NXT – January 15, 2020

NXT
Date: January 15, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix

We’re coming up on Worlds Collide, which is actually looking like a pretty good show in lieu of a traditional Takeover. I’m not sure what to expect from this one, but we will be getting the rest of the first round of the Dusty Classic, plus probably the start of the build to the next Takeover. Let’s get to it.

In Memory of Rocky Johnson.

Opening recap, including the Undisputed Era invading at Takeover: Blackpool II to attack Imperium.

Here’s Keith Lee for an opening chat. Last week he unlocked an achievement and now he is the #1 contender for the North American Title. The Undisputed Era now have all of the titles and the end of their 2019 was better than anyone….except maybe his. They have reached their limit but he is limitless. Next week he’ll win the title, but here’s the Undisputed Era for the beatdown. Lee gets taken down and Strong Pillmanizes the ankle. Tommaso Ciampa makes a late save to chase everyone off.

Tegan Nox is ready to face Dakota Kai in tonight’s battle royal. Candice LeRae runs up and hugs her.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round: Broserweights vs. Flash Morgan Webster/Mark Andrews

That would be Pete Dunne/Matt Riddle. Dunne and Andrews start but it’s a very early standoff to send us to a break. Back with Webster flipping out of Dunne’s German suplex but getting caught in a quick X Plex. Webster fights out of the corner, flips over Dunne and crawls underneath Riddle to get over to Andrews. The pace picks up with Andrews doing the double knee slide and backflipping into a double Pele.

Andrews and Webster hit the stereo flip dives, followed by the assisted 450 for two on Dunne back inside. Dunne punches Webster out of the air but Andres is there to break up….well there wouldn’t have been a tag anyway as Riddle was pulling himself back to the apron. A double stomp to the hands allows Riddle to come in and stereo kicks to the head get two on Andrews.

Riddle German suplexes Andrews for two and Dunne grabs an ankle lock to mix things up a bit. Andrews rolls out and hits a double stomp as we take another break. Back with Webster dropkicking Dunne to the floor, setting up the big flip dive onto both of them. Andrews hits a reverse hurricanrana for two on Riddle with Dunne having to shove Webster into the cover for the save. A tornado DDT plants Dunne on the floor but Riddle spears Webster down.

Riddle’s suplex is countered into a small package for two so Riddle throws him into a kick from Dunne for a closer near fall. Andrews grabs a hurricanrana for two on Riddle with Dunne punching Webster into the cover for another save. The Bitter End is blocked and the X Plex is countered into a Stundog Millionaire. Riddle has had it with these two and gives Webster Bro Derek on the floor. Dunne loads up the Bitter End on Andrews, dropping him onto Riddle’s knee to the face for the pin at 18:20.

Rating: B+. This was an interesting one with the regular team being able to hang in there against the two individual stars. Then Riddle took it to a level where they just couldn’t hang and Riddle looked like the star that he is. Dunne looked rather good as well, but Riddle was the monster at the end and it was cool to see.

We look at the Undisputed Era jumping Imperium again.

After the attack, Imperium ranted quite a bit.

There is no update on Lee’s leg.

Here’s Tommaso Ciampa for a chat. He lists off some people that the Undisputed Era have attacked, which shows how they have a hit list. That’s good, because Ciampa has one as well and Adam Cole is on top of it. When Cole took Goldie he took Ciampa’s life and it’s time to take it back. Cue the Era to beat Ciampa down but Johnny Gargano runs in for the save. Gargano and Ciampa even hit Meet In The Middle on Bobby Fish as the DIY chants are on full blast. They seem to want to shake hands but can’t do it.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round: Alex Shelley/Kushida vs. Grizzled Young Veterans

This is Shelley’s NXT debut. Gibson takes Shelley into the corner to start so it’s Drake quickly coming in, only to get chopped several times. The Veterans are sent outside for stereo dives and we settle down to Gibson trying to send Shelley into the ropes but Kushida comes in off a blind tag and kicks Gibson down. A double running suplex gets two on Gibson and we take a break.

Back with Gibson taking over on Shelley, including a belly to back suplex getting two. The chinlock goes on for all of a few seconds, allowing Shelley to fight up and bring Kushida back in to clean house. The hiptoss into a cross armbreaker has Drake in trouble but Gibson makes the save.

A neckbreaker gets two on Kushida but he’s right back up with a headscissors. Shelley comes back in for a top rope splash with Kushida adding a standing moonsault for two. Kushida’s basement dropkick hits Gibson but Drake shoves him off the top. Sliced Bread is broken up as well and Ticket To Mayhem sends the Veterans to the semifinals at 11:54.

Rating: B. It wasn’t quite as good as the first match but the Veterans winning is certainly fine. The Time Splitters can either keep going or they are just fine with being used as a way to get the Veterans over. Either way, it was cool to hear that they are coming back and it could be interesting to see where they go from here.

Post match the Veterans walk away from the offer of respect. Gibson rants about how they didn’t come here to shake hands in front of a crowd that doesn’t know who Shelley and Kushida are. Shelley and Kushida are a great team but the Veterans are soon to be crowned as the tournament champions.

Here are the updated brackets:

Grizzled Young Veterans

Undisputed Era

Imperium

Matt Riddle/Pete Dunne

I could go for the Era vs. Imperium at When Worlds Collide.

Robert Stone has pulled Chelsea Green from the battle royal because she is too good for the battle royal.

Finn Balor sees a lot of himself in Ilja Dragunov.

Tyler Breeze vs. Isaiah Scott vs. Lio Rush

Angel Garza is on commentary and the winner gets a spot in the four way Cruiserweight Title match at When Worlds Collide. They stare at each other until Breeze kicks Rush and suplexes him down for two. Scott gets armdragged down but is right back with a bunch of strikes to put Rush down. Rush is sent to the apron so Scott charges, setting up his flip onto the floor, with Rush backflipping outside at the same time.

Back from a break with Rush coming back in but getting suplexed from the apron by Scott, with is German suplexed by Breeze at the same time. Breeze starts firing off dropkicks but Scott is right back with a pair of dives for a double knockdown. Back in and Rush plants Scott with a Spanish Fly for two but Breeze kicks them both down for two more. Rush kicks Breeze through the ropes and hits a reverse hurricanrana to plant Scott.

The Final Hour gets two with Breeze making the save to put everyone down. It’s a three way slugout with Scott getting the better of things off a series of kicks, only to walk into a superkick from Breeze. Rush kicks Breeze down as well and hits the Final Hour, only to have Scott try to steal the pin. You don’t do that to Rush though, who hits the springboard Stunner to drop Scott again. The Beauty Shot hits Rush but Scott is back with the JML Driver to pin Breeze at 13:35.

Rating: B-. I can always go for more Scott, who is one of the best untapped talents around a place full of untapped talents. It was quite the relief that it wasn’t the one person hits a finisher and someone else steals the finish do at least they didn’t get on my nerves. This was all action throughout and the four way could tear down a lot of the house.

Rhea Ripley is ready to beat Toni Storm at When Worlds Collide and then face anyone at Takeover.

Johnny Gargano is outside when Tommaso Ciampa comes up to say thank you. Ciampa is about to leave but Gargano has an idea: one more at When Worlds Collide against Moustache Mountain. The Undisputed Era comes up for the fight but Keith Lee Pounces someone into a bush. Another guard is sent into a windshield and Lee promises that the prophecy ends next week.

Battle Royal

Candice LeRae, Mia Yim, Bianca Belair, Kacy Catanzaro , Mercedes Martinez, Shotzi Blackheart, Vanessa Borne, Kayden Carter, Santana Garrett, Io Shirai, Tegan Nox, Indi Hartwell, Shayna Baszler, Catalina, Vanessa Borne. Deonna Purrazzo, Jesse Kamea, MJ Jenkins, Xia Li

Hey Kacy is back. This is Martinez’s first official match as part of the NXT roster and Baszler is a surprise entrant. Everyone stares at Shayna to start but it turns into a regular battle royal instead of a group beatdown. We get a bunch of elimination teases with no one really getting close to going out. Jenkins is sent to the apron but grabs the rope, only to have Shayna wrench the fingers back for the first elimination.

Kamea is sent out and it’s Catalina hitting a hurricane on Shayna. A second attempt doesn’t work so well though and Baszler throws Catalina out. Carter tries to walk the ropes but gets forearmed to the apron. Kacy does the Silly String ala Private Party and Shayna knocks Carter out. Back from a break with Shayna knocking out Santana. Protect Yo Neck gets rid of Borne and Shotzi gets rid of Purrazzo a few seconds later.

Purrazzo pulls Shotzi underneath the bottom rope (not an elimination) and knocks her down with a bicycle kick to let off some steam. Li starts firing off some kicks but gets tossed by Baszler (yes again). Catanzaro’s springboard is broken up and Shirai dropkicks her out. Belair sends Candice to the apron and then into the post to get us down even further. Yim gets backdropped to the floor and it’s Baszler slugging it out with Martinez.

The Kirifuda Clutch has Martinez in trouble and Baszler tosses her without much effort. We’re down to Shirai, Nox, Baszler and Belair with Shotzi on the floor. Nox starts hitting reverse Cannonballs before chokeslamming Shirai onto Baszler. The Shiniest Wizard hits Belair and Nox goes up, only to have Dakota Kai run in and pull her out. Baszler grabs the Clutch on Shirai but here’s Blackheart to surprise Shayna with the elimination.

The argument breaks out and Belair tosses Blackheart so it’s Belair vs. Shirai. Belair can’t toss her out so Shirai hits a 619 to the ribs. A dive is countered into a fall away slam though and Shirai is sat on top. Shirai manages a kick to the head and it’s Belair on the apron but she pulls Shirai out with her.

They slug it out on the apron with Shirai standing on Belair’s head, meaning we need a hair pull legsweep for a unique move. Back in and they slug it out from their knees and then their feet until Belair spears her down. Shirai is right back to German suplex Belair into the corner. The running knees connect but Shirai’s double underhook is countered into the KOD over the top to give Belair the win at 23:01.

Rating: B-. Battle royals are some of the trickiest matches you can run as there are so many people who are just there to fill in spots. By getting rid of them and maybe even setting up some things down the line, they managed to make the match feel a lot more interesting. Belair is a good first Takeover victim for Ripley, though they can build her up rather well in the meantime. This was a long match but they did things the right way and it worked well enough.

Belair celebrates to end the show.

Overall Rating: B+. This was a bit of a strange show as the wrestling was all good and the storyline developments set up stuff both for Takeover and When Worlds Collide. I didn’t feel quite the connection to it this time though as it wasn’t so much about anything tonight but rather everything was about setting things up for later. That can happen with tournament shows and that was what happened here. It was a very good show though and When Worlds Collide has gone from a show that exists to what sounds like an awesome one so big well done in that area.

Results

Broserweights b. Flash Morgan Webster/Mark Andrews – Bitter End into a knee to the face to Andrews

Grizzled Young Veterans b. Kushida/Alex Shelley – Ticket To Mayhem to Shelley

Isaiah Scott b. Tyler Breeze and Lio Rush – JML Driver to Breeze

Bianca Belair won a battle royal last eliminating Shirai

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