WWE NXT Recap 7/13/2021: Who's NXT Champ After Tonight's Main Event?

Hey gang!  So as they say, it's all on the line tonight!  NXT Champion Karrion Kross will defend his title in the main event tonight against challenger Johnny Gargano.  These two have been at each other's throats for the past few weeks, with Gargano taking any chance he could to get under the champ's skin and take cheap shots at him.  So to keep it all together tonight, Samoa Joe will be the special guest referee in the title match to ensure there are no shenanigans.  Enough out of me, let's get to the show!

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

Ember Moon vs Dakota Kai, with Raquel Gonzalez

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Ember Moon vs Dakota Kai, courtesy of WWE.

Lots of trash talking and anger to start here.  They're even with grapples and reversals until Kai takes over with her speed advantage.  She lands several kicks on Moon and applies some holds and a lot of pin attempts.  Moon finally takes over by landing a Suicide Dive through the ropes to Kai on the outside and then nailing her with a couple of kicks.

Moon is on offense now as she hammers Kai in the corner.  Kai is able to turn the tables and wrap Moon's arm around the ring post for an advantage.  She chokes Moon in the corner and keeps at the frequent pin attempts.

Kai hits a suplex, but Moon just Hulks up and starts clotheslining Kai, before hitting a neckbreaker into a double under hook suplex sequence.

They exchange kicks until Kai hits a running big boot and a stiff DDT for two.  Kai goes up top, but Moon kicks her and hits a super hurricanrana for two.  They fight a bit with Moon on the apron until Kai lifts her up and hits a Kota Kick for the pinfall.

Winner: Dakota Kai

Immediately after, Xia Li marches into the ring and challenges Gonzalez for her NXT Women's title, which she accepts.

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Xia Li has challenged Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women's title, courtesy of WWE.

Oh yeah, Raquel Gonzalez is still champion, seeing as everyone seems to have forgotten over the past two months.

We now go to LA Knight's mansion, where we see Cameron Grimes beginning work as Knight's butler.  Knight has his stylist give Grimes a full makeover, trimming his beard and giving him a tuxedo uniform, which Grimes actually loves.  This is all actually pretty funny and I can see these two actually becoming a tag team out of this.

Bobby Fish vs Tyler Rust

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Bobby Fish vs Tyler Rust, courtesy of WWE.

Lots of chain wrestling, but Rust is firmly in control early.  Lots of very fast-paced striking and grappling here and Fish responds with stiff shots of his own.  Very strong style!  Fish hits an exploder suplex on Rust into the ropes when Roderick Strong jumps to the apron and has words with Fish.

This allows Rust to chop block Fish and Buzzsaw Kick him for the pinfall.

Winner: Tyler Rust

After the match, Fish is surrounded by Diamond Mine and they're about to gang up on him when Kushida arrives to make the save to a big roar from the crowd.  Everyone loves Kushida!

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Kushida makes the save, courtesy of WWE.

We now see Kross hitting a heavy bag when Samoa Joe shows up to remind him of the rules for tonight's match.  Kross ignores him, so Joe kicks the bag and they get in each other's face.  Kross tells Joe that if he screws with him tonight, he's taking him out.

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Samoa Joe and Karrion Kross, courtesy of WWE.

Sarray vs Gigi Dolin

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Sarray vs Gigi Dolin, courtesy of WWE.

They shake hands to start (awww!) and then Sarray locks Dolin up in a series of chain grapples and a headlock.  They exchange a couple of takedowns and then we see Mandy Rose on the stage staring them down?!  Looks like someone was demoted.

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Mandy Rose appears to have returned to NXT, courtesy of WWE.

Sarray applies a bridged chin lock and they exchange some moves until Sarray hits the running dropkick into the ropes and then the Up and Down suplex for the pinfall.

Winner: Sarray

Very sloppy moments here where Dolin looked like she could have hurt her neck, especially the two finishers at the end.

Dexter Lumis vs Santos Escobar

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Dexter Lumis vs Santos Escobar, courtesy of WWE.

Escobar tries intimidating Lumis, who doesn't budge.  He then tries wrestling him and Lumis hits a Lou Thesz Press on him.  Lumis then goes under the ring and tries to drag Escobar under with him, but Wilde and Mendoza pull him back.

They get back inside and Escobar takes over with a series of strikes, including running double knees to Lumis in the corner.  Escobar then hits a super Hurricanrana for two.  He keeps up the punishment with low dropkicks and knees.  He clotheslines Lumis in the corner and hits 2/3 of the Eddie Guerrerro Three Amigos, but Lumis gets out of it, only to eat a Backstabber from Escobar.

Lumis rallies with a series of clotheslines and a bulldog to Escobar.  He hits the Silencer on him, but Mendoza pulls Escobar out of the ring and Wilde pulls Lumis's shoulder into the ring post.  Escobar then hits him with the Phantom Driver for the pinfall.

Winner: Santos Escobar

Hit Row meets Legado del Fantasma on the stage after the match and they all talk shit to each other before Legado eventually walks away.

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Legado del Fantasma vs Hit Row, courtesy of WWE.

We now go to a sit-down interview between Wade Barrett and Kyle O'Reilly.

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Wade Barrett and Kyle O'Reilly, courtesy of WWE.

O'Reilly says he and Adam Cole will definitely fight again somewhere and he will be the guy who finishes Adam Cole.

We go back to Knight and Grimes now, where Knight is having Grimes mow his massive lawn with a push mower, which Grimes loves cause his grandmother used to chase him with it.

We see that during the break, Indi Hartwell came to ringside to carry Lumis backstage as he has done.  She drops him and goes to kiss him, but Candice LeRae runs in to push her off of him and drag her away.

Ikemen Jiro vs Duke Hudson – NXT Breakout Tournament

NXT Recap- Who Is The NXT Champion After Tonight's Main Event?
Ikemen Jiro vs Duke Hudson in the NXT Breakout Tournament, courtesy of WWE.

Hudson uses his size advantage early, but Jiro is able to get in his head with his taunts and eccentric character.  Hudson has enough and unloads on Jiro with some heavy strikes, snake eyes on the ropes, and a big clothesline.

Jiro rallies with some punches and a Tarantula stretch.  He goes for a vaulting chop, but Hudson catches him for an overhead belly-to-belly suplex and a huge uppercut.

Hudson tries a Razor's Edge, but Jiro sneaks out of it and hits a turnbuckle Blockbuster.  Hudson gets knocked outside and Jiro hits a springboard moonsault.

Jiro hits some strong kicks, but Hudson hits a Bossman Slam for the pinfall.

Winner: Duke Hudson

WWE NXT Recap 7/13/2021: Who's NXT Champ After Tonight's Main Event?
Duke Hudson advances in the NXT Breakout Tournament, courtesy of WWE.

Hudson looks like a real star, guys.  He has the size and a great personality.

After, we have Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan in a backstage interview, where Dunne says he's the best technician in the world.  Timothy Thatcher shows up and questions this and then out of nowhere come Tommaso Ciampa to jump them and we have a backstage brawl.  Security tries to separate them all.

Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs Aliyah & Jessi Kamea

Looks like we have a cooler match here.

Kamea uses her size against Catanzaro early and is all over her.  Lots of kicks and hair-grabbing and all that stuff.  Carter gets the hot tag and is all over Aliyah.  She superkicks Aliyah and then gets her in a neckbreaker, and Catanzaro hits the top rope 450-splash for the pinfall.

Winners: Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter

After the match, Robert Stone checks on Aliyah and she shoves him and slaps him hard, before pounding on him in the turnbuckle to the crowd's delight.  She then punts him all over the ring as Kamea looks on confused.  Franky Monet then comes out and looks over Kamea very seductively and Kamea walks off with her as Stone follows them.

Samoa Joe visits Johnny Gargano in his locker room to go over the rules, which he promises to do, and offers him a new t-shirt.  Joe rolls his eyes and walks out, only to again find himself in a staredown with Pete Dunne.

We now again go back to Knight's house, where we see Grimes in a speedo by the pool, which pisses off Knight.  Grimes says he paid a kid to do all the yard work.  Grimes tries to pay the kid, but Knight stops him.  The kid then kicks Knight and Grimes tries sweeping and knocks Knight into the pool.

Adam Cole makes his way to the ring now.  He celebrates his victory over O'Reilly last week and says that he has once again proved he's the greatest NXT superstar in history.  He mocks O'Reilly for losing and promises that he will embarrass him again.  He then moves on to Samoa Joe and calls him out for choking him.  He calls Joe a coward and an overpaid security guard.  He says there's no one in the locker room man enough to go toe-to-toe with him.

This brings out Bronson Reed.  Reed says Cole is a master of mind games and manipulating someone with something to lose.  He continues that he now has nothing to lose and says Cole is his golden opportunity.

WWE NXT Recap 7/13/2021: Who's NXT Champ After Tonight's Main Event?
Bronson Reed vs Adam Cole, courtesy of WWE.

Cole tries to superkick him, but Reed catches his foot and splashes him.

Cole screams at Reed from the ramp, when Samoa Joe walks out and has a brief staredown with Cole, but then struts past him to the ring.

Karrion Kross, with Scarlett vs Johnny Gargano- NXT Championship

WWE NXT Recap 7/13/2021: Who's NXT Champ After Tonight's Main Event?
Karrion Kross vs Johnny Gargano, with Samoa Joe as the referee, courtesy of WWE.

Gargano starts punching Kross before the bell and as soon as it rings, Kross is all over him.  Kross lifts him up like nothing and slams him all over.  Gargano dropkicks Kross out of the ring and hits a flipping senton splash off the apron, but Kross gets right up and boots him down.

Kross goes running at Gargano, but he dodges it and Kross hits the ring steps.  Kross gets right up and two-handed chokeslams Gargano into the front of the announce table.  Kross gets back in the ring as Joe counts.  Gargano rolls back in and Kross is again on him, pummeling his midsection and stomping him on the mat.

Gargano tries fighting back, but Kross Irish whips him hard into the corner.  He then hits a snap mare and applies a headlock.  Gargano punches out of it and is able to fend off Kross's running strikes with a boot and an elbow.  He tries a clothesline, but Kross just absorbs it.

Gargano is able to hit an enziguri and a slingshot spear for two.  Kross rolls outside and Gargano suicide dives him into the barrier.  Gargano tries One Final Beat, but Kross turns it into a Northern Lights suplex and rolls that into a Fisherman suplex.  He lifts Gargano onto the top turnbuckle and tries to Saito suplex him off, but Gargano turns onto him and splashes him.

Kross rallies and goes for a powerslam, but Gargano turns it into a DDT for two.  Kross chokeslams him and goes for a running strike, but Gargano superkicks him.  Kross then tries the StraightJacket, but Gargano reverses into the Gargano Escape.  Kross breaks out and locks in the StraightJacket, but Gargano is able to grab the rope.

Kross won't break it, so Joe shoves him off.  Kross gets in his face but controls himself.  Kross slams Gargano into the crowd barrier over and over and then grabs the ring steps, but Joe pulls them out of his hands.  They again face off and Gargano hits a diving DDT to Kross on the outside.

He then hits One Final Beat, but Kross kicks out at two.  He tries a superkick, but Kross forearms him and then hits a triple powerbomb into a Saito Suplex.  Kross then hits another running forearm to the back of Gargano for the pinfall.

Winner and still Champion: Karrion Kross

After the match, Kross and Joe get in each other's face and challenge each other until Scarlett gets in the way.  As Joe turns to leave, Kross locks him in the Straight Jacket and chokes him out cold.

WWE NXT Recap 7/13/2021: Who's NXT Champ After Tonight's Main Event?
Karrion Kross Chokes Out Samoa Joe, courtesy of WWE.

NXT goes ends with Kross standing over an unconscious Samoa Joe.

WWE NXT Recap 7/13/2021: Who's NXT Champ After Tonight's Main Event?
Karrion Kross Stands Over Samoa Joe, courtesy of WWE.

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WWE NXT 7/13/2021

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

Not too bad of an episode, though it seemed like they were trying to cram too much into two hours. The main event was great and it felt like they were establishing a lot of new storylines, so that was good. Some really short matches that didn't feel necessary though. Pros: Kross vs Gargano, the ending between Samoa Joe and Kross, Jiro vs Hudson, Escobar vs Lumis. Cons: Some short and pointless matches, over-crowded card, the Sarray vs Dolin match was sloppy and very dangerous-looking.

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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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