Last week’s episode of NXT was a memorable one to say the least. It was emotional, and exciting, unlike anything we have seen in a while. This week’s edition started with a recap of last week’s main event, with clips of NXT Superstars commenting that they want to be next in line. This new era in NXT will certainly be great, let’s see how the first week of it went down.
Our new NXT Champion started off the show. Lee talked about the ups and downs of 2020. He hinted at the loss of his trainer, as well as his success. He let the NXT Universe know that he is proud to stand in front of us as champ, but that he isn’t blind to the fact that there is a locker room full of hungry stars that want their shot.
Keith Lee let us know that he didn’t do this alone. He thanked his trainer for everything he did for him, when nobody believed in him. He thanked the fans for getting behind him from the get go. He kept hinting that there was someone else that was pushing him, ultimately revealing it to be his ultimate “frienemy” Dominik Dijakovic.
Dijakovic hit the ring, and while he was humbled, said this was all about Keith Lee. Lee let him know that it was his feud with Dijakovic that led him to the opportunities that he got. Lee let Dijakovic know that he and Regal agreed that Dijakovic would be the first person to challenge him for both championships, and that matchup would be tonight! This was my feud of the year for 2019, so it will be nice to give it the highest stakes it has had.
Damian Priest vs. Cameron Grimes
Part of me really wanted to trigger the JOBBER ALERT for Cameron Grimes, but the other part of me wanted to get a good match out of this. As much as I can’t stand Grimes, he does have the ability to put together some quality matches. Priest is very similar, when he isn’t sloppy, his matches are very exciting. This one was a perfect storm for both of these superstars, as it was a hard hitting and enjoyable grudge match. Priest was able to get the victory with the Reckoning off the second rope, silencing Cameron Grimes for the time being. After the match, Damian Priest let Dijakovic and Lee that he is very interested in their match later.
Another Thatcher lesson, this one about the Fujiwara Armbar. He pretty much tore this jobbers arm off. I am still loving these promos, still quick and easy ways to make Thatcher look like a beast in the ring without having him cutting dumb promos that don’t fit his character.
Shotzi Blackheart vs. Indi Hartwell
Women’s wrestling has been SUPAH HAWT FIYAH lately in NXT. The Black and Gold Brand has done a great job keeping momentum while still introducing new stars. While we haven’t seen a lot of Hartwell, she is coming from a similar background of Blackheart. Both were touted Indy stars, so the potential of this match was very high.
We did get a great match, unfortunately once Blackheart got the advantage, Robert Stone limped his way to the ring. With Blackheart on the top rope looking to finish the match, Stone distracted them referee, allowing Aliyah to push Blackheart off the top rope. This helped Indi Hartwell get a huge victory.
Tegan Nox was backstage, saying that tonight is her night. She said that she wanted to be a champion like her idols Molly Holly and Kane. I would not be disappointed to see that, but I don’t see Io dropping the belt so soon.
Next up is a cinematic backstage segment with Legado del Fantasma. It reminded me a lot of Lucha Underground, which I was completely ok with. Escobar said that they are building an empire, and it all started with his Cruiserweight Championship victory.
Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic
Nestle usually says that I get boned up for Johnny Gargano, but if there is something that gets me boned up more, it would have to be a Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic match. This match had a little bit of a different feel to it, as this one wasn’t about competition, but about the respect of two great competitors.
These two were competing for a top spot in their previous feud. This match they were both at the top of the game. As always, it was a hards hitting affair, with Lee getting the clean victory with the Big-Bang Catastrophe. While Lee and Dijakovic shook hands after the match, the lights shut off, and Scarlett hit the stage. Scarlett came to the ring carrying a bag, which she revealed to Lee was the smashed hourglass from a few weeks back. Lee looked un-affected by this threat, as he appears to be taking on all challengers.
Backstage, Dijakovic wats being interviewed, saying that Keith Lee is on another level, one that Karrion Kross can’t even touch. Apparently Kross was within earshot, as he came in and wet face to face with Dijakovic. Kross ultimately attacked Dijakovic, throwing him around backstage, finishing with his iconic “Tick Tock” as he walked away.
Timothy Thatcher vs. Denzel Dejournette
This one was pretty much as you would imagine, as Dejournette got an official JOBBER ALERT. Dejournette got a few holds in, but ended up tapping out to Thatcher. After the match, Thatcher refused to let up the hold, which drew the ire of Oney Lorcan. Lorcan threw Thatcher out of the ring and stood ready for another brawl.
We get a shot from earlier tonight of Robert Stone running into Killian Dain at the entrance to Full Sail Live. While the two were arguing, Aliyah showed both men an original Dexter Lumis drawing. This upset Dain, who said that if Stone wanted to make it up to him, he would get a match for Dain next week against Lumis, which Stone made happen!
Io Shirai vs. Tegan Nox
With this being two of my favorites in NXT, you know I was hyped, especially when I saw the time they gave these ladies to work. NXT did something special for the fans tonight, giving two well-fought title matches.
As I mentioned earlier, the NXT Women’s division is the deepest in any wrestling brand. While we all knew that Tegan is a worthy competitor, she really brought it against Io. Knowing the spotlight was on her, Tegan busted out some pretty unique offense, including countering a crossbody into a Fallaway Slam/Pin combo that I can honestly say I have never seen before.
The last act of the match brought us a lot of high-drama. Tegan Nox had quite a few moments that looked like she might be able to dethrone the Genius of the Sky. Nox hit the Chokeslam, a Molly-Go-Round, and escaped the brunt of Shirai’s offense. However, when Tegan went for the Shiniest Wizard, she received a palm strike from Io, followed by the Moonsault to clinch the victory for Io Shirai.
After the match, NXT gave us the tease, as it looked like we were going off the air. Dakota Kai ran in and gave a big kick to the head of Io Shirai as NXT officially went off the air. Kai has been threatening to go after the champ for a few weeks now, so it looks like she’s finally taking her shot.
This week was stacked, with two high quality title matches, as well as some great build for the future. NXT has a lot to bring to the table moving forward, as we saw the groundwork for multiple feuds that one can only assume will lead to a Takeover during Summerslam weekend. Until next week, follow me on Twitter @TJoftheJK.