By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV on USA Network
Aired live February 19, 2020 from Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
[Hour One] An NXT Takeover: Portland highlight package aired with the two Poppy songs playing in the background…
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. The Undisputed Era made their entrance to start the show. Mauro noted that Adam Cole is the last UE member to have a title belt. Kyle O’Reilly sold disappointment by looking disappointed that he couldn’t do his title belt air guitar anymore. Adam Cole took a mic and said he told everyone that obsession will never beat destiny, in regards to Tommaso Ciampa’s goals. Cole brought up how UE is the measuring stick of the NXT brand. Cole said Roderick Strong is going to make an example of the Velveteen Dream.
Strong was about to speak, but was interrupted by a Velveteen Dream voiceover and graphic on the screen. Dream told Strong to “do it for Marina” and how Dream and Strong will make tonight a night to remember. Strong talked on the mic and said that tonight Velveteen Dream will wish he never came back…
The commentary team checked in from the table as they cut to a recap of Johnny Gargano’s betrayal on Sunday. Beth talked about how stunned everybody was on twitter after than moment. Next was Lio Rush making his entrance for an upcoming match. Mauro noted that Rush was on social media, showing that he’s putting a lot of work in training and in the gym. Nigel said he sees different and on social media he sees Jordan Devlin getting in Rush’s head…
Alicia Taylor handled the formal ring introductions for the championship match…
1. Jordan Devlin vs. Lio Rush for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. During the initial opening flurry, Jordan Devlin ducked away from a Lio Rush roundhouse. The show quickly panned over to the picture-in-picture commercial. [c]
Devlin hit rush with a chokeslam and slingshot moonsault for the two count. Rush and Devlin then had a strong style battle for a bit. Devlin hit Rush with a Uranage. Rush blocked a moonsault with knees. Rush hit Devlin with a CQC combo. Mauro noted that Lio Rush loves Sonic the Hedgehog and Mauro used that fact to drop a handful of Sonic movie references. Devlin gave rush a knee for a two count. Beth noted that Devlin started to focus his attack on Rush’s ribs. Devlin locked Rush in a camel clutch. Next Devlin continued methodical offense on Rush. Beth said that it’s to Devlin’s advantage not to stick in Rush’s wheelhouse, which is speed.
Devlin blocked Rush’s Come-up stunner with an Elevator Backbreaker. Devlin went back to the methodical offense. Rush tried to fend off Devlin with chops. Rush managed to get Devlin to the mat with a knife edge. Devlin slowed things back down with a jawbreaker. They cut to regular commercial. [c]
Devlin and Rush took each other out with a crossbody. Rush took Devlin out with a Suicide Dive. Devlin caught Rush with a cutter in the ring. Devlin hit Rush with a Punt. Devlin crash and burned on a Triangle Moonsault. Rush came back with a Phoenix Splash to the outside. Rush got a two count after a rollup. Devlin caught Rush with a Spanish Fly. Rush came right back with a Koji Clutch. Devlin got to the bottom rope for the break. Rush caught Devlin with a Super Poisonrana and Come up for the two count (Mauro did the WWE “we have a new champion” giveaway). Devlin caught Rush with a headbutt and a Devl-Inside Suplex for the victory.
Jordan Devlin defeated Lio Rush via pinfall in 15:05 of on-air TV time to retain the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
Highlights from the match aired…
They cut to an interviewer interviewing Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Raquel said she understands how it feels to be pushed aside. She said she sympathizes with Kai for being brushed aside by Nox. Kai talked about how she has Raquel’s back now. William Reagal appraoached Kai and said that Kai has a match against Nox two weeks from now, in a steel cage.
Tommaso Ciampa was shown walking in the Full Sail Quad area, heading to the arena…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A decent match that I felt was taken a notch down due to two commercial breaks. They never really made it seem like Rush had any chance and he just came off as a slight road bump in Devlin’s title reign. I do like Devlin as champion though. He’s a heel, and that’s clear, unlike Angel Garza turning every segment. I hope we get some promos from him like he does on NXT UK. Since Finn Balor’s a heel now, mic work will keep him from coming off as Mini Finn Balor again, which was a problem Devlin had early in his WWE run.
Mauro cut over to footage of Rhea Ripley being interviewed by Cathy Kelley after Takeover. Rhea simply said at Wrestlemania “even queens get nightmares”. Beth then introduced a graphic for Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania for the NXT Women’s Championship…
Austin Theory made his entrance for a match with his generic music. Once Theory was in the ring, Tommaso Ciampa made an unannounced entrance. Ciampa took a mic and ignored Theory in the ring. Theory walked up to Ciampa to interrupt Ciampa’s promo. Ciampa told Theory, “not tonight”. Theory let Ciampa be. Ciampa talked about how he should have saw it coming because he was focused on getting his life, Goldie, back. Ciampa said he should have saw all the signs with Gargano. Ciampa talked about always being associated with “Johnny Gargano”.
The crowd started chanting “Johnny Sucks”. Ciampa said he’s not asking “Why? Johnny? Why?”. He said Johnny knows why. Theory got next to Ciampa to attack Ciampa and Ciampa clocked with a right hand Theory. Ciampa said that in order for Ciampa to get things right, there needs to be no Johnny in NXT. Ciampa tried to leave, but Theory went to attack Ciampa. Ciampa beat the hell out of Theory. Ciampa tossed Theory against the barricades and left him lying at the bottom of the ramp…
They cut to Robert Stone coaching Chelsea Green through a photoshoot heading into commercial…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A simple and effect promo by Ciampa that shows that he’s directing his attention to Gargano before going back to the title. Made Austin Theory look a bit like a goof though. I don’t think Theory’s going to disappear for years like the legendary NXT Dan Matha (the guy who got NXT vignettes about four years ago and we never saw him again after Samoa Joe destroyed him), but I wouldn’t mind if this was the last we saw of “generic” Austin Theory. Hopefully, the next time we see Theory, he gets a bit more polish instead of coming off as a very talented Create-a-wrestler with generic music. Theory does have the talent and upside to succeed though, so I’m not too worried.
A Finn Balor promo package aired. Balor talked about how all the hype falls short when they approach Finn. He said NXT is his chessboard and he proved it at Takeover. Balor said “next week, check out my next move”…
Nigel said to get ready for the most dangerous Finn Balor we’ve ever seen. Next Raul Mendoza made his entrance. Ugh…. His tag partner is DJ F’n Zema Ion (Joaquin Wilde) still dressed up like a dorky ass space man, and still with his stupid air horn entrance. Can Finn Balor run out and destroy this guy again? Because he can’t let Bro Mans go, of course he would ba ba ba baugh’d in the ring again…
2. “The Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake vs. Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde. Wilde hit Gibson with a dropkick and then did his dumb ba ba ba baugh thing. Gibson quickly got control back and traded tags with Gibson to keep Wilde grounded. Wilde managed to hit Drake with a huracanrana. He got a two count off a crucifix pin attempt. Gibson surprised Wilde with a shoulder tackle after a blind back tag. Gibson used his boots to keep down Wilde. Gibson and Drake traded quick tags to isolate Wilde with methodical power offense.
Raul Mendoza had a bit of a rally after the hot tag. Mendoza caught Gibson with a slingshot dropkick. Gibson hit Mendoza with a throat chop and delayed back suplex. Gibson tagged in. Drake tossed Mendoza into a codebreaker by Gibson for the victory.
The Grizzled Young Veterans defeated Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde via pinfall in 4:35.
Gibson took a mic and said “The land of the free and home of the brave? More like land of the neckbeards and home of the yanks”. Gibson cut his usual “soon to be recognized” promo to draw heat…[c]
John’s Thoughts: The NXT Tag division is depleated, so if the GYV are joining NXT US this is a good addition to the thin tag ranks. Hopefully we get a few more singles wrestlers who aren’t doing much paired up too and built up. Simple and effective showcase for GYV to the NXT crowd. That and anyone who beats up my enemy in pro wrestling, Bro Mans and airhorns, gets a thumbs up from me.
[Hour Two] Nigel McGuinness hyped NXT UK Takeover Dublin in April 26. Nigel noted that this was the first NXT UK Takeover outside of the UK…
Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle made their first entrance in Full Sail as NXT Tag Team Champions. The Champs celebrated by hanging out with the fans. Riddle was dancing around while Dunne remained serious. In the ring, Riddle started his promo with a “brooo” as usual. Riddle wondered where their golf cart was. Dunne yelled and said that Riddle got it impounded. Dunne said that doesn’t matter because the BroSerweights are the new NXT Tag Team Champions. They got a “you deserve it” chant.
Riddle said the celebration continues. Riddle said they partied hard in Portland. Riddle said Stallion Riddle partied hard, but Stallion Dunne is a party machine. Riddle said the Stallion “Cup” (their trophy) violated the NXT Wellness Policy and is suspended for 30 days. Riddle said sadly, that’s what happens in this company. Riddle’s promo was cut off by Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan making their entrance…
3. NXT Tag Team Champions”The BroSerweights” Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch in a non-title match. Dunne started out the match with the joint manipulation on Burch. I still think “Joint Manipulation” would have been a great name for Riddle and Dunne. Burch used boots to escape the manipulation. Burch countered a Juji Gatame with a rollup for the two count. Riddle and Lorcan tagged in. Dunne and Riddle took down their opponents with Gutwrench Suplexes. The Broserweights cleaned house. [c]
Lorcan worked on Riddle with a Half Crab which Mauro noted was a tribute to Lorcan’s trainer Lance Storm (isn’t everyone trained by Lance Storm?). Riddle used a GTS to escape Lorcan. Burch and Dunne tagged in. Dunen had the rally. Dunne hit Burch with a top rope stomp to the hands and a roundhouse. Burch blocked an armbar after a suplex. Dunne used the Joint Manipulation to lock in the Juji Gatame. Burch escaped with a rollup.
Riddle tagged in. Burch ate two roundhouse kicks. Dunne tossed Burch into a Riddle Roundhouse for a two count, broken up by Lorcan. Riddle no sold Burch’s German Suplex, but Burch followed up with a lariat. Burch locked in a Crossface. Dunn escaped Lorcan’s Suplex. Dunne attacked both opponents with roundhouse kicks. Riddle used his feet to fend off Burch’s punches. Riddle clocked Burch with a Superman Forearm. Burch gave Riddle a right hand. Riddle fell to the tag on Dunne.
Lorcan tagged in. Lorcan hit his signature running blockbuster on Dunne. Dunne caught a running Lorcan and did his signature finger break spot. The Broserweights hit their GTS-Enzuigiri combination for the victory. Nigel noted the move is called The Riddle End.
The BroSerweights defeated Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan via pinfall in 7:30 of on-air TV Time.
Riddle and Dunne celebrated their win in the crowd. Riddle joined Dunne in holding their title belts in their mouth (Riddle only did it for a second)…
They cut to Undisputed Era backstage. Strong told the rest of the Era that he wants to do this by himself and for himself. The rest of UE high fived Stong…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good tag team match as Riddle and Dunne continue to show great chemistry as a tag team. While I thought this was a good match, couldn’t they have thrown two enhancement singles wrestlers (like the prior match), or an enhancement team like Ever-Rise at Riddle and Dunne instead of Lorcan and Burch who have some level of credibility. In a tag division that’s thin on talent, You would think it would be valuable to protect one of your few credible tag teams. Hell, I would have been fine with Forgotten Sons taking the loss due to their lack of credibility. Maybe NXT forgot about the Forgotten Sons again? Blake and Cutler are pretty forgettable.
Speaking about the sons that are forgotten, they cut to a video on Jaxson Ryker’s Twitter. Ryker talked about it being the home of the brave and how they, the Forgotten Sons, are about to teach the GYV a lesson…
John’s Thoughts: So are they going to lean into their military background now? At least Cutler and Gunner are Military veterans.
They cut to footage of Keith Lee on WWE Backstage as Keith Lee made his entrance. Om WWE Backstage. Lee talked about being a leader who leads by example. Back at Full Sail, Lee grabbed a mic. The crowd gave Lee his usual Seven Nation Army chant. Before Lee could cut a promo, “The Finest” Kona Reeves made his entrance. Hell yes! This is the same day Keanu Reeves is filming The Matrix sequel in San Franscisco (I joke about my excitement, Keanu is actually in SF at the moment). Lee gave Kona a Pounce and said they can ring the bell…
4. NXT North American Champion Keith Lee vs. Kona Reeves in a non-title match. Lee gave Reeves a jackhammer power slam for the victory.
Keith Lee defeated Kona Reeves via pinfall in 0:13.
Dominik Dijakovic entered the ring and talked about almost beating Lee on Sunday. He listed a bunch of reasons as to why he lost. Lee said that Dijak is saying a bunch of “if”, but Lee won the match. Lee talked about always hearing the same thing every time they wrestle. The crowd answered “fight forever”. Lee said he agrees and is always up for a challenge. Lee said if Dijak can convince Regal “we can fight forever”. Lee’s theme played as Lee walked up the ramp…[c]
John’s Thoughts: NXT has done a solid job building up Lee and Dijakovic as eternal rivals. On one hand, I wouldn’t mind if Dijakovic turns heel. On the other, they don’t always have to follow the babyface rival formula of turning one of the rivals heel. Either way, we’re going to get some crazy fun big man agility matches. As for Kona, poor him. Will this guy ever escape Jobber city? Maybe with a repackage? Velveteen Dream escaped that so there’s hope. Plus, I did see the guy cut one good promo once in San Jose, so I think he’s ready to be given a shot (he’s also had decent matches too).
Before the next match, Robert Stone (f.k.a. Robbie E) gave Chelsea Green a formal introduction…
John’s Thoughts: Robert Stone will always get praise from me for putting his end of Bro Mans to rest. If only DJ Zema Ion would get the memo that Bro Mans was never really that popular, nor has any staying power.
5. Kayden Carter vs. Chelsea Green (w/Robert Stone). Green dominated Carter early on with a kick. Carter almost picked up the win after a rollup. Beth and Nigel agreed that this is must-win for Green. Carter escaped Green’s hold and ripped up her t shirt. Carter slammed Green to the mat for a two count. Carter slipped and fell on her Rey Fenix armdrag attempt. Green covered the botch up by pulling Carter to the mat for the two count. Green locked Carter in a Camel Clutch. Carter powered out. Green came back with a Banzai Drop to Carter’s back.
Green hit Carter with a catapult into the second rope for a two count. Green blocked a rollup by standing on Carter’s hair. Bianca Belair ran in the ring while the match was happening. Belair said she has something to say and will let the match finish in a bit. Belair said she told Flair that Flair doesn’t go here. My TV cut off at this point. Belair was gone by the time my TV came back. Carter tried to enter the ring, but Robert Stone tripped up Carter. Green hit Carter with an Unprettier for the victory.
Chelsea Green defeated Kayden Carter via pinfall in about 3:59.
Mauro recapped (what I assumed was put into play while my television feed cut off) the Belair segment and wondered if we’re getting Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair on NXT TV? [c]
John’s Thoughts: My feed cut out for a few seconds, sorry about that. I’m assuming that Belair challenged Flair to a match, which should be fun! That will bring more star power to NXT and add a good hook once the challenge is accepted. I also thought that Carter would win, but I’m guessing they might give this version of Green and Stone a run as a pair of cheating heels. I kinda want to seem Chelsea Green do more than just play the generic debutante character though. I don’t want to see her become the trashy bride or trashy debutante character she’s played in the past. Green had her best look when she played a take on the X-Men character X-23 in that Pentagon Jr. match I keep bragging about (which a lot of people haven’t seen in full due to it being trimmed up on Television).
Mauro Ranallo announced Tommaso Ciampa vs. Austin Theory next week. Nigel McGuinness hyped up a Finn Balor promo for next week. Beth Phoenix announced Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai in a cage match for two weeks…
Velveteen Dream made his entrance first. He said “Hi Marina! Hi Troy!” off-mic to the camera…
6. Roderick Strong vs. Velveteen Dream. Dream posed at ringside right after the bell rang. Dream kept a wide base to block Strong’s takedown. Strong ducked a right hand from Dream and rolled to ringside for a moment of respite. Dream tried to hit Strong with Dream’s weight lifting belt. The referee ended up taking it away after Strong dodged the belt. Dream and Strong countered each other’s leg submissions. Dream taunted Strong with his viper poses around the ring. Dream baited Strong into a dropkick in the ring.
Dream slapped Strong’s face while on the mat. Mauro noted that Dream is only 24 years old. Strong gave Dream a thumb to the eyes and that allowed him to rally up with chops on Dream. Strong followed up on Dream with a backbreaker. Dream rolled to ringside to recover. Mauro noted that Dream got injured by being dropped from the top of a truck, getting an injured back. Dream and Strong brawled at ringside. They cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Strong had Dream in a headlock back from the break. Mauro noted that this was Dream’s first match in five months. Dream fired up and got to his feet. He landed a back body drop on Strong. Strong won the subsequent slugfest. Dream and Strong ran into each other for a moment of recovery for both men. Strong and Dream traded chest chops and punches. Dream won the rally. Dream came at Strong with an axe handle strike. Dream gave Strong a backbreaker and shoulder breaker.
[Overrun] Strong planted a right hand on Dream. Dream came right back with a DDT on Strong. Strong took an axe handle strike from Dream. Dream gave Strong a knee. Strong escaped a DVD attempt. Strong crotched Dream on the top rope, sending Dream’s gut into the ringpost. Dream recovered and dragged Strong into fireman carry. Strong escaped. Strong gave Dream a backbreaker on the top rope. Dream kicked out at two.
Dream adjusted his weight to block a Strong Suplex. Strong came back with a power bomb for a two count. Strong locked Dream in a Boston Crab. Dream made it to the bottom rope for the break. Mauro noted that the move targeted Dream’s injured back. Dream kicked Strong, sending him over the top rope. Dream countered Strong’s sunset flip with a right hand. Strong fended off Dream with two kicks.
Dream and Strong traded hands. Dream superkicked Strong out of the air. Dream hit Strong with the Dream Valley Driver. Dream ripped off his pants to reveal that Marina Shafir was spraypainted on both his crotch and ass area. Beth noted that the designs were “strategically placed”. UE ran out and took an axe handle from Dream. Strong slammed Dream for a two count. Dream recovered and hit Strong with a Dream Valley Driver for a clean win.
Velveteen Dream defeated Roderick Strong via pinfall in 15:37.
After the match, Undisputed Era put the boots to Dream. O’Reilly and Fish gave Dream Total Elimination. Roderick Strong gave Dream End of Heartache. The UE then posed to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: The match was wrestled okay, but it was a bit underwhelming, given the story built around it. You would expect Strong to be a bit more serious and furious. You would expect Dream to be either furious or into the mind games. Instead, this was a pretty regular wrestling match with regular wrestling moves. The the only thing that really stood out was Dream having Roddy’s wife spraypainted on his ass, but that was too little too late anyway. This wasn’t a horrible segment, but just a bit underwhelming. Overall, a decent show, but I felt like the last couple of weeks of NXT have been pretty “regular”. They might want to spice things up if possible heading into WrestleMania season.