NXT Aug. 3, 2021: Listing three things they got right

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The Aug. 3 episode of NXT highlighted the dichotomy of the two-hour version of this show. Yes, fans got to see the usual quality bell-to-bell work from some of their favorites (and a couple of relatively fresh faces), but those positives also came with some negatives that are usually reserved for the main roster shows.

But let’s not focus on the negatives (yet). Let’s instead look at some of the things the NXT creative team did well on this week’s episode.

These are the three things that went right on the Aug. 3 episode of NXT.

Video packages. Lots and lots of excellent video packages.

Say what you will about WWE, but there’s no denying how great their video production team is. This week’s episode of NXT provided plenty of examples to back this up, as video packages promoting Samoa Joe’s in-ring return, Ilja Dragunov vs. WALTER, Bobby Fish vs. Roderick Strong, and The NXT Breakout Tournament were sprinkled throughout the show.

A video of Dakota Kai detailing why she turned on Raquel Gonzalez also aired, and while the pre-taped promo illustrated a clear fear of Kai getting cheered if she cut the same promo in front of the Capitol Wrestling Center crowd (it’s almost as if Kai is naturally likable), the video accomplished what it set out to do.

In fact, ALL the video packages accomplished their intended goals of getting fans excited to see specific matches or specific wrestlers.

Roderick Strong beats Bobby Fish

Former Undisputed Era stablemates Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish battled in a match that struggled to find its groove but got more entertaining as it progressed. Sure, putting this match in the middle of the show contradicts Malcolm Bivens proclaiming this to be a big “money match”, but the intensity Fish and Strong exhibited mostly made up for that.

The finish — Strong defeated Fish via pinfall following one of his backbreakers — gave the former NXT North American Champion and the Diamond Mine group a needed boost, as it appears Stong is headed towards a Cruiserweight Championship match with Kushida.

Ridge Holland picks up a dominant win.

Let’s get this out of the way: using Ikemen Jiro, who has received strong babyface reactions whenever he has appeared on NXT, like a crash test dummy for Ridge Holland is a short-sighted move for a brand that needs all the good babyfaces that they can get.

That said, if you’re going to get Holland over as a monstrous threat, this is how you do it. Jiro got a couple of hope spots in, but this match against Holland was essentially a showcase for the big man’s power.

Next. WWE NXT: Johnny Gargano defeated Dexter Lumis in main event. dark

Combine this with his vicious attack on Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher, and Holland’s reintroduction is off to a great start. It will be interesting to see what the long-term plan is for him (if there even is one), but the NXT writers have gotten this right early on.