July 26, 2021

NXT Review – 20/07/2021

Xia Li challenges Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Championship tonight. Samoa Joe will be addressing Karrion Kross choking him out last week… and presumably, there’ll be some mention of Kross debuting on RAW last night. Kyle O’Reilly goes one on one with Austin Theory, although Theory is likely to have Johnny Gargano in his corner. O’Reilly’s former tag partner, Bobby Fish, teams with Kushida to face their former Undisputed ERA stablemate’s new faction Diamond Mine. LA Knight has a match against Drake Maverick. Knight will have Cameron Grimes in his corner. Odyssey Jones and Andre Chase compete in the NXT Breakout Tournament. And Franky Monet will be in action.



Bobby Fish Strong & Kushida def. Diamond Mine

Franky Monet def. Jacy Jayne

Kyle O’Reilly def. Austin Theory

Odyssey Jones def. Andre Chase

Drake Maverick def. LA Knight

Raquel Gonzalez def. Xia Li




The show started with a recap of William Regal’s conditions for Samoa Joe becoming his enforcer, and his confrontations with Karrion Kross leading up to Kross putting him to sleep in the Kross Jacket. Unsurprisingly, Samoa Joe came to the ring and called out Karrion Kross. William Regal joined him instead and told him he couldn’t do that. Joe said he can because Regal said unless he was provoked, and he was provoked. Kross is out of control and he’s there to get him under control. Joe did mention Kross’ RAW debut, as one of the examples of him not being in control.

William Regal and Samoa Joe argue

Regal demanded that Joe keep things peaceful. Joe said he guaranteed tonight would be the end of it, because of his deeply held respect for Regal, but he couldn’t guarantee it would end peacefully. He did say someone would be going to sleep before the end of the night.


Xia Li has been waiting for her chance to become NXT Women’s Champion for a long time. It is the most important match of her life. She plans to do to Gonzalez what she did to Mercedes Martinez and leave as the first Chinese NXT Women’s Champion.

That’s a bit harsh considering she legit knocked Martinez out, leading to Martinez being checked out in hospital.


Bobby Fish & Kushida vs Diamond Mine (Roderick Strong & Tyler Rust)

Roderick Strong and Kushida didn’t wait for their entrance, or for Diamond Mine to get to the ring. They attacked them on the ramp and brawled into the break.

The match proper started after the ads and it was NXT’s usual high energy opener. Good match and excellent for establishing the Diamond Mine dynamic. Bobby Fish took a lot of time working out his issues with Roderick Strong and Tyler Rust, which meant Kushida was fairly fresh when he came in to finish the job. Tyler Rust had a great match and made himself a couple of chances, but Kushida looked unstoppable. Fish had to come back in to stop Strong messing things up, but it wasn’t long before Rust was tapping in the Hoverboard Lock.

Kushida and Bobby Fish tandem kick Roderick Strong


Drake Maverick tried to help Cameron Grimes with LA Knight’s many bags when they arrived at the Performance Center. Grimes is driving Knight mad by being thoroughly helpful and respectful and tried to tell Maverick he’d got himself into something. Knight got annoyed, insulted Maverick a bit, and they’ve got a match later in the show.


NXT TakeOver 36 will be on August 22. That’s the day after SummerSlam, which is on a Saturday this year, and the same day as a WWE Supershow in Denver.


We got a getting to know you package for Odyssey Jones. It showed him competing on 205 Live and I’m going to need to know how that happened. Looking forward to seeing him in the Breakout Tournament.


Franky Monet, with Jessi Kamea, vs Jacy Jayne

Jessi Kamea accompanied Franky Monet to the ring. Robert Stone trailed out after the match had started, still putting his jacket on, obviously uninvited.

Mandy Rose appeared during the match and watched it from the commentary desk. Not with the commentary team, laying on the desk in front of them.

Eventually, NXT will have to put Franky Monet into a proper feud with established members of the roster. I know they’re setting up storylines, but watching her beat wrestlers with no established standing within the NXT women’s division gives us no indication of where she slots into the pecking order. Monet deserves a lot better than that.

Franky Money with Jacy Jayne in a submission

That said, Jacy Jayne looks decent and she was no pushover. She even got a nod from Mandy Rose during one of her offensive flurries. The finish was inevitable, pinned off a Road to Valhalla or whatever she’s calling it now.

Stone tried to celebrate with Monet and Kamea, but it’s clearly only a matter of time before he’s told to go away.



Kyle O’Reilly challenged Austin Theory to a match because of a comment Theory made about O’Reilly crying to Wade Barrett in his interview. Once Theory had accepted and O’Reilly left, Gargano hyped Theory up to do it on his own because he got into the mess on his own, and left him to it.

Kyle O’Reilly vs Austin Theory

Despite giving every impression of not being very bright, and being happy to pretend to be a child to please his mentor, Theory is a lot more competent in the ring than out of it. I tend to forget that, or stop paying attention because the constant inane chatter is so annoying. Kyle O’Reilly, on the other hand, is one of the best to step in the ring and way too many people forget that.

Austin Theory got several reminders. Twice he had to get to the ropes to preserve a limb. On the second one, it was only half successful. It broke the ankle hold, but get his arm stamped on. That’s not to say the match was one-sided. Theory had plenty of opportunities to finish O’Reilly, but nothing he threw at him worked and he got increasingly desperate.

Kyle O'Reilly kicks Austin Theory

Things went very bad for Theory when he took the top layer off the steps and set it aside. That triggered some kind of red mist situation in O’Reilly. Theory got a punch in, but just one. O’Reilly shook it off and kicked Theory until he stopped moving. To completely make his point, Kyle O’Reilly jumped from the top turnbuckle onto Theory’s leg, then locked in a submission. Austin Theory tapped out, but O’Reilly refused to let go for several seconds.


Bronson Reed told Wade Barrett that losing the North American Championship affected him big time. Winning was a big moment for him and everyone who believed in him and in an instant, it was all gone. He’s going to push forward and fight harder than ever. Everyone considers Adam Cole to be one of the best, so why not fight the best. Last week Cole ran his mouth and he shut him down. He’s confident he’ll shut Adam Cole down again next week. Only this time he’ll finish the job.


Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez had an interview with McKenzie Mitchell. Raquel Gonzalez isn’t scared of Xia Li or Tian Sha. Dakota Kai is just annoyed she made the challenge while she was celebrating beating Ember Moon and stole her spotlight.


Legado del Fantasma hosted a Mariachi Musical, as a direct response to Hit Row’s Championship Cypher, but the first thing Santos Escobar did was sent away the Mariachi band. The crowd don’t deserve it apparently… probably because they were chanting for Hit Row the entire time. He wants the North American Championship.

Hit Row came out and definitely won the war of words. The two teams met in the ring. B-Fab stopped Escobar hitting Swerve with a guitar left by the Mariachi band, and handed it to Swerve to use. Escobar escaped. Joaquin Wilde was not so lucky.

Sweve hits Joaquin Wilde with a guitar

Hit Row versus Legado del Fantasma is going to be fantastic.


Candice LeRae is not impressed with how things are going in The Way recently. She and Indi Hartwell lost the tag titles. Johnny Gargano couldn’t beat Kross. Theory picked a fight with another person he couldn’t beat. Hartwell is still obsessed with Dexter Lumis.

No one listened to Theory when he said, ‘This family is falling apart’, and when he reached for the no-look high five, Gargano wasn’t there. He and LeRae were busy yelling at Hartwell about Lumis. They didn’t even notice when he walked sadly away.


Samoa Joe was still waiting for Karrion Kross, pacing and huffing. William Regal assured him Kross said he’ll be there and asked Joe to calm down. Joe told Regal he respects him, but he’s going to be the one to greet Kross when he arrives. Regal asked for that to be done peacefully but Joe didn’t respond. I suspect that’s unlikely.


Andre Chase vs Odyssey Jones – NXT Breakout Tournament – 1st Round

Wade Barrett talked about Andre Chase’s high in-ring IQ during his entrance and said he’s been keeping an eye on him for a few years. All the hype seemed to be for Odyssey Jones though.

They wanted their match to be memorable, and it nearly was but for the wrong reasons. Chase dived over the top rope and the catch did not go as planned. I don’t know how Chase managed to not spike his head right into the floor. It looked scary. They got up and carried on of course. Jones bounced Chase off the announce desk. Chase shoved Jones into the rigging and the ringpost.

Odyssey Jones and Andre Chase

Back in the ring, Jones looked rocked and commentary started talking about an upset, but it wasn’t to be. Odyssey Jones barrelled Chase to the mat a few times, squished him into the corner, then slammed him into the canvas to progress to the next round.


MSK told McKenzie Mitchell they’ll take any and all challengers for their titles. She said they’d never told her what MSK stands for. As they started to explain, their interview cut into an Imperium promo video explaining that the mat is sacred and they must uphold the purity of the sport by any means necessary etc. It conveniently finished just as Wes Lee and Nash Carter finished explaining.


Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan want to have a scrap with Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher next week. I can’t see that being a problem for Ciampa and Thatcher.


LA Knight, with Cameron Grimes, vs Drake Maverick

LA Knight made Cameron Grimes hold the Million Dollar belt above his head for the whole match. He was far more interested in telling Grimes off than the match he was supposed to be having, so he got pinned off a rollup while yelling at him.

Grimes celebrated quickly with Maverick and told him he needed to get out of there. He was too late. Knight beat Maverick up and told Grimes it was his fault. Grimes tried to stop him. He dragged Knight off Maverick, but Knight told him to punch Drake Maverick in the face. Grimes tried to leave but Knight pulled him back. Eventually, after being reminded he said he’s a man of his word, he did as he was told, but he was visibly upset about it.

LA Knight forces Cameron Grimes to punch Drake Maverick


Samoa Joe pilled Karrion Kross’ driver out of the car and shook him a bit while he demanded to know where Kross was. The car was a decoy, Kross was already inside.


Raquel Gonzalez (C), with Dakota Kai, vs Xia Li – NXT Women’s Championship match

No Boa or Mei Ying with Xia Li this week. She still did her sword display with a big-ass ringed sword during her entrance though. She looked focused, and she’d need that along with her speed to have even the slightest chance against Gonzalez. She’s not quite shoulder height to the champion.

Raquel Gonzalez kicks Xia Li in the face
All photo credits: wwe.com

She made a spirited start but the enormity of her task quickly became clear. Her offence was on target and had plenty behind it, but Gonzalez was shrugging it off then throwing her around.

On the outside, after being launched into the post. Xia Li made a break for herself, dodging out of the way as Gonzalez came in for a kick against the post. Gonzalez’ leg went through the corner and Li grabbed hold and destroyed her knee repeatedly against the post. Li threw Gonzalez into the steps going into the final ad break. She was still running things and adding damage to Gonzalez’ leg when we came back, but her attempts to pin and submit the champ came to nothing.

Gonzalez went for her powerbomb finisher after a couple of clotheslines and a dropkick, but Li wasn’t beaten down enough and Gonzalez knee was too damaged. Li used that move to launch another brief comeback, still focusing on the knee and attempting a pin after kicking Gonzalez in the back. She was unsuccessful, but Dakota Kai was looking really worried on the outside.

Xia Li kicks Raquel Gonzalez in the back

Kai didn’t need to worry. And I’m happy to report she didn’t interfere either. Li barely kicked out of the next pin attempt, after Gonzalez came off the top turnbuckle and landed on her ribs and abdomen. The ref had to back Gonzalez off so medics could check Li was able to continue. Gonzalez yelled that this was what Li wanted then retreated and waited by Kai.

Something wasn’t right. The ref spoke to Gonzalez while Li was still laid on the mat and the continuation was literally Li taking the Chingona Bomb finisher and getting pinned.

Reports later in the night suggested Li was ok.


Samoa Joe stormed to the ring while Gonzalez and Kai were still on the stage, demanding Karrion Kross come out to play. Kross appeared on the big screen and said it wasn’t the same world Joe walked away from, it was his world now. He is the new beginning, the way of the future. Being the NXT Champion means he can go where ever he wants, do whatever he wants, and hurt anybody he wants. He panned the camera down to show William Regal unconscious on the floor. They were in the parking lot so, even though Joe ran the second he saw Regal, Kross finished his monologue, asking Joe if he still felt like he was in control and who provoked who, and drove away just as he got there.

Karrion Kross taunts Samoa Joe from the big screen



Final word

There was as much packed into NXT’s allotted two hours as there normally is, but this is very obviously the lull before the build to the next TakeOver. Next week we’ve got Adam Cole versus Bronson Reed, Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan facing Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, and Carmello Hayes versus Josh Briggs in the NXT Breakout Tournament. I’m guessing there will be more from Samoa Joe and Karrion Kross as well, so it might be about to pick up a bit.


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