Welcome back to the best wrestling of the week airing on Tuesday nights, NXT! Your host tonight, 'til death do us party baby, is yours truly "Semi-Elite" Mike Hogan! We've got a great show lined up for us tonight ahead of this weekend's big TakeOver 36 event on the Peacock.
Our official preview is up, and tonight we can expect an open challenge from the Diamond Mine's Roderick Strong after NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida was not medically cleared to fight. We'll still have a title match, however, as the high-octane MSK defend their tag titles against Imperium! We'll also get a face-to-face between NXT Champion Karrion Kross and challenger Samoa Joe, as well as another between NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez and her challenger, former bestie Dakota Kai. The NXT Breakout Tournament semifinals continue as fan-favorite Carmelo Hayes takes on Duke Hudson. Lastly, but never least, we'll get a mixed tag match as Robert Stone & Jessi Kamea team up to take on Indi Hartwell & Dexter Lumis!
We'll have all that and more next on NXT! 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 17, 2021) - Capitol Wrestling Center, Winter Park, FL
Video Package: TakeOver 36 Run-down
We open our program with a video that briefly runs down this Sunday's TakeOver 36. Cole/O'Reilly III will be a two-out-of-three falls match, featuring special stipulations for the second and third match. Samoa Joe looks to become a three-time NXT champion when he takes on Karrion Kross. NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez will face former best friend Dakota Kai, and for the first time ever, the NXT UK Championship (as part of the NXT UK brand, not the original NXT title) will be defended on American soil by WALTER against Ilja Dragunov in what should be one of the best matches of the year. Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett and Beth Phoenix welcome us to the Capitol Wrestling Center.
In the Ring: The Diamond Mine
Future Endeavored Diamond Mine are in the ring. Malcolm Bivens stands with Roderick Strong and Hachiman (Hideki Suzuki.) Bivens calls Kushida a coward for not being there to defend his title, despite the fact Kushida isn't medically cleared. But it's fine--Strong wants a fight and Bivens got GM Regal to agree to an open challenge. They issue their challenge and...
The Diamond Mine's Open Challenge, Singles Match: Roderick Strong w/ the Diamond Mine vs Ilja Dragunov
Dragunov comes out to a decent pop from the crowd. For what it's worth, the arena looks as it does every week--perhaps rumors of a brighter, different set will prove true at TakeOver 36 or next week. Dragunov and Strong start the match with a technical playlist, slowing the pace. Both men use working holds and strong, short-range strikes to batter each other. Strong maintains control briefly, working the arm and looking for a suplex. Dragunov counters and follows up with a standing Senton for a close two. Dragunov with a headlock on a prone Strong; Strong counters by wrapping his legs around Dragunov's neck, forcing him to break the hold. Both men exchange chops. Dragunov with a running knee to Strong in the corner, followed up with a snap suplex. Dragunov's got Daniel Bryan skin--a few chops and he's blistered red on the chest. Really blistered. Dragunov with a rear naked lift but Strong grabs the ropes. Strong with back kicks to gain separation. Strong and Dragunov exchange blows in the ring. Dragunov with a Discus Elbow but Strong ducks; Dragunov improvises, dropping low and connecting low on Strong. Both men jockey for control and the action spills outside. Strong and Dragunov exchange big chest chops. Dragunov stands over a prone Strong, looking for an unknown move, when Hachiman causes a distraction. Strong capitalizes on it, yanking Dragunov's face into the steel steps as we head to break!
During the break Strong maintains control. Strong drastically slows the place, using working holds suck as neck cranks and inverted sleepers in an effort to weaken Dragunov's left shoulder and neck. Dragunov fires back suddenly, unleashing several rights onto Strong, caught off guard! Dragunov pummels him down to a seated position before the ref forces the break. Strong comes out of the corner, taking Dragunov down and working the left leg. Dragunov with a right scissors kick to Strong, gaining separation. Both men to their feet and once again they slug it out. Dragunov looks for a cover but no joy. Dragunov with a big ground-stomp on Strong and a cover attempt. Back from the break. Dragunov with a suplex on Strong, but Strong fires back with one of his own for a close two-count. Strong puts Ilja in a side head wrench. Dragunov slips out of it and rolls through, taking Strong to the mat. Dragunov rains elbows into Strong. Strong squirms free and both men jockey for control. Dragunov with a falling blow to the ribs. Dragunov with an impressive feat of strength when he hits a gut-wrench German Suplex! Dragunov hangs on, never breaking the waistlock, and connecting with a second German Suplex! Dragunov, busted wide open--Strong's back is covered in blood as Dragunov's face is bleeding--looks for the triple German Suplex in honor of the legendary Canadian Crippler! Strong fights out of it. Dragunov rebounds off the middle ropes to hit a semi-corkscrew European uppercut that drops Strong! Dragunov covers and picks up the win!
Your Winner, Ilja Dragunov!
Video Promo: Cole/O'Reilly III
We return from a commercial break and get a quick video package that highlighted the bad blood between these two disputed friends. We watch Regal set up a two-out-of-three falls match and give each man a chance to pick a stipulation. Vanilla O'Reilly chooses a traditional match for Match One; Cole chose a no DQ/street fight match. General Manager William Regal declared that if they go to a third round, he'll choose the stipulation--a steel cage match. We hear from both men as O'Reilly is ready to leave the Undisputed Era behind him. Cole promises to destroy O'Reilly and adds "that..is undisputed." We hear the words "Shock the System" over the video music as it builds to crescendo. A title card ends our package.
In the Ring Promo: Hit Row
Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, Ashanti "Thee" Adonis, Top Dolla (fka AJ Francis) and B-Fab (fka Briana Brandy) make their way to the ring. B-Fab gets on the mic and asks for the music to be cut. She speaks. "Santos put his hands in Swerve's mouth and ripped his grill out, and you thought we was gonna play games huh?" Adonis: "Hey Legado, don't play with us." Swerve speaks, telling Santos via camera that the moment he lays eyes on Santos, he's going to...be interrupted by Santos Escobar on the tron. Escobar admits that last week, he may have disrespected Swerve's culture and he does regret that. He remains in the parking lot and tells Swerve to come out and get his grills back--he promises the remainder of Legado are not present. He asks Swerve to come out so they can handle this man to man. Swerve exits the arena and the building. As he walks up on Escobar, he pulls off his jacket and turns, attacking Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde as they try to ambush him! The numbers are too much and Legado begin to work over Swerve. Top Dolla and Ashanti hit the parking lot and the six men begin to rumble. Legado takes the upper hand until B-Fab shows up with a baseball bat and gets her Sting on. Hit Row quickly dispose of Legado. Swerve takes his grills back from Escobar then slams him into the steel rolling door of a truck loading bay. In the arena we can hear lots of "Hit Row" chants and, for some reason, boos after.
Video Package: Earlier Today, w/ Cameron Grimes & LA Knight
Our Million Dollar Champion, LA Knight, is shown working out while Grimes blots the sweat from his forehead. Knight mocks Grimes and states after he beats Grimes on Sunday, he'll have a "Million Dollar Butler" in Ted DiBiase. Josh Briggs comes up and Knight offers him five grand both before and after a match he's set up. Briggs states he likes to get paid to hurt people, or something to that effect, and Knight informs Grimes that Grimes will be Briggs opponent. We go to break--this match is next!
Video Promo: Imperium
NXT UK Champion WALTER tells us that tonight isn't about him or Ilja, it's about them tonight. They want to prove that MSK is not in the same league as them. They seek to restore prestige and honor to NXT.
Special Guest Announcers: "the Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and "the Million Dollar Champion" LA Knight
Ted DiBiase makes his way out to be a special guest announcer with the commentary team tonight. Knight comes out with Grimes and joins the team, talking smack throughout it and insulting DiBiase at every chance.
Singles Match: Cameron Grimes vs Josh Briggs
Briggs is already in the ring when Grimes makes his way out. During the match, while Briggs is dominating early on and throwing Grimes around like a doll, DiBiase gets Knight to bet--double or nothing, even--on Grimes winning. Knight thinks DiBiase is out of his mind as Grimes is losing, but declares he's all in on the bet. Briggs continues to maintain control for two more minutes. Grimes fires up at the end, quickly taking Briggs down with a trio of moves to pick up the win.
Your Winner, Cameron Grimes!
After the Match: Slap My Rich Up
DiBiase is laughing at the commentary table, and demands Knight pay him the $20,000 he just lost on their bet. Knight slaps DiBiase so hard it knocks him down into his chair. Grimes hits the ringside in an effort to help his mentor, but Knight attacks Grimes and leaves him laid out.
Backstage: the Way & InDex
We cut to the back, where Johnny Gargano and his pregnant wife, Candice LeRae (grats!), discuss the mixed tag team match tonight featuring Indi Hartwell. Hartwell shows up and goes on and on about how in love with Dexter she is, even stating they're going to get matching tattoos and Hartwell is thinking of their future. Gargano and LeRae talk about how they're the best mixed tag team until they notice Dexter Lumis standing right there. They ask how long he's been standing there, and notice he and Hartwell are wearing matching "InDex" shirts. We go to break.
Backstage Interview: NXT Women's Tag Team Champions Io Shirai & Zoey Stark
Awkward interview in which Stark stated she and Shirai don't speak the same language and don't have much in common, but they'll make it work. She even admits to taking Japanese lessons. Shirai walks off. Very awkward.
Mixed Tag Team Match: InDex vs Robert Stone Brand w/ Franky Monet
The possibly-defunct Robert Stone Brand is represented by Robert Stone himself, as well as Jessi Kamea. InDex is--for those new to our program--the fan-favorite couple/team of Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis. InDex come out together; Franky Monet, Robert Stone and Jessi Kamea are already at ringside. Hartwell looks to Beth Phoenix, and Phoenix seems to coach Hartwell to breathe, reminding her she's got this. The crowd starts a loud and lengthy "Happy Birthday" chant to Hartwell, whose birthday is today. Robert Stone starts with Dexter Lumis. Stone has a 21st Century rat-tail hairdo. Lumis easily sends Stone to the mat. Stone flees the ring but Franky Monet throws him back into the ring. Jessi Kamea tries to offer some advice. The ref loses control as all four come in the ring. InDex both beat their opponents in opposite corners, stomping them down before approaching each other in the middle of the ring as the crowd chants for them. Before we can get PG-13, Kamea & Stone attack them from behind. Kamea and Hartwell exit the ring. Lumis easily sends Stone down again. Franky Monet reaches under the ropes to grab Lumis' foot, and the ref catches her. The ref bans Franky Monet from the ringside area, and she protests as we go to break.
Back from the break. Saint Tom Phillips unholy abomination of a clone, Vic Joseph, informs us that during the break Jessi Kamea took control of the match. Kamea works Hartwell over, using a wrestling takedown to drive her into the mat. Kamea backs up to her corner and apparently bumps Stone, and we're told that's a tag. Lumis and Stone enter the ring. Lumis easily dissects Stone with just a few moves. The crowd starts a loud "Dexter's gonna kill you" chant. Dexter extends a hand to Stone, who accepts it--and is yanked up, into the air, so Dexter can hit a brutal Sidewalk Slam! Lumis covers but Kamea dives in. Lumis moves and Kamea crashes into stone. Kamea gets the tag and forces Hartwell in. Kamea with a single-leg crab on Kamea. Hartwell looks into Lumis' eyes as he squats on the apron, saying nothing but seeming to power her to the ropes. Rope break! Lumis is attacked and falls to his feet on the floor. Robert Stone looks for a springboard tope con giro but comes up way short, crashing straight into the ringside floor. In the ring, Kamea and Hartwell clash. Hartwell locks Kamea in Lumis' finisher the Silence (a modified Kata-Gatame)!
Your Winners by Submission, InDex!
After the Match: Holy Guacamole!
After the match, Hartwell and Lumis eye each other intently. Hartwell slides back and out of the ring. She approaches Beth Phoenix, they silently speak, and then Hartwell returns to the ring. Indi Hartwell takes a knee and pulls out a ring, proposing to Dexter Lumis! The crowd flips out, visibly and audibly completely into InDex. Lumis removes his glove and takes the ring--Phoenix exclaims he said "yes" and the crowd erupts as the two embrace. We end the segment with both hugging and raising arms in victory as the crowd cheers.
Women's Championship Interview: NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai
We get a split-screen promo. Raquel states that when she showed up a year ago and saw Kai betray Tegan Nox, she knew Kai would someday betray her. Kai asks where was Raquel's crystal ball when Kai knocked her out two weeks ago. Raquel states that she's dominated the division and the only one left may be Dakota Kai, but Kai will never take the title off of her. Kai calls Raquel delusional. "I kicked your face off before you ever had a chance to put your hands up. I'm the person who taught you everything you know...but I didn't teach you everything I know." Kai goes on to claim to be the one who made Raquel a "somebody" and at TakeOver 36, she'll win the title. Raquel reminds Kai that there's no one like her on the planet. She tell Kai that she might be one of the best competitors on the planet but she doesn't' have a bone in her body, as she uses people then gets jealous when they become bigger stars than her. Raquel states she's solved many of Kai's problems but this one, Kai has to settle alone. Kai tells Raquel to call her jealous, a bitch, anything she wants--because in five days, she says Raquel will call Kai the Women's Champion. The crowd pops to this. Raquel ends it, saying "see you at TakeOver!"
NXT Breakout Tournament Semifinals: Duke Hudson vs Carmelo Hayes
Back in the arena, Carmelo Hayes comes out first to a decent pop. Vic Joseph says that Hayes is the underdog in this tournament, but points out that Hayes defeated Josh Briggs last week. Out next is the gigantic Aussie, Duke Hudson, who comes out to basically no reaction whatsoever. We start things with Hayes and Hudson locking up. Hudson shows off his power and height advantage, easily shoving Hayes off and sending him to the mat with a shoulder tackle. Hudson looks for a rear sleeper but Hayes fights it. Hudson with a rear mat slam. Hudson goes for another side headlock but Hayes escapes. Hayes with a side headlock of his own. Hudson flips Hayes off, but Hayes floats over and lands on his feet. Hayes with an impressive burst of offense, hitting the brakes mid-whip and using the ropes to his advantage. Hayes is incredibly athletic, reminds me of a young Rey Misterio Jr. We head to break with Hudson taking control and leaving Hayes laid out on the floor.
Back from the break. Commentary points out that Hudson's maintained control throughout the break. Hudson looks for a Lawn Dart in the ring but Hayes attempts to counter. Hudson with a beautiful overhead belly-to-belly suplex that sends Hayes flying. Hudson charges Hayes but Hayes tips him over the ropes, where Hudson lands on his feet. Hudson charges into the ring and Hayes catches him with an Axe Kick as he enters the ropes. Hudson attempts to enter the ring again and Hayes grabs Hudson's right arm, connecting with several Face Wash kicks before the ref forces the break. Hayes follows it up with a springboard Apron DDT. Looks like the side of Hudson's face and shoulder took most of the botched DDT. Back in the ring, Hudson and Hayes slug it out as the tempo picks up. Hayes with a close two. Hayes climbs the ropes, all the way to the top, but Hudson charges over before Hayes can fly. Hudson looks to throw Hayes from the top but Hayes rolls through, rolling up for a close two. Hayes continues to fire up, dropping Hudson with a kick. Hayes stumbles on the top rope but still leaps easily ten feet off the top rope, connecting with a sky-high Harlem Heat-style scissors kick. Hayes covers and picks up the win, advancing to the finals!
Your Winner, Carmelo Hayes!
After the Match Promo: NXT Breakout Tournament Finals
Carmelo cuts a promo at the top of the ramp. He's asked about his finals match with Odyssey Jones next week. Carmelo compares it to a video game and says he's the final boss, not Jones. Odyssey Jones comes out to confront him. They both puff and brag about the match next week. Amicable, short promo.
Video Promo: Jacey Jane
Jane cuts a promo wearing a dark ensemble, very interesting outfit with gothic elements and revealing in nature. Jane tells us that "they" have been locked up, and something about they're going to eat our souls when they're released or whatever. A forgettable promo. Just watch it on YouTube if you want word-for-word what she babbled on about.
Backstage: Cameron Grimes and Ted DiBiase
We return from the break and Grimes is being tended to by medical staff and icing his body. DiBiase enters and apologizes for getting Grimes into this mess. Grimes tells DiBiase not to apologize. Grimes got himself in this mess, he got obsessed with money. But when Grimes didn't believe himself, DiBiase was there to believe in him. Grimes rips off his butler's shirt and fires up, telling Ted DiBiase that he's going to beat Knight and they will become the Million Dollar Champions and Grimes is going to take them--the crowd joins in--to the moon! DiBiase excitedly exclaims that this is the Grimes he knows.
NXT Tag Team Championship Main Event Match: MSK(c) vs Imperium
MSK come out first for our main event to a solid pop. They pose and make the whole thing look so easy. Out next are Imperium to a decent pop. Both men do their formal, stoic entrance and stand at attention as we prepare to start this main event championship match! We're reminded that no tag team has beaten MSK this year. Announcements are made and we're off! The bell rings and we start with Wes Lee and Fabian Aichner. Both men line up then side step in unison. They circle and Lee looks for a rear waistlock. Aichner with a standing switch before throwing Lee across the ring. Both lock up and Lee is sent into the corner. Aichner charges in but Lee's agility allows him to slide under Aichner, then Leap over an attempted strike. Lee counters a corner strike into a Crucifix Pin for a two. Lee with big strikes as he battles Aichner into the MSK corner. Nash Carter makes the tag and comes in hot, hitting a proper Bronco Buster on Aichner! Carter covers for barely one. Aichner escapes to his corner and Marcel Barthel tags himself in. Barthel grounds Carter with his technical game. Carter looks for a comeback, running off multiple ropes and dodging attempted strikes until Barthel catches Carter with an uppercut to the jaw that floors him. Barthel with an Irish Whip. Barthel charges in, right into a big boot counter! Carter hops up top and looks for some aerial offense but Barthel has him scouted and counters with a big blow to the abdomen. Barthel takes Carter to the Imperium corner and tags in Aichner. Aichner with big chest chops. Aichner hoists Carter but he wiggles out. Carter with the hot tag to Lee. Lee and Carter quickly clear the ring. MSK look for a double-suicide dive on Imperium. Imperium catch MSK mid-dive and both men hit a scoop slam at the ringside! We go to break!
During the break Imperium take it back into the ring. Imperium utilize frequent tags to keep Wes Lee grounded and worn down. Aichner with working holds and stiff suplexes before giving way to Barthel. Barthel shows off his own aerial prowess with a Torpedo Uppercut off the ropes! Aichner tags back in and pummels Lee's back and shoulders with clubbing fists. Lee starts to fight back with fists to the abdomen as we come back from the break. Lee looks to get offense in but Imperium shut him down and continue to use frequent tags and working holds. They focus their holds on the neck and left shoulder. Carter and the crowd get into this, cheering Lee on. Lee with a few fists before hitting an Enziguri, but Barthel catches the foot and locks in an ankle lock! Carter attempts to help but Barthel knocks him off the apron and locks the ankle lock back on Lee. Barthel drags Lee into the corner and Aichner tags in. Imperium with a double team move. Lee is down in their corner and the ref checks on him for a few long moments. Lee seems good to continue. Imperium with a tag. They drape Lee over the middle rope and work together to both hit a dropkick, battering Lee and spilling his near-lifeless body to the floor.
Imperium use tags to continue to contain Lee. Lee manages to escape and crawls across the mat, looking for the tag. NXT UK Champion WALTER makes his way out to the ring. Lee makes the hot tag to Carter. Carter comes in fast and on fire, taking Barthel down then Aichner. Carter tags in Lee and they perform their as-yet-unnamed double-team move, covering for two. Barthel makes the save. The ref loses control. All four men fight. Ilja Dragunov hits the ring and brawls with WALTER at the ringside! The distraction allows MSK to take control and pick up the win!
Your Winners and STILL NXT Tag Team Champions, MSK!
After the Match: Pandemonium
WALTER beats the crap out of Dragunov at the ringside. MSK and the rest of Imperium get involved. Imperium leaves the champs laid out at ringside then all three beat down Dragunov in the ring. The crowd with a decent "WALTER" chant. Imperium's music plays and a scrappy Dragunov leans up, talking trash to them. WALTER puts Dragunov in a sleeper, putting him to sleep. He then stands over his fallen future opponent and poses as we get replays.
Backstage Promo: Pete Dunne & Ridge Holland
Dunne and Holland cut a short promo putting Thatcher & Ciampa on notice.
Face-to-Face: NXT Champion Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett and Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe comes out first to a decent pop. He gets on the mic and tells us that he wants Kross to come out to have one last face-to-face before their match. But Joe isn't here to hurt Kross' feelings with words, he's here to hurt Kross. We're reminded Joe's last match was February 2020. Joe calls out the champ, and Karrion Kross complies, coming out alone and with mic in hand."You still don't get it, Joe. This isn't about you, this isn't even about me. This is about the future of this brand. You think, what, you're going to walk into TakeOver 36 and walk out as NXT Champion?" The crowd with a loud, steady "where is Scarlett?" chant, haha. Kross calls for security to come out, and five security persons stand at ringside. Kross continues down the ramp and past them, up the steps. He asks if Joe really thinks he has a shot. Kross tells Joe that he's going to drop Joe, and he thinks Joe knows it. He also thinks that he's going to drop Joe real fast. Both men clash and Joe sends Kross out of the ring. Samoa Joe with a big suicide dive! Security and Kross are both wiped out! Joe unleashes on the champ, beating him along the side of the ring and slamming his face into the steel steps. Joe pounds on Kross' face as several refs and officials and security try to separate the men. Kross takes the upper hand and sends Joe's face into the stairs. Kross looks for a Doomsday Saito through the announcer's table but Joe escapes. Joe sends Kross into and then through the barricade's steel cage top! Both men brawl in the back. Two dozen officials and trainees now separate the two men. Kross escapes and spears Joe as security holds him. Both men are down! Huge "NXT! NXT! NXT!" chant from the hot crowd! Kross and Joe lay side-by-side, face-to-face, grimacing in pain as we fade to black!
That does it for tonight's go-home edition of NXT! TakeOver 36 is this Sunday on the Peacock. Overall, a solid show with enough big spots to make this one happy viewer. 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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