WWE NXT Recap: July 17, 2019

A.K.A The One Where Adam Cole Gets The Taste Slapped Out Of His Mouth

This episode is packed with action that includes Matt Riddle takes on the newly christened Arturo Ruas, Bronson Reed facing Dexter Lumis in another match of the NXT Breakout Tournament, Kushida battles the returning Apollo Crews, and Adam Cole takes on a challenger for the NXT Championship. All of that and more, tonight on WWE NXT.


  • Matt Riddle def. Arturo Ruas
  • Bronson Reed def. Dexter Lumis
  • Kushida def. Apollo Crews

Match of the Night: Kushida def. Apollo Crews

The match began with a bunch of back-and-forths that was so much fun and I am the biggest fan of how Kushida starts things off technically. Crews hit a dropkick in this stage of the match that was gorgeous. Like seriously it was on Okada level. Apollo Crews got the upper hand with a gutbuster and then lifted Kushida up for a vertical suplex that by my clock legit lasted 15 seconds. He was just rag-dolling Kushida for a while until Kushida was able to kick the arm out of Apollo’s arms. Kushida was able to turn up the pace and kicked Crews in almost every way imaginable. Apollo is incredibly good at selling and made Kushida look like a world-beater.

A kick to the face gave Crews the advantage and he hit Kushida with three German suplexes before hitting a standing shooting star press for a two count. Kushida hit an STO (my favorite wrestling move) into the middle turnbuckle that did even more damage to Apollo’s arm. I love the way Kushida targets his opponent’s arms throughout the match without fans really noticing. He’s just awesome. Kushida slammed Crews from the top rope and immediately turned it into an armbar in mid-air. This was the move of the match for sure and was totally awesome. The armbar was transitioned into the Hoverboard Lock and Kushida forces Crews to tap out.

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Three Thoughts:

What’s Your Problem, Bro?

After an exciting match against Arturo Ruas that was very heavy on the MMA stuff, Matt Riddle was attacked and decimated by a returning Killian Dain. Dain was dressed in a black hoodie and hit roughly a million sentons on Riddle. He took Riddle to the entrance area and put him straight through the stage. Dain made his intentions known by attacking Riddle in such a brutal fashion but it brings up the question: why?

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Head Baddie in Charge

There was a video played showing the parking lot before an NXT Live event that showed Mia Yim attack Marina Shafir when she was getting out of her car. Yim has been very vocal about her intentions of taking on Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship. By attacking Shafir, she sent the first shot of the battle. It is looking like this will be the feud for the women’s title heading into the next Takeover show. I’m not super excited about the match because I’m not sure how well their styles blend but the build to the story sure seems like it is going to be fun if they keep up these beatdown angles. The HBIC of NXT has made her intentions clear. Will Shayna finally give in?

Cleveland Rocks

Adam Cole was slated to defend the NXT Championship and offered a title match to Johnny Gargano’s former trainee Twan Tucker, who is that gentleman who stood up to Cole when Cole went to Johnny’s gym in Cleveland. Tucker came out and Cole stated that the Undisputed Era weren’t going to come out and that everything would be fine. Twan then said that he was hoping that Cole brought back up because he did. Johnny Gargano came out and went straight for the ring to beat on Adam Cole. The two brawled around the arena and Gargano came out on top. If it wasn’t obvious enough that they were setting up Cole v Gargano III for Takeover over SummerSlam weekend, well it most certainly is now. 

Grade: B+

This was a really fun episode of NXT. I’m a huge fan of MMA fighting so the opening bout between Matt Riddle and Arturo Ruas was great to me. The attack by Killian Dain was unexpected (I avoid spoilers) and really badass. Mia Yim attacking Marina Shafir was an interesting wrinkle to throw into that feud to add some heat. Bronson Reed and Dexter Lumis had an ok match that showed off that Bronson Reed is essentially Otis Dozovic without the charisma or comedic timing. Kushida showed that he is one of the best in-ring technicians in the world in his win over Apollo Crews. Finally, Adam Cole got beat up by Johnny Gargano and any time Johnny Gargano is on NXT, it is usually really fun. NXT gets a great grade and you need to watch it. Class dismissed.

One More Thing:

Dexter Lumis lost his match against Bronson Reed in the NXT Breakout Tournament, but he has this character that gives off major serial killer vibes and I am a big fan. That sounds weird and like I’m a serial killer… I swear I’m not. He was just super creepy and I am very excited for his promos and video packages. In the ring he’s alright, but the character has intrigue with me so prepare to read a lot about him.

Javier Melo is a writer of Pro Wrestling for Full Press Coverage and an Assistant Sports Editor for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian. Follow Javier @JMeloSports on Twitter.

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