NXT Recap (7/17): Crews Returns To Face Kushida, Dain Attacks Riddle, Gargano and Cole

Today's episode of NXT Television was taped at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.

No cold open. Straight into the NXT theme song.

Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix welcome us to another edition of NXT. Ranallo announces that we're just four weeks away from Takeover Toronto before hyping this evening's card, including an NXT title defense by Adam Cole against an unknown opponent. Also tonight...Apollo Crews returns to face the still undefeated Kushida.

Matt Riddle is out first for our opening bout of the night. He'll be facing...Arturo Ruas.They bump fists before the bell.

Matt Riddle versus Arturo Ruas

Riddle and Ruas attempt to land strikes...both feeling each other out. Waistlock takedown by Ruas. He applies a rear naked choke but Riddle manages to slip out. Nice sequence of mat wrestling. Ruas attempts to get inside with a jab...Riddle does the same. Riddle goes for the Kimura...Ruas powerslams him and transitions into armbar. Riddle blocks it and counters into an armbar of his own. After a short struggle...Riddle releases and he and Ruas reset. Ruas brings Riddle down with an ankle-pick...Riddle grabs the ropes to break the hold. Riddle connects with a front face kick...Ruas makes him pay with a spear. Up kick from Riddle rocks Ruas...thrust knee! Riddle with a ground and pound! Ruas can't defend himself! Referee stops the match.

Matt Riddle wins by referee stoppage

As Riddle is celebrating he's attacked by a masked man. It's Killain Dain! Dain decapitates Riddle with a lariat, then crushes him with a jumping senton. At the top of the entrance path, Dain hits another jumping senton that sends them both through the floor! "Yowie Wowie" chants from the crowd! That brings out a bunch of referees who sway Dain from doing any more damage. Riddle is barely moving

Commercial for NXT UK Takeover Cardiff.

Promo from the Street Profits. Montez Ford calls the Undisputed Era a bunch of rats running around always bothering them. Angelo Dawkins questions why the Era couldn't defeat them at Takeover XXV. He challenges them to come find them whenever they're ready for a fight. "And that is Undisputed," says Dawkins, which brings a big smile to Ford's face.

Footage of Mia Yim attacking Marina Shafir in the parking lot from earlier in the day is shown.

Dexter Lumis is out next for another round one matchup in the NXT Breakout tournament. His entrance is slow, methodical, and keeps the audience silent. Ranallo says he's creeped out. Bronson Reed will be his opponent. He's a little more lively. His entrance promo reveals that he's from Australia, and that he's always looking for a good fight. "No one's talking about Australian Strong Style. I'm going to put everyone in NXT on notice."

Dexter Lumis versus Bronson Reed NXT Breakout Tournament

Tie-up. Headlock from Reed. He takes Lumis down with a shoulder bump but Lumis bounces right back up. Reed goes for a slam...Lumis shoves him off and hits an elbow sending Reed to ringside. Tope con hilo attempt...Reed moves but Lumis lands on his feet. Lariat by Lumis misses...flying crossbody from Reed. He moves the action back in the ring. Lumis thrusts Reed in the throat, then whips him into the ropes. Ground and pound. Lumis tears at Reed's head and neck. He tries to break off but Lumis powers him down to the mat. After an elbow strike he goes back to the neck. Lumis licks Reed's head. That wakes Reed up, who creates separation. Lumis off the ropes...Reed catches him with a powerslam. Comeback sequence, ending in a towering back body drop. Senton nearly wins the match for Reed.He picks Lumis up for a back suplex...Lumis lands on his feet. Back suplex, followed by a leaping leg drop. Cover...only two.

Lumis climbs to the top...swanton misses. Reed takes advantage and spikes him with a back suplex. Now Reed climbs to the top...super splash...and that'll do it.

Bronson Reed wins by pinfall and advances to the next round

Brackets for the Breakout Tournament are shown and updated.

Elsewhere, Tyler Breeze is interviewed. Breeze is asked about his loss to Roderick Strong. Breeze expresses that he may need to find some friends if he hopes to survive in this new era of NXT. Forgotten Sons walk in. They berate Breeze for being another NXT Veteran who couldn't cut it on the main roster, and claim that NXT is now full of men and not boys. Breeze pokes right back, and asks Jaxson Ryker if he used to be Buddy Murphy. Wesley Blake says that Breeze is always joking, but he's never seen the savagery of Ryker. "I've seen everything," retorts Breeze. He walks away ending the segment.

Flashback o last week, when Io Shirai explained her attack on Candice LeRae. Shirai's promo was short and sweet. "I don't need any friends. I don't need any of you." Commentary tells us that Shirai will battle Kacy Catanzaro on next week's show.

Kushida is out for our next matchup of the night. He'll be facing a returning Apollo Crews, who gets a big pop for his Full Sail return. They shake hands, and we're under way.

Kushida versus Apollo Crews

Crews with a waistlock. He uses his strength to slam Kushida to the mat while maintaining the hold. Kushida slips out...front facelook into a gator roll. He spins on top of Crews' body. They reset. Crews shoulder bumps Kushida down. Both men bounce off the ropes...dropkick by Crews. He nails Kushida with a corner lariat. Irish whip to the other side but Kushida slides to the outside. Crews in quick pursuit...Kushida catches him with a handspring kick at the apron. Crews fires back with a pop-up gutbuster. He picks Kushida up for a stalling vertical suplex. Kushida kicks out of the pin attempt but Crews quickly applies a chinlock. Kushida fires off a few shots...Crews slows down his comeback with a huge reverse elbow.

Big forearm to Kushida's jaw. Crews misses the ensuing splash. He tries to jump over Kushida from the corner but Kushida surprises him with a kick to the chest. Handspring back elbow, followed by a basement dropkick from Kushida. From the apron...Kushida hits a running eniguri, then jumps back in for a tornado DDT. Cover...Crews sneaks a shoulder out. Kushida rings Crews arm over his shoulder. Nice sequence of reversals...pump kick by Crews. Deadlift German. Another one. He goes for a third...he hits it. Standing shooting star for a nearfall. Kushida fires right back with a springboard frankensteiner but Crews uses the momentum to roll him up...two count! Overhead kick. Both men are down. Loud NXT chants.

Crews climbs to the top...Kushida meets him up there with fists. Crews knocks Kushida off and resets himself. Double heel strike by Kushida. He's back up with Crews...flying armbar off the top! Crews is in trouble! He gets close to the ropes...Kushida switches into the Kimura! Crews taps!

Kushida wins by submission

Post match, Kushida and Crews show each other a great sign of respect with a hug and a handshake.

Backstage Keith Lee is interviewed. He says that all he's heard since arriving in NXT is that opportunity would be laid at his feet, but that he's seen zero. He wonders why there was no Breakout Tournament when he arrived, then calls out Damian Priest as a guy he has his eye on. He convinces himself that Priest is stealing his spotlight. Commentary announces that Lee will face Priest next week.

Main event time. NXT champion Adam Cole makes his way out for a title defense. Before his opponent is revealed, he tells the NXT Universe that he's been traveling the world to prove exactly what he's always been saying...that he is the best. He tells the crowd that he's willing to be a fighting champion, and will be putting the title on the line right now against this man.

He points to the titantron. Footage of Johnny Gargano bringing the NXT championship back to Cleveland is shown. Gargano hands the belt to a man named Twan Tucker. Cut back to Full Sail and Cole welcomes Tucker to the ring. He says he's going to give Tucker a chance to slap the taste out of his mouth, and promises that Undisputed Era won't interrupt. Tucker responds, "I didn't come alone."

Johnny Gargano is here! He runs to the ring and he and Cole brawl! Gargano sends Cole into the crowd, where the fight continues. Gargano pounds Cole down. Huge strikes from Gargano. Cole hits an elbow, but Gargano shakes it off and throws Cole through a barricade. Several referees pull Gargano off. He stands at the entrance path...Cole poses with the title. Gargano with a flying crossbody off the ramp! Brawl spills back into the ring! Superkick! Another one! Gargano escape! Cole is tapping but Gargano won't let go! Eventually the ref's pull him off. As Gargano leaves...he mouths the word "three" as in one more time.

That's the show friends.