August 4, 2021

NXT Review – 03/08/21

Cringeworthy matches are usually more of a main roster thing, but I suspect Johnny Gargano and Dexter Lumis’ “Love Her or Lose Her” match is going to fall into that category. I’ve no idea who will win, but they’ve promised this is an end to it and that’s the most important thing. The NXT Breakout Tournament continues tonight with Joe Gacy versus Trey Baxter. Ridge Holland has his first match back from injury. LA Knight and Cameron Grimes team to face Grizzled Young Veterans. Bobby Fish faces Roderick Strong. And Hit Row against Legado del Fantasma.



Hit Row def. Legado del Fantasma (DQ)

Ridge Holland def. Ikemen Jiro

Roderick Strong def. Bobby Fish

Grizzled Young Veterans def. LA Knight & Cameron Grimes

Trey Baxter def. Joe Gacy

Johnny Gargano def. Dexter Lumis




Hit Row vs Legado del Fantasma

It would have been more fun if they’d made it three on three, but Swerve and Santos Escobar sat this one out. That didn’t tone it down any. It was all-out chaos from the bell and very much a ‘We don’t like you’ kind of match.

The cheating started heading into the break. Escobar got on the apron, B-Fab and Swerve got up as well, and while the ref was busy with them, Joaquin Wilde was throwing Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis into the plexiglass barricade. Unsurprisingly, Adonis was still in trouble when we returned.

Sadly, when Top Dolla got in, Santos Escobar attacked him with a chair and threw him into the steps. Adonis was still down after the beating he took in the match. B-Fab just had to stand and watch as Swerve took a beatdown from Legado del Fantasma, with a chair shot to the abdomen. Escobar ripped the grills out Swerve’s mouth and trapped his neck in the chair, but Top Dolla got up and pulled him from the ring.

While Legado’s attention was on him, B-Fab took out Wilde with a chair. Top Dolla dropkicked the other two and Adonis and Swerve came in for the clean-up.

B-Fab sneak up behind Legado del Fantasma and hits Joaquin Wilde with a chair


William Regal has given Samoa Joe a security posse to stop him and Karrion Kross getting physical before TakeOver. There are a lot of them and it’s still not going to be enough.


Dexter Lumis was shown in his room full of love drawings of him and Indi Hartwell and hate drawings of Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae. I’m not sure this sends a good message. If the person who ‘loves’ you is obsessively drawing pictures of the two of you together, hating on your “family” and lurking wherever you are, you don’t need a date, you need a restraining order.


Ridge Holland, with Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan, vs Ikemen Jiro

Poor Ikemen Jiro. He didn’t deserve that beating. His flurry of offence didn’t take Holland off his feet. In return, Holland sat him on the top rope and shoved him to the floor then pounced him into the barricades. Honestly, Jiro was probably done by then, but Holland beat him up a bit more and ripped his trademark jacket off him before he headbutted him and powerslammed him for the three-count.

Ridge Holland pins Ikemen Jiro

He threw Jiro out of the ring post-match, so Pete Dunne could talk. He said everyone thinks they’re bad until a real bad man steps in the room. Tommaso Ciampa thought he was bad until they turned up. Ridge Holland is going to knock the rest of Timothy Thatcher’s teeth out and he won’t be able to pick them up with broken fingers.


Robert Stone tried to speak in Franky Monet’s interview, so the interview didn’t happen. Instead, Monet said the loss last week was due to Robert Stone’s interference. She gets it, Stone and Kamea are used to losing, but Franky Money doesn’t know what losing means. If it’s going to work the group has to be rebuilt in her image, under her rules. They can take it or leave it. Stone and Kamea couldn’t agree fast enough.


Trey Baxter is 23 and ‘All Heart’. He’s confident he’s going to emerge as a star from the tournament.


Roderick Strong, with Diamond Mine, vs Bobby Fish

I feel like this could have been a much bigger match with the right build. As it was, it was a good match. You get good wrestlers who know each other well and you give them some time, that’s going to happen. Diamond Mine were quite well behaved on the outside. Lots of cheerleading, but they had faith in Strong to get the job done… even if Malcolm Bivens did look a little nervous at times.

Bobby Fish kicks Roderick Strong in the chest

The one bit of interference effectively decided the match. Fish looked over at them while he was climbing the turnbuckle and Strong pushed him to the floor. Once back in the ring, Fish tried for a sneaky rollup then took a knee in the face and got pinned off a backbreaker.


LA Knight made Cameron Grimes wear his butler outfit for their match. He wanted to make sure Grimes had his back before the match. Grimes pointed out he wouldn’t be wearing the butler outfit if he wasn’t a man if his word, but he was worried Knight wouldn’t have his back. Knight said he’s also a man of his word, then made Grimes shine his (not polishable) wrestling boots.

LA Knight & Cameron Grimes vs Grizzled Young Veterans

Cameron Grimes looked so disheartened at being announced as LA Knight’s butler. The crowd love Grimes and hate Knight, so the whole mess of ridiculousness is working for Grimes. As ever, Zack Gibson and James Drake had some unpleasant things to say about their opponents on the way to the ring.

Knight caused Grimes to miss a tag, and he ended up in big trouble. When he reached desperately for a tag, Knight jumped off the apron and told him to get on with it. Grimes took his jacket and gloves off and went to work. There was a chance he could have got a Cave in on James Drake, but the momentary distraction from Gibson was enough. Grimes swung at him instead, got grabbed by Drake, and took a Ticket to Mayhem.

Cameron Grimes takes a Ticket to Mayhem

Ted Dibiase came to talk to Cameron Grimes after the match. He told him he knows he’s a man of his word, but he needs to find a way out of this situation. Grimes nodded and Dibiase helped him from the arena.


Seeing an introductory style vignette for Samoa Joe is incredibly weird. I loved Joe’s last NXT run and there are a ton of great potential


Dakota Kai explained why she turned on Raquel Gonzalez last week. I don’t think there’s anything surprising in the explanation, bitterness, jealousy. It’s probably better if she explains it in her own words.


Johnny Gargano ranked the importance of tonight’s match up there with his TakeOver matches. They know what’s best for the grown woman they are pretending is their child and no one is questioning it, and Gargano is going to put a stop to it for good.


Adam Cole is not medically cleared to compete due to neck and spinal compressions following Kyle O’Reilly’s brainbuster on the steps last week. Next week, they will have a face to face, mediated by William Regal… That didn’t go so well last time.


Joe Gacy is a wild brawler, apparently. He’s also very confident. With 15 years in-ring experience, that’s fair enough.

Trey Baxter vs Joe Gacy – NXT Breakout Tournament

Wade Barrett made an interesting point about the relative age and experience difference. While Gacy’s experience might give him an advantage, it also adds pressure. There are fewer future opportunities, so each one is worth more.

Joe Gacy kicks Trey Baxter

Good match. Gacy showed off his skills, Baxter showed off his resilience. Then Baxter showed off his skills and Gacy was pinned with a 450 stomp.

Trey Baxter faces Odyssey Jones in the semi-final. Duke Hudson and Carmello Hayes are on the other side of the bracket.


Zoey Stark didn’t fare very well with the sushi she tried to bond with Io Shirai over. Shirai didn’t like Stark mentioning Kairi Sane, and she stuck her with the bill as well. Stark hasn’t given up on befriending Shirai though. She asked the waitress Shirai had been friendly with if they knew each other, and seemed intrigued when she said no, they just speak a common language.


Indi Hartwell is torn between family and true love. She’s not saying she’s hoping Lumis wins, but if he does and Gargano and LeRae give him a chance, she thinks they can make it work.


Karrion Kross came and stood on the announce desk to call out Samoa Joe. He was gone before Joe finished beating up his security guards, so he put one of them to sleep in the Coquina Clutch instead.

Samoa Joe puts a security guard to sleep in the Coquina Clutch

If Joe’s security detail is there to slow him down by making him beat them up first, they’re going to get through a lot of security guards. It worked this time, but Joe took out half a dozen guys in the process.


WALTER vs Ilja Dragunov got a hype package. With neither of them there yet to build the TakeOver match, it needs it. It should be a great match, but I’m not convinced enough of the TakeOver crowd will care.


Kushida keeps hearing Roderick Strong talking about him. He respects Strong’s win over Bobby Fish and he’s going to give him a Cruiserweight Championship match.


Johnny Gargano vs Dexter Lumis – Love Her or Lose Her Match

Indi Hartwell made her way to the ring a few minutes in, and Gargano tried to convince her to go backstage. She didn’t and Candice LeRae came down too when she crawled under the ring with him. She and Gargano pulled them both out, holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes. Gargano broke their gaze by kicking Lumis in the head.

Indi Hartwell becomes a tug of war with Dexter Lumis on one side and Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae on the other
All photo credits:

Gargano took a few moments to tell Beth Phoenix it was all her fault for encouraging Hartwell. He missed the lawn dart when he got back in the ring and nearly lost the match. Lumis missed with the elbow drop and ended up in a Gargano Escape. Hartwell got close to the ropes so he touch her face when he got to the ropes. While The Way were arguing about that, Lumis rolled Gargano up, but he kicked out and sent Lumis into Hartwell, knocking her to the floor.

Lumis was so concerned about Hartwell he didn’t see Gargano’s suicide dive DDT heading his way. After that, we were One Final Beat away from the end of InDex and this storyline.

Gargano and LeRae hugged her and led her away, but she kept looking back at Lumis. Eventually, she ran back to the ring and jumped on him. The show ended with a make-out session. Gargano and LeRae just walked away.

Indi Hartwell kissing Dexter Lumis



Final word

With NXT’s stacked women’s division, there is no excuse for not including a women’s match on the show. A couple of short segments and a cheesy storyline is not a replacement.

Raquel Gonzalez will be back next week. Cole and O’Reilly face to face. Ember Moon faces Sarray. And Ilja Dragunov will be on the show.


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