WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 24
This week's episode of NXT comes on the heels of Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reporting that there have been multiple employees diagnosed with COVID-19, including some in-ring talents.
WWE has remained silent on the matter, but it likely did not affect this week's NXT if it was filmed before the tests were conducted.
Wednesday's show featured a big Triple Threat match for the North American Championship with Keith Lee defending against Finn Balor and Johnny Gargano.
We also saw Cameron Grimes take on Damian Priest, and Karrion Kross faced his biggest challenge to date when he faced Bronson Reed.
Let's take a look at what happened on this week's episode of NXT.
Cameron Grimes vs. Damian Priest
The show opened with a shot of Priest being found outside the Performance Center. He had clearly been attacked and struggled to get to his feet.
Grimes came to the ring and expected to win by forfeit, but Priest fought his way past a group of referees to make it to the ring. His ribs were wrapped up, and Grimes went right after the target.
The ref backed him up, and The Archer of Infamy told him to call for the bell. He hit The Technical Savage with a series of stiff strikes as he fought through the pain.
He hit a big chokeslam before collapsing to the mat in agony. After they fought outside of the ring for a moment, Grimes hit The Cave In for the win.
The way this was booked was a little strange. Priest was attacked but valiantly fought back, and it is the kind of spot WWE usually employs with a babyface.
Priest has been a heel at his worst and a tweener at his best, so this may have been WWE's way of seeing how the WWE Universe reacts to him as an underdog for once.
Grimes played the heel well, but overall, this was a short bout that didn't show off enough of what makes either one of these Superstars special. It told a story at the expense of a better match.
Jake Atlas vs. Santos Escobar
NXT cruiserweight champion Santos Escobar was out with Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza by his side to battle Jake Atlas in the second match.
Atlas fought back after he was backed to the corner and took the champ down with a running crossbody. He took Escobar down again with a tackle and unloaded with a series of right hands.
The former El Hijo del Fantasma tried to regain the upper hand a few times, but an angry Atlas was looking to avenge Drake Maverick after last week's attack.
We returned from a break to see Escobar getting a near-fall with a kick to the head. His cronies taunted Atlas as he fought out of a headlock.
Despite a late match comeback by Atlas, Escobar hit his finisher to score another victory.
This was a solid performance from two guys who made great impressions during the recent cruiserweight title tournament.
Atlas fighting on behalf of Maverick might be the start of an alliance between the two Superstars, but the group that everyone should be watching is the one headed by Escobar.
Mendoza and Wilde are good allies who will help make Escobar look like a dominant champion. He hasn't been in NXT long, but he already feels like a regular fixture. It will be interesting to see if they clash with any other stables right away.
Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro vs. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez
The first women's match of the night saw Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro take on Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez.
Gonzalez immediately took Carter down with one arm to assert her dominance, but Carter used her speed to tag in Catanzaro. The two smaller competitors protected each other from Big Mommy Cool for as long as they could.
Kai tagged in and took control of the former American Ninja Warrior before bringing Gonzalez back in for a double-team move to get a near-fall.
A hot tag led to Carter hitting a series of quick maneuvers, but she was unable to keep Kai down for the pin. The powerhouse Gonzalez came in and single-handedly destroyed both opponents before Kai tagged back in to get the submission victory.
This match was decent from a technical standpoint, but it was very paint-by-numbers. You could tell what would happen three moves ahead of time.
Catanzaro and Carter are a good tag team, and it would be great to see them get a shot at the women's tag titles at some point if they build some momentum.
Kai continues to shine as a heel alongside her enforcer, but this union won't last forever. It won't be long before Gonzalez is tired of doing somebody else's dirty work and starts looking for her own opportunities.
Karrion Kross vs. Bronson Reed
Reed wasted no time showing Kross that he was not one to be overlooked. He rushed the newcomer and hit a few strikes before Kross was able to fight back.
He took The Thicc Boy down with a hard right hand before throwing him across the ring with an exploded suplex. Reed came back with a jumping enzuigiri out of nowhere.
Kross got right back up after a German suplex, and the two traded strikes back and forth. He hit Reed with a few suplexes before locking him in the Kross Jacket submission for the win.
As a match, this was short and predictable, but as a way to get Kross over, it worked perfectly. Reed is big enough to make Kross the smaller competitor for once but not so big that Kross can't throw him around.
Even though this bout could have been longer and allowed both men to show off their skills, it wouldn't have been as effective at making Kross look like a monster.
Reed is a good hand. Hopefully, he gets a push soon so he can show the world what he is capable of.
Aliyah vs. Rhea Ripley
After having a confrontation outside earlier in the day, Rhea Ripley told Aliyah to meet her in the ring for a match. Robert Stone was there to accompany his new client after Ripley threw him in a dumpster.
The former NXT women's champion was not in the mood to play games and showed off her power by throwing Aliyah like a sack of potatoes.
Stone tried to give his client advice before she got back into the ring. She hung Ripley up on the top rope, but the powerhouse caught her jumping off the top turnbuckle.
Aliyah begged Stone to help her as Ripley closed in on her. Stone threw his shoe at Ripley to provide a distraction. Aliyah failed to capitalize and ended up taking the Riptide to give Ripley a win.
This is another match that was fine from an in-ring perspective but did little to help anyone involved. Ripley is already one of the top competitors in NXT, so a win over somebody with little to no momentum does nothing for her.
Aliyah and Stone would have benefitted so much more if they were able to score a win, even if they cheated to achieve their goal. They are heels. That is what they are supposed to do.
Instead, WWE made its newest allies look weak in their first outing. Stone is great at overselling and playing the fool, so at least we were entertained by his antics.
Dexter Lumis vs. Roderick Strong
After weeks of being tormented by Dexter Lumis, Roderick Strong reluctantly returned this week in an attempt to overcome his personal demon.
Strong objected to Bobby Fish as they made their way to the ring. He was apprehensive to make contact after the bell and kept trying to tell Fish he wasn't ready.
Lumis stood completely still for at least two minutes while the master of the backbreaker fought an internal battle. Lumis grew tired of waiting and began following Roddy around the ring. He ran away while the ref counted him out to give Lumis the easiest win of his career.
As Fish yelled for Strong to come back, Lumis attacked him with a submission to end the segment.
There was no match here. This was purely a segment to sell how creepy and intimidating Lumis can be. In that respect, this segment was a complete success.
Lumis is slowly becoming one of the most interesting characters in NXT. He has a unique look and gimmick that separate him from everyone else on the roster.
His feud with The Undisputed Era has been a lot of fun in recent weeks. When he and Strong do eventually have a real match, it should be great.
Keith Lee vs. Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano
The main event of the night saw Lee defend his North American Championship against Balor and Gargano in a Triple Threat match that was worthy of the main event of any TakeOver special.
The Limitless One knew he would sometimes be fighting a two-on-one battle, so he took control right away by using his size and power to his advantage against his smaller opponents.
After the commercial break, Balor had the champion in a headlock while Gargano recovered in the corner. The former universal champion tried to keep both men at bay, but Lee grabbed both men and threw them at the same time.
It took Gargano and Balor working together to finally incapacitate Lee by shoving him into the steel steps. They fought each other for a few minutes before Lee made his way back into the ring to take both of them down with a slingshot crossbody.
All three men were close to winning before Lee hit Balor with his finisher to score the victory.
Balor and Gargano have similar styles, but Lee brought something different to the table that allowed them to come up with some interesting spots.
Most powerhouses would be at a disadvantage when it comes to speed and agility against two guys like Johnny Wrestling and The Prince, but Lee is no normal big man. He is a five-tool player.
When you put three performers of this caliber in the ring together, the chances of them having a bad match are slim to none. However, something kept this from being the Match of the Year candidate it could have been. Maybe having two commercials hurt the flow a bit.
Regardless, this was a fun main event that sets up Adam Cole vs. Lee in a Winner Takes All match for the NXT and North American Championships.