08th Jan2021

‘WWE NXT’ Review (Jan 6th 2021)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s special NXT episode called New Year’s Evil, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have plenty of good matches to get to here, so shut up and read a review of those matches. Don’t actually watch the show! What are you…stupid?! Why do stuff when you can let someone else do it and take away your chance at having any fun of your own? HOOBASTANK!

Match #1: Karrion Kross def. Damian Priest

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

These two powerhouses locked horns with uncontrollable fury from the opening bell. Damian Priest put Karrion Kross on his heels like we haven’t seen, attacking the arm and shoulder of “The Doomsday Deviant.” Meanwhile, Kross targeted Priest’s ribs with ruthless precision, but Priest dug deep to hit a Razor’s Edge and wowed the Capitol Wrestling Center when he hit a tope con hilo and top-rope spinning heel kick. But even that series of maneuvers and South of Heaven were not enough to put Kross away. Kross countered Priest’s attempt at the Reckoning with an overhead toss and huge powerbomb before flattening him with a powerslam on the steel steps. Priest defiantly continued to egg on Kross, and Kross obliged, hitting the Doomsday Saito and a huge forearm strike to remain undefeated in impressive fashion.

My Opinion: 3.8 out of 5

Match #2: Santos Escobar def. Gran Metalik – NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Another challenger, another conquest for Santos Escobar. Though Gran Metalik had Escobar shell-shocked early with spectacular offense, Escobar blocked a hurricanrana attempt and slammed him into the barricade to take control. Metalik rallied back behind more high-octane maneuvers, but he couldn’t overcome Escobar’s mastery of the squared circle. While Lince Dorado neutralized the rest of Legado del Fantasma at ringside, Escobar hung up Metalik on the ropes before planting him with the Phantom Driver to retain.

My Opinion: 3.8 out of 5

Match #3: Xia Li def. Katrina Cortez

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Xia Li looked like an absolute warrior in her return to NXT, arriving with Boa as well as the mysterious figure we saw presiding over their training in recent weeks. Katrina Cortez felt Li’s wrath as Li demonstrated a new look and new attitude, putting Cortez away after a huge step-up spinning kick.

My Opinion: 2.1 out of 5

Match #4: Raquel González def. Rhea Ripley – Last Woman Standing Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

With a rivalry boiling for weeks, Raquel González and Rhea Ripley may have put their issue to bed in brutal fashion. Ripley didn’t wait long to ratchet up the intensity, leveling “Big Mami Cool” with a Kendo stick early and handcuffing her to the barricade fencing at ringside. But González showcased her unbridled power, ripping her hand free before slamming Ripley through the announce table and burying her in the wreckage, though it didn’t keep Ripley down. The nemeses battled to the backstage area, destroying their surroundings as The Nightmare smashed Raquel through a glass door. Ripley risked it all by ascending lockers for a senton to her foe through a table before Dakota Kai attacked Ripley with a Kendo stick. Ripley stuffed Kai in a locker and refocused her attention on González. However, González stood tall, emerging from the ruins after smashing Ripley through the stage with a one-armed powerbomb, rendering her unable to answer the 10-count.

My Opinion: 4.3 out of 5

Match #5: Kushida & Shotzi Blackheart def. Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Johnny Gargano’s Curse Breaking Celebration didn’t exactly go according to plan. With no love lost for Candice LeRae, Shotzi Blackheart rolled her tank right into the ceremony, storming the ring to get her hands on The Poison Pixie. She also didn’t come alone, as Kushida provided backup, leading to an impromptu Mixed Tag Team Match as ordered by Dexter Lumis. NXT’s resident Time Splitter scored a major pinfall on Gargano, catching the NXT North American Champion for the three-count on a roll-through.

My Opinion: 3.1 out of 5

Match #6: (Main Event) Finn Bálor def. Kyle O’Reilly – NXT Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After having his jaw broken in their previous meeting at NXT TakeOver 31, Finn Bálor sought to give Kyle O’Reilly a dose of his own medicine, having vowed to do even more damage this time. But just as The Prince almost immediately targeted O’Reilly’s jaw, The Undisputed ERA’s martial-arts master focused his attack on Bálor’s left arm as another unfathomably physical battle ensued. The battle lines were reset after O’Reilly laid in a massive kick that not only downed Bálor, but also sent O’Reilly spilling out of the ring. Bálor continued to go after his opponent’s jaw and fought off a guillotine until O’Reilly transitioned expertly into a triangle. The Prince answered, applying a crossface that O’Reilly barely escaped. With one last burst, O’Reilly hit a huge superplex and a brainbuster for a near-fall before going back to the mat with an armbar. With Bálor eventually breaking free, O’Reilly measured him in the corner for a potentially decisive blow, but the champion caught him in the midsection with a devastating strike. The Prince locked in an abdominal stretch-crossface combination, leaving O’Reilly with no recourse but to tap out.

My Opinion: 5 out of 5

Final Verdict: 4.2/5

Overall, this was a great show. Two of the matches were weak, but they did not slow the show down at all. The opener was a good showing for Kross and a great one for Priest, who took a beating and made it look like a million bucks. Xia Li re-debuted after the Chinese government beat her on video for a month for being a woman. The Garganos got their asses handed to them in a fun brawl that did have some wrestling, but not enough to make this more than a glorified Unsanctioned Match. Santos and Gran worked hard to make their prize fight worth the effort and it was a consistent bout of excellent cruiser-weight action. Raquel had the best performance of her career so far in a match that gave her the biggest victory of her career by far. Rhea was the glue that held the match together, with Dakota Kai playing a part in selling the third act of the match was a big finale. Finally, that main event kicked ass. I don’t want Kyle and Finn to keep beating the hell out of each other every time they wrestle, but the match was still great, my misgivings aside. How are these two not dead yet? Finn’s face ends up looking more scratched than a heroin addict’s arm after the two-for-one special. I don’t remember what I rated their first match, but I may just go back and rate both of these as a 5 out of 5. Hell with it…the Finn/Kyle 1 is now a 5 out of 5 if it wasn’t before. While not the perfect show, this was a great show none the less and I had a lot of fun with it.

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