By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV on USA Network
Aired live January 29, 2020 from Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
[Hour One] Highlights from last week’s NXT aired with NXT’s Slipknot theme playing in the background. The video package included Dusty Rhodes sound bites at the end of it to hype the finals of the Dusty Classic…
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary. Beth Phoenix was crying during the introduction and Beth was selling Randy Orton’s attack on Adam Copeland (Edge). Beth addressed Edge as “Adam” and noted that Adam told her to be strong and go to work so Beth is here to call the show…
They cut to footage of Trent Seven being interviewed outside of Full Sail yesterday. Finn Balor showed up and started choking Trent with the door of the car Trent was next too. Balor told Seven that he and Tyler Bate shouldn’t mess with Balor and Finn Balor works on Wednesdays.
John’s Thoughts: That’s the good ol’ New Japan Prince Devitt we all know and love. Love his crazy ass yakuza stuff. I was afraid that WWE wasn’t going to allow him to be this violent but they haven’t held him back much aside from the fact that he shouldn’t be allowed to drop unlimited F-bombs in WWE. “Captain F’n New Japan? Get the F out of here” is still one of my favorite Prince Devitt lines of all time for some strange reason.
During Seven’s entrance, Balor dived to send Seven to ringside. The referee wouldn’t call the bell before Seven agreed to continue.
1. Finn Balor vs. Trent Seven. Nigel noted that Finn Balor has shown a lot of aggression since becoming the “Prince” (Props to Finn Balor for kicking the ever living ass of the last remaining BroMan, DJ Zema Ion). Balor put the boots to Seven right after the bell. Balor stomped on Seven with his new signature slingshot stomps. Balor continued to work on Seven at ringside. Balor locked Seven in a cravate in the ring.
Balor hit Seven with a standing footstomp for a two count. Balor got another two count after a quick snap elbow drop. Balor got a close nearfall after a small package. Balor came right back with a Sling Blade. Balor stompped on Seven’s jaw while hyperextending Seven’s shoulder. The show cut to the picture in picture commercial. [c]
John’s Thoughts: I really like Balor’s vintage aggressive style. Last time I was this wowed by an aggressive style was when I first saw Killer Kross wrestle some dark matches in Los Angeles. My dream scenario is still hoping that Kevin Kross become’s Finn Balor’s new “Underboss” , where they can look menacing and Balor can ride Kross’s shoulders.
Seven escaped a chinlock back from the break and came at Balor with chops. Seven hit Balor with a snap DDT. Balor fended off Seven with double boots, but Seven came back with a Half Nelson Suplex. Seven hit Balor with his finisher, the Seven Star Lariat (Rainmaker) for the two count. Seven caught Balor at ringside with a suicide dive. Balor turned Seven inside out on the top rope by tripping him. Balor hit Seven with a Shotgun Dropkick in the corner. Balor followed up with the Coup De Grace. Once Seven got up, Balor hit Seven with Bloody Sunday for the victory.
Finn Balor defeated Trent Seven via pinfall in 10:09.
Balor’s chest was shown to look pretty raw from chops he received from Seven. Highlights from the match aired…
Cathy Kelley Interviewed Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle backstage of their upcoming match. Riddle said Dunne is a “bro from another mo” and he sees the love coming from Dunne’s eyes. Dunne did his usual deadpan stare. Dunne talked about breaking Gibson and Drake’s fingers. Riddle said people will find out why Dunne is the life of the party. Dunne continued to hold his deadpan facial expression…
Beth Phoenix hyped Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai for later in the show…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Finn Balor has reinvented his style since turning heel and it’s glorious (or you can think of him unearthing his New Japan heel style again). I think the match went too long, but Balor didn’t lose too much from Seven hanging in there too long, but I don’t think Seven really gained much in defeat and I thought it would have been more effective to have Balor win a bit quicker. I say that, because they gave Seven an injury out by saying he had an injured larynx.
A teaser vignette aired with the numbers 5, 20, and 2 (Well? 2-5-2020 is next Wednesday, but I’m probably just reaching on that one). They were inside of flaming circles with two other flaming circles looking blue and empty in the corners…
John’s Thoughts: I’m just going to assume any surprise teaser is for Killer Kross. Convince me otherwise.
Shotzi Blackheart made her entrance riding her signature toy tank to the ring…
2. Shotzi Blackheart vs. Deonna Purrazzo. The match started off with Purrazzo dominating the chain wrestling sequence. Mauro noted Chelsea Green is making her NXT debut later tonight (didn’t she have a few matches on NXT already?). Purrazzo used technical chain wrestling to dominate Blackheart. Blackheart turned the tables with a few jawbreakers and a neckbreaker. Blackheart hit Purrazzo with a sling blade bulldog. Blackheart got a two count after a kick. Blackheart picked up the win after hitting Purrazzo with a top rope diving Senton.
Shotzi Blackheart defeated Deonna Purrazzo in 3:17.
Blackheart exited the arena in her signature toy tank…
Nigel McGuinness advertised Keith Lee appearing live next…[c]
John’s Thoughts: It looks like WWE sees the same upside that I’ve been seeing in Blackheart all these years in the California Independents. She hasn’t caught on fully yet, but you can tell WWE is high on her because they’ve just signed her yet they’ve given her a ton of TV time including a meaningful spot in the Royal Rumble (referencing her short feud with Shayna Baszler). Hopefully they give Shotzi some promo and vignette time because, while a bit dorky, she comes off as really affable and relatable.
Mauro sent things over to a NXT World’s Collide summary video package…
Keith Lee made his first entrance in Full Sail as NXT North American Champion. Lee soaked in the positive crowd reaction. Lee introduced himself as the “Limitless NXT North American Champion”. Lee referenced him confronting the Undisputed Era by himself and picking which championship he’ll go after first. Lee said he’s the moment maker, game changer, and now a prophesy ender. Keith Lee’s promo was cut off by Damien Priest making his first entrance after being off TV for a while.
Priest holds his mic upside down. Priest said he likes taking things. He said he takes groups of women or priceless possessions. He said he takes what he wants and he wants the North American Championship. Priest wondered how Lee is going to give the title to Priest. Dominik Dijakovic then made his entrance. Dijak talked about being in a ton of battles with Lee.
Dijak said he agrees that Keith Lee is the person that deserves the North American championship. Dijakovic then said that he’s damn sure bootleg Marylin Manson (Priest) doesn’t deserve a title shot, but rather Dijakovic. Lee said he’s just going to walk away and lett the two men in the ring figure things out. Lee left and, Impromptu Match.
3. Damien Priest vs. Dominik Dijakovic. Mauro noted that William Regal made this match official. Dijak and Priest brawled to ringside. Priest gave Dijakovic a Razors edge on the ring apron heading into commercial. [c]
Priest gave Dijakovic a flatliner back from the break. They aired Dijakovic giving Priest a Time to Fly from earlier. Priest escaped a Feast Your Eyes but got hit by Dijakovic’s sitout chokeslam. Priest rolled to ringside and got hit by Dijakovic’s Asai Moonsault. Priest reversed a Dijak slingshot move by catching him and hitting him with a chokeslam in the ring. Priest hit Dijakovic with a step up Tope Con Hilo outside.
Both men took each other out with Cyclone kicks. Dijak staggered Priest with a superkick on the top rope. Both men were brawling at the top rope. Priest hit Dijakovic with a Super Poisonrana for a two count. Dijakovic escaped a Reckoning attempt and hit Priest with Feast Your Eyes for the victory.
Dominik Dijakovic defeated Damien Preist via pinfall in about 5:00 of on-air TV Time .
They aired replays of some of the big man high spots from the match earlier…
Zack Gibson and Damien Preist were shown taping themselves up backstage. They aried a picture in picture video showing highlights of the GYV’s run in the Dusty Classic. Gibson and Drake then did high five pushups to prepare for their upcoming match…
Cathy Kelley interviewed Tommasso Ciampa about his thoughts on William Regal’s NXT Championship announcement for later. Ciampa said Goldie is coming home at takeover and Daddy’s going to make sure of it. Ciampa tapped the metal shelf next to him with a steel pipe and walked away… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A good high flying big man match that we’ve gotten used to getting from any combination of Priest, Lee, or Dijakovic. The preceding promo wasn’t bad either (though Preist was a bit rough on the mic, not too much though). Looks like we’re going to get those three men in the NA title picture for a little while. There’s a part of me that wouldn’t mind if Cameron Grimes somehow sneaks in there to win the title from Lee.
The camera cut to outside of Full Sail showing Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong all knocked out on the pavement. Ciampa walked out of the darkness and laid down his metal pipe. Ciampa then marched around backstage with a ripped shirt looking like a badass maniac. Ciampa picked up and dragged a table to the ring. The crowd gave Ciampa “Psycho Killer” and “Daddy’s Home” chants.
[Hour Two] Ciampa set up the table in the ring while a camera also showed that referees and Adam Cole were checking up on the knocked out Undisputed Era guys. Adam Cole made his entrance to the arena. Ciampa drew a yellow x on the set up table. Cole ranted a bit. Ciampa said Ciampa is the guy who’s never lost the NXT title and the guy who’s Goldie’s daddy. Ciampa said Cole is going to march here so Ciampa can kick his ass. Ciampa said he’s going to power bomb Cole through the X in the table. Ciampa said he’s going to take back his life at Portland and Goldie’s coming home.
William Regal walked out and noted that Adam Cole already signed the contract. Cole snatched the contract and said he’s Adam Cole, the NXT Champion of the world. Cole said he’s going to walk up these stairs. In the middle of his promo, Cole caught Ciampa off guard by hitting Ciampa with the microphone. Ciampa used a boot to block Cole’s belt shot. Ciampa then power bombed Cole through the X in the table.
Ciampa ripped off his shirt. Ciampa picked up the contract and signed it. The crowd noted that Ciampa was bleeding from his head and chanted “use your blood”. Ciampa rubbed off some blood and rubbed it on the contract to sign it in blood. Ciampa’s theme started playing with Ciampa acting like he was hearing words from the title belt…
The commentary team hyped the advertised Takeover Matches: Cole vs. Ciampa, Balor vs. Gargano, and Ripley vs. Belair…
A highlight package aired to hype up Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair…[c]
John’s Thoughts: The logic was a bit wonky but that segment did a solid job building up to the NXT Championship match at Takeover: Portland. Ciampa was on fire throughout the segment, first looking like an absolute badass by walking around backstage and taking out UE. His promo made things even better with him showing passion in wanting Goldie back. Good segment and it was made better with him signing the contract in blood. Was that a candid moment? If so, then great because it gave the crowd something organic to work with in the “use your blood” chant.
Highlights from the Cruiserweight Triple Threat at World’s Collide aired where Jordan Devlin pinned Isaiah Scott to pick up Angel Garza’s Cruiserweight Championship. Nigel advertised Devlin as appearing next week…
Tegan Nox made her entrance marching to the ring looking serious. She was carrying her knee brace to the ring by her side. Dakota Kai used her vicious attack on Tegan Nox as her titantron video again…
4. Dakota Kai vs. Tegan Nox. Nox gave Kai a flurry of strikes early on. Kai managed to get a shot in and hit Nox with a Face Wash. Nox hit Kai in the corner with an inverted cannonball. Nigel noted that Kai is part Samoan and part Irish. Kai and Nox brawled to ringside. The managed to get back to ringside to break the ten count. Kai surprised Nox with a kick after Nox broke the count. Kai tried to hit Nox with a chair but Nox kicked Kai and tossed Kai into the ringpost.
Nox was about to bring the chair to the ring but the referee prevent her from doing so. Kai swung and missed with a knee brace shot to Nox. Nox hit Kai with a Suplex. Kai prevented Nox from hitting a suicide dive by hitting Nox with a punch to the gut. Candice LeRae ran out to prevent Kai from hitting Nox with a chair. The referee was distracted with LeRae which allowed Nox to hit Kai with the knee brace swing followed up by The Shiniest Wizard for the victory.
Tegan Nox defeated Dakota Kai via pinfall in 3:13
Nox and LeRae celebrated up the ramp…
Matt Riddle was shadow boxing while Pete Dunne was taping his wrist up. They aired a picture-in-picture with the highlights from the BroSerweight’s run in the Dusty Classic…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A fun and quick brawl that I’m happy didn’t devolve into a traditional wrestling match. It wasn’t supposed to. The match was only around 3 mintues, but they got a huge amount of content in that three minutes. Nox gets the dirty win, but it was turnabout being fair play because Kai done did Nox dirty in the past. Candice LeRae serves a valuable role of being the babyface lockerroom leader which she’s playing well too. This is similar to the role Tommy Dreamer is playing on Impact Wrestling where he’s always the first to come out at the aid of babyfaces.
5. Chelsea Green (w/Robert Stone) vs. Kayden Carter. Carter started the match off right with a shotgun dropkick. Green quickly turned the tide with a STF into the second rope, some kicks, and a shotgun dropkick. Green hit Carter with a whip into the second turnbuckle. Green curb stomped Carter into the bottom turnbuckle. Mauro hyped up his Canada pride as well as noting that Green was trained in Canada by Lance Storm.
Green locked Carter in a chinlock. Carter blocked Green’s Unprettier attempt. Green escaped a victory roll but ate a kick. Carter got a two count. Green kicked Carter to the mat. While Green was gloating, Carter surprised Green with a Small Package for the victory.
Kayden Carter defeated Chelsea Green via pinfall in 3:09.
Mauro sold the victory as an upset and talked about hot this was Carter’s first NXT win. Mauro then hyped the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic final…[c]
John’s Thoughts: While I’m very high on Green, I’m okay with this because it looks like they can tell a fun story with the scrappy Kayden Carter. Carter has looked good against the main eventers in the women’s division so it looks like they have some long term planning in store for her. I’m also hoping Green changes up her look/gimmick because I’m not sure “generic heel” is going to do her much in terms of elevating to the main event. She’s essentially playing Laurel Van Ness 0.5, a debutante without a modus operandi. I’m still hoping she brings back her Reklusa look/character. I swear to you guys, I saw Chelsea Green wrestle a PPV-level main event level match in the form of an Intergender match against Pentagon Jr. at a dilapidated warehouse in Downtown Los Angeles. I swear I didn’t make this high level match up in my mind.
Alicia Taylor handled the formal ring introductions for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals. There was about 25 minutes left at the top of the hour…
6. “The BroSerweights” Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle vs. “The Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake in the final match of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Drake Wuertz (Drake Younger) was the referee of the match. Dunne and Riddle traded tags to double team James Drake early on. Drake got a sunset flip on Riddle. Drake used to ropes to prevent Riddle from locking in the ankle lock. Gibson tagged in and gave Riddle a clothesline. Riddle caught Gibson in the corner with Muay Thai kicks. Riddle hit Gibson with a Gutwrench Suplex.
Dunne tagged in and cleaned house. Grizzled Young veterans hit Dunne with a nasty looking Spike Tombstone at ringside (are they allowed to do that in WWE these days?). Dunne kicked out at two. Drake and Dunne had a vicious strong style chop and slap exchange in the center of the ring. Drake threw Dunne into the ringpost to stagger him heading into commercial. [c]
Dunne got a hot tag to Matt Riddle back from the break. The crowd was chanting “Riddle’s gonna smoke you” while he was hitting his signature offense on Gibson. Riddle got a two count on Gibson with a bridged German Suplex. Gibson hit Riddle with a jawbreaker. Riddle hit Drake with a Spear and hit Gibson with a Goldberg Jackhammer. Riddle power bombed Drake into Dunne’s knee for a two count. Mauro gave Dunne and Riddle credit for coming up with tandem moves together.
The Vets hit Riddle with a Basket Toss Bomb to give Gibson a two count. Gibson hit Riddle with a Back Suplex for a two count. Gibson kept Riddle down with a few stiff strikes. Riddle escaped a Helter Skelter attempt from Gibson. The Vets took down their opponents with dropkicks. The Bros recovered. Riddle hit Drake with a Final Flash knee. Drake kicked out at two. Riddle hit Drake with a Fisherman Buster for a two count. Riddle hit Drake with a series of running sentons.
Drake got a window of opportunity by hitting Riddle with a DDT. Gibson and Dunne tagged in. Both men had their DBZ punch exchange in the center of the ring. Dunne hit Gibson with a suplex and stomp to the hands. Riddle and Dunne locked The Vets in stereo ankle locks. The show cut to picture-in-picture commercial. [c]
Dunne used a victory roll to block a Doomsday Device attempt from the Vets. The Vets recovered. Gibson threw Drake at Riddle at ringside. Gibson hit Dunne with a Magnum for a two count. Gibson locked Dunne in the Shankly Gates. Riddle put Drake on his back and gave Gibson a Spear to hurt both Drake and Gibson (see the move to understand what I just wrote). The Bros caught Drake going for Poetry in Motion. The Bros hit The Vets with finger break spots. Riddle and Dunne hit Drake with the Riddle-End to give Riddle a two count.
Gibson put Dunne on his shoulders at ringside and the Vets hit Dunne with a Suicide Dooms day Device. The Vets hit Riddle with the Helter Skelter from Gibson followed by a 450 by Drake for a two count on Riddle. Dunne and Riddle countered the Vets and hit them with Stereo Bro Dereks. Riddle hit Drake with a corkscrew senton. Dunne hit Gibson with a dive at ringside. Riddle popped Drake up into Dunne’s Enzuigiri for the victory.
Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle defeated The Grizzled Young Veterans via pinfall in 17:39 of on-air TV Time to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Trophy as well as a future NXT Tag Team Title Shot.
Alicia Taylor announced The BroSerweights as the winners of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic to close the show. No overrun this week heading into Miz and Mrs…
John’s Thoughts: A stellar Takeover-worthy tag team match between two stellar teams. We’ve seen better stories told from teams like American Alpha or The Revival in similar situations, but these two teams lived up to the high bar that past NXT tag teams have set in the past. The weak point of the match is credibility behind Gibson and Drake. They didn’t even give Gibson any mic time, which he’s good at, to make the viewers buy into the Vets being meaningful and winning. On the other side though, they do give a bit of mic time to Riddle and Dunne.
It’s also very fun seeing Riddle and Dunne come up with such strong tag team chemistry after being a makeshift tag team for just a few weeks (I honestly can’t remember if these two have teamed in the past? I only remember Riddle having a well known tag team with Jeff Cobb when he was a part of the Chosen Bros). Same story as past weeks. This was a solid episode of NXT with every segment being meaningful. I’ll be by tomorrow morning with my member’s exclusive audio review of this show. Jason Powell will be by with his NXT Hit List whenever he gets to watching this week’s NXT.