WWE NXT Review: Amin’s review on Io Shirai vs. Shotzi Blackheart

Io Shirai (WWE NXT)

Image Credit: WWE

Wednesday September 16, 2020
Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL

The show opened with a highlight package from last week’s show recapping Finn Balor winning the NXT Championship, Candice LeRae and Tegan Nox dinner at the Gargano’s and Rhea Ripley defeating Mercedes Martinez in a Steel Cage Match. The video transitioned previewing the NXT North American and NXT Tag Team Championship Match.

NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai vs. Shotzi Blackheart

Shotzi came out in her mini tank looking very cute. I love my favourite Io Shirai’s entrance and seeing her as our NXT Women’s Champion makes me smile. Shotzi offered a handshake but Shirai refused. The match began with a great counter exchange as Shirai and Shotzi were evenly matched. Shirai avoided a running senton and delivered a Springboard Moonsault to the floor. Shirai took control as she placed Shotzi in a Figure-4-Head Scissors against the ropes. 

Shotzi made a comeback delivering a running double knees sending Shirai into the turnbuckle and followed with a reverse Slingblade. Shotzi went for a double underhook suplex but Shirai countered into a Crossface. Shotzi placed her foot on the ropes to force a break. Shotzi avoided a Tiger Feint Kick as she delivered a Question Mark Kick and then connected with a running senton to Shirai against the ropes. Shotzi delivered a double underhook suplex but Shirai kicked out at two. 

Shotzi applied a bridging Chicken Wing but Shirai broke free. Shotzi charged but Shirai countered with a flapjack and followed with a Tiger Feint Kick. Shirai delivered a missile dropkick but Shotzi kicked out at two for a close near fall. Shirai went to climb the turnbuckle but Shotzi stopped and delivered a Super Hurricanrana for a close two count. Shotzi went to climb the turnbuckle but Shirai stooped her. 

Shirai and Shotzi exchanged strikes as they battled for position on the top turnbuckle. Shirai blocked a Code Red and planted Shotzi with a high angle German Suplex on the ring apron which looked nuts. Shirai nailed Shotzi with a running double knees into the corner. Shirai climbed the turnbuckle and delivered her signature beautiful Over The Top Moonsault for the 1,2,3. 

WINNER: Io Shirai 

After the match, Shirai helped Shotzi up to her feet. Shirai and Shotzi shook hands. Shotzi patted Shirai’s NXT Women’s Title. 

(Amin’s Analysis: An excellent match to kick off the show as there some awesome counter exchanges and sequences leading to the finish. This was Shotzi’s best match on NXT as she took big bumps and got a chance to showcase her ability against the best in the world. I’m biased and Shirai is my favourite but she’s simply amazing as she always puts on amazing matches. Another strong match and win for Shirai who has been showcased as the top star not only in the women’s division but all of NXT. Loved the post-match with both Shirai and Shotzi showing respect after a great match. Would love to see a rematch at the next TakeOver for the NXT Women’s Title. Two thumbs up.) 

Number One Contender’s Battle Royal was announced for next week to determine Io Shirai’s challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver.

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Desmond Troy 

Ciampa delivered a running clothesline to Troy. Ciampa guillotined Troy against the turnbuckle and followed with Willow’s Bell DDT for the 1,2,3. 

WINNER: Tommaso Ciampa 

After the match, Ciampa left the ring and grabbed a chair. This is where Jake Atlas retuned to NXT and noted he could’ve attacked Ciampa from behind. Atlas noted he wasn’t like that and told Ciampa he will find out how dangerous he is next week. Ciampa smiled. 

(Amin’s Analysis: A simple but great showcase match for Ciampa positioning him as a top heel on NXT.  The post match was good as Atlas showed great fire cutting a strong promo to hype his match against Ciampa for next week.)

Drake Maverick was shown arriving to the arena, noted he and Killian Dain had a common enemy. Maverick noted things will be fine. 

Finn Balor sat backstage acknowledged Adam Cole was undisputed but he was the prince. Balor noted people asked him what’s different about winning the NXT Title this time? Balor noted he had to carry and build the brand. Balor noted it’s different this time because the brand needs him and noted he made the NXT Championship the most famous title in the game. Balor warned his challengers to look both ways before crossing the prince. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was good as Balor explained what he did for the NXT and the championship during his first run as a babyface. Now he’s explaining how will it be different as the Prince of NXT. Good stuff here.)

Austin Theory came out, noted he’s a first ballot hall of Famer and called Bronson Reed was lucky last week. Theory offered an open challenge as KUSHIDA came out. 

KUSHIDA vs. Austin Theory 

KUSHIDA went for a Kimura Lock but Theory broke free. Theory delivered a snap suplex for a near fall. Theory went for a standing Moonsault but KUSHIDA moved and delivered a  PK. KUSHIDA delivered a  cartwheel dropkick, then followed with a handspring kick sending Theory to the floor. KUSHIDA moved as Theory punched the ring post. KUSHIDA yanked Theory down by his arm to the mat. KUSHIDA delivered quick stomps, then applied a Hoverboard Lock as Theory tapped. 


(Amin’s Analysis:  Back-to-back strong showing from KUSHIDA showing a more aggressive side which is really helping his character stand out. Like the way this is going as KUSHIDA is a really talented wrestler and is now finally being showcased like the star he is on NXT.)

The Garganos Home: Candice LeRae brought up Tegan Nox saying she’s changed. LeRae noted she changed for the better. Johnny Gargano appeared and couldn’t believe he had to watch TV in their crappy guest room. Gargano spoke about the North American Title match and now both he and LeRae will be double champions. LeRae spoke about the battle royal next week to determine’s Io Shirai’s next challenger and told Nox to watch out.

(Amin’s Analysis: This ruled as both Gargano and LeRae spoke about their goals at the championships they want but did it in such an entertaining way. The Gargano way has been great as Johnny and LeRae have been terrific together and so fun to watch on NXT.) 

NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs. Imperium (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) 

Aichner and Barthel charged the ring as they attacked Breeze and Fandango as the bell rang. Aichner connected with a running clothesline for a two count. Barthel delivered a double underhook suplex but Fandango kicked out at two. Aichner and Barthel delivered a combo double sliding dropkick to Fandango against the corner. 

Fandango delivered a big lariat to Barthel. Breeze tagged in delivered a running dropkick to Aichner and then transitioned into a Half Crab.  Breeze nailed Aichner with a Cheeky Nando Kick but Barthel broke the pin count. Barthel shoved Breeze off the turnbuckle as Aircher caught him and delivered a running suplex but Fandango broke the count.

Fandango delivered a running crossbody sending Aichner to the floor. Fandango nailed both Aichner and Barthel with a pair of Superkicks. Fandango went for a flying leg drop but Aichner moved out of the way. With the referee distracted, Barthel delivered a PK as Aichner followed with a bridging German Suplex but Fandango kicked out at two.

Fandango responded by planting Aichner with a Tornado DDT.  Aicher delivered a Spinebuster to Breeze as Barthel followed with a PK. Imperium were setting Breeze up for the European Bomb but Fandango stopped them by delivering a dropkick to Aichner. Breeze applied a reverse Dragon Hurricanrana rollup and pinned Aichner 1,2,3. 

WINNER: Tyler Breeze & Fandango retained the NXT Tag Team Titles 

(Amin’s Analysis: A fast paced action packed tag team championship match which had some great sequences and close near falls leading to the finish. Strong match featuring two talented tag teams who have great chemistry and work well together.)

Xia Li & Jessie Kamea vs. Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro 

Carter delivered a sliding dropkick to Xia as Catanzaro followed with a Slingshot Senton for a two count. Xia delivered a spinning kick to Catanzaro who kicked out at two. Carter tagged in delivered a dropkick to Xia. Carter delivered a pair of Superkicks to Kamea and Xia. Carter and Catanzaro delivered a combo Pump Kick/Crucifix Bomb to Xia for the 1,2,3. 

WINNERS: Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro 

Carter and Catanzaro offered a fist bump as Kamea accepted. Xia Li shook her head and left the ring. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a fun match as Carter and Catanzaro are fun to watch as they make a great team. The post-match was the bigger story for me as I liked how the focus was on Xia Li who’s a talented wrestler as she could be turning heel and see more of her on NXT TV.) 

Backstage, Maverick approached Dain and asked if he was ready. Dain asked ready for what? Maverick said their tag team match. Dain noted he wanted nothing to do with it. Maverick noted he will see Dain inside the ring. 

Tegan Nox spoke from her gaming room at home noting the Candice she knew wouldn’t let Gargano complain about the TV she broke. Nox spoke about the battle royal, noting the best part will be LeRae’s look when she wins. Nox then said “And this time, Io, everything is different.”

(Amin’s Analysis: This was better as Nox was good her showing more passion and giving her reasoning for wanting to face Io Shirai again.) 

Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong) vs. Drake Maverick & Killian Dain 

Maverick pointed to the back but Dain didn’t come out. Maverick fired up delivered strikes but ran into a boot from Strong. Maverick delivered a running knee to Fish and followed with a missile dropkick for a near fall. Maverick charged but Strong responded with a backbreaker. Dain was shown watching backstage as Strong delivered a uranage backbreaker for a two count. 

William Regal appeared and told Dain he has a tag team match. Dain asked Regal if he wants him to go out there. Dain tossed Maverick back into the ring. Fish and Strong taunted Dain who headed back to the ring. Dain delivered strikes to Strong in the corner. Fish appeared and whacked Dainties with a chair as the referee called for the DQ. 

WINNERS: Drake Maverick & Killian Dain via Disqualification 

Dain sent Strong to the floor. Maverick told Dain they are a team. Maverick pushed Dain who responded by nailing him with a right hand. Dain left the ring. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was good as I liked how Dain didn’t come out right away as it wouldn’t have worked with him attacking Maverick the previous weeks. My thinking is that this will lead to Maverick earning Dain’s respect and this leads to them being a tag team. Overall, this was a fine match as Fish and Strong are great wrestlers and Maverick worked hard.) 

Atlas was outside as he spoke about challenging Ciampa to a match for next week. Ciampa appeared as he rammed Atlas against the NXT Production Truck. Ciampa nailed Atlas with a running knee as WWE officials and Kyle O’Reilly appeared. O’Reilly told Ciampa to hold back for the match next week. Ciampa said he will see Atlas next week and will see O’Reilly soon. 

(Amin’s Analysis: Interesting development here as O’Reilly didn’t join Fish & Strong in their corner for the tag team match. O’Reilly was positioned as the babyface here and could be leading to a turn and possible single’s run. Which I wouldn’t mind seeing as O’Reilly is a great wrestler and would have great matches on NXT.) 

William Regal spoke about how we have a new NXT Champion in Finn Balor but now we need a number one contender. Regal announced a “Gauntlet Eliminator” match. The rules are  Two men start in the ring. Every four minutes, another one entered. Elimination is via pinfall or submission and the last one standing will face Balor at TakeOver.

(Amin’s Analysis: I enjoy the creativity as NXT is coming up with new and exciting way to make matches. It will be interesting to see who and how participants will take place in this match.) 

WWE NXT North American Championship Match: Damian Priest vs. Timothy Thatcher 

Thatcher looked for a wrist lock but Priest responded with an arm drag to break free. Thatcher delivered a shoulder tackle but Priest delivered his own. Priest went for a springboard but Thatcher responded with an uppercut. Priest teased a Razor’s Edge but Thatcher responded with a double underhook suplex on the floor. Thatcher placed Priest in a wrist lock. Thatcher delivered an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. 

Thatcher delivered a sliding knee but Priest kicked out. Thatcher delivered a huge palm strike which fired Priest up who responded with a rolling forearm. Priest nailed Thatcher with a big lariat. Priest delivered a leaping elbow in the corner and followed with a Broken Arrow but Thatcher kicked out. Priest went for a Springboard Senton but Thatcher moved out of the way.  Priest and Thatcher had a big strike exchange. Thatcher went for a Half Crab but Priest broke free on the first attempt. 

Thatcher applied a Half Crab but Priest broke free. Thatcher caught Priest coming off the ropes into a Fujiwara Armbar. Priest placed his foot on the ropes to force a break. Priest avoided a lariat and delivered a Choke Slam for a two count. Priest avoided the Fujiwara Armbar and nailed Thatcher with a cyclone boot. Priest climbed the turnbuckle, delivered a flying spin kick to Thatcher and followed with The Reckoning for the 1,2,3.

WINNER: Damian Priest retained the NXT North American Title 

(Amin’s Analysis: A very good match with lots of nice transitions, counters as both Priest and Thatcher worked very hard. Thatcher is terrific at his craft as he so great at applying submission holds and working a body part. Strong win for Priest here as he’s talented, always works hard in his matches and presents himself as a star.) 

Overall Thoughts: A very fun episode of NXT as the wrestling on the show was good to great from start to finish. Love the Io Shirai and Shotzi Blackheart match as it was the highlight of the show for me. Liked how they announced two big matches as we should find out who will be the number one contender for the NXT Championship and NXT Women’s Championship. Also liked how we are seeing character developments from both KUSHIDA and Kyle O’Reilly who are two amazing wrestlers and both who I enjoy watching. Overall, NXT gets a thumbs up from me. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s