WWE NXT Recap, Grades & Opinion: July 31, 2019

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WWE NXT Recap: July 31, 2019

A.K.A The One Where The Fashion Police Beat Some Uggos

This episode of NXT only has three matches but will surely be loaded with some build toward NXT Takeover: Toronto. Tyler Breeze is going to take on the muscle of the Forgotten Sons, Jaxson Ryker. Can Breeze survive the numbers advantage of the Sons to come out on top? Cameron Grimes takes on Bronson Reed in the semifinals of the NXT Breakout Tournament. Our king Pete Dunne will do battle with Roderick Strong in the main event which will surely be one of the best matches of the week. All of that and more, tonight on WWE NXT.

Results:

  • Tyler Breeze def. Jaxson Ryker
  • Cameron Grimes def. Bronson Reed
  • Pete Dunne def. Roderick Strong
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Match of the Night: Pete Dunne def. Roderick Strong

The rivalry between these two goes back over a year to NXT Takeover: New Orleans. On that night, Roderick Strong turned on Pete Dunne in the triple threat tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Strong joined the Undisputed Era that night and it kickstarted a feud involving the two that lasted for the majority of NXT in 2018.

The two traded forearm shots and enziguris before Strong reversed a Bitter End attempt into an Angle Slam and Dunne followed with a massive DDT. Strong went for either an Angle Slam or a backbreaker off the top rope (it was hard to tell) but Pete turned it into a Sunset Flip Powerbomb that was botched, with Roddy landing on top of Pete. Dunne went for the Bitter End again but Strong hit him with a huge jumping knee.

When Strong’s powerbomb attempt was kicked out of, he turned it into a Boston Crab that Dunne immediately got out of and then preceded to stomp Roddy’s face in before locking in a Triangle Choke. Dunne transitioned the hold into a submission where he stretched and twisted Strong’s fingers, which forced Roddy to submit.

Velveteen Dream sneaked his way into the ring after the match and looked like he was going to hit Dunne with his title, but when Dunne turned around all Dream did was smile at him. Roddy got Dream’s attention and claimed “at Takeover that’s not going to matter. That’s my title.” As Dream did his pose, Dunne grabbed and snapped his fingers before hitting the Bitter End. The show ended how it should’ve, with Pete Dunne as the last man standing. 

Three Thoughts:

Breezango Is Back

NXT opened with Tyler Breeze taking on Jaxson Ryker, who was flanked by his Forgotten Sons stablemates. Breeze managed to pull out the shock roll-up pin for the win and was immediately beaten down by the Forgotten Sons. Just as all hope seemed lost for Breeze, Fandango made an absolutely shocking return to NXT and helped Breeze fend off the Sons. The Fashion Police are back together in… NXT? I found this to be incredibly random. Exciting, but random. I’m a big fan of the Breezango gimmick and I hope NXT is able to maximize it. Fandango looked good coming out of a serious injury and all paths lead to a tag team match between the two groups. Hopefully, this leads to a Breezango title run in NXT. 

Breakout Star?

Cameron Grimes defeated Bronson Reed in their semifinal clash in the NXT Breakout Tournament. With the win, Grimes advances to take on Jordan Myles in the finals for a shot at a title of their choosing. If I’m being honest, this is not at all the finals matchup I anticipated at all and not really a match I’m looking forward to. I was never a big fan of ACH or Trevor Lee’s work in the indies and I haven’t been very impressed with their work in the tournament thus far.

I see Grimes as the favorite to win the whole thing and then challenge for the North American title. He is after all the “All American Boy” or whatever it was that Mauro refers to him as. My thinking is that the finals should’ve been Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs Angel Garza, as they have been the two most impressive performers of the tournament. Let’s hope the finals of the tournament is better than we expect, but this NXT Breakout Tournament is starting to look like a bust. 

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The Champ Vs The Streets

Shayna Baszler called out Mia Yim’s unprofessional behavior after her attacks on Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. She pointed out how Yim behaves like she’s in the streets still and how she has already lost because “Street rats don’t survive very long in my world”. It is very obvious that NXT is playing up that Yim is from the hood in her speech and mannerisms. As someone who lives in the hood, I very much appreciate the fact that there is a character who properly portrays a character from the streets without being a gangster wannabe or over the top with their ways. 

All of that said, this match has been built up in a way that is strange. Mia Yim was originally denied a title shot because Shayna didn’t feel like she deserved it, which she didn’t. Yim had lost to Shayna in non-title action earlier this year and aside from beating Bianca Belair, she hasn’t really done much in the brand. I understand that NXT’s women’s division is struggling with health issues, but is Yim really the person suitable for the second biggest Takeover event of the year? I believe that Baszler will retain her title and move on to face a soon to be returning Dakota Kai at the Takeover event over Survivor Series weekend. 

Grade: B-

NXT was up and down this week. The main event was absolutely incredible and the best match of the week (sorry, not sorry G1). The rest of the show, however, was “meh” at best. The only other exciting part to me was the return of Fandango. The match Tyler Breeze had with Jaxson Ryker was quick and not really impressive. Grimes and Reed was okay. The two didn’t really mesh together well and the finish was abrupt and kind of sloppy. I’m not a fan of the finisher Grimes uses, which feels really weak.

The interaction between Baszler and Yim was awkward and really didn’t do anything to build their Takeover match. Shayna had a few good quotes but it was pretty bland otherwise. The interaction between Candice LeRae and William Regal was super awkward. The main event lifts this grade to what it is so definitely check it out if you want to see some great wrestling. As always, NXT gets a great grade and you need to watch it. Class dismissed.

One More Thing:

“I’ll return the favor, bro.” Matt Riddle uttered these words about his opponent next week, Killian Dain. This rivalry is super intriguing because I honestly have no idea who is going to win and I know the match is going to be awesome. Riddle is one of the best performers in all of WWE and Killian Dain has impressed greatly in his handful of opportunities to show off how good he is. This is sure to be a hard-hitting and brutal affair next week. Great letter grade already lined up for NXT.

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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