given how he’s been heavily protected in recent months. Austin Theory has been working more of a babyface style recently, so I wonder if they’re turning Gargano and Theory face? Odd because Hartwell and LeRae are clearly solidified as heels. I don’t think they’re building towards Gargano vs. Kross at a takeover show, but maybe they’re setting up Gargano to be a speedbump for Kross en route to whoever will take the championship off of him (my guess is that Kross will either drop the title to Cole or O’Reilly).
The random battery charge graphic was at 41%…
Kross ran into Samoa Joe backstage and taunted Joe by saying that Joe can’t attack him “unless provoked”. Joe was condescending in letting Kross pass by him. After Kross and Scarlett left, Joe and Pete Dunne had a staredown in the hallway.
Beth Phoenix hyped up Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon vs. Io Shirai and Zoey Stark vs. Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai in a number one contenders match for next week…
4. Franky Monet vs. Elektra Lopez. Wade Barrett called Monet’s Pomeranian a “rat dog”. Lopez managed to hit Monet with a sidewalk slam and elbow drop. Lopez did the Bella Twins stripper dance for some reason. This allowed Monet to recover and take down Lopez with a side Russian leg sweep. Monet worked on Lopez with ground and pound. Monet tossed Lopez across the ring. Monet caught Lopez with a uppercut in the corner. Lopez avoided Monet’s meteora in the corner. Lopez gave Monet a few axe handle strikes and a dropkick.
Monet reversed a Fireman Carry into a forearm. Monet hit Lopez with the Road to Valhalla for the victory.
Franky Monet defeated Elektra Lopez via pinfall in 3:24.
Beth Phoenix talked about talking with Monet earlier and how Monet looked up to Beth. Beth continued to praise Monet for utilizing Beth’s Glam Slam as a finisher…
The show cut to McKenzie Mitchell interviewing Bronson Reed. Reed responded to Santos Escobar’s promo from last week. Reed talked about squishing Escobar. Hit Row showed up to taunt Reed. Top Dollar got in Reed’s face and talked about how he’s also colossal. B-Fab and Ashanti Adonis got in the camera and talked about teaching Ever Rise a lesson. Top Dollar joked about Reed not even being from North America. The segment ended after Hit Row left…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A bit of a rough second match for Monet in NXT, but I chalk that up to Elektra Lopez being a bit green in the ring. I’ve seen Monet in so many good matches, so the roughness seemed to come from Lopez. While it may not be in the initial plans, I wouldn’t mind if they can somehow build towards Franky Monet vs. Beth Phoenix down the road? Monet has no clear feud at the moment and it would be very cool to see Monet get in a program against the legendary Beth Phoenix. Monet is arguably one of the best women’s wrestlers to wrestle in the last 10 years, so Monet vs. Phoenix would be a dream match.
5. “Hit Row” Ashanti The Adonis and “Top Dollar” AJ Francis (w/Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, B-Fab) vs. “Ever Rise” Chase Parker and Matt Martel. Dollar dropped Parker off the arpon and smothered Martel with words and hands. Adonis and Parker tagged in. Adonis hit Parker with a dropkick. Adonis went agressive with the ground and pound and had to be calmed down by B Fab. Dollar tagged in and lifted Parker. Martel tagged in and managed to help Parker dump Dollar to ringside. Parker went for a dive on Dollar but he ate a forearm. Dollar hit Martel with a splash in the corner. Ashanti tagged in and hit Martel with a superkick. Dollar tagged back in. Dollar power bombed Martel into Ashanti’s cutter. Dollar got the pinfall on Martel.
Top Dollar and Ashanti The Adonis defeated Ever Rise via pinfall in 2:32.
Chase Parker went to check on Matt Martel. Isaiah Scott clocked Parker with a House Call kick to leave both opponents lying. Hit Row posed to close the segment…
McKenzie Mitchell told Mercedes Martinez that she needs to pick a tag team partner for a mixed tag match next week against Xia Li and Boa. Xia Li and Boa showed up and cut off Martinez’s promo. Li put the boots to Martinez, but Jake Atlas ran in to chase off Li and Boa. We can all assume that Atlas will be Martinez’s partner in next week’s mixed tag…
A Kyle O’Reilly video package aired where O’Reilly praised Kushida for being a world class talent. Joseph hyped up O’Reilly vs. Kushida for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Ey! I continue to be all in on Hit Row. If done right, this can be one of the hottest acts in pro wrestling, mark my words. What I do like about the slow introduction is they are really giving each hit row member their own individual style. They aren’t just a homogeneous unit. Swerve’s the leader. Top Dollar is the monster (though he’s more of a teddy bear, in a good way, if you watch his show on A&E). I really like Ashanti changing up his in-ring style to being a hot head. I also think B-Fab oozes charisma and a good look. Just give these guys all the merch and titles.
The random battery charger made it to 51%…
John’s Thoughts: Maybe someone needs to buy this person a new USB cord. What battery takes this long to charge? (Also, what wrestler is “cell phone” themed? The only wrestler I know uses a cell phone as a part of his act is Sami Callihan/Solomon Crowe, and his cell phone has teleportation magic for some reason).
Kushida made his entrance dressed up as Marty McFly. Kyle O’Reilly wore his Axe [Kick] and [Forearm] Smash sweater…
6. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida vs. Kyle O’Reilly in a non-title match. O’Reilly and Kushida started the match by trading mounts and ground submissions. O’Reilly quickly backed off when Kushida went for the Juji Gatame. Joseph noted that this match might work out in the favor of Adam Cole due to Kushida’s submissions potentially softening up O’Reilly. Kushida got to the bottom rope to break up an O’Reilly armbar. Kushida went for a handstand elbow, but O’Reilly caught Kushida into an armbar. Kushida escaped an abdominal stretch with a hip toss and dropkick.
Kushida used his feet to twist O’Reilly’s elbows. Kushida worked on O’Reilly with shortarm strikes. Both men were at a stalemate during the next stretch and both took each other out by butting heads. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
O’Reilly worked on Kushida with forearms to the back of the head while locking Kushida in a body scissors. After getting a vertical base, Kushida went for a juji gatame and Hoverboard Lock. O’Reilly got to his feet. Kushida kept the pace up to block Kushida’s submissions. Kushida fended off O’Reilly with kicks. Kushida hit O’Reilly with a Bridged Suplex for a two count because O’Rielly got a foot on the bottom rope.
[Overrun] O’Reilly dodged a diving Kushida and hit him with clinch knees. Kushida got a two count after a jackknife attempt. O’Reilly used a knee to escape a suplex. Kushida hit O’Reilly with a Pele Kick. O’Reilly rebounded at Kushida with a Rebound Lariat. O’Reilly hit Kushida with a Brainbuster for a two count. Kushida grabbed O’Reilly’s arm and rammed O’Reilly into the ringpost from the apron. Kushida and O’Reilly brawled on the apron. Kushida hit O’Reilly with a suplex on the apron.
Both men traded blows. Kushida took down O’Reilly with a Haymaker. Kushida went for another Hoverboard Lock, but O’Reilly kept his hand in his tights to prevent Kushida from locking in the hold. O’Reilly rolled up Kushida for the win.
Kyle O’Reilly defeated Kushida via pinfall in a non-title match in 14:24.
After replays, O’Reilly and Kushida hugged out of respect. Adam Cole showed up from behind which led to O’Reilly and Cole brawling near the announce table. Security guards and referees ran out to separate O’Reilly and Cole.
A mystery hooded man showed up and attacked Kushida. Tyler Rust and some random Asian guy were on the apron. All three men were wearing hooded workout sweaters. They also had the Diamond Mine logo on the sweater, so this was Diamond Mine. The hood fell down to reveal that the mystery assailant was Roderick Strong. Malcolm Bivens showed up and held the Cruiserweight Title. The show closed with Diamond Mine standing tall over the fallen Kushida…
Update: The third member of Diamond Mine was Hideki Suzuki.
John’s Thoughts: A really good match that could be a whole lot better down the road if they didn’t have to protect everyone involved here. I’m almost sure that O’Reilly and Kushida have wrestled in New Japan before. Probably even several times given Kushida’s status as the ace of New Japan’s Junior Heavyweight Division. That said, I really thought that they should have gone with this being a cruiserweight title match with a DQ finish as opposed to having O’Reilly pin the Cruiserweight Champion clean in a non-title match. The title being on the line would have made the nearfalls mean more while also not making it look like the Cruiserweight title is “too insignificant” for a main eventer like O’Reilly to compete for.
Diamond Mine has me intrigued. This can either be a hit or a miss, it’s not a sure thing here. It’s questionable to think that Roderick Strong would be able to lead a faction, but it looks like they have Malcolm Bivens there to cover up for Strong’s weaknesses personality wise. Rust has a coat of paint on him now, so lets see if he can finally deliver. Not sure who the third guy was. I wonder if they can shoehorn Arturo Ruas in here somehow because he’d be perfect for the MMA group along with me thinking that Ruas is money if he can avoid injuries. Overall, this was a solid second week in a row with a solid show from NXT. I’ll have more thoughts in a bit in my member exclusive audio review.