AMIN’S WWE NXT REVIEW
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 22, 2020
FULL SAIL ARENA IN WINTER PARK, FL
–NXT opened with an awesome video recapping last week’s show. The video ended with NXT UK Champion WALTER sending a warning to the Undisputed Era. UE came out to start the show as NXT Champion Adam Cole told Mauro Ranallo that he knows Imperium is here but UE aren’t hard to find.
SEMI-FINALS OF THE DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC: UNDISPUTED ERA (BOBBY FISH & KYLE O’REILLY w/Adam Cole & Roderick Strong) vs. GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS (JAMES DRAKE & ZACK GIBSON)
O’Reilly delivered a Dragon Screw to Drake in-between the ropes. Fish and O’Reilly delivered a double Snap Suplex to Drake for a two count. Drake leaped of Gibson’s back and delivered a Liu Kang Kick sending Fish to the floor. The fans chanted “You still suck.” [c] Drake nailed O’Reilly with a spin kick but Fish broke the count. Drake slowed the match down by applying a chin lock.
(Amin’s Analysis: Good action early as both teams were looking very good.)
Fish delivered an Exploder Suplex sending Drake into Gibson. Gibson hit a flying Lungblower but Fish no-sold it and applied a knee bar. Drake grabbed Gibson’s arm and placed it on the ropes. Gibson avoided a moonsault as Drake nailed Fish with a running dropkick in the corner. Gibson hit Helpter Skelpter on Fish for a two count. O’Reilly drilled Drake with a running knee from the ring apron. Fish and O’Reilly hit Chasing the Dragon but Gibson kicked out. O’Reilly and Fish were setting Drake up for Total Elimination but Imperium’s music played. Imperium appeared on a platform as the fans sang for WALTER. Drake and Gibson delivered Ticket to Mayhem to O’Reilly for the 1-2-3.
WINNERS: GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS ADVANCE TO THE FINALS OF THE DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC
(Amin’s Analysis: A very good opening tag team match as everyone looked solid. I didn’t mind the finish as it put over the GYV and also builds to Imperium vs. Undisputed Era for WWE Worlds Collide.)
–Video package hyping up the NXT Championship match between Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm. Beth Phoenix announced Toni Storm will face my favourite Io Shirai next. [c]
–Vignette on Shotzi Blackheart aired noting predicability doesn’t exist in her playbook and will beat Shayna Baszler tonight.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was short but good as Blackheart was presented as a star noting she eliminated Baszler but has her eyes on a bigger prize.)
IO SHIRAI vs. TONI STORM
My favourite Io Shirai came out to a huge reaction as the fans chanted “IO” Shirai hit a cartwheel dropkick but Storm responded with a running boot for a two count. Storm went for a German Suplex but Shirai broke free by sliding through the ropes. Shirai drilled Storm with a running kick from the ring apron for a two count. They exchanged strikes as Shirai yanked Storm to the mat and applied a side headlock. [c]
(Amin’s Analysis: Solid action early as both Shirai and Storm looked great working very good pace.)
Shirai applied a Crossface but Storm rolled over for a near fall. Shirai hit a double stomp and followed with a Slingshot double knee in the corner. Storm made a comeback hitting a release German Suplex and a basement clothesline for a two count. Shirai delivered a huge uppercut but Storm responded with a lariat for a two count. Shirai applied a rollup for a two count. Shirai hit a Hook Kick, called for a 619 but was blocked as Storm sent her to the floor. Storm went for a tope but was intercepted as Bianca BeLair appeared and clocked her in the face as the referee called for the DQ.
WINNER: TONI STORM VIA DISQUALIFICATION
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a very good match as both Shirai and Storm looked great. I expected a Dusty finish but this finish felt rushed. I will say I didn’t mind the Dusty finish because it keeps Shirai strong as she didn’t lose and was presented as a huge superstar.)
–BeLair planted Storm with a Chicken Wing Buster as Ripley came out. BeLair and Ripley exchanged strikes. Shirai nailed Ripley with a perfect Springboard Dropkick. Shirai delivered a beautiful Springboard Shirai Moonsault to BeLair and Ripley on the floor for a big pop. Storm delivered a tope to Shirai as the crowd booed. Storm posed with NXT Title to boos.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was great building up the title match and eventual heel turn for Storm. They also built up a title match between BeLair and Ripley for TakeOver: Portland. Love how they put the spotlight on Shirai as she hit all her signature spots as they are setting her up for an eventual championship match. Shirai is my favourite, has been the star of the division and NEEDS to be champion.)
–Backstage, Cathy Kelley was shown with UE who were ranting on Imperium. Cole noted UE needs to focus and make sure Strong retains the NXT North American Title. [c]
–Ilja Dragunov vignette aired noting he heard what Finn Balor said last week. Ilja noted he is driven to beat Balor and will not miss.
FINN BALOR vs. JOAQUIN WILDE
Balor came out to a big heel/babyface reaction. Balor hit a standing dropkick and followed with a Woo Dropkick sending Wilde crashing into the turnbuckle. Balor hit the Coup De Grace and then spiked Wilde with the 1916 DDT for the 1-2-3.
WINNER: FINN BALOR
(Amin’s Analysis: An awesome showcase match for Balor as he was positioned as a mega superstar.)
–Backstage Cathy asked Baszler her thoughts about facing Shotzi. Baszler noted Shotzi thinks she made a statement but ended her career before it stared. Baszler noted she not going anywhere and will go through every girl in the locker room, until she becomes Shayna Three Times. Baszler noted it starts with Shotzi. [c]
(Amin’s Analysis: A great heel promo by Baszler moving away from the speculation of her going to Raw and taking part in the Royal Rumble match.)
–Video package aired on DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa.)
SHAYNA BASZLER vs. SHOTZI BLACKHEART
The match stated with some mat wrestling as Baszler worked over Shotzi joints. Baszler nailed Shotzi with a knee strike. Shotzi made a comeback as she hit a Tornado DDT, a step-up enzuigiri and then drilled Baszler with a Hook Kick. Shotzi delivered a running cannonball against the ropes and then planted Baszler with Sliced Bread on the ring apron. Baszler avoided a flying back senton and applied a Kirifuda Clutch. Shotzi tried to break free but Baszler reapplied the Kirifuda Clutch for the submission win.
WINNER: SHAYNA BASZLER
(Amin’s Analysis: Shotzi was a great here as she showed great fire and has star potential. Baszler is perfect in her role and I love her style of wrestling. My guess is despite the promo, Baszler will take part, win the Royal Rumble and challenge Becky for the Raw Women’s Title.)
–Hype video aired on Dakota Kai-Tegan Nox friendship/turned bitter rivals. It was announced that Kai will face Nox next week on NXT. [c]
(Amin’s Analysis: Uhhhh…this was unexpected and my guess is this match won’t have a clean finish.)
–Moustache Mountain hype video aired.
–Backstage, Angel Garza told Cathy when you’re as good as him you don’t feel pressure. Garza noted he’s the NXT Cruiserweight Champion so it’s not Swerve’s but his house.
SEMI-FINALS OF THE DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC: BROSERWEIGHTS (MATT RIDDLE & PETE DUNNE) vs. IMPERIUM (FABIAN AICHNER & MARCEL BARTHEL)
Dunne and Riddle got big reactions. The match started slow with some basic mat wrestling. Riddle delivered an assisted Corkscrew Splash for a two count. Dunne with a missile dropkick to Aichner and a German Suplex to Barthel. Dunne planted Aichner with a Crucifix Bomb for a two count. Dunne delivered a springboard moonsault to Barthel on the floor. Dunne planted Aichner with an X-Plex on the ring apron. Dunne and WALTER had a stare down. Off the distraction, Bartler delivered a running knee to Dunne into the ring steps. [c]
(Amin’s Analysis: Solid action early with both team clicking really well meshing their wrestling styles together into the tag match.)
Dunne delivered a step-up enzuigiri to Aichner. Riddle tagged in, hit a pair of Exploder Suplex and BroTons too Aichner and Barthel. Dunne and Riddle delivered stereo strikes but Aichner kicked out. Aichner and Bartel spiked Dunne with a flying Wheelbarrow DDT but Riddle broke the count. Dunne and Riddle delivered a double spear to Aichner. Riddle hit a Jackhammer but Aichner kicked out. Aichner planted Riddle with a Brainbuster. Imperium went for the European Bomb but Riddle countered by delivering a Hurricanrana to Barthel. Aichner leaped off the turnbuckle but Riddle countered by hitting a German Suplex. Riddle delivered a Powerbomb and a Final Flash Knee to Aichner. Dunne and Riddle delivered a combination Bro To Sleep/Jumping Enzuigiri to Aichner for the win.
WINNERS: MATT RIDDLE & PETE DUNNE ADVANCE TO THE FINALS OF THE DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC
–GYV showed up and mentioned they were going to stop the BroserWeights and take the Dusty Cup to NXT UK. Riddle responded by saying “I don’t know what you’re saying, but when you started talking about ‘joint’ manipulation, I started daydreaming.” The fans chanted “Riddle’s gonna smoke you.” Dunne took the mic and made a pot riff. Dunne got serious and noted he and Riddle will finish the job next week.
(Amin’s Analysis: Very good match as both teams worked really hard. Dunne and Riddle are just awesome as a team as their styles mesh perfectly. I want to see them win the Dusty Cup and challenge UE for the NXT Tag Team Titles.)
NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: RODERICK STRONG vs. KEITH LEE
Lee came out to a big reaction as the fans sang for him throughout the match wanting him to win. Lee heaved Strong across the ring. [c] Strong took control as he hit a wrecking ball dropkick and a Dragon Screw working over Lee’s knee. Strong hit Drive By forearms to Lee. [c] Lee made a comeback by hitting a powerslam and a Popup Spinebuster for a pair of near falls. Cole caused a distraction as Fish kicked Lee’s knee. Strong hit a DDT for a two count. They battled on the turnbuckle as Strong lost his timing but hit an Avalanche Olympic Slam but Lee kicked out. Lee hit a Pounce as Strong took an awkward fall onto Fish and O’Reilly on the floor. Lee hit a running clothesline for a two count. Strong avoided a moonsault and applied an Ankle Lock but Lee grabbed the ropes. UE caused a distraction as Strong hit a rising knee and followed with a Buazuiki Knee for a two count. Lee caught Strong coming off the ropes and delivered a Jackhammer for the 1-2-3. which got a big pop.
WINNER: KEITH LEE WON THE NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE
(Amin’s Analysis: Lee and Strong worked hard as the layout was good with the heel working over babyface who triumphs in the end. However, this didn’t click for me as something was missing and didn’t feel like a crowning moment like over title changes in NXT. This should’ve been played up as bigger deal of UE no loner being draped in gold.)
–Lee celebrated on the entrance ramp as Imperium was shown at ring side. Imperium and UE had a stare down as a huge brawl broke out. The highlight was WALTER blocking a Superkick and delivered a massive chop to Cole which he sold huge for. Imperium and UE kept brawling as the show came to a close.
(Amin’s Analysis: The brawl was short but effective way to build up the 8-man tag match at WWE Worlds Collide.)
[OVERALL THOUGHTS] A very solid episode of NXT as the wrestling was terrific for most part. I also enjoyed the use of video packages and interviews as NXT continues to do a great job presenting their wrestlers as top stars. I will say thought the build for WWE World Collide hasn’t clicked for me. I liked the idea of battling for brand supremacy but I would like if they add more stakes like the winners would receive championship matches. I will enjoy and I’m sure WWE Worlds Collide will be a terrific show but I would like if they added some stakes. Overall, NXT was a thumbs up show.