(Report Via Mike Hogan, Rajah.com Reporter)
Welcome back to the best WWE wrestling of the week, NXT! Your host tonight is the man, the myth, the legend in his own mind and the self-proclaimed best play-by-play reporter in sports entertainment today, Mike Hogan! We had a great show lined up for us tonight, with a scary possible injury and some truly-exciting big spots and matches. But with all that said, let's get things started! For those of you who want just the results and not the novella, click here!
WWE NXT Live Results (7/20/2021) - Capitol Wrestling Center, Winter Park, FL
-Last Week on NXT...
We open straight with a video package that recaps the recent conflict between General Manager William Regal's special enforcer, Samoa Joe, and Jeff Hardy's most recent jobber, NXT Champion Karrion Kross (I'm allowed to be pissed for another 24 hours, sorry). We see where Joe reiterates that he cannot put hands on anyone unless he's provoked, and we see Karrion Kross putting hands on--and provoking--Joe.
-In the Ring: Samoa Joe
Tom Phillips' inferior clone, Vic Joseph, welcomes us to the arena alongside WWE Legend Beth Phoenix and Wade Barrett as Joe makes his way down to the ring to a loud chorus of "Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe!" Joe gets in the ring and gets on the mic, saying, "Tick tock, time to smash your clock." GM Regal comes out on the mic immediately, angrily telling Joe that he can't go around calling out Superstars. Joe vehemently disputes this, heatedly telling the GM that the deal was if Joe was provoked, he could call out his provoker. Regal counters that last week, Kross put hands on special referee Samoa Joe, not special enforcer Samoa Joe. Joe snaps at Regal for using semantics. Joe and Regal fail to see eye-to-eye as the GM demands Joe not retaliate against Kross tonight as the crowd boos loudly. The crowd starts a "let them fight" chant. Joe accuses Regal of being unable to control his Champion, and lightly notes Kross' Raw appearance last night without acknowledge the outcome. Joe tells Regal that, out of respect, he'll mind himself tonight but he can't promise the night ends peacefully but he can promise that before the night is over, someone's going to sleep. The crowd chants for Joe as we go to a promo.
-Video Promo: Xia Li
Ahead of tonight's NXT Women's Championship main event match, Xia Li cuts a pre-recorded Mandarin promo. She mentions defeating Mercedes Martinez and promises to become the first Chinese champion in NXT.
*Diamond Mine vs Bobby Fish & NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida
We cut back to the arena as the Diamond Mine make their way out--with Roderick Strong & Tyler Rust representing the Diamond Mine. Hey, if Riddle joins the Diamond Mine, did he slide into someone's DMs? Kushida and Fish waste no time as they ambush the Diamond Mine mid-entrance. The two teams briefly brawl before we go to a break--this match is next. Back from the break and this match is under way. Kushida focuses a series of working holds and wear-down submissions to Roderick Strong's right arm and wrist. Kushida with a beautiful Kyoto Wrist Snap. Kushida tags in Fish, and Strong tags in Rust. Rust and Fish lock up and exchange high knees, with Fish taking an early lead. Fish executes a beautiful double-springboard inverted leg drop, covering for a long one. Fish tags in Kushida. Rust bull-rushes Kushida into the Diamond Mine corner, pinning him in the corner with his body as Roderick Strong tags in. Strong with a few abdomen blows. Kushida looks for a running armbar but Strong counters with a backbreaker and tags in Rust. Pendulum Sling leaves the Cruiserweight champ down. Rust with a pin attempt for a two. The crowd begins to chant "We want Bobby," unaware that the Almighty Champion is not present. Strong focuses his offense on Kushida's neck, possibly looking to set up a sleeper. Strong tags in Rust, and both men look for a double-team on Kushida. Kushida escapes and hits a double-springboard elbow strike to both and tags in Fish! Fish swims into the ring and channels his inner shark, taking down both Strong and Rust. Strong attempts to recover at the ringside as Fish and Rust still slug it out. Fish looks for an Exploder Suplex but Strong grabs Fish from behind, from the apron, causing enough interference for Rust to escape. Strong and Rust take control, sending Fish outside and down to the floor hard as we go to another break.
Back from the break. Strong lays across Bobby Fish, hammering his former Undisputed Era teammate with elbow blows. Strong tags in Rust. Rust with a big suplex and a pin attempt. Outside the ring, the remainder of Diamond Mine cheer on their partners. Bivens, especially, seems pleased so far. Rust and Fish exchange chop uppercuts briefly. Rust with a kick to the gut that drops Fish, then drags him over by a foot and holds it as Strong is tagged in. Strong with a thigh kick followed by a neck hold. Fish powers to a vertical base and throws rights into Strong's side. Fish and Strong lock up. Fish with three rising knee strikes as he tries to fight his way to his corner. Kushida is posed for the hot tag, but Strong drops Fish just short of the corner. Strong tags in Rust, who unleashes a few big chest kicks to Fish. Rust looks for a modified Abdominal Stretch submission and pulls on Fish's beard! The ref warns Rust. Rust slaps the ribs and attempts to adjust the hold. The crowd bursts out in a loud "Kyle O'Reilly" chant. Fish again battles Rust towards his corner. Rust attempts to block him, but Fish shuts Rust down with a big Spinebuster! Fish and Rust make tags simultaneously, and Strong & Kushida hit the ring hot. Kushida fires up, using an arm drag and a rolling dropkick to plant Strong. Kushida with a kick to the side of the face of a seated Strong and covers for a close two as Bivens looks on in shock! Kushida with a running armbar. Kushida looks for a running Punt Kick but Strong ducks and tags in Rust. Rust with a pair of clubbing blows before hitting a snap gut-wrench Powerbomb. Impressive! Kushida fires back with a step-up Enziguri. Kushida attempts a Hoverlock Board but Rust rolls through and converts it into an ankle lock! Kushida escapes and both men exchange big right elbows as the crowd chants "boo" and "yay" as appropriate. Strong attempts to get involved and Fish charges across the ring, attacking his former Era member and sending both crashing to the outside. The crowd with a loud "Kushida" chant. Kushida with a kick to the left elbow. Kushida attempts a high kick but Rust looks for the counter, only to find himself immediately in the Hoverboard Lock! Rust taps almost immediately!
Winner: Kushida & Bobby Fish
-Earlier Today: Drake Maverick, Grimes & Knight
Grimes drives up in Knight's car, dressed in his silly butler outfit as Knight complains about how long it took to get them there. Grimes jokes that if they'd taken Grimes' car, they'd have been there faster. Knight tells him to shut up and orders his butler to get the bags. Grimes recollects about formerly being a bag man. He attempts to carry what must be a dozen pieces of luggage. Drake Maverick walks up and attempts to assist Grimes, offering to carry some bags for him. Knight approaches Maverick, insulting him and challenging him to a match. Grimes politely apologizes to Drake on behalf of Knight's actions. We go to break.
-Video Promo: Odyssey Jones
-We get a short video hyping the big man Odyssey Jones, who promises to win the NXT Breakout Tournament.
*Franky Monet vs Jacy Jane
We return to the arena where Franky Money makes her way out, accompanied by Jessie Kamea of the now-apparently-defunct Robert Stone Brand. Is that Iggy Azalea for Monet's theme? The bell rings and Money takes an early lead over Jacy Jane as Robert Stone makes his way down to the ring, joining Kamea in rooting for Monet. Monet takes an early lead and dominates the short match. Her opponent gets a few seconds of offense in, showing off potential that I hope we see on display more often. Mandy Rose makes her way down about a minute and a half into the match, taking up position by sitting on top of the announcer's table. Monet is briefly distracted by Rose. This allows her opponent to take the upper hand, connecting with a splash and a suplex before following a neck breaker with a pin attempt. Our commentary team discuss the possible motivations of Rose being at the desk, and Phoenix reminds them that Rose can hear them. Monet takes a few more moments before putting away her opponent, picking up the easy victory in three minutes or less.
Winner: Franky Monet
-Backstage Interview: Mackenzie with the Way and Kyle O'Reilly
The Way start an interview when KOR walks up. O'Reilly challenges Theory to a match after the two exchange some dim-witted words. Gargano encourages Theory to take the match, so he does. Immediately afterwards, Gargano encourages Theory to be like "Papa John" (Gargano) then proceeds to leave, telling Theory he's on his own for this match. We go to break.
-Backstage Interview: Wade Barrett with Bronson Reed
In a pre-recorded interview, Barrett has Reed discuss his loss of the North American Championship recently. Reed is grateful for the support of the fans and his wife, and is looking forward to shutting up Adam Cole's mouth. Last week, Cole stuck his fat mouth where it didn't' belong and Reed's taken objection.
*Kyle O'Reilly vs Austin Theory
After our return, Kyle O'Reilly does his awkward "I wanna be cool and a rocker"/"seizures" entrance to loud piped-in cheers. The in-attendance crowd seems a bit less enthusiastic. Out next is Austin Theory, sporting the Wolverine-inspired "The Way" gear. He comes out solo, and to his own music. Both men ready up in the ring. Theory looks for a high-five just before the bell then remembers he walked out alone, and there's no "Papa John" there to high-five. The bell rings and both lock up, with Theory pushing KOR into the corner. We're reminded by Phoenix and Joseph that this is Kyle O'Reilly's first appearance in a match since way back at the Great American Bash such a long time ago. Theory breaks the hold and spends the first minute toying with KOR by using his power to take an early edge in the grapple war. The crowd uses various dueling chants throughout the match. O'Reilly looks to take control with an armbar, but Theory breaks it with a beautiful back suplex. The crowd begins chanting "Un-di-spu-ted" over and over, dueling with "Kyle O'Reilly" chants. O'Reilly attempts to fight back a second time, but Theory shuts him down with a shoulder thrust following a swing-and-a-miss. Theory takes O'Reilly down tot he mat and locks in a side headlock. O'Reilly attempts to use his legs to leverage out of it, but Theory blocks it. Theory talks trash to O'Reilly, and calls him a big baby (I think. Or he called him baby--O'Theory celebrity couple name?). O'Reilly once again attempts to gain control, floating over during mid-rear suplex attempt. Theory whips O'Reilly into the ropes and drops down, looking for what once must assume is the Johnny Cage nut-buster finisher. O'Reilly hits the breaks and slaps Theory disrespectfully. Theory lets his emotions gain the upper hand, and O'Reilly sends Theory outside as we go to break!
During the break, Kyle O'Reilly successfully mounts his first true offense of the night. O'Reilly keeps Theory grounded for much of the break, using wear-down holds to focus on the joints and shoulders of Theory's left arm. The ref repeatedly checks on Theory but the youngster hangs in there. This continues for the bulk of the break. Back from the break finds Theory firing back, finally, dropping O'Reilly with a kick before attempting a cover. Theory once again works the neck, using a rear chin lock to crank back O'Reilly's head as the ref checks. Theory and O'Reilly are both sweating bullets as both jockey for control. O'Reilly looks for a running corner kick but Theory counters with an impressive display of agility, shoving O'Reilly back with a foot, following it with a loud-impacting elbow, before hitting a modified monkey-flip roll. Theory takes control again, using strong strikes to weaken O'Reilly. Theory looks for a beautiful apron-to-ring springboard rolling mule dropkick, but O'Reilly counters by intercepting Theory mid-air and locking in an ankle lock! Theory escapes to the apron again. Theory drops O'Reilly and hits a springboard double-foot stomp, covering O'Reilly for another near fall. Theory is really impressing tonight. Theory goes back to working the shoulder and neck of O'Reilly, grinding his fist into O'Reilly's face and beard. The crowd gets behind O'Reilly as he makes his way to his feet. O'Reilly attempts to gain separation with gut shots, and succeeds with a blow that lays out Theory. O'Reilly locks up the head and begins his O'Reilly Muay Thai combination, firing various kicks, knee strikes and elbow blows to Theory until he collapses int he corner. O'Reilly with a running forearm to Theory in the corner. O'Reilly with a strong knee in the corner to Theory. O'Reilly with an armbar drag, and struggles with Theory as Austin fights the armbar attempt. O'Reilly transitions into an ankle lock but Theory grabs the ropes! O'Reilly breaks the hold and stomps Theory's outstretched arm, then begins to assault it with arm breakers and strikes int he middle of the ring. O'Reilly looks for an arm twist but Theory clocks him with a big right. Theory looks for a Powerbomb but O'Reilly counters and escapes. O'Reilly looks for another running knee int he corner but Theory escapes. Theory with a big slam and nearly picks up the upset! Theory with a beautiful RP-One (fisherman's suplex onto a knee/shoulder breaker combo)! O'Reilly escapes a pin attempt once again. O'Reilly heads outside, seemingly snapping when he sees Austin Theory attempting to retrieve steel steps. This triggers O'Reilly's PTSD, and Vic Joseph points out the unbridled aggression O'Reilly puts on display. O'Reilly sends Theory into the ring, still furious, and unloads on Theory with multiple forearms and kicks to the skull. The ref checks on Theory after the brutal blunt force trauma to the skull. O'Reilly heads up top and hits a diving knee, then locks in another ankle leg lock. Theory screams in pain and fights it, but ultimately has to tap. After the submission, the ref had to basically force O'Reilly to break the hold.
Winner: Kyle O'Reilly
-In the Ring: Legado Del Fantasma & a Mariachi Band
We return from the break with the trio of LDF in the ring, backed by a small Mariachi band. Before they can do anything, however, Escobar sends them to the back. He cuts a promo on the crowd as he attempts to build the Hit Row feud by setting LDF as the heels. He mocks the crowd, mocks Hit Row's style, and calls himself the true champion. Escobar informs Hit Row that he's going to take the North American title from them and put it on the same level with tradition, family, blood. Hit Row interrupt. Ashanti tells production to cut the music and then tells B-Fab to "put them on notice." B-Fab mocks the music of their culture, then mocks Escobar's colleagues as being at their quinceañeras. She then tells Mendoza & Wilde that they call Escobar Papito. Top Dolla joins in the promo, telling Legado that he was bigger than LDF when he was in sixth grade. He lightly mocks their size before Swerve gets on the mic. Swerve recalls that in 2020, it took the entire Legado to prevent Swerve from getting the title. So he put together Hit Row to have his back, and now he has the title. He mocks Escobar for kidnapping someone a few weeks ago and bringing them "right back" during the broadcast. Swerve tells Santos that he's going to make Escobar his "bitch." Escobar promises to take back the title and take it back to Mexico with him, and the crowd cheers this. Swerve exclaims "bingo, we got action!" Hit Row approach the ring and climb the apron as Legado tell them to enter the ring and bring it. Top Dolla, Swerve and Ashanti are happy to comply as B-Fab maintains on the apron, cheering on her friends. Wilde & Mendoza attack Top Dolla & Ashanti while Escobar and Swerve stand in each other's faces, jawing off. Top Dolla & Ashanti easily take their brawl outside. Escobar and Swerve clash, with Escobar getting the upper hand. Escobar looks at the acoustic guitar in the corner, inspired by last night's Symphony of Destruction match, clearly, and looks to smash it across Escobar's head. B-Fab grabs the guitar, blocking it. Escobar is sent out the ring and saved by Mendoza and Wilde. Unfortunately, Wilde finds himself in the ring surrounded by Hit Row. They clock him with the acoustic guitar despite Escobar warning them off. The guitar shatters across the back and he rolls out of the ring, Santos Escobar exhibiting a healthy mix of anger and disbelief as we end our segment with Hit Row talking smack.
-Backstage: the Way
All four members of the Way are backstage. They keep mentioning this is awful. Candice criticizes Gargano for not defeating Kross, and Hartwell & herself for losing the Women's Tag Team titles. She lays into Theory for losing to O'Reilly. Indi speaks up, telling Candice that she's being too hard on them all and if people want to kiss Dexter, they should be allowed to. Everyone looks at her and Candice threatens to get Indi a therapist. The three of them bicker as Austin Theory walks off, upset, and we head to a break.
-Backstage: General Manager William Regal & Special Enforcer Samoa Joe
Joe stands backstage, all-but hyperventilating. Regal approaches and reminds Joe that Kross will be here tonight. Regal implores Joe to show him the respect of listening to Regal. Joe tells Regal that he respects him, but Kross doesn't.
NXT Breakout Tournament Match: Andrew Chase vs Odyssey Jones
We return to the arena and out first is Andrew Chase. His opponent, Odyssey Jones, comes out to a loud crowd pop and reaction as the big man whoops and hollers his way down the ramp to the ring, and we ready up for this match. With this being one of three still-scheduled matches tonight, expect the pace to be quick. Chase shows off his size and agility but Odyssey Jones--a healthy mix of Big E and Keith Lee, it seems--proves to be more agile despite the size difference. Andrew Chase stuns the crowd with a beautiful top-rope Moonsault for a close two. Andrew Chase gets a bit of offense in for the next ninety seconds, so as not to completely bury him and showcase his abilities, but Jones takes control with a big suplex. Jones starts his comeback and hits a splash in the corner--then back-rolls to the middle of the ring and charges back in to connect with another. Jones with a big body slam and covers to pick up the win.
Your Winner and Advancing in the NXT Breakout Tournament, Odyssey Jones
-Backstage Interview: Mackenzie with MSK
Mackenzie asks MSK about the origin of their team name, "MSK." Just as Nash Carter is about to answer, explaining that way back in 2012 they...before he can finish the thought, our program is interrupted by a pre-recorded promo from Imperium who put the tag champs on notice. When we cut back to Carter & Lee and Mackenzie, they "end the conversation" by stating that's how they got the name MSK. She thanks them for the interesting and impressive story and we go to break. I need some crackers to go with this cheese.
-Backstage Promo: "the Bruiserweight" Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan
Both men cut a promo, during which Dunne reminds us that he's been asking for someone to match him technically for weeks. He found that last week in Timothy Thatcher. Both Dunne & Lorcan are eager to have a "scrap" with Ciampa and Thatcher, which will take place presumably next week!
*Drake Maverick vs LA Knight
We return to the Capitol Wrestling Center with Knight & Grimes on their way to the ring. Maverick is already in the ring. Grimes holds the Million Dollar belt up at various points in the match per Knight's instructions. When the bell rings, Drake fires off early with a short flurry of small strikes. The crowd chants "to the Moon!" in support of Grimes as Knight counters a Maverick kick. Knight heads outside the ring and instructs Grimes to hold the belt up above Grimes' head proper. When Knight returns into the ring, Maverick attempts some offense. Knight counters, looking possibly for a Powerbomb, and exclaims "goodbye" to Maverick. Maverick has other plans and counters with a Hurricanrana! Knight retaliates with a Fall-away Slam toss. The crowd once again starts a loud "to the Moon" chant for Grimes and Knight yells at the crowd to shut up. Knight then bends through the ropes and yells at Grimes to hold the belt up higher. Maverick with a dropkick to an unsuspecting Knight, and the momentum sends Knight face-first into his own Million Dollar Championship! Drake quickly rolls up Knight and steals the win as the crowd goes crazy!
Winner: Drake Maverick
-After the Match
Knight is livid at the loss and attacks Maverick mercilessly post-match despite the ref's imploring otherwise. Knight eventually restrains Maverick and orders Grimes to strike him. Grimes starts to walk away but is stopped by Knight. Knight reminds him of their deal, and holds Maverick again. Knight once again orders Grimes to slug Maverick, and this time Grimes does quite begrudgingly. Grimes sits in the corner, shaking and holding his head and exclaiming he doesn't want to do this. Knight leaves up the ramp and Grimes stays behind to check on Maverick. We get hype for the main event and head to break.
-In the Parking Lot: Samoa Joe
Joe steps outside and approaches a car that he believes to be Karrion Kross'. He rips the door open and pulls out the driver, who explains that not only is he not Karrion Kross (obviously), Kross is already inside the arena.
-Next Week's Announcements
Don't forget that SyFy will host the next two weeks of NXT. Josh Briggs is set to take on Carmelo Hayes in a continuation of the NXT Breakout Tournament, and we'll get the Dunne/Lorcan vs Thatcher/Ciampa match discussed earlier.
NXT Women's Championship Main Event Match: Raquel Gonzalez(c) w/ Dakota Kai vs Xia Li
With this match starting at roughly 9:53pm EST, you can expect an overrun. Xia Li comes out solo and our commentary team announce that Li wants to prove she can do this on her own. The champ is out next with bestie Kai. Our announcements are made, the bell rings and our competitors lock up. Gonzalez easily overpowers Xia Li and takes her into the corner, but the wily Li escapes. Xia looks for a side headlock, but Gonzalez powers out of it. Xia comes off the ropes and right into a shoulder block. Gonzalez yells, "I'm your champion, you will acknowledge respect me!" Xia with a cool martial arts-inspired kip-up. Xia attempts to take down the champ with a leg scissors but Gonzalez is too strong. Gonzalez tosses Li into the corner and runs into a boot. Li attempts to fight out of the corner but Gonzalez keeps her cornered. Li springboards off the middle turnbuckle, over the champ, and lands just in time to eat a running big boot from Gonzalez that sends Xia outside. Gonzalez follows, yelling "is this what you wanted?" Gonzalez with a Lawn Dart outside the ring to the ring post! Gonzalez rolls Li back into the ring and follows, but Li rolls back to the outside. Raquel is incensed, demanding Li get back in the ring as she "asked for this." Raquel follows outside and looks for another running big boot. Xia Li dodges and Gonzalez ends up with her left knee across the corner of the apron and Li uses the ring post to slam Raquel's leg and knee in repeatedly. We go to break as Xia Li takes control in the ring, battering the weakened knee of the champ with several stiff strikes and a basement dropkick to drop the champ! Li with a running knee. During the break, Li keeps the pressure on the champ. Li repeatedly strikes out at the injured left knee, and uses hard kicks and elbow blasts to weaken and soften the knee. Upon returning from the break, Xia Li looks for a pin. Li converts into a single-leg crab as the champ shakes her head no and yells in pain. Li sits calmly on the champ, no fraks given, until Gonzalez manages to roll through and send Li off with her free leg. The champ starts her comeback and lays out Li with a big running clothesline and a standing dropkick for a close two. Gonzalez looks for a Powerbomb but Li escapes. Li with an attempted pin, getting two. Li follows up with a stiff kick tot he lower back as the champ has issues with supporting weight on her knee. Li with an impressive vaulting dragon kick for another close pin fall. Li pulls Gonzalez by the hair to her knees--and Gonzalez is almost as tall as Li in that position. Gonzalez powers to her feet and tosses aside the challenger. Gonzalez with a corner splash for a close two pin cover.
We're into overrun territory. Gonzalez tries to work feeling into her left leg. The ref checks on Xia Li, and the camera turns to Gonzalez. It appears Li may be legitimately injured. To buy time, Gonzalez yells insults to Li, saying things such as "you asked for this!" When the camera returns we find the ref and two nameless support officials checking on Xia Li. Li holds her abdomen and Gonzalez continues proving why she's going to be a great, verbally distracting the viewers and audience by yelling insults heel-style. We get replays of that springboard elbow drop, and it looks like Li took all of it straight to the ribs. Hard. Xia Li is shown again, nodding off the medical professionals. We're told she's been cleared to continue. Gonzalez immediately hits her Chingona Bomb finisher and pins, wrapping up the match as we get replays and medical staff continue to check on Xia Li.
Your Winner and STILL NXT Women's Champion, Raquel Gonzalez
-In the Ring: Samoa Joe
Joe rushes the ring and calls out Karrion Kross as we completely turn our focus from the injured Li. Joe again calls out Kross. We get a video on screen, showing Kross outside. Kross warns Joe that this isn't a game, and the camera angle changes to show General Manager William Regal laid out in the parking lot. Kross smirks and walks off, peeling out as Joe angrily storms the parking lot and we end our program.