By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV on USA Network
Aired live November 20, 2019 from Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
William Regal was backstage in front of a locker room door where Becky Lynch emerged with security guards flanking her. NXT started off with Becky Lynch getting a Goldberg-like entrance…
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Becky got a loud reaction from the Full Sail crowd who showered her with “Becky” and “NXT” chants. Becky talked about it being a while since she was here, defeated in the corner, kicking someone’s ass here live. Becky said people don’t have to wait for her here much longer because she’s here now. Becky talked about Hunter sending an open invitation, but that didn’t matter because Becky was coming anyway for her match Sunday. Becky made fun of Bayley for whining and having an old woman haircut. Becky talked about how Sasha Banks is holding Bayley back.
Becky said Bayley is “a” champ, while Becky is “the” champ. Becky then talked about Shayna Baszler showing up on Raw. This invoked “Shayna’s gonna kill you” chants. Becky said she’s here now on Baszler’s show to remind Baszler who Becky Lynch is. Becky said she doesn’t need to hide in the shadows or attack from behind. Becky said Baszler can bring “Mary” and “Jessie” if she likes but Becky is here for a fight. Suddenly, Rhea Ripley made her entrance to confront Becky Lynch. Rhea said “so, you’re the man”. Rhea said it’s time to see if the man has a set of balls. Becky and Rhea jawed with each other. A referee ran into the ring to invoke a match.
John’s Thoughts: This was another one of those fun “homecoming” events with Becky coming to the place where she started out. Becky was good here and definitely adds some star power to the Wednesday show. The promo was alright, but Becky did seem a bit thrown off by the Full Sail fans reacting to just about anything, no matter if it was to a face or heel. That’s full sail. They’ve very appreciative, sometimes to a fault.
1. WWE Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley in a non-title match. Mauro noted that Regal just booked the match. Rhea started off with a side headlock on Becky. Becky came back with a flying forearm. Becky went for a baseball slide on Rhea but Rhea countered into an electric chair Snake Eyes on the apron to head right into the picture-in-picture commercial. [c]
Rhea was dominating Becky back from the break. Becky got up and both women traded aggressive strikes. Becky sidestepped Rhea on the apron and caught Rhea with two kicks. Rhea staggered Becky on the top rope and gave her a right hand, leading to a body toss. Becky got Rhea to the mat with an inverted DDT to leave both women lying. Becky and Rhea had a strong style punch exchange. Becky dominated with kicks added. Rhea ended Becky’s momentum with a flapjack, leading to a two count. Mauro reminded viewers that Rhea was the inaugural WWE UK Women’s Champion.
Becky caught Rhea with a enzuigiri. Becky then hit Rhea with a leg drop. Beth noted that Becky Lynch has main evented WrestleMania. Rhea got a two count after a rollup. Becky countered into a disarm-her. Rhea countered into a power bomb. Lynch countered the Bomb into a headscissors. Lynch and Ripley brawled to the top rope. Ripley hit Lynch with a Superplex which Beth noted had more force due to Ripley’s height. Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir ran out to put the boots to Rhea and Becky to invoke the no contest.
Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley ended in a no contest in 9:28.
Becky Lynch recovered and managed to fight off the MMA Horsewomen. Rhea Ripley recovered and dominated too. Rhea and Becky hit their signature moves on Shafir and Duke to send the heels into retreat…
The Revival, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, made their entrance to the Full Sail parking lot. Nigel noted that Regal sent security guards to escort them to make sure that the guests to NXT only start the fighting in the ring… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A good preview as to what could be at a WWE PPV or NXT Takeover down the road. I’m okay with this finish because Becky Lynch should be protected and Rhea Ripley needs just as much protection due to her being a fast rising star in WWE.
A commercial vignette aired for Kay Lee Ray featuring her NXT debut last week..
Awwww yea!!!! It’s time for Hawaiian Johnny Mundo, “The Finest” Kona Reeves to make his entrance. Dammit! He got blindside by Ricochet who ran out and destroyed Reeves in one shot. Poor Kona. Matt Riddle then made his entrance. Mauro noted that Kona was supposed to be Riddle’s opponent. Referee Jessika Carr was confused a bit, but then this turned into an official match…
John’s Thoughts: Damn you Ricochet! NXT needs more Kona Reeves!
2. Matt Riddle vs. Ricochet. Fast paced counters ensued. Riddle was sent to ringside and Ricochet followed up on Riddle with a Tope Con Hilo. Ricochet went for a standing Shooting Star in the ring but Riddle countered into a Juji Gatame. Ricochet dodged some of Riddle’s strikes on the mat, but Riddle hit Ricochet with a senton. Riddle hit Ricochet with a few fast moves in the corner and an Exploder. Ricochet hit Riddle with a neckbreaker and a standing Shooting Star for a two count.
Riddle avoided a Phoenix Splash. Both men traded kicks. Riddle hit Ricochet with a German Suplex to leave both men lying. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro tried to run interference, but Ricochet and Riddle knocked them off the apron. Riddle caught a distracted Ricochet off guard with a crucifix pin for the pinfall win.
Matt Riddle defeated Ricochet via pinfall in 3:47.
Madness ensued. Ricochet sent Cesaro sailing over the barricade with a dive. Nakamura knocked down Riddle with a kick combination. Roderick Strong ran out to attack Nakamura sending them brawling ot ringside. Finn Balor ran out to beat down Riddle. Riddle escaped Balor’s Bloody Sunday attempt. Riddle hit Balor with a Final Flash Knee to send Balor into retreat as the Full Sail Crowd chanted Riddle’s name in the Gold-berg cadence…
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary. Mauro laid down the situation tonight being that Hunter invited Raw and Smackdown wrestlers to show up on NXT. Nigel sent things to a hype package for the Killian Dain vs. Damien Priest vs. Pete Dunne NXT Championship Number One Contender’s match for Saturday…
Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly were kick sparring with each other while Adam Cole was giving them words of encouragement for their match against the Revival later on… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A fun brawl and a bit hard to keep up with given that they tried to cram a lot into a small amount of time. In my opinion it was a bit too much? Did we really need to involve the Nakamura, Strong, and Styles storyline in here? Did Cesaro have to be here? The fact that they jammed a lot here has me afraid that they might go a bit overboard in the go-home show. But hey, I give them credit for putting on a proper go-home mad dash when sometimes the main roster forgets to present a go-home at all.
The commentators ran through the Survivor Series card, featuring WWE NXT…
SAY YEAHhhh! Entrance for the tag team match took place…
John’s Thoughts: With two screwy finishes right before this match. Please don’t have any of that here. The main roster took away the UE vs. Revival vs. War Raiders dream match at Survivor Series and Paul Levesque gave us that back in this form with a UE vs. Revival make-good. Please don’t take away this legit NXT dream match.
3. NXT Tag Team Champions “Undisputed Era” Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish vs. “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder in a non-title match. O’Reilly and Dawson locked up to start the match. Dawson escaped the corner with a chop to O’Reilly’s throat. O’Reilly tagged in Dawson. Dawson then ran around the ring so that the two teams can have a four man standoff. UE decided to retreat and recoup at ringside. Fish and Wilder were the legal men next. Fish managed to get Wilder to his corner for isolation. Wilder tried to use strikes to escape the corner. Fish’s knee kept Wilder under control. Dawson saved Wilder from a double suplex. The two teams faced off and traded fisticuffs. Fish and Wilder sent each other out first. Dawson and O’Reilly suplexed each other out of the ring like a slinky. [c]
O’Reilly and Fish traded quick tags to isolate Wilder from his tag partner. They treated Wilder like a gym kicking bag. Redragon hit Wilder with a double suplex and continued their isolation on Wilder. Wilder sold for little over 3 minutes where Fish and O’Reilly made a Muay Thai and Jujitsu demo out of him. O’Reilly knocked Dawson off the apron to prevent the tag. ReDRagon hit Wilder with Chasing the Dragon for the nearfall. UE continued to dominated Wilder heading into the break. [c]
Dash Wilder was still selling and being dominated by UE. Wilder managed to hit O’Reilly with a spinebuster for a window of opportunity. Wilder gave O’Reilly a huracanrana to get the hot tag to Dawson. O’Reilly crash and burned on a Plancha. Dawson hit Fish with a punch combination and dropkick. Dawson continued to tee off on both UE members. Dawson hit Fish with a diving headbutt for a two count. A “Tag Team Wrestling” chant ensued. Fish went for a rollup but he was shoved into Wilder’s uppercut. Dawson hit Fish with a Brainbuster for a two count.
O’Reilly took the bullet for legal man Fish by taking DIY’s double kick finisher from The Revival. O’Reilly grabbed Fish’s leg to prevent Dawson from hitting Fish with a Superplex. O’Reilly hit Wilder with Muay Thai roundhouses. Wilder DDT’d O’Reilly on the apron. Dawson hit Fish with a Superplex while Dash hit Fish with a splash for a two count. Fish tripped a flying Dawson to cause a moment of respite for both men. Fish planted Dawson with a Samoan Drop. Shoving and quick reversals ensued. Revival hit Shatter Machine on Fish. O’Reilly saved Fish from the pinfall.
O’Reilly hit Dawson with a diving knee. O’Reilly gave a top rope knee Dawson’s kidney for an amazing nearfall. Oh Gawd F’n Damn, I missed these amazing tag team matches. O’Reilly gave Dawson an Axe and Smash for the two count. Beth talked about this being a great tag match and Mauro noted that Beth’s husband is a tag team expert. Dawson hit O’Reilly with a DDT. Fish fought off Dawson. Dawson yelled was surrounded by UE, he yelled “Kiss my ass”, and was hit by Total Elimination for the pinfall loss to UE by Fish.
The Undisputed Era defeated The Revival via pinfall in 17:54 of on-air TV Time.
The NXT Tag Champs stood tall after the match while highlights aired. Nigel noted that Dawson yelled “Kiss my [butt]” and Mauro noted that isn’t what he said…
The cameras cut to outside of Full Sail where the Viking Raiders, Eric and Ivar, (wearing lame red shirts) were being separated from the The Forgotten Sons, Wesley Blake, Steve Cutler and Jaxson Ryker, by security guards… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Hot damn was that a great match by the end of it. I was afraid it wasn’t going to be too given how pedestrian it was before the two commercial breaks. I did like the story though with Dash Wilder selling for about nine minutes. Everything after the last commercial break was stellar. This was a Takeover worthy match and would have been Takeover main event if you extricate the commercial breaks. I really missed these tag team matches in NXT. The strength about The Revival is they aren’t flashy, or high flying, but they bring a great amount of practicality to the wrestling ring. Practicality might as well be nuance high spots because it’s a nuance we don’t see too much in Tag Team Wrestling (I credit Santana and Ortiz from AEW for trying to include a lot of practicality too). This was fun stuff, as expected.
[Hour Two] A hype video package aired to hype up the Women’s War Games match which featured the song “I Disagree” by YouTube celebrity Poppy…
NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray made her entrance…
4. NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray vs. Dakota Kai in a non-title match. Kai dominated early on and hit Ray with a Code Red for a nearfall. Ray gave Kai two kicks to the back of the head to change the momentum up on Kai. Kai reversed Ray with a rollup. Ray hit Kai with a facebuster front suplex for a two count. Ray stomped her foot on Kai’s knee brace. Ray dominated a bit. Kai tried to fight back with chops, but Ray came back and yanked around Kai’s injured knee across the second rope. Kai surprised Ray with a Trevor Lee standing double stomp. Kai made a comeback with a lariat and shotgun dropkick.
Kai hit Ray with flutter kicks. Ray fought off Kai with a punch when Kai was on the apron. Kai reversed Ray’s Irish Whip w with a whip into the steel steps followed by a face wash. Kai got a two count. Ray reversed the GTK from Kai. Ray hit Kai with a back kick followed by a Gory Bomb for the victory.
Kay Lee Ray defeated Dakota Kai via pinfall in 5:35.
Carmella, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville ran out to beat down the women in the ring. Suddenly a bunch of random women from the locker room ran out to start a brawl. Kairi Sane hit Tegan Nox with an InSane Elbow (by the way Sane found a way to make the lame Raw red look cute with a red hat making her look like Super Mario). Sane and Shirai had a bit of a face off but didn’t fight each other. The Brawl ensued. Nikki Cross cleared the ring (she’s wearing a Smackdown shirt by the way) with a trash can lid. Nikki Cross acted crazy and her theme played to head to commercial as she stood tall alone in the ring… [c]
John’s Thoughts: The match was fine, but the women were put in a tough spot following the very hot UE vs. Revival match. This is just like NXT used to be. It usually hurt to follow a hot Revival match and this was no exception. Things are a bit too little too late in terms of introducing Kay Lee Ray to the NXT US viewers. I understand the story they are trying to tell with Kai, but at the same time it didn’t do much in helping boost Kay Lee Ray (though she has come a long way from her TNA British Bootcamp days). The post match stuff was a bit fun, but also a bit of diminishing returns since we’ve seen like 3 or 4 cross brand brawls already today. The highlight in my opinion was Kairi Sane looking like a kawaii Super Mario Brother.
Dominik Dijakovic was shown shadow boxing backstage while Tommaso Ciampa was sitting down probably contemplating life or something…
5. WWE Raw Tag Team Champions “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. “The Forgotten Sons” Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler (w/Jaxson Ryker) in a non-title match. Erik started off with a shotgun dropkick on on Son. The Raiders hit a Son with a slam and splash for a nearfall. Cutler managed to turn the tide and hit Erik with a dropkick to the back for a nearfall. The Sons played isolation on Erik. Erik rolled under Cutler’s lariat to tag in Ivar who did his fast paced offense. Ivar was slowed by Ryker tripping him off the apron. Cutler came in with a knee on Ivar. [c]
Ivar cleaned house with both Sons back from the break. He hit Cutler with a basement crossbody and a inverted cannonball. Erik gave Ivar a spinebuster on Blake. The Raiders hit Blake with a twisting springboard Hart Attack for a two count. Ryker distracted the Raiders enough for Blake to get a bit of an advantage. Ivar used his weight to block Blake’s pile driver. Cutler hit Ivar with a back stabber. Blake hit Cutler with a power bomb on Cutler’s knees for a two count. Ivar fought through both sons to get the tag to Erik. Erik went for a suicide dive on Cutler, but he ran into Jaxson Ryker’s right hand while the ref was distracted. Cutler hit Erik with an Attitude Adjustment on the ring apron.
Cutler got a two count on Erik. Ryker got on the ring apron, and this made the referee eject him. Before he could leave, Ivar hit him with a suicide dive. Erik escaped a rollup attempt and hit Cutler with a high knee. Blake gave Erik a Frankensteiner into Ivar and Cutler to leave all four men lying. The Sons and Raiders traded punches in the ring. The Sons and Ivar then had a cartwheel party. Ivar took down both Sons with a handspring back hand. The Viking Raiders hit Blake with The Viking Experience for the victory.
The Viking Raiders defeated The Forgotten Sons via pinfall in 8:40 of on-air TV Time.
John’s Thoughts: A match that I feared was going to be boring, which is the fear of any Forgotten Sons tag team match. Thank God things picked up in the end because that ended up being fun (Though I still don’t see much in the Blake and Cutler act because they have shown flashes of goodness in the past only to revert to being boring). Can we just move the NXT tag teams on the main roster back to NXT. They know how to do Tag Team wrestling up on NXT. By the way, unlike NXT on the other shows, most of the Raw and Smackdown wrestlers are getting favorable reactions from the crowds given how they are seen as “coming home” by the Full Sail crowd. That isn’t a bad thing I guess?
Cathy Kelley hyped up the Dain vs. Dunne vs. Priest match for Takeover and talked about how it will lead to a match against Adam Cole at Survivor Series. They sent things to an Adam Cole hype package. It was Storytime with Adam Cole style where he talked about being on a great run while also hyping up his matches this weekend…
Adam Cole was shown pacing backstage in preparation for his upcoming ladder match with O’Reilly and Fish there encouraging him… [c]
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary. Mauro talked about this being one of the most unpredictable episodes of NXT in NXT history (is that really a great thing? Maybe?). A War Games video package aired with Kayla Braxton explaining the rules of War Games, complete with subtitles for the rules. The commentators ran through the War Games card. Nigel noted that Undisputed Era have been in every single NXT War Games match so far. Mauro then did his WWE Network Free Trial plug (which is new since the show is on USA now)…
Alisha Taylor introduced the ladder match for man advantage at War Games. The match started off with seven minutes left at the top of the hour…
6. WWE NXT Champion Adam Cole vs. Dominik Dijakovic in a ladder match for the advantage in the War Games Match. Mauro hyped up Adam Cole having one of the best overall runs in recent weeks in the history of all three brands. Dijak gave Cole clubbing blows while Cole tried to run away. Dijakovic hit Cole with a facebuster and lariat combo. Dijakovic rolled away to bring a ladder from under the ring into play. Cole gave the ladder a baseball slide into Dijakovic. Dijakovic recovered and gave the ladder a cyclone kick into Adam Cole. Dijakovic slammed a ladder into the gut of Cole. Nigel talked about how this match can cause injuries and Mauro brought up Mia Yim as an example (and Cole continues to wrestle injured).
Cole and Dijakovic then kept each other from climbing up the lader. Cole got the advantage by superkicking Dijakovic’s surgically repaired knee. Cole then focused his attack on the injured knee by slamming it into the bottom ringpost. The show cut to a picture-in-picture commercial. [c]
[Overrun] Cole and Dijakovic were playing Tug-of-war with a ladder with Dijakovic won. Dijak then set up a ladder contraption with a ladder bridge in the ring. Cole used elbows to fight off a Dijakovic chokeslam attempt. Dijakovic hit Cole with a nice backfist. Cole then countered with a Last Shot Ushigoroshi onto a ladder in the corner. Cole tried to climb the ladder but Dijak recovered and choke slammed Cole into the ladder in the corner. A Mama Mia chant ensued. Cole crawled over to Dijak’s foot to brevent Dijak’s ascent. Dijak was about to go for Feast Your Eyes but Cole grabbed the ladder and started to climb up.
Cole then readjusted and hit Dijakovic with a Panama Sunrise (Canadian Destroyer). Cole quickly climbed up the ladder, but Dijakovic recovered and hit Cole with clubbing blows to the back. Dijakovic hit Cole with the Feast Your Eyes, but Dijakovic sold Cole’s head hitting Dijakovic’s knee. Nigel noted that Cole was smart for setting this up. Dijakovic used his ladder bridge to help him climb. Adam Cole recovered and met Dijakovic on the top or the ladder. Cole used the briefcase as a battering ram into the head of Dijakovic, which knocked out Dijakovic and sent him falling into the ladder bridge, breaking the ladder. Cole retrieved the briefcase to pick up the win.
Adam Cole defeated Donovan Dijakovic in a ladder match in 10:28 to earn Undisputed Era the advantage in the War Games Match.
Adam Cole posed in the ring holding up both his title and briefcase. Undisputed Era tried to come out to celebrate with Cole, but Fish, O’Reilly, and Strong were surrounded by Blue and Red shirts. Both team knocked out UE quickly. A brawl then ensued between Raw and Smackdown. In the ring, a red shirt Drew McIntyre gave Dominik Dijakovic a Claymore Kick. Keith Lee came up from behind and gave McIntyre a Spirit Bomb. Ivar and Lee then decided to team up instead of fight. They gave the pile of Raw, Smackdown, and NXT wrestlers a Tope Con Hilo to leave everyone lying.
Adam Cole took this as if he was the only person standing tall. Out of nowhere, Seth Rollins ran in the ring and clocked Cole with a superkick. Rollins was about to give Cole a Curb Stomb, but Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance. Ciampa slowly walked to the ring past the prone bodies to confront Rollins. Before entering the ring, Ciampa gave Adam Cole a cheap shot knee (because he’s facing Cole on Saturday). Cole got a negative reaction in the form of a “Seth’s not cool” chant. Rollins held up his hands and soaked up the boos. Rollins and Ciampa then traded punches. The show closed in the middle of the brawl after both men traded elbows…
John’s Thoughts: A bit of an underwhelming ladder match all things considered. I’m not sure why they decided to go with ladder matches to set up War Games given how ladder matches are supposed to be blow offs? This match was also made more underwhelming by the Revival having a killer match earlier and the women last week having a superb 20 minute epic main event ladder match to make this match pretty pedestrian by comparison. It was fine, but I feel like ladder matches should be saved for bigger situations too.
Mixed thoughts on all the brawls tonight. A few of them were good. The last one was solid, but they were all hurt by the law of diminishing returns. They were handled better than we’ve seen on Raw and Smackdown at least because they did come up in logical situations. Again, the NXT didn’t really see most of the Raw and Smackdown guys as heels because they were NXT wrestlers at one point anyway. The only one who got a heel reaction was Seth Rollins, but he’s getting those on the main roster these days somewhat too. This show was truly made great because of the two tag team matches and I’ll give the Sons a bit of credit for having a decent match too. What good, it was a bit convoluted throughout the rest of the show, and you can’t fully blame NXT because the main roster only has to build towards one PPV and for some strange reason NXT was forced to build towards two consecutive PPVs this weekend. I do like NXT making the best of it though with nice attention to detail, like Ciampa giving Cole a knee in the end. I’ll be by later on with my member’s exclusive audio review of the show which should also include predictions for War Games. Jason Powell will be by whenever he gets to watching the show with his NXT Hit List.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...