7/17 NXT TV REPORT: Adam Cole defends, Apollo Crews vs. Kushida, Matt Riddle vs. Arturo Ruas, Bronson Reed vs. Dexter Lumis

By Kelly Wells, PWTorch contributor



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NXT TV REPORT
JULY 17, 2019
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FL. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
STREAMED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY KELLY WELLS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Beth Phoenix

-Opening video. Same bad music, but no ridiculous sing-along anymore.

-Tonight, the Breakout Tournament continues and Kushida faces Apollo Crews.

-As Matt Riddle is introduced, Mauro talks about the length of the line to face Kushida – another little hint that the two will meet at some point?

(1) MATT RIDDLE vs. ARTURO RUAS

“New look, new attitude, new identity,” says Mauro – Ruas is the former Adrian Jaoude. The “r” in “Ruas” is pronounced like “H,” for those wondering. Scrambling on the mat to start. Riddle hits some strikes and jumps into a headlock, and Ruas falls forward onto him and locks an armbar, but Riddle turns it into one of his own. Ruas escapes and hits a front chancery, escaped by Ruas. Reset.

Riddle strikes and grabs a leg, but Ruas trips Riddle into the ropes. Reset again. Riddle kicks with rights. Ruas and Riddle each go for high kicks; Riddle makes a connection to the head. Riddle with strikes and both men start hitting capoeira kicks. Riddle ends up on the mat but kicks his way out. He hits a knee, then mounts Ruas and pounds him on the mat until the referee stops it.

WINNER: Riddle in 3:40.

-After the match, Killian Dain jumps Matt Riddle, firmly cementing himself as a heel (and also an uppercard threat). Mauro calls him the “Northern Ireland Nightmare.” He beats Riddle up the ramp, then slams Riddle through a trapdoor up at the top of the ramp.

(Kelly’s Analysis: Fun MMA-style match that could signify the beginning of a small push for Ruas, though it was all about Killian Dain being the next threat to Riddle. The segment was a strong one for Dain and I assume this will be the non-title match on TakeOver in four weeks.)

-Raw Reunion spot.

-Street Profits spot. Montez says their title says NXT Tag Team Champions The Street Profits, but someone thinks it belongs to them. ——- says Undisputed Era couldn’t beat them at Takeover and they won’t beat them this time… and that… is Undisputed.

-A “fan” captured a video of Marina Shafir exiting her car after parking and getting jumped and thrashed by Mia Yim.

(Kelly’s Analysis: The Profits’ music stopped abruptly when he said “Undisputed” and the Profits shared an “oh no you didn’t” look at each other. Simple but strong. Yim jumping Shafir seems like a huge leap, but again, we’ve always asked for the Head Baddie to do more bad things.)

(2) BRONSON REED vs. DEXTER LUMIS – Breakout Tournament First Round Match

Lumis is quite the picture. He looks blank, intense and shell-shocked and glares long into the camera while the announcers wait it out. Mauro says they were supposed to go to an interview but the guys in the truck were just as creeped out as he is. Bronson Reed gives a basic meat-and-potatoes interview to position as a face.

Reed with a side headlock. Shoulderblock, but Lumis pops up quickly. Lumis with a back elbow and Reed falls to the outside. Lumis flips forward over the ropes and Reed moves but Lumis hits his feet; Reed follows with a cross-body on the floor. Ref counts to five and they head back in. Lumis chops the throat then hangs Reed over the bottom rope. Ground and pound. Kicks to the midsection. Chinlock. The announcers continue to sell Lumis’s creepy intensity. Double axehandle to the chest. Chinlock again. Lumis licks Reed’s forehead and smiles. Reed powers out and takes down lumis. Fists and elbows. Back bodydrop. Senton gets two. Reed picks up Lumis for a suplex, but Lumis flips through and hits his own. Legdrop for two. Lumis goes up and flips forward for a senton bomb, but Reed moves. Bodyslam from Reed. Reed goes to the top and puts his considerable weight into a big splash for three.

WINNER: Reed in 5:50.

(Kelly’s Analysis: Lumis is something to watch. I don’t know if the Full Sail faithful will allow such a throwback character; he’s so far gone that he’s a bit hard to believe, but his performance is utterly committed so it just might work. Reed can really move for a big man and had the audience on his side with ease. Nice match, if brief.)

-The Forgotten Sons happen upon Tyler Breeze being interviewed. Tyler jokes at their expense and Wesley Blake warns that he’s never seen anything like Jaxson Ryker. Tyler: “You know what, boys? I’ve seen…everything.” Okay!

-Kushida-Crews is up next.

-WWE 24 spot.

-Last Week: Io Shirai dressed down the NXT Universe. Next week, Io Shirai faces Kacy Catanzaro in the hopes of winning her first-ever singles match on NXT TV. The announcers hope you haven’t noticed that particular statistic!

Kushida is introduced to an undeniably growing reaction, so it’s safe to say he’s rebounded from the ludicrous debut beatdown he took from Kassius Ohno. Huge reaction for Apollo Crews, so it’s clear the audience hadn’t been made aware of this impending match earlier in the taping. Standing ovation, which melts into a big ovation after the music stops and a “Welcome back” chant.

(3) KUSHIDA vs. APOLLO CREWS

Feeling-out. Crews with a waistlock, escaped and reversed into a Kushida front facelock. Gator roll for a one count. Kushida warns Crews that he was close, but he’s not really working heel here. Mauro calls out the six times Kushida held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and even calls out his nickname as the ace of the junior division. Dropkick by Crews. Corner clothesline. Kushida bails and Crews follows. As Crews attempts to reenter, Kushida hits a front handspring to knock Crews out again. Kushida rolls Crews in and works the right arm. Kushida goes to the ropes but Crews tosses him up for a gutbuster. Crews with a delayed vertical suplex for one. Headlock. Kushida elbows out but Crews takes him down with a hard elbow. Strikes to the head and midsection. Corner splash. Overhead belly-to-belly gets two. Crews strikes the head a few more times and misses a charge. Kushida with some strikes. Hard kick to the midsection. Back handspring elbow. Hiptoss. Basement dropkick and Kushida has the crowd. Enzuigiri. Tornado DDT for a long two. Kushida softens the left arm to set up the Sakuraba lock. Armbar but Crews picks up Kushida. Kushida runs into a big boot for two. Crews with a deadlift German. Another German. Standing Shooting Star Press for a long two. “Both these guys” chant. Military press but Crews can’t hold Kushida because his arm gives out. Kushida hits a springboard and huracanrana but Crews rolls through for two. Enzuigiri by Crews. Both guys are down. “NXT” chant. Ref counts them both on the mat and reaches four when Crews gets up. Crews heads to the top. Kushida follows and faces him and they trade blows. Kushida gets knocked down but hits a double heel strike, goes up and hits a suplex right into an armbar. Beautiful. Crews can’t reach the ropes and Kushida hits the Sakuraba lock for the submission.

WINNER: Kushida in 10:47.

-After the match, they share a handshake.

(Kelly’s Analysis: I would have thought this went too long, but the great reaction for Crews along with the main roster cred he brought seemingly made it okay for the live crowd; plus, it was a good match and a good story of Kushida’s technique outstripping Crews’s power.)

-Cathy Kelley asks Keith Lee about his tenure. He says she’s right – he’s been here a year now. He says he heard that opportunities would be laid at his feet, but he was skipped over and passed by. Eight guys are in a tournament for a championship opportunity, which he didn’t get. Everyone’s talking about Damian Priest. Maybe Keith should be the one to change the narrative. Maybe he’s the one – not Priest – that they should be talking about.

(Kelly’s Analysis: That really felt like a heel turn, but who knows with Lee? He kind of meandered a little but at least he’s headed into a feud – at least a one-week feud.)

-Adam Cole is out to the usual largely babyface reaction. He says he’s been showing all these morons from the Universe what a real champion is and what true power is. His boys have been taking care of business. There’s an Undisputed power switch happening in NXT. He’s a fighting champion. All comers. He’s ready to put his championship on the line. As a matter of fact, he’s doing it tonight. Against…this man.

-We go to the video of Johnny Gargano presenting the NXT Championship to that huge fan in Cleveland. Obviously – the opponent isn’t Gargano.

(4) ADAM COLE vs. TUWAN TUCKER – NXT Championship Match

Not sure if I have Tuwan spelled correctly. Cole says not to worry – his Undisputed boys aren’t here. Tuwan says “It’s just you and me? That’s too bad, because I didn’t come alone.”

Gargano storms the ring and beats down Cole. Superkicks aplenty. To the outside and they fight into the stands. They fight to the back of the crowd and Johnny fires up the crowd. The refs break it up after a few minutes but they can’t stop Gargano for long. Given that these segments usually signify the coming stipulations, I’d say TakeOver will be a Falls Count Anywhere or a Street Fight. They get back to the ring and Johnny hits another superkick and a Gargano escape. Mixed reaction, as always with these two.

(Kelly’s Analysis: I kind of wanted to see Tuwan get in there and see what happened, but that was obviously not in the cards. Kind of a silly sports entertainment segment, by NXT standards, but I enjoyed it enough and look forward to another meeting of these two.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Even with the main event storyline segment, we got twenty minutes of wrestling, so that’s not bad. We have our answer for why Cole’s opponent wasn’t advertised last week (the identity of which my podcast mate Harley Pageot correctly predicted). Time to find my microphone for tonight’s PWT Talks NXT podcast. I have a board game called Fundead: The Greatest Show on Earth releasing this summer, and can track progress on Instagram @spookymilk!


RECOMMENDED: 7/10 NXT TV REPORT: Street Profits vs. Lorcan & Burch, Myles vs. Boa in Breakout Tournament match, Priest vs. Loco, Io Shirai appears in front of fans as heel

2 Comments on 7/17 NXT TV REPORT: Adam Cole defends, Apollo Crews vs. Kushida, Matt Riddle vs. Arturo Ruas, Bronson Reed vs. Dexter Lumis

  1. My thoughts:

    – I understand bringing a bit of the MMA style into wrestling, but this was too much. What is the point of what was really just a fake MMA fight when you can see the real thing whenever you want? Not a fan of this at all.
    – The Killian Dain beatdown was very well done. Good way to establish himself as truly viscious. Unfortunately, it seems like Killain Dain, much like Tyler Breeze, is there just to be jobbers to the “up and comers” of NXT because i don’t see Riddle doing the job for him.
    – About time a challenger tries to get the two “henchwomen” out of the way before a match with Shayna. Babyfaces don’t constantly need to be pure and angelic in dealing with a greater and unfair number.
    – Frankly, based on just this one match, the Dexter Lumis character seems a lot more interesting and versatile to me than Bronson Reed, who just screams generic heavy guy to me. Not that he’s a bad wrestler.
    – The ads for main roster shows are stupid. If they want to get more eyes on their product it makes more sense for main roster shows to make ads for NXT. Instead NXT shows ads for Raw/Smackdown, as if people who watch NXT need reminding that WWE has a main roster and that Raw/Smackdown exist.
    – Crews vs Kushida was a good match (and no, not too long) and it shows that good wrestling is not appreciated on the main roster or. first of all the matches there wouldn’t be pathetically short for the most part, and second, Crews is clearly underutilized while nepotism-recipient Shane keeps poisoning my TV-screen with both his lame, stale heel authority nonsense and his constant botching of his opponent’s moves.
    – Just because they gave Crews an ovation doesn’t mean they weren’t aware of the match happening. They actually appreciate talent in NXT.
    – Io Shirai has never won a singles match on NXT??? That is…interesting.
    She should win next week, clearly, as Kacy Catanzaro is leeching off her American Ninja Warrior fame and is way too tiny to ever be credible.
    – So is Keith Lee going to be another one of those whiny crybaby babyfaces now too? There is no heel authority in NXT so that’s what it looks like.
    – Cole was announced for a title match and we didn’t get what was promised. Is Vince writing this segment? Yeah, Gargano came out and beat up Cole, so what? They could have done that without sacrificing a promised title match.

    Some interesting stuff, some not so. Better than last week, but still not quite up to NXT standards.

  2. Glad to hear the ridiculous sing-along was gone! I’ve been fast forwarding through the opening for months because that thing makes me cringe with second-hand embarrassment. I still can’t believe someone thought it was a good idea to make such a cool roster look like absolute dopes.

    I still don’t like the bad music, but we probably have to put up with it until after next WrestleMania.

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