NXT Hits and Misses 1.22.20 w/ The Chairman
We’re just a few days away from the joint efforts of NXT and NXT UK’s Worlds Collide this Saturday night and of course with the Royal Rumble Sunday, expect a few NXT superstars to make an appearance. With that being said though, we still have a big show before all of that. The main event features Roderick Strong defending the NXT North American Championship against Keith Lee and we’ll also see which two tag teams will meet in the finals of the Dusty Classic.
HIT: Grizzled Young Veterans Shock the System
Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish were looking to win the Dusty Classic again, however they had to do so against one of NXT UK’s top tag teams Grizzled Young Veterans James Drake and Zack Gibson. Knowing that Imperium was in the building, Adam Cole and Roderick Strong accompanied Fish and O’Reilly to ringside. The experience of Undisputed Era was getting the better of the Grizzled Young Veterans early, but a distraction from Imperium was enough to cost Undisputed Era the match. Grizzled Young Veterans move onto the Dusty Classic finals. With Imperium on the other side of the bracket facing Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle, one wonders if Undisputed Era return the favor?
HOLD: The Perfect Storm Clashes with the Genius of the Sky
NXT wasn’t holding back tonight booking Toni Storm against Io Shirai. The fan in me was excited, but in the booking side of things I was curious of the timing of this match. Shirai was the runner up in the battle royal last week while Storm has a championship match against Rhea Ripley at Worlds Collide. In that sense I felt neither one of these two talented women could afford a loss here if they wanted to keep momentum. With that being said, it was an enjoyable match from a fan perspective. However the match was tossed when Bianca Belair attacked Toni Storm. Belair of course has a championship match at NXT Takeover Portland and this lured out Ripley. Shirai then went after both Belair and Ripley, but it was Toni Storm left standing in the end holding the NXT Women’s Championship to the disapproval of the Full Sail crowd. Somewhat of a questionable decision to have another controversial finish after the first match, but I would definitely like to see Storm and Shirai clash in the future with a definite winner of course.
MISS: Prince Squashes Wilde
Being that this episode of NXT had alot of things going on, this match was unnecessary. Granted it wasn’t long being a Finn Balor squash, but Balor is already established enough where he doesn’t need a meaningless win to build momentum for his match against Ilja Dragunov this Saturday at Worlds Collide. Joaquin Wilde taking a quick loss here isn’t helping his cause either being he was on the losing end of a match a few weeks ago.
HIT: Queen of Spades Gets Revenge on Blackheart
After last week’s shocking elimination of Shayna Baszler at the hands of Shotzi Blackheart, the two women faced off in a match this week. Lots of questions of course what’s next for Shayna Baszler. Of course she vowed to go thru every woman on the NXT roster to become Shayna 3 Belts. I personally don’t think that’s happening because Baszler I’m betting enters the Royal Rumble this Sunday. However she wanted to take care of the newcomer Blackheart first and that is exactly what she did. I give credit to Shotzi though for going toe to toe with the former champion. However the Kirifuda Clutch put an end to Blackheart. It remains to be seen if this is perhaps the final time Baszler wrestles in NXT.
HIT: Brosierweights Going to the Dusty Classic Finals
The makeshift tag team of Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle has been enjoyable to watch. This time they had to take on Imperium’s Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel if they wanted to advance. Walter and Alexander Wolfe were of course close by and it’s no secret about the history between Dunne and Walter. I was waiting for the Undisputed Era to get involved here, but that didn’t happen. Dunne and Riddle managed to take out Imperium themselves clean and had an encounter on the stage with the Grizzled Young Veterans. Zack Gibson sure loves to run his mouth and Matt Riddle basically said he wasn’t paying any attention to him. Riddle’s laid back demeanor with Dunne’s serious outlook outside of the ring make this a fun tag team. Of course when they’re both between the ropes, they’re as good as anybody. I really hope at some point we see these two take the NXT Tag Team Championship.
HIT: The Prophecy’s Foundation Becomes to Crumble
Adam Cole vowed that Undisputed Era would hold all the gold in NXT early in 2019 and at the end of the year, he was correct. However in 2020, Roderick Strong was tasked with defending the NXT North American Championship against one of the hottest acts in NXT, Keith Lee. Cole, Fish, and O’Reilly were of course outside the ring doing everything they could to create chaos for Lee. However no matter what they could do, Lee wouldn’t be stopped. After a Big Bang Catastrophe, Roderick Strong was finished and Keith Lee became the NEW NXT North American Champion. The night wasn’t over for the Undisputed Era though as Imperium appeared and brawled with their opponents at Worlds Collide.
Decent episode from NXT and a surprising title change makes it even better. Thought for sure something would’ve happened to delay the title change until Takeover, but happy for Keith Lee. Lee definitely deserves a title run for how hot he’s been. It’ll be interesting to see how this affects Undisputed Era going forward with their big clash against Imperium this Saturday. Next week we’ll see who wins the Dusty Classic and rivals Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai finally face off one on one in the ring. Definitely looks like a solid show next week.