WWE NXT Report 1/8/2020

Jan 8, 2020 - by Marc Middleton

– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode opens up on the USA Network with the usual WWE Forever video. We get an opening video package with a look back at the last live episode we had on December 18, where Rhea Ripley captured the NXT Women’s Title from Shayna Baszler. The video also hypes tonight’s Fatal 4 Way main event with comments from the participants. The video cuts to comments from the late WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes with comments on the NXT tag team division. The 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will begin tonight. We see the brackets as we hear the “NXT!” chant start in the arena.

– We’re live from the NXT Arena at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida as Mauro Ranallo welcomes us. He’s joined by Nigel McGuinness and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix. Mauro hypes tonight’s show and sends us right to the ring.

– The music hits as new NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley makes her way out for her return to the NXT Arena as champion. Fans pop big as Ripley hits the ring and poses with the title around her waist.

The music stops and a “you deserve it!” chant starts as Ripley takes the mic. Ripley starts talking about memories, like winning the title and celebrating on the shoulders of the fans. Ripley will never forget memories like these. She goes to speak but the music interrupts and out comes Toni Storm from NXT UK. Storm enters the ring as fans chant her name.

Storm congratulates Ripley and says she’s so proud because she deserves this. Storm brings up how she defeated Ripley twice before. Storm says she will become NXT UK Women’s Champion this Sunday at NXT UK “Takeover: Blackpool II” by defeating Piper Niven and champion Kay Lee Ray, and then she will become a double champion by defeating Ripley at Worlds Collide during Royal Rumble weekend. Ripley accepts the challenge as fans do the “2 Belts!” chant. The music interrupts and out comes Ray with her title.

Ray says no one believes what was just said because there’s no way she is taking the title on Sunday, or making it to Worlds Collide. Storm is quickly interrupted by the music of Io Shirai. Fans pop big as Shirai heads out to the ring, walking past Ray on the ramp. Fans chant “Io!” as she hits the ring with the mic. Shirai makes it clear she wants the title. Bianca Belair is out next as her music hits. Fans chant “EST!” now. Belair says she’s got 20/20 vision and she can see that she’s better than all the others in the ring. Ripley smacks the mic away. Candice LeRae is out next as the ring begins to fill up. Ripley tells them to all stop and says Candice must want to fight too. So does Ripley. Ripley attacks Belair out of nowhere and a big brawl breaks out with everyone else.

Ripley, Storm and LeRae clear the ring and stand tall, talking trash out to Shirai, Ray and Belair. NXT General Manager William Regal makes the six-man and Alicia Taylor announces it.

Candice LeRae, Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai, Kay Lee Ray and Bianca Belair

The bell rings as Candice LeRae leaps from the top, taking down Bianca Belair, Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai on the floor. Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm look on as we go to commercial.

Back from the break and Candice nails a missile dropkick on Belair. Ray comes in but LeRae beats her down in the corner with strikes. Candice keeps control and goes to the top but Shirai distracts her from the apron. Candice leaps out but Ray superkicks her in mid-air for a 2 count. Ray beats Candice around now. Shirai comes in and keeps LeRae down. Shirai with a Flapjack and a low dropkick for another 2 count. Belair was knocked off the apron when Shirai hit the ropes, and she’s not happy. Shirai keeps Candice grounded now but fans try to rally for her.

Shirai levels Candice again and tags in Ray. Ray stomps away and drives a knee into the back. Ray keeps Candice down with another submission. Belair ends up coming in and continuing to dominate LeRae. Belair with a 2 count now. Fans rally for LeRae again as she works to her feet. Candice with a roll-up for a 2 count. Belair levels Candice with a shoulder. Ray tags back in and taunts Candice some. Candice counters a suplex with a small package for a 2 count. Ray immediately nails a jumping forearm to the jaw.

Belair comes back in and hits a suplex on LeRae for a close 2 count. Candice ends up sending Belair out. It looks like we might get a comeback but Ray tags in and hits a big shot from the top for another 2 count. There’s chaos now as everyone gets involved. Fans chant “NXT!” as we see bodies all over the ringside area. Candice nails an enziguri on Ray as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and LeRae is going at it with Ray. LeRae with a big hurricanrana but Belair still tags in and goes to work, also knocking Ripley off the apron. Storm tags in as does Ray. They go at it with Storm unloading, then dropping Shirai as she runs in. Storm blocks Ray’s enziguri and hits a big German suplex. Storm with a running forearm to Ray for another close 2 count. Ray drops Storm with a kick to the face, then tags in Shirai.

Shirai charges with double knees to the face of Storm in the corner. Shirai with a big backbreaker in the middle of the ring. Shirai goes to the top but Belair tags herself in and she uses some force on her partner. They argue. Belair comes in and scoops Storm on her shoulders. Shirai comes in off the top and nails a missile dropkick on Belair, knocking her partner and Storm over. Shirai and Belair yell at each other some more. Ripley tags in and Belair turns around to a big boot. Ripley unloads on Belair with knees and a big dropkick. Ripley goes on and hits Riptide in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.

Winners: Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm and Candice LeRae

– After the match, Ripley stands tall over Belair as her music hits. Storm comes over and stares her down as the music stops. LeRae comes between them and has the title in her hand, looking at it. LeRae gives the title to Ripley, who grabs it back. Candice raises the arms of Storm and Ripley as the music starts back up and fans cheer them on.

– Mauro talks about Ripley and others being from Australia, and encourages WWE fans to donate to the Red Cross to help with the fire victims.

– Still to come, the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will begin with two first round matches.

– Mauro leads us to a video package on Tommaso Ciampa, who talks about his previous NXT Title reign, being out of action and recovering from his neck injury, and how he wants to get the title back from Adam Cole. We go back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see Keith Lee backstage warming up for the main event and talking about it.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match: Imperium vs. The Forgotten Sons

We go to the ring and it’s time for the beginning of the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. Out first comes The Forgotten Sons – Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler with Jaxson Ryker. We see the Dusty Cup on display in the NXT Arena. Out next comes Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner of Imperium. We get a pre-recorded sidebar video of Barthel and Aichner talking about winning the tournament and spreading Imperium’s destruction.

The bell rings and Cutler goes at it with Aichner. Cutler drops Aichner for a 2 count. Blake tags in with a quick tag and drops Aichner for another 2 count. More back and forth now until Imperium takes control with a big double dropkick against the corner. Blake and Barthel go at it now. Cutler and Aichner are legal now as the quick action continues. Cutler with a Boston Crab in the middle of the ring. Barthel runs in but gets rocked. Imperium double teams Barthel in the corner for a 2 count.

More back and forth between the teams. Cutler gets sent out to the floor. Blake fights off both opponents and nails a bi Lariat on Barthel. Blake lands on Barthel’s knees when going for a moonsault. Imperium turns it around with a big double team suplex out of the corner for a 2 count. Cutler drags Aichner to the floor and slams him into the barrier to make the save. The Forgotten Sons with a double team but Aichner breaks it up. More non-stop back and forth as the action continues.

Blake and Cutler go to double team Aichner but Barthel kicks Cutler from the top to the floor. Blake kicks out of a powerbomb from Aichner. Barthel goes to the top and assists Aichner with the big double team European Bomb. Aichner covers Blake for the pin to win and advance in the tournament.

Winners: Imperium

– After the match, the music hits as we go to replays. Barthel and Aichner stand tall in the ring as we get a look at the Dusty Classic brackets. Imperium exits the ring.

– Cathy Kelley is backstage with Matt Riddle, asking how his Dusty Classic team with Pete Dunne came about. Riddle says he doesn’t know Dunne well but in the spirit of the Dusty Classic, that’s what makes them work. Riddle does some more Bro-medy and says The Bro-serweights will prevail.

– We get a promo for Sunday’s NXT UK “Takeover: Blackpool II” event. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get a video package on NXT UK Tag Team Champions Wolfgang and Mark Coffey of Wolfgang, who will be in action for the Dusty Classic later tonight.

– The announcers plug the NXT UK Prime Target special on the WWE Network, which is a preview for Sunday’s “Takeover: Blackpool II” event.

Austin Theory vs. Joaquin Wilde

We go to the ring and out comes Austin Theory to a pop. The announcers talk about Theory losing the Open Challenge match to NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong a few weeks ago, but taking Strong to the limit. Joaquin Wilde is out next.

The bell rings and they go at it, trading holds as fans do dueling chants. They go to the mat but Wilde uses Theory’s leg to control it and taunt him. They go at it on their feet now, showing off their speed. Wilde with a big takeover out of the corner. Theory uses the top rope to turn it around. Theory takes Wilde to the corner and goes to work. Theory with a big stomp to the chest and a Fisherman’s suplex for a close 2 count.

Theory keeps Wilde grounded on the mat now as the referee checks on him. Wilde fights out and they tangle again. Wilde with a big forearm in mid-air. Wilde ducks a clothesline and nails a few of his own. Wilde keeps control and goes to the top. Wilde with a big hurricanrana from the top.

Wilde looks to capitalize but Theory nails a big dropkick. Theory scoops Wilde in the middle of the ring and nails his version of the TKO for the pin to win.

Winner: Austin Theory

– After the match, Theory stands tall as his music hits. The referee raises his arm but Theory pushes him off and smirks at the camera. We go to replays as Theory shows off and poses for the crowd.

– We see The Undisputed Era backstage warming up for the Dusty Classic. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see Damian Priest backstage with some of his lady friends, talking about the main event and becoming champion.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match: The Undisputed Era vs. Gallus

We go to the ring for the next first round match in the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Out comes The Undisputed Era – NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish with NXT Champion Adam Cole and NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong. Out next comes NXT UK Tag Team Champions Wolfgang and Mark Coffey of Gallus.

The two teams meet in the middle of the ring, showing their titles off and talking trash. The bell hits. Wolfgang attacks both opponents in the corner with a big splash. Wolfgang sends O’Reilly across the ring and then unloads on him. Wolfgang blocks a shot and takes O’Reilly to the corner. Coffey tags in for the double team. Coffey and Kyle trade strikes. Kyle turns it around and to the corner for the tag. Fish nails a big knee to Coffey and rams him back into the corner.

Coffey turns it around and launches Fish across the ring. Fish comes back with a stiff back body drop. Wolfgang and Coffey double team Fish in the middle of the ring now. Wolfgang rocks Fish with an European uppercut and more offense. Cole and Kyle provide distractions as Fish turns it back around on Wolfgang and takes him to the corner. Kyle tags back in and unloads on Wolfgang in the corner. Wolfgang fights out but Kyle grabs him for a guillotine attempt. Wolfgang counters with a big body slam. Coffey comes back in and dominates Kyle in the corner, talking trash to the other members of the group.

Coffey with stiff Irish whips to the corners. Wolfgang comes in and fights off both opponents. Wolfgang sends Fish to the floor over the top rope, then clotheslines Kyle on the apron. The Undisputed Era briefly re-groups on the outside and then jumps up on the apron to taunt the two members of Gallus. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Wolfgang fights off both opponents after Coffey was nailed on the apron. Wolfgang gets dropped with double kicks to the chest. Fish covers for a 2 count. Fish pounds Wolfgang as Coffey cheers his partner on from the corner. Wolfgang finally levels Fish, then kicks him out of the ring as Kyle comes in. Kyle goes to work on Wolfgang’s left leg and ankle. He goes for the heel hook and Coffey is hit by Fish from the outside. Fish gets dropped. Wolfgang finally back-drops Kyle and in comes Coffey. Coffey unloads on Kyle and then drops Fish as he charges. Coffey knocks Cole off the apron. Coffey drives Kyle into the mat for another pin attempt.

Coffey goes for a suplex but Kyle blocks it. More back and forth between the two. Fish comes in and they double team Coffey with kicks while he’s down. Fish covers for a 2 count. Fish works over Coffey in the corner. Kyle tags in and they take turns charging and rocking Coffey in the corner. Coffey moves out of the way and this leads to The Undisputed Era colliding in the corner. Wolfgang gets tagged back in and ends up hitting a Samoan Drop on Kyle for a close 2 count as Fish makes the save.

Both teams are in the middle of the ring now as fans cheer them on. They go at it. Fish and Strong are on the outside. Coffey is launched out onto them, taking them both down. Cole ends up getting involved as the referee is distracted, decking Wolfgang with a big kick to the head. Fish and O’Reilly make the tag for the big Total Elimination on Wolfgang for the non-title win to advance in the tournament.

Winners: The Undisputed Era

– After the match, The Undisputed Era grabs their titles and celebrates to the stage as their music plays. We go to replays. Gallus looks on as The Undisputed Era poses together on the stage.

– We see recent happenings between Finn Balor and Johnny Gargano. Gargano will be here tonight. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get a video package for Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews, who will be in action next week against Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne for another Dusty Classic first round match.

– We go to the ring and out comes Johnny Gargano to a mixed reaction.

Gargano says he’s been waiting a long time to get a live mic to talk about The Prince. The boos get louder. Gargano says he’s not going to take anything away from what Finn Balor did for NXT, for building the brand, and he won’t take anything away from Balor putting him on the shelf for a few months. But all of that is the past. Gargano says Balor likes to say his future is his past, and now his past is standing in the ring because Balor didn’t finish the job when he had him on the ramp.

Gargano goes on and talks about how Balor couldn’t wait to put the NXT flag down and get the hell out of here to the main roster. Gargano says he got the same phone call from WWE but he turned it down and stayed here, because when he says he loves this place, he actually means it. More fans cheer for Gargano now as the “Johnny Wrestling!” chant starts up, but there’s still a mixed reaction overall. Gargano talks about how he came to NXT and took it to new heights, with the fans, but without Balor because he abandoned the place. Gargano says NXT left Balor behind and that eats Balor alive, it eats him alive that NXT didn’t need him. The music finally interrupts and out comes Balor.

Balor congratulates Gargano on the promo and says maybe he should be called Johnny Promo now because that’s the only thing doctors will clear him for. Balor admits Gargano cost him the NXT Title a few weeks back. Gargano laughs and Balor threatens to knock his head off. Balor goes on and calls him soft. Balor says he will give Gargano his match at “Takeover: Portland” on February 16, if Gargano makes it that far. Balor drops the mic and they stare each other down as the music hits.

– Cameron Grimes is backstage getting hyped up for tonight’s main event.

– The announcers encourage fans to donate to the Red Cross again to help the Australia fire victims. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get a Dusty Classic promo for the Grizzled Young Veterans, Zack Gibson and James Drake.

– Kushida’s mystery partner for the Dusty Classic is none other than veteran star Alex Shelley, his former tag team partner in Japan and on the indies. They will be in action next week against the Grizzled Young Veterans.

Mia Yim vs. Kayden Carter

We go to the ring and out comes Mia Yim first. Kayden Carter is out next.

I had some technical difficulties on my end but Yim ends up winning a good back & forth match after hitting her finisher.

Winner: Mia Yim

– After the match, we get a show of respect in the middle of the ring after replays. Chelsea Green runs down and attacks out of nowhere. Robert Stone, the former Robbie E, is on the ramp with a mic. He says 2020 will be the year of The Robert Stone Brand, and that starts with the #1 hottest free agent, Chelsea. They leave together.

– We go backstage to Dominik Dijakovic, who is hyped up for the main event.

– Mauro leads us to another video package on Tommaso Ciampa and how he wants the NXT Title back from Adam Cole.

Fatal 4 Way to Crown a New #1 Contender to the NXT North American Title: Damian Priest vs. Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Cameron Grimes

We go to the ring for tonight’s main event and out first comes Damian Priest. A Battle Royal is announced for next week and the winner will challenge NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley at the “Takeover: Portland” event. Cameron Grimes is already out, as is Dominik Dijakovic. Keith Lee is out last. The winner of this match will become the new #1 contender to NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong.

The bell rings and fans start chanting for Lee as everyone faces off. Grimes goes for Lee but Lee launches him into the corner. Dijakovic sends Priest in the corner. The chaos in the middle of the ring continues as everyone goes for their finishers. Lee and Dijakovic face off with a man on each of their shoulders. They drop them and then go at it. They keep showing each other up and having words. Priest and Grimes take advantage with attacks from behind. Priest levels Grimes with a huge shot to the face for a big pop.

Priest goes to work on Dijakovic now, leaping at him in the corner. Dijakovic and Priest trade strikes in the middle of the ring now. Dijakovic launches Priest at Lee and Lee catches him in mid-air. Grimes charges but Lee swings Priest at him to send him back out, then does the same to drop Dijakovic. Lee powerbombs Priest on top of Dijakovic. Fans go wild and Lee covers Priest for a close 2 count. Fans pop for Lee again.

Lee goes to ringside for Dijakovic but Grimes decks him and works him over. Lee fights him off and goes at it with Dijakovic. Grimes and Dijakovic work on Lee while he’s down on one knee outside now. Priest watches from the ring as Lee continues taking the punishment from Grimes and Dijakovic. Lee grabs Grimes and launches him into the barrier, then drops Dijakovic. Priest goes to attack but puts the brakes on when Lee sees him. Grimes attacks Lee as the action the outside continues. Priest flies from the ring and takes everyone down on the outside. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Lee is in the ring, staring out at Priest. Priest enters and kicks Lee from the apron. Priest goes to the top but Lee with a big headbutt to send him to the apron. Lee with another headbutt. Lee climbs up to the second rope and nails a huge superplex, bringing Priest from the apron into the ring for a pop. Lee crawls for a cover but Dijakovic nails a big top rope moonsault on Lee for a close 2 count.

Grimes comes from behind and goes at it with Dijakovic now. Grimes with big kicks and a German suplex, holding it for a close 2 count. Grimes goes to the top but Priest rocks him with a pair of forearms. Priest with a big 360 roundhouse kick to the face next. Priest climbs up and sends Grimes to the mat but Lee catches him in mid-air. Lee goes for a powerbomb but Dijakovic runs in to drop Priest, then takes Grimes from Lee. Dijakovic with Feast Your Eyes on Grimes. Lee with a big Pounce next. Priest with the Reckoning on Lee for the pin but Dijakovic nails a big boot from the floor to make the save. Fans chant “NXT!” after the chaos now. Fans chant “this is awesome!” as everyone recovers. Priest and Dijakovic unload on each other in the middle of the ring now. They both eventually go down.

Priest and Dijakovic grab each other by the throats but Lee rises up and decks them both. Lee with a big double chokeslam to Priest and Dijakovic in the middle of the ring. Fans go wild for Lee again. Lee runs the ropes to leap out but Grimes runs in and hits the big mid-air crossbody for a close 2 count. Grimes can’t believe it. Grimes kicks Priest on the apron. Dijakovic knocks Priest off the apron to the floor. Grimes goes to the top and hits a huge moonsault to Priest on the floor. Grimes comes back and sends Dijakovic to the floor next. Fans pop for Grimes as he gets riled up on the apron.

Grimes goes to the top as he waits for Lee to return to his feet. Grimes leaps but Lee knocks him out of the air with big blows to the chest. Grimes and Lee trade shots on their feet now. Lee catches Grimes for a big Spirit Bomb in the middle of the ring for the pin to win and earn the title shot.

Winner and New #1 Contender to NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong: Keith Lee

– After the match, Lee stands tall and has his arm raised as the music hits. We go to replays. Priest and Dijakovic recover and look on from the bottom of the ramp. Grimes is down on the apron, then the floor. Lee will get his title shot from Strong in two weeks. NXT goes off the air with Lee celebrating in the ring.

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