9/16 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Damian Priest vs. Timothy Thatcher for the North American Championship, Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel for the NXT Tag Team Titles, Io Shirai vs. Shotzi Blackheart in a non-title match

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

NXT TV 
Taped in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Aired September 16, 2020 on USA Network

[Hour One] Highlights from last week’s NXT aired…

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Vic Joseph opened up the show using Wade Barrett’s “Winds of Change” catchphrase in terms of describing what sees might happen on this week’s show. The show started off with Shotzi Blackheart making her entrance via toy tank. Wade Barrett noted that he’s talked to every person in NXT since returning to NXT with the exception of Shotzi Blackheart because Blackheart is a bit of a weirdo. Io Shirai made her entrance wearing Kamen Rider Zero One themed gear (I believe it’s Kamen Rider Vulcan? I haven’s seen that series yet)…

John’s Thoughts: I wonder if Io Shirai will continue to do Kamen Rider Zero One odes given that Zero One just finished and they’re doing Kamen Rider Saber now. I just say that because that’s what Hiroshi Tanahashi does with his ring gear every time a new Kamen Rider series comes out and Io has been doing the same in recent years.

1. NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai vs. Shotzi Blackheart in a non-title match. Blackheart and Shirai went for quick pins early on along with the shows of respect. During the pin trades, Blackheart rolled into a modified Rings of Saturn position. Shirai made it to the bottom rope. Shirai avoided a dive at ringside and caught Blackheart with a Asai Moonsault. The action spilled back into the ring heading into picture-in-picture. [c]

Blackheart caught Shirai in the corner with a shotgun dropkick. Shotzi hit Shirai with a bulldog and a high knee. Shirai and Blackheart had a strong style chest chop exchange. Both women missed kicks. Shirai dragged Blackheart into a crippler’s crossface. Blackheart managed to get her toes on the bottom rope to break the hold. Blackheart dodged a 619 attempt and kicked Blackheart to the second rope, draped. Blackheart caught Shirai with a reverse cannonball. Blackheart held on to the second rope.

Blackherat caught Shirai with a Dragon Suplex. Shirai kicked out and Blackheart converted the butterfly into a Cattle Mutilation. Blackheart rolled out. Shirai caught Blackheart with a Flapjack and 619. Shirai caught Blackheart with a missile dropkick to lead to a two count. Shirai tripped Blackheart on the top rope and jumped up with Shirai. Blackheart caught Shirai with a follow-through Frankensteiner for a two count. Blackheart went high risk but was palm striked by Shirai on the top rope. Blackheart reversed a Superplex by putting Shirai on the apron.

Both women traded reversals. Shirai hit Blackheart with a nice, but also nasty-scary looking German Suplex on Blackheart on the apron. Shirai got a two count on Blackheart in the ring. Shirai caught Blackheart in the corner with a meteora. Io Shirai hit Shotzi with a moonsault for the victory.

Io Shirai defeated Shotzi Blackheart via pinfall in 14:19.

Wade Barrett stressed Blackhert pushing the champion to the limit. Shotzi lifted up Blackheart to her feet and gave her a handshake out of respect…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in on commentary as the on-site commentators. Vic then sent things over to a Tommasso Ciampa vignette. The vignette had Ciampa watching footage of his old matches while holding a mask. Joseph noted that Ciampa was in-action next…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Wowzers! That was an amazing match! Definitely the best Shotzi Blackheart match I’ve seen so far, and I’ve seen plenty of Shotzi Blackhert matches dating back to her time in the San Francisco/Oakland independents. This is also one of the more “fun” women’s match I’ve seen on NXT with lots of energy. Hopefully this leads to an even bigger push of Blackhert towards the main event because this was definitely a star making performance (In the back of my head, when someone faces the champion, I also hope that Blackheart isn’t getting called up because there’s no way in hell Vince is going to get the quirky Shotzi, unless he’s into toy tanks). Praise should also go to the spectator wrestlers too who provided lots of good energy for this match, more than they have for other more important matches.

It was announced that Io Shirai’s next challenger will be chosen via a battle royal next week…

Expected enhancement wrestler Desmond Troy was already in the ring (I think he’s resident Enhancement Wrestler Denzel Dejournette given he’s in a ameteur singlet?) Tommaso Ciampa came out wearing a badass Mortal Kombat mask…

2. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Desmond Troy. Troy tried to go for the wrestling takedown, but Ciampa backed up to the ropes and immediately gave Troy a knee. Ciampa dragged Troy down into a crossface. Troy avoided a stomp and got a two count on Ciampa. Ciampa reversed a trip on Troy with a double forearm. Ciampa stomped a mudhole in Troy. Ciampa catapulted Troy’s face into the bottom buckle. The commentators noted the callback to what he did to Jake Atlas. Ciampa hit Troy with the Willow’s Bell for the victory.

Tommaso Ciampa defeated Desmond Troy via pinfall.

Highlights from the match aired. Ciampa was about to drag a chair to the ring, but he was cut off by being called out by Jake Atlas. Jake brought up Ciampa’s attack on him a few weeks ago. Atlas said he doesn’t do sneak attacks. Atlas said he’s fighting Ciampa next week and it will be his turn to eat next week…

The unseen interviewer interviewed Drake Maverick about teaming with Killian Dain later in the show despite Dain not wanting to team with Dain. Maverick acted nervous and said everything will be fine…

Vic Joseph hyped an interview with Finn Balor after the commercial…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Looks like they might be going with Ciampa being heel, but there is still enough of a window for NXT to pivot to him just being a violent badass babyface (similar to Finn Balor). Tough to tell this week because the spectator wrestlers didn’t boo hard. What I do like is the story with Jake Atlas continuing given how big the beatdown was a few weeks ago. That could have been easily a moment with Atlas being a sacrificial lamb as enhancement fodder, but it looks like they might try to give Atlas a bit of shine against one of NXT’s hottest main eventers.

Finn Balor cut one of his dark room promos. He talked about Adam Cole being Undisputed, but there’s only one prince. Balor talked about being NXT Champion 4 years ago, and how this time is going to be different. Balor said 4 years ago he was building a brand. Balor said now is different and the championship is now the biggest championship in WWE. Images of all of WWE’s world champions were shown. Balor said now it is time to form a line behind the prince…

Austin Theory made his entrance and grabbed a mic for a promo. Theory said he’s a future first ballot hall of famer. Theory said last week’s loss to Reed was a fluke. Theory then challenged anyone in the back for an impromptu match. Kushida made his entrance with no music. Kushida gave Theory a enzuigiri before the bell…

3. Kushida vs. Austin Theory. Kushida took down Theory with a takedown. Theory reversed a armbar into a snake eyes into the top rope. Theory followed up with a clothesline. Kushida and Theory traded punches. Theory caught Kushida with a snap suplex for a one count. Theory caught Kushida with a Muay Thai knee to Kushida’s gut followed by a backbreaker. Kushida got Theory to bend and punted Theory in  the chest. Kushida hit Theory with the cartwheel into the basement dropkick. Kushida caught Theory with the handstand double boot.

Theory avoided a plancha. Kushida avoided Theory’s punch, causing Theory to punch the ringpost. Kushida gave Theory’s hand a side slam. Kushida gave Theory shortarm mudhole stomps. Theory locked in the Hoverboard Lock for the submission victory.

Kushida defeated Austin Theory via submission in 3:19. 

Kushida held on to the submission a few seconds after the bell. Vic Joseph noted we were seeing a new side to Kushida in recent weeks…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Strong showing from Kushida in the last few weeks, showing that he can have a bit of a mean streak and show that he’s more than just the happy-go-lucky Marty McFly guy. It helps when wrestlers change up their usual moveset a bit to reflect the character shift and there is more aggression from Kushida here. Props to Austin Theory the last few weeks for playing the cannon fodder role well.

Candice LeRae cut a selfie promo, ranting about Tegan Nox. Johnny Gargano compared about Nox destroying their TV and spilling spaghetti in the Gargano house. LeRae talked about being in the number one contender’s battle royal next week. Gargano was on his laptop talking about buying a brand new TV. He also talked about how the Gargano’s benefit from not watching Timothy Thatcher and Damian Priest in HD…

Tyler Breeze and Fandango are back to the male stripper routine, wearing their “Fashion Police” uniforms…

4. “Breezango” Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. “Imperium” Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Imperium jumpped the gun early on by attacking Breeze and Dango. They then put the boots to Breezango after the match. Once the commotion calmed down, the former champs isolated Fandango in their corner. Dango caught Aichner with a high foot, but he quickly came back with a lariat. Barthel tagged in and locked Dango in a cravate. The heels kept Dango under control with methodical offense. Imperium dominated Dango heading into regular commercial.[c]

[Hour Two] Dango used a back elbow to get a window of opportunity. Barthel tried to pull Dango back but Dango gave him a lariat. Breeze got the hot tag and cleaned house after Aichner tagged in. Breeze locked Aichner in a single leg crab. Dango backdropped Barthel to ringside. Aichner reversed Breeze into a rolling Samoan Drop. Breeze caught Aichner in the corner with Cheeky Nandos. Barthel broke up the pin. Aichner catapulted Breeze into Dango to stagger Dango. Aichner caught Breeze when Breeze was flying for an impressive catch into a suplex.

Dango pulled Breeze to his corner to get the tag. Dango tossed Aichner to ringside. All men not Breeze were brawling at ringside. Barthel dragged Breeze and put him in Aichner’s arms for a suplex. Dango caught both Imperium with superkicks. Aichner avoided the Last Dance. Aichner hit Dango with a German Suplex for a two count. Dango got some breathing room after nailing Aichner with a Tornado DDT. Breeze and Barthel tagged in. Breeze gave Barthel a enzuigiri. Barthel stumbled into the blind tag. Dango dropkicked Breeze into Barthel who was going for the European bomb. Breeze defeated Aichner with a Victory Roll.

Tyler Breeze and Fandango defeated Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel via pinfall in 11:00 of on-air time to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.

The champions celebrated their win heading into commercial…[c]

John’s Thoughts: An extremely entertaining tag team match and possibly the best match in the series of matches these two teams have had. It’s expected that it would take them this long to get heated given that both teams were cold heading into their feud. I’m assuming this is the blow off given NXT UK is up and running where Aichner and Barthel are pivotal in the Walter faction there. Breeze and Fandango were really good here, though I totally expect them to be fed to Legado Del Fantasma sooner or later. While they are getting pushed, I do hope they fix up the act a bit because right now it seems like they really don’t want to go away from the male stripper thing for some reason, despite it not even being very notable at this point and hasn’t been since it jumped the shark on Smackdown.

5. Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro vs. Xia Li and Jessie Kamea. Beth Phoenix talked about eating some of Xia’s kicks before and how much they hurt. Beth also noted that the WWE Women’s Titles can be defended across all brands. Carter and Li started off the match. Carter dominated the early chain wrestling. Catanzaro tagged in and hit Li with a dropkick for a two count. Carter tagged back in and locked Li in an armbar. Li caught Carter with a lariat and tagged in Kamea. Catanzaro tagged in. Catanzaro and Cater gave Kamea stereo roundhouse kicks. Li tagged in and dragged Catanzaro to her corner to cut the ring in half.

Li hit Catanzaro with a few Muay Thai knees and back kick. Kamea tagged in and gave Catanzaro with a superman forearm. Wade Barrett noted that Catanzaro is the best pure athlete in NXT. Li and Carter tagged in and rallied against Li with strikes. Carter hit Li with a victory roll into a kick. Carter superkicked Kamea off the apron. Catanzaro tagged in. Carter and Catanzaro hit a unique tandem move. It was a Samoan Drop by Carter which was seamlessly turned into a Jackknife pin by Catanzaro for the win.

Kayden Carter and Kazy Catanzaro defeated Xia Li and Jessie Kamea via pinfall in 3:53.

Carter and Catanzaro held out their hands for a handshake. Kamea was game, but Li was salty. Li rolled to ringside and walked up the ramp looking a bit mopey…

Drake Maverick approached Killian Dain in the back about their upcoming tag match. Dain said they are not friends and partners. Maverick said he’s going to see Dain outside. Vic Joseph noted Dain and Drake will be facing Undisputed Era after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: The winner of the tag match was expected given Carter and Catanzaro get more TV time and wins. That said I’ve been impressed by Xia Li when she was given a lot of TV time early in the year only to disappear from TV for a long stretch. I was about to complain that she’s good in the ring, but way too generic-happy-go-lucky like your everyday developmental/enhancement wrestler. While just a little moment, I hope that the saltiness after the match is leading to a repackage because she might be ready to finally make the next step past being just a developmental wrestler.

Tegan Nox cut a Zoom promo where she talked about LeRae changing personalities, not Nox. Nox then transitioned to talking about how she’s going to win number one contendership…

Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong made their entrance, sans Kyle O’Reilly. Drake Maverick made his entrance by himself and told the referee that he’d be wrestling the match by himself…

John’s Thoughts: Of course, there is the wonder if O’Reilly is out due to quarantine reasons, but let’s also not forget that O’Reilly was the one looking a bit remorseful after UE’s heel antics a few weeks ago. Maybe I’m reading into it too far, but I think they go with O’Reilly and Cole breaking out of Undisputed Era as faces. The plus side of breaking ReDRagon like that is that there’s the possibility of O’Reilly being pushed as a big time singles wrestler. O’Reilly has proven in ROH and New Japan that he is a main event talent in the making.

6. “Undisputed Era” Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish vs. Drake Maverick in a handicap match. UE started the match with the numbers game advantage. Maverick rallied a bit against Strong with punches, but Strong quickly slammed Maverick against the ropes. Fish tagged in and ate a knee from Maverick. Maverick hit Fish with a missile dropkick for a two count. Fish nailed Maverick with Muay Thai knees. Strong blind tagged himself in. Maverick hit a few punches on Fish, but Strong came in and gave Maverick a backbreaker.

Killian Dain was shown backstage watching the match on the monitor. Strong hit Maverick with a Uranage Backbreaker. Strong then put Maverick in a cravate. Maverick tried to rally back with punches again, but Strong hit another Uranage backbreaker on Maverick heading into commercial.[c]

John’s Thoughts: Thumbs up to NXT production team for not being WWE Main Rostery on this move. When they showed Dain watching TV backstage, it was sitting down, in a natural position, watching with people in the back. He was not watching the match at a 90-degree angle.

William Regal was backstage berating Killian Dain for not being out there with his tag partner. Dain gave in and walked away from the TV set room. Phoenix wondered if Regal talked sense into Dain. Maverick was dumped to ringside. Dain grabbed Maverick and shoved him in the ring. Dain told Maverick to lose like a man, and he walked up the ramp. Dain then turned around, showing he was annoyed at Undisputed Era. Dain entered the ring and manhandled both Undisputed Era members.

Dain gave Strong gut punches in the ring. Drake Wuertz pulled Dain aside since he’s not the legal man. Fish hit Dain with a chair for the DQ.

Drake Maverick and Killian Dain defeated Undisputed Era via DQ. 

Maverick got in the ring and helped Dain clear UE from the ring. Alicia Taylor announced the match as a DQ win for Maverick and Dain. Maverick was jumping, happy that he and Dain are a team now. Dain punched Maverick and left him knocked out, as he has done in recent encounters with Maverick…

John’s Thoughts: Hey, it’s a bit odd, but I’m all for Killian Dain finally moving past being the designated heel gatekeeper of NXT. Given the handful of main roster callups, especially of the agile-big-man variety, it would be smart to pivot Dain over to help fill the void left by Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, and even Karrion Kross (who’s out via injury).

Jake Atlas was interviewed outside of Full Sail. Atlas talked about how Ciampa lit a fire under him a few weeks ago. He was then blindsided by Ciampa, who beat up Atlas. Kyle O’Reilly, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Corino got in between Atlas and Ciampa. O’Reilly got in Ciampa’s face and told him to wait until next week where he can wrestle Atlas fair and square. Ciampa walked away while Atlas was getting checked on…

Timothy Thatcher was shown doing squats and shadow boxing backstage. Damian Priest was backstage and getting ready as well…

John’s Thoughts: There we go! It looks like they’re going with O’Reilly as a babyface, which has the potential to be a big deal in NXT and WWE. If they keep going this direction, we could be in store for a Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kyle O’Reilly feud in a few months. That will be straight up fire. Fingers crossed that they move forward with the Kyle O’Reilly babyface push?

William Regal cut a selfie promo in regards to the future number one contender to Finn Balor. Regal announced a new “Gauntlet Eliminator” match. It involves a handful of wrestlers coming out at 4 minute intervals and they can only be eliminated via pin and submission…

Beth Phoenix announced the Women’s Number One Contender Battle Royal for next week. Vic Joseph announced Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jake Atlas for next week…

Entrances for the main event title match took place. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions…

7. Damian Priest vs. Timothy Thatcher for the NXT North American Championship. Timothy Thatcher started off the match with his usual joint manipulation attempts, but he was quickly countered by Priest’s quick armdrags. Thatcher reversed an armbar into a side headlock. Thatcher slammed Priest into a grounded headlock. Priest escaped and gave Thatcher a forearm to the head. Joseph noted that Priest was selling the arm. Barrett pointed out that Thatcher had his head moving forward, so it was like a headbutt to Priest’s arm. Priest went for a power bomb at ringside. Thatcher shoved Priest into the steps, and hit Priest with a Butterfly Suplex, heading into picture-in-picture. [c]

Priest rallied at Thatcher with gut punches. Thatcher rocked Priest with a throat chop. Priest caught Thatcher with a footsie strike combination. Priest hit Thatcher with a stiff standing lariat. Priest rocked Thatcher with two kicks into the ear. Thatcher avoided trouble, but dodging Priest’s springboard cannonball. Priest kept his hands clasped to block Thatcher’s Fujiwara Armbar. Priest caught Thatcher with a Muay Thai clinch combo. Thatcher no sold a Priest punch and gave Priest a single legged takedown.

Priest blocked the half crab a few times, but Thatcher fought through and locked in the crab. Thatcher caught a Priest punch and dragged Priest down into a Fujiwara Armbar. Priest escaped and hit Thatcher with a sitout choke slam for a two count. Priest got to the top rope and hit Thatcher with a spinning heel kick. Priest hit Thatcher with the Reckoning to pick up the win.

Damian Priest defeated Timothy Thatcher via pinfall in 12:47 to retain the NXT North American Championship. 

Damien Priest did his arrow shot pose to the big monitory to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: Thatcher’s matches always have the advantage compared to other matches of always being a clash of styles given how unique his mat based style is compared to most pro wrestlers. This match was no exception to that rule and that’s what makes Thatcher matches must see, at least for a martial arts practitioner like me. Times that times two when you include Priest’s Muay Thai and Taekwondo (It would be so cool to see him whip out the chamber kicks if he can pull it off). Great match and Priest really showed some great babyface fire in the end. Certainly one of his better moments in NXT. I’m interested to see what they do with Thatcher, who shouldn’t be losing as often as he does, but I don’t think they’ve piled up enough losses for him to lose credibility just yet. I wouldn’t mind seeing Thatcher as the man who will dethrone Priest when all is said and done. I also wouldn’t mind another Fight Pit match because Fight Pit matches are awesome sauce.

This week’s episode was a strong episode of NXT and very satisfying to watch. It definitely wasn’t the hottest NXT on paper going in, but the matches really delivered well to go along with the usual strong storyline progression that NXT delivers. There wasn’t as many vignettes, but NXT is usually good with producing a lot of vignettes, and it doesn’t hurt to take a break from that for one week. Good top to bottom. I’ll be by for the dot net members tomorrow with my NXT audio review and Jason Powell will have his thoughts via Dot Net Weekly as well as the Hit List.

 

 



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features referee Rob Page discussing the difficulty of reffing tag matches in the modern era, making three counts if a wrestler's shoulders are down even if it wasn't the planned finish, the growth of F1rst Wrestling, and more...


Readers Comments (4)

  1. The winner of the tag match was expected given Carter and Catanzaro get more TV time and wins”

    Literally there first TV win…

    • I was more going towards Kayden Carter in terms of wins, though it has been a while so I can understand that thought. Kamea and Li are definitely more “developmental”

  2. What is Kushida, the next Chris Hansen? First he fights Velveteen and now Theory?

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