Date: February 5, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, Nigel McGuinness
With less than two weeks to go before Takeover, the entire card seems to be set. However, there are some things beyond Takeover which also need to be taken care of and that includes Wrestlemania. Therefore, we have a guest star this week as Charlotte is here to answer Rhea Ripley’s Wrestlemania challenge. Let’s get to it.
Here are the Broserweights, in a golf cart, with the Dusty Classic trophy in the back. You can tell Matt Riddle is in a good mood as he’s wearing a tie. They’ve been celebrating ever since and tonight it continues because the trophy is in a golf cart. Dunne can’t believe that he’s in a tag team with Riddle, who says it’s meant to be. Riddle wants to know how they’ll get to Portland but here’s the Undisputed Era to interrupt.
O’Reilly: “You’re Matthew Riddell and Peter Dune.” They’re ready to fight now but here’s Roderick Strong to pull them back. Fish: “There are much bigger fish to try than you too.” Riddle: “Bobby Fish just said fish!” He gets in a fish tongue twister but Dunne says not to worry about how many fish Bobby Fish could fry if Bobby Fish could fry fish. Riddle turns it into a song and does a Randy Savage spin for a nice touch. Dunne promises to smoke the Era in Portland.
Angel Garza vs. Isaiah Scott
They start fast and miss a clothesline each, meaning it’s an early standoff. Scott tries to cartwheel around but gets kicked in the ribs to put Garza in control. That’s fine with Scott, who springboards back up for a hurricanrana to send Garza outside. Garza is read for the dive so Scott puts on the brakes and kicks him back to the floor. Scott’s running flip over the ropes is superkicked down and we take a break. Back with Garza hitting a reverse powerbomb, allowing him to TAKE OFF HIS PANTS.
A superkick gives Garza two but Scott reverses a slingshot reverse suplex. Scott slaps him in the face but his springboard is superkicked out of the air (ok not much air as it was off the bottom rope). Garza tries a headscissors out of the corner, which is flipped forward into something like an Iconoclasm for two. It’s time to go up again but this time Garza throws his pants at him for a distraction. Scott doesn’t seem to mind and hits the House Call for two but Garza crotches him on top. The Wing Clipper finishes Scott at 10:38.
Rating: C+. The high flying was good here but I’m not sure how far Scott is going to get at this point. He seems tailor made for a big push but for some reason he keeps losing time after time. The action worked here though as they kept the movement up and the pants thing was a good spot at the end. Garza winning here was the only choice they had after Raw, but maybe he shouldn’t have been facing Scott.
Post match, Garza says he took out his cousin and Rey Mysterio, so now he wants his Cruiserweight Title back.
The Undisputed Era beat up some people for not knowing where Tommaso Ciampa is. Strong even messes up someone getting a haircut, because people get haircuts backstage at NXT.
Video on Mercedes Martinez.
Sgt. Slaughter is here for your random cameo.
Dominik Dijakovic vs. Killian Dain
Oh yeah Dain is a thing. These two got in each other’s faces earlier today at the Performance Center over who should get the next shot at Keith Lee. Dain goes right at him with the shoulders in the corner but Dijakovic fights out in a hurry and hits a middle rope elbow to the head. A clothesline puts Dijakovic over the top though and the SHAVE YOUR BACK chants start up. Dijakovic doesn’t seem to like hairy backs either and hits a flip dive off the steps, turning the chants into FEAST YOUR EYES. Back in and the discus lariat is cut off by Dain’s crossbody to send us to a break.
We come back with Dijakovic flipping out of a belly to back suplex and elbowing Dain hard in the face. The suplex slam into the chokebomb gets two on Dain but he’s right back up to catch Dijakovic on top. Dain’s superplex puts them both down but Dijakovic wins a battle of boots to the face for two. The moonsault misses and the Vader Bomb is broken up, meaning it’s Feast Your Eyes to finish Dain at 8:15.
Rating: B-. This was a hoss fight and another good example of what Dijakovic can do. There are so many times where I look at one of his matches and wonder how I’m seeing this stuff. He and Keith Lee took it to another level but these two more than held their own, making it a heck of a match.
Post match we’re told that Dijakovic gets a title shot in Portland so here’s Lee for the staredown.
Kushida doesn’t know where Ciampa is so the Undisputed Era throws him in a crate. Bronson Reed comes in to stare them down so it’s a jumping knee to the head.
We get a split screen sitdown interview between Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor. They were ready to fight at Takeover: WarGames and Gargano has been counting the days for three months. Finn says he’s been counting the days for four years because he’s sick of Gargano being called the next Finn Balor. Gargano says he’s the first Johnny Gargano and Balor needs this match as much as he does. Balor doesn’t need this match because he doesn’t get paid by the hour but he’s going to take his time and enjoy this.
That’s what Johnny has been looking for: the NXT Finn Balor, not the Finn Balor who lost to Bobby Lashley like seventeen weeks in a row on Raw. Balor isn’t here for the Match of the Year, because he’s here for the last match of Gargano’s life. Gargano promises to take the NXT flag that Balor dropped and drive it through his heart. Balor: “I don’t have a heart.” Heck of a heated exchange here and I want to see these two fight.
Video on Kacy Catanzaro.
Mercedes Martinez vs. Kacy Catanzaro
Martinez starts fast by shrugging off a waistlock and planting her with a spinebuster. A one armed delayed suplex….is broken up and Catanzaro hits a basement dropkick. Catanzaro grabs a hurricanrana for two but her springboard is broken up with a hard forearm. Martinez takes it to the floor and posts her, followed by a whip into the barricade. Back in and the fisherman’s buster finishes Catanzaro at 2:59. They got some stuff in here and Catanzaro looked good in defeat.
Rhea Ripley (listed as NXT Women’s Champion rather than NXT Champion) is ready for Charlotte and Bianca Belair.
The Undisputed Era gets jumped by Ciampa and the fight heads into the arena. Cole is sent into the announcers’ table over and over, which is good for some applause. The rest of the team catches up with them and beats down Ciampa. They get inside but the Broserweights come in for the save. Security breaks it up so here’s William Regal to make a six man. The fight breaks out again and they head to the back.
Jordan Devlin vs. Tyler Breeze
Non-title. Devlin jumps him during the entrance and the beating is on in a hurry. We take a break and come back joined in progress with Devlin elbowing him in the corner but getting kicked in the ribs for his efforts. A basement superkick gives Breeze two and he wraps Devlin’s knee around the post. Breeze drops a knee to the knee and cranks on the leg to keep Devlin down.
That doesn’t work very well as Devlin gets back up with a backbreaker, only to get dropkicked in the face. The neck crank goes on for a bit, followed by a clothesline to put Devlin on the floor. Devlin is right back up again and this time it’s a moonsault to take Breeze down again. Back in and the release Rock Bottom into the standing moonsault gets two on Breeze as we take a break.
We come back with Devlin standing on Breeze’s face (not fair to the gorgeousness), only to charge into a boot in the corner. Back to back dropkicks have Devlin in trouble and a clothesline gives Breeze two. Devlin pops up for a high crossbody, with Breeze rolling through for two more.
A standing Spanish Fly gets two on Breeze and they’re both a bit winded. Devlin tries the moonsault but hits raised boots, allowing Breeze to slap on a half crab. He has to pull it back to the middle but lets it go for some reason, setting up the Supermodel kick for a rather close two. The slingshot cutter gives Devlin two and that’s enough for him, meaning it’s the Devlin Side to put Breeze away at 15:33.
Rating: B. This took some time to get going but once it found its footing, they were off to the races. They’ve got something with Devlin, who has been great in almost everything that he’s done and looked very good here too. This is also the closest Breeze has looked to his old self around here and I could certainly go for more of him. Devlin was the star here though and I think they know it.
Here’s Bianca Belair for the big showdown. She’s on her way to Portland to become the new NXT Women’s Champion but here’s Charlotte to interrupt in a hurry. We get the big welcome home reaction and she says there is nothing like a Full Sail WOO. Charlotte respects the heck out of Belair but Bianca isn’t the Queen.
Rhea has overlooked Belair to get to Wrestlemania…and here’s Rhea to interrupt as well. Charlotte pie faces Belair away and Belair is nearly losing it as Rhea says she’s all about dropping Charlotte at Wrestlemania. Belair cuts them off to remind Charlotte that she doesn’t even go here. It’s going to be Belair vs. Charlotte at Wrestlemania because Belair is the EST of NXT and Charlotte can’t beat her. Charlotte: “This is a conversation for champions so stand over there and fix your braid.”
Rhea doesn’t like the disrespect and the saying around here is WE ARE NXT. Belair jumps Charlotte and they put her on their shoulders for a double faceplant. Rhea and Bianca trash talk each other until Belair leaves. Charlotte didn’t accept or decline Ripley’s challenge. Good segment here and I want to see where this goes.
Undisputed Era vs. Tommaso Ciampa/Broserweights
Roderick Strong is the odd man out but the other three jump the Era on the stage and the fight is on before the bell. Dunne X Plexes O’Reilly onto the apron and Ciampa kicks Fish in the face. Strong gets beaten down in the aisle and the limping Ciampa goes inside with O’Reilly going after the knee as the bell rings. Ciampa elbows him down and it’s Riddle coming in to strike away at Fish.
The MMA exchange doesn’t exactly work so Dunne and Cole come in. Dunne gets pulled to the floor though and Strong is back up to drop Dunne onto the apron. Back in and the Era takes turns on Dunne in the corner until he sends Fish to the floor and dropkicks O’Reilly to the floor, allowing the diving tag to Riddle (Ciampa’s arm wasn’t exactly extended there). Riddle starts cleaning house with strikes and throws into the back to back Brotons.
The Era needs a breather on the floor and we come back with Riddle getting knocked into the Era’s corner, allowing Cole to come back in for a chinlock. O’Reilly slaps on a guillotine choke but Riddle lifts him up without too much effort. Riddle no sells a German suplex, O’Reilly no sells a German suplex, Riddle hits him in the head and O’Reilly kicks him in the head for a double knockdown.
Dunne gets the hot tag and starts wrecking Cole, including X Plexing O’Reilly onto him for two. The Panama Sunrise is cut off by a forearm but Cole is right back with a brainbuster onto the knee for his own near fall. Dunne ducks a double kick from O’Reilly and Fish and the hot tag brings in Ciampa. Project Ciampa gets two on O’Reilly with Fish making the save. We get the big showdown between Ciampa and Cole but a kick to the head breaks it up in a hurry. Everyone starts hitting each other in the head/face but Strong comes in to break up the Fairy Tale Ending for the DQ at 13:41.
Rating: B. I could have gone for the clean pin at the end here but this was mostly all action throughout and they pulled me in near the end. If nothing else it was nice to see that Ciampa hadn’t hurt his knee again and that he got back in and started taking over. Strong interfering is fine enough, but it could have been a better ending and that slows it down a bit.
Post match the beatdown is on, including Chasing the Dragon to Dunne on the floor. Riddle takes High/Low and Ciampa gets End of Heartache. The Era goes NWO and paints an X on Ciampa’s back (ala Ciampa with the table last week)….but we’ve got three rings on the screen. Those rings would be like the Velveteen Dream’s glasses and he’s back, diving off the top onto the Era and beating all of them up at once.
The Era gets taken out and Dream rips off his gear, revealing Rick Rude style tights with Strong’s family painted on, plus an old school hip swivel. Dream clears the ring and the fans go coconuts to end the show. It’s a cool moment, though I wouldn’t have done the circles thing last week. Why telegraph it at all?
Overall Rating: B+. This is more like it with segments and matches that built towards Takeover. It’s a case of things being better when they have something to focus on and that’s always a good thing. The wrestling was quite strong tonight as well and overall, it was a heck of a show that flew by. Takeover is looking rather stacked, even with six matches at the moment. Hopefully they don’t overdo it, but what we have so far should be great.
Angel Garza b. Isaiah Scott – Wing Clipper
Dominick Dijakovic b. Killian Dain – Feast Your Eyes
Mercedes Martinez b. Kacy Catanzaro – Fisherman’s buster
Jordan Devlin b. Tyler Breeze – Devlin Side
Tommaso Ciampa/Broserweights b. Undisputed Era via DQ when Roderick Strong interfered
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