8/10 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly meet face to face, Dakota Kai vs. Sarray, Odyssey Jones vs. Trey Baxter in an NXT Breakout Tournament semifinal match, Ilja Dragunov appears, Raquel Gonzalez first comments since being attacked by Kai

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

Live from Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired August 10, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were on commentary. Dakota Kai made her entrance and talked about how she was going to prove a point to Raquel Gonzalez. Her opponent was Sarray…

1. Sarray vs. Dakota Kai. Sarray worked on Kai with boots, Kai turned the tables and came back with forearms. Sarray hit Kai with a body slam and then put Kai in a modified Deathlock. Sarray converted the deathlock into a Muta Lock. Kai reversed the hold by pulling Sarray’s hair. Kai worked on Sarray with methodical offense, while also talking to the camera to taunt Raquel Gonzalez.

Sarray fought through a few suplexs and then locked Kai in a hyperextended deathlock. Sarray hit Kai with a slingshot double stomp for a two count. Sarray hit Kai with a fisherman suplex for a two count to head into the picture-in-picture.[c]

Back from the break, Sarray hit Kai with a double stomp. Sarray hit Kai with a Bridged German Suplex for a two count. Kai recovered and whipped Sarray into the corner. Kai hit Sarray with a knee wash kick for the two count. Sarray drove Kai’s head into the bottom rope with a running dropkick. Kai recovered and slammed Sarray into the bottom rope. The picture-in-picture showed that Raquel Gonzalez was in the WWE PC parking lot. Sarray caught Kai with two back kicks. Kai came back with a pump kick for the clean win.

Dakota Kai defeated Sarray via pinfall in 13:07.

Kai sized up Sarray after the match and was about to go for a Face Wash, but Raquel Gonzalez ran in the ring and chased off Kai. Gonzalez got on the mic and said that Kai won’t beat Gonzalez and will never be champion. Gonzalez said Kai will get her chance at the title at Takeover, but Gonzalez will then tear Kai apart. Vic Joseph hyped Gonzalez vs. Kai for the title at Takeover 35…

Barrett and Joseph recapped highlights from the Love Her or Lose Her match from last week. Barrett said he was disgusted at the ending of last week’s NXT. Joseph sent the show to a skit that featured The Way. Johnny and Candice argued over Indi loving Dexter. Johnny agreed that for the family they should try to make this work. Dexter Lumis rang the Gargano’s door bell as Johnny let Dexter in to pick up his date. Candice LeRae was helping Indi Hartwell with her makeup. LeRae said she’s just there to protect Hartwell. Hartwell said as a former tag champion “I don’t need protection”.

Johnny Gargano was playing the role of “dad” making sure that Lumis was going to take care of Hartwell while also not thinking of any funny business. Lumis was slient throughout Johnny’s interrogation. Hartwell met up with Lumis and the couple went out on their date. Gargano said everything will be fine because they put a GPS tracker on Dexter’s car and can trail them on their date…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Really good match that could have been better if given 5 more minutes. The finish does have me a “bit” worried? Sarray was protected up to this point and instead she’s a generic stepping stone here? I hope there isn’t another round of cuts and Sarray is a part of them? I also wonder if Kai winning with a pump kick was put in to replace her old finisher, which could be seen as a CM Punk reference (even though the GTS is more of a Kenta reference).

Hit Row were standing next to a dumpster fire inside of a semi truck. Scott talked about  Legado Del Fantasma disrespecting Hit Row’s culture. Isaiah Scott dumped a luchador mask in the flames…

Ilja Dragonov made his entrance to the WWE PC ring. Ilja took the mic and said he’s not a man of big words. He said where he comes from, words mean nothing, but pain means something. Ilja said the struggle means something. Ilja said the fighting spirit means something. He said he put his strength not into his mouth, but into his fist. He said with his fist and everything he is, he will make the unthinkable. Ilja said that history will be made at Takeover and an unbeatable kingdom will fall when he beats WALTER.

Ilja’s promo was cut off by Pete Dunne, who walked out in street clothes. Dunne said Ilja needs to thank Dunne for being a former UK champion and carrying the entire UK on his back. Dunne said Ilja wouldn’t have even got a chance to wrestle Walter if not for Dunne’s success. Dunne said if he were still in the UK he would have put Ilja in his place a long time ago. Ilja said he’s given everything he had and carried himself to the top. Ilja said he’s going to make the impossible possible by beating WALTER. Something Dunne couldn’t do. Ilja challenged Dunne to a match tonight. Dunne said after tonight, Ilja won’t make it to takeover…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed LA Knight and Cameron Grimes about Knight leaving Grimes hanging last week. Knight said Grimes was the one who left Knight hanging. Knight said Grimes is a failure for not making it up to Knight for the failure at the golf course. Knight talked about DiBiase filling Cameron’s head with lies. Knight said a few catchphrases and left for an upcoming match…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good delivery from Ilja Dragunov. I thought he could have used a video package to introduce him to US viewers, but he did get across that he was a plucky wrestler through his inspired promo. Again, all the cuts and talk of NXT rebranding has me raising eyebrows. Maybe for nothing? But Dunne challenging the challenger for the UK title means that Dunne is losing right? Dunne has been one of the most protected wrestlers in NXT over the last 8 or so months, and they’re just going to throw that away? It looked like they were building him up for Samoa Joe. If NXT rebrands by that time, we might not even get the teased Dunne vs. Joe match? Maybe I’m overthinking, but seeing protected Sarray suddenly lose made me pay attention.

Entrances for the next match too place…

2. LA Knight vs. Andre Chase. Knight simply hit Chase withthe Blunt Force Trauma after 25 seconds of match to pick up the win.

LA Knight defeated Andre Chase via pinfall in 0:30

Ted DiBiase made his entrance and said things have gotten too far. He said he knows Cameron is a man of his word, but he has a lot more to offer Grimes. Ted said Grimes could be doing a lot more things. Ted said he believes in Grimes and the people believe in Grimes. Knight said that Ted needs to go to the back or else he’s gonna get punched in the mouth again. Ted said LA needs to shut the hell up.

Ted said Grimes needs to follow his hard. Ted said that Grimes can be a champion and Knight needs to put the million dollar championship on the line. Knight talked about how he’s already beat Grimes twice. Knight said he’ll agree to another match, but this time if Grimes loses, Ted DiBiase needs to be Knight’s butler. Grimes told Ted not to agree to it. Ted said he’s a gambling man and his money is on Grimes. Ted said Knight is on…

The show cut to Gigi Dolan (Priscilla Kelly) cutting a promo backstage, while cutting black roses. Dolan talked about how she’s about to run through all the top women in the division and she’s not going to do it alone?…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A bit of a rough segment. It was easy to see where they were going, but Ted DiBiase was rambling a bit to get to his point. I also feel like they could have built up “serious and wholesome” Cameron Grimes a bit more.

The Ric Flair and LA Knight car insurance commercial aired during the break (relevant because of LA Knight being in it)…

Wade Barrett advertised LA Knight vs. Cameron Grimes for the

Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne made their entrance. Both women were being very seductive…

3. Gigi Dolan (w/Jacy Jane) vs. Amare Miller. Gigi slammed Amare to the mat early on. Vic Joseph advertised Pete Dunne vs. Ilja Dragonov as the main event of this week’s NXT show. Miller came back with a neckbreaker for a one count. Dolan hyperextended Miller’s shoulder on the bottom rope. Dolan worked on Miller with a few shortarm forearms. Gigi Dolan hit Miller with a cool looking Abdominal Stretch Driver for the victory.

Gigi Dolan defeated Amare Miller via pinfall in 2:06. 

Vic Joseph hyped Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly going face-to-face after the break…

John’s Thoughts: Good stuff! I’m really looking forward to Gigi Dolan finally getting a push and a character. I was really impressed by her promo and character work in MLW where she really overshadowed Jimmy Havoc in a good way when she was Jimmy Havoc’s manager. She’s also solid in the ring too. The only thing against her in the PG WWE is I wonder how they’re going to tell stories with a character that’s built around high sex appeal? That’s up to the WWE writers to figure out, but I hope she gets pushed because she’s really solid.

Dexter Lumis and Indi Hartwell were at an Italian Restaurant. Indi was impressed by chicken fingers being on the menu. Candice LeRae was hiding behind a menu, but was exposed when Indi heard Johnny Gargano speaking through Candice’s walkie talkie. LeRae agreed her cover was blown. LeRae left and Dexter and Indi continued their date…

[Hour Two] William Regal called out Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly to the ring. Adam Cole made his entrance to the ring, which was filled with security guards. Kyle O’Reilly made his entrance right after. William Regal announced that their match at takeover will be a best of three falls. Regal said each man will choose the stipulation of the first falls, and Regal will choose the third fall if it has to go that far. O’Reilly said the first fall will be pinfall or submission. O’Reilly said that Cole’s ego would be so broken if he loses to O’Reilly in a simple match like this. Cole said O’Reilly is delusional and that Cole is better than O’Reilly in every way.

Cole noted that O’Reilly lost to Cole fair and square at the last takeover and O’Reilly is hanging on to a victory that doesn’t count, the unsanctioned win. Cole said both men in the ring want the same thing. Cole said the 2nd fall needs to be a street fight. Cole said they aren’t even going to need a third fall for this match and the O’Reilly-Cole saga will end at Takeover. O’Reilly said he knows what being garbage has done to Cole’s career. Cole said he tried to be a nice guy and that is just a kick in the nuts. O’Reilly said he is going to take Cole down for good because he simply doesn’t care.

Cole said O’Reilly is sounding like a moron now. He said he’s taught O’Reilly for years and O’Reilly has been following in his footsteps for 13 years, riding on Cole’s coattails. Cole said O’Reilly will never be Adam Cole. Cole said nobody can touch Adam Cole in NXT and O’Reilly is just a footnote in Cole’s career. Cole said he sees that cool Kyle is soft. O’Reilly took off his jacket. Cole said O’Reilly is nothing. O’Reilly punched Cole and a brawl ensued. Regal said the third fall will be contested in a steel cage. The security separated O’Reilly and Cole…

Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher cut a promo backstage. Ciampa talked about Ridge Holland attacking them a few weeks ago. After cutting a bit of a promo, Timothy Thatcher challenged Ridge Holland to a match…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Strong promo segment to set up the best of three falls match. Adam Cole in particular carried that segment with his intensity. He was douchey enough to still be a heel, but it’s tough not to want to cheer such an inspired wrestler and good talker. O’Reilly wasn’t bad either. He’s not the greatest on the mic in terms of cutting a serious promo, but he didn’t fall on his face here. He was fine and Cole’s greatness kept this segment intriguing.

An Imperium promo was supposed to air, but they were cut off by MSK who mocked Imperium by wearing tracksuits. They noted that they didn’t like wearing the suits. MSK cut a promo saying that they’re fighting champions and they’re willing to face Imperium any day…

Vic Joseph hyped up the O’Reilly vs. Cole best of three falls match. Wade Barrett hyped up LA Knight vs. Cameron Grimes for the Million Dollar Championship…

Entrances for the next breakout tournament match aired…

4. Odyssey Jones vs. Trey Baxter in the semi-finals of the NXT Breakout Tournament. The crowd was fully behind Odyssey. Odyssey shoved Baxter away during a waisthold. Baxter went for a rollup, but Jones blocked it with his size. Baxter staggered Jones by keeping his distance with strikes. Jones got a hand on Baxter and gave him a front toss. Jones tossed Baxter across the ring. Baxter hit Jones with a DDT for a one count. Jones gave Baxter a corner splash and a pumphandle slam for the victory.

Odyssey Jones defeated Trey Baxter via pinfall in 2:52.

Odyssey Jones was interviewed at ringside. He said he was excited to punch his ticket to the finals. He said “hey momma! I made it”…

Boa cut a quick promo in Mandarin with Mei Ying spraying mist into the screen. Vic Joseph noted that Boa was in action after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Not surprising, given Odyssey’s look, size, and charisma. The guy is still a work in progress in the ring, but everyone was a rookie at some point. I’m looking forward to see how this guy does once he gets in more reps and refines his technique. This match was better than his last match against Harlem Bravado (which involved Jones almost injuring Bravado a few times). Trey Baxter is someone to look at down the road as this guy has been getting hyped up a lot for his appearances in New Japan and Impact Wrestling.

McKenzie Mitchell was standing outside of Regal’s office for updates. Kushida and Malcolm Bivens got out of Regal’s office and passed by Mitchell. Regal got out of the office and announced MSK vs. Imperium for the tag team titles next week. Regal also announced Kushida vs. Roderick Strong for the Cruiserweight Championship for next week…

A tweet was shown by Mandy Rose who congratulated Gigi Dolan on her win and for accepting her advice…

Boa made his entrance with Mei Ying sitting on her throne. No sign of Xia Li. Boa cut a basic fighting pose in the ring. Ying actually got up off the throne to stand near ringside…

5. Boa (w/Mei Ying) vs. Drake Maverick. Maverick dominated Boa with a kick to the throat and a chop block. Boa took down Maverick with a palm strike. Boa gave Maverick a few shortarm kicks. Boa hit Maverick with an armlift slam. Maverick reversed Boa and hit Boa with a huracanrana. Maverick hit Boa with a series of dropkicks. Maverick hit Boa with a cannonball at ringside. Maverick slammed Boa’s boot into the apron. Maverick turned into Mei Ying who sprayed him with some sort of mist. Boa hit Maverick with a simple roundhouse for the win.

Boa defeated Drake Maverick via pinfall in 2:58. 

Boa and Ying stood tall at the top of the ramp…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Odd match. That was pretty much all Drake Maverick. Odd because they did all those well produced training vignettes to show that Boa and Xia Li were now more thickbody and invincible. Xia Li sold the transformation well, but Xia’s also way better in the ring than Boa (Both started off with no experience, but Xia is that much more better a learner in terms of pro wrestling). I think Tian Sha kinda needs Xia to carry this thing and not Boa, who’s been in WWE for a while, but has shown little improvement. I also would like to see them do more with Mei Ying, who had a really cool introduction. I hope they don’t end up getting too cutesy with her though. I’m afraid she’ll just be a low budget Su Yung if they end up going that route.

Back at Dexter and Indi’s date, they were winding down to the end of their meal. All of a sudden, Johnny Gargano showed up in a bad costume, trying to act Italian. Indi saw through it. After Johnny and Indi fought over the cake, the cake accidentally went into the face of Dexter, who no sold it. Indi said she always has room for dessert as she took a bit of cake off of Dexter’s face. Indi went for the kiss and the camera cut back to the NXT announce team…

A Samoa Joe vs. Karrion Kross video package aired to hype up their encounter. The video included words from both men (my TV was glitching at this point so I couldn’t get most of their promos)…

Wade Barrett hyped Kross and Joe going face to face next week…

An Ilja Dragonov vignette aired…[c]

A hype video aired for next week’s two title matches. Vic Joseph dubbed next week “Title Tuesday” with the Cruiserweight and Tag Team titles being on the tline…

Entrances for the main event took place with less than 10 minutes left at the top of the hour. Pete Dunne was by himself (no Lorcan or Holland)…

6. Pete Dunne vs. Ilja Dragunov. Dunne took down Ilja with a wristlock into a chickenwing. Ilja backdropped Pete into an armbar. Ilja and Dunne traded advantages during the technical chain wrestling exchange. Dunne got up and nailed Ilja with a knee and a PK. Dunne kept Ilja down with a few strikes. Ilja came back with a follow-through lariat. Dunne landed on his feet during a German Suplex attempt. Ilja used a matrix dodge to dodge Dunne’s lariat. Ilja returned the favor with his own lariat.

Ilja hit Dunne with a diving knee for a two count. Dunne went for joint manipulation on Ilja on the top rope, but Ilja punched Dunne off the top rope. Ilja went for a dive, but he was punched mid-air by Pete. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Dunne was working on Ilja with joint manipulation back from the break. Dunne gave Ilja shortarm boots with Ilja no-sold with fighting spirit. Ilja and Pete traded stiff right hands to the face.

[Overrun] Dunne blocked a punch with a kimura. Ilja escaped and hit Dunne with a few lariats. Ilja used a Tiger Feint Kick to build momentum into a lariat to take down Dunne. Ilja went for a gutwrench suplex, but Dunne used the joint manipulation to escape. Ilja powered out and hit Dunne with a Murphy’s Law for a two count. Ilja went for another matrix dodge, but Dunne PK’d Ilja. Ilja recovered and gave Dunne a senton. Ilja and Pete traded counters.

Dunne and Ilja traded strikes on the ground. Dunne went for a Fujiwara Armbar, but Ilja reversed it into a rollup. Dunne caught Ilja into a Kimura. Ilja deadlifted Dunne into a powerbomb for a good nearfall. Ilja gave Dunne a boot for another great nearfall. Dunne and Ilja traded counters. Dunne stomped Dragonov’s hands and gave him a buzzsaw kick. Dunne gave Ilja a driveby punch. Ilja reversed a Bitter end. Dunne reversed Ilja into a Juji Gatame.

Ilja escaped and hit Dunne with a deadlift German for yet another great nearfall. Ilja hit Dunne with a top rope senton. All of a sudden, Walter’s entrance music played as Walter made his entrance to the top of the ramp. Ilja dumped Pete over the toprope and went to confront Walter. Dunne tried to blindside Ilja but Dunne ate a kneee. Dunne came back with a flying punch on Ilja. Dunne hit Ilja with the Bitter End for the win.

Pete Dunne defeated Ilja Dragunov via pinfall in 14:25. 

Dunne and Walter stood face to face for a bit, but Dunne quickly got out of the ring after he did his signature shrug. Walter tried to attack Ilja, but Ilja dumped Walter to ringside with a flying shoulder tackle. The show closed with Ilja standing tall in the ring holding the NXT UK title in his forearms while Walter was writhing on the ground in pain…

John’s Thoughts: Okay, I have some hope that NXT isn’t all dead. I was afraid that they were going to kill Dunne’s “Bobby Lashley Push” out of nowhere, but they surprisingly give him a win. Yes, he did get a bit of a distraction by Walter, but he did still end up finishing the match with a series of moves and even countering Ilja’s final onslaught. Ilja a plucky guy and can shrug off this loss. Ilja vs. Walter has the potential to be a match of the year candidate given how great their last match was.

Speaking of great matches, Ilja vs. Dunne was really really damn good and a damn good match that came out of nowhere. Both men had great chemistry, this match had good phases to it, and the nearfalls at the end were amazing. Not to mention, they’re still protecting Pete Dunne, which gives me hope that Pete vs. Joe might still happen in the future. The rest of the show, eh, I’m not sure If I’m overthinking, but the recent releases have me overanalyzing the direction of NXT as a whole. This weeks show was just odd to me. There were a bunch of squashes. A few squashes had green talent. Let me think this over a bit. I’ll get back to ya on the audio review.

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. That was an awesome main event.

  2. “The finish does have me a “bit” worried? Sarray was protected up to this point and instead she’s a generic stepping stone here? I hope there isn’t another round of cuts and Sarray is a part of them?”

    Jeez John can you dial it back a bit with the ‘question marks at the end of sentences that are not questions’? It’s get more and more irritating every week!

    • While yes… I did use several question marks in a row, (especially if you’ve listened to my members audio reviews) you would know that I will purposefully speak in a questioning tone to connotate wavering. I put those in my sentences to express inflection too. Sorry if that bothers you…

  3. Well, if Sarray does get cut, I bet Stardom would love to have her…and she’d be fantastic there if she chose to go.

    • I’m still not totally sold on all the Sarray hype. Stardom has so many different personalities, characters, and skillsets that I can name a handful of wrestlers that I can plug into a wrestling roster that would stand out more than Sarray. Sarray’s great in the ring, that’s no issue. But she doesn’t do anything necessarily unique, plus she plays the generic plucky white meat babyface which never has a high ceiling.

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