June 30, 2021

NXT Review – 29/06/21

A Triple-Threat Tag Team Number One Contender’s Match is the headline match for tonight. Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon, Io Shirai & Zoey Stark, and Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez compete to face Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell for the titles at The Great American Bash next Tuesday. Jake Atlas joins forces with Mercedes Martinez to take on Tian Sha. Cameron Grimes will be in action against an unnamed opponent. We should find out a little more about Diamond Mine. And MSK have a face to face with Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher before their Great American Bash match.



Io Shirai & Zoey Stark def. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez and Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon

Roderick Strong def. Asher Hale

Cameron Grimes def. Ari Sterling

Tian Sha def. Mercedes Martinez & Jake Atlas

Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott def. Bronson Reed




Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon vs Io Shirai & Zoey Stark vs Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez

It only took a few minutes for the three in the ring and everyone else nicely holding the tag ropes rules, to break down completely. Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai were beating up Stark on the outside, so Shirai put them all down with a moonsault. Blackheart and Moon thought that looked like fun, so Blackheart took the suicide dive route and Moon went with a somersault off the top. Zoey Stark joined in, launching herself onto the entire pack.

Zoey Stark flies onto Shotzi Blackheart, Ember Moon and Dakota Kai
All photo credits: wwe.com

After a break, they were back to wrestling rather than human skittles. Chaos broke out so regularly I’m not sure how the ref kept track of who was legal. We nearly got a mega tower of doom with Dakota Kai taking the top place bump, but Gonzalez saved her. Thanks to Gonzalez, it was down to Shirai and Kai fighting it out. Shirai delivered a backbreaker and went for the moonsault, but Gonzalez laid over Kai so she couldn’t be pinned.

It came down to whose finisher didn’t get the pin sabotaged. Blackheart’s senton on Gonzalez was broken by Stark who took an Eclipse before she even covered Blackheart from her finisher. Moon immediately took a GTK but rolled out of the ring. Kai tried to roll Shirai up but got a palm strike to the face and was pinned with Shirai’s moonsault.


Johnny Gargano attacked Karrion Kross backstage and they had to be separated by officials.


Beth Phoenix had the week off this week, so there was no voice of reason on the desk.


There will be another NXT Breakout Tournament. In fairness, the participants of the last one are doing pretty well. Cameron Grimes, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumis, Joaquin Wilde, Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott, and Angel Garza were all in it. Boa and Jordan Myles (ACH) were the other two, but weren’t mentioned in the promo.

Bronson Reed talked about how cool it was that it was coming back. He doesn’t think he’d be the North American Champion if it wasn’t for that tournament. Hit Row interrupted and Swerve demanded a match. Reed is a fighting champion, so he got one.

That will be the main event of the evening.


Karrion Kross stormed to the ring with Scarlett trailing behind. He said last week he got Gargano, this week Gargano got him. That’s cute but he’s willing to die by the sword he lives by and he’s curious to know if Gargano is willing to do the same. He dared him to come to the ring and see how he fares when he can see the shot coming.

Johnny Gargano did come out and asked Kross if he knew who the hell he was. That ring is his world, and he doesn’t have a sword, he has actual talent. He’s also smarter than him.

At that point, Austin Theory attacked Kross from behind. Karrion Kross destroyed them both and only security prevented him squishing Gargano’s head with the steps. Gargano superkicked Kross while security were holding him still, but Samoa Joe arrived before any more carnage could occur and Kross isn’t ready to try his luck there yet.

Johnny Gargano superkicks Karrion Kross while Kross is immobilised by security

After a break, Gargano and Theory got in their car and left.


Whatever is charging is up to 61%.


Roderick Strong vs Asher Hale

Diamond Mine is open for business. They were all there with Strong for the match. It was supposed to display and new focused and aggressive Roderick Strong, as that was the narrative commentary were selling. I guess they’re right. It was a decent match. Hale is interesting, possibly a breakout tournament contender. Strong not only refused to let go of the hold after he submitted Hale he refused to let him tap for a while so he could keep it on even longer.

Roderick Strong submits Asher Hale

After the match, Malcolm Bivens said Diamond Mine is open for business and this is just the beginning.


Cameron Grimes vs Ari Sterling

Ari Sterling is surely another breakout tournament contender. And if he wasn’t before he should be after this match. Short and sweet and finished by a Cameron Grimes Cave In, but it was fun while it lasted.

Cameron Grimes takes down Ari Sterling

LA Knight came out after the match to ruin Grimes’ celebrations and belittle him. The crowd told Knight he sucks and Grimes agreed. He wanted to win that Million Dollar Championship and carry on the legacy, so he challenged Knight for Great American Bash.

LA Knight initially said no, but decided there is something he wants that would make him change his mind. He’ll put the title on the line, but on the condition, if Cameron Grimes loses, he becomes his butler. Grimes accepted.


Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae crashed Zoey Stark and Io Shirai’s interview to tell them they have no chance because they’re not a real team, they’re not even friends. Stark said they have mutual respect and that’s enough. LeRae warned Stark to watch her back when they lose because Shirai can be kind of a sore loser. Shirai reminded LeRae she has never beaten her, and next week they’ll become champions.


Kyle O’Reilly had some stuff to say ahead of his match against Adam Cole at Great American Bash. He said his whole career he’s just wanted to test himself against the best in the industry and fight dudes who make him better. That what last week was. And that’s what next week will be. Cole versus O’Reilly two. Last time it was gritty, violent, and unsanctioned. When his hand was raised he proved to the world that he not only belongs in the main event but that he could one day be NXT Champion. But Adam Cole refuses to see it. It’s just one excuse after another, so he invited Cole to come to the ring and give him the excuse he’ll use after he beats him next week.

Cole did come out, with Samoa Joe and a large number of security guards. He made it politely clear he was there to make sure things didn’t get physical, and got in the ring before he invited them to continue.

Cole joined them and said he was about to say O’Reilly wishes so badly he could be in his shoes that he probably goes home and prays that he could have half the career Cole has. But it’s not going to happen and he thinks he’s figured it out. He thinks O’Reilly is obsessed with him and it’s creepy.

Points were made on both sides. Cole’s being that no one would even be talking about O’Reilly if it wasn’t for him. He’s the one solely responsible for every ounce of success O’Reilly’s had in the industry. He was the star of Undisputed ERA and he carried them on his back. And he’s still the star. The entire world knows it. The locker room knows it. Samoa Joe knows it. Even O’Reilly’s wife knows it.

Joe had moved closer by then, expecting the deliberate attempt to provoke O’Reilly, but at the mention of his private life, he walked away for a few seconds. When he came back he yelled at Cole never to mention his wife again. Yes, they were in the Undisputed ERA together but he’s ashamed he ever associated with him and he’s ashamed it took him this long to realise what a pathetic piece of…

Cole knocked the mic out of his hand and they got forehead to forehead. It looked like Joe had diffused things but Cole dodged past him. O’Reilly put him in a heel hook and Cole begged Joe to get him off. Joe looked over the hold approvingly and slowly got out of the ring before he sent security down to break it up. O’Reilly didn’t let go until they were inches away.

Samoa Joe looks down at Adam Cole begging him to make Kyle O'Reilly let go
All photo credits: wwe.com


The charging thing is now up to 71%.


Mercedes Martinez & Jake Atlas vs Tian Sha (Xia Li & Boa) – Mixed Tag Match

Xia Li and Boa left Mei Ying on the stage. Li’s display was with a big stick this week (yes, I’m sure it has got a name, but I don’t know what it is, so we’ll go with big stick).

I’m never going to like mixed tag matches. They’re unavoidably disjointed and ultimately pointless. So, I can suspend my disbelief and buy into the idea Mei Ying is some kind of supernatural being, but the idea that Mercedes Martinez could kick the hell out of Boa is a step too far? Really? Just do intergender and be done with it.

Mercedes Martinez and Jake Atlas double team Boa

As far as mixed tags go, it was decent enough until the end. Boa and Jake Atlas ended up down on the outside, with Martinez being partially responsible for Boa’s downfall. Martinez got distracted by Mei Ying and Li hit her from behind. Back in the ring, Li delivered a kick to Martinez’ head. Unfortunately, she actually caught her and Martinez was out of it. She put an arm up on the cover she was presumably down to kick out of, but the ref had to stop it.

UPDATE: As per Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Martinez was later taken to hospital for further investigation.


Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa brought chairs to their face to face with MSK and so did MSK. Sensibly, they sat on them. Ciampa let Nash Carter and Wes Lee the champs are the underdogs next week. Thatcher has never held gold in NXT and he’s motivated. And everyone knows no one elevates a title like Tommaso Ciampa.

Thatcher tried to shut MSK up when they interrupted, but they wouldn’t be intimidated and everyone got to their feet. Lee said they respect and applaud them and everything they’ve done to this point. They hear everyone talking – the crowd chimed in with a ‘Ciampa’s gonna kill you chant’ and Ciampa started laughing – but it’s time for people to put some respect on their names. They get they’re the underdogs, but Ciampa and Thatcher are the challengers and they’re going to find out why MSK are the NXT Tag Team Champions. Carter wasn’t sure they got their point across so Lee slapped Ciampa.

Thatcher pushed Lee over but Ciampa held him back then got in real close to Carter and said next week he wants them to bring their pride and their titles because they’re taking them both. This week he got a free one. Next week he won’t be so lucky.

MSK face to face with Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher


William Regal confirmed Cameron Grimes versus LA Knight with the stipulations. He also ran through how great the rest of Great American Bash will be. He looks so much happier now Joe is dealing with the

Sarray appeared and asked Regal for a match, maybe against Toni Storm. He said he’ll take it under consideration, but he looked like he liked it.


The charging thing is up to 81%. Surely that means next week.


Austin Theory and Johnny Gargano attacked Karrion Kross while he was getting into his car. Gargano was telling the camera Kross wasn’t on his level, but he hadn’t checked he was down and got put to sleep in the Kross Jacket. Theory got smacked in the back of the head and knocked into a shutter.

As Kross drove away, Samoa Joe picked Gargano up off the floor by the back of his shirt and told him he might have pushed Kross a little too far tonight.

Samoa Joe holds Johnny Gargano by the shirt


Bronson Reed (C) vs Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott, with Hit Row – NXT North American Championship match

The thing about Swerve’s arrogance is, he can usually back it up. The trouble with wrestling someone with the power and stature of a Bronson Reed is, most of those things don’t work on someone that size. For example, trying to powerbomb Reed off the apron to the outside and ending up squished between Reed and the edge of the ring because he sat down.

Bronson Reed levels Isaiah 'Swerve' Scott

Hit Row behaved themselves on the outside for most of the match. Honestly, Swerve could have done with their help at several points, well before they cracked and stepped in. Reed is looking great, centred, confident and on form. He was going for the tsunami splash to finish the match when B-FAB and Top Dolla got up on the apron on opposite sides so Ashante Adonis could drag Reed off the turnbuckle.

Bronson Reed didn’t take the interference very well. Top Dolla charged at him and he sent him through the plexiglass and over the barricade. Adonis was thrown over to join him.

When Reed got back in the ring he took a kick in the head and a top rope 450 while he was still hanging over the ropes. There was no coming back from that. Bronson Reed’s title reign is over and Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott is the new NXT North American Champion. It took three people to beat Reed and it won’t be his last title reign.

Isaiah 'Swerve' Scott pins Bronson Reed



Final word

I’m loving Samoa Joe’s influence on NXT. Great American Bash should be incredible.

  • Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs Io Shirai & Zoey Stark – NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship match
  • LA Knight vs Cameron Grimes – Million Dollar Championship match – If Grimes loses he becomes Knight’s butler
  • MSK vs Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher – NXT Tag Team Championship match
  • Kyle O’Reilly vs Adam Cole

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