NXT Recap: Is Samoa Joe Ready To Head Back Into The Ring?

Hey gang!  Last week was all about Samoa Joe wanting to get his hands on NXT Champion Karrion Kross for choking him out the week prior.  While NXT GM William Regal pleaded with Joe to settle things without violence, it was Regal himself who would experience how violent Kross could be, as the champ beat Regal unconscious in the parking lot to mock Joe.  So with the stakes being raised this high, how will Samoa Joe and Regal respond to their out-of-control champion?  Let's find out!

NXT Preview For Tonight: A Big Return And A Big Debut
The 2021 NXT logo, courtesy of WWE.

Tommaso Ciampa & Timmothy Thatcher vs Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan

NXT Recap-
Ciampa & Thatcher vs Dunne & Lorcan, courtesy of WWE.

As expected, this one was a snug, hard-hitting old school match that Lou Thesz would have approved of.  Lots of chain wrestling, lots of hard chops, and lots of holds.  And that's awesome because nobody does those things better today than the four guys in this match!

During a scrap on the outside between Lorcan and Thatcher, Ridge Holland made his return from the crowd and clotheslined Thatcher.

The distraction allowed Dunne to hit the Bitter End on Ciampa for the pinfall.

Winners: Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan

After the match, Dunne, Lorcan, and Holland destroy Ciampa and Thatcher in the ring.

NXT Recap-
Dunne, Holland, and Lorcan take out Ciampa and Thatcher, courtesy of WWE.

We now go to Hit Row who is backstage cutting a promo on Legado del Fantasma, mocking them for the ass-kicking Hit Row laid on them last week.

Samoa Joe hits the ring now, carrying a contract and looking pissed!  He goes under the ring and grabs a table and chair and throws them into the ring and sets them up.  He says Kross is too much of a coward to be in the building and asks Regal to join him in the ring, which he does.

NXT Recap-
Samoa Joe is ready for revenge, courtesy of WWE.

Joe says he understands Regal's anger and says he knows Regal wants to fire Kross tonight but offers a better solution.  He hands Regal his resignation as an NXT authority figure and then hands him a contract reinstating Joe as an active member of the roster. Regal hesitates but signs it.

Joe then presents another contract for him to challenge Kross for the NXT title at TakeOver 36, which Regal signs right away.  The two shake hands and Joe looks pleased for the first time in weeks.

NXT Recap-
Samoa Joe has been signed as the #1 contender for Karrion Kross's NXT title by GM William Regal, courtesy of WWE.

We now go to a golf course where LA Knight is golfing and Cameron Grimes is his caddy.  Shenanigans ensue and it's pretty funny.  These two have good chemistry.

Carmelo Hayes vs Josh Briggs – Breakout Tournament

NXT Recap-
Carmelo Hayes vs Josh Briggs in the NXT Breakout Tournament, courtesy of WWE.

Briggs has a huge size advantage over Hayes here, but Hayes looks like a legit future superstar.  Hayes mixes striking with a high-flying style and it's quite the sight as he's not a small guy.  But Briggs is 6'8" and not many guys look big next to that.

Briggs is a heavy brawler and is able to manhandle Hayes, but Hayes' athleticism and speed are unstoppable and he's able to counter most of Briggs' big moves.  Briggs hits a big boot and a huge chokeslam, but Hayes somehow kicks out at two.

He tries a side slam, but Hayes counters into a head scissors and hits a top rope diving leg drop to a standing Briggs for the pinfall.

Winner: Carmelo Hayes

NXT Recap-
Hayes wins and advances in the NXT Breakout Tournament, courtesy of WWE.

Really fun match and both guys looked good here.  Duke Hudson joined the commentary team to scout his next opponent and he sounded really good and cocky on the mic, so good stuff all around from the "young guns" here.

Back to the golf course and Grimes is doing his own commentary to Knight trying to golf, which causes him to hit the ball into the water.  Grimes goes in to fetch the ball when Ted DiBiase drives up in a golf cart and inspires Grimes to stand up for himself.

NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai hit the ring Gonzalez brags about beating (botching) Xia Li last week and says no one can beat her.  Kai tells her she's been unstoppable since she debuted and she's the most dominant woman in NXT history.

Kai then asks who is up for challenging Gonzalez at TakeOver?  No one answers and Kai says as long as she has her back, she'll always be champion… and then takes her out with a kick to the head.

NXT Recap-
Dakota Kai vs Raquel Gonzalez for the title at TakeOver I guess, courtesy of WWE.

I don't get this one… are they both heels?  Kai is obviously the evil turncoat here (even though the crowd cheered when she took out Gonzalez), but Gonzalez is a limited lug that fans don't respect and trash online cause she's an alt-right bigmouth.  Not sure who this benefits exactly if they try to turn Gonzalez face, which won't work (see Nia Jax a couple of years ago for example).

We now go to Io Shirai training at the Performance Center and Zoey Stark approaches her to say that as Tag Champs, they should train together or at least hangout and form a relationship.  Shirai is against it, but Stark presses her and she finally relents.

Next, we sneak up on Mady Rose talking to Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin backstage.  Rose notices the cameraman and chases him off.

NXT Recap: Is Samoa Joe Ready To Head Back Into The Ring?
Mandy Rose, Jacy Jayne, and Gigi Dolin, courtesy of WWE.

Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs Franky Monet & Jessi Kamea

NXT Recap-
Kacy Catanzaro vs Franky Monet, courtesy of WWE.

Whatever filler tag match, until Monet is in control and Robert Stone throws his purse at her to use, thus distracting her and allowing Catanzaro and Carter to pull off their double team 450 splash finisher on her for the pinfall.

Winners: Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter

We now go to a sitdown interview with Wade Barrett interviewing Roderick Strong and Malcolm Bivens.  They explain that Strong is the best wrestler in NXT and is going after Kushida's Cruiserweight title, but first, he has to go through Bobby Fish, which he will do next week.

NXT Recap: Is Samoa Joe Ready To Head Back Into The Ring?
Malcolm Bivens and Roderick Strong, courtesy of WWE.

Imperium vs Hit Row

NXT Recap: Is Samoa Joe Ready To Head Back Into The Ring?
Imperium vs Hit Row, courtesy of WWE.

Interesting clash of styles here as Barthel and Aichner are obviously heavily technical, while Ashante and Top Dollar are primarily brawlers.  Barthel and Aichner hold true to what you would assume, but Ashante shows some nice speed and suplexes here.

Top Dollar is definitely the game-changer here, as it seems anything Barthel or Aichner try on him just bounces off his massive frame.  Imperium is able to double team Ashante a bit, but he is finally able to escape and get the hot tag to Top Dollar, who just railroads both opponents.

Legado del Fantasma shows up and distracts Top Dollar, allowing Imperium to double team the legal Ashante for the win.

Winners: Imperium

After the match, Legado del Fantasma jumps Top Dollar and Ashante in the ring, until Swerve clears them out with a chair.  It's interesting to hear the crowd really get behind Hit Row tonight.  Sounds like they're becoming faces pretty quickly.

We now go to The Way arguing in the locker room about why Austin Theory ran away from them.  Someone comes in with a package for Indi Hartwell and it's a picture Dexter Lumis drew for her of him with all of them.  Johnny Gargano freaks out over it and Hartwell convinces him to have a match with Lumis, where if Lumis wins, she and he can be together and they'll accept him and if Gargano wins, she's done with Lumis forever.

Back to the golf course now, where LA Knight is trying to make a drive when Grizzled Young Veterans show up and complain that they're not going quickly enough.  Grimes makes a bet with them that Knight can hit the ball closer to the hole than they can. He shanks it into the water, but Grimes says he can make a hole in one.  He hits Knight in the crotch and head in his backswing and hits a hole in one.

He then blames GYV for hitting Knight and they chase them off.

Bronson Reed vs Adam Cole

NXT Recap: Is Samoa Joe Ready To Head Back Into The Ring?
Bronson Reed vs Adam Cole, courtesy of WWE.

It's all about Reed's size and strength advantage early, as nothing Cole throws at him lands and Reed tosses him all over the ring.  Things take a turn when they both go to the top turnbuckle and Cole is able to sneak under Reed and kick his legs out from under him.

From there, they head out of the ring and Cole uses the surroundings to his advantage, slamming Reed into the crowd barrier.  They get back inside and Cole is all attack on Reed's legs.

As Cole trash-talks him, Reed gets back into it with a big splash and a vertical suplex into a spinning Death Valley Driver.  Cole stops his momentum with a series of kicks and a Panama Sunrise for two.  Reed hits a powerbomb, but misses the Tsunami, allowing Cole to hit a superkick and The Last Shot for the pinfall.

Winner: Adam Cole

NXT Recap: Is Samoa Joe Ready To Head Back Into The Ring?
Adam Cole wins, courtesy of WWE.

After the match, Cole is doing his taunt on the stage when Kyle O'Reilly hits him with a chair from behind and gives him a brainbuster on the ring steps as NXT ends for the night.

7/27 NXT

NXT Preview For Tonight: A Big Return And A Big Debut
Review by Ryan Fassett

6.5/10
The matches were overall solid and some things were established for TakeOver, but it didn't really feel like a particularly important or eventful episode. Not a lot of matches and a lot of stars were absent.
Credits

Highs
Hayes vs Briggs, Cole vs Reed, the Grimes/Knight segments were funny.
Lows
Didn't feel like much happened, the Gonzalez/Kai segment was odd, lots of absent stars.

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About Ryan Fassett

As a lifelong fan of movies, comics, wrestling, and collectibles, Ryan is excited to share his thoughts on all of it with you. He is also an active filmmaker and published comic book writer, along with being a connoisseur of soda.
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