12th Mar2021

‘WWE NXT’ Review (Mar 10th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of WWE NXT, I’m filling in for Nathan on WWE third brand this week, which will be… interesting. Especially, if I’m honest, given the fact I only tend to watch NXT when a) it needs reviewing or b) its a pay per view. Yeah, I don’t conciusly choose to watch the WWE’s yellow brand each and every week. Let’s see if that effects my opinion of this weeks show.

Match #1: NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai def. Toni Storm

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Toni Storm disrespected Io Shirai right off the bat, and the bout quickly turned into a fiery slugfest. The former NXT UK Women’s Champion looked to put Shirai away early with a potential Storm Zero on the ring apron before Shirai countered with a brutal back body drop on the hardest part of the ring, then followed with a spectacular moonsault to the outside. As the action returned to the ring, this time Storm countered a second possible moonsault and planted Shirai with a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall. Storm again came up just shy of victory moments later, dropping Shirai with Storm Zero for a two-count. One mistake proved devastating for Storm, as Shirai countered her diving headbutt with a crossface in the center of the ring, leaving Storm with no choice but to tap out.

My score: 4 out of 5 – A superb match between two of NXT’s best female wrestlers. This is how you kick off a show!

Match #2: Pete Dunne def. Jake Atlas

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Pete Dunne dismantled Jake Atlas with his signature joint manipulation, zeroing in on Atlas’ left arm, hand and digits. Though Atlas fired back with a spirited rally to put Dunne on his heels, The BruiserWeight was simply too much to overcome, forcing Atlas to tap out, then daring any Superstars in NXT to step up and face him.

My score: 2 out of 5 – Meh. Dunne does his usual shtick, only Atlas saved this from being a complete dud.

Match #3: Shotzi Blackheat & Ember Moon def. Dakota Kai & Raquel González to become the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Unlike their last encounter at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day, Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon were able to dictate the pace of this bout and used their high-octane offense to prevent Dakota Kai & Raquel González from ever finding a rhythm. González saved Kai from Blackheart’s cover following a brutal double-team wheelbarrow slam, then countered Moon’s attempt at the Eclipse. But Blackheart sent Kai into both of them, causing them to crash to the outside. With González out of the picture, Blackheart caught Kai with a bridging matchbook cover for a three-count, shocking the newly crowned champions and swiftly ending their reign.

My score: 4 out of 5 – What’s that? TWO superb women’s matches in one night? I’m shook. WWE actually giving their female wrestlers some respect this week, with two matches that lasted more than 10 minutes and showcased everyone’s skills to almost-perfection!

Match #4: Xia Li def. Kayden Carter via disqualification

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Kayden Carter was seemingly ready for Xia Li’s attempt to ambush her immediately, but she eventually succumbed to Li’s vicious strikes. Kacy Catanzaro, who suffered a partially torn LCL two weeks ago at the hands of Li, put her crutches to use, leveling Li in the back with one for a disqualification. Payback was sweet for Catanzaro, who continued to batter Li with the crutch until Boa entered the ring and snapped the crutch in half. Mei Ying sent her ominous hand signal to Boa before Carter struck him in the back with the other crutch, allowing her and Catanzaro to escape Tian Sha.

My score: 0 out of 5 – A squash match with a DQ finish. Bottom of the barrel stuff.

Match #5: Legado del Fantasma def. Grizzled Young Veterans

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Legado del Fantasma and Grizzled Young Veterans had much more to worry about than each other. Two “astronauts” arrived with shades of Breezango’s entrance a week earlier, only to reveal themselves as MSK. Nash Carter & Wes Lee’s presence stunned GYV enough for Joaquin Wilde to catch James Drake with a sunset flip for the win. MSK weren’t done though, as Lee smashed Zack Gibson’s hand with his astronaut helmet, fitting retribution for his fractured hand thanks to GYV. Meanwhile, Breezango came for payback as well, ambushing Legado del Fantasma and returning the favor after being attacked last week.

My score: 0 out of 5 – Another DQ finish to a match that actually never really started. I know the main event is a huge deal this week but surely the WWE shouldn’t give up on the rest of the men’s matches?

Match #6: NXT Champion Finn Bálor def. Adam Cole

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Finn Bálor is still the NXT Champion due in part to a ghost from Adam Cole’s not-so-distant past. A “big fight” feel was undoubtedly in the air at the Capitol Wrestling Center, with Bálor motivated not only to preserve his title, but finally get a piece of Cole after the former NXT Champion had repeatedly gotten the better of him in recent weeks. Cole even attempted to do to Bálor what he did to put O’Reilly on the shelf, setting up for a suplex on the steel steps, only for Bálor to counter with a suplex on the unforgiving CWC ramp. Cole later regained control, only to be left in disbelief several by Bálor’s resilience. The Prince kicked out of a Last Shot and a Panama Sunrise, spurring Cole to attempt another Last Shot. However, Bálor countered and sent Cole flying out of the ring. That was where Cole shockingly came face to face with O’Reilly. With Cole frozen, Bálor hit a tope con hilo before spiking him with a devastating 1916 DDT on the floor. Back inside the ring, Bálor followed with the Coup de Grace to make the victory almost academic. O’Reilly wasn’t done with Cole, however. With The Panama City Playboy disingenuously begging for forgiveness, O’Reilly blocked a low blow attempt, tore Cole’s Undisputed ERA armband off and rained down lefts and rights, brutalizing his former best friend all over the Capitol Wrestling Center until referees could hold him back. Meanwhile, Bálor turned around in the ring to find himself face to face with Karrion Kross, who no doubt was fixated on The Prince’s NXT Championship — a title Kross never lost before being forced to relinquish it last summer.

My score: 4 out of 5 – Wow. Just wow. A superb end to NXT. But then what do you expect from two of the best wrestlers in WWE. Not just the best in NXT, the best in WWE. Though you’d never know that if you stuck to Raw and Smackdown… or talked to Vince McMahon!

News of the Night:

  • Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez both WON the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships and LOST them on the same show!
  • William Regal announced that the next NXT Takeover event will be across TWO nights.
  • Jordan Devlin cut a promo saying he’s on the way back to NXT. Yeah, leave him in the UK WWE, his reputation is only bad for the brand IMHO.
  • Next weeks matches:
    Austin Theory vs. Dexter Lumis
    LA Knight’s debut
    Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah Scott

Final Verdict: 3/5

Three superb matches, two complete duds and one average match. Sounds about right for NXT really – the brand that shows so much promise but then wastes time on the same stupid storytelling as WWE’s two big brands. When the wrestling is allowed to shine you get stuff like Shirai vs. Storm and Balor vs. Cole, when they focus more on story you get shitty DQ finishes and comedy skits. If they’d cut this down to just the 3 good matches this would’ve been a five-star episode. Honestly.


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