WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 19

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 19

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    Credit: WWE.com

    NXT TakeOver XXX approaches, but the August 19 edition of WWE NXT wanted to be its own major event. This jam-packed show had a chance to rival even the black-and-gold brand's massive TakeOver.

    The biggest-ticket item on the card was the return of Pat McAfee to face off against Adam Cole. The former NFL Pro Bowler was last seen in NXT punting The Undisputed Era leader in the face.

    The NXT North American Championship ladder match needed two more competitors, and both those challengers were to be determined on the show.

    In a battle of former champions in NXT, Finn Balor fought Velveteen Dream. A newcomer to the scene, Ridge Holland challenged Johnny Gargano for the final spot in the ladder match.

    The Robert Stone Brand might have found its groove after the arrival of Mercedes Martinez. However, Martinez bit off more than she could chew when she attacked Rhea Ripley. Alongside Shotzi Blackheart, The Nightmare challenged Aliyah and Martinez to a tag team match.

    Legado del Fantasma has found a comfortable home in NXT by destroying everyone in its way. Faced with an even fight, Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde would finally face some retribution in the form of Isaiah "Swerve" Scott and Breezango.

    This night was packed with big matches. Two huge first-time clashes coupled with grudge matches and an unpredictable face-off made this can't-miss television.

NXT NA Title Ladder Match Qualifer: Johnny Gargano vs. Ridge Holland

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    Ridge Holland's power had Johnny Gargano running early. The Rebel Heart finally found an answer to the former rugby player with a suicide dive. A nasty scoop-slam landing dazed Gargano, leaving The Rebel Heart barely able to compete for the rest of the match.

    However, thanks to a distraction from Candice LeRae and a low blow behind the referee's back, Gargano stole the victory with One Final Beat.



    Gargano def. Holland by pinfall to qualify for the NXT North American Championship ladder match.






    This was a fine match largely overshadowed by the frightening botch halfway through. Gargano certainly showed his toughness by venturing on after getting spiked on the mat. He was able to keep the action going and still sell Holland as dangerous.

    The result was surprising, but it is not unusual for NXT to make stars wait before getting their time. It happened to Bronson Reed, who is now a favorite in the ladder match. Holland put on a solid showing beyond the dangerous spot.

    He has work left to do to find his way as a star. He has the look and talent, but it's not all clicking yet. Holland needs a stronger character and more practice in the gym to avoid messing up slams like in this match.

Dakota Kai vs. Jessi Kamea

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    Jessi Kamea showed her toughness against Dakota Kai, kicking out after a sequence of impressive kicks. However, she still fell, as most have, to The Captain of Team Kick following the GTK.

    Afterward, Kai taunted Io Shirai. The Genius of the Sky did not care for The Captain's words, running out to fight early. Raquel Gonzalez made a surprise return by big-booting Shirai and helping Kai lay out the NXT women's champion.



    Kai def. Kamea by pinfall.






    The match was a squash, as it needed to be. The focus was to get Kai in the ring for Shirai to come after her. This worked for that. Kamea did not look incompetent, but the No. 1 contender wildly outmatched her.

    Gonzalez is the big X-factor for this coming match. Kai cannot defeat Shirai on her own, but her enforcer can even the odds. Hopefully, this does not lead to too much interference at TakeOver. Kai and Shirai need to get a chance to wrestle as only they can.

Legado del Fantasma vs. Breezango and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott

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    The action broke down quickly as Breezango could not hesitate. After the action calmed down, the faces stood over Legado del Fantasma with a smile. This quickly changed after Santos Escobar distracted Fandango to set up Joaquin Wilde to trip him off the top rope.

    The heels wore out the left arm of Fandango, who fought his way slowly but surely to his partners' corner. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott got the hot tag and went off on the NXT cruiserweight champion.

    Tyler Breeze accidentally tagged in after a collision with Swerve, potentially costing Scott a pinfall on Escobar. Prince Pretty was fired up, but Escobar caught him with a Phantom Driver for the victory.



    Legado del Fantasma def. Breezango and Swerve by pinfall.






    This was easily the best action of the night so far. The six-man tag team match delivered in spades thanks to the speed and impact of the competitors involved. Mendoza especially stood out from the heel corner. He has adapted his style well to play the dominant heel.

    Legado del Fantasma continues to dominate. Since the group's arrival, it has been unstoppable. However, Swerve has been set up well as Escobar's kryptonite. He lost, but only after clearly having the champion pinned. Scott vs. Escobar is a fantastic title match worth watching.

Adam Cole Is Unfazed by Pat McAfee's Flurry of Taunts

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    Pat McAfee brought a few NFL veterans with him to even the odds against Undisputed Era. After both agreed to leave their boys outside the ring, the former NFL Pro Bowler ran his mouth. He told Cole that he was working on a different level than the former NXT champion.

    Afterward, Cole tried to get in McAfee's face. He had to lay out security so he could tell McAfee just how bad it would be for him at TakeOver.






    The point of this segment was to sell the dynamic of the match, which has been hazy so far. McAfee is clearly the heel in this rivalry. He ran his mouth like he owns the place. It worked because it was annoying and overlong. It was a well-delivered promo for its intended purpose.

    Cole would have ruined the moment if he talked too much. Instead, he spoke with his actions and just one clear sentence for his opponent. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out at TakeOver XXX.

Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart vs. Mercedes Martinez and Aliyah

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Shotzi Blackheart came out swinging on Aliyah while Rhea Ripley and Mercedes Martinez stared each other down. Martinez only got into the action to isolate Blackheart. When The Nightmare got the hot tag, she ran over Aliyah.

    Martinez attempted to save Aliyah after she took a Riptide, but Ripley powerbombed the dangerous member of The Robert Stone Brand over the barricade onto the concrete. This allowed Blackheart to hit a diving senton on Aliyah for the win.



    Blackheart and Ripley def. Martinez and Aliyah by pinfall.






    This match was better on paper than reality mainly because Ripley and Martinez barely interacted. It was only the final spot where they got involved with each other. This was a smart move to save this match for a later date. The powerbomb certainly continued this feud in a memorable way.

    It led to a flat Aliyah-led match, but this was never meant to be a wrestling showcase. That comes when Ripley and Martinez set a date. Those two will destroy each other, hopefully in a match with lenient rules.

NXT NA Title Ladder Match Qualifer: Finn Balor vs. Velveteen Dream

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    NXT showed a preview video package for Keith Lee and Karrion Kross before the main event.

    Velveteen Dream's mind games did not affect Finn Balor, who quickly isolated the left leg of Dream. Holding out with explosive offense, a dazed Dream fought back.

    However, Cameron Grimes arrived to taunt both men. Grimes climbed a ladder and flaunted the NXT North American Championship.

    Dream lost his focus for a while, The Technical Savage clearly affecting him more than The Prince. Grimes gladly distracted Balor, though, as The Prince attempted to make his comeback, setting him up for a superplex.

    Johnny Gargano tripped Grimes off the ladder, causing the referee to go down in the flurry of action. Balor and Dream took out Grimes before chaos reigned. Bronson Reed and Damian Priest laid out Gargano, and then The Archer of Infamy kicked The Aus-zilla.

    Timothy Thatcher slipped into the frantic scene to attack Balor, setting up Dream to hit a Death Valley Driver and Purple Rainmaker for the win. Afterward, Reed took out everyone else and stood tall with the North American Championship.



    Dream def. Balor by pinfall to qualify for the NXT North American Championship ladder match.






    Focused primarily on striking, this match played into Balor's strengths early. He came off motivated, leaning into his kicks as he attacked the left leg of Dream. However, the match ran long, and Grimes distracted from the action repeatedly.

    The final result was an overlong main event that could have been better with more focus ending in an absolute mess of an overbooked finish. Hopefully, the TakeOver ladder match is easier to follow than the ending of NXT.

    Balor vs. Thatcher was teased with the ending of this match, and that might be the contest that truly showcases what both men can do. That will be hard-hitting and vicious from the opening bell, allowing them to show off talents that have rarely been seen in their WWE careers.