WWE NXT Report – 2/17/2021

Feb 17, 2021 - by Marc Middleton

– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode opens up on the USA Network with a look back at Sunday’s NXT “Takeover: Vengeance Day” event.

– We’re live from the Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida as Vic Joseph welcomes us. Fans chant “NXT!” as we see Vic joined at ringside by Wade Barrett and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix. They talk about the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winners celebrating tonight, and honoring the legacy of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes. Barrett cuts her off as we see Kyle O’Reilly walking across.

– Kyle O’Reilly hits the ring and takes a mic. He says we all saw what happened at the end of “Takeover: Vengeance Day” and he’s tried to make sense of it but can’t. He’s shocked, confused, pissed off and disappointed. He goes on about how The Undisputed Era was supposed to be special but Adam Cole ruined it for all of them.

O’Reilly says Cole superkicked him in the face and stabbed him in the back. Kyle says but Cole is still his brother and he’s giving him the benefit of the doubt, and needs to know what that was all about. Kyle calls Cole out to come explain himself, and says when he’s done he probably will punch Cole in the face, but he will hear him out. The music hits and out comes Roderick Strong.

Kyle yells that this isn’t about Strong. Strong says The Undisputed Era is still special. They all know Adam and he knows Adam did that solely off emotion. He understands they are brothers and he knows Cole regrets it. Kyle yells at Strong and interrupts, saying he needs Cole to explain, not Strong. Kyle says Strong’s peacekeeping mission is a waste of time, so stop. They argue some. Kyle tells Strong not to get in the ring, not because he doesn’t trust him… no, it is because Kyle doesn’t trust Strong. He doesn’t know who to trust. Kyle doesn’t need to hear shit from Strong, he just needs Adam Cole to get his ass out here. The music hits and out comes NXT Champion Finn Balor to a pop.

Kyle says he’s not looking for Finn. Finn says Kyle needs to get in line behind him if he’s looking for Cole. Finn says they have business to address. Kyle offered his hand and he knew he should never have accepted it because we all saw what happened when he did. Strong tells Balor that Kyle had nothing to do with what happened. Strong and Balor argue at ringside. NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch run down with Pete Dunne, laying out Balor and Strong at ringside as fans boo them. Balor goes down and clutches his ankle. It appears O’Reilly watched the attack from the ring. Officials back Dunne off but he runs back over and stomps away on the champ. Dunne, Lorcan and Burch are backed away to the ramp by officials.

– NXT General Manager William Regal is backstage. He shows us a video message he received earlier from NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar. He said Kross threatened him but no one threatens Escobar, so he’s going home. Escobar told Regal that the match isn’t happening on his time, but it will happen on his own time. Regal says the match will happen next week but if Escobar doesn’t show up, he will be suspended indefinitely and he will be stripped of his title, even though the match isn’t for the title. Regal then announces a six-man match for tonight – Lorcan, Burch and Dunne vs. Balor, O’Reilly and Strong.

The Way vs. Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon

We go back to the ring and out comes The Way – Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae with NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano. Gargano is carrying missing person flyers for Austin Theory, who hasn’t been seen since the chloroform attack by Dexter Lumis at Takeover on Sunday. We get a replay of what Lumis did to Theory at Takeover. Gargano passes out the flyers to the announcers. Out next comes Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon. They ride in on Moon’s tank and fire her projectile over the ring. Gargano joins the announcers for commentary.

Shotzi and LeRae start off. Hartwell ends up sent to the floor as Moon gets involved and LeRae is also sent out. Moon and Shotzi keep control and Shotzi covers for 2. Moon comes in and they double team LeRae as we go to a picture-in-picture commercial break. Moon nails a suplex on LeRae for another pin attempt.

Back from the break and Moon and Shotzi are in control still. They hit a big double team on both opponents. Moon then unloads on Hartwell for a 2 count as Gargano rants on commentary. Moon drops Hartwell as Shotzi comes in and covers for a 2 count. Moon quickly tags back in for a double team in the corner. LeRae runs over and assists from the floor, allowing Hartwell to level Moon with a big boot for a 2 count. LeRae tags in and covers Moon for a 2 count. LeRae grounds Moon now.

We see a white van arrive in the back parking lot. Gargano seems a bit spooked, and LeRae apparently also sees it on the screen. LeRae keeps control of Moon and clotheslines her for a 2 count. LeRae works Moon over and stomps while she’s down. Hartwell tags back in and drops Moon with a back elbow. Moon kicks out at 2. They go back and forth now. Hartwell overpowers and hits a sidewalk slam for a 2 count. LeRae tags in and drops an elbow on Moon in the corner. LeRae works Moon over as she tries crawling for a tag.

LeRae with a submission before putting Moon back down for a 2 count. Hartwell tags back in for more double teaming. Moon fights out of their corner, rocking Hartwell with forearms. Hartwell takes Moon to the apron and rocks her. Hartwell drops Moon to the floor and tags in LeRae, who nails a springboard elbow from the apron to Moon on the floor. The camera shows us the white van in the back parking lot again. Gargano gets up and walks off to investigate who is in the van. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Shotzi finally tags in and unloads on Indi in the corner. Shotzi drops Indi on her face and covers for 2. Shotzi grounds Indi and bridges her but LeRae breaks it up with a senton. Moon runs in with a big suplex to LeRae. Indi with a Spinebuster to Moon. Shotzi with a forearm but Indi levels her with a big forearm. Everyone is down.

We see Gargano beating on the doors and windows of the white van, asking if Theory is in there. We go back to the ring and Hartwell tags in LeRae. Indi slams Shotzi and LeRae follows up with a superkick to the face for a close 2 count. The announcers confirm that the Dusty Classic winners will participate in trophy presentation ceremonies tonight. Shotzi ends up with LeRae on her shoulders, using her to drop Indi as she comes in. Moon assists and drops LeRae on her head for a 2 count. Indi and LeRae are both down. Shotzi goes to the top, as does Moon. Indi knocks Shotzi off and LeRae knocks Moon off.

Indi and LeRae go to double team Moon but Gargano appears on the stage with Theory, who has his wrists and ankles zip-tied, and a cover over his head, and he’s in his boxers. LeRae is excited, as is Indi. LeRae goes to the stage to celebrate with Theory and Gargano, allowing Moon to roll Hartwell up for the pin to win.

Winners: Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon

– After the match, Shotzi and Moon celebrate as their music hits. The Way re-groups on the stage, happy to have Theory back.

– We get a video of Pat McAfee on his private jet. He says we’re seeing that Adam Cole is a scumbag, like he told us all along. He insults fans some more and says he’s accepting apologies. He also goes on knocking Cole and the fans, and possibly teasing a future return. He then plugs the “#PatWasRight” hashtag. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see McKenzie Mitchell approaching Kushida in the trainer’s room. She asks him about Johnny Gargano and the NXT North American Title after their match at Takeover. Kushida mentions that he is not done with Gargano and the title. Bronson Reed walks in and says Kushida put on a hell of a performance at Takeover. He’s also not done with Gargano and the title. He goes on and says when it comes down to it, between he and Kushida for the title, then they will cross that bridge when it’s time. Reed shows Kushida some respect again and makes his exit. Malcolm Bivens walks up and gives Kushida props for his Takeover performance. He says it would be even more impressive if he wrestled tonight, apparently against Tyler Rust. Bivens is excited as he leaves to talk to NXT General Manager William Regal.

Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

We go back to the ring and Leon Ruff waits in the ring as Isiah “Swerve” Scott comes out to boos.

They lock up and Swerve takes it to the corner. He backs off and they go at it. Ruff with deep arm drags. Ruff misses a splash in the corner but lands on his feet. Ruff goes down after missing an arm drag. More back and forth now. Ruff uses his speed to cause Swerve to miss him several times. Ruff with another arm drag to take Scott down and ground him. Swerve comes back and levels Ruff with a big knee to the gut.

Swerve follows up with a backbreaker over the knee. Swerve shows off some and nails a running dropkick in the corner. Swerve goes on and sends Ruff down face-first on the floor with a pump kick to the jaw. Swerve brings it back in for a 2 count. Swerve grounds Ruff with a body scissors now. Ruff makes a comeback now. Ruff goes on and hits a big clothesline and a twisting Cutter from the corner but Swerve still kicks out at 2.

Ruff keeps fighting but Swerve gets more aggressive. Ruff gets the upperhand, drops Swerve and stomps on the back of his neck. Swerve comes right back and turns Ruff inside out with a stiff clothesline. They tangle again and Ruff drops Swerve into a Crucifix pin out of nowhere for the win.

Winner: Leon Ruff

– After the match, Ruff and Swerve are both surprised at the pin as the music hits. They get up and shake hands but Swerve drops Ruff. Fans boo as Swerve stomps away while Ruff is down. Swerve scoops Ruff on his shoulders and launches him into the turnbuckles as the boos get louder. Swerve gets down in Ruff’s face and says he’s tired of Ruff getting everything handed to him. He says this is Swerve’s time and Swerve’s house. Swerve makes his exit while still talking trash, asking where his NXT North American Title shot is. Back to commercial.

Kacy Catanzaro vs. Aliyah and Jessi Kamea

Back from the break and out comes Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter. The Robert Stone Brand’s Aliyah and Jessi Kamea are already in the ring. We see how Xia Li attacked Kacy and Kayden last week. They air a pre-recorded video where they talk about being concerned for Lia, and how they know the girl they know is down in there somewhere. But tonight they are focused on stopping Aliyah and Jessi.

Kacy starts the match off with Kamea. They go at it and in comes Carter for the double team. They drop Kamea with the double team for a pop. Carter covers for a 2 count. Catanzaro tags back in and takes Kamea down with a scissors for a 2 count.

We see Boa standing under a red light near the stage. This leads to a distraction, which allows Kamea and Aliyah to turn it around and double team Carter. Carter finally rocks Kamea and makes a tag. Carter and Aliyah tag in and unload on each other now.

Carter with a big clothesline and double leg drop out of the corner. Aliyah kicks out at 2. Carter tags in and they hit a double team assisted neckbreaker on Aliyah. Carter covers for the pin to win.

Winners: Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro

– After the match, Kacy and Kayden celebrate as the music hits. We go to replays. We see Boa on the stage and Xia is there now. Boa removes her headdress and then walk towards the ringside area. Kacy meets them near the stage and is going to try to talk to Li as a friend. She starts talking but Li grabs her arm and writes something like she did before in Chinese, two marks in black, on her wrist. Li stares Kacy down and says next week she will hurt Kacy. Li walks off as Carter joins Kacy, watching Boa and Li head to the back.

– Malcolm Bivens and Tyler Rust are backstage. Bivens says Kushida was impressive but Rust is better, the kind of Superstar that comes around once in a generation. Rust is working out in the background as Bivens goes on praising Rust over Kushida. Bivens says Rust will take care of Kushida tonight because he’s not a rookie, he’s a “Diamond In the Rust.”

– We see the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winning teams walking backstage. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Alicia Taylor introduces WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix in the ring. She’s standing with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic trophy. Phoenix recalls some words of wisdom from the late WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, then sends us to a video package on the two recent Dusty Classic tournaments.

We come back and Phoenix calls on fans to join her in welcoming the winners of the 2021 Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic – MSK. The music hits and out comes Wes Lee and Nash Carter. They take the mics on the ramp and ask Beth to excuse their excitement. They start getting hyped up and enter the ring to check out the trophy. They also hug Beth.

We see how MSK’s name is now on the trophy with the other winners. The women’s winners are also on the same plaque, meaning there will not be separate trophies. MSK then talks about their upcoming opportunity, naming NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. Beth asks MSK to join her in welcoming the winners of the first-ever Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. The music hits and out comes Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez.

Kai and Gonzalez hit the ring and MSK opens the ropes for them to enter. Fans chant “you deserve it!” now. Beth asks how they’re feeling. Kai says they feel awesome, crushing the competition will always take their breath away but moments like these are why they do it. Kai says they were by far the best tag team in the tournament. The music interrupts and out come the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions – Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler.

Baszler starts in on the mic. MSK also opens the ropes for Jax and Baszler. Baszler says Kai and Gonzalez were on the right side of history at Takeover, but when they face off, they will be on the wrong side of history. Kai introduces Gonzalez to Jax and Baszler since she wasn’t here when they were in NXT. Kai says Jax is big, and Baszler ran away when Rhea Ripley beat her ass. Gonzalez asks if that’s the same Ripley she beat in a Last Woman Standing match. Baszler says this is the same ‘ol Dakota Kai, who’s scared like when Baszler broke her arm. Kai says she’s not the same person but if Baszler wants to find out, she will happily kick her head off. Fans cheer them on as MSK and Beth watch from the corner, eating popcorn. Gonzalez says a lot has changed since Baszler left as she doesn’t run the place, they do. Gonzalez mentions the title match will happen in two weeks and says they will make sure Baszler realizes who runs NXT at that time.

Jax calms everyone down and says she came here to honor Dusty as she had the privilege of working with him. She recalls Dusty saying, “Baby you are one big beautiful badass bitch!” She says Dusty was right, and she and Shayna are the most dominant force in WWE. Gonzalez says Dusty, God rest his soul, never met her. Shayna says either way, two weeks on March 3, they’re coming back to Dakota and Raquel’s home turf to humiliate them. The champs exit the ramp as their music hits. Gonzalez interrupts and says she’s going to shove her boot so far up “Nia’s hole” that she will never get it out. Fans pop as Jax and Baszler look back from the stage.

– We see Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly arguing in the back parking lot but we can’t hear what is being said. They go their separate ways as we go back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get a “Money” hip-hop video for Cameron Grimes’ new gimmick. We see him enjoying all of his money. The segment ends with a look at Grimes and his Lamborghini, which he has apparently wrecked. He doesn’t care because he will just buy a new one.

– We see stills from a photo shoot that NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai did earlier in the day. She was attacked out of nowhere by Toni Storm. Officials pulled them apart after Storm got the best of the champ.

Tyler Rust vs. Kushida

We go back to the ring and Kushida is wrapping up his entrance. Tyler Rust is waiting with Malcolm Bivens.

The bell rings and they go at it, trading holds as Bivens looks on. Back and forth for the first few minutes. Kushida is moving gingerly due to his Takeover match. Rust takes Kushida down with an arm bar. Kushida gets back to his feet and they trade holds again. Kushida goes to the apron and kicks the middle rope into Rust’s arm. Kushida backs off and they lock up again. Kushida hits the springboard back elbow. Kushida with an arm drag but Rust takes him down and turns it around for a second. More back and forth and counters now. Rust kicks out at 2.

Rust gets up with a big right hand. Rust works Kushida against the ropes, then nails an uppercut. Kushida gets sent to the apron but he drops Rust with an enziguri. Kushida catches a strike and slams the rope over the top rope. Kushida goes to the top but ends up landing bad on his neck due to Rust capitalizing by pulling his leg out. Rust takes Kushida back down and grounds him. Rust with a body scissors, forcing Kushida to get the bottom rope to break the hold. Kushida goes back to the floor to regroup as Rust watches from the ring. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and fans chant “NXT!” as Rust has Kushida grounded. Kushida breaks free and ails a hip toss into a kick. Kushida levels Rust with a right hand. Rust avoids a kick but Kushida goes on and takes him back down by the arm for a pop. Kushida unloads with kicks as the referee warns him. Rust counters a move with a back-drop. Rust goes for a Sleeper, then into a front-face lock and a slam. Rust follows up with a big axe kick for a 2 count.

Rust rolls right into a crucifix pin for 2. Rust with a stiff kick to the upperbody and then a big roundhouse kick to the head for a 2 count as Bivens looks on frustrated. Rust powers up for a German suplex but Kushida fights free. Kushida goes for a Full Nelson but it’s blocked. They tangle and end up on the mat again with Rust applying a Sleeper and body scissors. Rust stops Kushida from breaking free. Rust with a modified Bow & Arrow now. Kushida rolls into a pin attempt to break it. Kushida with a dropkick while he’s down. Kushida with a big kick to the arm.

More back and forth now. Kushida grabs the arm and looks over at Bivens, smiling at him. Kushida then applies the Hoverboard Lock for a pop. Bivens jumps on the apron and tells the referee to call the match as Rust apparently taps for the win.

Winner: Kushida

– After the match, Kushida stands tall as his music hits. Rust rolls over to Bivens on the apron. Bivens says he was just protecting his investment and Rust will live to fight another day. Rust says he could’ve won that one.

– We get a video package for Zoey Stark. The former Lacey Ryan, who previously worked the Dusty Classic, will make her official singles debut next. Back to commercial.

– We see how LA Knight debuted at the Takeover pre-show this past Sunday. Knight is the former Eli Drake. We see a video from earlier today with a camera man knocking on Knight’s door. Knight cut a promo and aid he’s the true hottest free agent and he’s about to claim his perch, and no one can stop him. Knight says NXT belongs to him and no one will stop him, not because they’re not good enough, but because he won’t let them. That’s not an insult, just a fact of life.

Zoey Stark vs. Valentina Feroz

We go back to the ring and out comes Zoey Stark, the former Lacey Ryan. Stark was recently signed from the indies and made her debut in the Women’s Dusty Classic. Valentina Feroz is already waiting in the ring.

The bell rings and they lock up, trading holds. Stark unloads early on, overpowering Feroz. Feroz fights out of a hold on her arm. Feroz goes for a roll-up but can’t get it. Stark stomps but misses. Feroz mounts some offense and nails a judo throw for a 2 count. Stark with big knees to the gut to turn it around. Stark beats Feroz down. She goes for a power suplex but Feroz counters. Stark cuts her off and drops her face-first into the top turnbuckle.

Stark follows up with a big kick to the jaw. Stark with a huge half & half Full Nelson suplex, tossing Feroz across the ring. Stark charges with a running knee to the face. Stark smiles and stands over Feroz. Stark grabs Feroz and flips her into the air, nailing her with a big knee to the face on the way down. Stark covers for the pin to win.

Winner: Zoey Stark

– After the match, Stark stands tall as her music hits. We go to replays. We come back to Stark posing in the corner and standing tall.

– We get a pre-recorded promo with Karrion Kross and Scarlett. Kross is standing there with a stopwatch. Scarlett says NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar likes to play games but playing with time is not his forte. He does not have that power, she says. There is no pause button on this nightmare. Kross stops his stopwatch and says Mr. Santos’ destiny has already been decided, there is no going back. He’s got a big decision to make with two options. Option A – show up next week and step into the ring like he’s supposed to and Kross will drive his arm through the back of his head on live TV, or option B – he doesn’t show up and he’s stripped of his title and then Kross catches up with him anyways to still leave him where he finds him. Kross says there is no easy way out of this, just the hard way. Tik, Tok.

Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. Finn Balor, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong

We go back to the ring for tonight’s six-man main event as Pete Dunne and NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch are out to boos. NXT Champion Finn Balor is out next to a pop. The Undisputed Era music starts up next as Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong head to the ring. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Lorcan and O’Reilly go at it. Vic says Lorcan was fined for putting hands on a referee at Takeover. O’Reilly gets the upperhand after they go at it out of the corner. O’Reilly doesn’t want to tag but he tags in Balor to take over on Lorcan. Balor works on the arm and comes back over, tagging in O’Reilly to come off the top with a shot to Lorcan’s arm. Another quick tag to Balor, who comes right back in and focuses on Lorcan’s arm.

Lorcan pushes Balor back to his corner and in comes Burch. Balor immediately counters and takes Burch down by his arm. Balor takes him to their corner and in comes Strong, who keeps the focus on an arm like his partners have. A distraction allows Dunne to come in and take control of Strong. Strong and Dunne trade holds. Strong takes Dunne down for a 2 count. Dunne ends up sending Strong to the floor. The referee is distracted by Dunne taunting the babyfaces. Lorcan and Burch take apart the steel ring steps but Strong fights them off. Strong then drops Dunne fro the apron. Strong comes in and blocks a suplex, then nails a backbreaker to Dunne. O’Reilly ends up coming in and going at it with Burch.

O’Reilly sends Burch to the floor and then Dragon Screw leg whips Dunne from the apron to the floor, then knocks Lorcan off the apron to the floor with the same move. O’Reilly charges Dunne but Dunne drops him with a shot to the mouth. We go to picture-in-picture commercial with fans booing as O’Reilly is down on the floor.

Back from the break and Dunne has O’Reilly grounded in the middle of the ring. O’Reilly fights up and tosses Dunne, who tags in Burch. Burch with uppercuts to O’Reilly. O’Reilly back-slides him for 2. Burch keeps O’Reilly down again, and in comes Dunne with a big stomp. O’Reilly fights Burch from the corner again now. They collide and both go down. Dunne tags in and knocks Strong off the apron to stop a tag. Dunne with an ankle lock on O’Reilly now. O’Reilly fights free with kicks and tags in Balor.

Balor unloads on Dunne as fans pop now. Balor kicks the knee out and nails a big chop. Lorcan runs in but Balor takes him down, then Burch. Balor takes Dunne back down and applies a single-leg Crab but Dunne rolls him into a 2 count. Balor counters again and drops Dunne on his head for a 2 count as Lorcan breaks it. Strong sends Lorcan and Burch to the floor, then nails a dropkick through the ropes as fans chant “NXT!” now. Balor and Dunne go at it. Dunne with an enziguri. Dunne goes for a Bitter End but it’s blocked. Dunne blocks 1916. Balor counters again and hits a Slingblade in the middle of the ring.

Balor points at Dunne but we see Burch trying to slide the NXT Title to Dunne. This distracts the referee. Balor charges and ends up taking them down. Balor goes to the top for the Coup de Grace but Adam Cole appears on the apron in all black. He sends Balor off the top, which knocks the referee down again. Fans boo Cole. Cole goes back to the floor and takes O’Reilly out with a big kick. Cole then drops O’Reilly on top of the steel ring steps with a Brainbuster.

The boos get louder as Cole retreats up the ramp. Strong runs in and takes Lorcan down with a big jumping knee. Strong stumbles around with the NXT Title in his hand. Balor doesn’t realize who is bumping into him as he drops Strong with an overhead kick. Balor now realizes what he just did but it’s too late as Dunne comes from behind and hits a Bitter End on Balor for the pin to win.

Winners: Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch

– After the match, the heels head to the ramp as their music hits. We go to replays. Lorcan and Burch raise their titles as Dunne stands in the middle. We get another replay of the attack by Cole. The heels leave as Balor gets to his feet in the ring. He turns around to a big superkick by Cole, who has returned to the ring. Fans boo as Cole stands tall over Balor. Cole looks out at the referee, who is calling for medics to tend to O’Reilly. Cole grabs the NXT Title and kneels down, holding it over Balor. Cole then raises the NXT Title in the air as the boos get louder. The post-Takeover edition of NXT goes off the air with Cole raising the title in the air to boos while O’Reilly is face-down on the outside.

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