Reviews

The John Report: WWE NXT 07/26/22 Review

wwe nxt july 26

This week’s WWE NXT featured a big eight-man tag team main event and Zoey Stark celebrating her win last week.

As usual, I will go summary style for the matches instead of a play-by-play review. I’ll do play-by-play for the main event.

This episode is taking place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. My WWE NXT Review archive is here. Let’s get to it.

Zoey Stark made her entrance to start the show. The commentary team of Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett welcomed us to the show.

Let’s Hear from Zoey Stark

Zoey Stark started with a promo about how great it was to be there. Stark said that at Halloween Havoc, she tore her ACL and MCL in her. Stark said doctors told her it would be about a year until she came back, so it was tough for her. Stark noted that the day after surgery, she started physical therapy and got to work. Stark said she busted her ass so that she could come back four months ahead of schedule. Stark thanked the fans for the noise they made when she returned last week and now she’s the number one contender for the NXT Women’s Champion. Stark said that Toxic Attraction are the same women that took her out and they almost took her career away, so she’s going to take that championship.

Cora Jade interrupted the promo by standing on a podium. Jade ripped on Stark right away, so Stark reminded Jade that she eliminated her in the battle royal. Jade complained about how Stark ruined Jade’s moment. Stark told Jade that the Women’s Tag Team Title is not a piece of trash, Jade is the piece of trash while Stark noted she held that title in the past.

The confident Toxic Attraction trio consisting of my favorite NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose, Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin. Rose said that tomorrow she becomes the fourth longest NXT Women’s Champion ever. Rose wanted Stark to put some damn respect on her name. Stark wanted Rose to put that title on the line tonight. Dolin spoke up to basically accept Stark’s challenge for a singles match later in the show.

Analysis: That felt like the most promo time Stark has ever got for an in-ring promo. Stark is a better wrestler than talker, but she got through it fine. Jade continues to get a lot of heat every time she talks. The Toxic ladies come across as some of the biggest stars on the show, so it’s always nice to see them. I still think Nikkita Lyons is the one to take the title from Rose, but they could go with Stark to complete her comeback story.

Grayson Waller was shown backstage saying he’s going to embarrass Wes Lee up next.

(Commercial)

They showed Tony D’Angelo talking to his “family” aka the group saying they are always proving their worth. Tony said that they are going to crack some skulls when they face Diamond Mine later.

Grayson Waller vs. Wes Lee

They both showed off their speed and athleticism early on with Waller getting the first pin attempt. Lee managed to get a couple of nearfalls along with a double foot stomp to the back. Waller kicked Lee in the ribs to knock him down. Lee sent Waller out of the ring, Waller got in a punch and then Lee hit a superkick leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Waller was in control after the break with a sitout spinebuster slam off the shoulders. Lee made a comeback with a move that looked like a bulldog out of the corner. Waller to the floor, so Lee hit him with a suicide dive. When Lee went up top, Waller knocked him down to the floor. The referee was busy looking at Waller in the ring, so Trick Williams (in costume with boxing gloves) punched Lee in the back and Lee got back in at nine. Waller did his leap into the ring followed by the Stunner the win. It went 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Grayson Waller

Analysis: *** A cheap win by Waller thanks to the cheap shot by Williams that wasn’t seen by the referee. Lee has had issues with Lee for several weeks, so that’s why Williams got involved. I liked the athleticism shown by both guys. Waller is easy to hate as a cocky heel. Lee is so likable as a face, but they don’t book him strong enough to where he wins big matches to keep momentum going.

Joe Gacy of Schism was with Rip and Jagger with Mckenzie Mitchell conducting an interview. Rip and Jagger talked about their new roles. Gacy said that Cameron Grimes should accept Gacy as a father figure. Gacy said that Grimes should join them under the Schism’s tree. Gacy said that their message will continue next week.

Apollo Crews made his entrance for a singles match.

(Commercial)

They showed some women from the battle royal watching the match back last week. Arianna Grace ripped on Indi Hartwell, so Indi walked into the screen. They exchanged words with Grace saying she didn’t like being around so much negative injury. They have a match later.

Apollo Crews vs. Xyon Quinn

Crews got off to a fast start, but Quinn hit a forearm to the back of the head to take over. Quinn hit a neckbreaker along with a suplex shortly after. After Quinn held Crews with a chinlock, Crews fought back and then he ran into a forearm smash. Crews got momentum going with a jumping kick, a clothesline, corner splash and another clothesline for two. Quinn came back with a spinning slam off the shoulders for two. Crews with a jumping kick to the head, then double knees to the back and a spinebuster for the pinfall win after about four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews

Analysis: **1/2 The veteran Crews picked up the win over the younger guy in Quinn, who has a great look and is still developing. I hope Crews gets an interesting storyline/feud soon to see if he can build some momentum.

The Toxic Attraction trio was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell, who said at NXT Heatwave in three weeks, Mandy is defending her title against Zoey Stark. Sarray walked into the picture saying she wasn’t in the battle royal because she was in the UK, so she wanted a shot. Mandy seemed to say she’s willing to face her next week.

Analysis: That’s the first time they have mentioned NXT Heatwave I think. The date is Tuesday, August 16 so it’s on USA Network for those of you in the US.

Gigi Dolin made her entrance with her Toxic Attraction pals Mandy Rose and Jacy Jayne. Gigi’s match was up next.

(Commercial)

Solo Sikoa was shown in the streets talking about Von Wagner saying that he sees how Von really wants to play it after his cheap attack. Solo said that next week, it’s him and Von on a Falls Count Anywhere Match with Solo saying he didn’t care where it goes.

Zoey Stark vs. Gigi Dolin (w/Mandy Rose & Jacy Jayne)

There was a spot where Stark tried to run the ropes, but Rose reached into the ring to stop her and Dolin got some offense after that. Dolin did a double knee submission into the back like a surfboard. Stark got offense going with two clotheslines and a running knee for two. Stark spun around Dolin in the air and hit a knee to the head for the finish. It went about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Zoey Stark

Analysis: *3/4 Easy win for Stark that was never in doubt since she’s getting the next title shot. No reason for her to lose a match like this.

Post match, Jacy Jayne tried a cheap attack, but Stark was ready for her with a superkick and sent Jayne out of the ring. Rose tried a belt shot, Stark avoided that and Rose escaped. Stark told Rose that title was going to belong to Stark soon. Rose held up her title.

While Stark was in the ring, Cora Jade attacked Stark with a kendo stick to the back. Jade hit Stark a few times. Roxanne Perez made her entrance, she ran to the ring and Jade left through the back part of the building. Perez helped Stark up as the babyfaces stood tall in the ring.

Analysis: The crowd popped for Perez’s return, so they want to see her get her hands on Jade at some point. It’s smart to have Jade run away to get some heel heat on her.

JD McDonagh was shown driving up to the building telling a guy in the parking lot that tonight he’s a member of the paying public since he had a ticket.

(Commercial)

They showed Wendy Choo in a bed having visions of her latest loss against Tiffany Stratton. It also showed Choo being eliminated by Stratton in the battle royal When Choo woke up, she was angry and said it will be lights out for Stratton.

Let’s Hear from JD McDonagh

JD McDonagh was in the crowd reminding us he was the Irish Ace. JD introduced himself to some members of the crowd, including a guy eating popcorn and warned him to chew carefully. JD talked to the timekeeper saying it was an important job and JD asked if you know what the hammer does to a human hand. JD also praised the ring announcer Alicia Taylor saying she had a fabulous voice. JD shook Wade Barrett’s hand while saying he can feel the calcium deposits in his hand, so he told him to be careful. JD told Vic Joseph he didn’t like what he heard about his family. JD squeezed his hand on his collarbone while threatening to break it. JD went into the ring and called out Bron Breakker so he can meet the Irish Ace.

The NXT Champion Bron Breakker made his way down to the ring. Bron said in three weeks in NXT Heatwave saying that JD will get acclimated with Bron and he’s not going to like it. Bron said they’ll make it official next week. JD with a headbutt, but Bron came back with his own headbutt and JD was bleeding form the mouth. JD was smiling about it.

Analysis: One thing I don’t like about NXT booking sometimes is they don’t build up contenders well at all. Yes, JD beat Cameron Grimes in a match, but they should have wrestlers do more to earn a title shot. At least Zoey Stark won a title to earn her title shot. I just think they could have built JD up a bit more. Anyway, JD’s promo was designed to be a cocky heel promo where he’s a guy that is smart about how to break different parts of the body. It was smart to keep it short when Bron was out there.

Andre Chase was talking to his Chase U students talking about his match with Giovanni Vinci. Nathan Frazer said he’s back from injury asking if he can be the honorary Chase U flag bearer, so they said yes.

(Commercial)

There were highlights shown of Axiom in action last week and then some comic book style pictures. That’s what his character is going for.

Roxanne Perez was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Roxanne’s NXT Women’s Tag Team Title. Roxanne complained about Cora Jade throwing her title in a trash can and said it deserves respect. Alundra Blayze (aka Madusa) arrived and she’s a WWE Hall of Famer that famously tossed the WWF Women’s Title in a trash can on WCW Nitro. Blayze had a trash can, so Perez pulled the title out from the trash can. Perez said two women should be holding those titles. Blayze said over 25 years ago she dumped the title in the trash and said next week they are going to have a fatal four-way elimination tag team match. Blayze said that the winning team will become the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions.

Analysis: Nice get to have Alundra Blayze there. I think she works for the NWA as a Producer. When she tossed the title in the trash, it was several years before Roxanne was even born. Yes, I feel old.

Giovanni Vinci vs. Andre Chase

Chase was aggressive early on with some offense, but then Vinci hit some uppercuts. Chase got three different pin attempt moves for two counts. Chase took control with an arm drag into an armbar. Vinci came back with a dropkick leading to boos although the replay showed it was more of a jumping side kick. Chase came back with a dropkick as well. Vinci grabbed the Chase U flag and snapped it over his leg, so Chase tossed Vinci into the ring post.

(Commercial)

The fans were chanting “this is awesome” as both guys were down selling. They did the spot where Vinci caught a leaping Chase leading to a brainbuster for two. That’s a usual spot in a Vinci match. Chase hit a double underhook Powerbomb for a two count. Good nearfall there. Chase with a boot to the face on a running Vinci, but Vinci came back with a clothesline and the sitout Lifting Powerbomb for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Giovanni Vinci

Analysis: ***1/4 A very good match. The result didn’t surprise me because Vinci is getting pushed while Chase barely wins TV matches. I’m a bit surprised that it went as long as it did although that’s not a slight against Chase. I think he’s solid. I’m just saying they don’t put him in matches this long that often. Chase had a couple of good nearfalls in the match. Vinci’s finisher is impressive and it needs a name.

Post match, Giovanni Vinci stomped on Chase a bit, so Nathan Frazer made the save and Vinci ran away. That should set up a match.

They showed Diamond Mine talking with Roderick Strong saying they were focused and ready to dominate. Julius Creed said that they are going to drop Tony D’s bitch asses. They shouted that they were Diamond Mine forever.

Analysis: It’s noticeable that they have been giving Julius Creed more promo time in recent weeks, which is fine with me because it gets him more experience. I think Julius has huge potential.

Indi Hartwell entered for singles action.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage scene with Sanga talking to Yulisa and Valentina (on a tablet) about how they are going to be Women’s Tag Team Champions.

The tag team of Kayden Carter and Katana Chance talked about winning the Women’s Tag Team Titles next week when they were interrupted by Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley. Elektra Lopez told Ivy that Diamond Mine is going to lose tonight and then there was a brawl with officials breaking it up.

Analysis: The acting quality was…below average. I’ll leave it at that.

Indi Hartwell vs. Arianna Grace

Hartwell was in control early on after a sidewalk slam, but then Grace avoided a corner attack. Grace applied a weak-looking chinlock to build up Indi’s comeback with Indi hitting a clothesline. Hartwell with a belly-to-back suplex for two. Grace did a poor pin attempt using her feet on the ropes, the referee saw it and Indi hit a boot to the face to win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Indi Hartwell

Analysis: 1/2* Poor match. Grace is really green (meaning she looks inexperienced) while poor Indi had to have another match with somebody that isn’t ready like when she faced Lash Legend recently. Indi is popular, but there’s no story for her at this point.

Von Wagner was with Mr. Stone, who mentioned that Solo Sikoa wanted a Falls Count Anywhere Match. Stone declined the offer, but Wagner didn’t agree. Stone mentioned Sofia Cromwell, so Wagner said if she wants to be a model, he doesn’t give a shit (Maximum Male Models shoutout). Wagner said he’s the street champion, so if Solo wants to get his crown back he can try to doit next week.

The D’Angelo Family entered for the main event.

(Commercial)

A video was shown about Kiana James showing all of her education and background. James complained about Nikkita Lyons saying her father is a rock star while her mom was a groupie. James said she did research while showing bikini photos of Lyons and said she would peel back the layers of Miss Lyons while reporting back with her findings.

Analysis: Thrilling. I don’t know why the booking team in NXT is insistent on giving their wrestlers gimmicks where they have other jobs other than being wrestlers. It’s not going to help Kiana James long-term to be some business expert.

They showed promos from Alba Fyre and Lash Legend talking about their rivalry.

Next week on NXT:

* Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match for NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles – Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley vs. Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne vs. Katana Chance & Kayden Carter vs. Yulisa Leon & Valentina Feroz. I think Chance & Carter should win.

* Brock Breakker and JD McDonagh will have an NXT Heatwave Summit.

* Falls Count Anywhere Match: Solo Sikoa vs. Von Wagner.

* Mandy Rose vs. Sarray.

The Diamond Mine foursome of Roderick Strong, Julius Creed, Brutus Creed & Damon Kemp made their entrance.

Diamond Mine – Roderick Strong, Julius Creed, Brutus Creed & Damon Kemp vs. The D’Angelo Family – Tony D’Angelo, Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

Strong started with Tony leading to Strong driving him to the corner. Stacks tagged in leading to Strong hitting a dropkick. Julius tagged in with a release suplex on Stacks. Julius decked Stacks with a hard clothesline. Tony D tagged in, so Julius hit him with a couple of clotheslines. Tony D left the ring, Julius chased after him and Tony went back into the ring. All eight guys went into the ring leading to a big brawl for a moment until it was back to Julius going for an ankle lock on Tony. After Tony was saved by his three buddies, Brutus jumped off the apron with a cannonball onto the four guys. That drew a big pop and led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Brutus launching Wilde into the air leading to a crash into the mat. Kemp tagged in with a shoulder tackle, body slam and an elbow drop. Kemp clotheslined Wilde out of the ring. Cruz into the ring illegally, Kemp went after him and Wilde did a chop block to the left knee. That led to the heels taking control as Tony D hit a kneebreaker onto his leg. Kemp was placed upside down against the turnbuckle, so Tony’s team took turns stomping on him. Stacks back in with a half crab submission on Kemp. After Kemp broke free, he did a necksnap against the rope followed by a shoulder tackle. Cruz was back in with a dropkick on Brutus on the apron, so Kemp hit a back body drop to send Cruz out of the ring. Julius was legal against Stacks with Julius hitting a spinning slam. Cruz into the ring, Julius with an overhead suplex and Julius hit a top rope superplex on Wilde as well. Very impressive. Julius with a German Suplex on Tony for a two count. Tony came back with a kick to the knee to knock Julius down. Julius was back up with an Ankle Lock on Tony, Stacks broke that up, Brutus ran over Stacks with a charging attack and the two Legado boys took out Brutus with the legsweep/kick combo. Kemp with a clothesline on Wilde, Cruz with a missile dropkick, Strong with a jumping knee on Cruz and Julius hit a sliding clothesline on Cruz. Strong with a knee to Wilde, then Julius with a clothesline on Wilde and the ring was nearly empty. Strong went for a knee on Tony, who moved and Strong hit Julius by mistake. Stacks with a forearm to knock down Strong. Tony hit the cradle neckbreaker suplex for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The D’Angelo Family – Tony D’Angelo, Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a great main event tag team match. Tony D’s group are clearly heels while Strong is heelish as well, but the Creed Brothers are likable faces. I thought Kemp was impressive on offense while also doing a nice job of selling as the face in peril. He keeps improving. The story of the match was that Strong accidentally hit the jumping knee on Julius, who then ate the pin from Tony. I thought Julius was the most impressive guy in the match in terms of the offense that he did. Brutus wasn’t in as much. I’m fine with Tony’s family winning. They continue to gain positive momentum. It wouldn’t surprise me if they are building Tony for an eventual NXT Title shot in the coming months.

They showed Alundra Blayze in the parking lot with the titles saying the last team standing will be the champions. Toxic Attraction’s Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin told Blayze to just hand them the titles now. Blayze said that next week they have to fight to win the titles. Gigi and Jacy weren’t happy about that. End show.

Analysis: A nice way to end it with a focus on the vacant NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles. That’s cool.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. The D’Angelo Family – Tony D’Angelo, Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo
  2. Diamond Mine – Roderick Strong, Julius Creed, Brutus Creed & Damon Kemp
  3. Giovanni Vinci

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 7 out of 10

Last week: 7

 

Final Thoughts

It was a pretty good show with a couple of matches above three stars (meaning they were very good), so that always helps. Like usual with NXT, they do a nice job of building stories week to week. They set up the women’s Tag Team Title match for next week very well. I thought Zoey Stark did a nice job with the opening promo while Toxic Attraction got heat as usual.

The main event 8-man tag was a lot of fun. It was booked well. I think Julius Creed is going to be a huge star within the next few years once he gets a chance to break out on his own. He has all the physical tools and now they are letting him talk more. Tony D’s team won the match, but it was done in a way where Roderick Strong accidentally hit Julius, so it could lead to problems there.

Most of the matches and stories were booked well. A few things were bad, but they were kept short so that’s okay. I enjoyed it overall.

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Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport