NXT VS. NXT UK WORLDS COLLIDE 1/25: Full results and match analysis for Undisputed Era vs. Imperium, Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm, Moustache Mountain vs. DIY, more

By Kelly Wells, PWTorch contributor



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WORLDS COLLIDE REPORT
JANUARY 25, 2020
HOUSTON, TEX. AT THE TOYOTA CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK

Announcers: Nigel McGuinness, Tom Phillips

[PRE-SHOW]

-Charly Caruso set the stage for the night of NXT vs. NXT:UK action. Sam Roberts and Andy Shepherd joined her on the ramp. Sam took a shot at Texas. Andy Shepherd has been the ring announcer for the UK brand since the beginning.

-Rundown of Undisputed Era vs. Imperium. Sam and Andy promoted their home country’s factions.

(1) MIA YIM vs. KAY LEE RAY

Nigel and Tom called this match. Ray’s UK Women’s Championship wasn’t on the line. Yim entered first. She’s not likely to win here, but it’s good to see Yim back on a mid-major show.

Yim charged immediately with a dropkick and mudhole stomp in the corner. Cannonball for a two count. Ray shoved Yim off and slapped her. Yim smiled and threw chops and shots. Yim took down Ray and hit her on the back of the head with an axe kick. Huracanrana by Yim. Chop. Ray blocked an Irish whip and hit a hard forearm, but Yim hit a basement dropkick for two. Tornado DDT by Ray for two. “Let’s go Mia/Kay Lee Ray” dueling chant slightly favored Ray, interestingly.

Chinlock by Ray, who shoved Yim back to the mat and then stepped on her collarbone. She stepped on Yim’s hair and yanked on her until the ref (Wuertz) broke it up. Hard palm strike by Ray in the corner, but Yim came out of the corner with some chops. Superkick by Ray for two. Ray went up top and looked to the crowd, who mostly booed. A senton missed.

To the corner, enzuigiri by Yim and a DDT for two. Yim hit a few lefts but Ray floated over; Yim hit a backdrop. Ray bailed and Yim hit a tope. Back into the ring, and Ray hit a superkick to keep Yim out. Ray charged the corner, went up and hit a senton to the outside. “NXT” chant. Back in. The two stood and threw palm strikes, chops and forearms. Ray wanted a Gory Bomb but Yim reversed into Code Blue for two. Yim went for Seoul Food and Ray blocked, and hit it herself for two. Ray wanted the Gory Bomb again, but Yim blocked. Ray tried a huracanrana but Yim hit a powerbomb for two. Yim threw a few knees, then hit a destroyer for a long two. Yim looked to grab an arm but rolled Ray up for two. Yim hit an Okana roll for two. Ray rolled over to the top and grabbed the second rope, out of view of Wuertz, to finish.

WINNER: Kay Lee Ray at 9:14.

(Wells’s Analysis: Very good pre-show match. The two meshed very well and Ray’s technical mastery was a good match for Yim’s impact offense. Yim was the right worker for this match, as she can absorb a loss for now, and the women’s champion on the other side should go over, but the match may have raised Yim’s stock)

-Caruso, Roberts and Shepherd promoted the Ripley-Storm match. Roberts said nobody is unbeatable and Ripley is acting like a dominant champion when she’s only had the title for a month.

-Moustache Mountain arrived outside. Elsewhere, DIY shared a nod. A video package recapped the various successes of each team. Roberts said he wished the match was in New York because Texas doesn’t deserve it. Shepherd referred to this as the “dreamiest” match on the card.

[WORLDS COLLIDE]

-Some Winston Churchill soundbytes led into some garbage rock playing over hype for several of tonight’s matches.

-Nigel McGuinness and Tom Phillips teed up the show at ringside.

(1) FINN BALOR vs. ILJA DRAGUNOV

Balor was introduced first and did his finger guns into the camera. Ilja came out to a muted reaction and some scattered boos.

Collar and elbow. Waistlock by Balor, reversed. Wristlock escaped. Finn grabbed a headlock and a small “Let’s go Finn” chant got going. Dragunov escaped with a headscissors and took hold of a headlock of his own. Balor tried to roll up Ilja and got one. Ilja ran the ropes and hit a cross-body for one. Ilja taunted Finn, mostly to boos. Finn moved in and Ilja slapped him. Sunset flip by Dragunov, but Finn slapped him. Finn dumped Ilja and hit him with a basement dropkick. A brief Bullet Club chant got going.

Ilja grabbed an armlock and backed Finn into a a corner. He came in with a knee. Balor went for his enzuigiri over the ropes, but Ilja blocked. Dragunov came off the second rope and hit Finn with a cross-body. He fired up and the crowd booed. Curious how many know he’s one of the defining babyfaces on his brand. Ilja went for a double stomp on Balor on the outside, but Balor moved. Balor beat down Ilja to an eight count and took him back in the ring. Snap mare and dropkick by Finn for two.

Finn went for another headlock. Ilja powered out but Finn hit a body slam and an elbow drop for two. Finn stomped down on Ilja’s chest in the corner. He hit a chop in the corner and covered for one. Headlock into a chinlock. Some of the crowd tried to get Ilja into it. Finn couldn’t hit a suplex (or DDT?), but Ilja could. Huge lariat by Dragunov. Another in the corner. Ilja went up and dropped a knee for two. Ilja held Finn with one arm and chopped the hell out of his neck with the other. Ilja hit a rising knee for two. Fireman’s carry by Dragunov, but Finn escaped out the back and hit a double stomp. Finn and Ilja exchanged rights and chops. Finn went for a Pele kick but Ilja blocked. Finn wanted 1916 but it was blocked. He was able to drop an elbow on Ilja. Sling blade. Ilja popped up and dropkicked Finn, then hit a deadlift German with a bridge for a long two.

Ilja hit a lariat that put Finn out of the ring. He went up and hit a knee, then rolled Balor in and went coast-to-coast with a dropkick for two. Finn was bleeding, perhaps from the last dropkick, on the bridge of his nose. Dragunov went for a senton up top but Finn got the knees up. Coup de Grace by Balor. 1916 and that was it.

WINNER: Finn Balor at 13:50.

(Wells’s Analysis: The audience’s reaction was less negative than seemingly ignorant of Dragunov, or else they’re just going to cheer for NXT US wrestlers in every match regardless. Like in his match with Cesaro, Dragunov gained something in defeat. The counters here were a lot of fun. Good opener)

-Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm pumped themselves up in their respective locker rooms.

-Cathy Kelley caught up with Grizzled Young Veterans and the Broserweights, sitting at ringside. She had breaking news that the winners of the match would not only win the Dusty Cup, but would get an NXT Tag Team Championship match at TakeOver: Portland. Zack Gibson took the mic and said his opponents were solid singles competitors but they were a great team. Matt Riddle got a huge reaction and asked why GYV was so serious. He said he was grinning from ear to ear, and so was Pete Dunne. Dunne, of course, was not smiling. “That’s his happy face,” Riddle said. “I’ll be blunt,” Dunne said, “Matt Riddle’s gonna smoke both of you.” Riddle, of course, celebrated both puns.

(Wells’s Analysis: I’ve been very much looking forward to this match and I’m bummed it’s not on this show, but this was a good extra hype segment. I called GYV as my tournament favorite at the outset, but with UE’s tag team championships on the line at TakeOver, it’s much more likely that the faces get the nod)

(2) ISAIAH “SWERVE” SCOTT vs. TRAVIS BANKS vs. JORDAN DEVLIN vs. ANGEL GARZA (c) – Fatal Four-way match for the Cruiserweight Championship

Swerve, Devlin, Banks, and then Garza entered. Garza had kinesiotape on his shoulder. Formal introductions took place in low light. Devlin got an okay reaction and Banks less so. Both Swerve and Garza were popular with the crowd. “Let’s go Garza” chant got going. Phillips called out that Garza was a “fan favorite in a lot of ways, but not a locker room favorite,” so we’re being reminded he’s a heel for now.

Garza hit forearms on all three others. He tried to bow to them and they all kicked him. Devlin hit a backbreaker on Banks, on Swerve for two. Swerve hit a superkick on Banks for two. Flatliner on Devlin. Headscissor takedown for Banks. “Swerve” chant. Devlin dumped him and went for a moonsault, but Swerve caught him and backdropped him. PK by Banks on Swerve. Garza got in on it and Banks hit a double stomp on his chest. All four guys were on the outside. Banks chopped Swerve and kicked Garza. He stalked and chopped Devlin. Forearms for Swerve. Banks rolled Swerve inside and hit him with a PK. He hit another couple of kicks. Garza jumped in and Banks traded kicks on Swerve and Garza. Banks ducked and Swerve kicked Garza. Banks hit a tope on Devlin, then a cannonball on both other two. He tossed Devlin into Swerve and Garza.

Devlin tossed Banks to the apron and hit a DDT on Swerve and a Spanish Fly on Garza for two. All four guys sold on the mat and threw kicks. To their knees, they threw rights. Back to their feet. Kneelift by Garza on Devlin. He ripped off his pants to a big reaction. The Garza held Devlin and Banks jumped up and Garza caught him too. Swerve hit Banks with a stomp from the top, bringing them all down. Garza made a cover for two.

Garza and Swerve paired off. Knee by Swerve, but Devlin ran in to clear Swerve as he attempted House Call on Garza. Devlin wanted the DevlinSide on Banks, but Banks reversed to a Destroyer. “This is awesome” chant. Banks went up, and Garza charged him and tossed him to the outside. Garza went up and Swerve chopped him off the top. Garza and Swerve both went up the corner and Devlin threw punches, then joined both at the top. They were all standing on the very top, and Devlin hit a Spanish Fly on both. Banks hit Devlin with Slice of Heaven and the Kiwi Crusher for a surprisingly believable near-fall.

Banks regrouped and all four recovered. Garza and Devlin rolled from the ring and Banks and Swerve paired off and exchanged chops. To the corner, Swerve caught Banks in an…inverted Falcon Arrow? For two. Garza went up top and hit a reverse rana on Swerve. Garza hit Wing Clipper on Swerve, but Devlin tossed Garza. Devlin hit DevlinSide on Swerve and covered for the three. New champion.

WINNER: Jordan Devlin at 12:04.

(Wells’s Analysis: I can’t imagine seeing more action than that in twelve minutes. I’ve been leaning toward a Devlin victory for a bit now, thinking something special had to happen at this show, and the UK had to take a couple of wins somewhere. It’ll be interesting to see where Devlin takes the championship from here, and how this effects 205 Live. Banks felt kind of like an also-ran before the match, as he’s still firmly in a gatekeeper role, but he got a great featured segment. Garza seemed primed for a long reign and this show likely changed plans; his next move will be interesting too)

-Devlin stood on the announce table and got a good bit of cheers. He asked if the crowd believes him now.

-Keith Lee and Mia Yim stood at ringside. They got a great reaction when they were shown. Tom didn’t cross over into acknowledging the real-life relationship and just said Yim was “showing her support.” Elsewhere, Robert Stone and Chelsea Green sat in the front row.

-A video package hyped Moustache Mountain vs. DIY, up next.

(3) MOUSTACHE MOUNTAIN (Tyler Bate & Trent Seven) vs. DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano)

MM entered to, unsurprisingly, the best reaction for UK guys so far. DIY got what was probably the pop of the night, though Keith Lee is in that conversation. Gargano slapped hands on the way to the ring as Ciampa kept it intense, walking down the center of the ramp.

“DIY” chant. Bate started with Gargano. Collar and elbow. Wristlock by Gargano; Bate escaped but got put to the mat as Gargano grabbed another. Sunset flip by Bate but Gargano transitioned to an armbar. “Johnny Wrestling/Big strong boy” dueling chant. Bate escaped and the two reset. Headlock by Gargano. Nigel picks DIY because of how many big matches they’ve been in; both these teams have lost the vast majority of their big matches, so it’s a marvel that it still feels like such a dream match.

Bate ran the ropes and hit a headscissor takedown. Bate went for Tyler Driver ’97 but Gargano escaped. Repeated counters. Bate caught Gargano’s leg and set it down to cheers. The two shook hands and tagged for the first time, almost five minutes in.

Tommaso did the moustache tweak, and Seven responded with the same. Ciampa then showed off his muscles. Seven acted like he would do the same, but shook Ciampa’s hand instead to laughs. They exchanged just a couple of moves and Bate tagged back in. Ciampa made light of Tyler’s height and they did a test of strength. They exchanged control a couple of times, and Bate hit a sunset flip. Both still held on, and bridged up. They stood for a reset. Bate did his pageant wave and Ciampa gave him his goodbye wave in response. Ciampa cleared Bate and hit a knee to send him to the floor. Gargano hit a PK on Trent elsewhere. Ciampa tossed Bate over the announce table, and Ciampa and Gargano did the applause, self-back-pat spot together to a huge reaction on the apron.

Ciampa went at Bate with a few punches, then tagged Gargano. Gargano did a muscle pose, then gave Bate a snap mare and dropkicked the back of his neck for two. Ciampa tagged in. Chop by Ciampa. Ciampa dook down Bate with a headlock and Bate reached futilely for Seven. Ciampa yanked Bate back to the center of the ring and the crowd cheered Bate on. Bate was able to sneak under Ciampa’s legs and make the tag. Gargano tagged in as well and Seven dominated both opponents. Backdrops and slaps for both. Powerbomb on Ciampa for two. Lariat for two. Seven wanted the Seven Star Lariat but Ciampa blocked it with a big boot. Both guys tagged. Gargano hit a dropkick on Bate, then hit both MM guys with DDTs.

Gargano chopped Bate in the corner. He charged and got sent to the apron, but Gargano speared a charging Bate for two. Things broke down with all four and at the end, Gargano hit a tope on Bate before action went back in. Ciampa hit his draping DDT on Seven. DDT by Gargano on Bate got two. Tag to Ciampa, and DIY hit tandem boots. Seven took out Gargano and Bate and Ciampa went at it in the ring. Project Ciampa was blocked. Tyler Driver blocked. Tyler Driver hit for two; this was probably meant to be broken up as the other two hit the ring and things got messy for a bit. Dueling chant favored DIY about 70-30.

Gargano went for an avalanche in the corner, but Bate caught him for a uranage. Capoeira kick by Bate. Gargano Escape was blocked and Bate did his spin move, but Gargano rolled into Gargano Escape. Ciampa headed off Seven but Bate broke the hold. MM each picked up a DIY guy for rolling airplane spins.

Reset and Seven tagged in. Bate went for a springboard lariat but Gargano moved and Bate hit Seven. Bate was in the middle of the ring and DIY wanted their superkick move; MM stood up in the middle of the ring and hit hard rights. Tandem BirmingHammer got a long two on Ciampa. “NXT” chant. Seven tagged in again and MM slammed Ciampa, then they went for a tandem top-rope move but Ciampa blocked and covered for two.

The two teams regrouped and met in the center of the ring to exchange strikes. Bate jumped into a tandem superkick. DIY had Seven primed for their Meeting in the Middle. Ciampa covered Seven for the three.

WINNERS: DIY at 22:54.

(Wells’s Analysis: This figured to be the show’s best match, and though it’ll have stiff competition, I figure this should hold. The first ten minutes, with the various shows of respect and the fun spots, set the stage before it got stiff and violent. It really didn’t matter who won this as all four guys are singles wrestlers who just happen to occasionally wrestle in great teams)

-DIY extended hands and hugs after the match, which Moustache Mountain accepted. All four guys held up their arms after the match to cheers.

-TakeOver: Portland spot.

-Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai hit ringside to attempt to beat each other down. The crowd booed as they were pulled apart. They have a match on Wednesday, but hopefully there’s a lot more build to the eventual ending to the feud.

-Video package hype for the Women’s Championship. Bianca Belair was sitting at ringside.

(4) RHEA RIPLEY (c) vs. TONI STORM – NXT Women’s Championship

Challenger entered first to a decent reaction. Rhea swaggered to the ring to the usual strong reaction. The first few rows had been handed printouts saying Rhea Ripley’s name, like the Cesaro Section. Formal introductions took place. Storm didn’t get booed here…yet.

The two circled around one another. Collar and elbow. Rhea backed Storm into a corner and made a clean break. Big dueling chant was 70-30 Rhea or so. Storm took a wristlock, but Toni escaped and hit a couple of palm strikes, and then a basement dropkick. Big forearms by Toni, but Rhea stopped her with a big palm strike. Storm slapped Storm’s back and Ripley glared at her. Ripley put Storm into a corner and charged a couple of times before the ref broke it up. Storm surprised Ripley with a snap suplex on the turnbuckle. Ripley rolled out of the ring, selling the injury, and it looked bad at first but nobody came to check up.

Storm dragged Rhea into the ring and hit a suplex. Rhea grabbed at her neck again. STF by Storm. Ripley fought to the ropes and broke the hold. DDT by Ripley for two. Given that Storm continues to target the injury, as good a job as they’ve done to suggest it’s an injury, it’s just to sow doubt in the outcome. Storm kept working the neck, stomping on it. Storm covered for one. Rhea got to her feet and fired up with a big forearm. The two exchanged palm strikes and fists. Lariats by Ripley. Kneelift, two, three. Big basement dropkick by Ripley, and a big boot in the corner. Ripley continued to sell the back of the neck. RIpley slammed Storm and kicked at her. Rhea did her standing cloverleaf, grabbing at her neck even while attempting to keep a hold on the move.

Storm crawled to the ropes, but Ripley yanked her back to the center. Storm rolled over to break. Ripley went for Ripltide but Storm shifted in the air and landed on Ripley for two. Storm went for Storm Zero but Ripley blocked. German suplex with a bridge by Storm for two. “Aussie Aussie Aussie” chant. Which Aussie? Headbutt by Storm, but a frog splash missed. Riptide finished.

WINNER: Rhea Ripley at 10:07.

(Wells’s Analysis: I’m torn on the neck injury. If kayfabe, it gave an excuse for Rhea not to totally dominate an opponent, but it really did have a deleterious effect on the quality of the match. The crowd completely left for most of it, though it was a perfectly fine match.)

-At ringside, Bianca Belair mockingly cheered and pointed at Rhea’s belt. Rhea jawed back at her as the scene faded to a Royal Rumble spot.

-Backstage, Johnny Gargano was being interviewed but Finn Balor struck. Moustache Mountain showed up to break it up.

-Long video package hype for the main event.

(5) THE UNDISPUTED ERA (Adam Cole & Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) vs. IMPERIUM (Walter & Alexander Wolfe & Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel)

UE was introduced first; poor Roddy was the only one without a belt around his waist. They got a monster reaction and the “Adam Cole, Baybay” bit was as loud as it’s ever been. Imperium got a great reaction as well and the audience chanted “Walter” along with the Dvorak piece.

“USA” chant. Haven’t heard that old chestnut on NXT in a while. O’Reilly and Aichner opened. Quick reversals led to a takedown by Aichner. O’Reilly rolled Aichner into an armbar, but Aichner reached to ropes. O’Reilly (kicks) and Aichner (European uppercuts) exchanged strikes. To the corner, Aichner hit a powerslam on O’Reilly. Barthel tagged in and hit an uppercut on O’Reilly for a one count. Barthel blocked a couple of kicks and hit a palm strike. Strong tagged in and hit a backbreaker for one. Barthel hit a chop and Wolfe tagged in. Snap mare set up an uppercut by Barthel. Wolfe hit Roddy with a some uppercuts and wrenched the arm, but Roddy chopped his way out and tagged Bobby Fish, so everyone’s been in the match but the captains.

Tandem kick by Strong and Fish, and Fish covered Wolfe. Referee (Wuertz) put up the X symbol to back Fish up, and the camera lingered long on Fish while the announcers went quiet. Wolfe was walked to the back by some officials and the captains got in. Cole got Walter to the UE corner and stomped him down. Strong came in and hit a few strikes but Walter put Strong down with a big boot.

Barthel tagged in and stomped Strong in a neutral corner. Strong came back with some forearms. Cole tagged in and the two took down Barthel. Cole mounted Barthel and threw shots, then dropped a double ax-handle. Cole backed Barthel into the UE corner and Fish tagged in and stomped Barthel down. O’Reilly in now. A few more shots. Strong in now. Chops and kicks from he and O’Reilly. Walter tried to charge into the ring as Strong mocked the Imperium stance. Fish tagged in and hit a snap mare. Cole in. Neckbreaker for two. “Undisputed/Walter” dueling chant.

Cole put Barthel in a headlock. Barthel got to his feet but Cole hit a back-cracker for two. Cole dragged Barthel back to his corner and O’Reilly tagged in and relentlessly went to work with knees on a grounded Barthel. O’Reilly mocked Walter and Barthel hit O’Reilly with a backdrop and tagged Walter to a big reaction. Walter beat down O’Reilly. German suplex by Walter. Clubbing palm strike. O’Reilly reversed a slam into a guillotine, but Walter powered out. Strong jumped in to try to help, but Walter suplexed both. Barthel and Aichner both made tags so they could hit a tandem shot on O’Reilly. Barthel covered for two. Ax-handle by Barthel for two.

Aichner tagged in and threw a shot to the breadbasket. Headlock by Aichner. O’Reilly got to his feet but Aichner put him back down with a knee. Walter tagged in and put a shot to O’Reilly’s ribs. Big body slam and an earthquake by Walter. O’Reilly got backed into the Imperium corner and fought them off for a moment but Walter hit a huge chop to a loud crowd reaction and covered for two. Aichner tagged in and kept O’Reilly in their corner. Irish whip, and Barthel tagged in. Walter tagged in and O’Reilly crawled through his legs for the tag. Strong and Walter chopped each other to hell and Strong hit his drive-by elbows until Walter cut it off with a lariat. Walter wanted a powerbomb but Strong reversed. Aichner tagged in but got caught in the Stronghold. Aichner broke out and hit some European uppercuts. Both guys rolled to their corners and Bobby Fish and Marcel Barthel entered.

Aichner and Barthel double-teamed Fish for a moment and Barthel hit an air raid crash for two. Aichner and Barthel wanted their finisher but Fish backdropped Aichner and dropkicked Barthel. Cole tagged in and couldn’t hit Panama Sunrise or an ushigoroshi, but he hit an enquigiri. Ushigoroshi hit, but Walter broke up the cover. Walter got hammered by Strong, Fish and O’Reilly in the corner until Wuertz broke it up. Walter got pitched to the outside and UE cleared off Nigel and Tom’s announce table. Walter fought off UE and wanted to put Strong through the table, but O’Reilly stopped that. Walter continued to beat down all three, and he uncovered the Spanish announce table as well. Big “Walter” chant.

Walter took O’Reilly up to the Spanish announced table, but Strong cut him off. Strong hopped up and back suplexed Walter through the English announce table.

In the ring, Adam Cole and Marcel Barthel were legal. Barthel hit an uppercut on Cole. O’Reilly looked to assist but Aichner jumped in and they hit their tandem brainbuster. Cole hit a superkick on Barthel, and then also a flying Aichner. Cole hit a sort of ushigoroshi to the front and covered for two.

Reset and UE was able to work 4-on-2. O’Reilly and Fish double-teamed Aichner with a dragon screw. O’Reilly hit a knee from the top and then worked a kneebar, looking for a submission. Barthel reached the ropes, and Aichner hit a moonsault on O’Reilly. Outside, Strong and Fish went after Aichner. Walter got back up to his corner, and Barthel finally made the hot tag and took on Cole. He chopped all of UE into oblivion. Cole hit a superkick and another, but got chopped and cleared out. Walter hit lariats on O’Reilly and Strong, and a powerbomb on Strong. Walter hit a frog splash on Walter. Last Flash by Cole and a cover, but Aichner broke it up. “NXT” chant.

Everyone was in the ring selling. They all met to exchange fists in the ring. Walter put a sleeper on Fish, but O’Reilly put one on Walter. They hit High-Low on Walter. Barthel hit a Spanish Fly on Strong on the outside, and Cole and Aichner hit topes. Walter and Fish were legal. Fish missed a moonsault. Huge dropkick by Walter. Powerbomb on Fish was good to finish.

WINNERS: Imperium at 29:51.

-After the match, Imperium hit their pose. Walter held up his belt as Aichner and Barthel stood at his sides. A few highlights from throughout the night played, like in the old Coliseum Video days. At the end of that, Imperium stood tall at the top of the ramp in silhouette as the show faded out.

(Wells’s Analysis: Well, this match ended up being match of the night after all. It was stiff (just ask Alexander Wolfe) and brutal throughout. Everyone did great work, but Walter was absolutely the star of the match. I’m not sure if the brand squabble will last, but Walter is in need of realistic challengers to his Championship, so maybe we’ll get something further out of this.)


FINAL THOUGHTS: This show, which could easily have been a throwaway show, felt like much more given the work in the ring and an intriguing title change. Alexander Wolfe’s injury – to his jaw? – looked like it was at least somewhat serious. Here’s hoping Rhea’s injury was just kayfabe, and it seems Finn Balor may have broken his nose as well.

Assuming everyone is healthy or at least somewhat close to that, NXT just had a great show that should also build interest for Portland, as Finn-Gargano and the Dusty Classic Final are both represented. High recommendation for this show; there’s really no fat on the bone worth skipping. Tonight I’ll do a podcast with Tom Stoup and Nate Lindberg about tonight’s event, so look for that either late tonight or tomorrow morning.

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