The July 29, 2020 episode of WWE NXT aired live on the USA Network from Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University.
WWE NXT Results (7/29/20)
- Io Shirai & Tegan Nox def. Dakota Kai & Candice LeRae
- Johnny Gargano def. Roderick Strong
- Mercedes Martinez def. Shotzi Blackheart.
- Imperium (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) def. Ever-Rise (Chase Parker & Matt Martel).
- Isaiah “Swerve” Scott def. Jake Atlas.
- Dexter Lumis def. Timothy Thatcher and Finn Balor in a WWE NXT North American Championship Qualifying Match.
Here are the takeaways from this week’s show:
Io Shirai and Tegan Nox vs. Candice LeRae and Dakota Kai in a tag team match opened the show and did so in style.
Things got wild towards the end of this solid match. The finish saw Io hit a moonsault off the top rope, but her knees landed on the head of LeRae. Kai didn’t wait around for her partner after the match as she stood on the stage.
The four stars have some history. Of course, we have the never-ending feud between Nox and Kai while Shirai retained her NXT Women’s Championship against Nox two weeks ago on NXT. Following the match, Kai laid out the current champion with a kick to the face.
Fast forward to last week, there was a video promo done by Kai, who stated that it felt good to kick Io in the face. She added that once Shirai returned that she would be waiting on her and to bring the title.
Clearly, WWE is building up Io defending the championship against Kai heading into the NXT TakeOver: 30 event. This was a nice way to continue that program while also featuring Nox and LeRae, who could be headed into their own feud.
Roderick Strong vs. Johnny Gargano
In a match that actually made sense in booking, Roderick Strong vs. Johnny Gargano took place in a singles match.
This was the best match on the show and had to be considering the quality of wrestlers in the bout. Gargano went over in the contest when he hit the springboard DDT.
Of course, both guys lost in the triple threat match that saw Bronson Reed win last week in order to move onto the Ladder Match at NXT TakeOver: 30 to crown a new North American Champion.
Reed won after flattening Strong with a top-rope splash after Gargano spiked Strong with a One Final Beat DDT.
Following the match, WWE had them exchange some words that lead to this match.
Second Ladder Match Spot
A triple threat match that featured Finn Balor, Dexter Lumis, and Timothy Thatcher doing battle for the second Ladder Match spot at NXT TakeOver: 30 to crown a new North American Champion.
Balor had his left knee taken out when Thatcher had him in a submission hold. Lumis managed to lock in his submission finisher on Thatcher, who passed out as a result and Lumis won the contest. After the match, Lumis was staring at the title.
It was a fun match with a better ending although some will be surprised with Lumis going over. They protected Balor with the finish though.
As a result, Lumis now joins Bronson Reed as the other competitor in the match. More stars will be added to the bout in the coming weeks.
Shotzi Blackheart vs. Mercedes Martinez
Shotzi Blackheart vs. Mercedes Martinez in a singles match was booked with it continuing to feud two sides. The match was fine with Martinez going over.
Of course, Blackheart went over Aaliyah last week on NXT as she is a client of Robert Stone, who has been embarrassed by Blackheart over the last few weeks. Following the loss, WWE reintroduced Martinez on television and aligned her with the group.
Two things are pretty clear coming out of this match. One, NXT officials clearly see something in Blackheart and continue to build her up as a likable babyfaces.
The other is that Martinez can be a future title contender as Io Shirai is currently a babyface champion.
Keith Lee Responds
Keith Lee responded to Karrion Kross’ actions from last week.
Of course, in the headliner of that show, Kross beat Dominik Dijakovic, who is the good friend yet better enemy of the NXT Champion. Kross beat the former title contender in a violent way when Kross put the head of his opponent between the ring and steps and kicked the steel.
Lee came out to the ring and pleaded for his friend to quit the match, but he took the strikes before being choked out.
On this show, Lee cut a promo about how he can talk all day about how his friend wanted the beatdown and that he is a grown man who will be just fine. Lee stated that Kross has made it a point that he wants his attention and the title. He said that Kross has done extra BS and it means nothing to him.
He said that Kross doesn’t have the balls to face him. Thus, Lee is calling out Kross. Cameron Grimes came out to the ring, but he was taken out by Lee. This led to Scarlett standing on the rampway before Kross appeared on the big screen. Kross questioned Lee for watching his friend get beaten down. He said that Lee has two choices which are to give him his shot at the NXT Title or the hard way that would let everyone suffer.
Lee said that Kross can pick the time and place and he would whoop that a**.