21st Feb2019

‘WWE NXT’ Review (Feb 20th 2019)

by Nathan Favel

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Welcome to this week’s review of NXT, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and there’s some good stuff on this bad ol’ puppy dog, so let’s get to the good stuff.

Match #1: Aleister Black def. Roderick Strong

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

In the battle of blistering kicks and spine-wrecking backbreakers, Aleister Black and Roderick Strong elicited plenty of “oohs” and “ahhs” from the Full Sail Live crowd this week. The hard-hitting encounter saw both Superstars plaster each other with dizzying offense. The Messiah of the Backbreaker lived up to his moniker, tattooing the back of The Dutch Destroyer with a thunderous backdrop atop the steel rings steps. Strong continued the onslaught inside the yellow ropes, steeping Black’s back with punishing submission holds and, yes, more backbreakers. As if the backdrop over the steel steps hadn’t already caused damage, Strong hurled Black from the apron onto the turnbuckle with a Torture Rack. Somehow, the ever-resilient Black withstood the painful blitz. The Dutch Destroyer put his educated feet to work, spoiling a suplex by Strong with a well-timed (and devastating) Black Mass to claim the pinfall. Despite the victory, Black found himself waylaid by Strong’s Undisputed ERA taskforce as Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish & Adam Cole stepped in to inflict damage. That brought out Ricochet, who sprang into action to even the odds and force the group to retreat.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was a fabulous opener that could’ve been the main event. The action was as even as it gets and every bit as exciting.

Match #2: Mia Yim def. Xia Li

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Xia Li is the holder of lightning-fast kicks, as the Chinese Superstar proved during her NXT TV debut against Mia Yim. Li unloaded a flurry of strikes that forced Yim into defensive mode for much of the action. Things shifted once Yim caught Li with a spinning back fist after she attempted a flying kick from the top turnbuckle. From there, NXT’s Head Baddie in Charge tangled her opponent into a Protect Ya Neck to land the three-count. Before she could celebrate, though, Yim had to combat an attack from NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler, who was joined by her menacing cohorts Marina Shafir & Jessamyn Duke. Yim momentarily got the best of Baszler, as they traded a fury of punches before WWE Performance Center trainees Lacey Lane, MJ Jenkins and Jessie Elaban — whom Yim sided with during an altercation with Baszler, Shafir & Duke last week — arrived to even the score. Yet, the brute force of Baszler, Shafir & Duke proved to be a roadblock as they steamrolled the trio and left them sprawled in and out the ring. While Yim was held down on the canvas by Shafir & Duke, she engaged in a shouting match with Baszler about respect, demanding the NXT Women’s Champion “respect me!” In response, The Queen of Spades charged into her with a running knee.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was pretty good and it served as a nice teaser for what Yim can really do. Li got to show some of her best as well and I think she can be a good hand for NXT this year. It’s nice to see so many Asian women get a shot in the WWE, especially since there is such a racist history against Asian’s in the WWF/WWE. Overall, this turned out quite well.

Match #3: Velveteen Dream def. Johnny Gargano to become the new NXT North American Champion

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

D-R-E-A-M is … champion. Johnny Gargano’s self-proclaimed year of “wins and championships” came to a screeching halt at the hands of Velveteen Dream, resulting in the crowning of a new NXT North American Champion. The momentous win came in the waning moments of a grueling barnburner in which Johnny “Freaking” Wrestling and Dream exhausted every bit of offense in their arsenals. Gargano bolted Dream in an assortment of painful submission holds, such as employing a wrenching hammerlock that NXT announcer Nigel McGuiness aptly described as just plain “nasty.” Dream displayed startling endurance, as he matched Gargano’s tenacious holds with ferocious strikes, coercing the champion to rely on more of his signature maneuvers to try to take down Velveteen Dream. Things soon turned into a nail-biting back-and-forth when Dream intercepted Gargano’s slingshot DDT with a hard haymaker, and later had his own DDT reversed into a superkick. The action spilled to the outside and saw Dream crash-land into a superkick that left Gargano room to snap-suplex onto the metal ramp and drag a groggy Dream back into the ring for a slingshot DDT. Miraculously, Dream kicked out of the pin attempt, causing a visibly drained Gargano to snap. After launching another hard superkick, the champion charged full steam into Dream, who then scooped him up for two Dream Valley Drivers before launching into the Purple Rainmaker to snare his biggest NXT career win yet. The NXT Universe erupted with praise following the shocking victory, as NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa was spotted watching the match from a distance. As Gargano’s NXT North American Championship run falls short, the black-and-gold brand now prepares to experience a new, decidedly purple, reign.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was a very strong match and it made Dream look as formidable as he’s ever looked. Dream was as much of a star as he’s ever been and he has a lot going for him now, thanks to winning the title. Gargano did a great job giving Dream all the legitimacy he would need to start off his first title reign properly. Overall, this was quite the little main event and it was well received by the crowd, which is the best thing you could ask for.

News Of The Night:

  1. The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will return very soon.
  2. Shayna Baszler and Mia Yim fight each other, next week.
  3. Matt Riddle wants an NXT North American Title shot.

Final Verdict: 4/5

This turned out quite well and was one of the best NXT episodes in quite some time.

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