RAW and SmackDown are busy building towards the WWE Royal Rumble, but NXT has its full focus on building its own rivalries on the brand. This week’s show did not have any Superstar from the brand declare their entry into the Royal Rumble match for Sunday. Instead, the Superstars of the brand continued to work towards Championship matches and the Dusty Rhodes Classic Cup.
The NXT Cruiserweight Championship match between Santos Escobar and Curt Stallion was called off after Stallion was attacked by someone backstage. It looked like Legado del Fantasma had attacked the Superstar, and Escobar found a message for himself under his title belt later on.
Io Shirai appeared on the show and built towards her next rivalry, while NXT Champion Finn Balor teamed up with Kyle O’Reilly to compete against the NXT Tag Team Champions.
The rivalry between Johnny Gargano and KUSHIDA got more intense, and Bronson Reed managed to send another message to the rest of the NXT roster.
Since this week’s NXT was loaded with some great content, let’s look at the five things WWE got right during the show.
#5 Grizzled Young Veterans take another step forward on WWE NXT; KUSHIDA and Johnny Gargano prepare for their date
The Undisputed ERA, and the team of Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher, seem like the most lethal teams in this year’s WWE NXT Dusty Rhodes Classic Tournament. However, The Grizzled Young Veterans have a lot of experience and are looking to win the tournament this year after ending up as the runner-ups last year.
The GYV competed against Leon Ruff and KUSHIDA on this week’s NXT. KUSHIDA was focused early in the match and used his superior submission skills to keep The GYV members down for some time. However, the Japanese Superstar could not control the match on his own throughout its entirety.
After Ruff got the tag, he almost picked up the victory for his team with a Senton Bomb. However, James Drake saved Zack Gibson at the right time and the two men took the fight to Ruff. The former NXT North American Champion soon fell prey to the Ticket to Mayhem that ended the babyfaces’ hopes of winning the Dusty Rhodes Cup.
After the match, Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory appeared to beat down KUSHIDA and Ruff. Gargano targeted KUSHIDA, while Theory worked on Ruff until Dexter Lumis appeared to scare both men away.
The match was good and allowed KUSHIDA to shine ahead of his rivalry against the NXT North American Champion. The Grizzled Young Veterans were good, and it seems like Lumis will also be getting in The Way’s path in the weeks to come.