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WWE NXT live results: Karrion Kross vs. Johnny Gargano title match

With Samoa Joe as the special guest referee, the NXT Championship will be on the line tonight.

Tonight's NXT will be headlined by Karrion Kross and Johnny Gargano facing off for the NXT Championship. Joe, who returned to NXT as an authority figure last month, will try to keep order as the referee.

This will be Kross' third title defense since becoming NXT Champion. After winning the title from Finn Balor at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Kross defeated Balor in a rematch this May. Kross then retained against Kyle O'Reilly, Adam Cole, Pete Dunne, and Gargano in a fatal five-way match at TakeOver: In Your House in June.

The 2021 NXT Breakout Tournament will also begin on tonight's episode. Ikemen Jiro will take on Duke Hudson in a first-round match. Duke Hudson is Brendan Vink's new WWE in-ring name.

Plus, Sarray vs. Gigi Dolin, Ember Moon vs. Dakota Kai, Dexter Lumis vs. Santos Escobar, and Bobby Fish vs. Tyler Rust are set for tonight. Cameron Grimes' butler duties will also begin after he lost to Million Dollar Champion LA Knight at NXT Great American Bash last week.

Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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The show is opening with a singles match in the women's division.

Dakota Kai (with NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez) defeated Ember Moon

Kai pinned Moon clean, giving Kai a strong win. Moon lost her tag team partner to the main roster, and now she lost a match here. Hopefully better days are ahead for her. Kai looks to be getting a push, but an angle after the match immediately took the focus off Kai and put it on Gonzalez.

Moon started off strong until Kai cut her off. Kai went on to ground Moon for a short while. Moon soon thereafter came back with a flurry that began with a slight botch. They quickly recovered as the fighting spilled outside. Moon flew through the ropes with a tope suicida, and moments later a dropkick by Moon from the apron knocked down Kai. From there the show cut to a picture-in-picture commercial break. 

During the break on the little picture in the corner came a big spot. Moon was posted, and then Kai capitalized by ramming Moon into the ring post a second time. There was at least a replay of the big spot when the show returned from the break. 

Kai was working over Moon until she hulked up. Moon on fire during her comeback. Two count after a delayed springboard crossbody from Moon. Kai fought back with a kick, and she pulled Moon off the top rope at one point. Face wash by Kai, and then she used a move that started out like a Slop Drop but ended like a Bladerunner. Two count for Kai, and they traded near falls. Moon with a Super Frankensteiner for two.

For the finish, Kai executed a Go To Kick with Moon draped over the top rope. Kai then covered Moon for a pinfall.

The lights went out and then out comes Xia Li. She marched to the ring with a purpose as she confronted Gonzalez. Li is soon challenging Gonzalez for her championship, so they had a staredown. Li then left as quickly as she came. This was odd. Totally scooped all of Kai's heat.

Part one of Cameron Grimes as the butler featured LA Knight making Grimes get a makeover. Knight made Grimes sit down for a trim of his beard and long hair. Knight then made Grimes dress in a suit. Knight was trolling Grimes. However, the joke was on Knight, because Grimes said he looked great. 

Malcolm Bivens was with the Diamond Mine for a pre-tape promo. This built up a match later on between Tyler Rust and Bobby Fish. The promo was uploaded the YouTube earlier today. The tease was for Roderick Strong vs. Fish, but they'll seemingly get to that soon enough.

Tyler Rust (with Diamond Mine) defeated Bobby Fish

Rust pinned Fish to get a big win for the up-and-comer. Though the match was short, Rust looked strong in winning even if he needed help from Roderick Strong. Pretty lame finish if you ask me. Sets up a tag team match next week, though.

Fish was fighting back after Rust had him Fish reeling. Fish came back with an exploder suplex into the ropes. Strong jumped on the apron to cause a distraction. That allowed for a sneak attack by Rust with a chop block on Fish. Rust then nailed Fish with a Yoshihiro Tajiri buzzsaw kick, and Rust covered Fish for a three count.

The Diamond Mine (consisting of Rust, Strong, Bivens and Hideki Suzuki) surrounded Fish after the match. They were closing in when NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida ran down to back up Fish. The Diamiond Mine backed down and left the ring. This seems to set up some sort of tag team match.

NXT Champion Karrion Kross was warming up for his title match. Samoa Joe, dressed in a referee shirt, was giving Kross instructions. Joe concluded by telling Kross to obey his command at all times. Joe asked Kross if he hurt him. Kross kept hitting a punch bag, ignoring Joe. So Joe got in his attention by kicking the bag, and getting in Kross' face. Kross warned Joe not to cost him the match. Joe said he took that as a "yes" from Kross.

Sarray defeated Gigi Dolin

Sarray pinned Dolin as Mandy Rose watched the match from the stage.

This match was set up by an angle that was a "WWE Network Exclusive." Great way to remind American viewers we no longer have the Network. It's Peacock or nothing. Leave the memories alone. *Sigh*

Dolin was formerly known as Priscilla Kelly before joining the NXT brand.

They were having a really good match when Mandy Rose walked onto the stage. Rose watched from the top of the entrance ramp as Sarray and Dolin beat the heck out of each other. This was probably the most competitive match Sarray has wrestled in on television.

They went back-and-forth, and they traded near falls throughout the match. Sarray also went for several submission holds. Sarray with a stiff dropkick, and a high angle suplex for the fininsh. Sarray then covered Dolin for a pinfall.

Santos Escobar (with Legado del Fantasma) defeated Dexter Lumis

Escibar pinned Lumis after interference by Legado del Fantasma

Lumis frightened Escobar by trying to pull Escobar underneath the ring. Lumis then popped out from under the ring, wich scared Esobar. The show then went to a commercial break. When the show returned, Escobar was no longer fearfull. Instead, he was getting heat on Lumis. Escobar's fear lasted almost the length of a commercial break. 

Escobar went for a trifecta of suplexes like Eddie Guerrero, but Lumis countered the third attempt. After Lumis hulks up on Escobar, Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde interfere to save Escobar. Wilde booted Lumis, and Escobar executed a Phantom Driver. Escobar then covered Lumis for a pinfall.

The new NXT North American Champion, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, and Hit Row confronted Escobar and Legado del Fantasma after the match. They all had words and traded barbs. 

Indi Hartwell came out to Lumis' ai. She tried to carry Lumis away like Lumis had done for her last week. Beth Phoenix earlier in the show had basically told Hartwell to make a move on Lumis. Hartwell dropped Lumis as she was carrying him. They looked into each other's eyes, and they were about to kiss when Candice LeRae ran down. LeRae ruined the romantic moment, and she made Hartwell leave. What a party pooper.

Duke Hudson defeated Ikemen Jiro in a first round match in the NXT Breakout Tournament

Hudson pinned Jiro to win the first match in the 2021 Breakout tourney.

The wrong guy won in this match. Jiro is awesome! He totally should have won. Hudson was okay I guess. He looked dominate at times, but whatever. The wrong guy won.

Jiro wore a colorful sports jacket during the whole match. He used a tarantula at one point. That was in honor of Tajiri, who trained Jiro. That is second Tajiri reference I am able to make in this here recap. That makes me smile. Tajiri is awesome. So is Jiro. Did I mentiion the wrong guy won this match?

Jiro countered a Razor's Edge to get a final rally. Jiro with an Asai moonsault off the top rope. Hudson with a counter and a Winds of Change finisher. 1...2...3. 

Pete Dunne had a backstage confrontation with Timothy Thatcher. Tommaso Cimpa suddenly ran in to attack Dunne. There was a pull-apart brawl because seemingly every NXT episode these days needs at least one pull-apart.

Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro defeated Jessi Kamea & Aliyah (w/ Robert Stone)

Catanzaro pinned Aliyah to win the match. Carter with a neckbreaker just as Catanzaro delivered a 450 splash for a wicked finisher.

The match was a precursor to to angle that followed it. Robert Stone helped Aliyah off the mat, but she shoved him away. Aliyah pushed Stone away. She yelled at him that she has done more for Stone than anyone. Aliyah slapped Stone, and she beat him up. Aliyah punted Stone, and she left the ring with the crowd chanting her name.

Franky Monet came to ringside, and Kamea left with her. The Robert Stone Brand appears to be a dead brand. 

In a comedy skit, Samoa Joe gave instruction to Johnny Gargano ahead of the title match. Joe also had another backstage staredown with Pete Dunne.

In part two of Cameron Grimes as LA Knight's butler, the joke was again on Knight. Grimes paid a kid to do Grimes' choirs. Knight insulted the kid and told him to leave, so the kid kicked Grimes in the knee. He had it coming, that's for sure. Knight then took a bump into the pool. Funny stuff.

Adam Cole during an in-ring promo said "I told you so." Cole proved he was better than Kyle O'Reilly by beating O'Reilly at The Great American Bash. Cole ran down O'Reilly, but Cole said he was tired of talking about O'Reilly. Cole wanted to talk about Samoa Joe, and Cole went on to basically threaten Joe.

Cole was nobody was man enough to face him, and out comes Bronson Reed. He told Cole that Cole was a master of mind games, but Reed said he was nothing to lose. Reed said all eyes were on him and his next move. Reed said Cole is NXT's golden boy, and he is Reed's golden opportunity. Cole went superkick Reed, but Reed caught Cole's leg. Reed went for a lariat, but Cole ducked the clothesline. Reed then splashed Cole, and Cole bailed out of the ring.

Samoa Joe, still dressed in his referee gear, came down to ringside. He glared at Cole, and they had a brief staredown. 

Announced for next Tuesday on NXT:

  • Kushida & Bobby Fish vs. Roderick Strong & Tyler Rust
  • Xia LI challenges Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women's Championship

Franky Monet was backstage with Jessi Kamea and a disheveled Robert Stone. Mandy Rose confronted them. Rose quipped, “Looks like the Robert Stone Brand is under new management."

NXT Champion Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Johnny Gargano to reatin his title with Samoa Joe as special referee

Kross pinned Gargano to retain the title. Joe got involved at times, but only as a referee. Kross in a sneak attack choked out Joe after the match.

Gargano attacked Kross before the bell to no avail. Kross fought off Gargano, and Kross suplexed him. Gargano countered Kross, and Gargano did a senton off the apron. Kross no sold, and he mowed down Gargano.

Gargano sidestepped a charge, and Kross crashed into the ring steps. Kross shook that off quickly, and he gave Gargano a tree slam into the announce desk. Gargano's back hit the edge of the desk, and that looked very painful.

The match went through a picture-in-picture commercial break, and Gargano was pummeled during the ads. Gargano comeback after the break, leading to a two count after a slingshot spear by Gargano. Tope suicida from Gargano, and the crowd chanted his name.

Kross cut off Gargano, and Kross delivered more suplexes. Gargano was still able to counter Kross, but Kross mowed him down again. Yet, Gargano managed another counter with a DDT for a near fall.

Gargano took a chokeslam, but he came back with a superkick. Kross countered La Mistica to attempt a Kross Jacket submission hold. Gargano instead used a counter to apply the Gargano Escape crossface. Kross powered out, did an airplane spin, and Kross appied his sleeper hold finisher. Gargano managed to get a rope break, but Kross refused to break the hold. Joe pulled Kross off of Gargano. Joe and Kross got face-to-face, but Kross walked away from Joe. Kross instead punished Gargano some more.

Kross grabbed Gargano by the throat, and he repeatedly slammed Gargano into the barricade. Kross picked up a section of the ring steps, seemingly looking to smash Gargano. Joe blocked Kross from using the steps. Gargano then was able to DDT Kross on the floor.

Gargano went for his slingshot DDT, but Kross kicked out at two. Kross nailed Gargano with a strike, and Kross several times powerbombed Gargano. A Saito suplex, and Gargano was on rubber legs. Kross again clubbed Gargano with a strike from behind, and Kross covered Gargano for a pinfall.

Kross and Joe has another staredown after the match. Joe turned to walk away and leave the ring as Scarlett held back the champ. Soon as Joe's back was turned, Kross leapt into action. Kross choked out Joe, while Kross screamed at Joe that Joe brought this on himself.