7/13 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Karrion Kross vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship with Samoa Joe as special referee, Ikemen Jiro vs. Duke Hudson in an NXT Breakout Tournament first round match, Gigi Dolin vs. Sarray, Ember Moon vs. Dakota Kai, Tyler Rust vs. Bobby Fish

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

NXT TV 
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired live July 13, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] Highlights from last week’s Great American Bash show aired…

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary…

1. Dakota Kai vs. Ember Moon. Both women were even to start. Kai hit Moon with a Face Wash for a two count. Kai worked on Moon with a kick variations and pin attempts. Moon caught one kick and got a two count rollup on Kai. Moon gave Kai a suicide dive into the plexiglass barricade at ringside. The show cut to picture-in-picture commercial.[c]

Moon got a rollup on Kai back from the break. Kai caught Moon with a handstand Scorpion Kick. Kai then tripped Moon off the top rope. Kai hit Moon with a Face Wash kick. Kai hit Moon with a Roll of the Dice for a two count. Moon recovered and hit Kai with a Frankensteiner in the corner. Kai regained the advantage and hit Moon with the Go To Kick for the victory.

Dakota Kai defeated Ember Moon via pinfall in 12:59. 

The lights went off all of a sudden. When they came back on Xia Li made her entrance. Kai tried to confront Li, but Li bypassed her and walked straight to confront Raquel Gonzalez. Li challenged Gonzalez to a Women’s Championship match. Gonzalez nodded and presumably accepted the challenge. Joseph noted that Regal will probably take that match under consideration…

A video aired of Diamond Mine being interviewed on WWE’s Youtube Page. Malcolm Bivens handled the talking and talked up Diamond Mine to McKenzie Mitchell. Bivens talked about laying out an open challenge. Bobby Fish showed up and wanted to face his old Undisputed Era teammate Roderick Strong. Bivens said that the open challenge was for Tyler Rust. Fish accepted. Vic Joseph noted that Rust vs. Fish will happen after the break…

John’s Thoughts: A really hard worked and entertaining match between two of WWE’s best overall in-ring talents (I would argue, not just in the Women’s Division). Now that Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart are called up to the main roster, that leaves Ember Moon without a partner. I’m also disappointed that it takes what would have been a hot Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai feud off the table. Li vs Gonzalez should be very interesting. I don’t think Li has a chance of picking up the title because I ultimately think Dakota Kai will be the one to dethrone Raquel. Maybe Li bypassing Kai in the previous segment is another one of those seeds that they’re planting for the Kai-Gonzalez breakup.

A vignette aired for Ikeman Jiro where Jiro introduced himself. He talked about “Ikeman” meaning beautiful, but he’s still here to kick your ass. He talked about being trained by Great Muta and Tajiri.

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary where Barrett introduced a video of Cameron Grimes being LA Knight’s butler. Grimes showed up to Knight’s front door and talked about how he’s holding his end of the bargain because he’s a man of his word. He said he’s going “to the broom”! Knight told Grimes to clean up the toilets.

Knight had people give Grimes a makeover. They sorta just cleanly groomed Grimes’s hair and beard. Knight laughed at Grimes, but Grimes actually liked the clean look…

Entrances for the next match took place…

2. Tyler Rust (w/Roderick Strong, Hachiman, Malcolm Bivens) vs. Bobby Fish. Rust dominated the early chain wrestling sequence. Fish came back with some Tae Kwon Do strikes. Roderick Strong got up on the apron to distract Fish. Rust gave Fish a chop block and Buzzsaw kick for the win (Fish kicked out after the three).

Hachiman, Rust, and Strong surrounded Fish. Kushida ran out and chased away Diamond Mine. Malcolm Bivens advised Diamond Mine to back down. The segment ended with Kushida’s theme playing…

Tyler Rust defeated Bobby Fish via pinfall in 2:42. 

Samoa Joe was wearing a referee shirt backstage. Joe showed up to give Karrion Kross the match rules while Kross was punching a punching bag. Kross ignored Joe. Joe kicked the punching bag to get Kross’s attention. Kross said Joe will have to be the one that understands if Joe decides to interfere with his match. Joe said he’s taking that answer as Kross understanding how the match will go down…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A bit of a cold start for Diamond Mine, but this match result was how it should be. Fish needs a bit of credibility, so it made sense to protect him. It also makes sense to give Rust a win fresh off his soft-repackge. Still hoping we know a bit more about what Diamond Mine exactly is other than just being a random stable with a random name. So far, they don’t seem TOO centered around MMA.

Beth Phoenix caught up with Indi Hartwell before the show and asked about Dexter Lumis. Hartwell talked about Lumis just being a nice guy when he carried her away from the ring. Beth Phoenix tried to convince Hartwell to accept Dexter…

John’s Thoughts: As a man who watches Korean Soap Operas while doing cardio in the gym (don’t hate! I love dramas and rom coms), I totally sympathize with Beth Phoenix’s fangirling here. Like her, I’m also rooting for the Dexter and Indi ship to be successful. Who doesn’t like a good ship?

Gigi Dolan got a televised entrance. Gigi is the former Priscilla Kelly and was wearing some of the old gear she used to wear. They showed a video earlier of Gigi challenging Sarray to a match…

3. Sarray vs. Gigi Dolan. Sarray dominated the early chain wrestling sequence. Dolan landed a DDT on Sarray. Dolan and Sarray got a bit distracted when Mandy Rose showed up at the top of the ramp. The crowd chanted “you don’t go here”. Both women got back to their match. Sarray locked Dolan in a Muta Lock which Dolan escaped. Dolan got a two count off an inside cradle. Dolan hit Sarray with an STO for a two count. Sarray recovered and hit Dolan with a running dropkick. Sarray hit Dolan with a Face Wash dropkick. Sarray hit Dolan with a Saito Suplex for the victory.

Sarray defeated Gigi Dolan via pinfall in 3:26. 

Highlights from the match aired…

Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza, and Joaquin Wilde cut a promo backstage were they were calling out wrestlers like Hit Row or Dexter Lumis. Vic Joseph noted that Escobar vs. Lumis will happen after the break…

John’s Thoughts: Mandy Rose in NXT? Not the worst thing in the world. She’s pretty talented and for some reason they have nothing for her on Raw and Smackdown. It’ll be interesting how she does against a newcomer like Sarray, or are they going to have Mandy scout several matches? Gigi Dolan is someone I’m really high on. She’s more famous for her nasty meme thing, but I was really high on the character work she was doing in MLW. She was also really good in the ring, Dolan is someone I hope gets elevated sooner rather than later.

An introductory vignette aired for Duke Hudson, the artist formerly known as Brandon Vink…

4. Dexter Lumis vs. Santos Escobar (w/Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza). Escobar took down Lumis with a shoulder block, but Lumis kiped up and no sold the move. Lumis ran the ropes and hit Escobar with a Thesz Press. Lumis did his snake crawl to freak out Escobar. Escobar retreated to ringside and ordered the rest of Legado to “get him”. Lumis crawled under the ring and tried to drag Escobar under. Wilde and Mendoza pulled Escobar back. The show cut to regular commercial.[c]

[Hour Two] Escobar gave Lumis a meterora in the corner. Escobar hit Lumis with a Frankenstier for a two count. Escobar went for Three Amigos on Lumis. Escobar hit two of them. Escobar resversed Lumis’s suplex in to a backstabber. Lumis took down Escobar with a desperation lariat. Lumis hit Escobar with a series of throat punches, a lariat, and a bulldog. Mendoza dragged Escobar to ringside to prevent Lumis from locking in his submission. Wilde yanked Lumis into the ringpost. Escobar hit Lumis with a Phantom Driver for the victory.

Santos Escobar defeated Dexter Lumis via pinfall in 5:47 of on-air time.

Legado Del Fantasma went up the ramp and Hit Row (Isaiah Scott, Top Dolla, B-Fab, and Ashanti The Adonis) were at the top of the ramp.

Wade Barrett had a sitdown interview with Kyle O’Reilly and asked O’Reilly about his thoughts on his loss against Adam Cole. O’Reilly talked about losses being a part of the business and how he thought he didn’t have that killer instinct in his match against Adam Cole. O’Reilly talked about how he’s going to face Cole again someday. He said he is not going to be the man who will beat Adam Cole, but he’ll be the man who will “finish” Adam Cole…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Are they already turning Hit Row babyface? After last week’s aweome Cypher, they probably don’t have a choice and I can’t blame them. Hit Row is just too cool. Legado has been on a bit of a solid in-ring streak so the match up should be great. I have been witness to great Escobar vs. Scott matches in-person, so we know they can always deliver (they’ve done it in NXT too).

They cut to the latest LA Knight and Cameron Grimes segment. Knight wanted Grimes to cut a multi-acre yard with a tiny lawnmower. Grimes talked about how excited and happy he was to do it. The segment ended with one of Jeremy Borash’s drone shots of Grimes cutting grass…

After the last match, Indi Hartwell dragged Dexter Lumis to the floor and mounted him. She was about to kiss Lumis, but Candice LeRae ran out to shove Hartwell off…

Entrances for the next match took place. I kinda like Ikeman Jiro’s entrance theme which sounded like it came from Sonic Adventure from the Sega Dreamcast.

John’s Thoughts: YOOOOOOO! I know I’m probably in a minority on this! But I love Ikeman Jiro’s JPop theme!!!

5. Duke Hudson vs. Ikeman Jiro in a first round match of the NXT Breakout Tournament. Jiro wrestled in a jacket and dominated Hudson with a headlock. Hudson lifted up Jiro and then gave Jiro a snakeeyes on the top rope. Jiro made a bit of a comeback with right hands. Jiro locked in a Tarantula which Barrett noted was an ode to Jiro’s training Tajiri. Hudson got freed and caught a flying Jiro with a Release German Suplex.

Jiro recovered and hit Hudson with a springboard blockbuster. Jiro hit Hudson with an Asai Moonsault. Hudson recovered in the ring and hit Jiro with a Bossman Slam for the victory.

Duke Hudson defeated Ikeman Jiro via pinfall in 4:50 to advance to the next round of the NXT Breakout Tournament. 

Wade Barrett noted that Hudson used Barrett’s Winds of Change move…

McKenzie Mitchell asked Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan on their thoughts on the Gargano vs. Kross match. Dunne said he doesn’t care. Dunne pointed out how he put Kross in a Triangle and Kross couldn’t do anything about it. Dunen said he’s the best technical wrestler in the world. Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa showed up and eventually a brawl ensued between both teams…

John’s Thoughts: Good first breakout tournament match. Hudson is someone who I hear good things about, especially since he used to team up with Bronson Reed, Nick Miller, and Shane Thorne while in Australia. He was pretty solid in this match and might be a favorite to win, especially since he had a short stint on the main roster as a part of a faction with MVP. Ikeman Jiro is starting to win me over with his positive energy and cool jpop theme. Here’s hoping we get more of Jiro soon on the weekly show.

A highlight package aired of last week’s Women’s Tag Team Title change aired…

6. Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro vs. “The Robert Stone Brand” Jessi Kamea and Aliyah (w/Robert Stone). Kamea and Aliyah traded tags to dominate and isolate Catanzaro. This lasted for a few minutes. Carter tagged in and got a two count on Aliyah after slamming her. Kamea was dumped to ringside. Carter and Catanzaro hit Aliyah with a neckbreaker-450 combo to give Catanzaro the win over Aliyah.

Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro defated Jessi Kamea and Aliyah via pinfall in 3:23. 

Robert Stone tried to check on Aliyah, but Sliyah shoved Stone away. Aliyah ended up attacking Stone and leaving him lying after punches and a few kicks. Aliyah left the arena. Franky Monet showed up and gave Jessi Kamea a wave. Jessi ended up leaving with Monet…

Samoa Joe met up with Johnny Gargano to lay down the rules of his match against Karrion Kross. Gargano, Theory, and LeRae sucked up to Joe. As Joe left, he had another confrontation with Pete Dunne…

John’s Thoughts: They’re really laying it on thick that they’re building towards a Joe vs. Dunne match. Should be a great match whenever it happens. My guess is that they’ll continue to protect Dunne heading into that encounter.

They cut to the latest LA Knight and Cameron Grimes segment. Grimes was sitting poolside in Calvin Klein undies (he’s undie buddies with Roddy Strong). Knight asked why a kid was doing the gardening. Grimes noted that he’s rich and can delegate. Grimes was about to give the kid money, but Knight protested. As Knight was protesting, he fell into the pool…

Adam Cole made his entrance to the CWC arena. Cole bragged about proving that he’s the greatest star in the NXT brand. Cole said O’Reilly’s win didn’t count before since it was Unsanctioned. Cole talked about how O’Reilly was burned by Cole, bay bay. Cole said that O’Reilly should reconsider asking for a rematch because he’ll get burned again. Cole then called out Samoa Joe. Cole talked about how Joe put him in the Clutch and also left Cole to suffer as O’Reilly put him in a submission. Cole called Joe an overpaid security guard in a suit. Cole said he knows that Joe isn’t man enough to come out to confront him.

Suddenly, Bronson Reed made his entrance. Reed said he likes Cole’s confidence and he agrees that Cole is a master of mind games and manipulation. Reed said he’s coming out there as a man with nothing to lose. Reed said all eyes are on him now and people are wondering what Reed’s next move is. Reed said Cole is NXT’s golden boy and Reed sees Cole as a golden opportunity. Cole tried to clock Reed with a superkick, but Reed caught it and dumped Cole to ringside. Samoa Joe’s theme played and Joe made his entrance. Vic Joseph noted Joe was coming out to officiate the main event…[c]

The cameraman caught up with Franky Monet, Jessi Kamea, and Robert Stone. Monet talked about Aliyah no longer being a part of the crew. Mandy Rose showed up and Sized up Kamea, Monet, and Stone. Rose noted that the brand seems to be under new management…

John’s Thoughts: Not my expected reshuffling of the Robert Stone Brand because I thought they were going to go with Kamea and Aliyah as Monet’s new lackeys’. I’m wondering why they’re keeping Stone around? That said, I’m happy Stone is sticking around. I’m not the biggest fan of the whole comedy manager thing, but I do like his work. I also respect the guy for dropping his tired Robbie E character from TNA.

The commentary teamed hyped up a few segments for next week…

Entrance for the NXT Championship match took place. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions…

7. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett) vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship with Samoa Joe as guest referee. Kross smothered Gargano in the corner and gave him a snap suplex. Gargano dropkicked Kross to ringside. Gargano gave Kross a cannonball. Gargano gloated a bit, but Kross quickly recovered and gave Gargano a Yakuza Kick. Kross gave Gargano a chokebomb heading into picture-in-picture.[c]

[Overrun] Kross no-sold Gargano’s lariats. Gargano rocked Kross with an enzuigiri. Kross hit Gargano with a slingshot spear. Gargano hit Kross with a suicide dive. Kross recovered and hit Gargano with a Northern Lights and Vertical Suplex combo. Gargano dropkicked Kross to a knee. Gargano gave Kross two buzzsaw kicks. Kross came back with a lariat. Gargano came back with a Tornado DDT. After a forearm, Kross gave Gargano a release chokeslam.

Gargano gave Kross a sereis of superkicks. Gargano went for La Mistica, but Kross reversed it into a Kross Jacket. Gargano reversed the submission into a  GargaNo Escape. Kross powered out and put Gargano in a sleeper. Gargano got to the bottom rope for the break. Kross and Joe jawed a bit. Kross went to ringside to toss Gargano into the plexiglass a few times. Kross tried to hit Gargano with the steel steps, but Joe pulled the steps away.

Gargano recovered and hit Kross with a suicide dive DDT. Gargano hit Kross with his One Final Beat finisher. Kross kicked out at two. Kross lifted up Gargano and hit Gargano with a series of continuous power bombs. Kross comboed one of the bombs into a Saito Suplex. Kross hit Gargano with a Forearm to the Back of the Neck for the win.

Karrion Kross defeated Johnny Gargano via pinfall in 12:47 to retain the NXT Championship.

Kross and Joe jawed a bit. As Joe was leaving the ring, Kross put Joe in the Kross Jacket. Kross made Joe pass out and kept yelling “Unless provoked!”. Kross said Joe put this on himself. Kross let go of the hold and then posed over Joe with the NXT Championship to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: Not quite the Takeover level of epic encounter, but at the same time the last 4 minutes were pretty damn entertaining. Gargano can work with anyone and was solid as usual. The ending offensive sequence from Kross reminded me of the Killer Kross that I used to remember from AAA, Lucha Underground, and Impact. We need more of this aggressive, gritty, plucky, and fearsome Kross stretched out throughout longer matches. I’ve seen the guy do it, we just haven’t seen it in NXT. Good match nonetheless. The whole Kross main roster tryouts, main event match, and Nikki Cross dropping the last name “cross” seems to point towards an imminent callup for Kross which puts added intrigue in his title matches. He’s sorta going into each match as the metta underdog, which makes nearfalls against him mean more now.

A solid episode of NXT that you wouldn’t necessarily write home about. It felt like they were starting a bunch of new stories, which made sense coming off the NXT Great American Bash show. They are continuing to tease Samoa Joe returning to the ring against a plethora of opponents. Could they be setting up Joe to dethrone Kross and become the new NXT Champion? We’ll see

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