AXS has more of NJPW’s trip to the UK!
And while in jolly ol’ England, the British Heavyweight Championship is on the line! Will Zack Sabre Jr. make Hiroshi Tanahashi #JustTapOut?
Coverage of NJPW Royal Quest will be as broadcast by AXS TV
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii VS KENTA; KENTA wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- Revolution Pro Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Tanahashi wins and becomes the new RPW British Heavyweight Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this second part of the Royal Quest!
Two titles are tested in the Copper Box! First, the UNDISPUTED British Heavyweight Champion, Zack Sabre Jr, has been record-setting in his third reign, which included a major win in Madison Square Garden against Hiroshi Tanahashi. However, the Ace came back and beat ZSJ in the G1 Climax and in tag team action. Will Tanahashi take the title from ZSJ in his homeland? Or will ZSJ once again make the Once in a Century Talent #JustTapOut?
Meanwhile, the Stone Pitbull was stunned when the newcomer to NJPW betrayed him to join Bullet Club! But Tomohiro Ishii isn’t one to sulk, he’s one to get even! With the NEVER Openweight Championship on the line, Ishii looks to make Kenta pay for his treachery! But will the Bullet Club’s newest member take a bite out of the big dog in the yard? Or will the #FangRevived chip itself on Ishii’s rock-solid resolve?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii VS KENTA!
Chaos and Bullet Club seem to be forever fighting against each other. Will the Stone Pitbull grind Kenta into dust on Shibata’s behalf? Or will everyone finally see the true Kenta?
The introductions are made, Ishii and Kenta stare forehead to forehead, but back off long enough for the belt to be raised. Fans are strongly behind Ishii even before the bell, and are chanting “F him up, Ishii, f him up!” as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell. Kenta slips out of the ring and fans boo. Ishii stays back so Kenta slowly returns. Kenta and Ishii tie up, and Ishii digs in his heels to push Kenta back. Fans rally as they end up on the ropes, and Ishii lets up. He gives Kenta a pat on the shoulder, but Kenta SLAPS Ishii! Then he bails out right away to avoid retaliation. Fans boo as Kenta takes his time returning. Ishii waits patiently and fans rally up. Kenta waits them out before going back in. But then he slips right back out, taunting Ishii now. Ishii runs in and gets tripped up! But the brawl is on now! Ishii puts Kenta in as fans actually start dueling. Kenta boots back then snapmares to a kick, but Ishii is right up! Kenta and Ishii throw forearms back and forth, fast and furious already! Kenta mule kicks but Ishii CHOPS. Kenta boots but Ishii runs him over!
Ishii looms over Kenta and brings him up in a corner. Ishii CHOPS, CHOPS and CHOPS! But Kenta just takes them! He even walks into them! Kenta turns things around to throw furious forearms, but Ishii stands up! Ishii CHOPS Kenta again, but the ref has them break up. Ishii whips Kenta corner to corner but Kenta boots him back. Kenta hops up, tornado hotshot! Ishii staggers as Kenta climbs, Kenta hits a flying clothesline! Kenta looms over Ishii now, then brings Ishii up for stiff kicks to the chest! Ishii falls over, and Kenta stands on him at the ropes. The ref counts while fans boo, and Kenta backs off. Ishii sits up but Kenta drags up to whip. Kenta runs Ishii over with an elbow, covers, TWO! Kenta keeps on Ishii with a chinlock. Fans cuss Kenta out but Kenta just kicks Ishii for it. Kenta kicks Ishii more, then shouts at the fans.
Kenta goes back to Ishii, but Ishii headbutts from the mat! Kenta clubs him down but Ishii eggs him on. Kenta kicks Ishii and eggs him on. Ishii throws hands but gets a big kick! Kenta drags Ishii up to snapmare back down, and drop a knee. And another knee! And then Kenta jumps, to scuff Ishii’s face. Kenta doesn’t care what fans think as he brings Ishii up. Kenta turns Ishii for a neckbreaker then covers, TWO! Fans still cheer and duel as Kenta toys with Ishii now. Kenta eggs the fans on as he keeps toying with Ishii. Ishii snarls but Kenta kicks him in the chest. Ishii just gets mad! Ishii takes more kicks to his chest and shakes his head. This only fires him up! Kenta kicks but gets blocked! Ishii waistlocks but Kenta powers out, only to run into a powerslam! Fans cheer as both men are down!
Ishii stands first and looms over Kenta. He brings Kenta to a corner to CHOP! And forearm, and CHOP, repeat! Kenta starts dropping but Ishii stands him up to keep going! The ref shouts at Ishii but fans are loving this! The ref pulls Ishii off but Ishii shoves him aside! Ishii brings Kenta back up to whip, but Kenta reverses, only for Ishii to come back out and run him over! Now Ishii toys with Kenta, but Kenta stands up to SLAP Ishii. ishii wants more so Kenta keeps slapping. They brawl again with big forearms and elbows! Every time Kenta hits, Ishii comes right back! Kenta, Ishii, Kenta, Ishii, there’s no stopping them! Ishii wobbles, and Kenta keeps on him! But Ishii fires off one-two elbows, only to run into a LARIAT! Both men are down again as NJPW goes to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Kenta rises. Fans rally as Kenta rolls out of the ring. Ishii stirs but Kenta climbs. Kenta springboards to missile dropkick Ishii down! Then corner to corner for a boot! Then side to side for THE soaring dropkick! Kenta climbs again, but Ishii gets clear of the stops. Ishii side steps in the corner but Kenta blocks the enziguri! Kenta kicks away on Ishii’s back and stomps him even at the ropes! Kenta backs off but returns, he drags Ishii out on ropes for the draping DDT! Fans boo and jeer as Kenta drags Ishii up to a fireman’s carry. Ishii resists, knowing Kenta wants his original move. So Kenta just swiftly KICKS Ishii in the chest! Kenta wants the fans to boo and jeer as he boots Ishii. But Ishii stays up! Kenta tries again, Ishii comes back, only to get a Snap German! But he’s right up again to give Kenta a Snap German!
Kenta spins but the clothesline does nothing! Ishii headbutts, and Kenta is out on his feet! Kenta flops over and Ishii brings him up for more headbutts! Ishii runs, but Kenta boots again! Kenta runs, but into Ishii’s lariat! Kenta gets up to start throwing palm strikes, but his roundhouse misses to get DECKED by a right! Ishii falls back, too, but fans cheer this evenly matched battle! Ishii gets up and gets Kenta back to his feet. Ishii slaps Kenta around, then runs, but into another LARIAT! Fans are rallying again as Kenta climbs the corner a third time. Kenta leaps, double stomps!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives Kenta’s coup de grace! Fans cheer as Kenta slashes the throat. Kenta drags Ishii up, fireman’s carry, but Ishii fights out to a dragon sleeper! But Kenta spins through, only for Ishii to suplex. But Kenta turns to avoid the brain buster, only to still take a nasty fall!
The referee checks on Kenta but he’s somehow okay. Ishii drags Kenta up to CHOP again. And kick and boot and slap, too! Ishii eggs Kenta on but Kenta eggs Ishii on. So Ishii sits with Kenta a la Shibata! They slap and slap and slap! Ishii wobbles, but SLAPS back! Kenta sways, but SLAPS Ishii! Ishii still slaps Kenta, but Kenta still slaps Ishii. And they spark again! The fans cheer as both men SLAP each other! Ishii and Kenta lean on each other, but they stay up. Kenta drags Ishii up to a sleeper, but Ishii holds on as fans duel. Kenta lets up to Penalty Kick, but it’s blocked! Kenta slaps away on Ishii but it does nothing! Ishii DECKS Kenta! Ishii wants Kenta to stand up, and he does. Ishii runs, LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Kenta still lives but Ishii vows to end this.
But wait, here comes Bullet club! Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa first, but Ishii goes after them! Ishii gets caught but fights free, to then spin Loa around for a big suplex! Tama gets blasted off the apron, and the Pitbull finds Kenta. Ishii drags Kenta up, suplex, BRAIN BUSTER!! Cover, but the Guerrillas drag the referee right out of the ring! Tama and Loa mug Ishii, but Ishii fights the off again! He shoves Tama into Loa, but runs into a scoop! POWERSLAM! Tama and Loa get Ishii back up, Guerrilla Warfare! Their take on Magic Killer takes Ishii down, then Kenta covers. The ref is thrown back in, he counts, TWO!?! Ishii survives and it shocks everyone! The Copper Box is thunderous as this match continues!
Kenta drags Ishii up and wraps the sleeper hold back on. But Ishii fights his way up and throws big hands to get free. Kenta SLAPS Ishii, then SLAPS him again. A third SLAP, but Ishii ducks the kick to headbutt! Ishii clobbers Kenta, but Kenta comes back with a BIG right hand! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives the knockout blow, but Kenta vows to end this! Fireman’s carry, GO TO SLEEP!! Cover, Kenta wins!
Winner: KENTA, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
The true Kenta will have to thank his new friends for this one, because the GoD helped out big time. But the Bullet Club still gets a new belt in their collection either way. How long will Kenta have this title when it is literally open to everyone in NJPW?
Revolution Pro Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
Suzuki-Gun has had history with the Once in a Century Talent for what feels like forever. Now it is the Submission Master who fights the Ace, but in his hometown! Will ZSJ remain a proud British champion? Or will not even home field advantage matter against the talent of Tanahashi?
ZSJ gets up in Tanahashi’s face, literally rubbing the belt in Tanahashi’s face. He backs off while introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this incredible crossover match begins!
Fans are naturally cheering ZSJ as much as they are Tanahashi. ZSJ and Tanahashi circle and feel out the grapple. ZSJ is feeling cocky in his hometown, but Tanahashi keeps his focus. They keep going around the ring before they tie up. Tanahashi gets the leg but ZSJ gets a headlock. Tanahashi reverses but so does ZSJ but then Tanahashi, ZSJ, repeat! The two break and stand off, fans cheer as the air guitar is played. Tanahashi and ZSJ circle as the “Go Ace!” chants start to echo out. ZSJ and Tanahashi tie up with a knuckle lock, ZSJ bridges and slips around to get Tanahashi in the straitjacket! ZSJ pulls Tanahashi back and digs his forehead into Tanahashi’s back. Tanahashi turns things around and has ZSJ in the straitjacket! ZSJ powers up and out but Tananashi powers through to keep the hold on ZSJ. ZSJ stands and uses his legs to undo the hold, and fans cheer the technical exchange. However, Tanahashi doesn’t like ZSJ mocking the air guitar.
Tanahashi and ZSJ circle around the ring again as fans still sing and duel. ZSJ and Tanahashi tie up, ZSJ spins and wrenches to a wristlock, then again. Tanahashi returns the wristlock and wrings ZSJ out but ZSJ rolls up to his feet. The two go around again, tie up, and ZSJ headlocks. Tanahashi powers out, but ZSJ grabs the nose! The ref reprimands ZSJ but Tanahashi bends ZSJ back. ZSJ bridges, spins, and trips Tanahashi up to a toehold! Fans cheer as ZSJ goes after the bad leg, but Tanahashi pops out to get ZSJ’s leg. Fans cheer for Red Shoes and his ability to keep up with both men, and Red Shoes takes a quick bow. ZSJ is not happy with that as he rolls back and around. Tanahashi has the leg still, and trips ZSJ up to then sit down for a deep toehold. ZSJ grabs at Tanahashi with a chinlock, then a chinbar, but he can’t do much that way.
Tanahashi ties up the legs for a butterfly stretch! ZSJ fights back but Tanahashi grabs the arms. Tanahashi stands with the legs still locked. Fans rally as Tanahashi bridges back! Full wrestler’s bridge as he goes no-hands! ZSJ bridges back to undo the pressure, and matches no-hands for no-hands! So Tanahashi adds his legs for torque! Both men stop bridging as Tanahashi gets back at ZSJ. ZSJ gets the ropebreak and Tanahashi lets him go. The two men get up and Tanahashi throws forearms. Tanahashi scoop slams ZSJ in the drop zone then hops up. Second rope somersault FLOPS! ZSJ has the arm, hammerlocks it, and tweaks it! Tanahashi writhes while ZSJ sits back to recover. Fans rally as ZSJ keylocks and stomps Tanahashi’s arm! ZSJ keeps on Tanahashi with a mounted armlock. He pulls the fingers for a full crank! Fans sing as Tanahashi endures, but ZSJ hammerlocks and stomps the arm again!
ZSJ walks around Tanahashi and gives toying kicks. Tanahashi gets mad and glares, but ZSJ keeps kicking him. “Go Ace!” echoes out as ZSJ keeps kicking but Tanahashi stands. Tanahashi throws forearm after forearm, but ZSJ gives the bad arm a shoulder breaker! Then he knuckle locks but Tanahashi throws forearms! ZSJ wrenches still but Tanahashi gives more forearms. Tanahashi forearms then whips but ZSJ reverses. ZSJ runs into boots, but comes back with a European Uppercut! Tanahashi shoves ZSJ but ZSJ eggs him on. The two get face to face with trash talk before Tanahashi throws forearms. ZSJ kicks low, whips but Tanahashi slips free. ZSJ still boots him in the corner, then whips corner to corner again. Tanahashi dropkicks the legs out! Tanahashi grits his teeth while ZSJ clutches his knees. Fans rally as both men get up.
Tanahashi fires off on ZSJ’s legs in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. ZSJ resists so Tanahashi just sends him back into the same corner for a shotgun dropkick! Tanahashi brings ZSJ up again to throw forearms and body shots! A EuroUpper staggers ZSJ, but Tanahashi runs into the cobra twists! They go around as ZSJ tries to lock it on, and he gets it! Tanahashi fights out of it to put it on ZSJ! Then rolls ZSJ up, TWO! ZSJ baits Tanahashi in and steps through to a roll up of his own, but Tanahashi sits on it! TWO and ZSJ sunsets, TWO! Tanahashi sits, TWO! The two separate, ZSJ dodges the dropkick to CRANK the neck! Both men are down, clutching parts of their bodies. Fans rally up as ZSJ gets to a corner. ZSJ dares Tanahashi to stand, and Tanahashi slowly sits up. ZSJ Penalty Kicks but it gets blocked! DRAGON SCREW!
Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he goes after the legs again. ZSJ resists, but Tanahashi still gets him up. But Tanahashi can’t get ZSJ around, and ZSJ fights Tanahashi into a triangle hold! He trips Tanahashi up to get an armbar, but Tanahashi grips to save his limb. Tanahashi rolls, laces the legs again, Clover Leaf! But ZSJ cradle counters, TWO!! The technical exchange continues to heat up, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more as ZSJ and Tanahashi reset. ZSJ is up first, but Tanahashi follows. Tanahashi dodges to SLAP! ZSJ wobbles, Tanahashi runs, but into a full nelson! Tanahashi slips out to put on a half nelson but ZSJ slips around to step through to the Iron Octopus! Tanahashi endures as ZSJ bends and twists him, and then bends and twists the far arm! ZSJ grips behind the back for extra torque! But Tanahashi drops and rolls to get the ropebreak! ZSJ lets him go but grins as he brings Tanahashi back u. Fans rally as Tanahashi resists the scoop. Tanahashi elbows ZSJ off, but swings into the arm wrench PELE! ZSJ aims, PENALTY KICK! Fans cheer their hometown hero as he says this isn’t all. He drags Tanahashi up again to end this, scoop, but Tanahashi slips out of Zack Driver for a Twist ‘n’ Shout! Then a SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!!
But Tanahashi doesn’t slow down, he goes up top! ZSJ is down, HIGH FLY KNEES! Triangle hold! Tanahashi endures as fans duel and shout. ZSJ tries to keep hold as Tanahashi moves around. Tanahashi fades, but comes back. Tanahashi gets up, deadlifts ZSJ, but ZSJ slips around to make it a LeBelle Lock! And then he grabs the other arm, the same torturous attack from G1 Supercard! Tanahashi endures ZSJ’s Rings of Saturn, and powers his way out! ZSJ give sup on that arm, and Tanahashi rolls around, to get a grounded Dragon Screw! ZSJ hobbles up, Tanahashi full nelsons, but ZSJ drops down, rolls up, EUROCLUTCH! TWO!! Tanahashi gets to ropes fast, then runs at ZSJ to throw a EuroUpper! ZSJ shakes that off to give his own! Tanahashi and ZSJ approach, and Tanahashi gives another heavy EuroUpper! But so does ZSJ!
ZSJ rocks Tanahashi again and again, but Tanahashi hits a slapping palm strike! Then another EuroUpper, and another, but swings into a backslide. he slips out, SLINGBLADE! Full Nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! With bridge, TWO! But Tanahashi doesn’t stop, he goes up top. HIGH FLY FLOW HITS! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; NEW Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Champion
The Ace trumps the Submission Master! Six years since joining the British wrestling scene, Hiroshi Tanahashi is the champion! How long will Tanahashi represent the bond between NJPW and RPW?
Another great hour for NJPW on AXS, and a really surprising one with both titles changing hands! Kenta VS Ishii was a great match, even with the Guerrillas of Destiny interfering. Kenta would’ve looked stronger if he did it clean, but maybe he would’ve looked too strong to NJPW if he did. But that’s still great for Kenta to finally be a champion somewhere again, since it didn’t work out in his favor in WWE when he was Hideo Itami. I would love to see Kenta rack up some successful defenses, but maybe not with help from the Bullet Club. Kenta can surely beat the usual NEVER Openweight contenders, though I could totally see Taichi getting over with a strong showing. Hirooki Goto is almost always in the Openweight scene so a match with Kenta would be a lot of fun.
Meanwhile, ZSJ VS Tanahashi was amazing, so much story went into it but it was great as a stand-alone. And the biggest surprise was that Tanahashi won to take that title in the UK. But as of this episode airing, a rematch was already set, so there’s a good chance ZSJ gets it back just to extend his own legacy in Rev-Pro. And either way, this really escalates the feud of Tanahashi and ZSJ, and it will only get better from here.
My Score: 8.9/10
Mtichell’s WWE NXT UK Results & Report! (1/21/21)
Who is NXT UK’s one true queen?
Will Kay Lee Ray still reign in NXT UK?
The Scary Queen of Scots has held the NXT UK Women’s Championship for over 500 days! But that could all change against the Spoiled Princess, Jinny!
- Dave Mastiff VS Rampage Brown; Brown wins.
- Ilja Dragunov VS Jack Starz; Dragunov wins.
- Amir Jordan w/ Kenny Williams VS Tyson T-Bone; Jordan wins.
- NXT UK Women’s Championship: Kay Lee Ray VS Jinny w/ Joseph Conners; KLR wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Dave Mastiff VS Rampage Brown!
The Proper British Heavyweight is up for any challenge, and so is the newest star in NXT UK! But will the Bomber be able to stop the Rampage when they finally collide?
The bell rings and the two big men tie right up! They go around, break, and then tie up again. Rampage headlocks, Mastiff powers out and they collide! Neither man falls, and Rampage is liking this already! They tie up again, go around, and Mastiff headlocks now. Rampage throws heavy body shots then powers out, they collide again, and still neither man falls! They tie up once more, Rampage headlocks, but Mastiff powers out. They ram shoulders again and again and again! Rampage throws a forearm, Mastiff gives it back and we have a heavyweight brawl! Mastiff rocks Rampage, headlocks, but Rampage powers out to dropkick Mastiff down!
Rampage drags Mastiff up to throw more forearms, fireman’s carries, but Mastiff slips out, shoves and DROPKICKS?! Mastiff defies gravity with that one! Mastiff drags Rampage up to CLUB him, and ROCK him, and put him in a corner. Mastiff CLUBS Rampage in the chest, hoists him up top, but Rampage hits back with forearms and a boot! Rampage leaps and hits a FLYING TACKLE! Rampage crossface forearms Mastiff from all sides! Rampage stomps Mastiff down, drops elbows, then covers, TWO! Rampage keeps his cool and he clamps onto Mastiff with a chinlock!
Mastiff endures as Rampage thrashes him around! Mastiff fights up and throws body shots but Rampage CLUBS him! BT Sports Studios fires up as Rampage tries to gut wrench Mastiff, but Mastiff back drops and SITS on Rampage! Rampage staggers up but Mastiff fires off forearms! Mastiff backs Rampage to ropes, whips him and CLOBBERS him! And drops a BACK SENTON! Rampage gasps and sputters as Mastiff stalks him to a corner. Mastiff runs in but into boots! Rampage goes up, and leaps into a CLOTHESLINE! Mastiff drags Rampage up, for an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Rampage survives but Mastiff powers up.
Mastiff waits for Rampage to stand, runs, but into a BOOT and a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Mastiff survives and Rampage can’t believe it! Rampage drags Mastiff up, reels him in and LARIATS, but Mastiff stays up! Mastiff gets around, Rampage elbows out of the waistlock but Mastiff CLUBS him! GERMAN SUPLEX! Mastiff runs corner to corner but Rampage bails out! Rampage is on the apron, Mastiff climbs up the corner, but Rampage CHOP BLOCKS a leg out! Mastiff falls, Rampage gets in and manages a BACK SUPLEX! Rampage drags Mastiff back up, and DOCTOR BOMBS?!? Cover, Rampage wins!!
Winner: Rampage Brown, by pinfall
Incredible! Rampage Brown takes down massive Dave Mastiff! If he can win against this big of an opponent, is no one safe from the Rampage?
A-Kid reflects on his match with Walter.
Heritage Cup Champion took on NXT UK Champion in an instant classic, and he put so much heart into taking on the Ring General. But in the end, the body was not strong enough and Walter still reigns. “I am proud of how I represented the Heritage Cup Championship against Walter. I came up short this time, but next time, it will be different.” Will the Spanish Ace rise back up the ranks while growing the prestige of the trophy he holds?
NXT UK Media finds Kenny Williams backstage.
Williams is on the phone, and here is Amir Jordan! Williams says not to worry about his leg when Jordan has bigger fish to fry. Jordan has a big singles match that Williams helped arrange, and it’s against… Tyson T-Bone! Really? T-Bone? Williams knows Jordan is thinking that T-Bone will level him, but that doesn’t matter! Williams has faith in Jordan that he’ll be the lucky one tonight! Okay, but, he couldn’t find anyone smaller? Nope, sorry. But hey, go get ready, Williams will be right there with him. Did Williams write a check Jordan’s body can’t cash?
Ilja Dragunov VS Jack Starz!
After the epic battle with Walter that disappointingly ended in a loss, the Moscow Madman reflected for a long time, and decided that he needed to start from scratch. He chose to bring things full circle against his first opponent in NXT UK, but will it go the same way now that #UNBESIEGBAR isn’t so sure of himself?
The bell rings and the two circle. They low five to show respect, then tie up. Starz powers Dragunov to ropes but lets off clean. BT Sports Studio cheers the sportsmanship as the two circle. They tie up, Dragunov arm-drags but Starz moves around. Dragunov wristlocks, Starz pushes back and uses ropes to flip through. Starz rolls, handsprings and throws Dragunov up and over! Starz has the wrist and bends the fingers but Dragunov fights up. Dragunov wrenches back, Starz spins and breaks free to dropkick! Dragunov flounders to a corner but comes back after Starz. Starz stays back and circles with Dragunov again. Dragunov blocks the arm-drag to hit a hip toss to a headlock takeover.
Starz fights up, Dragunov hits another takeover but Starz rolls it to his own headlock! Starz grinds on the hold, Dragunov fights up, and Dragunov slips through to hip toss Starz down! Dragunov has the headlock, Starz rolls it to a cover, ONE! Starz gets around Dragunov to O’Conner roll, TWO! Dragunov hurries up, Starz sunset flips over, TWO! Starz LARIATS but Dragunov stays up! Dragunov gets Starz by his legs and SPINEBUSTERS to a headlock! Dragunov grinds Starz down, Starz fights up, and Starz tries to power out but Dragunov holds on. Starz keeps trying, gets out on the third try but Dragunov runs him over!
Things speed up, Starz hurdles then ducks but leaps into Dragunov’s arms! Dragunov swings and tosses Starz but Starz lands on his feet, only to run into a BACK HAND CHOP! Dragunov goes to a corner and runs out, into a LARIAT! Starz hops up but Dragunov holds off the huricanrana, to bring Starz back up! Starz fights out, gets around and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!! Starz keeps on Dragunov with HARD EuroUppers! Dragunov throws forearms, Starz EuroUppers! Starz CHOPS Dragunov on the back, much like Walter would! Dragunov grits his teeth and SLAPS Starz, BOOTS him, and then fires off forearms and CHOPS in the corner!
The ref counts, backs Dragunov off, but Draguno half hatch suplexes Starz hard! Then a DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Dragunov holds on, CHOPS Starz on the back, and GERMAN SUPLEXES again! Dragunov floats to a facelock, throws heavy knees, then pump handles for an EXPLODER! Starz flounders as Dragunov shouts in Russian. Dragunov goes to a corner, and runs for a BLINDSIDE TORPEDO MOSCOW! But he’s not done, Dragunov puts Starz into a double armlock and just rains down furious elbows! Starz is OUT, the ref calls it!
Winner: Ilja Dragunov, by knockout
But Dragunov keeps going! The ref counts and Dragunov stops at 4! Though passionate and aggressive before, Dragunov has unlocked a new level to it! When he calms down, he realizes what he did to Starz. Dragunov apologizes to Starz, but can Starz even hear him? What will this new intensity in Dragunov mean for his road back to redemption?
NXT UK looks back on Ben Carter’s in-ring debut.
From Supernova Sessions right into a Cruiserweight Championship match with Jordan Devlin, the pro-wrestling prodigy impressed many on the roster. Carter may not have won his title match debut, but he shows a lot of promise, and will be back in action next week!
Sam Gradwell shares his own opinion of Ben Carter.
“Ben Carter? This supposed to be exciting? Fizzing around like a bloody Catherine wheel?” As much as Gradwell likes spelling out naughty words with a sparkler, he’s not here to be “a pretty little bonfire treat.” Gradwell will admit Carter push Devlin to his limit in just his debut, “but we’ll see how exciting the lad is when this Thunderstorm sends him packing back to Jersey. Ben Carter is a yogurt!” Will Gradwell rain on Carter’s parade before it even gets going?
Amir Jordan w/ Kenny Williams VS Tyson T-Bone!
The Bhangra Badboy is back in action on his own, and the Lucky-Yin set him up against a rather tough opponent. Will the returning King of Travelers trample all over Jordan’s singles run?
The bell rings and Jordan circles with T-Bone. They tie up, T-Bone shoves him but Jordan comes back with a shoulder! Jordan ducks the punch to get a headlock, but T-Bone powers up. Jordan holds on, T-Bone keeps fighting but Jordan grinds on the hold. T-Bone back suplexes, Jordan lands on his feet and gets another headlock! T-Bone powers out, Jordan goes up and around the corner, but T-Bone is there to snapmare and RAM Jordan! Things speed up, Jordan hurdles but T-Bone blocks the hip toss. Jordan body shots and flips up an dover, then dodges the clothesline, only to get hit with a forearm!
T-Bone drags Jordan up, scoops him, and gives him a BACKBREAKER, to a FALL AWAY SLAM! Jordan flounders but T-Bone is on him with elbows and forearms and even knees! Jordan gets to a corner, kicks back but T-Bone throws heavy hands! Williams coaches Jordan up but T-Bone kicks Jordan down! T-Bone throws more forearms, Jordan gives some but T-Bone jabs and forearms back! Jordan shoves but T-Bone kicks him down. T-Bone shoves Jordan to ropes to CLUB him on the rebound! And again the other way! T-Bone covers and glares at Williams, TWO! Williams rallies for Jordan as T-Bone whips him, but Jordan elbows back!
Jordan throws forearms, CHOPS, but T-Bone shoves. Jordan goes up, the monkey flip is blocked to a SLAM! T-Bone has the legs, and he swings Jordan under the ropes, for a ROPE GUILLOTINE! The ref reprimands then checks on Jordan, T-Bone covers, TWO! T-Bone clamps onto Jordan and drives knees into Jordan over an dover! T-Bone clamps on with a chinlock, fish hooks Jordan’s face, then CLUBS him in the chest! T-Bone wraps on the chinlock again nice and tight, and he thrashes Jordan around. Jordan fights his way up, and jawbreakers free! Jordan kicks at T-Bone’s leg, throws body shots and forearms, but T-Bone shoves.
Jordan comes back with more forearms and a dropkick! T-Bone rebounds, Jordan dodges the boot and sunset flips! T-Bone stays up, but Jordan avoids the elbow drop! Jordan throws hands, facelocks and grabs at arms, but T-Bone back drops free! T-Bone stalks Jordan to a corner, and is Williams smirking? Jordan dodges T-Bone’s corner splash, then runs in, only into T-Bone’s arms! T-Bone brings Jordan up, but Jordan sunset flips again. T-Bone stays up again, then sits on Jordan! TWO and Jordan slips out the back?! Roll up, Jordan wins!!
Winner: Amir Jordan, by pinfall
What a shocker! Certainly for Williams, he seems almost confused as to how that happened. But Williams did say Jordan would have luck on his side. Will that luck run out? Or will it take Jordan all the way back to a Cruiserweight Championship opportunity?
NXT UK Media catches up with Xia Brookside.
“Nina Samuels. I beat you fair and square. And then you jump me after the match. You then cost me the match with Isla Dawn. What is it? This is not the Nina Samuels Show. And now, you want to drag my family’s name through the dirt? Soon enough, Nina, you will see exactly what a Brookside is truly capable of.” Will Nina consider bowing out of the leading role in a sequel with this fired up second generation superstar?
While Primate & Wild Boar are part of next week’s massive Fatal 4 Way ELIMINATION Tag Match to name new #1 contenders to the NXT UK Tag Team Championships, their mastermind will be BANNED from ringside! That’s right, Eddie Dennis will not be allowed to interfere in the battle between The Hunt, Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter, Pretty Deadly, and South Wales Subculture! Will The Hunt end up the hunted without the Welsh Dragon there to guide them?
NXT UK Women’s Championship: Kay Lee Ray VS Jinny w/ Joseph Conners!
The reign that is 509 days and counting could be stopped right here! The Scary Queen of Scots has overcome everyone put in front of her, even the likes of Toni Storm and Piper Niven! But she and the Spoiled Princess haven’t had a real opportunity to go 1v1 until today! Will KLR make it to day 510? Or will Jinny having a knight in not so shining armor be a major factor?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this battle to determine the brand’s one true queen begins!
KLR and Jinny tie up, go around, and KLR powers Jinny back. Jinny pulls hair to back KLR down but KLR pulls at hair, too! They go around, into a corner, and the ref calls for a break. The ref steps in between them to break this up, and BT Sports Studio likes the aggression. KLR and Jinny circle, tie up and KLR wrenches to a wristlock. KLR grinds on the shoulder then chinbars Jinny down. Jinny pulls at her and grabs at KLR’s chin, but KLR pushes her down to scrape her boot off Jinny’s head! Jinny gets up to shove KLR, KLR SLAPS Jinny back! KLR wrenches, Jinny wrenches back and wrangles KLR with an armlock.
Piper Niven is spotted on the screens watching this match as Jinny talks trash and pushes KLR around. KLR CHOPS Jinny back! KLR bumps Jinny off buckles, throws more CHOPS and fast hands, but the ref counts and she stops at 4. Jinny puts KLR in the corner to stomp a mudhole into her! The ref counts, Jinny stops at 4, and now Dani Luna is spotted among those watching on the screens. KLR CHOPS Jinny then kicks her back. KLR whips and dropkicks Jinny down! Cover, TWO! KLR argues the count, and now Amale is spotted among the screens. KLR keeps on Jinny but Jinny shoves back, only for KLR to spin her to a GOURD BUSTER! Cover, TWO!
Conners is relieved but KLR is annoyed. KLR drags Jinny to a drop zone and climbs up top, and Conners waves hi. Jinny gets up, KLR has to jump over her and her leg jams! KLR runs back but into Jinny’s OVERHEAD ARM-DRAG into buckles! Cover, TWO!! KLR flops out of the ring and Conners is there to taunt her, but the ref tells him to stay back. Jinny fetches KLR and bumps her off the apron! And off the steel steps! Jinny fires off forearms but the ring count is climbing! Jinny refreshes things at 7, then brings KLR up. KLR throws body shots, Jinny clubs her down, and the count begins again. Jinny brings KLR up but KLR RAMS her into the barriers!
KLR brings Jinny up but Jinny bumps her off the apron! Jinny refreshes the count at 8 but KLR gets in. Jinny hurries after KLR and rains down rights. Cover, TWO! Something’s going on with the screens, and is that Aoife Valkyrie? The screens go back to normal and Jinny puts KLR in a corner. Jinny wrenches and whips KLR corner to corner hard! KLR bounces off buckles and Jinny covers, TWO! Jinny grows frustrated and she tells KLR, “You are NOT championship material!” KLR SLAPS Jinny away! Jinny comes back to ROCK KLR with a right, whips her, but KLR reverses. Jinny rolls to trip KLR up into the grounded surfboard!
KLR endures as Jinny rocks back and forth! KLR tells the ref to shut up and stop asking her, and she gets an arm free! KLR crawls and reaches but Jinny stomps her over and over! KLR still gets the ropebreaks! The ref counts, Jinny lets go to stomp KLR over and over! Jinny rains down rights again, then drags KLR back up. Jinny pulls hair and snapmares KLR to a cover, TWO! Jinny clamps on with a chinlock and now both Xia Brookside and Nina Samuels are watching. KLR endures, fights up, but Jinny pulls hair again. Jinny brings KLR up to throw a heavy forearm!
Jinny ripcords but KLR dodges, only for Jinny to ROLLING HEEL KICK! And another ROLLING HEEL KICK! But KLR SUPERKICKS back! Both women are down and BT Sports Studio fires up! Conners is worried as the standing count climbs past 5. Jinny and KLR are up at 8, and KLR ROCKS Jinny! Jinny comes back to forearm KLR and now they go back and forth! KLR gets the edge, Jinny knees low and hard! Jinny whips, KLR reverses to SUPERKICK again! DDT! Cover, TWO! Jinny survives, but KLR puts on a KOJI KLUTCH! Jinny flails, KLR thrashes, but Jinny endures! Conners grows worried again, but Jinny fights up and rolls KLR to a cover, TWO!!
KLR lets Jinny go and kicks, but Jinny blocks! Jinny throws KLR into the KNEE! Jinny drags KLR up and reels her in, LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! KLR survives but Conners argues the count. Jinny drags KLR up to club her over and over on the back! Jinny drags KLR up, KLR CHOPS her! KLR gets the leg, uses that to reel Jinny into the Gory Especial, but Conners gets on the apron! KLR lets Jinny go to back Conners off, but she turns around into Jinny’s KNEE! Jinny drags KLR up, puts her in the ropes, THE MAKEOVER!! Cover, Conners even holds KLR’s legs down, but the ref sees that!! The ref EJECTS Conners!!
Conners is furious but he grabs the belt, saying it’s Jinny’s! KLR rolls Jinny up, TWO!! SUPERKICK!! Conners is taking the title but KLR goes out to snatch it from him! KLR DECKS Conners, gets in, but Jinny has the belt! KLR ducks the belt shot, and the ref sees it, too! The ref grabs at the belt but Jinny won’t let it go! KLR gets Jinny for the Gory Especial! GORY BOMB!! Cover, KLR wins!!
Winner: Kay Lee Ray, by pinfall (still NXT UK Women’s Champion)
Jinny’s insurance policy failed her, and the historic reign continues! What will it take for someone, anyone, to dethrone KLR?
A great episode for NXT UK from top to bottom! Mastiff and Rampage was a great match, especially for an opener, and naturally Rampage wins as he’s the new big star moving up the ranks. Who knows, we might get a rematch or a series of rematches because if this was the first one, I’d love to see what they could do to build upon it. At the very least, this helps get Rampage on track towards the NXT UK Championship and Walter, and he could be in a position to challenge in the Spring to match with WrestleMania season. As a fall back, have these two guys be a tag team and just steamroll some people.
A-Kid had a decent “self-reflection” promo, but I still expect him to focus on the Heritage Cup Championship, and to build up that reign with a lot of great defenses, maybe even giving rematches to some of his opponents from the tournament. I again enjoyed Sam Gradwell’s promo running down one of the bright stars of NXT UK, he has great obscure references because I forgot what a “Catherine wheel” was until I googled it. This surely means Ben Carter’s match week is against Gradwell, and that will be Carter’s first win in NXT UK. Xia Brookside had a good video promo warning Nina Samuels, I look forward to a more intense Brookside in the coming weeks.
I was completely and gladly shocked by how Dragunov changed in that match with Jack Starz. I thought there was going to be a long run of Dragunov being mellow, more technical, and struggling to win, and then at a certain point, he’d snap and get back to Unbesiegbar. Instead, they did a lot of that in just this one match and then he went above and beyond into this extra scary Dragunov. This fugue state Dragunov is a very interesting take, but I look forward to seeing the follow-up with Starz confronting Dragunov about it.
I think Williams is turning Heel on Jordan. He tried to set Jordan up to fail against T-Bone, but then Jordan wins, so maybe Williams tries to take it up a notch and set Jordan up against someone like Mastiff or Saxon Huxley. It’ll come out that Williams is doing this out of a sense of jealousy and bitterness, the team splits up, and we’ll get a great match of Jordan VS Williams.
KLR VS Jinny was a great main event, but the only thing that brought it down was NXT UK trying to make it seem like all the women on the roster were watching via ThunderDome technology. They did a good job with Piper Niven but I swear Amale was edited in, she was in far better focus than all the other screens. The one effective one was Aoife taking over the screens with supernatural powers similar to The Fiend or Taker. I like the creativity with how Conners tries to screw KLR over but ends up screwing Jinny over. There were some good false dirty finishes, and in the end KLR wins to keep history going. I have a feeling, given those ThunderDome screen edits, Aoife will be built up so that she will be the one to dethrone KLR and immediately be a star. Not sure how effective that is but it’s clearly NXT UK’s goal.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (1/20/21)
The first ever WOMEN’S Dusty Cup begins!
NXT is making history with the inaugural WOMEN’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic!
For the first time ever, Toni Storm teams with Mercedes Martinez and they’re taking on Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter to open this inaugural Women’s Dusty Cup! Who takes their first steps towards history?
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff VS The Way; Kushida & Ruff win and advance.
- Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Ashante “Thee” Adonis w/ Desmond Troy; Kross wins.
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Imperium VS Lucha House Party; Lucha House Party wins and advances.
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Toni Storm & Mercedes Martinez VS Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter; Catanzaro & Carter win and advance.
- Tyler Rust w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Bronson Reed; Reed wins.
- Fight Pit: Timothy Thatcher VS Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff VS The Way!
The Time Splitter and NXT’s ultimate underdog want after Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory for many reasons, one of which is the NXT North American Championship. But first, will they make sure Johnny and Austin don’t get their way in this historic tag team tournament?
The teams sort out and Ruff wants to go first. Kushida obliges and Ruff starts with Theory. They circle, tie up, and Theory waistlocks to easily toss Ruff away! Ruff gets up and circles with Theory again, they tie up and Ruff gets a headlock. Theory powers out and runs Ruff over! Theory flexes, but Ruff trips him up to dropkick him to a corner! Ruff runs in, whips but Theory reverses. Ruff goes up and out and ROCKS Theory, to then jumps back in, but Theory gets him in a torture rack! Ruff goes for a crucifix but Theory throws him off, only for Ruff to avoid the dropkick! Ruff gives back a basement dropkick, covers, ONE!!
Ruff keeps on Theory with a facelock, Kushida tags in and they double wrench to double elbow breakers! And double PENALTY KICKS to the arms! Kushida wrenches one arm to a wristlock, then steps over to hammerlock it and get the other arm! Kushida moves around to bend both arms just by standing! Kushida falls back for the SNAP LOCK! Kushida keeps Theory away from Gargano with a wrench and armlock. Theory endures, Kushida cranks on the shoulder, but Theory fights his way up to stomp Kushida’s foot! Theory throws Kushida by his head, then drags him over to tag in Gargano.
Gargano throws furious forearms on Kushida, gets him down and rams in knees! Gargano stomps away on Kushida then shouts, “I’M THE BEST!” Kushida hits back with furious forearms of his own! Kushida whips, Gargano stops himself and elbows back! Tag to Theory, who somersault shotguns Kushida down! Cover, ONE! Theory drags Kushida up, throws more forearms, then has Kushida in a corner. Theory wrenches and whips Kushida corner to corner hard! Kushida bounces off buckles to writhe but Theory stomps his arm! Theory clamps onto the arm with a double wristlock but Kushida fights up. Gargano tags in and The Way mugs Kushida in the corner.
The Way double whip Kushida, double elbow him, and then no look high-five for more stomps! The ref reprimands, Gargano covers, TWO! Gargano snapmares and basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Gargano looms over Kushida, drags him up and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Theory, The Way mug Kushida more, then Theory goes for a suplex. Kushida holds that off but Theory throws body shots. Theory brings Kushida up, Kushida slips out of the suplex and tags in Ruff! Ruff goes up to missile dropkick! Ruff dodges, rallies and hits Theory with forearms! Mule kick but Theory trips Ruff, only for Ruff to kip up and KICK back!
Ruff bumps Theory off buckles, runs corner to corner, but misses the splash! Gargano rushes over but Ruff knocks him down! Ruff leaps, into Theory’s torture rack! TOWER HACKER BOMB! Cover, TWO?! Ruff still lives as NXT goes picture in picture!
Theory seethes as he looms over Ruff. Theory brings Ruff up, scoops, then taunts Kushida before he FALL AWAY SLAMS Ruff to the corner! Theory KICKS Ruff down, digs his boots in, then tags Gargano. Theory feeds Ruff to Gargano’s boots, then Gargano drags Ruff up by his arm. Gargano wrenches, and copies Kushida with the wristlock and elbow breaker! The ref keeps Kushida back as Gargano puts Ruff on ropes to choke him! The ref counts, Gargano stops at 4, then drags Ruff back up. Ruff tries to fight to his corner, he throws body shots, but Gargano turns things around to snap suplex Ruff back towards The Way! Tag to Theory, and The Way stomp Ruff down!
Theory drags Ruff up for big forearms, then traps Ruff in the corner. Theory rams Ruff over and over, then hauls him out to throw him down! Theory taunts Kushida, covers Ruff, TWO! Theory keeps Ruff down with a knee in the back and a chinlock with some digging knuckles in the shoulder! Ruff endures, fights his way up, and throws body shots. Theory ROCKS Ruff with a right then CLOBBERS him with a clothesline! Theory tags Gargano in, snapmares Ruff, and Gargano wraps on a chinlock of his own. Ruff endures again, even as Gargano drives his knee in over and over! NXT returns to single picture as fans rally up.
Ruff fights up, throws body shots, but Gargano turns him for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Gargano clamps onto Ruff, tags in Theory, and The Way double whips Ruff to a corner. Gargano whips Theory in but Ruff BOOTS him! Ruff puts Gargano on the apron, flounders for his corner, but Theory intercepts! Theory grabs at Ruff but Ruff scrambles under! Theory has the foot but Ruff ENZIGURIS! Gargano trips Kushida off the apron! And Theory CLOBBERS Ruff! Tag to Gargano, The Way coordinate for a backbraker and neckbreaker gutbuster combo! Cover, TWO! Ruff is still in this but Gargano drags him up.
Tag to Theory, and Gargano gets Ruff up into Theory’s lift. Ruff fights the bomb and gets to a corner! Theory gets faked out, Ruff leaps to hit the FLYING CUTTER! Fans rally up as both men crawl! Hot tags to Gargano and Kushida! The Super Junior leaps with an ax handle, then TACKLES Gargano for ground ‘n’ pound! Theory gets in but Kushida KICKS him over and over! Theory whips Kushida but Kushida handspring back elbows! Handspring HEEL KICK for Gargano! Kushida boots Theory and tumbles out to TORNADO DDT Gargano to the floor! Fans fire up for Kushida as he drags Gargano up and into the ring!
Kushida aims, but Gargano avoid the Penalty Kick! School Boy KICK! Gargano drags Kushida up but Kushida turns into a suplex into an ARMBAR! Kushida clubs at the hands but Theory CLOBBERS Kushida! Kushida throws Theory out but Gargano turns Kushida around! Kushida dodges to spin Gargano, ROLLING ELBOW! Gargano ENZIGURIS! Tag to Theory and Theory drags Kushida up! Fisherman figure four and BRAINBUSTER! To SUPERKICK from Gargano! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives the combo but Theory tags Gargano back in. The Way coordinates again, but Ruff dropkicks Theory away! Ruff dodges Gargano to FLY out onto Theory!
Kushida gets Gargano in the HOVERBOARD! Gargano cradle counters, TWO!! BUZZSAW! But Kushida comes back to hip toss and cartwheel dropkick! FAST BALL! Kushida gets that arm, hammerlock SUPLEX! Bridging cover, Kushida and Ruff win!!
Winners: KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
The Way is ALREADY out of the Dusty Cup! And furthermore, Kushida has again pinned the North American Champion! Will Kushida be on the path for not just one but two titles in 2021?
Pete Dunne speaks.
“Finn Balor, whether you want to admit it or not, you know full well me and you are cut from the same cloth.” Same humble beginnings in the UK, but here’s what’s different. Balor left, while Dunne “built an entire brand. I made NXT UK! And what do I get as a thank you? I constantly get compared to you and what you’ve done.” Balor said everyone wants to face the champ so Dunne needs to get in line. What does he mean by that? Dunne is the REAL threat to the NXT Championship. Balor claims he doesn’t watch the business, but surely he’s been watching Dunne these last few years.
We all know that this is inevitable. And this time, Balor can’t just leave. He will pass the torch. History will speak well of Balor, but will speak better of Dunne. “The day that me and you finally meet, people will finally realize that you’ve just been taking part in MY legacy.” Will the Bruiserweight be the one to dethrone the Prince?
Backstage interview with Malcolm Bivens.
What’s he waiting outside of William Regal’s for? Well he and Tyler Rust are waiting for a presentation to Regal. Rust is the future of NXT. He is no rookie, he is the #DiamondintheRust! Rust will be a future North American Champion, a future NXT Champion, and- Rust finishes his talk with Regal and thanks Regal for this, promising that Regal won’t regret it. Bivens is surprised and Rust apologizes, he got here early and already had his talk with Regal. The match is made for tonight! Rust VS Bronson Reed! Bivens isn’t quite as happy about this, that wasn’t the direction Bivens was hoping for. But what’s done is done. Bivens says Rust is going straight to the top and he has a match to win. Rust is the future, but how far in the future will it be when he’s headed for a colossal obstacle?
Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Ashante “Thee” Adonis w/ Desmond Troy!
While Dunne wants after the NXT Champion, Mr. Doomsday never lost it! Will Kross get back to the title and bring the apocalypse with him?
The bell rings and Kross circles with Adonis. Adonis kicks but Kross doesn’t flinch! Adonis throws a forearm but Kross just grits his teeth. Adonis runs but into Kross’ arms for a NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX! And a roll through to a wrench and DOOMSDAY SAIDO!! Adonis writhes while Kross roars! The ref checks on Adonis but he manages to get up, only to stagger into ANOTHER DOOMSDAY SAIDO! Kross asks if Adonis hears the clock ticking! Adonis somehow gets back up, only for Kross to say TIME’S UP! BLINDSIDE FOREARM!! Cover, Kross wins!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by pinfall
The countdown to the inevitable has certainly begun, but will it be Kross who takes that title from Balor, not Dunne? But wait, Kross isn’t done! He goes after Troy, who was just checking on his Dusty Cup tag team partner! KROSSJACKET!! Troy flails, but he passes out! Kross shows no mercy, will that be the same for anyone on the path back to the title?
NXT takes a closer look at MSK.
Nash Carter tells Wes Lee he’s about to throw off the other tag teams. “MSK, Wes Lee and Nash Carter, number tag team in all of NXT!” How is a Borat impersonation going to do anything? “Because I’m number one!” Very nice, yes! But who are MSK? Nash and Lee came together by fate and now they’re family. They impressed against Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and Jake Atlas, and even other NXT superstars like Ember Moon gives them credit for being so innovative and precise. All the hard work, dedication, blood, sweat and tears… They’re getting teary-eyed just thinking about that Dusty Cup. They’ve fought for so long, and now they’re finally here. This is everything to them. But will they make another impressive impact in the second round?
Mercedes Martinez & Toni Storm speak.
They tell Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter, “being best friends means absolutely nothing in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.” Toni and Mercedes don’t need to be friends, they’re just two tough women with a common interest. So for all they care, KC and KC can go preheat an EZ Bake Oven, practice some cartwheels, and then maybe work on a TikTok video. Because what Mercedes did to Io Shirai will be nothing compared to what she and Toni do to them tonight! Enjoy the first round exit, though. Will the combined forces of Mean Mercedes and The Lightning From Down Under be greater then KC Squared?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Imperium VS Lucha House Party!
Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner have been NXT Tag Team Champions before, but they wish to return to the top and keep the mat sacred! Will Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik change those plans and make the Dusty Cup #LuchaLit?
The teams sort out and the Impeccable German starts against the Golden Lynx. They circle, Barthel corners Lince and pushes him to the buckles but the ref has him back off. Lince comes back but Barthel throws him with an arm-drag! Barthel clamps onto Lince, clubs away on him, then drags him up to a facelock and half hatch suplex! Barthel keeps on Lince with an armlock, hammerlocks it, but Lince reaches back to get up and flying mare free! But Barthel throat chops him down! Barthel glares at Metalik then goes to Lince in an open corner. Barthel ROCKS Lince with an uppercut, then digs his boot into Lince’s head! The ref counts, Barthel lets off and wrenches Lince to a knuckle lock.
Lince breaks free to CHOP, CHOP and whip! Barthel reverses, Lince Quebradas up and over and tags in Metalik! Metalik gives Lince a boost on the springboard RANA! Metalik goes up, Lince returns the favor and Metalik gets a boost for the SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Metalik chinlocks and gets an arm to wrench and wristlock. Barthel tags to Aichner and then whips Metalik, Aichner arm-drags Metalik then stomps him down! The Pride of Italy drags the King of the Ropes up to ROCK him with a EuroUpper! Aichner whips Metalik to hit him low! Aichner taunts Metalik then drags him back up to ram him into buckles and CHOP him!
Aichner talks trash in Italian but fans boo. Metalik throws body shots, dodges but runs into a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Aichner looms over Metalik, brings him up to whip him to a corner but Metalik elbows him away! Metalik runs and hits the SLING DOG! Tag to Lince, LHP double whip Aichner into the corner, Metalik corner clotheslines then runs corner to corner to BOOT Barthel! Lince heel kicks Aichner down! Imperium regroups outside but Lince DIVES! Aichner catches Lince to RAM him into the apron, then scoop SLAM him down! Metalik goe sup top but Barthel trips him up!
Barthel drags Metalik into a Tree of Woe to kick, then Imperium meets with DOUBLE DROPKICKS! Imperium strikes a pose while NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Aichner grinds Lince down with a chinlock. Fans rally up and Lince fights back, but Aichner CLUBS him down! Aichner drags Lince up, whips him to ropes, but Lince handsprings, GOLDEN REWIND! Barthel tags in, drags Lince from Metalik with a chinlock, and grinds him down again. Fans rally, Lince fights up again, and Lince throws body shots. Barthel whips Lince to a corner but Lince kicks! Barthel blocks it, shouts “NEIN!” and then puts the leg on ropes to KICK the leg! Barthel hoists Lince up top and throws haymakers, but Lince counter punches! Lince hammers away but Barthel KICKS Lince back!
Barthel climbs up, Lince resists the superplex with body shots and headbutts! Lince CHOPS Barthel, grabs him, tornado and rebound for the DDT! Both men are down but fans fire up, hot tags to Aichner and Metalik! Metalik springboards to crossbody Aichner down! Metalik kicks, whips but Aichner reverses. Metalik goes up and out and enziguris back! Metalik is up top, tightrope to RANA! Aichner flounders, Metalik walks the ropes again to boot and springboard, QUEBRADA! Cover, TWO! Aichner survives that onslaught but Metalik fireman’s carries. Aichner slips out, dragon sleepers and suplexes but Metalik slips out!
Metalik waistlocks but Aichner bucks the O’Conner roll and Barthel tags in! Metalik knuckle locks and goes up the ropes but Barthel blocks the arm-drag! Barthel wheelbarrows Metalik, Aichner is up top, they combine for a FLYING DDT!! Cover, but Lince breaks it! Fans fire up as Barthel protests, but he drags Metalik up to rock him with rights! Tag to Aichner, they put Metalik up top and ROCKET LAUNCHER to the suplex, but Metalik slips out! Tag to Lince, LHP kick Aichner and Lince sunset flips! Aichner holds it off but Metalik goes up to missile dropkick him into the SUNSET BOMB! Cover, but Barthel breaks it in time!
Lince kicks Barthel out, then stomps Aichner. Lince drags Aichner over and whips, only for Aichner to reverse. Aichner runs into a boot, but Barthel pushes him off the corner! Aichner catches Lince and holds him up, but Metalik springboards and jumps at Barthel! Barthel catches him to a fireman’s carry, then shifts him around, AIR RAID BRAINBUSTER IN STEREO! Cover, TWO?!? Lince still lives and Imperium is furious! Aichner rains down rights on Lince then tags in Barthel. Imperium drags Lince up, whips him, SPINEBUSTER to PENALTY KICK! Aichner hauls Lince up and Barthel climbs, but Lince counters the bomb lift to a FACEBUSTER!
Metalik gets Barthel with a springboard SUPER STEINER into Aichner! LHP coordinates and Lince helps Metalik get up to ASAI MOONSAULT Aichner at the ramp! But Barthel BLINDSIDES Lince! Roll up, TWO!! Lince SUPERKICKS from the corner! Barthel is down, Lince goes up, SHOOTING STAR!! Cover, LHP wins!!
Winners: Lucha House Party, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
Was this a bracket buster right here?! Metalik and Lince send Imperium packing, and are headed for a battle of lucha libre with El Legado del Fantasma! Will the party keep rolling through the second round?
As for Imperium, ALEXANDER WOLFE returns to NXT USA, and he looks a bit disappointed in Aichner and Barthel. Will the Hatchet Man get his compatriots back on top on behalf of the Ring General, Walter?
NXT shares the Fight Pit weigh-in from earlier today.
Tommaso Ciampa steps on the scale to officially weigh in at 201 pounds. Ciampa double guns to show off the lean, mean fighting machine, then Timothy Thatcher takes his turn. Thatcher officially weighs in at 225 pounds, quite the gap between him and Ciampa. Regal wishes both men best of luck, and Ciampa offers a handshake. Thatcher shoves him instead! Ciampa wants after Thatcher but he has to save it for tonight! Will they both leave it all inside the Fight Pit?
William Regal and Beth Phoenix are on stage.
They stand on stage with the Dusty Cup to proudly present the field the next step in the Women’s (R)Evolution! Right here, in this building, women like Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Bayley, Carmella, Shayna Baszler and many others have had their part in that progress. These women have main-evented TakeOvers, Pay-Per-Views, and even WrestleMania! “Women’s Wrestling, you guys wanted this! It was the WWE Universe, the NXT Universe, that wanted this.” Tonight, we prepare to make history again! So let’s kick off the first-ever WOMEN’S DUSTY RHODES CLASSIC!
The lights come up to present the inaugural field of eight teams! Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter, Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon, Aliyah with the Robert Stone Brand’s newest client, Jessi Kamea, and even newcomers Gigi Dolan & Cora Jade stand on one side, with Toni Storm & Mercedes Martinez, The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell, Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez, and Marina Shafir with newcomer Zoey Stark standing on the other. Beth says let’s get started with the first match!
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Toni Storm & Mercedes Martinez VS Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter!
History is being made in 2021, and both teams have said their peace. Who will back those words with actions as the Women’s Dusty Classic begins NOW?
The teams sort out, Toni starts with Kayden, and they tie up and go around at the bell. They break, tie up again, go around again, and Kayden waistlocks. Toni pries free, wrenches to a wristlock, but Kayden rolls and rolls to wrench back. Fans rally, Toni spins through and wrenches again, but Kayden slips through and around to headlock. Toni powers out, Kayden rams her but neither falls. So Kayden trips Toni, taunts her, then speeds things up. Toni drops, Kayden handsprings over, but Toni runs her over! Things keep moving, Toni redirects to basement dropkick! Cover, ONE!! Toni drags Kayden up, tags in Mercedes, and she scoops Kayden to a sidewalk slam!
Mercedes glares at Kayden, Toni drops an elbow then Mercedes adds one. Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Kayden kicks from the mat then Eddy Gordo kicks Mercedes in the head! Kayden whips Mercedes to the corner but Mercedes blocks to reverse! Kayden gets around, tags Kacy, and then they bait Mercedes into a double drop toehold! Mercedes hits off ropes, KC Squared DOUBLE BOOT her down! Kacy slingshot sentons and covers, TWO! Kacy drags Mercedes up but Mercedes CHOPS her off her feet! Mercedes taunts Kacy and ROCKS her with an uppercut! Mercedes kicks Kacy at ropes, drags her up and throws a big EuroUpper! Fans rally but Mercedes looms over Kacy.
Mercedes clamps onto Kacy with a chinlock and digs her knee into Kacy’s back. Kacy endures, fights up, and throws body shots. Mercedes throws Kacy down by her hair, then “apologizes” to the ref. Kacy hits back but Mercedes kicks her down. Mercedes whips Kacy, Kacy dodges and tilt-o-whirls but the DDT is blocked! Mercedes powers up to suplex, scoop then SLAM! Cover, but Kayden breaks it! The fans are fired up as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Toni slams Kacy down. Cover, TWO! Toni drags Kacy up, throws forearms then tags in Mercedes. Toni DECKS Kacy, Mercedes grabs Kacy with both hands for an OVERHEAD TOSS! Toni runs in to HIP ATTACK Kacy, then Mercedes drags Kacy to a cover, TWO! Mercedes grows frustrated and drags Kacy up to CLUB her down! Mercedes bumps Kacy off buckles, CHOPS her, then hoists her up top. Mercedes throws uppercuts then climbs up but Kacey resists the superplex. Kacy throws body shots but Mercedes ROCKS her with a right! Mercedes fireman’s carries but Kacy resists and shifts position, to spin and SUPER STEINER!
Mercedes flounders away and fans fire up! Mercedes crawls and hobbles, tag to Toni! Toni intercepts Kacy, scoops her, but Kacy slips out to hot tag Kayden! Kayden dodges boots to fire off forearms! Kayden dropkicks Mercedes, whips Toni into her, then runs in to forearm smash them both! Kayden keeps moving and dropkicks Mercedes to splash down on Toni! Kayden drags Toni up, CHOPS and forearms, then whips! Toni reverses, Kayden slides to a stop to come back and victory roll, to SUPERKICK! Kayden keeps moving, BOOT WASH! Fans fire up and Kayden waistlocks Toni. O’Conner roll, TWO, springboard basement dropkick! Cover, Mercedes breaks it!
Kacy returns to ENZIGURI Mercedes out! Then Kacy slingshots for a TORNILLO! Fans fire up with KC Squared as Kayden drags Toni up. Toni HEADBUTTS! And GERMAN SUPLEXES! Toni drags Kayden up and waistlocks again but Kayden elbows free. Toni trips Kayden and has the leg, but Kayden flails to resist the Half Crab! Toni turns her over, stands on Kayden’s back, but Kayden still endures! Kayden reaches, but Io Shirai is here! Shirai yanks Mercedes off the apron and then TOSSES her across the announce desk! The ref doesn’t see this, but Toni lets Kayden go to DECK Kacy! Toni realizes something happened to Mercedes, too, and is all alone!
Kayden trips Toni up! Kacy tags in, KC Squared coordinate with a NAVARRO DEATH ROLL from Kayden, to Kacy hitting a PHOENIX SENTON?! Cover, KC SQUARED WINS!!
Winners: Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
Give a tiny assist to the Evil Genius, but that was still a spectacular way to finish! Will this be what propels these two to the top of the Women’s Tag Division?
Backstage interview with Finn Balor.
He’s heading to William Regal’s office and barges in. Balor says Regal knows why he’s here: Balor wants Pete Dunne. But Balor already knows the games Dunne is playing, they’re all from Balor’s old playbook. So Balor wants to start with Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. “First I’ll chop off the arms, then I’ll chop off the head.” Regal understands how Balor feels but he has to protect Balor from himself. After what happened last week, Balor can’t fight them all alone. So Regal says Balor should find a tag team partner. Regal should know Balor better than anyone. Balor doesn’t have friends, that’s the old Finn. All Balor has now are enemies. Then keep your enemies closer. Balor leaves, but will he find someone willing to fight alongside him against the would-be Kings of NXT?
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott finds Bronson Reed backstage.
Swerve tells Reed to not get in his business again. But then wishes him “luck” out there. Will Swerve’s words get in Reed’s head as he heads for the ring?
After what happened to both Ashante “Thee” Adonis and Desmond Troy at the hands of Karrion Kross, Adonis’ injury won’t let him compete this Friday on 205 Live, where he and Troy would be competing in the Dusty Cup. Speaking of the Dusty Cup, KC Squared run in and are PUMPED for their win! Congratulations are in order, and they say this is what they told us would happen! No one believed in them, but they said they’d win and go down in the history books. They just beat two of the toughest women in NXT and are going to win the whole thing. Say it again! “We’re going to win the whole thing!” Will KC Squared continue to rise into immortality?
Tyler Rust w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Bronson Reed!
Bivens Enterprise’s current client kinda stepped in it, talking to Regal without Bivens being present. But will they keep this from being a huge setback in Rust’s rise to the top? Or is there no getting past Auszilla when you’re across from him in the ring?
The bell rings and Reed circles with Rust. Rust dodges the grapple and kicks, but Reed stays up. Rust gets around to get an arm and wrenches but Reed pushes him off. Rust comes back to get the arm again but Reed is the one with the killer knuckle lock! Rust spins through, keylocks, but Reed powers him away and headlocks. Reed grinds Rust but Rust powers up. Rust tries to power out but Reed holds on tight. Fans rally, Rust pulls hair and puts Reed on ropes. The ref counts, Rust lets off and then kicks the arm! Rust dodges Reed, things speed up and Reed BLASTS Rust out of the ring with that shoulder!
Bivens coaches Rust up and says he’s got this. Rust gets up and gets back in, dodges Reed but Reed blocks the kick to give the kick. Reed trophy lifts Rust then drops him to a GUT BUSTER! And then dead lifts him for a FALL AWAY SLAM! Rust sits on the apron as he catches his breath but Bivens says to use his brains against Reed’s brawn. But Reed drags Rust up, only for Rust to wrench the arm and hotshot it! Rust hurries after the arm, ARMBREAKER DDT!
Whoa, something big is happening backstage! Clearly Toni and Mercedes found out Shirai screwed them over, and they’re after her in the locker room! The refs and security keep them apart but is that easier said than done?
Back to the ring, Rust KICKS at Reed’s arm, and again and again. Rust throws uppercuts to the arm but Reed ROCKS Rust with a right! Rust kicks the arm, throws more uppercuts, but Reed swats the kick and throws a forearm to the chest! Reed clobbers Rust over and over, then whips him to ropes for a BODY CHECK! Fans fire up with Reed as he corner splashes Rust! Reed choke grips to CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Rust survives but Reed keeps his cool. Reed climbs up the corner, Rust hurries up and ROCKS Reed with a right! Rust climbs, goes after the arm, and double wristlocks! The ref counts, Reed uses one body shot to get Rust away, but Rust comes back to BOOT him!
Rust wants to fireman’s carry Reed, and gets him long enough for a SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO! Rust keeps on Reed with a cravat but the driver is thrown off! Reed drops a back senton, then goes up top! TSUNAMI SPLASH!! Cover, Reed wins!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall
Rust still shows promise, but Reed is just too much for a normal man! Will Reed crush the competition on his way back to title contention?
Another backstage interview with Finn Balor!
Given what Regal told him about taking on Oney & Danny, Balor just needs to find a tag team partner. The Prince says there are some people around here that owe him a favor, so maybe they’ll have a little chat. Will Balor get himself a tag team partner to go after the Bruiserweight’s BritAm Brawlers?
Finn Balor finds the Undisputed Era.
Adam Cole says, “Look what the cat dragged in, fellas.” Balor says the cat is looking for payback. They’re all grown men. Kyle O’Reilly knows why Balor is here. Is he in? Or is he still sucking meals through a straw? Roderick Strong gets heated but Cole has him stand down. Balor waits on Kyle’s answer. The answer is yes. Then see you next week. See you then, champ. Kyle and Balor put each other through hell as opponents, will they put Oney & Danny through even worse as allies?
El Legado del Fantasma is here!
Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde are already in the ring as Santos Escobar walks around. “A real champion does what he wants, when he wants. You are looking at the champion of champion, the NXT Cruiserweight Champion, El Campeon, Santos Escobar.” Escobar explains to us what a true champion is. “A champion of champions doesn’t have to conquer a curse like Johnny Gargano. A champion of champions doesn’t have a glass jaw like Finn Balor.” Some people try to act like a champion, with badass cars and pretty mamacitas, with all the pomp and circumstance, like Karrion Kross! But when it’s time to prove themselves, they don’t make it to their first title defense!
Escobar has Mendoza hold onto the belt as he continues to boast. “I guess carrying a title is a heavy, heavy chip on your shoulders.” Escobar joins the others in the ring as he says, “I back up every word that I have said. And I have beaten every single person that has been on my path.” Now, even Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado came to NXT to try and destroy Escobar’s empire! But he sent them packing. Now to Raul and Joaquin, they won their first match in the Dusty Cup, and that puts them one step closer to becoming the NXT Tag Team Champions, joining Escobar as the champions of champions. LOS CAMPEONES!
But speaking of LHP, they return! Lince and Metalik don’t want to wait until round tow, they go after Legado already! But Mendoza and Wilde stomp and club them down! They set Lince up for Escobar as he climbs up, but then CURT STALLION trips him up! LHP DOUBLE SUPERKICK Legado out, and Stallion DECKS Escobar on top of them! It seems Escobar forgot that the Lonestar has his title shot up his sleeve! Will Stallion, Lince and Metalik make sure El Legado are NEVER the Champions of Champions in NXT?
Backstage interview with Killian Dain & Drake Maverick.
Congratulations are in order for their win on 205 Live and in the Dusty Cup, putting them into the quarterfinals. But they’re next up against MSK. How are they feeling? Maverick speaks up and interrupts Dain, saying that while last year got off to a rocky start for him, this year will be big! Maverick’s got an ally who will always have his back. It’s his best friend and tag team partner, Killian Dain! Maverick knows how great MSK is, they want to come right into the Dusty Classic and win it all, but they won’t! Because the team that will win this will storm into the tournament, go all the way to the finals and stand tall with the trophy! That team is none other than Maverick and Dain!
Dain is impressed by that little speech, and gives Maverick a hard pat on the shoulder. Maverick still doesn’t have Dain’s contact info, though. Will the oddest of odd couples be the ones to shock the world and win the Dusty Cup?
Backstage interview with Curt Stallion and Lucha House Party!
A couple months ago, the Lonestar earned his shot at the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Tonight, he went out there to embarrass Escobar and it won’t stop until he gets his shot! El Legado heads in and referees keep the peace. Escobar says if Stallion wants to interrupt and ruin his message to the world, then Escobar will destroy him. But not now, because he’ll make sure to expose Stallion as the rookie he is NEXT WEEK, with the title on the line! Legado leaves and Stallion finally has his match! Will the fall of Fantasma begin this close to TakeOver: Valentine’s Day?
Fight Pit: Timothy Thatcher VS Tommaso Ciampa!
A battle originally meant for New Year’s Evil had to be delayed because NXT wanted to make sure both men went into this as close to 100% as possible. This is only the second Fight Pit ever, but the Professor of Pain has a huge advantage by being one of the two men in the original! Will he teach the Psycho Killer that he has all the grit he needs to stand atop the brand? Or will Ciampa show Thatcher that even he has much to learn?
NXT returns and both men make their entrances. The introductions are made, the rules are reviewed, and the only way to win is by submission or knockout! The bell rings, and this grittiest of grudge matches finally begins!
Ciampa and Thatcher don’t drop down right away, they circle on the upper ledge first. Ciampa pursues but Thatcher backs away, and then they rush each other with fast hands! Ciampa clubs away on Thatcher, has him against railing, and wants to dump him out?! Thatcher resists, Ciampa KNEES him against the railing, but Thatcher comes back with uppercuts! Thatcher ROCKS Ciampa with more EuroUppers, then he chokes Ciampa on the railing! Fans rally and Thatcher throws body shots and forearms! Thatcher brings Ciampa around for more uppercuts, then half hatch suplexes Ciampa! What a thud off the wooden platform!
Thatcher heel hooks a leg and KICKS away on Ciampa’s back! Ciampa keeps from falling over the edge as Thatcher tries to turn him, and Ciampa kicks Thatcher away! Ciampa gets up, runs in and BOOTS Thatcher down! Ciampa kicks Thatcher and throws down haymakers! And then he stomps away at the railing! Thatcher scrambles up but Ciampa CHOPS! Thatcher throws a forearm but Ciampa gives it back! Ciampa CHOPS again, and again! Thatcher is against railing as he grits his teeth, but Ciampa throws more forearms. Thatcher throws body shots and forearms in return, then knees Ciampa in the ribs!
Thatcher drags Ciampa up for more forearms then stalks him along the platform. Ciampa blocks a bump off the railing, pulls on Thatcher’s ear then ROCKS him with a haymaker! Ciampa stomps Thatcher then digs his boot into his head! Ciampa fish hooks Thatcher’s face, then gets the legs to stomp the stomach! Ciampa tries to scrape Thatcher through railing and off the top but Thatcher holds onto railing! Ciampa gets the legs to GUILLOTINE CATAPULT Thatcher into the bars! Thatcher is gasping and crawling while Ciampa applauds himself and pats himself on the back, and NXT goes picture in picture!
Ciampa sees Thatcher crawling and finally heading into the pit. But Ciampa stomps Thatcher’s hands and makes him fall down into it! Ciampa climbs down to join Thatcher and digs his face into the steel fencing! Ciampa lets off and Thatcher crawls, only for Ciampa to dig his face into the fencing on that side! Ciampa CLUBS Thatcher down, but Thatcher goes after a leg! Thatcher gets Ciampa down, digs forearms into Ciampa’s face and goes to turn him. Ciampa resists but Thatcher just smothers him with the forearm. Ciampa tweaks Thatcher’s fingers! Ciampa CHOPS, Thatcher EuroUppers! Thatcher looms over Ciampa, KNEES him in the back, then sits him up for a chinlock.
Ciampa endures as Thatcher grinds him down. Ciampa fights his way up, throws body shots but Thatcher clubs him back. NXT returns to single picture as Thatcher whips Ciampa but Ciampa stops from hitting steel fencing. Ciampa elbows Thatcher back, then throws Thatcher into the fencing! And again! And again! Ciampa then runs side to side to KNEE Thatcher into the steel! The ref checks on Thatcher and starts a count. If Thatcher doesn’t stand up before 10, it’s a technical knockout. Thatcher is up at 6, but Ciampa is on him with underhooks! Thatcher resists, and throws Ciampa into the corner where there’s only bare post!
Ciampa writhes and clutches his shoulder but Thatcher is after that arm! Thatcher stands on Ciampa’s head, pulls on an arm, then drags Ciampa to the corner. Thatcher puts the arm in the gap, but Ciampa kicks Thatcher away! Fans fire up as Ciampa and Thatcher rise. Ciampa CHOPS, and CHOPS, but Thatcher clinches, rams Ciampa into fencing then BELLY2BELLY SUPLEXES! Thatcher is after the arm for a double wristlock! Ciampa endures, moves around, but Thatcher mounts for a ground ‘n’ pound of forearms! Thatcher tortures the fingers, twists the wrist, and JAMS them into the mat! Ciampa clutches his hand and Thatcher has a sadistic grin!
Thatcher stalks Ciampa but Ciampa throws him into the steel! Thatcher slowly rises but Ciampa is up to trip him! And CATAPULTS him into steel! Thatcher falls back onto Ciampa’s knees! Ciampa has a HALF CRAB! Then he KICKS Thatcher in the back! Ciampa rains down rights but Thatcher kicks back! Ciampa stomps, rains down more rights, then goes after a leg again. Thatcher boots Ciampa into the steel! Thatcher stalks Ciampa, clamps onto the head and has a SLEEPER HOLD! Ciampa flails but there are no ropebreaks when there are no ropes! Ciampa still grabs the steel, and then LOW BLOW MULE KICKS! No disqualifications in the Fight Pit, either!
The ref checks on Thatcher but Thatcher grabs at Ciampa over the ref’s back! Ciampa uses the leverage for WILLOW’S BELL!! But Ciampa can’t win off a cover, he wants to know if that knocked Thatcher out! The ref starts a count, Thatcher is still conscious but he has to get up before 10! The count is 5, then 6! Thatcher uses the cage and drags himself up at 9.9! But Ciampa CLOBBERS him, underhooks, but Thatcher spins out to throw EuroUppers! Ciampa forearms, they’re brawling back and forth with fury! The fans are fired up as Ciampa CHOPS but Thatcher tackles him into steel!
Ciampa throws elbows, has a facelock, and he RAMS Thatcher into steel! FAIRYTALE ENDING!! And then a SLEEPER HOLD!! Ciampa wants Thatcher to pass out, but Thatcher fights up! And scoops Ciampa to RAM him into the steel! Thatcher gets Ciampa in a sleeper hold of his own, but Ciampa uses the corner to go up! Thatcher shoves Ciampa into the corner! Thatcher CLUBS Ciampa over and over and over, then has the leg trapped in the girder! HANGING STRETCH MUFFLER!! Ciampa shouts in pain, he TAPS! THATCHER WINS!!
Winner: Timothy Thatcher, by submission
Undefeated in the Fight Pit, it is truly the site of Professor of Pain’s masterclass in mauling and mangling the human body! Has Thatcher proven once and for all that he is the toughest man in NXT? But perhaps most shocking of all, Thatcher goes over to Ciampa, to nod respect to him! Is the feeling mutual after what they just put each other through?
A great episode! We got three great Dusty Cup matches, with some rather surprising outcomes. The Way VS KUSHIDA & Ruff was a great opener, and I really thought it was going to go the other way with Gargano and Theory getting this win so that they’d have something to fall back on if Kushida takes the title from Gargano. But now I feel like it’ll be Gargano retaining so that Kushida and Ruff can continue on in this tournament. Imperium VS LHP was another great match with another surprise. Though, story did dictate we get LHP VS Legado del Fantasma again to continue their story of battling over lucha libre, as also made clear with the Legado segment.
Speaking of that segment, a damn shame Stallion is a nobody to even NXT commentary outside of Vic Joseph, who is on 205 Live’s commentary. This just proves what I’ve been saying about the blending of the brands needs to be stronger because I’m pretty sure many NXT fans were just as lost as Wade Barrett was. We also got a great surprise in Wolfe showing up when last we knew, he was still in the UK for NXT UK. I suppose Walter doesn’t need Imperium backing up as no faction is trying to go after him, but I would’ve thought Wolfe would stay and go after the Heritage Cup. Maybe Wolfe finds his way into the North American Championship scene while he’s here.
The Women’s Dusty Cup had a great introduction from Regal and Beth, and we got a very good opening match between Toni-Mercedes VS KC Squared. Shirai showing up was a great surprise, and naturally she pulls Mercedes and Toni back towards the title story. Kacy should be careful with that unique corkscrew move of hers, she could’ve taken herself out since she was only half on Toni’s back. Raquel & Dakota being in the tournament was as much a given as The Way’s LeRae & Indi were, even with Raquel having that great Last Woman Standing win over Rhea. And I like that we’re getting the newest additions in the tournament already, it’ll be a great way to show their skills from the start.
Speaking of new additions, MSK had a good promo but it didn’t really explain much about who they are, which was supposed to be the point. For one, why is it “MSK?” What does that stand for when their names are “Nash Carter” and “Wes Lee?” Will we finally get that explanation when they win again? And while Dain and Maverick are a great duo and Maverick had a great promo of his own, I don’t think they’re winning against MSK. Rust definitely wasn’t beating Reed tonight but it was a great way to give him and Bivens some story. Bivens is trying to do things in Rust’s best interest but he’s just not getting it, so maybe Bivens needs to get a bit stern with him until Rust is actually champion.
Dunne had a really good promo on Balor, and Balor’s response was natural. I like that Balor said having friends and a team and all that was the old Balor, even older than being in the WWE. But it also makes some sense that he and the UE would team up against Oney & Danny, and with Cole & Strong in the Dusty Cup, Kyle was the obvious choice. Though that’s not to say Kyle was by default, the story between him and Finn made that the natural choice, and it is going to be awesome to see them brawl with the BritAm Brawlers. Kross destroying Adonis & #DesTroy seems to be a way of writing those two out of the tournament and possibly putting a losing team back in, or surprising us with a completely new team. Dare I say that Balor & O’Reilly could end up that team after what they do to the tag champs? Would Balor make history as a two-time Dusty Cup winner?
And then the Fight Pit was a great main event, and a story unique from the original. Staying up top and fighting up there for an extended time was a nice way of changing this match up in only its second edition, and it was a natural choice that Thatcher would win. Thatcher should have the Fight Pit as “his match” just as much as Taker had the Casket Match (among a few others), and it could easily be made so that whoever finally beats him in the Fight Pit looks like a million bucks. I wonder if there will ever be a title match inside the Fight Pit. That’d be pretty awesome, since they already treated this one like a title match with the introductions and dramatic lighting.
My Score: 9.3/10
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