WWE NXT Recap, Grades, & Opinion: July 24, 2019

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WWE NXT Recap: July 24, 2019

A.K.A The One Where Stories Progress In Every Segment

This episode is packed with action that includes Keith Lee and Damian Priest clashing in the main event, Velveteen Dream addressing the NXT North American Title picture, Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano announcing the stipulations for their NXT Championship Match at TakeOver: Toronto, Jordan Myles taking on Angel Garza in the for a chance to advance to the finals of the NXT Breakout Tournament, Bianca Belair squares off against Xia Li, and Io Shirai is in her first match since her attack on Candice LeRae. All of that and more, tonight on WWE NXT.

Results:

  • Jordan Myles def. Angel Garza
  • Bianca Belair def. Xia Li
  • Io Shirai def. Kacy Catanzaro via DQ
  • Damian Priest def. Keith Lee
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Match of the Night: Damian Priest def. Keith Lee

The feeling out process of this match was a bit slow and helped get their characters over, but once these two got going, they got going hard. It has been a running gag for weeks that I think that Damian Priest has the best presence in all of wrestling but he proved this week that I am correct. He got the upper hand early on in the match and displayed an impressive barrage of kicks to Lee that included this crazy move in the corner where Lee was bent over and Priest just kicked him head-first into the turnbuckle like Leonidas in 300

Lee would eventually gain control of the match until a Falcon Arrow by Priest put him down for a bit which was insane because Lee is a massive ball of muscle and more muscle. Lee did his cool move where he throws his opponent to the ropes and then runs perpendicular to them and tackles them to oblivion. This somehow led to Priest attempting a Tope con Hilo to the outside that Lee caught in a powerbomb position because he is the strongest man in history. Priest escaped the powerbomb attempt and kicked Lee back-first into the stairs. Lee was pissed off by this and tried to massacre Priest, who used the referee as a shield and then hit a Cyclone Kick and The Reckoning to win the match. Priest is a star in the making and a future world champion.

Three Thoughts:

Why do you hurt me, NXT?

In the opening match of the show, ACH, I mean Jordan Myles, defeated Angel Garza to advance to the finals of the NXT Breakout Tournament. As some of you may remember, I predicted Angel Garza to win the whole thing. It made perfect sense to me. He could go on and win the North American Championship because he’s from Mexico and there is more to North America than the United States but alas ‘twas not meant to be. Myles is extremely talented and regardless of who wins the match between Bronson Reed and Cameron Grimes, he will have a great match. Nobody in the tournament has as much potential as Garza to become a major star and it is very disappointing to me that he lost. Still, it was a fun match with a shock ending and go watch it and cry with me.

I Never Needed You At All

Bianca Belair returned to Full Sail this week to take on Xia Li in what was a glorified squash match. The story NXT is telling is that Belair feels like she deserves to be in the title picture still and that Mia Yim stole her spot. This blares a siren in my head that Yim is likely to dethrone Shayna Baszler at NXT Takeover: Toronto and defend the title against Belair at a later show. The story is already there between the two and it is very easy to have Belair be the heel in the program. 

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I like the idea of this on paper, but in reality, I am just not big on Mia Yim. She’s certainly talented in the ring and has a swagger to her that is attractive to audiences, but I just don’t see her being the one to take down Shayna after all of this time. This is basically like if Braun Strowman randomly beats Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam (not the match, I know, but just an example to throw out there for comparison). 

I hope Bianca Belair can get some steam behind her and really push for the NXT Women’s Title because she’s honestly my favorite performer in the division and really does deserve it.

Cruising for a Bruising

DAD IS BACK ON NXT AND HE WANTS VELVETEEN DREAM’S TITLE! Alright so my favorite wrestler in the world, Pete Dunne, made a shocking return to Full Sail to interrupt an argument between Velveteen Dream and Roderick Strong. In doing so, Dunne has forced his way into the North American Title picture and it is now looking like there will be a triple threat match for the championship at NXT Takeover: Toronto, according to William Regal. Pete came out with a beard and looking all disheveled and kind of like a crazy man and I wonder if it’s a nod to how he’s been going insane since losing his UK Championship to WALTER. Either way, Pete is immediately going to win the belt and then all of the belts and I love everything about this segment.

Also, this is the first time that Roderick Strong was actually good on the mic so go watch this segment for that reason alone. It made me very excited about the direction of the North American Championship when the buildup to the Takeover show seemed “meh” at best.

Grade: A-

This was a really fun episode of NXT. The opening match between Angel Garza and Jordan Myles was quick but had a ton of action and spots mixed into it. Bianca Belair is back and showing off with as much attitude as she can exude. Pete Dunne returned to give me life and that alone gives this an A+ for me personally, but I’m a fair and unbiased teacher. The match between Damian Priest and Keith Lee was hard-hitting and extremely fun and well worth the watch. This week NXT progressed their storylines in literally every single segment and I am a big fan of that. NXT gets a great grade and you need to watch it. Class dismissed.

One More Thing:

Killian Dain had a video package telling Matt Riddle that he wouldn’t have attacked “just anybody” from behind and that’s why he chose Riddle. The package really helped elevate Riddle as a pretty big star and a target for not just Dain, but anybody looking to elevate their profile. Dain stated that he wanted to welcome Riddle to his world and the ferocity of his words sold Dain as an absolute monster, but a smart one. This feud is shaping up to be really fun and I’m excited for more, therefore, you should be too.

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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