Welcome to the weekly TJRwrestling review of WWE NXT. I hope you enjoyed my debut review of the show, and we are ready to go for week two. Last week, we saw a fantastic outing showcasing two great tag team matches in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and a long-awaited title change with Keith Lee defeating Roderick Strong for the NXT North American Title. I was really excited about both tag team matches and rated them just under four stars, and the main event blew me away in one of my matches of the year so far. I know it’s only January. Let’s get this party started!
WWE NXT from Full Sail University 1/29/2020
They show clips of last week, including highlights of the epic showdown between Imperium and The Undisputed Era. The match they had at World’s Collide was very good. The show opens and they show the Full Sail crowd in full force as Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, and Nigel McGinness welcome us to the show. Beth talks about the attack by Randy Orton on Edge last Monday on Raw and even though she wanted to stay home in support of him, she is here because that’s what they do as superstars. We hear Finn Balor’s music and we are set for the opening match.
Finn Balor vs. Trent Seven
They show a clip from last night on WWE.com with Balor attacking Seven in the parking lot setting up the match for tonight. Seven is a member of the NXT UK roster (which I will begin reviewing) and is one half of the team Mustache Mountain with his partner Tyler Bate. He has had some strong showings so far in NXT, both in singles and the tag team division.
Seven climbs up on the apron, but Balor kicks him off with a baseball slide. Balor jumps back in the ring and has a few words with the referee as Seven tries to recover on the outside. Seven climbs back in the ring and the match is underway. Balor starts to kick him while he is down on the mat, and follows that up with a few elevated stomps to the chest. The show the double feature of the baseball slide to start the match and Seven rolls out of the ring. Balor follows him out and starts to chop him against the railing. He rolls him back in the ring and continues the assault with a kick to the midsection. Balor locks Seven in a chin lock and starts to work on the head and neck area. Seven attempts to fight out, but Balor is too much and keeps the advantage. Scoop slam by Balor, followed by an elbow drop for a two count. Balor goes for the 1916 DDT but Seven reverses it into a rollup for a two count. Just as he gains a little momentum, Balor snuffs it out and knocks him to the mat. He continues to stomp on the back and neck of Seven and Seven grabs his throat gasping for air as we go to the commercial break.
Balor continues the offense as they come back from break, but Seven finally sees an opportunity and grabs the advantage. He throws Balor into the corner and follows that up with a belly to back suplex. He hits a discus lariat for a close two count. Balor slides onto the apron, and Seven meets him there and knocks him off into the barricade. Seven tosses him back in the ring and climbs to the top rope, but Balor knocks him off before we can hit a move. Balor charges and hits the turnbuckle dropkick, before climbing to the top and hitting the Coup De Grace. He hits Seven with the 1916 DDT and picks up the win in about 11 minutes.
Winner: Finn Balor
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Match Notes: That was another strong Balor showing, which isn’t a surprise to anyone. He is so fluid in the ring and dominated most of the match, with Seven only getting fleeting moments of offense in. I think the 1916 DDT is one of my favorite finishers currently, due in part because he can hit it out of nowhere. Balor’s upcoming match against Gargano at NXT Takeover: Portland should be a fantastic match and the culmination of great long term storytelling.
After the match, the referee raises Balor’s hand as he looks into the camera. They show replays of the match, as Balor says “I am coming for you” into the camera.
The Broserweights are backstage and they talk about their match in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic against The Grizzled Young Veterans. Riddle calls Dunne a bro and says every time he looks at him he sees the love and care in his eyes. That gets a laugh from the crowd. Dunne talks about being to the finals before, and how it’s all about getting his redemption. He says he doesn’t care if he has to break all of their fingers, he will do whatever it takes to win tonight. Riddle talks about the celebration for tonight after they win, as Dunne looks on in disgust and the segment ends.
We are shown a brief package showcasing the rivalry between Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai and that match is happening tonight. They also show a cryptic message with the numbers 2, 5, and 20 being circled, before they go to commercial break.
Shotzi Blackheart vs. Deonna Purrazzo
The match begins with Purrazzo taking the early advantage and starts to work on the arm of Blackheart. She takes her down to the mat, but Blackheart fights out and hits a dropkick of her own. She goes for an arm drag, but Purrazzo scouts it well and takes her down by the arm. Purrazzo continues the attack on the with a short arm clothesline for a two count. She tries another pin attempt, but gets a two again. She picks Blackheart up, but she recovers and hits a jawbreaker, taking Purrazzo down. Blackheart continues to be on the offensive and hits a spinning elbow, followed by a kick to the head for a two count. Purrazzo recovers enough to get a bicycle kick in, but Blackheart maintains control and knocks her to the mat. Blackheart climbs to the top and hits a senton splash for the win in about 3 minutes.
Winner: Shotzi Blackheart
Match Rating: 1.75/5 Stars
Match Notes: There wasn’t much to the match, but both women got some offense in. It looked sloppy at times but overall didn’t do anything to hurt any of their stock. I was surprised by the length of the match being so short, but it’s going to happen from time to time.
After the match, Blackheart rides back up from the ramp in the mini tank she rode down. There are highlights from Keith Lee’s big win last week and we are going to hear from him after the commercial break.
They are back from break and show an overview of the Full Sail Campus. They talk about it being the home of NXT, before going to a package looking at this past Saturday’s event, World’s Collide.
We are back in the Full Sail Arena as Keith Lee makes his way down to the ring. He soaks in the crowd cheering him on and starts to talk, before dropping out and letting the fans chant some more. He says his name is Keith Lee and he is their Limitless NXT North American Champion. He says that two months ago he decided which championship in NXT he would take first. He said the North American title was always on his agenda, and just as he says that the lights go out and Damian Preist makes his way down to the ring. Priest says that he is really good at taking things, especially things that he feels belongs to him. He points to the North American Title and says that’s the next thing he is taking, before being interrupted by Dominik Dijakovic. He grabs the mic and talks to Lee about the wars they have gone through together. He says because of that, he thinks he should be next in line for a title shot. Priest gets in his face as Lee tries to break them up. All three men get face to face, with Lee sliding out and Priest hitting Dijakovic with a punch to the face. A referee slides in and I guess we are ready for the next match.
Damian Priest vs. Dominik Dijakovic
The match begins where the segment left off with Priest hitting a flurry of offense. Dijakovic recovers and hits some of his own offense. He hits an elbow, followed by a splash off the second rope for a two count. Priest slides to the outside, but Dijakovic is hot on his trail. As he gets out of the ring himself, Priest is there to cut him off and hits a Crucifix Bomb on the apron, before they go to a commercial break.
As they come back from break, Dijakovic hits a suplex and takes Priest down to the mat. Priest comes back with some shots and hits a big clothesline. Priest with a Flatliner for a two count. He continues being on the offensive, but just as he looks to finish him off, Dijakovic reverses course and hits a big boot, sending Priest out fo the ring. He follows that up with a moonsault to the outside. That was an impressive looking move for the big man. Priest recovers and hits a huge chokeslam but only gets a two count. Dijakovic rolls to the outside but isn’t safe as Priest comes out with a senton over the top. Both men climb back into the ring and hit double kicks to each other, taking both men out. Priest is the first one to recover and climbs to the top but Dijakovic hits him with a kick to the face. He climbs to the top with Priest, but Priest recovers and hits a Poisonrana from the top rope. That was a hell of a spot. He covers but only gets a two count. Priest sets him up for The Reckoning, but Dijalovic recovers and throws him into the corner. He puts Priest on his shoulders and hits the Feast Your Eyes and gets the win in about 9 minutes.
Winner: Dominik Dijakovic
Match Rating: 2.75/5 Stars
Match Notes: The segment between these two and Lee to start this off was well done. Both Priest and Dijakovic made cases on why they should be next in line for a title shot, and this match was to settle the dispute. From the very beginning, it was a fun match that had a lot of cool spots. Both men got some excellent work in, with Dijakovic showing nice athleticism for a big man. Priest also had a very nice outing, and that Poisonrana from the top was a cool visual. This puts Dijakovic in line for a shot at Keith Lee for the NXT North American Title, and that match should be great.
After the match, Keith Lee looks on as Dijakovic celebrates in the ring.
Tommaso Ciampa is shown backstage and talks about getting his shot at the NXT Championship against Adam Cole. He says that it’s his time to reclaim what is his, as they go to commercial break.
As they come back from break, The Undisputed Era is laid out backstage, and Ciampa walks by them with a ripped shirt and lead pipe. He drops the pipe and starts to make his way to the ring. He grabs a table on the way there and slides it into the ring. Ciampa climbs in the ring as The Undisputed Era are shown being attended to in the back by the medical staff and a few referees. Ciampa sprays a yellow X on the table before grabbing a mix and calling Adam Cole out. Cole comes out to the top of the ramp, and Ciampa reminds him that he never lost the NXT Title. He says that Cole is going to come down to the ring and he is going to whip his ass. He says he is then going to pick him up and powerbomb him through the table. William Regal makes an appearance and has the contract for the match between the two at Takeover: Portland. Cole makes his way down to the ring, and as he gets up on the apron, Ciampa charges in but Cole hits him with the mic. Cole gets in the ring to continue to assault but as he goes to hit Ciampa with the title, Ciampa recovers and hits a boot to the face. He powerbombs Cole through the table and grabs the contract on the outside of the ring. Ciampa signs the contract and takes blood from his head and wipes it on the paper. He throws the contract on Cole and poses with the title belt in the ring.
Segment Notes: That was an effective way to get their match over for Takeover: Portland. The visual of Ciampa using his blood on the contract was a cool way to show his passion for the title, and that he will stop at nothing to win Goldie back.
The announcers go over the matches for the upcoming Takeover: Portland event, before showing clips of the Royal Rumble from last Sunday. NXT had a sizeable role in both Rumble match and it was cool to see guys get their stuff in. We are shown the graphic for the upcoming match between Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai before they go to commercial break.
Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai
This match stems from Dakota Kai turning her back on Tegan Nox at Takeover: War Games back in November.
Nox comes to the ring, and they show the betrayal from Kai on the screen. Kai rushes down to the ring and the match gets underway. Kai tosses Nox into the corner and hits some shots and kicks to the head. Nox recovers and hits a dropkick of her own sending Kai into the turnbuckle. They brawl to the outside with both women taking their turns getting some offense in. Nox rolls back in the ring to break the count, but as she gets back out she is met with a kick from Kai. Kai grabs a chair, but Nox kicks her in the midsection and knocks it from her hands. Nox grabs the chair and thinks about using it but decides against it. Back in the ring, Kai tries to hit Nox with her knee brace, but Nox evades it. Kai slides to the outside and Nox tries a suicide dive to outside but Kai scouts it well and hits her with an elbow, stopping her in her tracks. Kai grabs the chair again but as she goes to use it, Candice LaRae comes down and takes the chair from her. Kai gets back in the ring and is met with a shot from Nox. Nox follows that up with a Shining Wizard and picks up the win in about 4 minutes.
Winner: Tegan Nox
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Match Notes: This was a week blowoff match for something that has been built up for months. The match as a whole wasn’t terrible but there wasn’t much to it as far as big moments are concerned. The bad blood was there and it showed with the back and forth action, but overall it was a little less than I was expecting.
After the match, LaRae and Nox celebrate up the ramp. The Broserweights are shown backstage getting ready for their finals matchup coming up shortly. The highlights from their journey here is shown, and Riddle is getting the team pumped up. The segment ends and they go to a commercial break.
We are back from break and the circled number of 2, 5 and 20 are circled again, indicating something going down on next week’s episode of NXT.
Chelsea Green (w/Robert Stone) vs. Kayden Carter
This is Chelsea Green’s NXT debut match.
The match starts with Carter getting an early dropkick in, but Green takes the advantage. Green with a dropkick of her own for a two count. Carter throws Green into the corner, but Green reserves course and Carter is the one in the corner. Green works her over with stomps and choking her with her boot. She continues putting the boots to Carter before bringing her to the middle of the ring with a chin lock. Carter makes a comeback and throws Green into the ropes and rolls her up for a two count. She follows that up with another rollup and a kick to the midsection. She gets another near fall, but Green kicks her in the face on their way back up. Green takes the time to showboat, which gives Carter enough time to roll her up and get the win in about 3 minutes.
Winner: Kayden Carter
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Match Notes: That was an interesting way to book that. Normally, wrestlers get an easy win when they are trying to build up a new character. This isn’t what happened here with Carter getting the upset win. The match as a whole wasn’t anything special, but it served its purpose.
After the match, they hype up the main event coming up next, before going to the commercial break.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final
The Broserweights (Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne) vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson)
Both of these teams had pretty outstanding matches in the tournament thus far so this one shouldn’t be any different.
They get the main event entrances with the light on the trophy at the time of the ramp. Dunne and Drake start the match off, and Dunne immediately goes for the fingers bending them all around. He makes a quick tag to Riddle, who works on the other hand of Drake. Riddle charges into the corner but Drake recovers and hits a sunset flip for a two count. He makes a tag into Gibson who works on Riddle in the corner. He continues hitting Riddle with shots, until Riddle rebounds and hits him with a Gutwrench Powerbomb. He tags Dunne back in and they hit some double team offense. Quick dropkick by Dunne on Gibson. Gibson rolls over to his corner to make a tag into Drake. Dunne hits him with a clothesline and an elbow smash. He hits a moonsault to the outside on Gibson. As Dunne gets back up on the apron, he is met with an elbow from Drake, knocking him to the floor. Gibson is there to pick him up and they hit a double team move to Dunne on the outside. They roll Dunne back in the ring but only get a two count. Dunne recovers and starts to make a comeback, but Drake cuts him off and tosses him into the corner post and as Dunne is riving in pain, they go to break.
They come back from commercial and Drake is still on the offensive, but not for long as Dunne hits him with a powerbomb. Drake makes the tag to Gibson, who goes back and forth with Dunne, before Dunne takes full advantage and makes the tag to Riddle. Riddle is a house of fire and hits both men with a flurry of offense. Riddle hits a bridging german suplex for a near fall. He continues taking on both members, before making the tag back into Dunne. They hit some double team offense and score a near fall. Dunne hits a move and makes another tag into Riddle. Riddle is in and hits a double knee strike, but it cut off and hit with a double team powerbomb for a two count. Riddle is slow to get to his feet, and Gibson continues working him over with some stomps and a suplex for a two count. Both men take turns slapping each other in the face, with Gibson making another tag to Drake and they hit a step up dropkick taking Dunne off the apron. Double knee stikes from Riddle and Dunne and Riddle hits another knee strike for good measure. Drake and Riddle are the legal men in the ring, and Riddle hits a senton, follows by a Fisherman Buster for a two count. he hits another senton on the back of Drake, followed by a third one in the middle of the ring. Riddle gets to his feet, but Drake makes a comeback with a DDT and both men are down. Both men slowly get to their feet and both make tags to their respective partners. Dunne and Gibson exchange blows back and forth before Dunne hits a German Suplex for a two count. Riddle and Drake are in and we have a pair of ankle locks by the Broserweights in the middle of the ring. They keep them locked in as they go to another commercial break.
They return to the match with Gibson and Drake attempted a Doomsday Device, but Dunne rebounds and takes them both out. Drake pulls down on Dunne’s arm to stop the attack, and Gibson launches him out of the ring onto Riddle. Back in the ring, Gibson hits Dunne with a jawbreaker and gets a very close near fall. Gibson then grabs the arm of Dunne and starts to put pressure on it. Dunne climbs for the ropes, but Drake pulls them away. Riddle and Drake are back in the ring with Drake climbing on his back, but Riddle hits a double spear on both men. Gibson and Drake go for a step up splash, but he is caught the powerbombed on the back of Gibson. They snap the fingers of both men and hit a double team knee strike for a two count. That could have been the finish right there. They pick Drake up for another double team move, but Gibson makes the save and Drake rolls Riddle up for a two count. Gibson gets Dunne on his shoulders and they hit a Doomsday Device on the outside. Holy hell! They get back in the ring and hit Riddle with a 450 splash but only get a two count. Drake goes to the outside to get the legal tag in, but they are cut off by Riddle and Dunne and we have double slams, followed by double splashes to the outside and on the inside of the ring by Riddle and Dunne. They are fired up. They hit the Firemans Carry/Enziguri and get the pin and win the Dusty Cup in around 21 minutes.
Winner(s): The Broserweights
Match Rating: 3.75/5 stars
Match Notes: There is a lot to unpack from this match. Right off the bat, both of these teams worked their asses off, not just for this match, but the entire tournament. The Grizzled Young Veterans are a great team and they had a lot of time to shine in this match. Their moves are smooth, and you can tell that they belong in the conversation for both the NXT and NXT UK Tag Team Championships. I mentioned last week that while Riddle and Dunne are singles stars, they have worked together well and in the process have become a great team. Both of their offense is so stiff and believable and they are going to be staples in NXT and on the main roster for years to come. I wasn’t sold on Matt Riddle for the longest time, but he has made a believer out of me now. My only gripe and the thing that kept me from giving it 4 stars is I felt like it might have gone a touch long. Two commercials breaks is a lot for a single match. Again, it’s only a nitpick and it was a great way to end the show.
After the match, The Broserweights celebrate with the Dusty Cup as pyro goes off in the arena and the show comes to a close.
Overall Show Rating: 6.75 out of 10
This show was a slight downgrade from last week. Not much, but last week featured a lot of matches that were exceptional. While this week had some shining moments, the three women’s going for a combined 10 minutes hurt the show a little bit. I said last week that I think NXT has the best women’s division in all of wrestling. While I am not backing off that claim, this wasn’t the strongest outing withing the division. The rumored match between Charlotte and Rhea Ripley for the NXT Championship will definitely generate some buzz going into Wrestlemania season, though. The opening match with Finn Balor and Trent Seven has some fast-paced action mixed with some hard-hitting offense and a very good opener. The impromptu match between Priest and Dijakovic was surprisingly an above-average match. Both men move well for being bigger guys on the roster. The tag team main event lived up to the billing with both teams getting a lot of good stuff in with Riddle and Dunne being the deserving winners. It was a great match to end another Dusty Rhodes Classic and a great way to honor a legend.
The card for NXT Portland Takeover on February 16 looks like this.
* NXT Championship: Adam Cole (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa
* NXT Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Bianca Belair
* Finn Bálor vs. Johnny Gargano
* NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) (c) vs. The BroserWeights (Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne)
Keith Lee defending the NXT North American Title against Dominik Dijakovic seems likely as well.
What did you think of this week’s episode of NXT? Loved it? Hated it? Watched Dynamite instead? Either way, follow me over @colleciveheel on twitter and let me know your thoughts. Support the site. Support each other. I’ll be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.