TJR: WWE NXT 07/22/20 Review

Welcome to the WWE NXT review here on TJRWrestling. It’s going to be a lot shorter this week. I was going to take this week off and then decided not to, but here I am on Thursday with NXT to review. I’m going to put in the results and comment on the matches that way. I did watch the show, but I’m trying to take it easy this week with less writing, so here’s a much shorter version of my WWE NXT review.

Here’s a rundown of everything that happened with my thoughts on it all.

Keith Lee relinquished the NXT North American Title

From WWE: “NXT General Manager William Regal announced that the next North American Champion will be determined in a Ladder Match at Takeover XXX (on August 22) featuring Superstars who qualify through a series of Triple Threat Matches in coming weeks.”

I have no problem with Lee giving up the title without getting beat. It keeps him strong at the NXT Champion. Since NXT Ladder Matches are always great, I really have no problem with the multi-person ladder match to crown a new champion. I think it will be fun.

Dexter Lumis defeated Killian Dain

The rise of Lumis continues. He beat Roderick Strong in a strap match and now he’s beaten a bigger man like Killian Dain as well. It went about 11 minutes. I would rate it **1/4 (out of five) because it was boring at times. That’s a problem with the Lumis character and his style. You’re not going to get many great matches from him.

Dakota Kai did a quick promo talking trash about NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai, who Kai attacked last week. That’s likely the NXT Women’s Title match at Takeover XXX on August 22.

Breezango defeated Ever-Rise

The Breezango entrance was funny because it was a parody of The Mounties, who were French Canadian wrestlers just like Ever-Rise are. It was a short match in the three-minute range, so I’m only going *1/2 for it. I think Breezango may be built up for a future title shot since the NXT tag team division is poor right now.

Shotzi Blackheart defeated Aliyah (w/Robert Stone)

Blackheart continues to impress as a babyface that’s easy to like and Aliyah is getting better every time I see her. This was around five minutes and I would rate it ** with Blackheart picking up the win with a diving senton. Stone took a comical bump off the apron to the floor. Stone makes me laugh. He’s good at being a silly manager.

Post match, Blackheart drove her “tank” on Robert Stone’s good left leg. That’s when Mercedes Martinez showed up to kick Blackheart in the head.  Later in the show, Mercedes Martinez officially joined the Robert Stone Brand.

They did a video highlighting Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, who noted he was going after the NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar. That’s an interesting feud to do. They have worked well together in the past.

Bronson Reed defeated Roderick Strong and Johnny Gargano to earn a spot in the North American Title Ladder Match at NXT Takeover XXX

If you would have asked me to predict a winner for this match before it aired I probably would have gone with Gargano, but nope. It was the big man Reed getting the biggest match of his career in a ***3/4 match that went about 20 minutes. The veterans Gargano and Strong each had plenty of moments where it looked like they might win, but Reed kept on overpowering them. There were so many cool spots in the match and I was very impressed by Reed bumping like a guy that’s much smaller. Good finish with Gargano hitting the jumping DDT on Strong, then he went for a cover and Reed hit a splash off the top on Strong for the pinfall win. Best match for Reed in NXT so far and as I said, the biggest win of Reed’s career as well.

Timothy Thatcher defeated Oney Lorcan

It was similar to their previous match on NXT with a lot of slower-paced wrestling and submission attempts from both guys. Thatcher picked up the win after 13 minutes and I would rate it *** out of five. With that said, there might be some fans that watched this that found the match to be boring and I think when you’re in a tough competition on Wednesday nights, maybe you need to put on more exciting matches. Anyway, Thatcher managed to get the win after he countered an armbar into a pin attempt where Thatcher pulled the tights to win. That finish will likely mean a rematch is coming in the future.

Finn Balor did a promo about his NXT North American qualifying match next week. Balor faces Dexter Lumis and Timothy Thatcher in a triple threat next week with the winner moving onto the Ladder Match at NXT Takeover XXX (that’s 30) on August 22. It should be a win for Balor, but the other two guys have been on win streaks.

Karrion Kross defeated Dominik Dijakovic

It was a big match for Kross getting a main event spot against Dominik Dijakovic, who lost to Keith Lee last week and then this match was set up after that. They went about 14 minutes and I would rate it at around *** out of five. It was a very physical match with Dijakovic doing a nice job of making Kross look like a dominant heel. It’s actually a bit of a surprise that it went over ten minutes since Kross usually wins shorter matches. They did a brutal KO spot where Kross kicked the steel steps into Dijakovic’s head. That led to Keith Lee showing up to support his good friend Dijakovic, Lee wanted Dijakovic to stop, but Dijakovic wanted to keep going. That led to Kross slapping on his Kross Jacket submission move, which is basically a variation of a choke hold or a sleeper. Dijakovic passed out to give Kross the win.

After the match, Lee checked on Dijakovic in the ring while Kross and Lee had a staredown. It’s that that classic Rocky 4 style story with the bad guy taking out the good guy’s rival that became a close friend and the good guy will have to face off with the bad guy soon. There was no physicality between Lee and Kross. They just stared at eachother.

As for Dijakovic, the rumors have been out for weeks that he is going to be on Raw soon, so this might have been his last NXT match or one of the last NXT matches for him.

Will they go with Lee vs. Kross for the NXT Title at Takeover XXX on August 22? It seems like that’s where it is headed. Kross is still new, but WWE paid a lot of money to get him and they clearly want to see what they have in him. It should be interesting to see how that is booked since Lee and Kross have both been booked as unbeatable wrestlers this year.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bronson Reed
  2. Johnny Gargano/Roderick Strong
  3. Karrion Kross


Final Thoughts

I give this show a 6.75 out of 10.

A solid edition of NXT overall, but it didn’t feel as important as the last three weeks.  It was typical of NXT to have one standout match that is worth checking out with Bronson Reed having the best match of his career with Roderick Strong and Johnny Gargano. The main event was better as a story than a match with Karrion Kross destroying Dominik Dijakovic while making it clear he was coming after Keith Lee. That should set us up with Lee vs. Kross at NXT Takeover XXX on August 22. Other matches were okay, but nothing that special.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport

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