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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Report 8.3.21

August 3, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Report 8.3.21  

Hello there, NXT fans! It’s Tuesday, and NXT is back with more action and (hopefully) thrills! I’m Jeremy Thomas, as always, and tonight we have the fate of Indi Hartwell’s love life on the line, a collision of old allies in Bobby Fish vs. Roderick Strong, Ridge Holland’s in-ring return and much more.

It’s been a wild week for me as I’ve been neck-deep in Fantasia Fest 2021; you can check out my reviews of the Japense sci-fi comedy Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes here and the “What if a Luchador fought Nazis” mockumentary Operation Luchador here. But anyway, there’s a lot going on tonight so without further ado, let’s get right into it.

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry’s daughters is still active and if you can make a donation, that would be awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who’s done so thus far.

LAST WEEK: Dakota Kai turned on Raquel Gonzalez, Kyle O’Reilly destroyed Adam Cole, and Samoa Joe switched to a part of the active roster so he can murder Karrion Kross at NXT Takeover 36. And tonight, InDex’s future is on the line in a match between Dexter Lumis and Johnny Gargano.

* Hit Row is coming out for the tag team match to start.

Hit Row vs. Legado del Fantasma

We get a brawl to start things off, which quickly ends with Legado being cleared from the ring. Mendoza slides in and gets beat down by Ashante, who whips him into the corner and spears him. Another hard Irish whip into the corner and Mendoza is down, he turns it around but Adonis DDT’s him. Top rope by Ashante, he leaps but Mendoza dodges and he drags Ashante over for Wilde to tag in. Wilde in control until Adonis hits a neckbreaker and sends Wilde hard into the corner. Top Dolla in now, Wilde decks him to no avail and gets lifted up in a hold and then slammed down. Dolla does it again and sets Wilde on the top rope, then flings him off across the ring. Big overhand slap in the corner, Ashante tags in and gets whipped into Wilde who hits a back elbow. Wilde up for a rana on Top Dolla but Ashante hits a dropkick mid-rana on Wilde. Whip into the ropes, Electric Chair and both Wilde and B-Fab get on the ropes. With the ref distracted, Mendoza pulls the ropes down and Ashante flies over, then gets thrown into the Plexiglas. We’re on break.

Back from break and Legado is still in control, and Wilde gets a two-count on Ashante. Elevated punches in the center of the ring and a headlock, Ashante fights out but gets pushed into the hostile corner. Big splash, Mendoza tags in for his own splash and Wilde follows suit. They repeat that a couple more times, then a double suplex and springboard moonsault by Mendoza for two. Headlock, Ashante fights out and gets shoved into the ropes for a sunset flip, he fights back and makes the hot tag to Top Dolla who wipes out Mendoza and then kicks Wilde in the gut — running knee lift off the ropes. SPlash in the corner, sidewalk slam, he backward somersaults to his feet and comes off the ropes but gets hit with a chair by Santos and we have a DQ.

Winner: Legado del Fantasma (10:52)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: Decent match to start things off, the finish wasn’t great but Hit Row looked much better than they have here.

After the match, Santos with another chair shot and he throws Dolla into the steps. Swerve is beat down by Wilde and Mendoza in the ring and held while Santos gets a chair and shoves it into Swerve’s throat. Escobar rips out Swerve’s grill and Legado stand tall as Top Dolla rescues Swerve and stares off angrily at the three — and B-FAB with a chairshot to Wilde! Ashante dives in and pounces on Wilde! Santos has escaped as Hit Row destroy his henchmen.

* Samoa Joe is backstage and William Regal walks up with security. He says the security will stay with Joe to make sure nothing happens between Joe and Karrion Kross until Takeover.

* We get a recap of Ridge Holland’s return. He hits the ring next.

* We’re back with Dexter Lumis drawing himself and Indi together in his art studio.

Ridge Holland vs. Ikemen Jiro

Lockup to start and Holland with a headlock, which Jiro fights out of but eats an uppercut. Holland drops knees on Jiro’s head, locks in a sleeper. Jiro with a jawbreaker and some shots to the head, spinning fist and he comes off the ropes but gets caught. Holland sets him on the outside ropes and punches him, sending him roughly down to the floor. Holland with a start-stop tackle of Jiro into the guardrail, gets him in and hits a big suplex. Holland rips at the jacket and punches Jiro, then hits a Stomp-like knee to the back of Jiro’s head. Jiro tries to fight back but gets caught, belly-to-belly suplex and the crowd is rightfully chanting “YOU SUCK.” Another belly-to-belly suplex and he yells at Jiro, screaming about his ten months on the shelf. Big headbutt to Jiro, scoop into a brainbuster slam and it’s over.

Winner: Ridge Holland (3:18)
Rating: *
Thoughts: Holland was not good here. He came off as uncertain in the ring and it showed. RIP Jiro.

After the match, Jiro gets thrown outside and Dunne talks about how Holland destroyed Ciampa and Thatcher and will smash the rest of Thatcher’s feet out. He says this is what happens when you step to them, as they’re the most dangerous men in NXT and he dares anyone to prove them wrong.

* McKenzia is backstage with Frankie, Stone, and Jessi Kamea. She asks about the loss last week and Stone tries to talk but gets shut up. She says it was due to Stone’s interference and she gets it; Stone and Jessi are losers. So it has to be rebuilt Franky’s way and with Franky’s rules. Take it or leave it. Stone fast talks and Jessi doesn’t look impressed with him.

* We get a quick vignette for the Diamond Mine and Roderick Strong’s match with Bobby Fish tonight.

* We’re back with a vignette for Trey Baxter talking about his participation in the NXT Breakout Tournament. He says that no matter what, he’ll emerge as a star.

Bobby Fish vs. Roderick Strong

They lockup to star off and jockey for position, trading wristlocks and ending up against the ropes. Clean break and they’re right back into it, Fish with a kneelift and throw. Strong backs away and comes in but gets put in a headlock. Knee by Fish, Strong shoots him into the ropes but gets run over. Off the ropes and Strong with a strike to Fish and a headlock, but Fish turns it around. Strong gets deposited hard in the corner, strikes and kicks to Strong and a snap suplex followed by a chinlock. Strong works out of it and pivots to take a hold. Both men up against the ropes, Fish with a snapmare and kick to the back. Fish lays in a kick but Strong gets away and fights back. They trade blows and Fish comes out ahead with a legsweep, followed by a knee choke in the corner. Irish whip by Fish, Strong goes up and over but gets kicked in the head and we’re onto PIP break.

Back from break and they’ve been trading offense during in the interim. Fish is back in control and he uses the advantage of ref intervention to hit Fish hard, then stomp him on the mat. Strong kicks Fish and covers for one. Front facelock into a suplex and a cover gets one. Strong with a chinlock, Fish gets to his feet and fights out, but gets hit with a uranage backbreaker for two. Another backbreaker for Strong and then he sets in with a seated abdominal stretch. Fish with a fishhook to break the hold and he’s back up, they’re trading blows and Fish takes Strong down. Kick to Strong and then a running knee in the corner. Quick strikes and a legsweep, but Strong ducks a roundhouse and hits a diving clothesline with a two-count. Fish takes back over and locks in a sleeper, Strong backs him into the corner to break it and then hits a back suplex. Both men slow to get up, Strong up first and a knife-edge chop followed by strikes to Fish, big back suplex into a front slam for two. Fish comes back and hits a big roundhouse, cover for a nearfall. Stomp to the head of Fish, FIsh goes to leap up to the top but Strong shoves him over the top rope to the floor. Strong gets Fish back in, Fish with a roll-up but only gets two, Strong with a big kick and he finishes it with a suplex into a Backstabber.

Winner: Roderick Strong (12:40)
Rating: ***
Thoughts: These two are incapable of delivering a bad match against each other. This was very much a TV match, but it was a quality one and gave the Diamond Mine an expected win to push them.

* Cameron Grimes is backstage, says he has Knight’s bands and asks to get ready. Knight says Grimes is wearing what he’ll be competing in and questions whether they’re ready. Grimes says he’s a man of his word, and questions whether Knight has his back. Knight says he can guarantee it and says since Grimes is a man of his word, he can shine Knight’s boot.

Cameron Grimes & LA Knight vs. Grizzled Young Veterans

Grimes and Knight are having disagreements already heading down to the ring and it’s pretty funny. The GYV deliver another of their usual promos, and we’re off.

Grimes starts against Gibson and he gets in control with a wristlock before Knight calls for the pin. Knight with an Irish whip into a back elbow, followed by a head-first slam into the turnbuckle. Irish whip into the other corner, Drake makes the sacrifice play and Gibson takes Knight down. Drake tags in, goes for a suplex but Knight floats over and hits a neckbreaker. Knight tags in Grimes who hits an elbow drop almost all the way across the ring. Knight yells and distracts Drake, which allows Gibson to take in when Drake comes off the ropes and they take over on Grimes. Drake in, Grime off the ropes into a double clothesline, cover gets two. They try it again, Grimes catches himself on the ropes and chucks Drake, but gets caught in a sleeper by Gibson. Grimes with a snapmare and backdrop to Gibson, he crawls to make the tag — and Knight steps off the apron and laughs, ordering Grimes to take over. Grimes rips off the gloves and jacket, he brawls with both Veterans and sends Drake crashing into Gibson. Double rana! Grimes to the outside, kick to Gibson and he hangs Drake on the ropes. They’re in the ring and come off the ropes, Grimes flips around the crossbody for a near-fall! Grimes rips the shirt open, “TO THE MOON” but Gibson with the distraction. Ticket to Mayhem, that’s the pin.

Winner: Grizzled Young Veterans (4:46)
Rating: ** 1/4
Thoughts: More story than match, but what we got of the match was absolute fire.

Ted DiBiase comes out to the ring after the match, walking right past the GYV and walking up to Grimes and says he tried to tell Grimes that Knight wouldn’t be there. He has to figure out some way to get out of this situation. Ted helps Grimes to the back.

* Up next: Dakota Kai explains her actions.

* We get a vignette/promo video hyping Samoa Joe vs. Karrion Kross at NXT Takeover: 36, documenting Joe’s previous run through NXT and through guys like Balor, Nakamura, and more.

* There’s a video from Dakota Kai when she talks about their alliance and how she stood by Raquel’s side as she ran through everyone and became a star in her own right. She says she helped Raquel get those wins and let’s be real here; everyone knew who the leader was. She mentions NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver where Io picked Raquel, and said Raquel never thought to give it to her. Raquel selfishly stole the opportunity and with Kai’s help she won. She says that should have been her and all she wanted was for Raquel to return the favor and help her become a champion by regaining the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships, but she didn’t put her heart and soul into that. Kai says she was Raquel’s sidekick at that point, but she’s no one’s sidekick and the only person’s back she should be having is her own. She says the funniest thing is Raquel was too oblivious to see it coming. Kai says Raquel said there was no one left: how about her? She brought Raquel into this world and she’ll take her out, then become NXT Women’s Champion.

* McKenzie asks Gargano and Candice what’s going through their mind about tonight. They say they know what’s best for Indi and Johnny says the fate of the Family rests in her hands, and he’ll do what it takes. He says it might not be popular, but tonight he ends InDex.

* A vignette for Joe Gacy for the NXT Breakout Tournament. The tournament continues next.

* The commentators say Adam Cole is not medically cleared after the attack by KOR last week and we get a replay of that. Cole and Kyle will have a face-to-face next week.

NXT Breakout Tournament Match
Trey Baxter vs. Joe Gacy

Bell rings and they lockup, Gacy throws Baxter out of a waistlock. Baxter with a sunset flip attempt but Gacy picks him up and throws him into the ropes. Baxter gets smacked down a few times, he dodges a stomp and leaps into an enzuigiri. Baxter pushes Gacy into the ropes, dropkick to the back sends Gacy out of the ring. Baxter leaps but gets caught, Gacy throws him into the ropes and Baxter is catapulted back into a punch. Back in the ring and Gacy is in control, axehandle blow to the back and a cover for one. Gacy picks Baxter up, he slides down into a sleeper but gets snapmared to the mat. Gacy goes in but gets kicked in the head, he hits Baxter with a headbutt and then repeated clubs across the chest against the ropes. Big suplex, cover gets two. Gacy wrenches the neck of Baxter, who gets back up and hits a jawbreaker but gets thrown into the corner. Baxter dodges a splash, goes up top and hits a missile dropkick. Gacy outside and Baxter dives on him, he runs in and comes off the ropes with a dive to the outside and then does it again! Gacy crawls into the ring, Baxter on the apron and comes through the ropes with a splash for two. Baxter with a shot to the side of Gacy and a sleeper, but Gacy gabs him and cannonballs into the corner to smash him. Gacy puts Baxter on the top rope but breaks it up and sends Gacy to the mat, 450 stomp for the win.

Winner: Trey Baxter (5:11)
Rating: ** 1/4
Thoughts: A solid match that showed off what both men could do for the time they had.

* Zoey and Io are at an Ichiban restaurant and Zoey is excited for this because it means they can bond. Io is skeptical. The waitress comes up and Io orders in Japanese as Zoey can’t understand. She says she’ll have what Io is having and it’s eel. Zoey has no idea how to eat with chopsticks and she doesn’t like the food. She tries the wasabi and is depositing all of her food around the restaurant. Zoey says she thinks Io is starting to like her a bit. Io leaves her with the check. Zoey asks the waitress if she knows Io, and she says she just speaks the same language. Zoey leaves the food and heads out.

* McKenzie asks Indi who she’s rooting for, and she’s says it’s complicated because it’s family vs. true love. She says if Dexter wins and Johnny and Candice give him a chance, they’ll see he’s just misunderstood.

* Karrion Kross comes out and interrupts the commentators and says that Joe couldn’t do anything when he was here as an enforcer and won’t as a wrestler. He asks “who provoked who?” and runs off as Joe comes down to the ring. Security stops him, and so he destroys the security team.

* We get a stellar vignette promoting the WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov match for NXT Takeover 36.

* Next: the main event.

* Kushida says that if Diamond Mine want a title shot, he’ll give them one.

* Set for Next Week:
– Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly have a face-to-face
– Raquel breaks her silence on Dakota Kai
– Ember Moon vs. Sarray
– Ilja Dragunov appears live

Love Her or Leave Her Match
Johnny Gargano vs. Dexter Lumis

Johnny talks about his family and yells at Dexter before they lock up. Gargano with a headlock, gets shot into the ropes, ducks under a shot and hits an armdrag into a wristlock. Dexter flips out and hits his own armdrags, plus a dropkick. Dexter prowls toward Johnny, who suckers him out of the ring and hits him, then hits a suplex onto the ring floor. The ref counts and here comes Indi to watch from ringside. Johnny rolls Dexter in and then breaks the count before telling Indi to head to the back. He enters the ring and eats a Thesz press and punches! Dexter decks Johnny in the corner, Irish whip into a back elbow. Whip across the ring, Gargano gets his foot up to catch a charging Dexter, and he takes control but Dexter ducks a clothesline and slides right out of the ring. Dexter vanishes under the ring and Indi follows. Candice comes down and they pill Indi out — she’s dragging Dexter! Gargano kicks Lumis in the head and slams him into the ringsteps and Plexiglas as we go to PIP break.

Back from break and Gargano has been control throughout the break, but Dexter fights back a bit. He punches Gargano mid-disqus punch and hits him with a spinebuster, then batters Johnny. Splash in the corner, bulldog, he kips up for a legdrop and a cover for two. He lies in wait, goes for Silence but Gargano elbows out and throws Lumis out of the ring. Dive through the ropes onto the table, he rolls Lumis in and yells at Beth that this is all her fault. Gargano slingshots into the ring but eats an uppercut, gets bounced off the ropes into a Falcon Arrow and a cover for two and a half. Lumis goes up top, stomp but Gargano moves, superkick and Gargano gets a nearfall! Indi looking real stressed now, Gargano picks Dexter up for an elbow but Lumis fires back. They trade shots, back and forth, Gargano off the ropes and gets lifted into a punch, Gargano with a superkick but Dexter hits one too! Lumis stares at Indi, he goes to the outside springboard elbow drop BUT GARGANO MOVES! Gargano goes for Gargano escape, he’s got it locked in! Lumis reaches out, brushes Indi’s cheek and gets the ropes! Candice and Johnny yell at Indi, Lumis rolls Gargano up for a nearfall! Dexter gets pushed into Indi and knocks her off the apron. He goes out of the ring and gets a diving DDT on him! Gargano tells Lumis it’s for her own good. One Final Beat, pinfall.

Winner: Johnny Gargano (12:53)
Rating: ***
Thoughts: Love loses and I hate it. In all seriousness, good match and it set up what came next very nicely.

Or you know, it’s clear he’s not going anywhere as Indi runs back to the ring and fucking POUNCES on Lumis! InDex lives! LOve survives! Candice leaves and Johnny walks sadly as Dexter and Indi make out.

And with that, we’re done for the night!

8.5
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Another good episode of NXT in the books this week. Sure, Ridge Holland's match was not encouraging but otherwise I got nothing to complain about. The opening and closing match were both quite good, the advancement of the Grimes/Knight and InDex angles were done well and Dakota Kai's vignette/promo was fantastic. Just about everything was firing right tonight, and I very much dug it.
legend

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WWE NXT, Jeremy Thomas