SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT ON USA
June 29, 2021, 8PM EST
LIVE IN ORLANDO, FLA., AT CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY NATE LINDBERG, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett
Join the “PWT Talks NXT” Dailycast with myself & Tom Stoup to break down the episode:
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-The show opened with a recap of Diamond Mine’s invasion of the main event last week and a preview of Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly at The Great American Bash. Then, they moved on to tonight with a video package hyping Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vs. Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon vs. Io Shirai & Zoey Stark.
(1) DAKOTA KAI & RAQUEL GONZALEZ vs. SHOTZI BLACKHEART & EMBER MOON vs. IO SHIRAI & ZOEY STARK
The three teams began trash talking in the ring before the match was underway. Gonzalez, Shirai and Moon kicked things off with Gonzalez swiftly gaining control. Shirai scored the first near fall, however after rolling through and dropkicking Moon in the face. Ember Moon had her moment shortly thereafter, by taking out Gonzalez and allowing her partner, Shotzi to tag in and make a pin attempt for two. Zoey Stark tagged Io Shirai, leading to all six women brawling outside of the ring after two suicide dive spots, a moonsault from Shirai and a senton from Shirai. Stark took everyone out with a cross body before cutting to commercial.
Through the break, Stark and Kai fought in the ring with Stark on the offensive, even after Shotzi and Gonzalez interjected. She tagged Shirai in and Kai tagged Gonzalez in, allowing the former and current NXT Champions to briefly square off. Io Shirai kept Gonzalez in a leglock for a few moments before Shotzi broke it up, putting Shirai in a headlock of her own.
Shotzi, Gonzalez and Shirai were legal after the break. Gonzalez press slammed Shotzi and went for a german suplex on Shirai, but Shirai reversed it into a double stomp. She tagged Stark in as Kai tagged Gonzalez in. Stark buzzed around all of her opponents, taking them out in the process and covering Kai for two.
Shotzi hit an enziguri on Shirai followed by a Slingblade and then tagged her partner, Ember Moon in. They double teamed Shirai with dropkicks, but that wasn’t enough for Ember to get the pin. Shotzi then hit an impressive back suplex into a reverse facelock to try and put Shirai away. This led to a six woman brawl in the ring, setting up for a tower of doom spot, Shirai and Stark on the bottom, Moon and Shotzi in the middle and Kai on the top. Before they pulled it off, Gonzalez tore the tower down grappler by grappler.
Shirai was able to overcome the rest of her opponents and get Dakota Kai into a front facelock, but Kai reversed. Shirai saw it coming and hit her signature backbreaker and went for the moonsault. She did hit the moonsault but it was on Gonzalez, who threw herself on top of Kai to protect her partner.
Each woman hit her finish in the center of the ring before Dakota Kai rolled Shirai up for a near fall. Shirai finally hit the moonsault on Kai, leading her and Stark to the Great American Bash to face the NXT Womens Tag Champions
WINNERS: Zoey Stark & Io Shirai
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Wow, this was a tough one to cover! Explosive energy was a great way to kick off NXT. While some of the spots were a bit contrived, like the failed tower of doom or the excessive suicide dives, the match was entertaining and allowed the viewer to get invested in the show right off the bat. The Way vs. Shirai & Stark is a great pairing in my opinion, pitting old rivals Shirai and LaRae against one another once again.)
-Johnny Gargano attacked NXT Champion Karrion Kross backstage. (c)
-Vic Joseph & Wade Barrett reminded us of the 2019 breakout tournament, and introduced an upcoming tournament.
-McKenzie Mitchell interviewed NXT North American champion and asked his thoughts on the Breakout Tournament. He said that he knew without that tournament, he wouldn’t be the champion. Swerve and Hit Row came out, saying that Swerve was also part of that tournament. He challenged Reed for the title tonight, Bronson agreed.
-Karrion Kross stormed to the ring with a purpose, grabbed a mic and called out Johnny Gargano. He said that last week, he got him and this week Gargano got him. He asked if Gargano was willing to die on the sword and dared him to the ring when he was ready for him. Gargano came out and answered the dare. He said he wasn’t afraid of Kross and called him a coward. He said the ring was his world and unlike Kross, he has actual talent. He said Kross might be bigger than him, but he’s smarter. Theory attacked Kross from behind. Kross took both men out, and laid Gargano out by the entrance ramp. He grabbed the steps and before he could use them as a weapon, security stopped him allowing Gargano to get a superkick on Kross and bolt.
Kross yelled at Samoa Joe and Security that they were doing a “great job”, and stormed up the ramp. (c)
-Gargano and Theory were shown fleeing the arena in a white SUV.
(2) RODERICK STRONG (w/ Diamond Mine) vs. ASHER HALE
-The two men danced around the ring a bit, before Hale was taken to the mat with a few arm drags and headlock takedowns. Strong stayed in control for a bit longer, but Hale as able to reverse and attempt a superkick. Strong caught it, but Hale tried reversing it into an Ankle Lock. Strong was able to reverse and send Hale into the turnbuckle. He hit a side backbreaker on Hale and unleashed a series of strikes and kicks on the newbie. Strong hit a jumping knee into a headlock submission on Hale for the tap out win.
WINNER: Roderick Strong
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Strong should have been put over strong, no pun intended, in his first match back on TV. This was a dominant win and allowed for Diamond Mine to begin looking like they’re a threat to the NXT Landscape.)
-Cameron Grimes was shown on his way to the ring. (c)
(3) CAMERON GRIMES vs. STERLING
Cameron Grimes was in control right away, chopping Sterling and sending him out of the ring with a hurricanrana. Sterling rebounded and did a moonsault from the ropes to the outside on Grimes, taking control of the match. He hit a standing moonsault on Grimes for a two count. Grimes turned the tides with a flurry of strikes but was met with an enziguri from Sterling.
Sterling went to the top and missed a moonsault, allowing Grimes to get a boot to the chest for the win.
WINNER: Cameron Grimes
LA Knight came out to “celebrate” Grime’s victory. He said nobody gives a damn about the win. The crowd chanted “You Suck!” Grimes agreed with the crowd and challenged LA Knight to a match for the Million Dollar Championship at the Bash. Knight declined saying he didn’t deserve it and pretended to walk away. He then said that he’s the Million Dollar Megastar and said that if he loses, he becomes the property of LA Knight.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Uhm. It’s 2021. Should we be doing a “property” angle with another human being?)
-Mitchell interviewed Shirai & Stark when The Way interupted saying that The Way is family, Stark and Shirai aren’t even friends. There is no way that they can beat them, and LaRae called Shirai a sore loser. Shirai said next week, they become the champions.
-Kyle O’Reilly came out to the ring and said that last week was about beating a better fighter. He said that he belongs in the main event and should be champion. But he Cole doesn’t think that should happen. He called Cole out to explain why. Adam Cole tried to come to the ring, but Samoa Joe stopped him before he could make it. He said that wih respect to their personal safety, he wanted to be present, and told them to have at it.
Cole said that KOR wishes he was in his shoes, going home at night hoping his career will be half as good as his. He’s obsessed with Cole and he’s creeped out by it. KOR said that he was far from obsessed, and called Cole the obsessed one.
The two jawed off back and forth, getting more and more personal with each verbal Jab until they were face to face. Cole tried to jump KOR, but KOR put him in a leglock. Samoa Joe walked away, letting the boys settle their differences before sending his security guys down to stop KOR.
-Tian Sha was advertised for their match against Martinez and Atlas later tonight(c)
-Hit Row hyped up Swerve before his match with Bronson Reed.
(4) JAKE ATLAS & MERCEDES MARTINEZ vs. XIA LI & BOA
The moment the bell rang, all four competitors exploded at one another with the ref needing to step in to break it up. Atlas and Boa squared off for a few seconds before the women tagged in. Xia Li super kicked Martinez and took control of the match. She kept Martinez on the mat with a series of kicks and strikes, but made the mistake when trying to bring her up for a suplex. Martinez countered with a back drop. Martinez shouted up the ramp at Mae Ying as they cut to commercial. (c)
Atlas had Boa in a headlock as they came back from break. Boa made his way to his feet, and shot Atlas off the ropes and flung him outside. Boa tagged Li, bringing Martinez in. Li caught Martinez in the corner, which backfired when Martinez hoisted her to the top rope and delivered a double underhook suplex for a two count. Boa broke up the pin. Atlas and Martinez did a double team back body drop on Boa when Mae Ying stood up from her chair.
Martinez left the ring to confront Mae Ying and Li attacked from behind, sent Martinez into the ring and hit a suplex and roundhouse kick for a 2.9 count. So close, but Martinez got the shoulder up. The ref stopped the match anyway due to Martinez being “knocked out”.
WINNER: Xia Li & Boa by KO
-MSK, Thatcher & Ciampa all came to the ring with a mic in one hand a steel chair in the other. They sat across from each other in the ring and Ciampa said that MSK were the underdogs as champions. Toothless Timmy isn’t a man of many words, but he’s never held NXT Gold. This man is motivated to win, and there is not a man alive that elevates a title the way Ciampa elevates the title. MSK attempted to say something, when Timmy said to respect them and let them finish. Wes Lee said that they respect Thatcher and Ciampa, but theyre here to remind them that they are the challengers. And the challengers will find out why MSK are the champions at the Bash. MSK attempted to jump Thatcher and Ciampa, who basically swatted MSK away. Thatcher was held back by Ciampa who then got right in Carters ear and said that next week, they aren’t going to be so lucky.
-Regal was approached back stage by Sarray who said she wanted Toni Storm in the Breakout tournament.
-The battery icon was shown again on screen, this time at 81%
-Karrion Kross was attacked by Theory and Gargano as he tried leaving the arena with Scarlett. Gargano got in the camera and said that Kross wasn’t on his level. Kross immediately jumped up, choked Gargano out, threw Theory into a nearby garage door and then left with Scarlett. Samoa Joe showed up and dragged Gargano inside saying that tonight, he went too far.
(5) SWERVE vs. BRONSON REED – NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
-The two men locked up and Reed tossed Swerve across the ring. They locked up again, this time Swerve backing Reed into the corner. A third lockup saw the two chain wrestling for a few moments with Reed swatting Swerve out of the air after an attempted dropkick. Reed gorilla pressed Swerve, and stayed cleanly in control for the majority of the start of the matchup. That is until Swerve began working the left leg of the big man, attempting to take him down. Swerve continued working the leg into the commercial break (c)
During the commercial, Swerve stayed in control, working the leg and putting Reed into a series of headlocks and rest holds. After the break, Reed began his comeback, chopping Swerve repeatedly while Reed kept trying to kick the leg out from under Reed. Swerve managed to land a belly to back suplex on Reed, nearly getting the three count. He climbed onto Reed’s back and tried punching Reed’s face to get him down, but that was met with a snapmare for two. Reed walked into a Flatline by Reed for another nearfall, Hit Row freaking out at how close Swerve came to becoming champion.
Swerve exploded with offense, but Reed managed to catch him with a massive Death Valley Driver with the last of his energy. Both men got back to their feet, Reed in control. Adrian Adonis attacked Reed from the Apron while Swerve had the ref distracted. Top Dolla tried to attack next, but was sent through the barricade. Swerve got Reed back in the ring and hit a 650 splash on Reed for the win.
WINNER: Swerve, NEW CHAMPION