The following is the latest in a new series of weekly in-depth articles exclusive to PWTorch which will help put in perspective major wrestling promotions with a weekly overview, looking at news and roster developments, results, future line-ups, social media activity, key interviews, plus a timely commentary at the end. We will be featuring similar features on other promotions each week and each will be updated weekly.
•Top Stories of the Week
- The two top champions in NXT both retained their titles Saturday night at NXT TakeOver Phoenix. Shayna Baszler handed Bianca Belair her first loss under the NXT umbrella and retained the NXT Women’s Championship. NXT Men’s Champion Tommaso Ciampa successfully defended his title in a battle with Aleister Black in the main event of the evening.
- There were, however, two new champions crowned the very same night. The War Raiders completed their takeover of the tag division by defeating The Undisputed Era to become the bring spankin’ new NXT Tag Team Champions. Last but not least, in an early match of the year candidate, Johnny Gargano took down Ricochet to become the new NXT North American Champion.
- NXT was well represented on Sunday’s main roster Royal Rumble Pay Per View. Aleister Black and Johnny Gargano appeared in the men’s royal rumble while Io Shirai, Karai Sane, Xo Deli, Candice LeRae, and Kasey Catanzaro represented the women of NXT in the women’s royal rumbleww.
- The WWE Network will take halftime of the Super Bowl as an opportunity to showcase some the NXT’s top talent with the return of Halftime Heat. NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa, NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano, and Adam Cole with take on Velveteen Dream, Alesiter Black, and Ricochet in a six man tag match.
•NXT Live Event Results
January 24 San Diego, Calif.
- Matt Riddle beat Kassius Ohno
- Kairi Sane and Io Shirai beat Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke
- Velveteen Dream beat Dominik Dijakovic
- The Street Profits beat The Forgotten Sons
- Tyler Bate beat Adam Cole
- The War Raiders beat Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong by DQ
- Rey Mysterio interrupted Kona Reeves promo and hit a 619
- NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler beat Bianca Belair to retain title
- Johnny Gargano beat Aleister Black
(Results courtesy of wrestlinginc.com)
January 25 Riverside Calif.
- Johnny Gargano beat Tyler Bate
- Candice LeRae, Io Shirai, and Kairi Sane beat Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir
- Ricochet and War Raiders beat The Undisputed Era (Fish, Strong, O’Reilly)
- Matt Riddle beat Kassius Ohno
- The Street Profits beat The Forgotten Sons
- The Velveteen Dream beat Adam Cole
(Results courtesy of wrestling-news.net)
•Upcoming Major Show Line-up: NXT TakeOver New York
NXT TakeOver New York
April 5, 2019
Brooklyn, NY (Barclays Center)
- Tommaso Ciampa (NXT Men’s Champion) vs. ?
- War Raiders (NXT Tag Team Champions) vs. ?
- Johnny Gargano (NXT North American Champion) vs. ?
- Shayna Baszler (NXT Women’s Champion) vs. ?
Thursday Jan. 31 – Highlands Today Center (Sebring, Fla.)
Friday Feb. 1 – Orlando Live Events (Casselberry, Fla.)
Saturday Feb. 2 – Lakeland Armory (Lakeland, Fla.)
Thursday Feb. 7 – The Reserve Pavilion at Hilton Ocala (Ocala, Fla.)
Thursday Feb. 7 – RWJ Barnabas Arena (Toms River, New Jersey)
Friday Feb. 8 – St. Petersburg Armory (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Friday Feb. 8 – Mid-Hudson Civic Center (Poughkeepsie, New York)
Saturday Feb. 9 – Lowell Memorial Auditorium (Lowell, MA)
Saturday Feb. 9 – Sanford Civic Center (Sanford, Fla.)
Sunday Feb. 10 – Ryan Center (Kingston, Rhode Island)
Thursday Feb. 14 – Bartow Armory (Bartow, Fla.)
Friday Feb. 15 – Cocoa Armory (Cocoa, Fla.)
Saturday Feb. 16 – Mark Lance Armory (St. Augustine, Fla.)
Friday Feb. 22 – Havert L. Fenn Center (Fort Pierce, Fla.)
Thursday Feb. 28 – Express Live! (Columbus, Ohio)
Thursday Feb. 28 – University Area CDC Gymnasium (Tampa, Fla.)
Friday Mar. 1 – The Stage AE (Pittsburgh, Penn.)
Saturday Mar. 2 – Maxwell Snyder Armory (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Saturday Mar. 2 – Agora Theatre (Cleveland, Ohio)
Sunday Mar. 3 – Royal Oak Music Center (Detroit, Mich.)
Thursday Mar. 7 – Minnireg Hall (Largo, Fla.)
Saturday Mar. 9 – Crystal River Armory (Crystal River, Fla.)
Saturday Mar. 9 – Dade City Armory (Dade City, Fla.)
•Latest TV Highlights: 1/30 NXT TV Report
- (1) Io Shirai and Kairi Sane beat Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke by pinfall (6:17 – 12:58)
- Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet highlights from TakeOver plus Gargano post-match interview (14:43 – 17:07)
- Matt Riddle/Kassius Ohno highlights from TakeOver plus Riddle post-match interview (26:12 – 27:56)
- Tommaso Ciampa/Aleister Black highlight from TakeOver (28:36 – 33:31)
- (2) The Forgotten Sons beat The Street Profits by pinfall (42:34 – 49:53)
•NXT in the media
- Former NXT North American Champion Ricochet sat down with Mirror to discuss his secret to performing ridiculous aerial moves and has an awesome quote on why I think makes NXT so special. When speaking about the coaches and backstage people at NXT, “The coaches are there to bounce ideas off and stuff, but at the end of the day…they let us be us.” Ahhhhhhh imagine that Vince….they just let them be them. LINK
- Cathy Kelly interviewed Triple H immediately after NXT TakeOver Phoenix and he touched on what he just watched and how amazing the Johnny Gargano/Ricochet match was. He also commented on the post TakeOver brawl between the six men taking place in the Halftime Heat Super Bowl halftime show. LINK
•Latest NXT Podcast – “PWT Talks NXT” PWTorch Livecast
In this episode, Kelly Wells, Justin James, and Harley R. Pageot debate whether Shirai and Sane are better together or alone, talk about NXT talent in the Royal Rumble, predict matches for TakeOver on WrestleMania weekend, and more.
•NXT Year End Awards
- Breakout Star of the Year – Ricochet
- Match of the Year – Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Cien Almas
- Rivalry of the Year – Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
- Male Competitor of the Year – Tommaso Ciampa
- Female Competitor of the Year – Kairi Sane
- Overall Competitor of the Year – Kairi Sane
- Future Star of NXT – Io Shirai
- Tag Team of the Year – The Undisputed Era
•Top NXT Tweets of the Week
Ciampa Tweet of the Week
The Champ will NOT be participating in the Royal Rumble match to earn a future Title shot in the Main Event of Wrestlemania.
I already own the most coveted Title in Sports Entertainment.
Takeover is my Wrestlemania.
I am the Main Event.pic.twitter.com/fzNmIHcF1x
— BLACKHEART (@ProjectCiampa) January 27, 2019
Not. Too. Shabby.
First team in history to hold the @wwenxt Tag Team Championships, IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, and ROH World Tag Team Championships. #warraiders @warbeardhanson #worlddomination #jointheraid pic.twitter.com/K7iYFKbzcR
— Raymond Rowe (@RAYMONDxROWE) January 30, 2019
Preach Heyman, Preach….
When @TripleH was tasked w/ ensuring @WWE's future through the @WWENXT brand, he accepted he was accountable to future generations for the health of the industry. #NXT boasts the greatness of @ProjectCiampa. Want YOUR brand to stand out? That's the level you need to compete with! pic.twitter.com/7UuGnOWsVp
— Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) January 27, 2019
NXT is the coolest brand in professional wrestling….hands down.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 25, 2019
•Thoughts and Comments
- NXT TakeOver Phoenix once again outshined the Royal Rumble and the main roster this past weekend.
- The Johnny Garagno-Ricochet match was an absolute thing of beauty. Have you ever seen a wrestler land more aerial moves than Ricochet? Oftentimes you watch someone do a move like a shooting star press (cough cough Charlotte) and barely graze their opponent…but Ricochet is on the money and accurate every single time.
- I still can’t believe Johnny went over clean in the middle of the ring. Thank you, NXT; some unpredictability is welcomed.
- The Matt Riddle-Kassius Ohno battle was awesome because it was just so different. Riddle’s MMA style offense is unlike anything we’ve seen, and it was nice to see the King of All Bros tap into his rage.
- What more can I say about the NXT Tag Team Division? They just keep replenishing their ranks and keep putting on classic tag matches that have fans everywhere wondering…”Why can’t the main roster give me half of this!?” I can’t see any of the other tag teams stepping up right now so I think it’ll be Undisputed-War Raiders until further notice.
- I went back after TakeOver and watched the finals of the Mae Young Classic from 2017 because I’m just dumbfounded by how far Shayna Baszler has come in the ring. It was another awesome performance by her, and another layer to the story of Bianca Belair chasing gold.
- Tommaso Ciampa continues to be the number one wrestler under the WWE umbrella. He holds the most coveted title in WWE. Besides WarGames, Ciampa has now main evented five TakeOvers in a row, and they have all been fantastic. I have to think Aleister Black has a main roster call-up in the very near future.
- Where do they all go from here, as NXT has two and a half months to get ready for NXT TakeOver New York? Every title can go in a multitude of ways, and I can guarantee all the storylines will be well written, sensical, and entertaining. It’s nice when a brand can provide that.
NOW CHECK OUT OTHER WEEKLY OVERVIEWS HERE.