27th Dec2019

‘WWE NXT’ Review (Dec 25th 2019)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this Christmas review of NXT, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and Happy Hanukah to any-one reading this that celebrates that holiday, as well as Happy Kwanzaa to those who celebrate that holiday. We’ve got wrestling on Santa Claus’s day off, so spank that ass and get ready for “Rudolph’s Kick-Ass Christmas Oh Yeah”!

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Match #1: Roderick Strong def. Austin Theory – NXT North American Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Roderick Strong put his NXT North American Title up for grabs and former EVOLVE Champion Austin Theory answered the call. The Undisputed ERA member looked like he may have bitten off more than he could chew against Theory, as the 22-year-old blue chipper impressed with a dazzling repertoire of moves — including a devastating cradle suplex on the ring apron. But The Messiah of the Backbreaker withstood Theory’s best and his veteran savvy paved the way for victory. Spinning out of a potential powerbomb attempt, Strong leveled his foe with a jumping knee strike. After hitting the End of Heartache, the North American Champion slapped on the Strong Hold, forcing Theory to submit.

My Opinion: 3.6 out of 5 – This was a great debut for Theory, who ought to get shot right to the top of NXT’s roster so he can be used to his fullest. Strong and Theory is just too good of a pairing to not do again. This was a hell of a match to get as a Christmas gift. Why can’t the rest of the WWE do this more often?

Match #2: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott def. Gentleman Jack Gallagher

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After making a strong splash on the scene in 2019, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott could be in for big things in 2020. Scott got the better of Gentleman Jack Gallagher in one-on-one competition, though these NXT cruiserweights spent much of the bout one-upping each other. With a closing sequence that saw both Superstars trading armbars, “Swerve” was able to slither out of Gallagher’s and stomp the Gentleman’s arm to the mat. He then connected with the House Call for the win.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – This was a fine follow-up to the excellent opener we had. This was easy viewing between two of the best around today.

Match #3: Candice LeRae def. Taynara Conti

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

If the changing of the guard at the top of the NXT Women’s division triggers a reshuffling of the rest of the deck, Candice LeRae has seemingly put herself in strong position. Tenacious C picked up a win this week over Taynara Conti, landing a springboard quebrada on the martial arts expert following a step-up senton.

My Opinion: 2.9 out of 5 – Candice carried Taynara to a decent match that the former looked better in than the latter.

Match #4: Dominik Dijakovic def. Bronson Reed

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

It’s not often that Dominik Dijakovic encounters a foe as imposing as he is, but he found exactly that against Bronson Reed. The Rare Breed ultimately prevailed in the clash of titans. Capitalizing on his opportunity with Reed perched on the second rope, Dijakovic used The Aus-zilla’s positioning against him, dropping him with a massive chokeslam bomb for the pinfall.

My Opinion: 3.4 out of 5 – This was a big, mean match between two big, mean guys that stole my lunch money! Damn it! Hey Aaron Sorkin, it’s happening again. I liked the whole “Clash Of The Titans” motif of watching two guys practice trying to smash Harry Hamlin in front of a crowd of 400 or so people. The college students seemed to enjoy this bout, or whoever the hell is out in those stands on a Christmas night.

Match #5: Bianca Belair def. Shotzi Blackheart

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

NXT housed some of the best Women’s competition in the world in 2019, and it looks like the division will only get tougher in 2020. Bianca Belair overcame a worthy challenge from the debuting Shotzi Blackheart, pinning her after the KOD. The EST nearly got carried away with underestimating the newcomer at times, and Blackheart made the most of her NXT TV debut, quickly winning support from the Full Sail audience in a promising showing. Belair survived a creative tornado DDT to the apron, evading Blackheart’s facewash kick moments later before hitting her potent signature move.

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5 – This was not bad, but having Shotzi lose didn’t seem to work here. I thought she was debuting here? I get that you can lose a debut, but you have to have a bigger plan than “better luck next time”.

Match #6: (Main Event) Keith Lee & Lio Rush def. Damian Priest & Tony Nese

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

“Santa” Keith Lee & Lio Rush spread holiday cheer to all on this week’s NXT — at least, to all but their opponents. Lee & Rush joined forces to defeat Damian Priest & Tony Nese in tag-team action, using creative teamwork to put their opponents away. Dressed in a Santa hat with a trayful of cookies in tow on his way to the ring, it was clear that The Limitless Superstar was in the Christmas spirit, though that didn’t keep him from dishing out punishment. Lee laid out Nese with a Jackhammer, but that was only a tune-up for the grand finale. Ascending to his partner’s shoulders after tagging in, Rush delivered The Final Hour from atop Lee to seal the victory.

My Opinion: 3.3 out of 5 – As a main event, this worked for sending the crowd home happy, but this wasn’t the most exciting match you’ll ever see on this show. Lee was a big deal here and every-body else performed like Vaudeville on Viagra. I thought this had plenty of action and delivered a nice match to end a good Christmas edition of NXT.

Final Verdict: 3.4/5

This was a pretty good show that played it safe, yet offered a big debut for Theory that saw him lose but look like a big star in doing so.

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