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MCLENDON’S NXT TV ALT-PERSPECTIVE REPORT
FEBRUARY 19, 2020
LIVE IN ORLANDO, FL. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY JAMES MCLENDON, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Beth Phoenix
-The show opened with highlights from TakeOver: Portland and also show the story of the Dream/Strong main event.
-Undisputed Era’s music played, bringing out the entire squad. It’s a little strange seeing the group coming out with only one championship. He said everyone else would also learn the hard way that he’s the greatest NXT Champion there’s ever been.
Dream’s music played. Dream’s voice played over the system and he said tonight, leave your boys at home, so what happens in the match is just for us.
(1) LIO RUSH vs. JORDAN DEVLIN (c) – Cruiserweight Championship match
The commentary team spent a lot of time talking about the next NXT UK ppv taking place in his home town. They spent a lot of time on the idea of Devlin and Balor both being from the same place and career paralells. The two started off running the ropes with Devlin rolling to the outside. The match went to an early split-screen break.
Devlin hit a moonsault, double knees and then a kick. Lio and Devlin went back and forth in the corner, but Devlin countered. Lio countered a standing moonsault from Devlin, but Devlin was able to come back with a release German for a two count.
Devlin delivered a knee strike and a suplex. Then he put Rush in a camel clutch, but Rush broke the hold. Devlin landed a Chop and uppercut in the corner. Rush went for the Come Up, but Devlin caught him and hit a backbreaker for two. Lio landed multiple chops while avoiding Devlin’s but Devlin cut him off with a chin drop.
Rush and Devlin both went for a cross body taking each other out. Lio landed a cross-body from the top for two. Devlin charged the corner and Lio threw him to the outside. Devlin hit Rush with a PK and missed the moonsault. Rush rolled up Devlin for a two count. Devlin came back with a standing Spanish Fly but Lio rolled into a Koji Clutch. Devlin broke the hold by getting to the bottom rope.
Lio went to the top for Final Hour, but Devlin cut his legs out on the turnbuckle. Devlin attempted a Spanish fly, but Lio countered his attack with a poisonrana. Lio missed Final Four, and Devlin hit a headbutt, then finished with DevlinSide.
WINNER: Jordan Devlin at 18:30.
(McLendon’s Analysis: Like usual in a Lio Rush match, there was a ton of action. This was another good credibility building win for Devlin to show the American audience how good he is. I hate matches with multiple commercial breaks and this one had two with one of them not being picture in picture.)
-Backstage, a male announcer interviewed Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Raquel said Dakota is somehow the outcast after WarGames. Well not anymore. Dakota said Raquel had her back, so now she has hers. William Regal intervened and made a match for two weeks from now, Kai will face Tegan Nox in a cage match.
-Austin Theory was introduced for a match, but Tommaso Ciampa came to the ring and grabbed the mic. Theory attempted to stop him, and Ciampa said “Listen man…not tonight. I’m telling you…not tonight.” He said he was so focused on getting Goldie back that he stopped paying attention to his surroundings and stopped listening to his instinctual voice inside. Ciampa said he knows why and Johnny knows why.
Austin Theory tried to attack, but Ciampa hit him in the head with the mic. He said to get his life back, there could be no Johnny Gargano in NXT. As Ciampa walked up the ramp, Theory tried to attack him again. Ciampa avoided and tossed him into the left and right barricades over and over.
-Backstage, there was a promotional photo shoot with Chelsea Green. Robert Stone was telling the cameraman how to do his job.
-Finn Balor vignette. He said next week, he’d be making his next move.
(2) RAUL MENDOZA & JOAQUIN WILDE vs. GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS (Zack Gibson & James Drake)
Gibson and Wilde started the action with standing switches and reversals until Gibson hit a knee. Drake tagged in and hit a shoulder block. Wilde did a rolling crucifix on Drake and he kicked out at two. Gibson tagged in and slammed Wilde. GYV made another quick tag and hit Wilde with a tandem power slam for a two count. Wilde hit a moonsault on Drake and both men made it to the corner and tagged. Mendoza hit clotheslines on both members of the other team. Then he followed up with a spinning back kick and an enzuigiri. Gibson cut off Mendoza with a double-chop to the throat and tagged Drake. GYV hit the Ticket to Mayhem for the three – count and the win.
WINNERS: Grizzled Young Veterans at 4:30.
(McLendon’s Analysis: I always enjoy Raul Mendoza, I would have rather saw Mendoza take most of the heat because that is what he’s best at. But, nonetheless a great showing from GYV. I am not sure whether they stay on the NXT roster or go back to NXT UK, however exposure – wise they appear to be the next team up for the Broserweights outside of an UE rematch. I also love Zack Gibson on the mic. His speaking ability helps back up their ability in the ring.)
(3) THE BROSERWEIGHTS (Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle) vs. ONEY LORCAN & DANNY BURCH
Burch and Dunne started the match off with back and forth holds and counter on the mat. After a tag, Lorcan went low for Riddle’s legs but he caught him with a gut-wrench suplex. Burch interfered and the Broserweights hit tandem gut-wrenches. Lorcan had a single-leg crab on Riddle, but he powered up and hit the Bro to Sleep. Burch tried to cut off the tag, but Riddle kicked him and tagged. Dunne kicked him and stomped on his fingers.
Burch put Riddle in a crossface on Riddle, but Dunne broke up Burch’s crossface with a kick. The two exchanged shots until Riddle hit a powerbomb and Burch followed up with a big punch that knocked Riddle into a tag. Lorcan came in and hit a running European uppercut. Lorcan went for a snapmare snap from the corner, but Dunne snapped his fingers. Dunne slammed Lorcan into a flash knee by Riddle for the three count.
WINNERS: The Broserweights at 11:00.
-Backstage, Roderick Strong told the rest of UE that he had to do this for himself.
-The Forgotten Sons cut a somewhat patriotic promo on the GYV. Those don’t really work for me in any sense because it’s not the early 1990’s or 2000’s. I hope they aren’t using that angle as a way to make them a babyface team.
-Keith Lee came to the ring and they replayed his appearance on Backstage
“Go bask in his glory” chant. As Lee was about to speak, Kona Reeves’s music played. Lee smiled out at him, amused. Reeves grabbed a mic but Lee laid him out with one punch. “You can ring the bell,” he said.
(4) KEITH LEE vs. KONA REEVES
Reeves ran into a knee and Lee hit him with the Big Bang Catastrophe.
WINNER: Keith Lee at 0:10.
(McLendon’s Analysis: It’s been a while since we’ve seen Kona. I thought they could maybe have some legs with his “The Finest” gimmick, but that roster is too full for him to have had the time. )
-Dominik Dijakovic showed up with a mic. He said he isn’t ready for this to be over yet. Lee said Dijakovic had plenty of excuses, but he hears the same thing every time they step in the ring
The crowd started a “Fight forever” chant. Lee said the audience was with it, and so was he, so if he can talk William Regal into it – the two can fight forever.
(McLendon’s Analysis: It’s been a while since we’ve seen Kona. I thought they could maybe have some legs with his “The Finest” gimmick, but that roster is too full for him to have had the time. Personally, I don’t want to see them have another match. They do great things, but with two men that big and all the things they have done in the ring, what possibly could they do that would be different? According to the Full Sail Crowd, I may be in the minority. But, I’d like to see another challenger at this point)
(5) KAYDEN CARTER vs. CHELSEA GREEN (w/Robert Stone).
Green started with a kick and went for a slam but Carter rolled her up for a two count. Green grabbed Carter by the hair but she fought her off with some a clothesline. Carter hit a Back kick to the jaw for a two count. The women appeared to go for a move that they botched, but Green attempted to cover it up. Green put Carter in a camel clutch and then slammed Carter for a two count.
Bianca Belair came to the ring and waved off Green. She said “I’m gonna let y’all finish, if Charlotte wants to put hands on her, she’s going to get hands back, and when she gets a chance she’s gonna whoop her ass.”
Bianca left, and Green rolled up Carter for a few different pinning positions all for two counts. Carter went outside, Stone tripped her in the ropes so Green could land the Unprettier.
WINNER: Chelsea Green at 4:40.
(McLendon’s Analysis: First, I think Nigel’s work making Green feel like a big deal even though she hasn’t won a match and done a lot of talking is doing great work for establishing her character as a heel. I am glad to see her finally get a win. As an African – American, I appreciate how NXT presents most of them, by letting them be themselves and this promo was a shining example of how Bianca is so great at it. She clearly seems to be a priority to NXT or someone who is in charge of Raw or Smackdown. Her true litmus test will be against Charlotte, but her placement over the last few months lets everyone know what they need to know about her abilities. And this is the next best position for her to be in outside of holding th title or being in a mania match.)
(6) VELVETEEN DREAM vs. RODERICK STRONG
Roddy went at Dream’s legs. Dream took off his weight belt and swung it at Roddy, went to the outside. Neither guy could take control. Dream went to the outside and Strong chased him outside the ring. Strong hit a backbreaker on Dream. The commentary team highlighted that a back injury was what led to Dream’s long absence.
Dream used elbows to escape a headlock from Strong. They went back and forth with shots to the face. Dream picked Strong up for a fireman’s carry, but he escaped and the two bumped heads in the corner. Dream took control with a clothesline.
Dream went up top and hit an ax handle. Dream landed a knee, but Roddy tossed Dream up to an exposed post beyond a turnbuckle. Strong landed a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle for a two count. Strong wanted a suplex, and Dream blocked one, and another. Strong hit a powerbomb with a matchbook cover for two. Strong put on the Stronghold. Dream made it to the bottom rope. Roddy held on for three seconds before breaking.
The two exchanged punches on the mat. Roddy leapt towards Dream but was nailed in mid-air by a superkick from Dream. Velveteen hit the Dream Valley Driver. He pulled off his blue suit to show Marina on both the front and back of his gear. He went to the top rope but was distracted by UE and he dove to the outside on them instead. Strong grabbed Dream but he hit the Dream Valley Driver for the three count.
WINNER: Velveteen Dream at 15:45.
After the match, Undisputed Era attacked Dream and left him lying in the ring.
(McLendon’s Analysis: I am glad to see Dream back. Usually, absence makes the heart grow fonder. But NXT is drastically different than it was before his injury, and I think it showed in the reaction to Dream. I also think there is obviously confusion to some of Dream’s tactics. Luckily, he’s going against the least popular member of the UE, however going up against the UE in general has proven to be a very difficult task for most as far as crowd reaction is concerned. Something seemed a little off about the match, it seems as if the blow off to the Strong-Dream portion of this was hot shot a little bit. It appeared that the crowd wasn’t into this as much as they could have been.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This episode didn’t directly answer the lingering questions from Takeover. However, the wheels are in motion and suspense is starting to build for a few stories. I am curious to see what Balor’s next move will be. At his level, he should be competing for a championship if he’s going to be in NXT. Based off tonight’s episode, he doesn’t fit into the trajectory of the North American or NXT title situations, so where does he go. Maybe they’ll reenact a bullet club adjace breakup for the UE with Balor going after Cole since the rest of the members have lost the gold? I assume the countdown to the final chapter of Ciampa and Gargano in NXT will get underway next week. Overall, like always a good solid wrestling show that progressed all their current stories in the ring or through video packages.