January 30, 2020

NXT Review – 29/01/2020

Another big night on the cards for NXT. It’s the final of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020, with Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle taking on Grizzled Young Veterans. Tegan Nox faces Dakota Kai. We should also get to hear about the NXT roster’s performances in the Royal Rumble, where Bianca Belair and Keith Lee made particularly big impacts. And we’ll find out who is going to be Adam Cole’s opponent for NXT TakeOver Portland.



Finn Balor def. Trent Seven

Shotzi Blackheart def. Deonna Purrazzo

Dominik Dijakovic def. Damian Priest

Tegan Nox def. Dakota Kai

Kayden Carter def. Chelsea Green

Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle def. Grizzled Young Veterans




The show started with Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness checking on Beth Phoenix who got busted open in the Royal Rumble, although they were only actually checking to see if she’s ok after Randy Orton attacked Edge on RAW.


Finn Balor vs Trent Seven

During Finn Balor’s entrance, commentary talked about his attack on Johnny Gargano after Worlds Collide. Moustache Mountain stepped in to help Gargano during that altercation. Balor attacked Trent Seven later while Seven was being interviewed, trapping his neck in a car door, which led to this match.

Balor didn’t even let Trent Seven get in the ring before dropkicking him to the floor and stamping on him. The match eventually got underway and Balor went in aggressively before Seven got chance to collect himself. Obviously, Balor concentrated on Seven’s neck.

Finn Balor traps Trent Seven's neck on the ropes
All photo credits: wwe.com

Trent Seven got practically nothing before he tried to pin Balor with a sneaky small package, but Balor made him pay. After an ad break, Seven got a run of momentum, but took too long to climb the turnbuckle and lost the advantage for the final time. Coup de Grace. 1916. Job done.


» Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne had a joint interview ahead of the Dusty Classic final. They have very different approaches, and Dunne occasionally looks like he’s wishing Riddle dead, but they have the same goal and they’re making it work.


» Judging by the cryptic shot of some numbers in burning rings, we’re getting either a return or a debut next week. I should probably know who it is, but I don’t.


Shotzi Blackheart vs Deonna Purrazzo

Shotzi Blackheart arrived and left in a miniature tank. Deonna Purrazzo is one of those superstars I wish NXT would use more. She owned the first half of this match as well. Sadly for her, Shotzi Blackheart owned the second half and pinned her with a senton from the top.

Deona Purrazzo tries to get a armbar on Shotzi Blackheart


Full Sail loves Keith Lee. He talked about standing in front of Undisputed ERA deciding which of their titles to take. And now he’s a prophecy ender. As soon as he started talking what’s next on his agenda, he was joined by Damian Priest.

Priest said he really likes taking things. It could be a beautiful woman of a prized possession but he usually gets what he wants and right now he wants Lee’s title.

Dominik Dijakovic joined them next. He said Keith Lee deserves the title but the first person to challenge him for it isn’t going to be ‘Bootleg Marilyn Manson’ it’s going to be him. Priest got in Dijakovic’s face. Keith Lee left them to it and Priest punched Dijakovic. A ref appeared and we got a match.

Dominik Dijakovic vs Damian Priest

Nice impromptu match. ‘Agile big lads’ doing ‘agile big lad’ things and doing them well. It almost ended on a double knockout when they kicked each other in the head simultaneously, but they got up and went climbing on the turnbuckles. That finished with an avalanche poison-rana from Priest, but it was Dijakovic’s Fest Your Eyes which finished the match.

Damian Priest somersaults onto Dominik Dijakovic


Tommaso Ciampa told Cathy Kelley that at NXT TakeOver Portland Goldie is coming home. He produced a metal pipe and added, ‘Tonight, Daddy makes sure of it’.

After a break, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Roderick Strong were shown laid unconscious in a corridor. Ciampa walked into shot, said ‘Oh dear’, and dropped the pipe. While the video of them being tended to played on the big screen, Ciampa walked to the ring and set up a table then spray-painted a cross on it.

Tommaso Ciampa looks at the unconscious Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly, ad Roderick Strong

Adam Cole finally discovered his friends and came out to the stage asking Ciampa who he thought he was. Ciampa said he was the man who never lost that title. He told Cole to come get in the ring so Ciampa he could beat his ass and powerbomb him through the table.

William Regal came out with contract saying Cole had already signed it and didn’t care who he faces. Cole took the contract to the ring and hit Ciampa with it. They fought and Ciampa powerbombed him through the table then signed the contract and wiped his own blood on it (the contract clipboard cut him when Cole hit him with it).

Tommaso Ciampa stads over Adam Cole after putting him through a table


» We did get a clip of Bianca Belair’s Royal Rumble performance, as a prelude to the announcement Belair and Rhea Ripley will be face to face next week.


» New NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin will be on NXT next week.


Tegan Nox vs Dakota Kai

Kai used the footage of her attacking Nox at WarGames, complete with sound, as her entrance video. I’m not convinced it worked in her favour, it just fired Nox up. The match was everything it promised to be, vicious, ruthless and nasty. Kai had Nox hung up over the middle rope and was about to hit her with a chair when Candice LeRae appeared and grabbed it from her. While the ref was ejecting LeRae from ringside, Tegan Nox hit Dakota Kai with the knee brace. The ref was paying attention when she followed it up with a shining wizard for the win.

Tegan ox shoves Dakota Kai into the ringpost


Chelsea Green, with Robert Stone, vs Kayden Carter

Poor Kayden Carter, she never gets to win. Commentary consistently talk about what ‘good showings’ she has, but she hasn’t won a match since her name change. Of course, with the way Chelsea Green is being presented, that looked likely to remain the case. Carter got a minute or so run of momentum into which she crammed a few pin attempts, and which was halted by a boot to the face from Green. All fairly standard. But then, success. Green spent much too long celebrating the boot knocking Carter down. Kayden Carter grabbed Chelsea Green as she bent over to pull her up and shoved her shoulders to the mat for a three count.

Deoana Purrazzo shoves Kayde Carter into the corner

Carter got out of the ring asap and listened to Green yelling at her from the ramp.


Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle vs Grizzled Young Veterans – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 Final.

This main event started the entrances with almost half an hour to go. It was great. A worthy main event. A worthy final. But here’s the thing, I can’t find much to say about it. Both teams’ teamwork was impeccable. They all know each other so well there were a ton of anticipated and countered moves. And everyone got their favourite things in.

As the match wore on, and it was a long one, the near misses piled up and the double teams got bigger and closer to working. A suicide dive to Pete Dunne, while Dunne was on Zack Gibson’s shoulders on the outside, put Dunne out of the match for a while, but Grizzled Young Veterans still couldn’t keep Matt Riddle down, and Dunne came back and dropped Gibson on his face.

Pete Dunne took out Gibson with a moonsault to the outside, then tagged in to help Riddle finish off James Drake. The BROserweights are Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 winners. They will face Undisputed ERA for the NXT Tag Team Championships at NXT TakeOver Portland.

Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne with the winners pyro



Final word

NXT TakeOver Portland is in a couple of weeks and it’s looking like a strong card already. The two NXT Championship matches are set (because the women’s title is also just the NXT Championship now) – Rhea Ripley vs Bianca Belair, and Adam Cole vs Tommaso Ciampa. And the tag title match is set too. It looks like Keith Lee vs Dominik Dijakovic, but that’s not confirmed and there is a lot that could happen between now and then.

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