WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 27

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistJuly 27, 2021

WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 27

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE NXT moved to Syfy due to Olympic Games coverage on the USA Network for Tuesday's episode, which dealt with massive fallout in the wake of recent events.

    Karrion Kross has tormented Samoa Joe every week since The Samoan Submission Specialist returned to the black-and-gold brand on June 15. In the wake of the NXT champion's attack of general manager William Regal last week, Joe was left alone to address the NXT Universe and champion.

    Raquel Gonzalez has dominated the brand as women's champion, and she and Dakota Kai were set to address the entire division ahead of the titleholder's next challenge.

    Bronson Reed called his shot against Adam Cole, while Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher challenged Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan to a brawl that was certain to be brutal.

    In the latest NXT Breakout Tournament bout, popular newcomer Carmelo Hayes faced Josh Briggs. Franky Monet was set to compete alongside her new protege, Jessi Kamea, against the experienced duo of Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro.

    NXT had a fascinating card built for a night that was sure to draw the attention of a fresh audience in its temporary home on Syfy.

Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa kept their eyes firmly on Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan. That allowed them to take over the action early, wearing down the heels with focused attacks on the wrists of their opponents.

    When The Bruiserweight finally gained control of the action, The Blackheart was given too long to recover. He took a hot tag and ran with it over both heels. Ridge Holland laid out Thatcher on the outside, which allowed Lorcan to help Dunne. This set up a Bitter End for the win over Ciampa.

    The returning Holland stood alongside Dunne and Lorcan, and he laid out Thatcher before knocking out Ciampa with a headbutt.



    Dunne and Lorcan def. Ciampa and Thatcher by pinfall.






    This was a battle of brawlers and technicians that truly stood out thanks to the uniqueness of these old-school styles of wrestling.

    What matters most in the ring is variety. Matches like this are fun to watch because there is nothing else like it. The tag team maneuvering throughout made clear these teams knew each other well, even if they aren't traditional tandems.

    The return of Holland was cool. He went down to a freak accident in October and has worked hard to get himself back into ring shape. It looks like he is ready to make an impact, and he can do that as the heavy for Dunne's stable.

Samoa Joe Resigns as NXT Enforcer, Challenges Karrion Kross

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    Samoa Joe marched to the ring, setting up an impromptu contract signing. He knew Karrion Kross was not in the building and all he needed was for William Regal to join him in the squared circle.

    Regal was ready to fire Kross for his attack last week, but Joe had another plan. He formally resigned as the general manager's enforcer so that he could challenge the NXT champion.

    Regal made the match for NXT TakeOver 36 on August 22.






    This segment was handled almost perfectly. Joe is terrifying when he is angry, but he kept everything official. This made sense given how Regal demands order in NXT. Joe showed him complete respect, even though he could barely contain his frustration.

    Kross vs. Joe is a money match that NXT has not had in a long time. The Samoan Submission Specialist has been established as the one man who can truly match the intensity of the NXT champion.

    This will be a war for the ages.

NXT Breakout Tournament: Carmelo Hayes vs. Josh Briggs

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    Credit: WWE.com

    LA Knight wanted to go golfing, but caddy Cameron Grimes was annoying him more than helping him. Ted DiBiase told Grimes to never lose his pride. Grimes sunk a hole in one to win $10,000 from The Grizzled Young Veterans, and he knocked out Knight with his driver while doing so.

    Carmelo Hayes and Josh Briggs put themselves over in video packages before their match.

    Hayes did not have an answer to Briggs' raw power advantage. The charismatic performer charged at the 6'8" monster only to get thrown out of the way. Even an impressive springboard reverse leg drop wasn't enough to shift the momentum.

    Hayes refused to give up and hit his rival hard and fast, but Briggs just hit harder every time. Duke Hudson came out to watch from commentary and remained cocky about his chances against either man. Hayes caught his opponent with a Codebreaker.

    Briggs planted Hayes with a big boot and high chokeslam. Somehow, the smaller competitor kicked out, angering his opponent. However, Briggs could not channel that anger into a victory, falling to an emphatic diving leg drop.



    Hayes def. Briggs by pinfall to advance in the NXT Breakout Tournament.






    This was easily the best match of the tournament to date. Hayes played his role well, working from underneath against the much larger competitor. Briggs had more he needed to show and did make some impact. However, this was primarily Hayes' match.

    While it did get more time, this contest should have felt more dramatic than it was. Briggs is a serious talent who could make an impact sooner than later. However, despite dominating the pace of the match, he never looked close to a win.

    Hayes vs. Hudson has potential, but it is important that the two find a steady pace and a story to tell.

Dakota Kai Turns on Raquel Gonzalez and Declares Herself Next

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    Raquel Gonzalez asked who was next to challenge her because she had already beaten the best and most dominant in the women's division. She was ready for anyone.

    Dakota Kai talked up the NXT women's champion and challenged those in the locker room to step up to her.

    The Captain of Team Kick made clear that as long as she had Gonzalez's back, no one would defeat her. As the champion celebrated, though, Kai struck with a kaio kick. She grabbed the championship and promised she was going for what was hers.






    Gonzalez and Kai cut fairly generic promos here, but it was all a ruse for what was truly planned. The story was set up nicely as The Captain of Team Kick has spent too long in the shadow of the wrestler she brought into NXT.

    These two have top chemistry that will likely translate to a massive singles match. This is the first contest where it feels possible Gonzalez will lose. Kai has waited so long for an opportunity like this and may be the right woman to dethrone the NXT women's champion.

Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro vs. Franky Monet and Jessi Kamea

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    Zoey Stark tried to convince Io Shirai to train with her, and The Genius of the Sky agreed begrudgingly. Franky Monet was sure that she and Jessi Kamea could go after the NXT Women's Tag Team Championships, which Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro took offense to.

    Robert Stone could not get on the same page with Monet even in their entrance, which translated to the match.

    While La Wera Loca was an overwhelming physical threat to Carter and Catanzaro, Stone caused a distraction that set up for a Catanzaro 450 splash before a three-count.



    Carter and Catanzaro def. Monet and Kamea by pinfall.






    There wasn't much of a match here before Stone's mistake cost Monet. This has been the same story every week with La Wera Loca. Only those who knew her before she came to WWE would be confident in her abilities at this time.

    It seems Monet will only fully shine when she escapes Stone. It is honestly surprising that the manager has been allowed to stay involved with her and Kamea. He is a fun character but has frequently held back talent with his comedic booking.

Imperium vs. Hit Row's Ashante Thee Adonis and Top Dolla

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    Hit Row taunted Legado del Fantasma in English and Spanish backstage following their attack on the group the previous week.

    Triple H, Shawn Michaels and William Regal announced that Imperium's WALTER would defend the NXT UK Championship at NXT TakeOver 36.

    B-Fab and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott got involved early in their tag team match with Imperium, keeping Ashante Thee Adonis and Top Dolla in this fight. Marcel Bartel kept a stone-faced focus, taking back over the action with an ankle lock on Adonis.

    Top Dolla picked up an emphatic hot tag, running over Imperium. Legado del Fantasma arrived with a smile to cost their rivals the match. While Top Dolla was distracted, Adonis took Imperium's powerbomb/diving uppercut finisher for the loss.

    Swerve sent Legado del Fantasma running before Santos Escobar and his crew could do some damage to Top Dolla.



    Imperium def. Hit Row by pinfall.






    While it is a shame to see Hit Row lose some momentum this early, it made sense. This was an unofficial No. 1 Contender's match, and Imperium is ready to challenge MSK sooner rather than later.

    This was a good contest in which Bartel and Fabian Aichner showed why they are one of the best tag teams in WWE. This was not quite their typical sprint, but the pacing was just as energized.

    Imperium kept control of the ring and paced out their action to give Hit Row some great hot tag moments.

Bronson Reed vs. Adam Cole

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Adam Cole called out everyone in NXT for following on his coattails, including Bronson Reed and Kyle O'Reilly. Roderick Strong explained that Malcolm Bivens helped him find confidence again and he was ready to fight anyone, even Bobby Fish.

    With Austin Theory missing, Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae tried to talk Indi Hartwell into letting go of Dexter Lumis. The Tortured Artist sent Hartwell a picture of him as a part of the family. Hartwell set up a match between Gargano and Lumis where she would be allowed to date Lumis if he won.

    Cole was next up and despite his confidence, he ran into a brick wall in the form of Reed. The Colossal One made a mistake by trying to take the former NXT champion to the top rope, taking a superkick to the leg that sent him crashing to the mat. The attack on his left leg continued for minutes of dominant action.

    With a chance at glory in sight, The Colossal One fought back, planting the former NXT champion with a spinning Samoan drop. Cole fired back with a Panama Sunrise for a near-fall. The Colossal One missed the Tsunami that was left in the path of a Last Shot to give Cole the win.

    Afterward, O'Reilly arrived to lay out Cole with a steel chair, smashing the chest of his rival then planting him with a suplex on the steel steps without hesitation.



    Cole def. Reed by pinfall.






    It is nice to see Reed get at least a few more big matches before heading to Raw or SmackDown. He is talented but likely to struggle for the same spotlight outside NXT. He needed this chance to remind everyone he can compete with the best.

    He and Cole had a really good TV main event where it was unclear throughout who would win. Cole found a unique approach to outsmarting Reed, but it was a more methodical war of moves than the Gargano matches that put Reed on the map.

    The Colossal One could have used a win here, but it is unclear where he will be in the long term. If he is leaving, the loss made sense.

    Hopefully, this final match between KOR and Cole will be the end of their feud. O'Reilly was supposed to become one of NXT's top stars with this rivalry, but the story has lagged a bit before getting to its climax.