WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 24
Following a successful and monumental NXT TakeOver 36, WWE NXT presented the aftermath on the August 24 edition of the black-and-gold brand.
Legado del Fantasma and Hit Row have been at the crossroads for a long time. After many battles in and out of the ring, the group would finally clash in a six-man tag team match.
Samoa Joe ended the dominant reign of Karrion Kross at NXT TakeOver, becoming the first-ever three-time NXT champion. Beginning his new reign at the top of NXT, The Samoan Submission Machine had plenty to say on his future.
The NXT Breakout Tournament has been special. Following the journey of two rising stars, Carmelo Hayes would clash with Odyssey Jones, a man twice his size. Hayes had gone through multiple heavyweights to make the finals, but Jones was completely unstoppable to this point.
Timothy Thatcher set the challenge to Ridge Holland alongside Tommaso Ciampa. The two men wanted to humble the young star. A battle with Holland was dangerous for anyone, but Thatcher has never backed down before.
Cameron Grimes finally put LA Knight behind him. Winning the WWE Million Dollar Championship, he would be officially crowned by his mentor Ted DiBiase.
This was only the beginning of a night of wrestling that was certain to begin the bold evolution of NXT.
Timothy Thatcher (w/ Tommaso Ciampa) vs. Ridge Holland (w/ Pete Dunne)
Ted DiBiase and Cameron Grimes celebrated the victory over LA Knight. After The Million Dollar Man promised they would go to the moon, money with Grimes' face on them flew out into the crowd. Later, after a hard-fought decision, Grimes gave back the Million Dollar Championship to DiBiase.
Timothy Thatcher attached the left arm of Ridge Holland. His technical offense wore out the arm of the big man, who could only answer back with pure power. Toothless Timmy fought with rabid ferocity, striking and stretching his opponent.
Holland used his strong legs to battle out of the single-leg Boston crab and planted Thatcher with a powerslam driver for the victory. Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch joined in on laying out Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa.
Holland def. Thatcher by pinfall.
Thatcher is a fantastic veteran for any opponent. However, he and Holland did not easily click. This was a hard-fought competition where both men wanted to make it big. It just ended up being a solid TV match that continued to build the dominance of the former rugby star.
Holland is the ideal specimen in a new-look NXT where they want larger-than-life talent. He has more than proved himself early on. However, he still has a ways to go to compete at a main event level, even if he is already defeating main event talent.
This heel group led by Dunne is interesting. They are all hard-hitting opponents for any competition. Ciampa and Thatcher cannot fight them alone, but it is hard to say on the surface who would join them. It is possible this feud can lead to a WarGames match with the right stars added.
Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro vs. Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne
Indi Hartwell excitedly spoke in an interview about the wedding to come before Dexter Lumis gave out an invitation with the official date: September 14. Johnny Gargano demanded William Regal cancel the wedding, but the NXT general manager refused.
Gigi Dolin took over the action early, but Kacy Catanzaro played it smart by escaping the ring and hit Kayden Carter with the hot tag. Carter ran down Jacy Jayne then set up the neckbreaker/450 splash combination.
Mandy Rose found Dolin and Jayne backstage, telling them to follow her and make sure they never lost again.
Carter and Catanzaro def. Dolin and Jayne by pinfall.
This was not nearly as much the competitive match it likely should have been. While Dolin and Jayne got a short segment in control, this was far more about Carter and Catanzaro. The two have been built well as the next challengers to the NXT Tag Team Championships.
While it is appreciated that NXT is avoiding 50-50 booking with the likely No. 1 contenders, Dolin and Jayne were also supposed to be on the rise. In their first real challenge, the team falls flat.
It was the right result, but the timing of the match makes little sense. These two teams should not have been facing each other if there is a plan to push both.
Kay Lee Ray vs. Valentina Feroz
Raquel Gonzalez gladly accepted all challengers including Dakota Kai and Kay Lee Ray. Franky Monet interrupted to make clear she wanted the next shot at the NXT Women's Championship.
Valentina Feroz had fire but little hope against Kay Lee Ray. The former NXT UK women's champion stomped on her opponent and planted her with a series of throws. Ray threw her opponent into a superkick followed by a Gory bomb for the victory.
Ray def. Feroz by pinfall.
Ray is one of the best wrestlers on the NXT roster. While she needed an introduction to a fresh audience, she did not need this match. This squash was completely flat. It went twice as long as it should have and rarely sold the best qualities of the former NXT UK women's champion's offense.
It will be interesting to see how WWE paces out the challengers to Gonzalez. Both Monet and Ray are great opponents to continue pushing the NXT women's champion forward. Both could also be the one to dethrone Gonzalez given their talent and spotlight.
Samoa Joe Meets His New Challengers
Samoa Joe came out ready for a fight, knowing many would step up to him. Pete Dunne was the first to march down, demanding an NXT Championship match. LA Knight interrupted to demand his own shot at the champion.
Kyle O'Reilly limped out, still clearly in pain from the Undisputed Finale. He mocked Knight especially for trying to step up to the main event level in the ring. Ridge Holland attack KOR then Tommaso Ciampa found an opening on The Bruiserweight.
Knight went for his own attack on Joe, and he got laid out by the NXT champion. Joe stood tall, clearly ready for anyone. Dunne and Holland backed off for the moment.
Later that night, Dunne promised to defeat Joe when they finally met while Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch made clear they deserved a shot at MSK. Holland promised to injure Ciampa like he did Timothy Thatcher.
While KOR's weird jokes at the expense of the other wrestlers did not land, the rest of this segment worked perfectly. Dunne, Knight and O'Reilly are all instantly established as future challengers. While Dunne and Ciampa have unfinished business first, Knight is the perfect first man up to put over Joe.
The Samoan Submission Machine is one of the best to ever compete in a ring, but he is certainly at the tail end of his career. He will need young talent like the ones that stepped up to him to push him to compete at his absolute best.
NXT Breakout Tournament: Carmelo Hayes vs. Odyssey Jones
Arash Markazi interviewed both Carmelo Hayes and Odyssey Jones. Hayes made clear that he already saw himself as a top talent in NXT. Jones was glad for the opportunities he already received in his short time since signing with WWE.
Hayes found himself quickly at a disadvantage against Jones. He was thrown around with ease. However, he dug into his offensive arsenal to knock the big man of his feet. He hit a scissors kick that got two then dodged a charging Jones that went hard into the steel post.
The smaller competitor hit a diving leg drop then went for another, missing and taking a running splash. As the big man went for the pinfall, Hayes reversed the pinfall into a crucifix pin for three.
Afterward, Hayes shook hands with a frustrated Jones then made clear he was not quite ready to decide who he would face next.
Hayes def. Jones by pinfall to win the NXT Breakout Tournament.
This was easily the best match of the tournament. It was clear that Jones is still a work-in-progress as a performer, but Hayes got the most out of it that anyone has so far. It was fun to watch these two push each other to be better.
The finish put over both men as the smarter man survived the more dangerous one. Hayes is now fully established in NXT as a true breakout talent. Whether he challenges Samoa Joe, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, or Kushida, he should continue to impress with each performance.
Boa vs. Xyon Quinn
Boa struck fast against Xyon Quinn. He used a series of strong knees to ground his opponent. However, after Mei Ying demanded respect, Boa turned around into a running double axe handle for the victory.
Quinn backed off from Ying and decide to leave through the side exit to avoid the leader of Tian Sha.
Quinn def. Boa by pinfall.
This was an odd match. While Boa is clearly not ready to take on the same responsibility for Tian Sha as Xia Li, it was odd for him to lose so suddenly to an unknown star. The match could have at least given fans more time to see what Quinn could do first.
Quinn is an interesting prospect based on his size and look. Half-Samoan, he is stepping into a good situation with WWE if he has the talent to prove it. Perhaps this will be a moment many look back on in the future as the start of the rise of a star.
Hit Row vs. Legado Del Fantasma
Malcolm Bivens talked up Roderick Strong, who was training in the background. He promised another Stong open challenge for next week.
A brawl broke out before the bell that ended with Top Dolla alone in the ring with Santos Escobar. Hit Row kept control for a while until Legado del Fantasma managed to isolated Isaiah "Swerve" Scott in the heel corner.
Top Dolla saved Swerve and showed his pure strength as he managed to lift all three members of Legado del Fantasma. The team took back control when Ashante Thee Adonis tagged in. Adonis found himself in trouble, fighting both Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza.
Swerve saved the match and finally got his hands on Escobar. Scott hit a 450 splash that got a nearfall. On the outside, he was flipped hard into the apron. B-Fab attacked Escobar only to take a lead pipe to the gut from Elektra Lopez. This set up Escobar to roll up Swerve with a handful of tights for a surprise three.
Legado del Fantasma def. Hit Row by pinfall.
This was long awaited, and it did not disappoint. These team hit hard and fought harder. It was a fast-paced trios battle that showed the talent of everyone involved. This feud also perfectly set up for the arrival of the equalizer.
Legado del Fantasma needed a female member. B-Fab was crucial to turning the tide in multiple brawls between the groups. Lopez is not fully established yet, but this could be the perfect opportunity for her to prove herself.
Escobar has officially pinned Swerve, so the most anticipated battle of this rivalry has to be ahead. Scott vs. Escobar for the NXT North American Championship should be the main event of NXT in one of the next few weeks.