That Old Mid-00s TNA Feel: WWE NXT Review

Reviews by Dave

Show air date: July 29, 2020

I thought NXT on USA Network was a pretty solid show this week. It reminded me of an old mid-00s TNA show where they stripped out some of the silly shit and just did a pro wrestling show. They even called it “wrestling” and “pro wrestling” numerous times on commentary. Speaking of the desk, they need to do something with this. Three-person teams are already a struggle but this week, Mauro Ranallo, Tom Phillips, and Beth Phoenix kept talking over each other. Phoenix isn’t as bad as she used to be (THANK BAST!!) but she’s got to learn to hit her points faster. Ranallo has to be a better leader. Boxing/MMA Ranallo needs to come to NXT.

Io Shirai (c) and Tegan Nox defeated Dakota Kai and Candice LeRae

Good tag match opener with Women’s champion Io Shirai teaming with Tegan Nox to defeat their now-longtime rivals Dakota Kai and Candice LeRae. Considering the history of all women involved, it had the right amount of intensity.

Cole-McAfee Encounter

Now that I see the entire Cole-McAfee encounter, it’s definitely a work.

Johnny Gargano defeated Roderick Strong

A very good match with Johnny Gargano getting a clean win over Roderick Strong with a slingshot DDT. Expertly worked as Gargano had the advantage when exchanging holds, Strong the advantage when he went with strikes, slams, and power.

Dakota Kai and Rhea Ripley promo

Dakota Kai is in the back doing a backstage interview where she’s confronted by Rhea Ripley on who is the true top contender for the Women’s title.

Mercedes Martinez defeated Shotzi Blackheart

Mercedes Martinez puts the entire Women’s roster on notice with a strong win over Shotzi Blackheart in another good match. This was Martinez’ debut under the Robert Stone Brand, and it allowed Stone to be less of a clown and more the modern-day JJ Dillon. Best Aliyah work ever.

Keith Lee Calls Out Karrion Kross

NXT Champion “Limitless” Keith Lee stands in center ring and calls out Karrion Kross, who beat the hell out of his friend, Dominick Dijakovic, last week. He’s answered instead by Cameron Grimes, who made my eyes roll so far I could see my brain. I like Grimes but his character here just isn’t good or entertaining. Lee predictability manhandles him as Kross’ lady, Scarlett, comes out. Kross gives Lee an ultimatum but honestly, did he need to do that to get a title shot? Still, good segment for the most part. Lee will need to speed up his delivery before he gets to Raw/SD. That main roster audience will “WHAT?” him to death.

Imperium defeated Ever Rise

NXT tag champs Imperium–Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel–easily dispatched Ever Rise, still dressed like the Quebec Bucks to me. They are then attacked by the Undisputed Era. For some reason, they had the NXT trainees cheering a 4 on 2 attack. Okay.

Bronson Reed Vignette

Great vignette for Bronson Reed.

Isaiah “Swerve” Scott defeated Jake Atlas

Isaiah “Swerve” Scott beat Jake Atlas in a competitive cruiserweight match. A few of the moves were too cute for my taste but the overall match was good. Damien Priest continued his slide into Dull City with a lukewarm promo in the back on his Triple Threat match next week. If he doesn’t win, that would be a tremendous upset since he was the only one with a promo.

Main Event: Dexter Lumis defeated Finn Balor and Timothy Thatcher

The main event was the second triple threat match to determine an entrant to the Takeover North American title ladder match with Dexter Lumis vs Finn Balor vs Timothy “Straight out of 70s Mid Atlantic Wrestling” Thatcher. Close the show with a good main event, but it was a WWE triple threat so they practically did the same finish as the last one where one opponent hits his move and the third one “steals” the win when Lumis choked out Thatcher with the Silence arm-triangle choke as Thatcher has Balor in an ankle lock. Overall, a good wrestling show. Best pure wrestling show of the week.