19th Dec2019

‘WWE NXT’ Review (Dec 18th 2019)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s NXT review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have lots of great matches to get to, so take an Instagram picture of a tiger peeing its pants and get ready to rock!

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Match #1: Adam Cole def. Finn Bálor – NXT Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Finn Bálor put Johnny Gargano out of action for nearly two months, but Gargano may have found the only higher retributory price for Bálor to pay — a squandered chance to reclaim the NXT Championship. Adam Cole pinned Bálor — with plenty of thanks due to Gargano — to retain the NXT Title. Controlling the early goings at a methodical pace, Bálor grounded Cole with several holds until his opponent caught him with a superkick to the left knee. The Panama City Playboy continued to target that same knee throughout the bout, undercutting Bálor’s signature ability to inflict damage through the air. NXT’s Prince felt the pain of that maneuver when his knee buckled on a missed Coup de Grace attempt. Cole’s ensuing Last Shot wasn’t enough to keep Bálor down for a three-count, however. Bálor fought back to connect cleanly on another Coup de Grace, then locked Cole in position for the 1916 DDT to try to put him away. That’s when Gargano strode onto the stage, causing Bálor to freeze in the ring like he had seen a ghost. It allowed Cole to wriggle free and blast him with a second Last Shot, which this time proved decisive.

My Opinion: 4 out of 5 – This was a fantastic match that went a long time and delivered a top-notch fight to the finish. Finn losing worked for the feud with Gargano, but Finn would be better for champion right now. That being said, Cole is a great champion, so I don’t think I will be losing any sleep that still has his grasp on the strap. What a hell of a way to start off the show.

Match #2: Damian Priest def. Killian Dain

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Damian Priest’s latest bout proved to be a serious gut check, and he passed in impressive fashion. Two weeks after a rib injury prevented The Archer of Infamy from locking horns with Killian Dain, he returned to the ring to topple The Beast of Belfast in one-on-one competition. Things didn’t appear as promising for Priest for much of the bout. In fact, his decision to return at all seemed possibly ill-advised with Dain focusing his barbaric aggression on Priest’s taped ribs. The Archer of Infamy dug deep to find the fortitude at less than 100 percent to still execute eye-grabbing maneuvers, such as his patented springboard tope con giro and South of Heaven. Priest ultimately had the wherewithal to counter Dain’s Vader Bomb with double knees to the back, softening him up for The Reckoning and pinfall.

My Opinion: 3.4 out of 5 – This was a hard-hitting slug-fest that had enough rough edges on it to keep it from looking too pretty. I could have gone with either guy winning for this sucker to make me happy.

Match #3: Cameron Grimes def. KUSHIDA

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Cameron Grimes is once again with his most prized possession after picking up his biggest victory yet, though it certainly didn’t come easy. The Technical Savage came out on top against Kushida, defeating his newfound rival after hitting the Cave-In in a battle between two candidates for the Future Star of NXT award. NXT’s “timesplitter” got the better of Grimes in their previous encounter earlier this month thanks to a lightning-quick pinfall. Their issue escalated last week when Kushida’s distraction cost Grimes a loss against Raul Mendoza, punctuated by Kushida nabbing the Technical Savage’s trademark hat afterward. Kushida had Grimes’ Cave-In well-scouted, expertly evading his foe’s first two attempts. The third proved successful though, vaulting the Technical Savage back into the win column — and back, once again, with his hat.

My Opinion: 3.6 out of 5 – This was an excellent match that went long enough to feel like a worth-while bout. KUSHIDA and CG matched-up well together and never seemed to be at a loss for words, so to speak. These guys were relentless in their pursuit of wrestling-greatness and they achieved something along that line.

Match #4: Io Shirai def. Santana Garrett

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Io Shirai just keeps moonsaulting her way through the NXT Women’s division, this time picking up a victory over Santana Garrett. A promising talent in her own right, Garrett showed off impressive athleticism and knowledge of the squared circle, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the evil Genius of the Sky. The “Joshi Judas” connected on double knees in the corner to set up her patented high-impact moonsault for the win.

My Opinion: 2.8 out of 5 – Far too short to live up to its potential, this match gave us the right winner, so there you go.

Match #5: Pete Dunne def. Travis Banks

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

If this week’s bout between Pete Dunne and Travis Banks served as a preview for WWE Worlds Collide, it promises to be a hard-hitting affair. Both competitors battered each other thoroughly, but The BruiserWeight came out on top against his NXT UK adversary. Dunne lit up Banks early with blistering strikes to the chest that were so intense he had to be restrained by the official. The Kiwi Buzzsaw — fresh off a victory against Jaxson Ryker — didn’t back down, though, responding with a cavalcade of electric kicks and strikes. The BruiserWeight took the action to another level, laying Banks out with a top-rope X-Plex before landing The Bitter End.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – Here is another strong match on this show. This was just what you wanted at just the right time. How can you go wrong with a fabulous match? Wait…arsenic…that’s how. That being said, there’s no arsenic here, so don’t worry about it. This was damn good.

Match #6: (Main Event) Rhea Ripley def. Shayna Baszler – NXT Women’s Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Move over, Shayna Baszler — there’s a new queen atop the NXT Women’s division. Rhea Ripley showed championship mettle, overcoming severe damage to her arm, outside interference from Baszler’s fellow MMA Four Horsewomen and the throes of the Kirifuda Clutch to defeat Baszler to win the NXT Women’s Title. An early mistake seemed like it would prove insurmountable for The Nightmare when Baszler viciously stomped Ripley’s left arm on the steel steps, appearing to hyperextend it. From there, The Submission Magician demonstrated the familiar, surgical joint manipulation that has fueled her dominance of the NXT Women’s division for the better part of two years. Ripley favored the arm more and more as the match progressed, at one point even fighting off a doctor who arrived at ringside to try to administer medical attention. Then she had to contend with Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke briefly attacking on the outside while the official was occupied with Baszler in the ring. Baszler’s henchwomen were ejected but had already inflicted significant damage. The Nightmare rallied with a dropkick that sent Baszler crashing into the referee — and left him unable to count the champion’s shoulders down after she was dropped with the Riptide. Using the lawless opportunity to introduce a steel chair into the equation, Baszler spiked her opponent into it with a devastating DDT — but Ripley got her shoulder up before the count of three. That seemingly only delayed the inevitable, though, as Baszler next locked Ripley into the feared Kirifuda Clutch for what seemed like an eternity. Ripley appeared to lose consciousness, prompting the referee to raise her arm — only for The Nightmare to defiantly grab the official’s collar, refusing to fold. Miraculously rolling backward out of Baszler’s clutches, Ripley found her feet and unleashed a barrage of stomps on Baszler’s face. Even then, The Queen of Spades answered with a step-up knee strike to Ripley in the corner. But it was Baszler’s hubris — not a physical mistake — that spelled her demise. With Baszler taking far too long to talk trash in Ripley’s face, the challenger struck her with a headbutt and followed with a gargantuan Riptide from the second rope to secure the victory and the NXT Women’s Title.

My Opinion: 4 out of 5 – This was a great way to get the strap on a very talented wrestler who deserved to get the chance to prove she can be a draw, if she isn’t one already. This was mean, vicious, brutal action from two of wrestling’s best today and you’re not going to be disappointed with Rhea getting the belt wrapped around her waist.

News Of The Night:

  1. The NXT Year-End Award winners will be announced on the first episode of the New Year.
  2. The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic returns in 2020.
  3. NXT fights NXT UK at World’s Collide on January 25th.
  4. Roderick Strong issued an open challenge.
  5. Lio Rush and Keith Lee fight Tony Nese and Damian Priest in the near future.

Final Verdict: 4.4/5

This was a great episode of NXT that delivered wrestling with no BS.

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