7/20 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Raquel Gonzalez vs. Xia Li for the NXT Women’s Championship, Kyle O’Reilly vs. Austin Theory, Odyssey Jones vs. Andre Chase in an NXT Breakout Tournament match, Kushida and Bobby Fish vs. Roderick Strong and Tyler Rust, Drake Maverick vs. LA Knight

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

NXT TV 
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired live July 20, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] A video package aired which recapped Samoa Joe and Karrion Kross’s interactions in NXT including Joe getting choked out by Kross last week…

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…

NXT started off with Samoa Joe making his entrance . Joe was wearing a t-shirt and gym athletic pants. Joe said “tick tock tick tock, guess who’s come to smash your clock”. William Regal showed up and said that Joe can’t just come out and call out superstars. Joe said “unless provoked” and he’s provoked. Regal said that he was provoked during the match. Joe talked about Regal not being able to control Kross, which led to Kross even showing up on Raw without Regal’s knowledge. Regal noted that Kross is on his way to NXT. Joe said that it will end tonight, but it won’t end peacefully. Joe said someone will end up being put to sleep tonight…

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix checked in from the commentary table and sent the show over to a Xia Li promo. It was subtitled  and Li was speaking in Mandarin. Li cut a promo about how she’s going to be the first Chinese NXT Women’s Champion…

Diamond Mine were making their entrance for their upcoming match, but they were attacked by their opponents Kushida and Bobby Fish. The show cut to commercial…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good opening segment that continued to set up Joe’s inevitable return to the ring. Joe continues to look like a badass and he’s adding that needed starpower to NXT that NXT is lacking (though it would help if NXT could get some more stars over). Kross vs. Joe has potential to be really good given Kross’s specialty being more MMA based matches. That said, WWE and NXT does tend to book Kross strangely sometimes (see: Kross losing under 2 minutes to Jeff Hardy)

1. “Diamond Mine” Roderick Strong and Tyler Rust (w/Hachiman, Malcolm Bivens) vs. Bobby Fish and NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida. Kushida dominated Strong with submissions and an arm trap back drop. Fish and Rust tagged in. Fish worked on Rust with his signature Muay Thai strikes. Fish hit Rust with a slingshot swanton for a two count. Kushida and Strong managed to tag in. Kushida fended off Strong with long kicks. Strong reversed a shoulder slam into his signature backbreaker. Strong and Rust traded tags to keep Kushida isolated. Kushida hit both opponents with a springboard back elbow and managed to tag in Fish who cleaned house with karate strikes.

Fish hit Rust with a basement lariat for a two count. Fish continued to work on Rust with Muay Thai clinch knees. Strong distracted Fish enough for Rust to clock Fish in the back with a forearm. Strong hit Fish on the apron with a backbreaker heading into commercial.[c]

Strong and Rust played the isolation game on Fish. Fish managed to slam Rust to the mat. Kushida and Strong tagged in with Kushida hitting his signature moves in fast speed. Kushida hit Strong with a Buzzsaw Kick for a two count. Strong tagged in Rust who kicked Kushida a few times and hit Kushida with a snap Gutwrench Power Bomb. Rust converted a Crab into an Ankle Lock. Rust hit Kushida with a face driver. Fish broke up the pin.

Strong and Fish took each other out to ringside. Kushida gave Rust an elbow to the elbow. Kushida used a roll reversal to lock in the Hoverboard Lock on Rust. Rust quickly tapped out.

Kushida and Bobby Fish defeated Diamond Mine via submission in 11:35 of on-air time.

Cameron Grimes drove LA Knight to the WWE Performance Center. Grimes continued to be glass-half-full about everything, actually enjoying things like driving Knight, or carrying Knight’s luggage. Drake Maverick showed up and wanted to help Grimes out with carrying the luggage. Knight confronted Maverick and eventually challenged Maverick to a match. Grimes continued to be optimistic and positive about being Knight’s butler…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A good tag team match with some of NXT’s best workers, but the real missing link in all this is really knowing what the hell Diamond Mine is and why they’re here? They also already gave them a loss this early in their run? Weird? All I can extrapolate from them is they may just be a bunch of random people who decided to hang out at an MMA gym together. They don’t even seem that MMA because nobody in the group is really an MMA specialist (if this faction had Marina Shafir, Jessamyn Duke, or Arturo Ruas… they would need less explaination, but WWE released of those MMA specific wrestlers). We really need Malcolm Bivens to take the reigns and deliver a Modus Operandi for Diamond Mine because I feel like he needs to be the driver of this group’s success. I totally think he has the promo chops to do so to, based of his solid promo work from Ring of Honor.

The LA Knight and Ric Flair car insurance commercial, that airs during most wrestling shows on all channels, aired during the break. I just noted this because LA Knight is still involved…

An ad aired for the next NXT Takeover show on August 22, 2021. No details as to where the Takeover will take place? (I’m going to assume it’s taking place at the disappointing Performance Center unless otherwise noted. I’d be okay with Full Sail. I’d be extra hyped if they go to Vegas because I can attend that)…

The former Taya Valkyrie, Franky Monet, made her entrance. She was flanked by Jessi Kamea. Robert Stone eventually showed up too…

2. Franky Monet (w/Jessi Kamea, Robert Stone) vs. Jacy Jayne. Jayne rolled up Monet for a two count. Jayne hit Monet with an enzuigiri. Monet dodged a cannonball in the corner. Monet did her signature Wera Loca yell and hit Jayne with a meteora in the corner. Monet gave Jayne some ground and pound. Mandy Rose showed up at ringside to do a sexy pose on the announce table. Jayne escaped a fireman carry and hit Monet with a huracanrana and big boot. Jayne hit Monet with a neckbreaker for a two count. The announce team wondered if Rose was scouting opponents or looking for allies?

Monet reversed Jayne’s punch and hit Jayne with a Road to Valhalla (Glam Slam) for the victory.

Franky Monet defeated Jacy Jayne via pinfall in 3:21. 

Monet celebrated her win after the match…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory about Gargano’s loss to Karrion Kross last week. Theory said he hasn’t slept in weeks. Gargano pointed out that the loss only happened one week ago. Kyle O’Reilly randomly shoed up and challenged Austin Theory to a match later in the show. Theory accepted. After O’Reilly left, Gargano told Theory that if he wants to be like Papa John, Theory has to do what Gargano did last week and wrestle his next match by himself without Gargano at ringside…[c]

John’s Thoughts: The match went a little bit longer than expected, but I don’t think it really damaged Franky Monet at all. Because of Monet’s track record, I’m confident that she’ll come off as a huge star once she gets into longer and more serious matches. I’ve seen Monet wrestle in AAA, Lucha Underground, and Impact Wrestling main events and she’s one of the toughest and most badass women wrestlers I’ve ever seen. I’d be totally down for a Franky vs. Phoenix match down the road?

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix checked in from the commentary table and annoucned NXT being on SyFy for the next two weeks. Beth joked about the ECW zombie possibly showing up on the NXT SyFy shows…

Wade Barrett had a sitdown interview with Bronson Reed. Reed talked about being a bit disappointed at not being Champion, but all that inspires him to do is fight harder. Barrett noted that Reed is challenging Adam Cole next week. Reed said that he’s fighting one of the best in the world in Cole next week and that he wants to wrestle the best…

Kyle O’Reilly made his entrance. He wore a T-shirt and sleeveless hoodie (which is working better than that weird Orange Cassidy ripoff gear he wore once). Austin Theory made his entrance, now with new entrance music. Theory’s gear was X-Men themed…

3. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Austin Theory. O’Reilly kicked Theory in the hamstring early on. O’Reilly dominated Theory with chain wrestling. Theory managed to hit O’Reilly with a vertical suplex. O’Reilly recovered and hit Theory with Muay Thai clinch moves. Theory came back and took down O’Reilly with a side headlock. O’Reilly tried to escape, but Theory kept a headlock synched in. Theory went for a running move, but ate a knee from O’Reilly. O’Reilly mocked Theory by stopping on a dime, and slapping Theory. O’Reilly kicked Theory off the apron heading into picture-in-picture commercial.[c]

O’Reilly fended off Theory with Tae Kwon Do strikes. Theory came back with a forearm and running Blockbuster for a two count. Theory gave O’Reilly ground and pound forearms and stomps. Theory went for a rolling dropkick, but O’Reilly caught it into a heel hook. Theory quickly rolled to the bottom rope for the break. Theory recovered and slammed O’Reilly to the mat and followed up with a slingshot boot. Theory hit O’Reilly with a Suplex for a two count. Theory worked on O’Reilly with a armbar.

[Hour Two] O’Reilly got to his feet and took down Theory with a running knee to Theory’s gut. O’Reilly worked on Theory with Muay Thai knees  which he turned into Tae Kwon Do strikes. O’Reilly used a Yakuza Kick to set up and hit Theory with w slam into the Juji Gatame. Theory escaped, but O’Reilly adjusted to an ankle lock. Theory got to the rope for the break, but O’Reilly made sure to hit a knee drop on the arm that grabbed the rope. Theory shook up O’Reilly with a back elbow. O’Reilly punched Theory to send him into the buckle. Theory punched O’Reilly on the top rope and hit O’Reilly with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count.

Theory hit O’Reilly with a modified neckbreaker for a two count. Theory tossed O’Reilly to ringside and put a piece of the steel steps aside. O’Reilly popped up and hit Theory with aggressive strikes. O’Reilly tripped up Theory and pummeled Theory with palms. O’Reilly hit Theory with an axe kick and forearm smash. Theory was knocked out. O’Reilly gave Theory a knee drop to Theory’s calf and heel. O’Reilly locked Theory in a heel hook for the submission.

Kyle O’Reilly defeated Austin Theory via submission in 14:05. 

O’Reilly held on to Theory after the bell and had to be pulled off Theory by the referee. The replay focused on the moment where O’Reilly recovered at ringside and had fury in his eyes.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai backstage on Gonzalez’s match in the main event. Gonzalez talked about how she’s going to handle Li. Kai pointed out Li disrespecting Kai last week by walking past her. Gonzalez said that Li, Ying, and Boa don’t scare her…

Vic Joseph hyped a Legado Del Fantasma “Mariachi Music Musical” (whatever the hell that is?) for after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A very fun match. The match outcome was never in question due to Theory’s position as Gargano’s underling, but Theory tends to have great matches due to his natural talent, so he was a natural fit in the ring for O’Reilly who’s also a ring general. Theory even managed to get some cheers here against a guy that NXT wants to push as their top babyface. O’Reilly is still a work in progress in terms of becoming that top babyface, but he’s doing much better than when he first showed up acting all goofy and lackadaisical following his win against Adam Cole a few months ago. O’Reilly still needs to cut some promos though to give the viewers reason to get behind him. He can be comedic. He’s good at it as seen in his Ring of Honor segments when he’s playing off Bobby Fish (and even his Undisputed Era segments). He just needs to take his natural quirkiness and maybe tone it down about 25% to not come off as cringe.

Another ad aired for the next NXT Takeover show…

Legado Del Fantasma were all in the ring with a pair of Mariachis. Santos Escobar dismissed the Mariachis and told them to leave the ring. Escobar said he was going to introduce the fans to the best music in the world, but he decided to not lower himself to entertain the fans. Escobar said You, the fans, aren’t worth it. He said he’s not going to embarrass himself, Wilde, and Mendoza by doing what Hit Row did with their style. Escobar said his style is being the real Champion. Escobar said he’s going to take the title and take the title to the rafters with blood, sweat, familia.

Hit Row made their entrance and cut off Escobar’s promo. B-Fab and Hit Row called Escobar and their music trash. B-Fab joked about Wilde and Mendoza calling Santos papa. Top Dolla AJ Francis cut a rapping promo roasting Escobar. When Isaiah Scott took the mic, he pointed out how it took all three Legado guys to beat him about a year ago when Scott was going after the Cruiserweight title. Scott talked about getting his own crew now and how he’s going to make Escobar his bitch. Escobar said that Hit Row is making pandejo nursery rhymes. Escobar said he’s taking the North American Title home soon. Hit Row all got up on the apron.

Escobar sent Mendoza and Wilde after Hit Row and they were easily dispathed by Ashanti Adonis and Top Dolla. Scott and Escobar brawled in the ring. Escobar tried to hit Scott with one of the guitars, but B-Fab grabbed it. Scott punched Escobar to the mat. Scott tried to hit Escobar with the guitar, but Escobar ducked and ran out of the ring. Joaquin WIlde tried to blindside Scott but Scott saw it coming. Scott, Adonis, and Dolla surrounded Wilde. Wilde tried to run, but he ate a kick from Adonis. Scott said Hit Row’s “now you know” catchphrase and smashed the guitar over the back of Wilde. Hit Row stood tall to end the segment…

The Way were all arguing backstage. LeRae pointed out how she and Hartwell lost the titles and Gargano lost to Kross. She pointed out that Theory is picking fights with people he can’t beat. Hartwell yelled that if Theory wants to kiss Dexter then he can kiss Dexter. Theory let out a confused “whaaaaaat?”. LeRae said Hartwell is just projecting. The Way continued to argue heading into commercial…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A fairly standard segment to set up a presumed North American Title feud and potential trios feud between two of NXT’s factions. What helped make the segment solid was Escobar’s solid promo ability, Hit Row’s slick promo ability, and Hit Row’s cool factor. I guess Hit Row are full on Babyface now, and that was hard to avoid given how cool Hit Row come off. This gave me more memories of LAX (Santana and Ortiz) showing up in Impact Wrestling as heels, only to come off as too cool that they had to turn them babyface only a few months into their run. I’m still hyping up the Hit Row train and these guys may be one of the coolest acts in all of WWE right out of the gate. Let’s not forget too, Escobar and Scott have wrestled each other for years, even before WWE and these guys can really deliver in the ring when given time. Give Scott and Escobar 15 minutes in the ring and watch them produce magic.

An NXT UK ad aired which focused on the advertised WALTER vs. Ilja Dragonov match being posponed…

Samoa Joe was pacing around backstage. William Regal showed up and told Joe that Kross will be here and that Joe needs to calm down. Joe said he is going to be the first man to greet Kross tonight. Regal asked Joe to keep it peaceful. Joe was seething…

Entrances for the next NXT Breakout Tournament match aired…

4. Andre Chase vs. Odyssey Jones. Odyssey Jones had a lot of good energy during his entrance. Beth Phoenix noted Jones’ College Football background. Chase went for a shoulder tackle which Jones no-sold. Chase managed to get Jones to a knee with kicks. Jones recovered and shoved Chased to the mat. Jones dumped Chase to ringside with a lariat. Chase went for a plancha on Jones, but Jones botched the catch and almost dropped Chase on his head. Chase hit jones with a few running elbows to shake up Jones.

Chase got a two count on Jones. Chase punted Jones in the shoulder and hit Jones with a flip stunner. Chase hit Jones with a moonsault for a two count. Jones came back with a few running tackles. Jones hit Chase with an (ugly) crossbody. Jones hit Chase with a lift into a side slam for the victory.

Odyssey Jones defeated Andre Chase via pinfall in 3:19. 

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Nash Carter and Wes Lee about MSK’s next move. Carter and Lee said they welcome all challengers. McKenzie asked them what MSK stands for. Wes talked about growing up in Ohio. Before he could reveal what it stood for, the promo was hacked by an Imperium promo. Barthel and Aichner hyped themselves up and talked about their goal of bringing purity back to the ring by any means necessary. The hacked feed ended and Lee was at the end of his explanation of what MSK stands for. McKenzie Mitchell said it all makes sense now…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A bit of an ugly match at points, mostly due to Odyssey’s greenness. Odyssey had a few scary botches that could have ended badly, so hopefully he cleans up his in ring work a bit. Botches like that are understandable given Odyssey’s pro athlete and non-wrestling background. Inexperience aside, I like Odyssey Jones’ look, energy, and size. He actually reminds me of Mark Henry a bit. Mark Henry is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time and if Odyssey can somehow channel the intensity and promo ability of the World’s Strongest Man, then I’d be all in on Jones. I wonder if I’m the only one that’s coming up with the Henry comparison?

Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan cut a promo backstage to set up a match against Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa for next week…

LA Knight got a televised entrance for the next match…

5. The Million Dollar Champion LA Knight (w/Cameron Grimes) vs. Drake Maverick in a non-title match. Maverick tripped up Knight and hit Knight with a basement dropkick. Knight came back and hit Maverick with a back suplex. Knight rolled to ringside and ordered Grimes to hold up Knight’s championship belt. Maverick reversed an electric chair into a huracanrana on Knight. Maverick hit Drake with a crossbody for a one count.

Knight tried to order Grimes to hold up the title belt again, but Maverick dropkicked Knight’s head into the title belt. Maverick picked up the pinfall win after the dropkick.

Drake Maverick defeated LA Knight via pinfall in a non-title match in 2:21.

Grimes told Maverick to run away. Knight caught Maverick and beat up Maverick after the match. Grimes pulled off Knight and tried to get him to stop attacking Maverick. Knight stopped and ordered Grimes to attack Maverick. Grimes tried to walk away but he was dragged back to the ring by Knight. Knight demanded that Grimes punch Maverick in the face while he held Maverick in place. Grimes reluctlantly punched Maverick in the face and then sat in the corner, remorseful of what he just did. Knight gloated a bit and ordered Maverick to leave with him…

Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai were getting ready for Gonzalez’s title defense…

A video package aired to set up the Raquel Gonzalez vs. Xia Li championship match…[c]

John’s Thoughts: There’s a part of me that hope that NXT gets behind Maverick one day with a big storyline, but I understand using him in this role here, especially since the recent WWE releases left Maverick without a tag partner. I’m kinda liking the whole Grimes and Knight dynamic and the approach of Grimes not selling Knight trying to embarrass him. Grimes finds a way to make comedy work, which is why he’s so beloved (along with his amazing wrestling ability). The post match segment of Grimes showing remorse for punching Maverick is a good step towards Grimes’s eventual serious turn down the road.

A random car pulled up in the WWE PC parking lot. Samoa Joe pulled out the driver and it wasn’t Karrion Kross

The commentary team checked in on from the announce table and reminded viewers that NXT will be on SyFy the next two weeks. Beth made a joke about the ECW zombie again. Josh Briggs vs. Carmelo Hayes, Lorcan and Dunne vs. Ciampa and Thatcher, and Adam Cole vs. Bronson Reed were announced for next week’s show on SyFy…

Entrances for the upcoming women’s championship match took place. Li made her entrance without the rest of Tian Sha. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions for the Women’s Championship Match…

6. Raquel Gonzalez (w/Dakota Kai) vs. Xia Li for the NXT Women’s Championship. Gonzalez dominated the first few minutes of the match with power moves and tosses. Gonzalez sent Li spinning with a big boot. Gonzalez lawn darted Li into the ringpost. Gonzalez went for a big boot at ringside, but she got her leg tangled against the ringpost. Li slammed Gonzalez’s leg several times into the ringpost. Li tossed Gonzalez into the steps. The show cut to the picture in picture commercial.[c]

Li dominated Gonzalez with strikes. Li focused her attack on the knee she injured on Gonzalez earlier. Gonzalez flipped out of a half crab. Gonzalez hit Li with an Exploder Suplex and a series of lariats. Gonzalez hit Li with a dropkick for a two count.

[Overrun] Li reversed Gonzalez into a victory roll and jackknife pin for a few nearfalls. Li hit Gonzalez in the back with a spinning waterfall kick for a two count. Gonzalez got to her feet and hit Li with a spinebuster. Gonzalez hit Li with a corkscrew Vader Bomb for a two count. The referee separated both women with Li writhing in pain and selling her ribs. Doctors came out and checked on Li. The doctors diagnosed that Li was able to continue. Li struggled to get up, but once she did she ate Gonzalez’s uranage finisher for the victory.

Raquel Gonzalez defeated Xia Li via pinfall in 10:48 to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.

The replay continued to focus on Gonzalez’s twisting Vader bomb injuring Li in the ribs. Gonzalez and Kai posed at the top of the ramp to close the show…

But before the show could close, Samoa Joe walked past Kai and Gonzalez in anger. Joe yelled for Kross to join him in the ring so he can whoop Kross’s ass. Kross showed up on the big screen and said the NXT allows him to go wherever he wants, do whatever he wants, and hunt whoever he wants. The camera panned down to show that Kross left William Regal was lying. Kross asked Joe “do you still feel like you’re in control? Who provoked who?”. Kross got in his car and drove off as Regal was left lying next to the camera that Kross left on the ground…

John’s Thoughts: A decent women’s championship match, but NXT never really did a good job making it look like Xia Li had any chance to dethrone Raquel Gonzalez as championship. Odd decision to rush to this match so soon. Xia Li was being presented as a buzzsaw, so they could have made this encounter a Takeover match with the title winner being in question, but instead they put Li in a foregone conclusion TV match. I also don’t know what story they were trying to tell with the whole rib injury thing (unless she actually had a rib injury, which I don’t think is the case if they allowed Li to eat a Uranage. I’ve taken a martial arts bump with a bruised rib and that is not the best feeling thing).

The post match stuff with Joe was intriguing and NXT is not hiding the fact that Joe’s going to be wrestling soon. Kross came off very well here compared to how he’s come off in recent programs. I still can’t get over him jobbing to Jeff Hardy on Monday in under two minutes. Yes, leverage pin, but Kross has beaten a ton of heels including a set of three credible heels (Legado Del Fantasma) in a handicap match. I’m also all for doing something with Jeff Hardy, but I would have had ANYONE else lose to Hardy, even Keith Lee or Finn Balor, but not screw up Kross’s debut and continue the odd trend of Kross not being able to fight back against his detractors. I digress. Kross’s booking on Raw was weird. His booking here was solid somewhat, and I’m looking forward to Kross vs. Joe because this fits well into Kross’s wheelhouse of working more of a shoot style against a shoot-style opponent. I also hope that WWE allows the guy to cut his nihilist promos again because he’s coming off as basic when the guy behind the scenes is an educated intellectual (based off his past promo work and his self-produced YouTube promos). I still credit Kross with finding a way to make tag teaming with former Los Matadores Bull, El Torito, look devastating.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. Sadly no reason to even watch this show anymore. No one here will ever be taken seriously. 7/19/21 was the death date of NXT

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