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MCLENDON’S NXT TV ALT – PERSPECTIVE REPORT
FEBRUARY 26, 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 last week’s episode.
– Charlotte arrived in the parking lot and was met by Regal. She had the security bring bags in.
(1) DOMINIK DIJAKOVIC vs. CAMERON GRIMES
The action started with Dijakovic putting Grimes in a headlock. Grimes finally broke free but, Dijakovic cut him off with a shoulder tackle. Grimes gave Dijakovic knees in the corner but, then he ran into a discus kick. Dijakovic covered and got a two count.
Dijakovic continued to work on Grimes in the corner and then hit Grimes with a backbreaker. Dijakovic followed up with chops in the corner. Grimes escaped and landed a hurricanrana. Grimes took control with an armbar on Dijakovic. Dijakovic regained himself and landed roundhouse kick followed by a superkick. Dijakovic lands a moonsault on Grimes to the outside. Damien Priest hit Dijakovic in the back of the knee with a club and ran through the audience. Grimes hit the Cave in on Dijakovic for the three count.
WINNER: Cameron Grimes at 13:13
(McLendon’s Analysis: There is still somewhat unfinished business with these two. I am hoping they go in this direction just because I don’t necessarily want to see another Lee/Dijakovic match. Or at least let his be a buffer between the next one. Grimes has been on a little bit of a losing streak, so this is a nice change for him over a credible opponent. )
– In a backstage interview, Regal announced there would be s series of qualifying matches in the women’s division with the winners going to a #1 contender’s ladder match at TakeOver Tampa.
– Finn Balor Segment. Balor said he builds brands. Japan, Mexico, Intercontinental Championship, Universal Championship, NXT Championship, done it. It’s WrestleMania season and everyone’s trying to peak, but he’s been at his peak for twenty years. So what’s the next move for the Prince? Who’s gonna get that Finn rub? Imperium’s music played to bring Aichner and Barthel. Barthel said NXT belongs to the ring general Walter, who sends his regards. Balor hit a dropkick to the outside and started stomping both guys. The two overpowered Balor and left him lying.
(2) XIA LI vs. MIA YIM
Mauro mentioned that Xia Li’s televised NXT debut was against Yim.
The match started with a handshake. Mia attempted to attack Xia from the handshake, however Xia backed her up with multiple kick attempts. Mia hit a dropkick of her own. After trading blows, Yim missed a rolling senton. Lia landed a series of lariats and kicks. Xia missed a jumping kick that allowed Yim to regain control. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez came to the ramp. Kai asked Mia “if she remembered when she stole her spot in WarGames? This is the perfect time to talk about it.” Li rolled up Yim from behind for the win.
WINNER: Xia Li at 2:50.
After the match, Gonzalez attacked both women as Dakota stayed on the ramp.
-Velveteen Dream segment. Dream was looking in a mirror. He threatened Roderick Strong and asked Regal for a match said with Strong next week and said “why don’t you leave that cage down?”
(McLendon’s Analysis: The thing I admire about NXT the most is their willingness to let stories develop over time. I forgot that Yim defeated Kai for a spot on the WarGames team. I love this callback to that. I also think it is extremely important for Kai to have someone/something to enhance her character as a heel. Gonzalez definitely does that. They need stories that matter in this division as some of the top women phase out of NXT.)
(3) TOMMASO CIAMPA vs. AUSTIN THEORY
The match started with both men trading fists. Ciampa cut off a rope run and caught Theory with a boot. Ciampa put Theory in a headlock following a snap mare. Ciampa threw Theory outside of the ring and the two brawled on the outside. The men get back inside the ring and Theory nails a dropkick. Ciampa tossed Theory from the ring and clapped for himself on the apron
Theory hit Ciampa with a Standing moonsault to for a two count. After exchanging blows, the two men retreated but Ciampa hot a clothesline out of the corner. Ciampa went for the Fairytale Ending but Theory escaped. Theory went for Rolling Thunder but landed on Ciampa knees. Ciampa covered him for a two count.
Ciampa attempted the Air Raid Crash from the top, but Theory cut it off. The two men went back and forth again. Theory took advantage with a Rolling Thunder Blockbuster. Theory landed a Buckle Bomb for a two count. Theory reversed Ciampa’s Fairytale Ending attempt. Ciampa rolled to the outside and Theory threw Ciampa into the barricades in similar fashion to what Ciampa did last week. Theory threw Ciampa back into the ring. Ciampa once again went for the Fairytale Ending and finally hit it for the three count.
WINNER: Tommaso Ciampa at 12:45.
-Johnny Gargano ran to the ring and attacked Ciampa. Theory distracted Ciampa enough for Johnny to hit a superkick. Johnny landed a knee on Ciampa. Johnny sat on the apron and mocked the clapping spot by doing it slowly. Gargano tossed Ciampa to the outside.
(McLendon’s Analysis: Great match with Theory and Ciampa. I didn’t follow Evolve as much so I don’t know much about him, but he is very talented. The video package and match with Ciampa shows he will be important to them moving forward. There is still a lot of time until TakeOver, so I’m okay with no reason from Gargano. Maybe he’ll tell us before Randy Orton tells us why he attacked Edge. It will be short lived, but I am interested to see how Johnny plays the heel this time. I enjoyed the first time because he kept claiming “he did nothing wrong” I don’t think he can play that card this time.)
-Backstage Undisputed Era segment. Roddy said a cage match with Dream was just fine by him. The rest of the group mentioned their plans for the future. Fish and O’Reiley said they aren’t finished with the Broserweights and Cole said the prophecy will continue.
(4) BRONSON REED vs. KILLIAN DAIN
The two big men tied up to start the match. Dain pushed Reed into the corner and followed up with shoulder tackles. The two men exchanged big boots. Reed hit Dain with a big dive to the outside. Dain put the boots to the back of Reed as he came back into the ring. Dain landed a leg drop for a two count.
Both men went for a cross body and were down in the middle of the ring. The two men exchanged fists. Reed hit Dain with a body slam and back suplex. Dain landed a Samoan drop and then went up for a Vader bomb but Reed cut him off with his knees. Reed went to the top rope, but Dain chased him and hit a superplex. Dain hit multiple senton’s and then landed a Vader Bomb
WINNER: Killian Dain at 6:20.
(McLendon’s Analysis: I feel like it was a little difficult to get into the match just because both guys don’t have much going on at the moment. It was a very impressive show of strength from both men. Mauro made a comment about Dain being frustrated about not being in the North American Title Picture. Based off the events from earlier in the evening, I am feeling as if they will be looking at a multi-man match for the title at TakeOver. It also looks like that match will have a big man theme)
(5) THE FORGOTTEN SONS (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) vs. GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS (Zack Gibson & James Drake
Zack and Blake kicked off the action. Gibson put Blake in a headlock, then a Blake got Gibson into his own headlock. Cutler landed kicks in the corner, but Gibson cut it off with a clothesline. GYV had several quick tags cutting off the other side of the ring. Blake power slammed Drake off of a rope run from Cutler for a two count. Ryker was on the outside of the ring keeping GYV from interfering with the action. Gibson was thrown to the outside, and together they threw Gibson outside onto Drake.
Drake and Gibson continued to control the match after the commercial break. Blake landed a neck breaker, but Drake cut him off before he could capitalize. Cutler gets the hot tag after Blake hits a back body drop. Cutler hits a buckle bomb and a Fisherman combo for a two count. Drake dove on to Ryker. Then the team took him out with the steel steps. Gibson cut off Blake and GYV hit Ticket to Mayhem for the three count.
WINNERS: Grizzled Young Veterans at 13:09.
(McLendon’s Analysis: Some one really needs to tell WWE that were in a time where the Forgotten Sons are not a baby face act to the masses. I felt gross listening to all the patriotic references during this match. Let me be clear, it’s not gross because they’re military. But those who happen to be that level of patriotic and ex-military sometimes bring out the worst in people. Nonetheless, I worry what effect the hot shotting of the Forgotten Sons as babyfaces will have on them.)
-Tegan Nox interview. Nox said she’s ready for Kai, but she wasn’t ready for Gonzales. But next week, Raquel isn’t a factor. Kai started this in a cage, and Nox said next week she’ll finish it in a cage.
-Damien Priest is walking away from the arena with a group of women. He said it wasn’t personal, Dijakovic was just in the way of something he wants. And now, Keith Lee knows exactly what Priest wants.
(6) BIANCA BELAIR vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR
Charlotte drew a line on the mat and dared Belair to cross. Bianca attacked with a Headscissors. Charlotte yelled at a fan that said she sucks. Belair landed a dropkick and tackled Flair into the corner. She followed up with a snap mare, but Charlotte regained the upper hand and landed some chops.
Belair rammed Charlotte into the turnbuckle post. Bianca followed up with a quick roll up for a two count. Charlotte landed a powerslam and neckbreker combo. Bianca reversed a sleeper from Charlotte by flipping over the top of her. Bianca attempted a handspring, but Charlotte landed a knee. Charlotte grabbed Bianca’s hair while she had her in an abdominal stretch. Charlotte went for a senton and Bianca capitalized with a handspring moonsault for a two count.
Flair hit a flatliner on Bianca into the turnbuckle and followed up with a Moonsault attempt. Bianca was put into a Boston Crab after putting her legs up to block the moonsault. The women made their way outside the ring and Bianca pushed Flair into the post. Bianca landed a spear, but Charlotte followed with one of her own. Charlotte landed Natural Selection for the three count.
WINNER: Charlotte Flair at 12:05.
Charlotte attacked Bel-Air with a chair and then put her in the Figure 8. Rhea Ripley’s music played and Charlotte ran as she entered the ring.
(McLendon’s Analysis: I thought Bianca held up her end very well in this match. I am not quite sure why Rhea felt need to go through the motions of her entrance while the person being attacked was someone who helped her attack Flair a few weeks ago? Nonetheless, a good match to see how Bianca can go with a top woman in a one on one setting.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not much in the way of new developments on this episode outside of the apparent Balor/Walter clash at Takeover. Do they highlight Finn as the cool babyface in this feud? It is clear that no fan is interested in booing him at the moment. This is definitely a fresh opponent for him that I did not see coming. But I am hyped for it. This episode was honestly one for a lot of the underneath and midcard talent of NXT. I am also interested to see how many women they choose for the ladder match. No Bianca, Shayna, Rhea, and Io so there will definitely be a chance for the fresher faces in the division to shine in this match.