Welcome back to the best wrestling of the week, NXT! Your host tonight, to the chagrin of many, is the best play-by-play reporter in sports entertainment today, "Hollywood" Mike Hogan! We've got a great show lined up for us tonight.
Our official preview is up and tonight we can expect more build-up to TakeOver 36's Samoa Joe/Karrion Kross showdown, as well as a face-to-face meeting between Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly--moderated by GM William Regal. We'll also continue our NXT Breakout Tournament when Trey Baxter takes on Odyssey Jones. Also, thanks to a late afternoon update from RN's own Matt Boone, tonight's card is fleshing out with more announced goodies! Ember Moon is set to take on Sarray in what should be a stellar match, Raquel Gonzalez will discuss the vicious betrayal by BFF Dakota Kai, and we'll hear from NXT UK's Ilja Dragunov!
We'll have all this and more next on NXT on the USA Network! Note: just for clarity's sake, if you see "digital crowd" it means the piped-in audio that WWE uses. For the remainder of the month, I will continue to differentiate between live crowd reaction and digital as needed to help express the popularity or disdain for the Superstar of note.
So with all that said, let's get things started! For those of you who want just the results and not the novella, click here!
WWE NXT Live Results (August 10, 2021) - Capitol Wrestling Center, Winter Park, FL
Previously on NXT...
We open with a video package, starting with the conflict between Samoa Joe and Karrion Kross that led to Joe putting the champ to sleep. We get clips from Dragunov/WALTER in preparation for their upcoming rematch. We get clips of Kai's betrayal of the NXT Women's champion and then cut to the CWC.
Welcome to NXT!
Our commentary team, consisting of the wonderful Wade Barrett and Tom Phillips' MCU doppelgänger Vic Joseph, welcome us to the Capitol Wrestling Center. We're reminded a week from Sunday is TakeOver 36. We're told Beth Phoenix is off tonight and Ember Moon was not medically cleared to fight tonight.
Singles Match: Dakota Kai vs Sarray
This match features number one contender Dakota Kai filling in for an injured Ember Moon against the currently undefeated Sarray. Kai comes out first to loud boos all around. She gets on the mic. "Raquel Gonzalez! I hope you're watching, mami, because I'm about to defeat the undefeated Sarray and prove I'm not one's sidekick. Because you're looking at the next NXT Women's Champion!" Sarray makes her way out next to a loud pop from the in-house crowd. This NXT crowd is more alive than last night's Raw crowd so far. Our match starts and the number one contender takes control. Kai taunts Sarray, shoving her head and pulling on her hair. Sarray fires up and begins to fight back in the corner. Kai with a standing switch and hammers Sarray. Kai looks for an Irish Whip but Sarray reverses it into a springboard armbar! Sarray impressively Scoop Slams Kai and locks in an upside-down reverse Figure Four. Sarray arches backwards, locking Kai's chin and dropping her weight on the leg lock. Kai escapes and takes control back from Sarray, choking her in the corner with a big boot before attempting a cover. Kai yells at the crowd to respect their next NXT Women's Champion, and pounds Sarray's back with a forearm. Kai yells "how about this?" to the crowd as she clubs Sarray with forearms. Kai uses the bottom rope to choke Sarray as the ref warns her. Forget a digital audience, the in-house crowd is hot for this match, pounding on the plexiglass barricade and starting several chants. Kai with a floating suplex pin attempt but Sarray out. Kai again looks for another pin but Sarray looks for a roll-up and converts it into another leg submission. Kai inches her way to the ropes as Sarray cranks back on the left knee. The ref begins to warn Sarray and count; Sarray breaks the hold at three. Sarray follows this up with stomps to Kai's back and shoulders. Sarray stands on Kai's back, using the top rope to give extra downward pressure, and the ref warns her again. Sarray with a bridging suplex for a close two as we go to break!
During the break Sarray maintains control early on but loses it when Kai avoids a Bronco Buster. Kai with fists to Sarray's face before whipping her into the ropes. Sarray grabs the ropes, hitting the brakes, and Kai with a unique offensive sequence, sliding through the ropes, dropping Sarray across the apron and connecting with a running Big Boot that lays out Sarray. Kai takes it back into the ring and works the neck before attempting a cover. Kai uses the middle ropes to choke Sarray as the ref counts and warns her. The ref is giving them a lot of lateral with the the rope-chokes tonight. Kai takes her time, toying with Sarray, keeping the high-flyer grounded with slow, deliberate kicks with taunts to the crowd and Sarray in between. Sarray with a right, but Kai throws one of her own and drops Sarray. Kai with a Snapmare, then pin attempt. Kai with a cross-arm sleeper in the middle of the ring. The ref checks on Sarray. Sarray, after a few long moments, breaks free and starts her comeback as we return from the break! Sarray continues the offense, looking for a roll-up pin. Sarray wraps up Kai from behind. Kai throws elbows to gain separation but is caught on a rope rebound with a Bridging German Suplex from Sarray for a close two. Kai with a facewash before both women start to exchange fists in the ring. The crowd with a loud NXT chant before firing up as the women fire off faster fists of fury in a flurry. Sarray drops Kai with a beautiful dropkick. Kai sits up against the bottom ropes and Sarray connects with another running, basement dropkick. Sarray looks for it one more time but Kai avoids it. NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez is shown arriving. The crowd with a loud NXT chant again as the women pick up the pace. Both look for quick roll-ups. Spinning kick from Sarray to the jaw and another to the abdomen. Sarray runs across to the opposite corner, unaware Kai's right on her heels. Kai with a Helluva Kick in the corner to pick up the big win! Damn good match.
Your Winner, Dakota Kai!
After the Match: NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez Strikes
Dakota Kai sizes up Sarray after the match, preparing to attack her opponent until Raquel Gonzalez hits the ring! Kai flees and Raquel gets on the mic in the ring, explaining that all Kai had to do was ask for a title shot and she'd have given her one. She promises to tear Kai apart a week from Sunday.
Dexter Lumis & Indi Hartwell's First Date, Part One
We get a video. In it, Hartwell is getting ready for her big date with Dexter. Johnny and Candice are in the parental role, and while they don't like it, they don't know what to do with these "kids" but agree they have to make this work--Dexter being welcomed--for the family. Dexter arrives, silent, in a dark shirt with dark roses. As we watch Candice and Indi put on makeup and get ready, we see Gargano and Lumis downstairs in the living room. Gargano tells Lumis that Dexter is to take Indi to a nice restaurant, show her a good time, but have her home by 10pm. Indi asks Dexter where they're going--and still, he says nothing--then excitedly exclaims she knows he wants to surprise her. They leave the house. Gargano and Candice wish them a fun time but as soon as they're alone, Gargano whips out his phone and points out he can track them. They decide to warm up the car and we end this segment.
Video Promo: Hit Row
B-Fab, Top Dolla, Swerve and Ashanti all address Legado Del Fantasma by way of promo. They warn the LDF that they put hands on Swerve, in his mouth, tried to take his grills? Hit Row essentially tells LDF that if they want a war, they've got one.
In the Ring Promo: Ilja Dragunov
Ilja comes out to a great reaction and takes a moment to soak it in as the crowd loudly chants for Dragunov. He speaks. "I'm not a man of great words, simply because where I come from--and on the path I have been going--words didn't mean anything. But pain has meant something. The struggle has meant something. The sheer blind belief (of) fighting spirit has meant something! So I have put all my strength not into my mouth, I have put it straight into my fist." The crowd eats it all up. "So with these fists and everything else I am, I will make the unthinkable...on August 22nd at TakeOver 36, you will witness chaos, you will witness rage, history will be made, and an unbeatable kingdom will fall...when I will end WALTER's reign and become NXT UK Champion! At TakeOver, for the very--" Ilja is interrupted by Pete Dunne, who comes out alone in street clothes. Ilja looks annoyed. Dunne takes credit as the first NXT UK champion and tells Ilja that he isn't worthy of facing WALTER. He isn't even worthy of being in the ring with Dunne. Dunne tells Dragunov that had he stayed in NXT UK, he'd have put Dragunov in his place a long time ago. Ilja reminds Dunne that he's here for WALTER, not Dunne. Ilja goes on to challenge Dunne to a match tonight, to a good pop from the crowd. Dunne tells Dragunov that he's as stupid as he looks because after tonight, Dragunov won't make it to TakeOver.
Backstage Interview: "the Million Dollar Champion" LA Knight and "the Butler" Cameron Grimes
Mackenzie starts to ask Knight about abandoning Grimes last week. Knight cuts her off, insisting she put respect on Grimes name and refer to him as the butler. He goes on to claim Grimes lost the match, then says no one cares about Ted DiBiase or his concern for Grimes; he insults Millennials (haha) and says this isn't about participation awards, it's about LA Knight, then ends our segment.
Knight makes his way out with Grimes. Chase is already in the ring. Knight squashes Chase
Your Winner, LA Knight!
After the Match: the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
Ted comes out to a nice pop and gets in the ring with Knight and Grimes. Ted tells them that this has gone on long enough. Ted tells Grimes that he knows he's a man of his word, but he could be doing so much more. Knight tells him that Grimes is doing something--he's his butler. Ted tells Grimes he's more than that and that he believes in Grimes, as do these people. The crowd with a loud "to the moon" chant. Knight tells Ted its time to go to the back, and asks if he has something to say here or if he wants to get busted in the mouth again. Ted DiBiase tells Knight "you need to shut your mouth. You need to shut up." He tells Grimes that he can be whatever he wants to be, and he needs to follow his heart. He knows Grimes wants to be a champion and he knows Grimes can be a champion. Ted then states that he knows if Knight put the title on the line, Grimes would win. Knight objects, stating he's beaten Grimes twice already and as he's beaten Grimes twice, it's "scientifically proven" that Grimes can't beat Knight. Knight accepts, with a condition: if Knight wins, Ted DiBiase will be his butler. And if Grimes win, he becomes the new Million Dollar Champion. Ted tells Knight that he's a gambling man, and his money's on Cameron Grimes and "I've got a lot of money! So you are on!" Big pop from the in-house and digital crowd. The digital crowd woke up!
Video Promo: Gigi Dolin (formerly known as Priscilla Kelly)
We get a vignette. She tells us that she's going to run through every top woman in the division, and she's not doing it alone. The segment ends that fast.
Singles Match: Gigi Dolin w/ Jacy Jane vs Amari Miller
Gigi and Jacy make their way out to a cover of "Sweet Dreams" (more in tune with the Manson version, not the original). Dolin and Miller lock up as the match begins. Miller takes an early lead with a few strikes, effectively using elbows to weaken Gigi and a Snapmare to drag her down. Gigi rolls to the apron. Gigi catches Amari's arm through the bottom rope, then leaps off the apron and snaps her arm across the bottom rope. Gigi uses pull-back clubbing forearms twice before executing a pull-back abdominal hold into a spinning slam/bomb--very unique offensive move, not yet named, but it picks up the win!
Your Winner, Gigi Dolin!
Dexter Lumis & Indi Hartwell's First Date, Part Two
At a restaurant, a waiter welcomes Indi and Dexter. Indi orders a ton of food, then goes on a short speech about how she loves chicken fingers. She overhears Gargano and LeRae on the radio, and catches Candice hiding behind a menu with an old CB-style radio. Indi tells the Gargano's to leave them alone, returns to her table, holds Dexter's hands and asks where they were as we go back to the CWC.
In the Ring Confrontation: General Manager William Regal with Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly
Regal is in the ring with a squad of security. He mentions that O'Reilly/Cole III is a week from Sunday at TakeOver 36. He asks both men to come to the ring. Adam Cole is out first. O'Reilly makes his way out next. Regal informs them that their fight will be a two out of three falls. Each will pick a stipulation for one match and, if it goes three matches, Regal will pick the stipulation. He tells O'Reilly to go first. KOR tells Cole that it's only respect for GM Regal that keeps him from ripping Cole's head off. The loss to Cole didn't sit well with him, so the first match O'Reilly chooses Pin Fall or Submission for the first match's special stipulation. So...a regular match? Cole speaks, telling Kyle that he's both predictable and delusional. He says Kyle lives in a fantasy world where Kyle thinks he's a better competitor than Cole, but Cole has spent thirteen years reminding O'Reilly time and time again that Cole is the better man. Cole then tries to dismiss his loss to O'Reilly at Stand and Deliver as it was an unsanctioned match and "doesn't count." Cole chooses a Street Fight for the second match's special stipulation. Cole and O'Reilly both verbally spar, both men assuring they're the best and they're going to win. Cole calls himself the greatest NXT Superstar that the brand has ever seen and says no one can touch him--no one has and no one ever will, and O'Reilly is just a footnote in Cole's career. "Adam Cole" chants from the crowd. Cole calls O'Reilly soft, and says "Cool Kyle is pathetic!" O'Reilly removes his jacket and Cole antagonizes him, trying to get KOR to take a swing. Cole shoves O'Reilly and security immediately separates them. Regal yells he knew this would happen so he's choosing a steel cage match as the special stipulation for the third match. The crowd pops loud at this.
Video Promo: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher
Ciampa speaks, addressing Ridge Holland. He tells Ridge that Holland is no Thatcher or Ciampa. He states Ciampa and Thatcher define everything that is pure, just and good about our industry. Ciampa says if Holland thinks he can make a name for himself against him, then that's fine. Thatcher pauses Ciampa and chooses to take the match, challenging Ridge Holland to a match. We head to break.
Video Promo: NXT Tag Team Champions MSK
MSK cut a quick promo, mocking Imperium by wearing their track jackets. MSK take them off and laugh, and tell Imperium they're welcome to come after them.
NXT Breakout Tournament: Trey Baxter vs Odyssey Jones
Odyssey Jones is out first to a decent pop, and Wade Barrett praises Jones' size and agility. Trey Baxter is out next to a decent digital pop, with the in-house crowd a bit quiet. We're reminded that Jones is 6'5 405lbs, whereas Baxter is 5'10 and perhaps 210. The bell rings and Baxter wraps up Jones from behind. Loud "Odyssey" chant from the crowd, and Jones shrugs Baxter off. Jones toys with Baxter a bit, blocking left then right as Baxter attempts to get out of the corner. Jones grabs Baxter and easily manhandles him. Baxter Holds his left arm out like a matador, trying to get Jones to charge like a bull. Jones isn't having any of it. Baxter fires off a flurry but Jones easily absorbs it all, hoists Baxter up and throws him ten feet in the air across the ring. Baxter looks to go up top and Jones sends him flying off the turnbuckle and across the ring again. Jones looks for a carry but Baxter wiggles into a sleeper. Jones shrugs Baxter off like a doll. Another chant for Jones from the crowd. Jones grabs Baxter's foot; Baxter with a pair of single-leg kicks. Baxter with a springboard basement dropkick to drop Jones to a knee. Baxter with a low-angle DDT and a cover for two! Baxter goes up the middle and dives but Jones dodges. Baxter rolls through into the corner, but Jones hits an Avalanche splash in the corner. Jones with a big slam and covers, picking up the win.
Your Winner and Advancing to the NXT Breakout Tournament Finals, Odyssey Jones!
Backstage: Mackenzie, GM Regal, and Malcolm Bivens
Bivens exits Regal's office and tells Mackenzie that she's got some news coming. Regal announces two huge matches for next week--MSK will defend their tag titles against Imperium, and Kushida will defend his Cruiserweight title against Roderick Strong of the Diamond Mine.
Singles Match: Boa w/ Tian Sha/Mei Ying vs Drake Maverick
Boa comes out to a new, underwhelming entrance. Boa takes Drake into the corner as the match starts. Throat punch from Boa. Drake gets a pair of strikes in before Boa connects with a palm strike to the chest, flooring Drake. Boa locks a wristlock on Drake and batters his back and kidneys with stiff strikes. Boa manipulates the wrist and lifts Maverick up by the wrist, holding above his head before driving him down into the mat. Boa refuses to let go of that left wrist, and twists it while standing on Maverick's ribs. Drake starts to try a comeback, squirming free. Maverick with a head scissors. Maverick with a sliding kick. Boa rolls outside. Maverick climbs up top and dives out of the ring, hitting a half-cannonball on Boa to the floor! The crowd with a loud "NXT" chant. The ref counts as Boa enters the ring. Drake stays outside and slams Boa's left knee into the apron. The ref checks on Boa and Mei Ying, at ringside, spits some kind of mist in Drake's face. A blinded Drake stumbles into the ring and is quickly put down by Boa, who picks up the win.
Your Winner, Boa!
Dexter Lumis & Indi Hartwell's First Date, Part Three
Back in the restaurant, Indi tells Dexter that she could talk to him for hours. She's ready for desert and Johnny Gargano tries to pretend to be a waiter, even offering to show his "waiter's license" to prove it. When his fake mustache is removed and his true identity revealed, he struggles with Indi over their desert cake. He accidentally hits Lumis in the face with the cake and flees. Hartwell tells him not to worry about it, leans in for a kiss and blocks the camera.
Video Promo: NXT Champion Karrion Kross
Short video package in which Kross stated that he loves hurting people and he's going to destroy Joe. Joe speaks, addressing his comeback. Kross calls Joe "Superman" as he thinks he's going to save the day. We get several snippets from Joe's brief tenure as Special Enforcer before resigning to be reactivated to the NXT roster. Kross says he and Joe are the same, and we get a cool photograph overlay strobe, with their faces looking similar. We continue on to see that Kross provoked Joe on purpose to get a fight. Both men vow to win.
Singles Main Event Match: Pete Dunne vs Ilja Dragunov
The Bruiserweight is out first to a healthy mix of cheers and boos. Out next to a huge pop from the digital crowd is Ilja Dragunov, hailing from Moscow, Russia. The in-house crowd gives him a good pop as he comes down to the ring. The crowd starts to get loud and rowdy, per Vic, and our competitors are ready to rock. Ilja and Dunne jockey for position with Dunne taking an early control. Dunne uses Ilja's left wrist to ground him and manipulates the joints. Dragunov rolls out and locks in a grounded side headlock. Dunne to his feet while Dragunov holds onto the neck, but Dunne breaks it by bending the fingers back. Dunne with a pin attempt for barely a one. Both men up and circle. Both grapple, with Dragunov going low and tackling Dunne to the mat. Dragunov kneels on Dunne's wrist. Dunne escapes and goes right back for a side headlock. Dragunov twists and gets to his feet. Dunne with an Irish whip. Dunne leapfrogs Dragunov, then catches him with a leaping kick on the rebound. Dunne begins to punish Ilja, connecting with a slap followed by another kidney kick shot. Dragunov recovers and wraps Dunne up from behind. Dragunov with a release German Suplex but Dunne lands on his feet; Dunne charges Dragunov, who does his best the Matrix bend-back dodge, then strikes Dunne. Dragunov takes Dunne back to the mat and attempts a cover for a two. Dragunov climbs the ropes and Dunne races up top to meet him. Dunne attempts to manipulate the wrist and fingers but Dragunov with some brutal open-handed chest slaps to send Dunne back. Dragunov leaps off the top but Dunne counters with a leaping knee that sends Dragunov rolling out of the ring and us to a commercial break!
During the break Dunne maintains control and slows the pace drastically as he focuses his assault on Ilja's knees. Dunne uses holds and a double-foot stomp to weaken Ilja's knees. Dunne then turns back to the arm, standing on Ilja's left wrist before leaping high and crashing his knees on Ilja's outstretched arm. Dunne with a unique armbar before again going back to dropping knees on Ilja's wrists. Dunne's assault is relentless as he uses various working holds to continue to manipulate the shoulder and wrist. Dunne pulls Dragunov to his feet and uses the left shoulder to drive him back to his knees.
Back from the break, and in overrun territory. Dunne continues to work the left arm. Dragunov with a big right that staggers both men. Dunne fires off a big right of his own and the crowd backs the back-and-forth exchange of fists until, finally, Dragunov drops Dunne to the mat. Dunne immediately goes after Dragunov's elbow. Dragunov starts his comeback, sliding through the ropes and spinning back in, connecting with a springboard move that levels Dunne and fires the crowd up with another "NXT" chant. Dragunov with right forearms to Dunne. Dragunov looks for a Pump-handle Suplex but Dunne manipulates Dragunov's weakened wrist to escape. Dragunov with clubbing blows to Dunne's back before connecting with the modified Pump-handle Suplex. Dunne kicks out just in time. The crowd is pretty big into this considering their size. Dunne looks for a lariat and Dragunov does his Matrix back stretch/dodge. Dunne catches him with a kick this time, then goes right back for the armbar. Dragunov rolls through and ends up on top, throwing right elbow strikes down into Dunne. Dunne grabs Dragunov by the nostrils and throws kicks to the face. Dunne looks for an armbar but Dragunov attempts to roll free. Dunne counters it into a Triangle hold! Dragunov breaks free but Dunne locks it in again in the center of the ring! Dragunov with a huge show of strength as he hoists Dunne for a single-arm Powerbomb to break the hold! Dragunov with a pair of pin attempts, both ending in near-falls. The crowd is hot--Raw, SmackDown crowds, please take note--and are clearly behind both men. Dragunov looks for a possible Pump-handle but Dunne escapes. Dunne looks for one of his own but Dragunov escapes with the standing switch. Bruiserweight rolls through, taking Dragunov to the mat and locking in a right armbar. Dragunov impressively rolls his body over, reversing the hold into a bridging suplex, nearly picking up the win over Dunne. Dragunov goes up top and connects with a Senton off the top. Dragunov stumbles to the opposite corner, and waves his arms out at the crowd, counting down...until WALTER arrives! The NXT UK Champion walks down the ramp to loud "Walter!" chants from the crowd. Dragunov attacks Dunne, then focuses on WALTER. Dunne attempts to capitalize on the distraction but Dragunov with a kick to the face. Dragunov runs and leaps right into a brutal strike from Dunne. Dunne quickly hits the Bitter End to pick up the win to huge boos.
Your Winner, Pete Dunne!
After the match, WALTER looks to do some damage to his upcoming opponent. Dragunov is too fast, however, taking down the NXT UK champion and sending him out of the ring clutching his head! Dragunov poses in the ring with the NXT UK Championship as we end our program!
That wraps up tonight's episode from the Black & Gold brand. A really strong show with some exciting matches--much better than expected. What were your thoughts about tonight's show? Let us know down below. Stay cool in this heat, stay frosty at all times, and stay safe, Rajahmaniacs. See you Friday night for SmackDown!
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