NXT – January 29, 2020

NXT
Date: January 29, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Beth Phoenix, Mauro Ranallo

It’s a big night around here as Worlds Collide is behind us. That means it is time to move forward towards Takeover: Portland and that means we need to finalize the card for the big show. We do a lot of that this week with the Dusty Classic wrapping up to set up the Tag Team Title match, plus finding out who will challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Title. Let’s get to it.

The opening recap looks at Worlds Collide and the setup for tonight’s tournament final.

Beth Phoenix is very upset after what happened to Edge on Monday but he told her to come to work so let’s do this.

Finn Balor vs. Trent Seven

Fallout from Balor attacking Seven in the parking lot last night (injuring Seven’s throat in the process), which was aired on the YouTube channel (due to Moustache Mountain stopping Balor from attacking Johnny Gargano at Worlds Collide). Balor dropkicks him off the apron (serves Seven right for spending so much time posing) and kicks away on the floor before the bell. Seven is ready to go anyway so Balor stomps him down without much effort. Chops against the barricade sets up a chinlock inside, followed by a running elbow for two.

Balor steps on the face and we take a break. Back with Seven fighting out of a chinlock and striking away, setting up a DDT to really rock Balor. Seven snaps off a half nelson suplex and the Seven Star lariat gets two. Balor gets knocked off the barricade but the bad throat won’t let Seven get much air. The delay lets Balor knock him off the top and Seven gets sent hard into the middle buckle. The John Woo dropkick sets up the Coup de Grace into 1916 for the pin at 10:09.

Rating: C. This was storyline based as Seven wasn’t able to get much going due to the throat. That’s a fine way to go as it shows how evil and aggressive Balor can be, which sets him up even more for the Gargano match. If they can do something special in the build, we could be in for something great with what should be an awesome performance from both. Beating Seven this badly helps Balor a lot and that’s what they were going for.

The Broserweights are ready to win the tournament. If Dunne has to break some fingers, so be it. Riddle likes that wild man potential and promises to show why Dunne is the life of the party after they win. Dunne’s side glance at him is great.

Quick video on Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai.

We see three circles with 5, 20 and 2 in them. 2/5/20 perhaps?

Shotzi Blackheart vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Shotzi now rides to the stage in a mini tank for one of the more unique entrances around here. Purrazzo goes straight for the arm to start (as is her custom) but she gets sent into the ropes. A springboard armdrag is countered into a DDT though and Blackheart is right back in trouble. That lasts all of a few seconds as Blackheart is back up with a reverse Sling Blade and a Question Mark kick for two. The top rope backsplash finishes Purrazzo at 3:27.

Rating: C-. Just a quick match here and it’s a good sign for Blackheart’s future that she got a win here. She has had some good efforts but at some point you need to actually win a match to make the impact work. Blackheart is unique enough to go somewhere eventually and the tank alone makes it seem like they have some plans for her.

We look back at Keith Lee winning the North American Title.

Video on Worlds Collide.

Here’s Keith Lee for a chat. A few weeks ago he was wondering which title he should take first and now he is your limitless champion. Cue Damian Priest to say he wants the title. Dominick Dijakovic does the same (because “bootleg Marilyn Manson” isn’t getting the first title shot) so it’s hoss fight time.

Dominick Dijakovic vs. Damian Priest

Priest starts fast and knocks Dijakovic to the apron. That means a big crucifix bomb on the outside and we take a break. Back with Dijakovic slugging away but walking into a Flatliner for two. Dijakovic is fine enough to hit a sitout chokeslam for two, sending Priest outside. That’s fine with Dijakovic, who hits an Asai moonsault just to show off a bit.

Back in and they both hit spinning boots to the head for a double knockdown. Priest goes up but Dijakovic catches him for a fireman’s carry, only to get pulled down in a super reverse hurricanrana for two. The Reckoning is broken up as well and Feast your Eyes finishes Priest at 8:37.

Rating: C+. This didn’t have the time to go as far as some of their other matches but what we got was good enough. Sometimes you just need to let athletic guys go out there and do crazy stuff to each other, which is what got these two plus Lee over. They can do incredible stuff to each other and that makes these matches as good of a set of popcorn matches as you’ll get these days.

We look at how the Grizzled Young Veterans made the finals.

Tommaso Ciampa is ready to become the new #1 contender and has a pipe to help him, because Goldie is coming home.

Post break, the Undisputed Era (minus Adam Cole) has been laid out and Ciampa walks by, dropping the pipe next to them. Ciampa keeps talking and carries a table into the arena. Cole shows up in the back and wants to know who did this before storming to the ring. Ciampa says he’s going to beat Cole up, powerbomb him through the table and then sign a contract so he can get Goldie back in Portland.

Cue William Regal to say Cole has already signed the contract and doesn’t care who he is facing. Cole says he has this and takes the contract while walking to the ring. He gets on the apron and catches a charging Ciampa with a microphone shot to the head. Ciampa cuts off a belt shot though and powerbombs him through a table. The contract is signed and since Ciampa is a bit busted open, he adds in some blood for good measure. Good segment to set up the logical title match.

Video on Bianca Belair’s dominant performance in the Royal Rumble.

Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai

Nox has to watch Kai’s entrance video, which is Kai destroying Nox’s knee at Takeover: WarGames. That’s so awesome. Nox isn’t happy though and throws her knee brace at Kai to start and they trade shots in the corner. Kai gets the better of it and hits her running kick tot he face, only to get caught with a running reverse Cannonball. They head outside with Kai kicking her in the face again and sending it into the crowd to keep up the beating.

Back to ringside they go and it’s Kai kicking her in the face again. Kai grabs a chair but it gets kicked away, allowing Nox to post her. Back in and Kai loads up the brace but gets German suplexed for her efforts. The chair is almost brought in again but here’s Candice LeRae to grab it from Kai. That lets Nox hit Kai with the brace and the Shiniest Wizard is good for the pin at 3:16.

Rating: C+. This was short but dang they packed in a lot. These two felt like they wanted to hurt each other and the ending worked very well with the brace into the finish. I could go for more of this and it wouldn’t shock me to see Kai come back for more in the future. Rather entertaining brawl, especially given the time.

Here’s how the Broserweights made the finals.

Chelsea Green b. Kayden Carter

Carter hits a running dropkick to start but gets in a kick to the face to drop Carter. A running dropkick gives Green two more and she whips Carter hard into the corner. The chinlock goes on but Carter is right back out with some rollups for two each. A superkick sets up a low superkick for two more but green kicks her down again. The bragging takes too long though and Carter grabs a small package for the pin at 3:11.

Rating: D+. I had heard some rumors about Robert Stone being a parody of/inspired by Tony Khan and this is the first time I’ve bought into it. WWE is the kind of company that would create a character just so they could be turned into a loser so they could mock someone from another company. I hope that’s not the case and I’m not that it is, but this gave me a reason to think about it.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Broserweights vs. Grizzled Young Veterans

The winners get a Tag Team Title shot at Takeover. Dunne chops away at Drake to start and it’s Riddle coming in for a double stomp to the shoulders. Riddle grabs the ankle lock but Drake is right next to the ropes. Gibson comes in off a blind tag and kicks Riddle in the chest as the fans are all over him. That’s reversed and Riddle kicks away, allowing the double tag to bring in Dunne to beat up Graves.

Riddle has to be held back though and what looked like a slingshot shoulder breaker (or Tombstone) to the floor has Dunne holding his arm. The arm gets posted and we take an early break. Back with Riddle coming back in to kick away at both Veterans, earning a “RIDDLE’S GONNA SMOKE YOU” chant. A bridging German suplex gets two on Gibson (Beth: “Riddle delivering the blunt force trauma.”) and it’s a spear to Drake for good measure.

The Brohammer plants Gibson and it’s already back to Dunne as they’re going fast here. A powerbomb into Riddle’s jumping knee gets two on Drake but Dunne is sent to the floor. That leaves Riddle to take a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination for two as the Veterans take over again. Fans: “YOU STILL SUCK!” Dunne is knocked off the apron but Riddle blocks a neckbreaker/superkick combination. That lets Dunne come back in for some kicks to the head and the Final Flash gets two on Drake.

A pair of Brotons to Drake’s back doesn’t do much as Drake is right back with a DDT. The double tag brings in Dunne to slug it out with Gibson but everything breaks down again. The Veterans are caught in stereo ankle locks but they both kick away as we take a break. Back with Dunne breaking up a Doomsday Device so Gibson throws Riddle over the top onto Riddle. Ticket to Ride gets two on Dunne and Gibson busts out the Shankley Gates to put Dunne in more trouble.

Riddle, with Drake on his back, comes in with a spear to break that up and everyone is down again. Drake gets powerbombed onto Gibson’s back and it’s the Bitter End into the Final Flash for a close two. Gibson is back and it’s a Doomsday Device through the ropes to drop Dunne on the floor. Back in and Riddle gets driven into the corner for a running dropkick. Drake’s 450 gets two but Dunne is back in for stereo Bro Dereks. Dunne moonsaults to the floor onto Gibson as Drake takes the Floating Bro. The BTS into the enziguri gives Dunne the pin at 21:25.

Rating: B. Best thing on the show by far and while you could argue that the wrong team won, it’s certainly going to set up an interesting title match. Riddle has been waiting on that first big win and while this isn’t the whole thing, it’s a big step in the right direction for him. Dunne is in the same boat and now hopefully he can move forward doing something else.

The trophy is presented and confetti falls to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. The main event helped it a lot because this wasn’t one of their better shows. I’m assuming it’s the extra hour but NXT has not been the same for the last few months. The Survivor Series stuff was good but the show doesn’t feel as special as it did before. It’s still good, though not as good and that’s a shame. Maybe they can get back on track with a Takeover build, but they’ve got some work to do for a change.

Results

Finn Balor b. Trent Seven – 1916

Shotzi Blackheart b. Deonna Purrazzo – Top rope backsplash

Dominick Dijakovic b. Damian Priest – Feast Your Eyes

Tegan Nox b. Dakota Kai – Shiniest Wizard

Kayden Carter b. Chelsea Green – Small package

Broserweights b. Grizzled Young Veterans – Bro To Sleep/enziguri combination to Drake

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