Jobber Knocker

NXT 7/22: Huge NXT Shake-Up on the Road to Takeover XXX

The Black and Gold Brand comes back on Wrestling Wednesday with another action packed episode. On tap for this week is two big-boy matchups between Killian Dane and Dexter Lumis, as well as Dominik Dijakovic and Karrion Kross. Shotzi Blackheart defends her own honor against the Robert Stone Brand’s #1 Client, Aliyah. Also, William Regal has a major announcement for us. Let’s wee how it all went down.

We kicked off the show with Regal and Keith Lee via satellite. Lee talked about all of the opportunities he has had, as well as the work that he did to become a double champion. Lee said that he wants to focus all of his efforts in being the best NXT Champion, and defending it whenever possible. It is because of this, that he would be relinquishing the North American Championship. He wants as many superstars to get the opportunity that he had. Regal agreed, and is setting up a series of triple threat matches, with the winners going to Takeover to compete in a Ladder Match for the now vacant North American Championship.

Killian Dane vs. Dexter Lumis

Dexter Lumis has been one of the hottest commodities in NXT. Killian Dane has almost been the opposite. Historically, Killian Dane is super sloppy. However for some reason , this match worked for me. In a way, even though Dain is a sloppy mid-carder, Dexter Lumis putting him to sleep was a good way to push Lumis’ strength and dominance.

A quick backstage argument between Johnny Gargano, Roderick Strong, and Bronson Reed. Strong thinks he should just be in the ladder match, since he never got a rematch. Gargano kind of bullied his way in the conversation. Their triple threat match goes down tonight.

Ever-Rise vs. Breezango

Tag Team wrestling has been on FIRE lately. Each week, we have had at least one quality tag team match between actual tag teams. This match was actually really fun, and shocked me that Breezango actually won. Ever-Rise seems to be on the rise (pun intended.). Hopefully we see some more of them, as the Tag Team division grows.

Shotzi Blackheart vs. Aliyah

This match is all about these ladies, however I would be completely off if I didn’t mention how great Robert Stone has been lately.

This match actually gave Aliyah a chance to show off, something we haven’t really seen lately. Despite her best efforts, as well as the cheerleading of Robert Stone, Shotzi Blackheart was able to get the victory with her top rope senton. Blackheart even got another shot in on Stone, poor guy is taking a beating from her. While this wasn’t a five-star match by any means, however if did a good job getting Aliyah some TV time that wasn’t necessarily a jobber match or a Robert Stone showcase.

After the match, Blackheart ran over Stone’s other leg with her tank. While celebrating, she was attacked by Mercedes Martinez. Martinez teased helping Robert Stone, but decided to just walk off while Aliyah struggled to pick up a child’s tank.

Johnny Gargano vs. Bronson Reed vs. Roderick Strong

This was the first big triple threat match to qualify for the Ladder Match for the North American Championship. It was an interesting matchup, especially when it comes to size and style. As we all know, with me being a Gargano and Undisputed Era fan, I was naturally going to love this. By inserting Reed into the match, they helped show us the quality match that Bronson Reed can give us if given the opportunity.

The fun continued, as Strong and Gargano teamed up against Reed to try and eliminate the Thicc Boi from the match. It looked like they had him eliminated with a Sunset Flip powerbomb outside the ring. Strong and Gargano dueled it out in the ring. It looked like Gargano had the win after he hit One Final Beat on Roderick Strong. However, while Gargano had him pinned, Reed came out of nowhere with a splash to get the victory. This caught me completely off guard, but Bronson Reed moves on to the Ladder Match at Takeover.

Timothy Thatcher vs. Oney Lorcan

My wife declared this the “angry man battle,” as the two superstars marched down to the ring for a fight. Just like their first match at Great American Bash, these two beat the hell out of each other yet again. I can imagine that these types of match are not for everyone. It didn’t move a million miles an hour like most these days. There were no dives, or Canadian Destroyers. This one was all about grit and technical prowess. Thatcher was able to sneak another victory, this time reversing a submission into a pinfall. Despite the victory, Thatcher’s chest looked pretty damn torn up from Oney’s chops.

Robert Stone was whining backstage. Mercedes Martinez approached him, and told him that she didn’t want a manager, but someone to take care of all of the crap backstage so she could go to the ring and kick ass.

Karrion Kross vs. Dominik Dijakovic

With as hot as Dijakovic has been lately, this match got me excited, especially when I saw the time it was given. While Tommaso Ciampa got beaten pretty handily by Kross, this was not the case for Dijakovic. While the match was really great, the finish was a little rough in the end. Dijakovic found himself pinned behind the ring post and the stairs. Kross crushed him, leaving Dijakovic completely motionless outside the ring. Kross picked him up and brought him into the ring. Kross laid down some ground and pound, before Keith Lee made his way to ringside.

Dijakovic begged Lee not to throw in the towel. Lee obliged, as he painstakingly watched Kross beat down and ultimately choke out Dijakovic for the victory. This was unbelievable storytelling, building up to what will ultimately be Lee vs. Kross. I, for one, am already sold on this feud. Just the look in Lee’s eyes this week shows that he is in for a battle, one that Kross made all too personal this week.

The road to NXT Takeover XXX kicked off tonight. While the internet is divisive on the decision for Keith Lee to relinquish his North American Championship, it has set up what will most certainly be a banger of a match at Takeover. There is still a lot to develop on our way there, so make sure to check back here, as well as follow me on Twitter @TJoftheJK. We’ll see you next week!

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