Welcome one and all to a Valentine’s version of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. I’m not sure how much love is in the air tonight for NXT as we have two huge title matches, with the Women’s and UK Title both on the line. We’ve got a lot of time between now and New Orleans, so I would suspect we’ll get a lot of big matches like this over the next few weeks. Let’s get to the action!
WWE UK Title Match
Pete Dunne (c) vs. Roderick Strong
We’re getting right to it with this match, which should be a classic. Dueling chants immediately as they have a strong tie up to start. Clean break and then they go at it again. Dunne tries to turn it into a cross arm breaker but Strong holds him off and tries to turn that into the Strong Hold. Dunne gets out of that, we have a stalemate and we’re already going to commercial.
We come back to Dunne in control, working over the left arm of Strong. They go to the outside and Dunne uses the steel steps to his advantage and does a move to the arm very similar to what Shayna Baszler has been using to injure her opponents. He goes for it a second time, but Strong moves and then grabs him and throws him onto the stairs spine first. Strong with a series of vicious kicks to the head of Dunne and then goes to a neck submission. Dunne fights out but ends up in a pumphandle backbreaker. Dunne manages to kick out of a pin. Stiff shots back and forth in the corner. Strong then lands a traditional backbreaker. Strong gets Dunne up on the top rope, but Dunne fights out and sends Strong to the floor with a shot to the face. Dunne then comes off with a dropkick to the ribs as Strong was trying to get back in the ring. Both men are on the apron and Strong comes back with two enziguris and then picks up Dunne and drops him hard on the apron. It’s apparently time for another commercial.
We return with Strong in control as both men are back in the ring. Dunne lands a big enziguri but Strong drops him with a forearm. Dunne comes out of the corner with another enziguri and then hits a suplex that he turns immediately into an armbar. He pulls back far on that arm and snaps it back as far as he can, doing more damage to that left arm. Strong tries to do another backbreaker, but he can’t lift Dunne now and Dunno counters with a sit out powerbomb. Strong kicks out. Strong misses a knee in the corner and Dunne comes back with a release German Suplex. Dunne goes to the top rope but gets caught in mid air with a dropkick. Strong with a pin but Dunne manages to kick out. Strong with a running forearm in the corner and then both men trade a couple pin attempts until Strong catches Dunne in another backbreaker. Dunne still able to kick out. Strong goes for the Angle Slam but Dunne reverses and lands a half/half suplex. Strong manages to kick out. Dunne now works to lock in a triangle choke, but Strong lifts him up, positions Dunne between the ropes and catapults his throat into the top rope. Really creative spot. Strong brings Dunne back to the top rope and comes crashing down with an Angle Slam. Dunne still somehow kicks out! Roddy with two big knee lifts, then his reverse bodyslam but yet again Dunne kicks out. Dunne manages to land the X Plex but Strong avoids The Bitter End. Both men trade shots and then Strong lands a Tiger Bomb into the Strong Hold. Dunne escapes by grabbing the fingers on the hurt hand/arm. Strong goes all the way to the floor, selling the fingers, and then as he gets back in the ring, he’s caught in The Bitter End. 1-2-3 and that was outstanding.
Winner: Pete Dunne Retains
K-Tank’s Take: Commercial breaks are my biggest pet peeve in NXT TV, but even with the two breaks, this match was simply astounding. Hard hitting action at it’s best. Loved the psychology of Dunne continually going to the left arm and hand and working to manipulate those at any opportunity. Strong yet again comes up short in the big match. I’m interested to see how far he can go in the 205 Live tournament.
We go to a video package hyping the developments of last week between Johnny Gargano and Andrade Almas. Next week will be Gargano/Almas III and if Gargano loses, he leaves NXT.
We then go to “Earlier today” where The Velveteen Dream is meeting with the media. Next week he will be taking on No Way Jose. He addresses Jose and says he brings the fiesta but Dream will bring the experience. He then calls out Tyler Bate for thinking he can go one on one with Dream before walking away from the media.
Aleister Black makes a special entrance through the crowd now, dressed sharply in a suit. He gets a mic and says that this path has always led one way. He says there is now a devil on his back and that devil is driving him because that devil is the NXT Championship. Before he can get anything else out, Killian Dain’s music hits. Dain comes into the ring with a mic of his own. He tells Black that the devil isn’t on your back, he is. Dain will not stop until the NXT championship is around his waist. If Black has a problem with that, then Dain is warning him, his path will be stopped by chaos. Dain goes to leave but Black stops him and gets face to face with him. Black says that Dain crossed him so now he must fade to black.
K-Tank’s Take: The crowd had a very muted reaction to that promo. Almost as if they were confused by what each man were saying. I liked both men’s delivery though and both come across as credible contenders. I would assume a match will be made between them soon.
TM-61 vs. John Skyler & Andrew Duckworth
Nick Miller and Skyler start us off. Miller with some unimpressive offense to start. Shane Thorne tags in and they hit a series of clotheslines on Skyler. Duckworth comes in and he gets a belly to back suplex for his trouble. Thorne tries to suplex Skyler but Skyler kicks the previously injured knee of Thorne. Duckworth tags in officially but Thorne lands a dropkick. Miller tags back in and takes out both of his opponents. Nice spinebuster on Duckworth. Both men are seated in the corner and Thorne hits a running cannonball. They get Skyler set up for Thunder Valley and get the win.
K-Tank’s Take: Miller’s offense early looked weak but i’m sure quality of opponent had something to do with it. They’re a fun tag team. As I’ve stated before, I think they’ll be Undisputed Era’s next opponents for the tag titles.
NXT Women’s Title Match
Ember Moon (c) vs. Shayna Baszler
We go straight from the previous match to Baszler’s entrace for our main event. Yet another commercial break.
Only 6 minutes left in the show as we get back and go through big match entrances. Ember immediately takes down Baszler and attacks her with punches and kicks. Ember with a big knee to the face and that rocks Baszler, who goes to the ropes to get a break. Ember with an enziguri and then a bicycle kick. Moon goes to the top rope already but Baszler rolls to the floor to avoid the Eclipse. Ember comes flying out with a low bridge suicide dive and sends Baszler hard into the announce table. Ember sells the arm that was hurt at Takeover after that dive. Baszler is up first and gets Ember back in the ring. Baszler immediately goes to that arm and starts working it over. Ember almost scores a quick one like she did at Takeover but Baszler kicks out this time and now locks on an arm bar. Ember manages to reach the ropes. Ember gets a victory roll but Baszler kicks out and then sends Ember shoulder first into the ringpost. They go to the floor and Baszler exposes one of the barricades and traps Ember’s arm in it. Baszler continues the attack until Kairi Sane comes through the crowd and takes out Baszler with an elbow smash off the steel steps. Baszler escapes at first but then comes back in the ring and runs into a spear from Sane. Baszler goes to higher ground as she’s announced the winner by DQ. Ember is hurt on the floor as Sane stares down Baszler.
Winner: Shayna Baszler by DQ (Ember Moon retains)
Sane goes to help walk Ember to the back as our show comes to an end.
K-Tank’s Take: Dear God that was way too many commercial breaks in a show that went 51 minutes. I really don’t understand why they have breaks during NXT. None of the documentaries or tv shows have breaks, so why does NXT? Even the PPV’s have breaks and I don’t understand that either. It’s absurd. WE’RE ALREADY WATCHING THE NETWORK! We don’t need commercials trying to sell us on it. As for the match, obviously nothing much to it besides continuing the mean streak in Baszler. I can’t imagine this will all drag to WrestleMania. I would think they’d want Sane vs. Moon one on one. So maybe in the time between we’ll have a triple threat match and then a one on one match between Sane and Baszler.
That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next week for that big Gargano vs. Almas match. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me.