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NXT ON USA TV REPORT
JANURAY 25, 2022
ORLANDO, FLA. AT THE CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY BRUCE LEE HAZELWOOD (@B_Lee253), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett
Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin
Backstage Correspondent(s): McKenzie Mitchell
Tonight after the show, I join Tom Stoup to break down the show with emails.
•STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 15 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
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(Kelly Wells is out this week, and anyone that wants to donate to his new laptop fund, or even buying a new one for him, will not be turned away.)
-The show began with a shot of the Dusty Cup trophy and MSK hyping themselves up with the crowd chanting behind them. Wes Lee said they debuted last year during the tournament and won. Nash Carter said thanks to their Shaman Bro, Riddle, they’ll be fine. Lee said they’re destined to win this thing, then counted down from three. Their music hit for their first round match in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Jacket Time entered to their JPOP music, fitting for an anime OST or JRPG.
(1) MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter) vs. JACKET TIME (Kushida & Ikemen Jiro) – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match
Kushida and Carter began the match with each trading grapples before a reset. Carter flipped out of an arm wrench and threw Kushida. He took out Kushida’s leg and tagged in Lee, who scored a near-fall before getting hit with an arm wrench and a tag to Jiro. They double-teamed the arm, but Lee took out Jiro’s legs twice for quick pins, then landed a big dropsault to the taunting Jiro, who didn’t take off his jacket. He landed a big lariat to floor Lee.
He put Lee in their corner and tagged in Kushida, the pair trading running palm strikes in the corner and a double bulldog. Kushida grabbed the left arm and tagged in Jiro in a bit of an awkward spot where Jiro went after the right arm instead of the left. Lee countered and tagged in Carter, who hit a running bronco buster for a full five-count and a pin that was broken up by Kushida. Carter put Jiro in a rear chinlock to slow down the pace. Jiro fought back, but Lee made blind tag. Jiro forced Carter into Lee, then sent Carter outside. As Jiro went for a tope, Carter caught him in a stunner position, allowing Lee to hit a running dropkick. They posed on the apron as they cut to break. [c]
With the USA Network player, the split-screen break was absent and there were only commercials. When they returned, Jiro tagged in as they whipped Lee into their corner. Lee tossed out Kushida, then fought off Jiro and tagged in Carter. Carter hit a few back elbows and a chop, then took out Jiro’s leg on a Thesz Press attempt and quickly hit a smooth deadlift German. He hit a flurry of strikes into a running shooting star for a two-count.
Lee tagged in and they went for a double team, but Jiro fought out and superkicked Carter. He caught lee on a sunset attempt and Trent Beretta’s finisher for a two-count. Kushida tagged in and landed some double team offense, but Carter broke up the pin. Kushida deposited Carter outside, but Lee countered and caused Jiro to slip to the apron from the top. Lee took out Kushida, then dodged as Jiro went for a Swanton. Both men made tags. Carter hit a high leaping knee, then his assisted moonsault, but Kushida had the knees up. He put Carter in the Hoverboard Lock, but Carter tagged in Lee. Lee came in and hit a leaping neckbreaker which became a spinebuster combo for the victory.
After the match, they shook hands after Jacket Time gave bows of respect. Code of Honor being shown!
WINNER: MSK at 11:45 (neckbreaker-spinebuster combo)
-In the back, they showed Zoey Stark talking to Io Shirai about making her debut in last year’s Classic. She said she’s been rehabbing, but won’t be ready in time…so Shirai needs to find a new partner. Stark said Shirai’s done everything in NXT, so adding her name to the trophy is another way to up her name. Shirai said she didn’t want a new partner, and Stark said it’s because you like me! As they argued, Tiffany Stratton came over and said she was going to beat Shirai tonight. Shirai responded in Japanese, and with my little Japanese knowledge, she said something along he lines of, “Who does she think she is? I’ll be OK,” with some stuff in between. They cut to break hyping an Legado del Fantasma promo. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Good match, but I wish there was an option to mute the crowd. Jiro and Kushida did have some spots that looked awkward early, like there was miscommunication, but after the break the match went smoothly. The thing with MSK is I feel like their matches are predictable in their layout. Sure, their matches are exciting, but I would like to see something a bit different in their matches; what about adding some submission finishes? Showing a different side in the ring should always be a good thing. Also, I like both Kushida and Jiro, but damn, I just want this team broken up. It’s a bit…playing into stereotypes of people who look like me.)
-A promo played for tonight’s Cameron Grimes vs. Tony D’Angelo promo where Grimes went over taking out D’Angelo last week and that he has friends, too, naming the Presidents on money. He reminded viewers the match was to face Carmelo Hayes, and ended with, “To the moon.” They showed a “Moments Ago” video with Hayes and Trick Williams arriving with OllieJayy.
LEGADO DEL FANTASMA IN-RING PROMO
Santos Escobar said each and every week, ever since Bron Breakker has shown his hideous face in NXT, every single superstar says the same thing, the low-hanging fruit: mock him because of his father, his uncle, and his family’s poor, poor math skills. He said when all the jokes are done, they tell him how special he is, then have the nerve to call him a big star right now. He said he won’t do that. He said he prides himself on being real from the start because that’s a trait that was passed to him by his father. He said he and Breakker come from similar upbringings, which is why Breakker and his family don’t scare him. He said he despises how fast Breakker’s got here, how quickly he’s been given opportunities, but most importantly, he won the NXT Championship before him. Breakker’s music hit.
He walked out in jeans and a black top, showing off his muscles. Escobar is definitely “dressed” more like a top champion. Breakker entered the ring and said he thinks Escobar is a great superstar, but he’s insecure since he needs the three people behind him. He said they had a similar upbringing, but his family taught him to take things head on. Escobar interrupted, but Breakker yelled shut up in Spanish to Escobar’s shock. He said to make the challenge. Escobar said things are done on his time, but trust him, when he’s ready, Breakker will know. LDF left the ring, but Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza tried jumping Breakker. He easily dispatched of them, though Wilde wasn’t easily clotheslined over the top.
-They showed a video with Boa sitting on a throne saying impending doom awaits you. They showed highlights of his feud with Solo Sikoa. he said you don’t understand the fire ignited within him. They showed the fireball to the face and Sikoa’s promo from last week exposing the burn. They cut to break, hyping the match next. [c]
-They returned with Sikoa’s music hitting as he made his entrance with the right side of his face still looking burned. All of the sudden, Boa attacked from behind with a kendo stick.
(2) BOA vs. SOLO SIKOA – Falls count anywhere match
Ref Aja Perera called the bell on the outside. As they went is the ring, Boa hit a good ten more shots with the kendo stick. He exited the ring (he’s wearing his face paint) and threw in a few chairs, Sikoa grabbing one. Boa tossed in a trash can, then ran into a Samoan drop from Sikoa. Sikoa and Boa both grabbed chairs and set them in the corner. They noticed both had the same idea, then both leaped for the chair in the middle of the ring. Boa got it and hit Sikoa in the gut and across the back, then across the midsection three times. He set the trash can, landed a few Muy Thai knees, then a butterfly suplex onto the trash can for a two-count.
Boa exited the ring yet again took out a table from underneath the ring close to the announce desk, which is set on the hard camera side rather than opposite the entrance ramp. Sikoa came and struck Boa, walking into the back, then hitting a chair shot to the back. Boa fought back, throwing Sikoa into a stack of ladders. Boa then dropped two ladders on Sikoa before grabbing one and ramming it into Skioa’s gut. He missed Sikoa and rammed the ladder into the service garage. Sikoa put a ladder up against Boa and rammed the ladder with his body for a two-count (falls count anywhere!).
Sikoa went for a running hip attack, but the garage grating bent as Boa moved and Sikoa hit hard. Boa rammed Sikoa’s head into the grating, then landed a big kick to the chest. He rammed Sikoa through the door exit to the outside. Sikoa locked the door. Boa pulled on the chain to raise the grating, which was more difficult because of the dent, but got hit with a spray from a fire extinguisher as Sikoa took the advantage. He landed a big chair shot across the back as they made their way back to the ring.
Sikoa set a chair in a corner, then hit a few Muy Thai knees of his own. He sent Boa through the chair Boa set up in the corner, then the new chair, then the chair he set up earlier. Sikoa climbed for a splash, but Boa hit the top rope and crotched Sikoa, sending him outside. Boa slammed Sikoa’s head into the announce desk, then hit another chest kick. He got caught with a Samoan drop onto the announce desk. Sikoa went to the table Boa set up earlier by the announce desk, then punched Boa onto the table. Sikoa climbed to the top and hit a big splash through the table for the victory. You could hear Sikoa asking Boa, “You OK?” upon impact.
WINNER: Solo Sikoa at 8:06 (top rope splash through table)
-They showed Duke Hudson in the back as they hyped his match with Guru Raaj next. They cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: For what it was, it was fine. That match was about 50/50 ringside and backstage. I’m surprised they didn’t actually head outside, which is generally a staple for these kinds of matches in NXT, but I also think this was right in the sweet spot of time for what you hope for with these two. I know the circumstances warranted it here, but I would like to see how both men can work in different emotions to their characters besides being angry dudes. That could be a nice step in their development.)
-They returned with a vignette for Imperioum where they said their name stands for dominance and success. Gunther said the name he’s known with all around the world is the name of the patriarch of his family, his grandfather. He said he needs to now stand on his two feet. Marcel Barthel said it’s a new era of Imperium, a new age. Fabian Aichner said it will be led by this man, who proudly declared himself GUNTHER.
-Hudson was making his entrance as they cut to the ring. Raaj was already in the ring.
(3) DUKE HUDSON vs. GURU RAAJ – Singles match
Hudson hit a big running boot to begin, then mounted punches to Raaj. He hit some nasty crossfaces, then beat on Raaj in the corner. He whipped Raaj hard into a corner, then hit a leaping sidewalk slam. Hudson hit a running Razor’s Edge for the victory.
After the match, Dante Chen said he’s going to give Hudson the respect he wasn’t given last week by telling Hudson, “Here I come!” He rushed Hudson, but a bunch of officials broke them up. Hudson then hit a chop block to the front of Chen’s rehabbed knee.
WINNER: Duke Hudson at 1:07 (Razor’s Edge)
-McKenzie Mitchell was with Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell, the former saying Hudson looks good with short hair. Pirotta said all jokes aside, Hartwell’s been training her butt off. Kay Lee Ray appeared with her bat and said what Mandy Rose represents is the complete opposite of the title around her waist (Pirotta added the same for Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolan). Ray said the three firmly place themselves in their respective title pictures. Mitchell threw back.
-Toxic Attraction made their entrance for their six-woman tag team match. Rose was shown first, then her two partners joined her from the side. They cut to break. [c]
-They returned with Mitchell and LDF in the back. Mendoza interrupted and said what the hell is going on, then some stuff in Spanish. Wilde said Breakker needs to find out what happens when you disrespect LDF. Escobar said Breakker will have to face them two-on-one unless he can find a partner, which is unlikely since he’s the NXT Champion and has zero friends. Elektra Lopez said Breakker said it himself: he’s the first one here and the last to leave. Escobar said tonight, they stay a little longer. Mitchell threw back.
(4) TOXIC ATTRACTION (Mandy Rose & Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolan) vs. KAY LEE RAY & INDI HARTWELL & PERSIA PIROTTA – Six-woman tag team match
Pirotta and Rose began the match, but Ray yelled she wanted Rose and tagged in. Rose backed into the corner and talked to Jayne, who tagged in. They locked up with Ray forcing Jayne into the corner and tagging in Hartwell. Hartwell took the back, but Jayne hit a go-behind of her own. Hartwell fought out and draped Jayne across the second rope, hitting some offense for a two-count. Jayne fought out and hit a running pump knee, forcing Hartwell into their corner. Dolan tagged in.
Hartwell ducked a kick and rolled up Dolan for a two-count, but Dolan hit a running knee to the gut. She whipped Hartwell back into their corner and hit a big chop before tagging in Rose. Rose hit a snap suplex, then gave Ray a cheap shot only to stumble into a rollup for a two-count. Hartwell took advantage and tagged in Pirotta, who hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a two-count. Ray tagged in, but Rose snuch outside, but Ray caught her as they reentered the ring. Ray sent Rose to the apron, then hit a shoulder thrust to send her outside. The other five women started jawing outside as Ray hit a step-up senton to the outside, taking out Toxic Attraction.
Back in the ring, Ray went for Rose, but Dolan distracted her long enough to tag in Jayne. Ray worked her into their corner and tagged in Pirotta. Pirotta hit some corner offense, then tagged in Hartwell. Jayne countered Hartwell, then Hartwell had her hair pulled in the corner. This allowed Jayne to hit a leaping cannonball for a two-count. She hit a leaping senton, then tagged in Dolan. Dolan hit a few short forearms, then a stiff kick to the back. She gave Hartwell a number of short kicks to the face, then tagged in Rose in their corner. Rose hit an elbow across the back, then grabbed the leg to prevent the tag. Hartwell used her strength to send Rose into her corner, but Rose hit Ray off of the apron. Hartwell hit a sidewalk slam, but Jayne prevented a tag before being sent outside. Jayne pulled down Pirotta to prevent the tag as Dolan tagged in and hit a few strikes to Hartwell. They cut to break. [c]
Harwell scored a two-count as they returned, but Rose still maintained the advantage. Jayne tagged in, hitting an axe kick to the back. She then hit a discus forearm and a leaping neckbreaker for a two-count. Jayne and Hartwell exchanged chops, then hit simultaneous boots to drop each other. Dolan tagged in as Pirotta tagged in, hitting Dolan with two elbows, a corner splash, and a snake eyes in the corner. She hit a release German, but the pin was broken up by Jayne. Hartwell then hit a spinebuster to Jayne, but Rose hit her running knee. Ray then took out Rose and grabbed her bat. Rose looked scared as she rolled outside. Ray swung, but missed and hit the steps. Rose moved again as Ray hit the post. The two women went to the back.
Pirotta and Dolan were in the ring still. Pirotta went for a suplex, but Dolan hit an inside cradle counter for a two-count. Pirotta then hit a big kick and her finisher, where she placed Dolan across her shoulders and spun her around into a facebuster.
WINNER: Kay Lee Ray & Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta at 13:56 (spinning facebuster)
-They shifted to a video on Edris Enofe and Malik Blade. Enofe said they’re in the semi-finals. Enofe said if they make it to the finals and win, then Blade has to ask out Rose. Blade said she would never say yes. Enofe used this to jump into to what “all the people were saying” they would never do. He said they’re going to keep proving people wrong. Enofe said if he asks out Rose, Enofe will ask out both Dolan and Jayne. Blade said Enofe is a bad influence.
-Grizzled Young Veterans made their entrance for their Dusty Classic match. They cut to break. [c]
-They returned with an “Earlier Today” video of Raquel Gonzalez working out. Cora Jade approached as Gonzalez told her no to tagging. Jade said what does she have to do, lift that weight? Gonzalez said no, this is not about New Year’s Evil. She said as much as she hates Dakota Kai, she does whatever it takes to win, and that’s just not Jade. They argued over it for a bit before Gonzalez emphatically said no. Jade went for a slap, but Gonzalez caught her hand and said don’t push her.
-Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward made their entrance.
(5) GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS (James Drake & Zack Gibson) vs. ANDRE CHASE & BODHI HEYWARD – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match
Chase and Drake began, with Chase still in his Chase U instructor getup. Drake took the left arm, then Chase escaped. Drake took the left arm again, but Chase rolled out and hit a big arm wringer of his own. He called that a teachable moment to Drake’s infuriation. Chase sidestepped Drake and hit a side Russian legsweep. He then hit stomps to the crowd spelling put Chase U. A big uppercut sent Drake into their corner. Heyward tagged in, hit an arm wringer, then tagged in Chase. Another quick tag had Chase hit a sunset flip for a two-count.
Chase tagged, then hit a double axe handle to the left arm of Drake. Chase hit a series of stiff jabs like Dusty Rhodes, then a bionic elbow. Drake made a blind tag with his left arm, allowing Gibson to grab Chase’s foot on a rope run. Drake then leaped from the ring down to an assisted shoulder breaker. Back in the ring, Gibson started working the left arm for his finisher. Chase tried fighting out of the corner, then hit a backslide for a two-count. Gibson lifted Chase, but Chase went over and used some nifty maneuvering to escape and tag in Heyward. Heyward took it to Drake on the apron, then caught Gibson into a big bodyslam. He hit a some splashes after running in place like it was an old football drill. Drake distracted Heyward, allowing Gibson to hit the double thrusts to the throat. Drake tagged in and took out Chase with a dropkick. GYV then hit a double Codebreaker to Heyward for the victory.
WINNER: Grizzled Young Veterans at 5:11 (double Codebreaker)
-After the match, Von Wagner appeared in the ring, with Robert Stone on the apron, and laid into Heyward. He hit an Olympic slam, then a Death Valley Driver to Chase. Stone entered the ring with a blazer, which Wagner took and donned. Stone said Wagner’s been reinstated and is under new management.
(Hazelwood’s Take: The person who needs a manager who can talk the most on the roster is Wagner, so this is a great pairing. Stone plays his part well as the annoying heel manager who everyone likes to see get his comeuppance. I’m more interested in Wagner now than I was since he turned on Kyle O’Reilly, but let’s hope his oozing lack of charisma doesn’t bring down Stone as well.)
-A video aired with Grayson Waller (Saurav behind him), saying the Grayson Waller Effect is going global as he ran down L.A. Knight. He said Saurav (still unnamed) is his secret service, protecting the most important commodity in NXT. He denigrated Knight’s reading ability, then said he’s waiting for Knight, but Sanga (I think) is waiting for him first.
-Shirai’s music hit to a big pop as she made her way for her match (my first Shirai match since taking over at the beginning of the month I believe). They cut to break hyping WWE 2K22 as the same video they released last week on Twitter was shown. [c]
-They returned showing photos of Odyssey Jones after being attacked by Harland, saying he suffered a ruptured patella tendon. Stratton was in the ring as they returned to the ring.
(6) IO SHIRAI vs. TIFFANY STRATTON – Singles match
Shirai looked confused as they began the match. They locked up with Shirai hitting a go-behind, Strattong hitting one of her own. Shirai grabbed the left arm as Statton used her gymnastics to flip out and grab a wringer of her own, which Shirai promptly countered. Stratton used the top rope to hit a sitting flip arm drag. Both women traded evasive maneuvers with Stratton eventually forcing Shirai outside. Stratton hit a forearm to Shirai, but Shirai responded with a big flapjack, then taunted Stratton about calling her dad.
Shirai hit a running basement dropkick to the shoulder for a two-count, but held on for a crossface attempt. Stratton reached the bottom rope, but Stratton used the hair to slam Shirai to the mat. She then cinched in a modified cobra clutch and yelled about being daddy’s girl. After about 45 seconds, Shirai worked to her feet, but Stratton hit a knee to the gut. She hit a cartwheel back handspring forearm for a two-count, then yelled at the ref for the count.
Shirai caught a kick, then hit a big rising Shotei palm strike. She hit a running meteora in the corner as Stratton was seated. Shirai hit a bodyslam, leaped to the top, and hit Over the Moonsault (hi Kelly!) for the win.
WINNER: Io Shirai at 4;17 (Over the Moonsault)
-They cut to Malcolm Bivens with Diamond Mine, saying Gunther is a terrible name and it should have been DUMBASS in all caps. He said everyone is talking about a new beginning for Imperium, but no, it’s the beginning of the end for Imperium as The Creed Brothers win the titles, Roderick Strong beats Gunther, and Ivy Nile stretches them. He challenged them to a match next week as The Creed Brothers called them pretty boys. Strong said no one out trains and outlasts Diamond Mine. Bivens said it’s Diamond Mine forever.
-Hayes and Williams were on the stage as Williams said they’re there to introduce their girl. Hayes said she is the fliest chick to step foot in a NXT ring. OllieJayy said she is NXT 2.0 and did a track with Williams as hype man from the ramp. They overlaid some footage of the men in the main event as she rapped to her song. Hayes and Williams were dancing around the ring and hyping the fans.
-D’Angelo was in the back and said he’s going to bust Grimes’ face open. He walked toward the ring as they cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: My first taste of Stratton on NXT and I can see why they’re high on her. She has some pretty good instincts for someone so new to the game, and her gymnastics background does lend itself well to her in-ring style. I just hope it’s more of what we saw tonight – in spurts – then what we see with Reggie in that he can ONLY do his Cirque du Soleil stuff. Shirai winning emphatically is of course the good call, but I do like the story of her overlooking Stratton to the point that Stratton landed a good amount of offense. However, once Shirai turned it on, it was done with a quickness.)
-Stratton was walking in the back, complaining to her dad about the ref’s incompetence. She came upon Wendy Choo, who said everyone loses to Shirai. Stratton knocked away her drink, which Choo replied with, “Hey, my free refill!”
-They hyped the matches for next week with the six-man, Jade vs. Gonzalez, and Breakker and ? vs. LDF. Grimes was making his entrance as they returned to the ring, D’Angelo already in the ring.
(7) CAMERON GRIMES vs. TONY D’ANGELO – #1 Contender’s match for the North American Championship
Grimes shot a single leg, but D’Angelo used his power to force Grimes to switch to an arm wringer. D’Angelo took Grimes down and worked the left arm. Grimes worked to his feet and hit two deep arm drags. D’Angelo rushed, but Grimes forced him outside, then hit a running PK. He waved at Hayes and Williams in the upper balcony. Grimes then hit a series of stiff strikes to D’Angelo before ramming him into a turnbuckle. However, D’Angelo countered a backbody drop by ramming Grimes into the mat and hitting a big release belly-to-belly side suplex.
D’Angelo choked Grimes for the full count, then hit some shoulder thrusts in the corner. He sent Grimes over the corner and to the outside on a whip. After rolling Grimes back inside, he caught Grimes into a modified pendulum backbreaker for a two-count. They cut to break with a clear overrun coming. [c]
They returned with D’Angelo in control of Grimes. He stomped away until Grimes caught his boot, then slapped him. D’Angelo hit a bunch of body shots and a front face lock suplex. He then cinched in a rear chinlock, then hit a double leg as Grimes hit his feet.
D’Angelo mounted Grimes with some punches, then held a waist lock. Grimes rose to his feet and hit a few back elbows to break the hold, then a leaping rana to D’Angelo. He missed a corner kick, which D’Angelo turned into a German that flipped Grimes for a two-count. D’Angelo looked for a fisherman’s, but Grimes hit an inside cradle for a two-count. Both men then traded punches in the ring, then Grimes hit his running flipping splash thing that I cannot remember the name of right now for a two-count. Grimes went with some chest kicks in the corner, then a running enziguri to D’Angelo’s head. D’Angelo then caught a kick and hit a leg-capture suplex into the corner for a close two-count.
D’Angelo jawed with the ref a bit, then turned back to Grimes. Grimes hit a big boot, went for a springboard, slipped, then hit a second rope one instead. He then hit a running boot and climbed the top for a big crossbody, only a two-count. Grimes went for Cave In, but D’Angelo rolled outside by the announce desk. Grimes grabbed D’Angelo’s hat, distracting the ref, as Pete Dunne suddenly slammed the announce desk with a cricket bat, right across D’Angelo’s hand. As he reentered the ring, Grimes hit Cave In for the victory.
WINNER: Cameron Grimes at 11:39 (Cave In)
-Breakker was leaving as he was asked about his tag team partner. An Suv pulled up as LDF came out. Breakker readied for a fight as Tomasso Ciampa appeared next to him. LDF reentered the SUV and left as the two fist bumped with the show ending.
(Hazelwood’s Take: I still think it’s too early for a Hayes-Grimes match, so I think D’Angelo should have gone over with shenanigans. Also, Grimes is much more accomplished than to need an assist to defeat D’Angelo. I understand there’s a feud between D’Angelo and Dunne, but that could be saved for after the match. Just give Grimes the clean victory if you wanted him to go in the first place. It was a good match for what it was, and D’Angelo I believe showed more of what I thought he showed at WarGames; that amateur background helps!)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A much better show than last week, probably because there was less acting and more in-ring action. I like the development we saw from some stories here and the potential of Stratton. The Dusty Classic this year just seems to lack a bit of oomph, even if the matches are great, and I wonder if that has to do with the lack of marquee tag teams and names – which is kind of the point of 2.0. With Shirai being back and them teasing her having a new partner with Stark still out, I wonder if this means Stratton somehow becomes Shirai’s partner (my second guess is Choo to get back at Stratton).
Catch me with Tom Stoup on PWT Talks NXT tomorrow as we will not have control of the switchboard tonight. Thanks!