22nd Jan2021

‘WWE NXT’ Review (Jan 20th 2021)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s NXT review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and when you drive a car, you need to watch where you are going. Don’t believe me? Ask the bicycler who I ran over about a mile back. Bicycler: Yeah, you jack-ass! I’m ready for wrestling. Are you ready for wrestling? Who gives a f—. Give me candy. I want candy! I want candy! I’m a power-bottom and NXT begins now.

Match #1: Leon Ruff & Kushida def. Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First-Round Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The Way got off to a strong start, but Leon Ruff instantly changed the pace in he and Kushida’s favor upon tagging in, putting Austin Theory on his heels. Ruff later found himself in desperate straits against the more powerful Theory, eventually breaking free from his grasp to tag in Kushida. NXT’s resident Time Splitter once again got the better of Johnny Wrestling, pinning him for the second time in recent weeks, this time to advance to the second round.

My Opinion: 7 out of 10

Match #2: Karrion Kross def. Ashante “Thee” Adonis

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Yet another opponent proved to be little more than chum in the water for Karrion Kross. NXT’s doomsday deviant decimated Ashante “Thee” Adonis with no hesitation or wasted movement, flattening him with two Doomsday Saitos. Stalking Adonis back up to his feet, Kross put him to bed with a huge forearm blow to the back of the neck. Afterward, Kross targeted Desmond Troy, Adonis’ tag team partner in the Dusty Classic, leaving him lying as well after putting him out with the Kross Jacket.

My Opinion: 2 out 10

Match #3: Lucha House Party def. Imperium in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First-Round Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado came out hot with dynamic tag team offense until Imperium took control behind a more methodical pace. But they could not keep Lucha House Party grounded for long, as The King of the Ropes dazzled with a springboard hurricanrana and a springboard moonsault on Fabian Aichner. Metalik & Dorado later followed with a spectacular missile dropkick-sunset flip combination, only to net a near-fall after Marcel Barthel broke up their cover. Metalik knocked Imperium into disarray with a hurricanrana that sent Barthel careening into Aichner, then took out Aichner for good with a moonsault to the outside. Back in the ring, Dorado blasted Barthel with a huge superkick before connecting with a Shooting Star Press for the victory.

My Opinion: 7 out of 10

Match #4: Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Cater def. Toni Storm & Mercedes Martinez

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

As expected, Mercedes Martinez enforced her will early, nearly ending the bout in short order with a near-fall broken up by Kayden Carter following a huge powerslam. Once tagged in, Carter was the sparkplug her team needed as she battled Toni Storm. Io Shirai proved to be the ultimate difference-maker, though, as the NXT Women’s Champion pulled Martinez off the apron and achieved payback against her recent nemesis. With Storm isolated in the ring, Catanzaro hit a jaw-dropping twisting senton off the top rope to make good on her team’s promise to pull off the huge upset.

My Opinion: 6 out of 10

Match #5: Bronson Reed def. Tyler Rust

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Maybe Tyler Rust should have heeded Malcolm Bivens’ advice after all. Rust was unable to overcome Bronson Reed, who showcased his awesome strength and repeatedly overpowered Rust out of the ring completely. Reed picked up the win after hitting the Tsunami splash.

My Opinion: 4 out of 10

Match #6: (Main Event) Timothy Thatcher def. Tommaso Ciampa in the Fight Pit

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The latest chapter in this bitter rivalry began on the platforms high above the Fight Pit, both competitors battering each other with vicious strikes with the threat of plummeting below looming as a constant threat. Eventually, the battle made its way down, with Tommaso Ciampa stomping on Timothy Thatcher’s fingers as he clinged to the scaffolding above the Pit. Thatcher answered by digging deep into his sadistic bag of tracks, splaying Ciampa’s fingers and potentially fracturing his digits. But The Blackheart turned the tables by launching Thatcher into the cage, even while severely favoring his left hand. Ciampa had to resort to a low blow to escape a sleeper hold, making use of the match’s stipulations. Ciampa also got creative, using the referee’s back in impromptu fashion to elevate Thatcher for Willow’s Bell, but Thatcher beat the ensuing 10-count. The confrontation deteriorated into a sheer test of well, with Ciampa landing the Fairytale Ending and applying a rear-naked choke before being rammed into the cage. “The Professor of Pain” responded with a sleeper, and with Ciampa caught in the cage, Thatcher eventually locked in a brutal modified stretch muffler on The Blackheart’s surgically repaired knee to force a submission and once again plant his flag in the Fight Pit.

My Opinion: 8 out of 10

Final Verdict: 6/10

On a night where we had a few good matches, this was still a one-match show and that match was the main event. We had bouts from two Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournaments, a grudge match and Kross mauling two men inside of a minute or so, but none of that really stuck in the mind like the Fight Pit. Thatcher and Ciampa had a great time ripping each other to pieces in a grueling fight to the bitter end. If you were hoping that this would be a gripping grappler, then you can thank Thatcher for sticking to his guns and firing only when he had a clear shot. Whereas Ciampa wrestled a WWE-style match, Thatcher showed why he is the most interesting wrestling in NXT by always going for the lock and the choke whenever he could. The cage was used to great effect in the main event and it really served to add atmosphere to the fight. Thatcher has really proven himself in this stipulation and the fact that he has been booked as the star of the gimmick match so far gives him something to brag about as well as promote himself with. I would think that Thatcher should be getting an NXT Championship match at some point this year. The main event proved that Thatcher can be as engrossing a competitor as any fighter at any point and that is readily evident after the Fight Pit came to its visceral conclusion. Overall, this was an average night with an incredible finale.

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