HomeTelevisionNXT 6/22 Review: NXT Goes From Cole ... To Diamonds!

NXT 6/22 Review: NXT Goes From Cole … To Diamonds!

NXT 6/22 starts out as most episodes of NXT do — with a promo.  Adam Cole (Bay Bay!) is out to talk about getting choked out by Samoa Joe last week and how he, the face of NXT, was told to “choose his opponent” for this week.  He says that he’s not going to play by their rules.  He’s not choosing anyone.  But opportunity is recognized by none other than Carmelo Hayes.  He comes out to make the challenge and, at first, Cole is a bit dismissive.  When Hayes invokes the “Ruthless Aggression” clause and a hearty slap, then it’s on.

Adam Cole vs Carmelo Hayes

Gutsy performance by Carmelo Hayes.  He starts right out with some flash, including a springboard clothesline that take Cole to the mat.  Adam Cole slows him down with a Kick to the head and continues the grind him down (both literally and figuratively) with stomps, a neckbreaker, and smushing his face into the bottom rope with his boot.  When Hayes first came out, some fans chanted “Who are you?” but, after a few kickouts, their tune changed to “Car-mel-o!”  He turns the tide and managers to get a two count after a codebreaker.  He blocks a Panama Sunrise with a superkick!  He takes a second too long though and Cole superkicks him coming out of his springboard.  Panama Sunrise connects for the win.

Winner: Adam Cole

Franky Monet is discussing her upcoming second NXT match (or “encore” as she would put it) with Aliyah and Jessi Kamea.  She also congratulates them on scoring a match against Io Shirai and Zoey Stark tonight.  They’re fully confident when Robert Stone comes in to check on them while wearing what is best described as Fifth Element formalwear.  The ladies give each other a look when he panics after a bark from Presley.

McKenzie Mitchell is with Zoey Stark, asking her why she came to Io Shirai’s aid last week.  Zoey said that Io gave her a huge opportunity a few months ago and she felt it was right to pay it back.  She said she was surprised that the Genius of the Sky wanted to tag considering she has a poor track record of working as a team.  Case in point, Io shows up and lets Zoey know that they have mutual respect but that she doesn’t the Las Vegas native.

LA Knight is poolside reminding us that he put his benefactor, Ted DiBiase, on the ground only to be chased off by Mister “To the Moon” Cameron Grimes.  Knight says that the fall from the ladder Grimes took at Takeover: In Your House will be nothing compared to what he’s got coming to him in LA Kight’s game.

Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory are representing The Way.  Johnny is arguing that he is the best wrestler in NXT, having (in his estimation) out-wrestled NXT champ, Karrion Kross, every time they were one-on-one in the five-way match.  His 57-day reign as champ was the best in NXT history and should be brought back as soon as possible.  The #1 contendership is rightfully his. Kross doesn’t come out to argue but Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan do. Dunne insults Gargano but Johnny says that he isn’t taking the bait.  The Way are “law-abiding citizens” and they walk away.  But Austin Theory has to tell Dunne that he’s got his eyes on the dour Brit before leaving.  Pete Dunne’s signature finger break hastened the exit as Theory howls in pain, clutching his hand.

Cameron Grimes pulls up to NXT’s Capitol Wrestling Centre in a pretty white Rolls Royce, he’s in a chipper mood, handing out hundred dollar tips and chatting about DiBiase’s recovery from LA Knight’s attack. One Jeff Hardy impersonator decides to mock the ailing Hall of Famer and gets Cameron’s forearm as a receipt.

McKenzie is talking with Adam Cole about his Great American Bash opponent, Kyle O’Reilly, taking on Kushida for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.  Adam isn’t concerned with that but he is concerned with William Regal showing up to clear up what happened last week with Samoa Joe and warn Cole not to provoke Joe or he might defend himself again.

The Way is, as usual, outside of William Regal’s office ready to make their case. They were minding their own business when Austin had his fingers broken.  Regal says that there must be consequences and Johnny is eager to see choke outs or brass knuckles.  Instead, Johnny and 8-finger Austin will face Oney Lorcan and Pete Dunne tonight.

Jessi Kamea & Aliyah vs Zoey Strak & Io Shirai

Robert Stone Brand is in control of much of the match (which the commentators agree is a rarity.)  Jessi and Aliyah are becoming a more coordinated unit, they say, and tandem moves like a tilt-a-whirl slam of Aliyah onto Zoey by Jessi give them credence.  NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions, Candice LaRae & Indi Hartwell, show up to watch Candice’s former pal, Io, in action. After Io gets the win with a Moonsault is when things really start to get interesting.

Winners: Io Shirai & Zoey Stark

NXT Women’s Champion, Raquel Gonzalez, and Dakota Kai appear on the far side of the ring to tell Io & Zoey not to get any ideas about jumping the line for a title shot. That’s when Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon come out to remind them Raquel & Dakota they beat them and that puts the champ and Dakota at the back of the line.  And by “remind them” they mean “kick their ass!”  A wild brawl breaks out between three teams as Candice & indi slink off and Samoa Joe has to have security quell the storm.

Kushida tells us that his open challenge was meant to foster greatness and that his match against Kyle O’Reilly tonight will be a special moment in his career.

MSK vs Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher for the NXT Tag Team Championship is announced for The Great American Bash in two weeks.

Austin Theory & Johnny Gargano vs Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan

Gargano and Dunne start to put on a mat clinic until Gargano goes to tag in Theory… and slaps him hard on the injured hand!  The young protégé of The Way is a sitting duck until he gets some power moves in on Lorcan.  He’s back in soon again against Dunne and his power is less effective against Dunne’s submission acumen.  The CWC crowd is chanting for “Johnny Wrestling” like days of old when he gets back in and flips when Theory hits the seated Spanish Fly on Oney.  Austin holds out in a Mr Fantastic level of stretch put on him by Dunne inadvertently broken up by Oney Lorcan when he rushes to stop Gargano from doing the same.  Johnny nails a ringside Pete Dunne with a tope into a tornado DDT and One Final Beat onto Lorcan for the pin.

Winners: The Way

Gargano is the only man standing as his music plays.. but not for long.  NXT champ, Karrion Kross, blindsides him with a forearms hot to the head and leaves him lying on the ground as Austin theory tends to him.

Elektra Lopez vs Franky Monet

Often, Franky’s compact and muscular frame gives her a significant advantage over opponents but Elektra Lopez is a brickhouse from the same architect.  She frustrates Franky until she loses it and tackles Elektra for ground-and-pound.  Lopez fights back from underneath and even manages to get La Weta Loca up on her shoulders.  She can’t hold on, though.  Rolling forearm and a Barbie Buster (or is it now the Boujee Buster?) seal the deal.

Winner: Franky Monet (and Presley!)

Bronson Reed tells McKenzie that he doesn’t understand what Santos Escobar needs to be put through to leave him alone.  That’s when Hit Row shows up.  AJ “Top Dolla” Francis points out their size difference while Ever Rise gets put on notice.  Bronson tells AJ, “Bye, doggie.”

Top Dolla & Ashante Adonis vs Ever-Rise

Chase Parker is instantaneously steamrolled by Top Dolla and takes punches from the mount by Adonis.  Matt Martel manages to get himself tagged in to save his partner and fool Top Dolla into going up and over to the outside. They celebrate but Top Dolla gets back in the ring. Powerbomb/neckbreaker combo makes for another “hit.”  After the match, Hit Row founder, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott gives Ever-Rise a few kicks for their trouble.

Winners: Hit Row

McKenzie Mitchell tells Mercedes Martinez that a match is being made for Xia Li & Boa against her and a partner for a mixed tag match.  She’s surprised but she’s game.  It’s just that she doesn’t make friends easily.  She definitely hasn’t made one in Xia Li who nails her form behind and attacks with ax kicks on the ground.  When Boa come sin to taunt her, Jake Atlas shuts him up with a kick to the mouth.  Looks like Mercedes has friends when she needs them.

Kyle O’Reilly vs Kushida

“Styles make fights.”  We’ve heard it over and over again.  Kushida with the junior strong style.  Kyle busting out Muay Thai, Judo, and Jiu-Jitsu.  I won’t give you a play-by-play because nobody’s going to read five pages of counter holds but this was one of my favorite matches so far this year.  O’Reilly escapes a Hoverboard Lock by grabbing his own tights and rolling into a pin.

Winner: Kyle O’Reilly

After the match, the two congratulate each other but Kyle has to act quick and cut off an attacking Adam Cole! The two brawl at ringside.  Even as security starts dragging Adam Cole past the barriers, Kyle follows with a Superman punch.  Samoa Joe follows to try and direct some order… leaving the ring unprotected.  A hooded assailant takes out Kushida with throws and a leaping knee strike.  His hood flies back to reveal Roderick Strong!  Roddy is back, joined by Tyler Rust and Hideki Suzuki!  Malcom Bivens steps into the ring holding the Cruiserweight title belt.  As their graphic shows on the screen behind them, he introduces… Diamond Mine!

Five Takeaways from NXT 6/22

1. Aliyah has never been known as a great in-ring talent but she looked really good tonight vs Io.  Whether that’s working with someone her size, Io’s talents, or just a leap in her own ability, Robert Stone Brand is looking less like “giving someone something to do” as it is “a solid and dependable part of each show.”  From there, who knows?

2. Hit Row is the biggest hype going right now in NXT.  With no one’s promo going unanswered and Bronson reed on their radar, it should be interesting to see what they do for The Great American Bash.

3. Johnny Gargano is looking more of a star and nearly as much crowd support as ever right now.  As always, you act lame to get heat as a heel and, eventually, they start to love you for being goofy.  New Day Effect.  His upcoming program with Karrion Kross may pay dividends (especially considering Kross being brought in for dark matches on Mondays and Fridays.)

4. Amazing match between Kyle O’Reilly and Kushida. I’ve always said that I HATE non-title matches and having the champion lose to set up a grudge match he isn’t involved in seems even more wrong.  But, if you like in-ring product, it doesn’t get much better than what we got from these two tonight.

5. Diamond Mine is not what anyone thought it would be but may just be what we never knew we wanted.  Showcasing unsung talents like Rust and Suzuki? Check.  Roderick Strong doing his own thing after Undisputed Era?  Check.  Malcom Bivens?  Check!

NXT 6/22 is now streaming on Peacock.


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