8/26 NXT ON USA PRIMER: Kross and Scarlett kick off show, Ciampa returns, Swerve vs. Escobar, Imperium vs. Breezango, Shirai & Ripley vs. Kai & Gonalez

By Amin Ajani, PWTorch contributor


The fallout from NXT Takeover XXX takes place tonight as new NXT Champion Karrion Kross will kick off the show. But that’s not all as NXT Women’s Champion my favorite Io Shirai will team with Rhea Ripley to face Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez in tag team action. Plus, NXT Tag Team and Cruiserweight Championships will be on the line. Also, Tommaso Ciampa returns tonight. It’s sure to be an action-pack episode of NXT which takes place tonight from Full Sail University on the USA Network. Let’s take a look at what’s currently advertised for tonight’s show

  • NXT Champion Karrion Kross and Scarlett to kick off WWE NXT
  • NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai teams with Rhea Ripley to face Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez
  • Tommaso Ciampa set to return to NXT
  • What’s next for new NXT North American Champion Damian Priest?
  • Can lightning strike twice for “Swerve” against Escobar
  • NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium vs. Breezango


NXT Champion Karrion Kross and Scarlett to kick off WWE NXT

Doomsday is here for NXT as Karrion Kross defeated Keith Lee to become the new NXT Champion at NXT TakeOver: XXX despite suffering a shoulder injury during the match. The duo of Kross and Scarlet will kick off tonight’s episode of NXT. The question is what does the new champion have in store for NXT and how will Kross’ injury come into play?

(Amin’s Analysis: The presentation of Kross has been terrific since his debut and it would be a bummer if he had to miss time or even relinquish the NXT Title due to his shoulder injury. This will be interesting to watch as could a list of wrestlers which include Adam Cole and Finn Balor could come out to challenge Kross after picking up wins at Takeover XXX.)

NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai teams with Rhea Ripley to face Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez

My favourite Io Shirai successfully defended her NXT Women’s Title after defeating Dakota Kai in a terrific match at TakeOver: XXX. Shirai’s celebration was cut short as she was attacked by Raquel Gonzalez. However, Rhea Ripley joined the fray to even up the odd teasing a potential showdown with Gonzalez. However, things didn’t end there as Ripley was shown watching my favourite Io Shirai celebrate with her NXT Women’s Title. The question is can Shirai co-exist with Ripley against Kai & Gonzalez in their tag team match.




(Amin’s Analysis: This should be fun as you can always expect a good match to come out of the NXT Women’s Division. Looking forward to seeing how this match plays out as they teased Gonzalez could be next to challenge for the NXT Women’s Title after her post-match attack on Shirai at TakeOver: XXX. They also heavily teased a match between Ripley and Gonzalez after their stare down. The other takeaway was Ripley eying Shirai when she was celebrating with her NXT Women’s Title. I’m biased as Io Shirai is my favourite and it’s been awesome to see her being presented the brand’s top champion as she continues to show in all her matches and promos why this is her NXT.)

Tommaso Ciampa set to return to NXT

For the first time in nearly three months Tommaso Ciampa returns to NXT tonight. Ciampa hasn’t been seen since his loss to Kross at TakeOver: In Your House. The question is what will Ciampa’s next move be and will he want to face Kross again who’s now NXT Champion?



(Amin’s Analysis: Ciampa has been missed and his return will add more star power to the show as he could easily step into the NXT Championship picture and could continue his program with Kross.)

What’s next for new NXT North American Champion Damian Priest?

Damian Priest took one step forward to making his name live forever after capturing the NXT North American Title at Takeover XXX. The question is what’s next for Priest and who will step up to challenge him for his newly won North American Title.


(Amin’s Analysis: Nice moment for Priest at TakeOver: XXX to capture his first championship in NXT as he’s a talented wrestler and always works hard in his matches. This will be interesting to watch as Priest will likely have challengers lined up mostly coming from the wrestlers who competed in the Ladder Match.)

Can lightning strike twice for “Swerve” against Escobar

Isiah “Swerve” Scott is the only person in NXT to defeat Santos Escobar in single’s competition. Scott will look to make it two in a row when he challenges Escobar for the NXT Cruiserweight Title. Since the formation of Legado del Fantasma, Escobar has been on a roll overcoming all challenges for the Cruiserweight Title. The question now is can Scott beat Escobar again and become the new Cruiserweight Champion?



(Amin’s Analysis: Escobar has done a terrific job not only as champion but bringing importance to the Cruiserweight Division. The story of Scott being the only one to pick up a victory over the current champion is a good one to tell but the question is how do you keep this going? My guess is by way of Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza causing a no finish to what should be a great match as both Escobar and Scott are talented wrestlers. If my guess is right, this should lead to a rematch in a possible stipulation match where Scott wins the Cruiserweight Title.)

NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium vs. Breezango

Tyler Breeze & Fandango will get another chance to challenge Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel for the NXT Tag Team Titles after defeating Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan and Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza in a Number One’s Contender’s Match on the TakeOver: XXX pre-show. Breeze & Fandango put up a great match but came up short against Imperium to win the NXT Tag Team Titles. After earning another shot at the titles can Breezango finally end Imperium’s run?


(Amin’s Analysis: Let me say, I enjoy watching Aichner & Barthel wrestler Aas they make a great team but something is just missing and Imperium isn’t the same without Walter. This seems to be the right time to make the switch, put the tag team titles on Breeze & Fandango and see if they help elevate the NXT Tag Team Division like Undisputed Era did. Overall, this should be a great match featuring four talented wrestlers.)

NXT Takeover XXX Results

Karrion Kross defeated Keith Lee to become the new NXT Champion. My favourite Io Shirai defeated Dakota Kai to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. Adam Cole defeated Pat McAfee in a very good match. Damian Priest won the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match. Finn Balor defeated Timothy Thatcher in a solid technical wrestling match.

Overall Thoughts

Nice to see NXT stack up tonight’s show as they look to build momentum coming off a great Takeover special. The wrestling should be solid and I would expect to see some big angles and teases of championship programs.

RECOMMENDED: 8/19 NXT ON USA TV REPORT: Hustwaite’s “alt-perspective” report on final Takeover 30 hype, last two slots in ladder match set, McAfee-Cole confrontation, Lee-Kross video

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