WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 3
The road to NXT TakeOver 36 hit another bump along the way with the August 3 edition of WWE NXT. This show promised massive matches and a few interesting wrinkles in long-standing rivalries.
Indi Hartwell has long pined after Dexter Lumis, but The Way has blocked her path. This week, she hoped to settle things in a Love Her or Leave Her match where Dexter Lumis could fight for the love of Hartwell by defeating Johnny Gargano.
Legado del Fantasma formed to protect Santos Escobar in his pursuit of gold. Hit Row formed in response, helping Isaiah "Swerve" Scott capture the NXT North American Championship. The two stables would finally clash in a tag team match.
The NXT Breakout Tournament has already introduced unique new stars to the NXT Universe. The final two men of the first round would fight to claim the final spot in the semifinals: Trey Baxter vs. Joe Gacy.
This show has included a few must-watch matches including Roderick Strong vs. Bobby Fish, LA Knight and Cameron Grimes teaming for the first time against Grizzled Young Veterans and the return to the ring of Ridge Holland.
This show promised much with NXT TakeOver looming. Karrion Kross vs. Samoa Joe may have already been signed, but Dakota Kai was also looking to book her ticket, explaining her brutal attack of Raquel Gonzalez. The stage was set for a huge night.
Ashante Thee Adonis and Top Dolla vs. Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde
Hit Row brought the fight to Legado del Fantasma before the bell. Once things calmed down, Top Dolla threw around Joaquin Wilde with ease. Santos Escobar distracted the referee, which allowed Wilde to pull Adonis outside and throw him into the barricade.
As Top Dolla took back control of the match, Escobar pulled the big man outside and hit him with a steel chair. In the chaos, Legado del Fantasma attacked Isaiah "Swerve" Scott and ripped the grill out of his mouth. B-Fab with a steel chair and Dolla worked together to send Escobar running.
Hit Row def. Legado del Fantasma by disqualification.
This was not the complete match one would have hoped for from these rivals, but the action was strong throughout. Wilde and Raul Mendoza sold well for Dolla while keeping the heat by wearing down Adonis when they had control.
The story was especially effective. This group was brought together to protect Swerve. Seeing their leader hurt only motivated the remaining members to send the group reeling. This feud is still only heating up.
Ridge Holland vs. Ikemen Jiro
Ikemen Jiro tried to jump at Ridge Holland to open the match, but he barely made a mark on the former rugby player. Holland hit a Pounce outside then sent Jiro into the barricade. Holland ripped off Jiro's jacket before finishing him off with a Northern Lights bomb.
Holland threw Jiro out of the ring afterward to allow Pete Dunne to speak undisturbed. The Bruiserweight put over his crew with Oney Lorcan and Holland as the most dangerous trio in NXT.
Holland def. Jiro by pinfall.
While Jiro continues to be disrespected as a potential talent in NXT, this was a good reintroduction to the destructive focus of Holland. He is the rugby player that was too violent for the sport with the physique to match some of the most destructive men in WWE.
Dunne works as his mouthpiece, having found his own full confidence on the mic. This group comes off as dangerous, even outright unstoppable, adding another important trio to NXT. It will be interesting to see if Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher can find a third to match them.
Roderick Strong (w/ Diamond Mine) vs. Bobby Fish
A video package was shown ahead of this match, recapping Roderick Strong's interview while adding Bobby Fish's own words for his former fellow Undisputed Era member.
Fish showed that he had a plan early, connecting on a barrage of kicks and forearms. This worried Malcolm Bivens early, but Strong fired back with his signature backbreakers. As Fish found his comeback, Strong threw him over the top rope to emphatically take out his opponent.
The Messiah of the Backbreaker planted his rival with End of Heartache for the victory. Later in the night, Kushida accepted the challenge of Strong for an NXT Cruiserweight Championship match.
Strong def. Fish by pinfall.
Strong and Fish have chemistry, and they are both good wrestlers. That has been clear for a long time. However, a well wrestled match does not always lead to a good one. This was just solid, lacking a necessary energy and heat.
That is a shame given the story behind it. There should have been more to this match before it happened. Instead, it came off as too obvious that Strong was going to win, even while the two were not wrestling a traditional squash.
Cameron Grimes and LA Knight vs. Grizzled Young Veterans
Cameron Grimes checked with LA Knight before the match to make sure his boss had his boss. Knight promised to help him but did force Grimes to work in the butler attire.
Grizzled Young Veterans ran down the oddball tag team in front of them on the way to the ring. The Technical Savage planted James Drake with a crossbody, but Knight accidentally distracted his partner, allowing Gibson to get a hot tag to take down Grimes.
Grimes crawled to the corner to give Knight a hot tag, but the WWE million dollar champion jumped off the apron. He left Grimes alone, breaking his word. The Technical Savage fired up, but he still ran right into the Ticket to Mayhem.
Ted DiBiase confronted Grimes at the edge of the ring. He told him that he had to find his way out of the deal before helping him to the back.
Grizzled Young Veterans def. Grimes and Knight by pinfall.
While this was not the great matches we have become accustomed to seeing from GYV, it was a great story told in the ring. Grimes and Knight could be a good tag team, but it was clear to everyone but Grimes that Knight would turn on his butler.
When The Technical Savage realized that Knight had broken his word, it fired up Grimes for the best energized moment of the night. The crowd was on fire for him. Of all the stories in NXT, nothing has managed this for crowd investment.
Dakota Kai Explains Why She Attacked Raquel Gonzalez
In a pretaped video, Dakota Kai explained that Raquel Gonzalez had taken her spotlight away. She refused to be the sidekick for the woman she mentored straight to the top. She mocked the NXT women's champion for never seeing this turn coming.
This was the promo of Kai's career. While it was helped by prerecording, this was ultimate driven by the intensity of The Captain of Team Kick. She reshaped the narrative of the whole angle, explaining exactly when Kai decided she was going to turn on Gonzalez.
It still feels more likely this story will end with Gonzalez standing tall as a babyface champion. However, Kai has most certainly earned her own run as champion. Done right, this could be the moment NXT rewards one of its most loyal veterans.
NXT Breakout Tournament: Trey Baxter vs. Joe Gacy
Trey Baxter and Joe Gacy had much to say in vignettes ahead of this match. Gacy came out swinging at Baxter, throwing around his weight. Baxter found just enough separation to dive onto the big man repeatedly.
The big man rolled back into the ring, clearly dazed by the onslaught of sudden offense. Baxter followed him in with impressive innovative offense that kept the action moving. Finally, Baxter hit a 450 stomp for the victory.
Baxter def. Gacy by pinfall.
Once more, the NXT Breakout Tournament rushes an opening contest with potential to shine. Gacy was a decently well-known name when he headed to NXT, a former CZW world champion. This was a great moment to give him a spotlight in a loss.
Instead, he barely got any offense in a contest where he should have been dominant. Baxter looked really good, but he would have benefited from more competition. He did not get a chance to anything more than hit a few big moves.
Hopefully, Baxter vs. Odyssey Jones is a far more complete match for both men.
Samoa Joe Attacks Security/Prime Target: WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov
William Regal told Samoa Joe that he had brought security to keep Joe and Karrion Kross away from each other. A video package was shown for the history of Joe and Kross.
The Herald of Doomsday arrived before the main event, standing on the announce table to mock Joe. The Samoan Submission Specialist pushed right through the wall of security, but Kross disappeared, leaving a poor security guard to take the Coquina Clutch.
NXT showed a Prime Target vignette on the rivalry of WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov.
This was a simple pair of segments that built toward NXT's biggest TakeOver matches. Joe continues to grow more unhinged in his pursuit of Kross. In a way, he feels like he is losing his chance to truly match the NXT champion, but it is still likely Joe will run through Kross.
The less predictable match is the rematch of WALTER and Dragunov. The challenger had an incredible match with the champion previously that set up this rematch. He is the only man in NXT UK that feels like he might be able to stop WALTER. If he doesn't, who will?
Love Her or Leave Her: Dexter Lumis vs. Johnny Gargano
Dexter Lumis drew a new picture of his future with Indi Hartwell. Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae both told Indi Hartwell that InDex must end.
The Tortured Artist found himself at a disadvantage early against Johnny Wrestling. Gargano planted Lumis with a suplex on the outside. This sent Hartwell running down the ramp to ask Gargano to give Lumis the chance.
The Poison Pixie arrived when Hartwell and Lumis met hands below the ring. The distraction allowed Gargano to attack Lumis, planting him with a series of running kicks.
The Tortured Artist went for a springboard elbow. Gargano dodged and locked Lumis in the Gargano Escape. In the ensuing action, Hartwell took an elbow from Lumis. The distraction allowed Gargano to hit One Final Beat outside followed by another inside the ring to win.
The Way tried to walk Hartwell out. Instead, she ran into the ring and jumped on him, kissing him passionately to end the night.
Gargano def. Lumis by pinfall to end InDex. However, Hartwell defied the stipulation and kissed Lumis.
This was absolutely all it needed to be. Gargano and Lumis had a quality match together where Johnny Wrestling was able to lean into his comedic side while never losing his in-ring edge. He brought out the absolute best from The Tortured Artist.
It was clear that Lumis was built up in this match as the desperate babyface. His usual calm demeanor was last as he needed this win more than any other. It was all he wanted. He powered through the offensive onslaught of Gargano as well as distractions to almost take this.
Much like Cameron Grimes and LA Knight, the comedic story has truly caught the attention of the crowd more than just about anything else. While Lumis lost here, InDex happened all the same, and the crowd was overjoyed.