5 things NXT got absolutely right on this week’s episode (January 15, 2020)
NXT has had some great matches and surprises over the past few months, and it seems like there’s no stopping the Black & Gold brand from delivering top quality content week after week.
This week, the brand continued to host matches from the Dusty Rhodes Classic, as fans got the finest possible tag team action in all of WWE.
Keith Lee also got some time to shine, but his competitors were not too happy with him and tried to hurt the big man. Tommaso Ciampa was also featured during the night in a segment that led to one of the biggest surprises one could have expected this week.
The first challenger for Rhea Ripley’s new NXT Women’s Championship was crowned to end the night, giving fans something to look forward to. In this article, we'll look at the 5 things NXT got right this week.
#5 Lee’s dare
Keith Lee opened up the night’s broadcast to send a crystal clear message to the Undisputed Era. He informed the faction that they’d reached their peak and enjoyed their time dominating NXT, but now it was time to bask in his glory.
This did not sit well with the Undisputed Era who came out and then attacked The Limitless One who is in line for a shot at Roderick Strong’s North American Championship.
The attack brought out Tommaso Ciampa who sent the group running. It was seen that Lee was hurt, but he revealed that he was ready to compete and take the title away from Strong. This was a great segment that not only helped bring out the Undisputed Era for the first time that night but also further established Lee as a top star and a major threat.
While Lee has gotten his shot at the North American Championship along with Dominic Dijakovic, he now seems set to take the title home after Worlds Collide. Ciampa’s appearance showed that he's ready to side with anyone against UE and further built his cause towards bringing Goldie home.
#4 Scott’s spot
Worlds Collide will witness a big Fatal 4-Way match for Angel Garza’s Cruiserweight Championship. To fill the three spots, NXT decided to host a Triple Threat match where the winner would progress into the Championship match.
Lio Rush, Tyler Breeze, and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott took to the ring to bag the opportunity and show the NXT Universe that they deserve to be their next Champion.
Rush, who was the previous Cruiserweight Champion, is no stranger to Scott as both men have teamed up in the past. Prince Pretty seemed a bit out of his zone, as The Man of the Hour controlled the bout for most of the time.
However, Scott took out Breeze with the JML Driver to pick up the victory and punch his ticker for Worlds Collide.
Scott deserves a shot at a title, and NXT did the right thing by protecting Rush from the pin but not giving him the victory. Breeze, on the other hand, deserves so much more, but all his performances still haven’t taken him to the top level where he belongs.
#3 The BROserweights
'The Bruiserweight' Pete Dunne joined forces with 'The King of Bros' Matt Riddle to compete in the Dusty Rhodes Classic.
They were up against Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster where both teams tried to get the upper hand as soon as the bell rang. The NXT UK Tag Team Champions showed exactly why they deserved to compete in the tournament, while Dunne and Riddle wore them down with their insane strength.
Close calls and near pinfalls ruled the match after which the Bruiserweight and The King of Bros managed to isolate Andrews.
The BROserweights managed to put down the much more established tag team to pick up a huge victory and progress in the tournament.
The match was nothing short of A-grade and allowed all four men to shine. Dunne and Riddle worked incredibly well together and proved to have the potential to be a long term tag team who could become the Tag Team Champions someday.
Andrews and Webster probably lost because of the popularity factor and also because the brand needed something to do with two of their top stars. However, there is no doubt that they'll bounce back and come strong in NXT UK.
#2 Bianca Belair’s opportunity
Although RAW and SmackDown have been using Battle Royals to crown number 1 contenders and new Champions for ages, it seems like NXT has perfected the art of the Battle Royal.
The match saw Mercedes Martinez debut, while Kacy Catanzaro also made her much-anticipated return to the NXT ring. However, one of the biggest surprises was the entry of Shayna Baszler into the match.
Bianca Belair shocked everyone by eliminating one of the favorites, Candice LeRae, early and didn't look back.
Shotzi Blackheart made a big statement by eliminating The Queen of Spades, and Io Shirai was the final person left in the ring with Belair.
The EST of NXT held her nerve and eliminated The Genius of the Sky to pick up the victory and a shot at Rhea Ripley’s title.
NXT must have been looking for a filler first opponent for Ripley, and Belair feels like the perfect opponent as she plays a good heel character and is built up well enough to get another title shot.
The match showed that the NXT’s women’s division is loaded with top talent, and Belair is just the first of many competitors who will cross Ripley’s path.
You may have heard the term ‘breaking the internet’, but this one may have just broken the wrestling industry!
Tommaso Ciampa took to the ring midway in the broadcast and called out Undisputed Era for trying to injure Keith Lee and protect themselves from losing some gold.
He promised to hurt Adam Cole in return, and take the NXT Championship back from him. This led to another attack by the heel faction, but instead of Lee, it was Johnny Gargano who appeared to help his old friend.
These two men seem to be inseparable and have been teasing to reunite once again since Ciampa returned from injury.
While this was a rushed way to reform the great DIY team, it was done to ensure that the two men get a match at Worlds Collide.
Later on, NXT broke the internet by revealing that DIY would take to the ring once again at Worlds Collide where they'll take on none-other-than NXT UK’s Moustache Mountain. This match will be an unforgettable one, and even though Gargano is tangled in his rivalry with Finn Balor, this match could pull all the attention away from the two men’s rivalry.