NXT – September 16, 2020

NXT
Date: September 16, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett

Things are back to normal around here as the show is back on Wednesday after heading over to Tuesday for a few weeks due to the NHL Playoffs. They aren’t wasting time either as we have two title matches tonight with Damian Priest defending the North American Title against Timothy Thatcher and Imperium getting their rematch for Breezango’s Tag Team Titles. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s outstanding show.

Shotzi Blackheart vs. Io Shirai

Non-title. Feeling out to start with Shirai missing a running big boot and Shotzi getting away from a monkey flip. Blackheart grabs a jackknife rollup for two and starts in on the arm. An armbar sends Shirai over to the ropes for the break and she knocks Shotzi outside. That means a Lionsault can take Shirai down and it’s back inside for a delayed two. We take a break and come back with Shotzi sending her into the corner and hitting a running knee.

They slug it out until Shirai pulls her down into a Crossface but Blackheart makes the rope this time. The running backsplash against the ropes connects and a tiger suplex gives Shotzi two. Blackheart keeps the grip and flips forward into Cattle Mutilation, which is broken in a hurry as well.

Shirai hits a flapjack into the 619, followed by the missile dropkick for two. Back up and Blackheart runs the corner to hit a super hurricanrana for two more but Shirai crotches her on top. A German suplex onto the apron knocks Blackheart mostly silly so Shirai hits the moonsault (with the legs only hitting Shotzi) to put her out of her misery at 14:21.

Rating: B-. The more I see of Blackheart the more I like her and she was getting to hang with the champ in along match here. They’re pushing her as something special and it wouldn’t shock me to see her get a pretty big time title match one day. They were beating each other up here and it was a heck of a match all around, especially with the time helping them out.

Respect is shown post match.

Video on Tommaso Ciampa destroying Jake Atlas.

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Desmond Troy

Troy is formerly known as Desmond DeJournette. Ciampa takes him down with ease to start and hits a running corner clothesline. The stomping is on and there’s the catapult face first into the bottom buckle. Willow’s Bell finishes at 1:52.

Post match Ciampa grabs a chair but here’s Jake Atlas for the challenge for next week. Ciampa smiles.

Drake Maverick arrived earlier today and is ready to team up with Killian Dain against the Undisputed Era. They are a TEAM, even though Dain hasn’t talked to him all week and punched him in the face a few times. Maverick: “Do you have his number?”

Finn Balor talks about winning the NXT Title four years after losing it. People are asking how this reign will be different than the last. The first reign was all about building the brand and being the brand. Now the brand needs him because it is not the most important title in the game. We see shots of Walter, Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre, with Balor saying the line starts here. You better look both ways before you cross the Prince.

Here’s Austin Theory for a chat. He is a first ballot Hall of Famer and last week against Bronson Reed was just a fluke. For now though, he has another match on his hands.

Kushida vs. Austin Theory

Kushida goes straight for the arm to start but Theory takes him down and pounds away. Kushida is back up with a kick to the arm and it’s a hiptoss into a basement dropkick. A kick to the head sends Theory to the floor, where he forearms the post by mistake. Back in and Kushida hammers away, setting up the Hoverboard Lock makes Theory tap at 3:28.

Rating: C. Well that was surprising as Kushida seems to be the kind of guy who is there to put people over rather than get a clean win like this. That being said, Kushida was my favorite New Japan guy so I can certainly go for seeing more of him like this. I’ve been hoping to see him get a push and this is better than nothing.

Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae complain about having to sit in the guest room because Tegan Nox broke their TV. Candice calms things down and talks about a #1 contenders battle royal next week, which she can win to get a Women’s Title shot at Takeover. Gargano looks up a new TV, deciding on a 100 inch plasma screen 3D model. Candice: “O….k.”

Tag Team Titles: Breezango vs. Imperium

Imperium is challenging and jump the champs before the bell. We officially start with Aichner slamming Fandango down and bringing Barthel in to send him into the corner. An uppercut keeps Fandango in trouble and Barthel jawbreaks him for good measure. Aichner comes in with a belly to back suplex and a hard clothesline gets two. Barthel’s butterfly suplex gets two and the double running dropkicks in the corner have Fandango mostly done as we take a break.

Back with Fandango elbowing Barthel in the face and finally bringing Breeze in to start cleaning house. Running forearms abound and Breeze grabs a half crab. Barthel tries to interfere but gets sent to the floor, leaving Aichner to hit a Regal Roll on Breeze. Back up and Breeze catches Aichner with a Cheeky Nandos kick for two with Barthel making a save. Aichner catches Breeze coming off the ropes and muscles him over with a suplex.

Fandango makes the save though and is smart enough to drag Breeze over for the tag. Everything breaks down and Fandango saves Breeze from another suplex on the floor. Back to back superkicks put Imperium down but the Last Dance misses. Aichner German suplexes Fandango for two but he’s back with a tornado DDT. It’s back to Breeze, who is quickly caught in the European Bomb. Fandango breaks it up though and a hurricanrana finishes Aichner to retain at 14:28.

Rating: C+. The match had good action but sweet goodness the tag division has fallen a long way. Breezango aren’t exactly feeling like the next big thing and Imperium is so nothing without Walter around. They need to find some new people around here soon and it’s rather boring to watch at the moment.

Jessi Kamea/Xia Li vs. Kayden Carter/Kacy Catanzaro

Carter takes Li down with an armbar to start and it’s Kacy coming in with a slingshot hilo for two. Li takes Kacy into the corner and kicks away though, allowing Jessi to come in with a running corner clothesline. Kacy fights up without much trouble though and it’s Carter coming in to clean house. It’s quickly back to Kacy for a bicycle kick into a crucifix into a jackknife cover to pin Li at 3:55.

Rating: C-. The point here was to push Carter and Kacy as good friends who work well together, with commentary even mentioning a possible Women’s Tag Team Title shot in the future. Oddly enough, this reminded me of Bobby Heenan in WCW, where he would hype up anyone he could, even if it didn’t seem possible. It at least shows some effort, and I’ll take that over commentary ignoring the match to talk about anything but the stuff in front of them.

Post match respect is shown but Li walks away instead.

Drake Maverick finds Killian Dain, who isn’t interested in teaming together.

Tegan Nox says if Candice wants to believe that she (Tegan) is the one who changed, so be it. It’s better than listening to Gargano complain about a $200 TV that he broke so he can watch himself lose every week. Nox is going to win the battle royal and next time, it’s going to be different with Shirai.

Undisputed Era vs. Killian Dain/Drake Maverick

It’s Bobby Fish/Roderick Strong for the Era. And there’s no Dain, leaving Maverick on his own. Maverick gets driven into the corner to start but gets a boot up in the corner. The middle rope dropkick gets two on Fish but Maverick gets cut off with a backbreaker. We see Dain watching from backstage as Strong hits another backbreaker for two more.

A third backbreaker connects as Dain is still watching in the back. William Regal comes up to Dain and says that’s his partner out there. Cue Dain in the arena as Maverick is thrown outside….and he throws Maverick back in and goes to leave again. Strong yells at him so Dain gets inside and cleans house. Fish brings in a chair for the DQ at 9:42.

Rating: C-. The wrestling wasn’t the point here and that’s fine, though they had kind of made the point a good bit before they started doing anything to get to the ending. Maverick vs. Dain is an interesting deal, though I’d lean more towards Maverick earning Dain’s respect and turning into an actual team. As mentioned earlier, the show needs some more teams so why not these two?

Post match the Era leaves so Maverick yells at Dain, saying they’re a team. Dain knocks him out again.

Tommaso Ciampa jumps Jake Atlas in the parking lot and Kyle O’Reilly of all people gets in Ciampa’s face to get rid of him.

William Regal says we need a new #1 contender so next week, it’s the first ever Gauntlet Eliminator. Five unnamed men will be involved with two starting. Every four minutes, another name will enter and it is elimination rules with pinfall or submission only for eliminations. Whoever wins gets the title shot at Takeover.

North American Title: Damian Priest vs. Timothy Thatcher

Thatcher is challenging and goes straight to the arm to slow Priest down. Priest fights up but gets headlocked to the mat. That’s broken up as well so Thatcher headbutts him in the arm to make Priest clutch at the arm a bit. Priest tries to kick away but another shot tot he arm puts him on the floor. Thatcher follows him and fights out of a powerbomb attempt, allowing him to send Priest into the steps. A suplex on the floor makes it worse for Priest and we take a break.

Back with Thatcher hitting the uppercut so Priest slug away until a chop cuts him off again. The toss Falcon Arrow gives Priest two and he kicks Thatcher in the head to put him in trouble. The springboard flip dive misses so Thatcher goes after the armbar again. This time Priest fights up but Thatcher kicks the leg out and gets the half crab. That’s broken up so Thatcher goes with the Fujiwara armbar, with Priest using the legs to make the rope. The arm is fine enough to hit a Flatliner into the South of Heaven chokeslam for two. Priest has had it and goes up top for a super spinwheel kick, setting up the Reckoning to retain at 12:48.

Rating: B-. This was all about Priest getting his first achievement as champion and it worked out well. Thatcher gets to get his feet wet at a somewhat higher level and he did just fine in the role. Both guys have a nice future ahead of them, but Priest’s future is a lot closer than Thatcher’s at the moment. Good match, though the spinwheel kick should have been the pin.

Overall Rating: B-. Another good show here as you kind of have to expect from NXT, but nothing compared to last week’s instant classic. To be fair though, this was a much more laid back edition by design as last week’s was supposed to be the huge edition. NXT is starting to roll again, but dang that is a fast turnaround in between Takeovers. I’m curious as to what we are going to see on the card, because nothing has been specifically announced so far. Anyway, another win this week.

Results

Io Shirai b. Shotzi Blackheart – Moonsault

Tommaso Ciampa b. Desmond Troy – Willow’s Bell

Breezango b. Imperium – Hurricanrana to Aichner

Kayden Carter/Kacy Catanzaro b. Xia Li/Jessi Kamea – Jackknife cover to Li

Killian Dain/Drake Maverick b. Undisputed Era via DQ when Fish used a chair

Damian Priest b. Timothy Thatcher – Reckoning

 

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