1/15 NXT TV results: Powell’s review of a Battle Royal for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship, Kushida and Alex Shelley vs. Zack Gibson and James Drake and Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne vs. Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster in Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic matches

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

NXT TV on USA Network
Aired live January 15, 2020 from Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

[Hour One] A memorial graphic was shown for the late Rocky Johnson… A video package recapped last week’s NXT show and Undisputed Era attacking Imperium at the end of Sunday’s NXT UK Takeover event… The broadcast team was Mauro Ranallo and Beth Phoenix…

Keith Lee was introduced by ring announcer Alicia Taylor. The crowd chanted “bask in his glory.” Lee told the fans to bask if they wish because he is the No. 1 contender for the NXT North American Championship. Lee said Undisputed Era had a great 2019, but they have reached their limit, whereas he is limitless. Lee started to talk about his title match.

Undisputed Era members Roderick Strong, Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly hit the ring and attacked Lee. He fought them off briefly until Strong hit him from behind with a chair. Tommaso Ciampa ran out and chased off Undisputed Era. Ranallo said the damage was done. Lee got to his feet and was limping…

Ranallo and Phoenix checked in from their usual spot. Nigel McGuinness was conspicuous by his absence. Ranallo spoke about Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano taking place at the NXT Takeover: Portland event, then noted that Tegan Nox was returning in the women’s battle royal later in the show…

A pre-taped Nox promo aired. She was outside Full Sail and was talking about getting her hands on Dakota Kai when an excited Candice LeRae ran up and hugged her… Separate shots aired of Mia Yim and Io Shirai while Phoenix hyped the battle royal…

Powell’s POV: The Lee and Undisputed Era angle was solid, and there was good early hype for the women’s battle royal. I’m filling in for John Moore tonight. He will return on Thursday with the NXT Hit List and his weekly Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review of the NXT show. On a side note, my audio review of AEW Dynamite will be a couple hours later than usual tonight since I’m covering this show live.

1. Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne vs. Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament match. Ranallo noted that the winning team would face Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel in the semifinals of the tournament. They cut to a split screen break about 40 seconds into the match.

Andrews went on a nice offensive flurry on both opponents coming out of the break. Andrews and Webster performed flip dives from the ring onto Riddle and Dunne at ringside. A short time later, Webster went for a springboard move and was punched out of the air by Dunne. There was a cool spot where Dunne threw Andrews into the air and he was caught and powerbombed by Riddle. The duo followed up with stereo kicks to the head. They cut to a full screen break as the match continued. [C]

Andrews and Webster went back on the offensive and the fans chanted “tag team wrestling” briefly. Riddle rallied and set up for a move on Webster, who countered into an inside cradle for a nice near fall. Riddle tagged in Dunne, who came right back with a near fall of his own. Webster had Riddle pinned and Andrews was trying to stand guard, but he was sent crashing into the pin to break it up.

Dunne and Andrews tagged in. Dunne blocked a DDT attempt, but Webster came right back with a Stunner. Riddle piledrove Webster at ringside. Andrews went for a move off the ropes and was punched by Dunne in mid-air. Riddle tagged in. Dunne lifted Andrews and dropped him into a big knee from Riddle, who then scored the pin…

Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne defeated Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster in 18:20 to advance to the semifinals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament.

Powell’s POV: A really hot tag match to open the show. The favorites went over, but the nice thing about it featuring two babyface teams was that it didn’t offer any hints as to which team would advance to face the heel Imperium duo next week.

The updated tournament brackets graphic was shown… Ranallo and Phoenix spoke at their desk. Ranallo noted that Nigel McGuinness called the NXT UK Takeover event and was getting some R&R and would return next week. They recapped footage of Undisputed Era attacking Imperium at the end of the Takeover show…

Footage aired from after Takeover of Imperium delivering a backstage promo. Walter did the venting… The broadcast team hyped the Worlds Collide event for the night before the Royal Rumble…

Cathy Kelley stood outside the trainer’s room and said Keith Lee was being evaluated for a leg injury that could jeopardize next week’s NXT North American Title match… [C]

Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance for an in-ring promo. Ciampa mentioned Velveteen Dream, Imperium, and now Keith Lee. He said it’s pretty obvious that Undisputed Era has a hit list. He said that’s great because he does too and Adam Cole is on his hit list. Ciampa said he needs his life back and will be taking back his life (the NXT Title).

Undisputed Era hit the ring and attacked Ciampa. Johnny Gargano ran out for the save and cleared the ring. Ciampa caught Kyle O’Reilly with a draping DDT. Bobby Fish returned to the ring and ate a superkick from Gargano. Fans chanted DIY, then Ciampa and Gargano hit their old finisher on Fish. Gargano’s music played while Ciampa and Gargano had a brief moment in the ring…

Phoenix hyped the women’s battle royal as the main event of the show. Ranallo hyped the other Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic match as coming up next… [C]

2. Kushida and Alex Shelley vs. “The Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament match. The winning team will face Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly in the semifinals. Shelley and Gibson started the match and fans chanted Shelley’s name. The heels had the advantage heading into an early break. [C]

[Hour Two] Shelley was isolated and eventually made a hot tag to Kushida, who worked over both opponents. Shelley tagged in and joined Kushida in performing a nice double team splash combo that led to a near fall. Kushida went up top and was pushed off by Gibson. Shelley went for Sliced Break No. 2 on Drake, who caught him, and then tossed him into a Codebreaker by Gibson, allowing Drake to score the pin…

Zack Gibson and James Drake defeated Kushida and Alex Shelley in 12:00 to advance to the semifinals of the tournament.

The updated graphics were shown. There was a handshake tease between the teams, but Gibson and Drake declined. Gibson said they didn’t come all this way to shake hands while the hipster Full Sail crowd pretends to know who Shelley is. Gibson said Kushida and Shelley are a great tag team of the past, but he and Drake are the present, future, and soon to be tournament winners…

Powell’s POV: I did lean toward Kushida and Shelley winning to set up the babyface vs. heel semifinals, but I didn’t think it was a slam dunk because of the need for a UK team to go deep in the tournament. Plus, I’m looking forward to what I consider to be the top two heel tag teams from the respective NXT brands meeting in the semifinals. The match was entertaining. I just wish we would have heard from both teams in advance. Gibson is a heat magnet as he showed afterward, and there are likely some viewers who were unfamiliar with the UK duo and Shelley. That said, it was very nice to see Shelley reunite with Kushida even it if was just a one off.

Footage aired of Rob Stone and Chelsea Green walking outside the building. Stone said the women’s division is the best its ever been, but Green is better than the best and that’s why he was pulling her in the battle royal. He said all the other women were trying to steal her spotlight. Stone said everyone would have to wait to see the hottest former free agent. The duo got into a car…

Powell’s POV: There was some chatter last week about the possibility of whether Stone is meant to look like AEW President Tony Khan. I thought Stone looked nerdy last week and I didn’t really see the resemblance. Oddly, Stone dressed better this week and now I definitely see it regardless of whether or not it’s intentional.

A video package focused Isaiah Scott, then Ranallo hyped the Triple Threat for a spot in the NXT Cruiserweight Championship four-way match… [C]

Finn Balor spoke about Ilja Dragunov and the similarities between them. Balor said that when you got at The Prince, you better not miss. Balor said that if Dragunov stepped up at Worlds Collide then he’ll put him down…

3. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Lio Rush for a spot in the four-way NXT Cruiserweight Title match at Worlds Collide. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Angel Garza sat in on commentary and heeled it up. Scott and Rush were down at ringside while Breeze stood tall on the apron heading into a break. [C]

Rush performed a frogsplash on Breeze. Scott tried to throw Rush out of the ring, but he held on and took out Scott. Breeze caught Rush in an inside cradle for a two count. Scott recovered and caught Breeze with a kick and a wicked slam for the pin. Afterward, Garza and Scott jawed at one another form a distance…

Isaiah “Swerve” Scott defeated Tyler Breeze and Lio Rush in 12:25 in a Triple Threat match to qualify for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship four-way at Worlds Collide.

Powell’s POV: A very good match with the great athleticism we’ve come to expect from the wrestlers involved. While it’s disappointing that Fandango is sidelined by injury, it is nice to see Breeze in the cruiserweight division rather than being part of their oddball male stripper tag team.

Backstage, Cathy Kelley asked Rhea Ripley if there was a wrestler in the battle royal that she hoped to see win. Ripley said she would go through Toni Storm at Worlds Collide and would do the same with the winner of the battle royal… Phoenix hyped that the battle royal was up next… [C]

Kelley spoke with Gargano outside the building about being in the ring with Ciampa. Ciampa showed up and thanked him for looking out for him. Ciampa was about to leave when Gargano asked him about one more for old time’s sake. They were about to shake on it when they were distracted by a commotion.

Security was holding back the Undisputed Era. Suddenly, Keith Lee entered the picture and performed a Pounce on a security guard that sent him crashing through some bushes. Lee threw another security guard on a car and another on a table. Lee barked at Roderick Strong about the prophecy ending next week…

The broadcast team hyped Strong vs. Lee for the North American Title, and the two Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semifinal matches for next week. Ranallo announced “DIY” Ciampa and Gargano vs. Tyler Bate and Trent Seven for Worlds Collide…

Powell’s POV: As if Worlds Collide didn’t look good enough on paper already, DIY vs. Bate and Seven is worth the price of admission (or WWE Network) on its own.

Some of the entrances for the battle royal took place. Kacy Catanzaro was a surprise entrant and was greeted with “welcome back” chants… [C] Some of the entrants arrived in the ring during the break, and the entrances of Io Shirai, Tegan Nox, and Shayna Baszler were televised.

4. Battle Royal for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT Takeover: Portland. The entrants included Shayna Baszler, Candice LeRae, Mia Yim, Xia Li, Bianca Belair, Kacy Catanzaro, Mercedes Martinez, Tegan Nox, MJ Jenkins, Vanessa Borne, Deonna Purrazzo, Kayden Carter, Mia Yim, Io Shirai, Shotzi Blackheart, Santana Garrett, Katalina, and Jessi Kamea.

The first woman out was Jenkins, who was eliminated by Baszler. Belair eliminated Kamea. Baszler eliminated Katalina. She also eliminated Carter going into a split screen break. [C] Baszler eliminated Garrett coming out of the break. Borne was eliminated by Yim. Purrazzo was eliminated. She pulled Blackheart under the ropes and kicked her.

Li was eliminated by Baszler. Shirai eliminated Catanzaro. Belair ran LeRae into the ring post and she fell to the floor to be eliminated. Martinez eliminated Yim. Baszler and Yim went face to face. Martinez escaped the Kiriduda Clutch and had Baszler on the ropes, but Baszler used her legs to pull Martinez over the top rope to eliminate her.

The final four (unless someone was hiding) were Baszler, Belair, Nox, and Shirai. Nox chokeslammed Shirai onto Baszler. Belair charged at Nox, who moved, causing Belair to spear Baszler. Nox went up top, but Dakota Kai showed up at ringside and pulled her down to eliminate her while Ranallo reminded viewers there were no disqualifications.

Kai threw a knee brace at Nox and then headed to the back. Baszler had Shirai in the Kirifuda Clutch over the ropes. Blackheart appeared out of nowhere and eliminated Baszler. Belair eliminated Blackheart.

The final two (unless someone else was hiding) were Belair and Shirai. Belair caught Shirai coming off the ropes and performed a nice fallaway slam. Shirai bounced back by shooting Belair face first into a corner. Shirai placed Belair on the top rope and followed her up. The women fought for position and Shirai teased nearly falling.

Shirai went for a huracanrana, but Belair held on. Shirai dropped down and threw a kick that knocked Belair to the apron. Shirai charged at Belair, who held the ropes down, causing Shirai to join her on the apron. Shirai went for a German suplex, but Belair held onto the top rope and elbowed her way free.

Shirai stood on Belair’s hair. Belair pulled her hair away, causing Shirai to take a bump on the apron. Both women return to the ring and continued the battle. In the end, Belair tossed Shirai over the top rope to the floor to win the match…

Bianca Belair won a battle royal in 23:00 to earn a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT Takeover: Portland.

Powell’s POV: Belair winning was a fun surprise. I thought we might be headed to a Baszler rematch when she showed up out of nowhere. Belair has spun her wheels a bit lately, so this should be good for her even though it’s hard to believe that she will beat new champion Rhea Ripley. It should be a fun match nonetheless.

Overall, it was another good night of NXT television. The in-ring work is strong and the booking his sound and logical. John Moore will be by on Thursday with his NXT Hit List and members’ exclusive audio review. Let us know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade in our weekly post show poll.


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