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Kevin’s WWE NXT Review 1.20.21

January 20, 2021 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
WWE NXT Fight Pit Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher
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Kevin’s WWE NXT Review 1.20.21  

We start with a recap of the Dusty Cup so far.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Quarterfinals: Austin Theory and Johnny Gargano vs. KUSHIDA and Leon Ruff

Beth Phoenix is physically back in the arena. Ruff kicks it off against Theory. EVOLVE! They go at it and struggle for positioning on a crucifix bomb before Ruff nails a dropkick. Tandem armbreaker and kicks to the arm by Ruff and KUSHIDA. A bit of cheap interference from Gargano turns the tide and he tags in to wail on KUSHIDA with knee strikes. He and Theory team up on KUSHIDA with a double team elbow and no look high five. KUSHIDA weathers the storm and tags Ruff who hits a missile dropkick and flying forearm. He springboards right into a massive Blue Thunder Bomb for two heading into commercial break. Returning, Ruff is now taking the heat but he sends Gargano outside and crawls over to make the tag but THeory cuts him off. He gets past him but Johnny pulls KUSHIDA off the apron to prevent the tag. Ruff fakes out Theory and hits a flying cutter off Bret’s rope. Hot tag to KUSHIDA who fires off on both men, including a sweet tornado DDT on Johnny off the apron. Inside, Johnny hits the school boy kick but ends up in an armbar only for Theory to break up the pin. The next exchange sees KUSHIDA nearly win with an inside cradle. He hits the cartwheel dropkick and fastball punch before adding an awesome bridging hammerlock suplex to win.

Winner: KUSHIDA and Leon Ruff in 14:44 [Just very good tag team wrestling from guys who know what they’re doing. When KUSHIDA/Gargano happens, it should be fantastic. ***1/4]

Pete Dunne gets a vignette saying that he and Finn Balor are cut from the same cloth. However, Finn left while Pete stayed and built an entire brand.

Malcolm Bivens is interviewed outside of Regal’s office. He puts over Tyler Rust as the future of NXT. Rust comes out of the office and says he got his match with Bronson Reed. Bivens says it’s not the route the would’ve gone but what’s done is done.

Ashante “Thee” Adonis vs. Karrion Kross

Kross immediately suplexes Adonis all over the place. He ends the squash with the forearm to the back of the head.

Winner: Karrion Kross in 1:15 [NR]

Post-match, Kross puts Adonis’ partner Desmond Troy in the straitjacket submission.

A vignette airs to explain more about who MSK is as a team. It doesn’t explain anything other than how they’ve worked hard to get to NXT.

Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm cut a promo backstage. They don’t need to be friends like Kacy and Kayden. They’re just two badass women who want to win.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Quarterfinals: Imperium vs. The Lucha House Party

No entrance for the Lucha boys. Almost immediately, the Lucha House Party pull out a circus style move where Metalik splashes Barthel off of Dorado’s shoulders. Imperium use a tag to get Aichner in and he overpowers Metalik. Still, Metalik comes back with a reverse Slingblade. Tag to Dorado and they fire off more kicks and aerial offense. Dorado tries a tope suicida but Aichner catches him and spinebusters him into the apron. Metalik is crotched up top by Barthen and they do their tandem tree of woe dropkicks heading into break. Coming back, Dorado plays the face in peril and gets his leg attacked. He fights back with a tornado DDT that uses the ropes for extra spin. Tag come on both sides and Metalik gets the advantage and hits a rope walk rana. Double jump moonsault gets two. Barthel tags in and they hit a weird looking tandem DDT spot but the pin is broken up. Barthel launches Metalik into an Aichner suplex but he escapes. Dorado gets tagged and wants a sunset flip. Aichner blocks but Metalik missile dropkicks him into the sunset flip bomb only for Barthel to break up the pin. Some impressive tandem work by Imperium, including Aichner catching a leaping opponent in a suplex spot, showcasing his strength. Spinebuster and soccer kick combo. Dorado counters the doomsday spot wth a facebuster and Metalik ranas Barthel into Aichner. Metalik with a moonsault onto Aichner outside. Inside, Barthel rolls Dorado up for two and runs into a superkick. Dorado with a shooting star press to pull off the upset!

Winners: The Lucha House Party in 13:39 [That surprised me. It started weakly but really progressed into something good that blew away my expectations. Not keen on the upset though. ***1/4]

After the match, Alexander Wolfe appears and stares down his Imperium buddies before they all do the signature Imperium pose.

Earlier today, it was weigh-in time for the Fight Pit. Ciampa is at 201, while Thatcher is 225.

Before the Women’s Dusty Cup begins, William Regal has Beth Phoenix on stage with the trophy to put over the tournament. The competitors are on stage behind her.

Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Quarterfinals: Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs. Mercedes Martinez & Toni Storm

Toni begins against Kayden, who hangs surprisingly tough with her more experienced opponent. Toni stops that with a dropkick. Martinez enters as a brute but the quick offense and chemistry of Kacy and Kayden change the tide with tandem offense. Martinez just chops Kacy to knock her down. Kacy nearly uses a tilt-a-whirl style move but Martinez overpowers her and slams her down. Kayden has to make the save before commercial. Returning, Kacy remains as the isolated babyface taking a beating. Mercedes Martinez is enjoying slapping her around. Kacy escapes a superplex and hits a super rana to get an opening. Alas, Storm gets tagged and grabs her. Kacy finds a way to get free and tag Kayden who fires off right hands. She dropkicks Martinez and lands on Toni, hurting both. Kacy enters and takes out Martinez with a corkscrew splash outside. Kayden fights off Toni inside. Toni applies a single leg crab. Io Shirai sneaks in and jumps Martinez, slamming her on the announce table. Toni sees that her partner is gone and is stunned. Kayden trips her up and holds her in place as she tags Kacy. Kacy comes off the top with a  ridiculous corkscrew splash that legit made me jump out of my seat for the upset.

WInners: Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter in 12:50 [An upset I like. They told the right story of two overpowering talents against a better underdog team. That finish too! ***]

Finn Balor goes to William Regal and says he wants Pete Dunne but he knows the games Pete is playing. He wants Danny and Oney first. Regal understands him but must protect his champion so he tells him to get a partner. Finn says he has no friends anywhere but Regal insists.

Isaiah Scott has inaudible words with Bronson Reed backstage.

We get breaking news that Ashante “Thee” Adonis is now hurt and can’t continue in the tournament. Kacy and Kayden interrupt with their celebration. They beat two of the toughest women in NXT and they’re gonna win the whole thing.

Bronson Reed vs. Tyler Rust

The early back and forth focuses on Reed’s power and Rust’s technical ability. Reed starts tossing him around and Rust has to regroup with Bivens outside. While this goes on, cameras catch Io and Toni fighting backstage and being separated by officials. Rust goes after the arm with kicks and offense but Reed just uses strikes to send him back. A chokeslam gets Reed a near fall. As they fight up top, Rust manages to hit an assisted Samoan Drop of sorts for two. Reed blocks his next move, flips him over, and hits a THICC BOI SENTON. Tsunami ends it.

Winner: Bronson Reed in 4:55 [It was what it needed to be. **]

Finn Balor is interviewed about a possible partner. He says some people owe him a favor and it’s time to cash in.

Finn Balor enters The Undisputed Era’s locker room and wants Kyle O’Reilly to be his partner. There’s a ton of tension and Kyle agrees.

In the arena, Santos Escobar cuts a promo about being the Cruiserweight Champion, mentioning that people act like champions when they aren’t. He mentions Karrion Kross, who couldn’t even make it to his first title defense. He puts over Mendoza and Wilde and says they’ll win the Dusty Cup. Lucha House Party interrupt and hit the ring for a brawl. Escobar confidently walks away but returns when LHP are in trouble. He goes to come off the top until Curt Stallion runs out and trips him. The faces send Legado del Fantasma packing.

Drake Maverick and Killian Dain are interviewed about facing MSK in the next round. Drake steps in front of Dain to speak, calls them best friends, and says they’ll win. Dain says his promo was pretty good and will see him next week.

Fight Pit: Timothy Thatcher vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Ciampa with hair isn’t good. They walk around on top of the pit for a bit. Ciampa tries to throw him over the top but Thatcher blocks and fires off uppercuts. A suplex up there sounds rough. Ciampa turns it around with kicks and stomps before they trade strikes. Thatcher’s throat is run into a trailing with a slingshot before a commercial break. As we return, they have moved down into the actual pit and Ciampa throws Thatcher all around the cage. Thatcher tries to bend Ciampa’s hand in the corner but Ciampa fights out. Thatcher slams his elbow in to the mat and slams the fingers down while wrenching at them. Ciampa fights back and transitions into a half crab with Thatcher’s ankle twisted at an angle. Thatcher fights out and puts on a choke in the corner but takes a low blow. The referee is knocked onto all fours and Ciampa uses that to setup Willow’s Bell. They begin trading shots, slugging it out. Ciampa drives Thatcher’s head into the steel with a DDT and adds the Fairytale Ending. he then applies a rear naked choke but Thatcher gets to his feet and breaks it by during Ciampa into the cage. Thatcher traps Ciampa in the cage corner by his leg and then twists at the other one with a stretch muffler, getting the tapout.

Winner: Timothy Thatcher in 14:05 [Another thing that didn’t start hot but picked up into something really good late. Thatcher getting up quickly after some of that offense was kind of dumb but that finish made up for it a bit. ***1/2]

Post-match, the two stare each other down, possibly out of respect.

8.0
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Another week where nothing was "must-see" but everything was really good. A consistently strong show from top to bottom that mostly flew by and advanced every key story.
legend

article topics :

WWE NXT, Kevin Pantoja