NXT HITS & MISSES 7/24: Keith Lee vs. Damian Priest, Belair vs. Xia Li, Catanzaro vs. Io Shirai, NXT Title match stipulations, Breakout Tournament, Pete Dunne returns

By James Myers, PWTorch reader

Johnny Gargano (photo credit Tom Stoup © PWTorch)


Breakout Tournament: Jordan Myles vs. Angel Garza – HIT: A nice little match again here in the breakout tournament. Another Hit as I really enjoy watching young talent get chances to shine and try to get over. We are now in the semi-finals of the tournament. Good back and forth chain wrestling at the start of the match, and it slowed down when Garza pulled Myles off the apron to the floor on the outside. A good match that both guys came out of it looking good.

Johnny Gargano picks street fight stipulation – HIT: A Hit here as I like that they are taking their previous two-out-of-three-falls match even further. The added stipulation on each fall it will make seem different from the matches they have been having. Gargano picks street fight.

Xia Li vs. Bianca Belair – MISS: This was basically a squash match. I don’t get it. They have already fed Belair to Bayzler on more than one occasion. I don’t find her credible right now, and unless Bayzler loses the belt to someone, I don’t see her becoming NXT Women’s Champion. A Miss here as there could have been a tag match or a top notch singles match in this spot.

Mia Yim attacks Jessamyn Duke – MISS: In a pre-taped segment, Mia Yim kicked a locker door on Jessamyn Duke’s arm. I’m glad they are keeping Yim busy and relevant, but it seems that the only purpose for this was to simply keep her relevant. The NXT Women’s Division has a lot of questions with Shayna Bayzler having already defeated most of the women on the roster.

Velveteen Dream segment – HIT: A great promo by Dream saying he will not lose the North American Title untill the Dream is dead. He put over Roderick Strong by saying he was a great wrestler but he is not up to the caliber of the Dream. This guy is special and I do not want the WWE main roster having anything to do with him unless the main roster woes get fixed. Velveteen has everything. He has youth, skill, and the ability to gut great promos. The surprise here was Pete Dunne, who has been on the NXT UK brand, coming out after Roderick Strong and setting his sights on the North American Title as well. William Regal made a triple threat match between the three of them at Takeover Toronto. Strong said he wanted a match with Dunne next week.

Io Shirai vs. Kacy Catanazaro – HIT: A Hit here as this is to establish Io Shirai as a serious threat with her new change in attitude after her heel turn. The match did not go long. It was ruled a disqualification when Candace LeRae came out and retaliated against Shirai for her attack on her. Surely this leads to a match. This served it’s purpose.

Adam Cole picks stipulation – HIT: Adam Cole picks a one-on-one singles match because he said that is what he is good at and how he beat Gargano for the title to begin with. As I have said, they have to one up their last two-out-of-three falls match, so adding stipulations is a good way to build this feud to a good climax.

Keith Lee vs. Damian Priest – HIT: I’ll go with a Hit with this match because it was good. However, it’s clear they see more in Damian Priest with having him get the win here over someone who has yet to be elevated who had some potential. The ending would have been received better if Damian had won clean without the ref distraction with Keith Lee. Both looked great, but it’s obvious to me that Keith Lee has a very low ceiling since he is losing to relatively new arrivals to nxt.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed this week’s show. It had the Breakout Tournament and some other good matches and segments on the show. A surprise this week was the returning Pete Dunne, which is good for him to get in front of more eyes, to challenge for Velveteen Dream’s North American Title. He will be added to Dream vs. Roderick Strong for a triple threat match at Takeover Toronto. Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano’s two-out-of-three falls match will have added stipulations for each fall. They announced a street fight and a one-on-one match, with William Regal to announce the final stipulation for the third fall. Not much else of note took place on the show but overall it was another good week for the black and yellow brand.

RECOMMENDED: NXT HITS & MISSES 7/17: Adam Cole’s Championship Match, Kushida vs. Apollo Crews, Breakout Tournament, Matt Riddle vs. Arturo Ruas

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