2/8 NXT 2.0 REPORT: Hazelwood’s live alt-perspective on Rose vs. Ray for Women’s Championship, Choo vs. Stratton, Sarray vs. Kai, two men’s Dusty Classic matches, more

BY BRUCE LEE HAZELWOOD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

NXT ON USA TV REPORT
FEBRUARY 8, 2022
ORLANDO, FLA. AT THE CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON SYFY 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, join the PWT Talks NXT self-proclaimed “gang of idiots” to break down the show with emails.

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 15 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
•CALL: (515) 605-9345

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: pwtorchnxt@gmail.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW POST-RECORDING


[HOUR ONE]

-The show began with a vignette on the main event title match with Mandy Rose saying it took three shampoos to get all the sauce and spaghetti out of her hair. She said she would get the last laugh. She says tonight, she ends the career of the best women to come here from the UK. She put over her looks, then said she gets it done in the ring and deserves respect on her name because she’s the baddest bitch in the game.

-They cut to ringside where they showed the Dusty Classic trophy and The Creed Brothers already in the ring. Zack Gibson entered and ran down the opponents, who decided to go attack.

(1) THE CREED BROTHERS (Brutus & Julius Creed w/Malcolm Bivens & Roderick Strong & Ivy Nile) vs. GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS (Zack Gibson & James Drake) – Semi-finals of the men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

Brutus and James Drake entered the ring to begin the match. Brutus hit a big backbody drop, then took their scarf and mocked them as GYV went outside. Gibson held back Drake and told him to calm down. The ref didn’t even make a count. Drake tagged in Gibson as Brutus just paced. Brutus hit a go-behind, but GIbson hit a hammerlock takedown, then the two traded some technical wrestling until Brutus hit a fireman’s carry and tagged in his brother, who gutwrenched Brutus right onto Gibson.

Julius went for a leg, but Gibson grabbed the ears and hit an uppercut. Julius fought back with a stiff shot, then sent Gibson across, but Drake used his body to deaden the blow. This allowed Gibson to tag in Drake. Drake hit a PK to the back for a one-count, then started punching at the head. Julius ducked and hit an amateur slam, then another one, but Gibson made a blind tag. Julius avoided, sent Drake to the outside, then hit a dropkick to Gibson. Brutus tagged in and they traded knees to the gut of Gibson. Brutus then hit a gutwrench, sending Gibson outside. Brutus shoved Drake, but had to deal with a Drake distraction that allowed Gibson to hit a double thrust to the throat. Vic Joseph said no commercials for this match.

GYV then placed Brutus under the ring and catapulted him into the steel support. Julius came over as GYV backed off and gloated. Back in the ring, Drake worked the throat on the top rope, then tagged in Gibson. Gibson used the top rope on the neck as well, then shoved his forearm into the throat. Gibson tagged in Drake, hitting a top rope axe handle to the legs as Gibson held him up with his neck on the top rope. Drake then cinched in a rear chin lock.

Brutus fought to his feet, but Drake hit a few strikes and tagged in Gibson. Gibson hit a crossface, then stomped away as they cut off the ring and worked a methodical style. Gibson went for a vertical suplex, but Brutus countered into a delayed version. Draked tagged in and locked in a sleeper to prevent the tag. He hit an elbow, but Drake grabbed the leg. Brutus kicked him off and tagged in his brother.

Julius punched away at both, then hit a front chop block on Drake. He locked in the stretch muffler, but Drake shifted into a standing guillotine. Julius just threw him off and hit a big slam for a pin that was broken up by Gibson. Julius went for a vertical on Drake, but Drake slipped out and made a tag to Gibson. Julius was dragged out and as he turned his attention to Gibson, Drake hit a tope and nearly wiped out into the announce table. Gibson rolled Julius back in and tagged in Drake.

Drake hit a doomsday device, but Drake’s leg was under the rope and then Julius kicked out before three. Wade Barrett called it a “basic error.” Drake missed a running attack in the corner, hurting his knee, then tagged in Gibson. Brutus tagged in, the two faced off, then traded blows. Brutus got the better with a double leg and some hammer fists, but Gibson hit the double thrust to the throat and tagged in Drake. Drake teed off with punches. Gibson tagged in as Drake climbed to the top. Brutus shoved Gibson into the corner, so Julius used the body to climb up and hit a superplex. Julius then hit a rolling suplex and Brutus, talking off his brother, hit a huge lariat to a seated Gibson to win.

WINNER: Diamond Mine at 12:01 (lariat) to advance to the finals of the men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

-They showed replays of last week’s Raquel Gonzalez’s match with Cora Jade, which the former won and then told Jade they’d tag. McKenzie Mitchell was in the back and asked Jade about the Dusty Cup in two weeks. Jade was dressed in all black. Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz showed up and said they had a lot to prove. They began speaking Spanish until Gonzalez appeared, speaking Spanish herself. They went back-and-forth in Spanish, which I don’t speak unfortunately. The supposed heels backed off as Gonzalez turned to Jade and said only she can call Jade that.

-They shifted to replays of last week’s Wendy Choo vs. Amari Miller match with Tiffany Stratton’s interference and the whole credit card fiasco. They showed Miller and Choo appearing earlier in the day with a bunch of bags. Choo said that was fun until the card was canceled, then threw the card in the garbage.

-Stratton was in the ring, looking in better shape than last week somehow. Choo then made her entrance. Choo gave a kid a little bear during her entrance.

(2) TIFFANY STRATTON vs. WENDY CHOO – Singles match

Choo was all smiles as Stratton demanded her card back. Stratton said daddy’s going to take Choo to court, but Choo grabbed an arm wringer to shut her up. Stratton hit her nice seated springboard counter, but Choo just posed, then hit a drop toehold and another stretch into a side headlock. Stratton reversed, but Choo took the back. Choo posed again, then hit a rollup for a two-count. She hit a one-legged dropkick, then a running superkick in the corner. She hit her running sleeping splash that she debuted last week (maybe Nap Time?).

Choo then cinched in a rear chin lock with her hands in a pose like she was sleeping. Stratton flipped her out, then hit a gut knee. Choo reversed an Irish whip and hit a big overhead throw. Choo went for her cartwheel splash in the corner, but Stratton punched her. She broke a nail, and was furious at Choo for it, so she stomped away at her and then hit a cartwheel to back handspring splash, a Jeff Hardy corner dropkick, and a beautiful rope-assisted 360 splash for the victory.

WINNER: Tiffany Stratton at 3:05 (360 splash)

-Joseph and Barret were at ringside as they cut to last week’s post-match comments from Draco Anthony, only to be interrupted by Joe Gacy and Harland in the locker room. Gacy said keep your head up and just remember, you don’t have to do this all by yourself. Gacy said he’s here to listen to not just his actions, but his words. He said to have a great night and walked off as Harland stared at Anthony.

-Mitchell was with Dunne and asked about his cage match next week. Dunne said D’Angelo talks too much, but since he lost to Cameron Grimes, D’Angelo has been quiet, not even a tweet. He said it must be hard to tweet after your fingers were smashed by a cricket bat. Anthony approached and said he respects the hell out Dunne and reached out his hands. Dunn said he’s still about to snap his fingers and made his entrance with no handshake. Dunne entered with the cricket bat. They cut to break, Joseph said picture-in-picture, but the SyFy player did not show the split screen. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: So a lot happened in the first half hour. A good match between the two teams to kick off the show with the expected result was a good call. The crowd was hot for that one, though again, they’re questionable at times. Choo’s character really is trying to include as much sleep-related things to her act, but I don’t think that’s as endearing as it was with the Nap Time splash. Still, at least she’s on TV. Anthony really needs work on the promos, and why is he all of the sudden face after he acted like a heel in the match last week? I said it would be tough to keep him heel, but they made the switch quick!)

(3) PETE DUNNE vs. DRACO ANTHONY – Singles match

They came back (for me) with Anthony holding Dunne in a side head lock. They showed Gacy and Harland looking on above the ring. Anthony hit some misdirection and landed a shoulder tackle. He went for a vertical, Dunne kneed him, but Anthony lifted him again for a deadlift suplex. Anthony stood on both hands, but jumped way too high. Dunne then stomped on his hands and hit a head kick. Dunne then worked the fingers before stomping the head.

Dunne kept trying to work the hand and the left arm, landing a leaping stomp to the shoulder. Anthony tried fighting back, but one forearm floored him. Dunne went back to the left arm and pulled back with an armbar while sitting on Anthony’s back. He then drove his knuckle into the ear (how annoying!). Dunne hit a big chop, then a short right, then a bunch more chops, but that just fire Anthony up as he hit a thunderous short-arm clothesline. He hit a running clothesline in the corner, then a splash, then a belly-to-back front suplex for a two-count.

Anthony then noticed Gacy and Harland, taking his eyes off Dunne, then he charged Dunne, but Dunne moved. Dunne hit an enziguri and a knee drop to the left arm. Dunne went for a Kimura, but Anthony threw him off and then hit a standing Northern Lights throw. Dunne went outside, but goaded Anthony and hit an enziguri. D’Angelo tried attacking with a crowbar, but Dunne fought him off. He came in, hit snap German, then Bitter End to win.

After the match, D’Angelo tried choking Dunne over the ropes, but Dunne snapped his fingers. Dunne grabbed a garbage can lid, several chairs, a trash can, kendo sticks, and tool box, and put them all in the ring. D’Angelo yelled Dunne is “looney tunes.” Dunne grabbed his bat and a mic and entered the ring. He said D’Angelo is going to need more than a crowbar at Vengeance Day. He says so how about they take everything they can find, attach it to the cage, and have a weaponized steel cage match. D’Angelo agreed.

WINNER: Pete Dunne at 5:00 televised (Bitter End)

-They cut to the back with Io Shirai and Zoey Stark. Stark said they needed to discuss the Tag Team Classic as Stark went through all the teams. Shirai asked why Stark keeps telling her this. Stark says she knows that Shirai wants to get those titles back. Shirai relented. Stark said they need to find someone who can tag with Shirai while she’s still rehabbing. Shirai said OK, I’m in, and said she knows who to ask, but wouldn’t tell Stark. Stark said it was her idea!

-L.A. Knight made his entrance. They cut to break. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Promos aside, I liked what Anthony showed here tonight, and he sold that Bitter End like death. A weaponized steel cage match, to me, doesn’t sound as cool as Lethal Lockdown.)

-They returned with Choo walking in the back, selling her injuries. She came across Kai, going through her bags, saying that new wardrobe won’t buy her victories in the ring.

-Sanga made his entrance with Grasyon Waller for his match.

(4) L.A. KNIGHT vs. SANGA (w/Grayson Waller) – Singles match

Knight needs to win if he wants to face Waller and have the restraining order lifted. He dodged a Sanga attack and went with his own to no avail. Knight is using the stick-and-move strategy, but Sanga didn’t leave his feet and threw Knight into the corner. He kicked away, then hit a big uppercut. Sanga hit a headbutt that sent Knight outside as Waller trash talked. Sanga lifted Knight, but Knight slide out and shoved Sanga into the post. Sanga reentered the ring, but Knight was all over him.

Knight ducked a kick and went for BFT, but Sanga just lifted and tossed him, then hit an elbow drop for a two-count. Sanga sent Knight into the corner, but ate a kick on the charge. Knight hit a few running clotheslines, but Sanga didn’t budge. Knight went for a springboard dropkick and finally Sanga fell. He kicked out emphatically at two. Waller got up and took out the top turnbuckle pad. The ref saw, but this let Knight rake the eyes. He then dodged Sanga, who hit the exposed corner chest-first, but his head on the post on the whiplash. Knight hit a neckbreaker after for the win.

Waller attacked, but Knight got the better and floored him with BFT.

WINNER: L.A. Knight at 3:10 (BFT)

-Mitchell was with Duke Hudson in the back and asked about Dante Chen. Hudson said he hasn’t seen Chen anywhere and actually stepping up to him is not as easy as it looks. Hudson said Chen isn’t here for a reason. He then wished Indi Hartwell good luck next week.

-Joseph hyped the NXT Championship Summit next as they cut to break. [c]

-They returned with the Toxic Attraction-led Vengeance Day promo.

NXT CHAMPIONSHIP SUMMIT W/BRON BREAKKER AND SANTOS ESCOBAR (w/Legado del Fantasma)

Santos Escobar and the rest of Legado del Fantasma were in the ring with Barret, who introduced Escobar. He then introduced Breakker, who as I said either last week or two weeks ago, isn’t dressed like the NXT Champion; Escobar looks more like the NXT Champion, but that’s OK! It works for Breakker.

Barrett turned to Breakker first and asked how he’s so sure that he’s going to win next week. Breakker yelled that he’ll keep it short and sweet: he respects Escobar, but he’s going to beat him and there’s not a damn thing Escobar can do about it. He said we know how these things go, so let’s flip the table and start fighting right now. Escobar laughed and said he wouldn’t expect any other answer from someone so new, so young, and so naïve. He said when he says on his time, it means he’s pulling the strings. He said Breakker doesn’t even realize and while Paul Heyman might be calling Breakker the future of the WWE, Escobar is already planning ways to end his career before it starts.

Dolph Ziggler’s music hit, going off his tease a few weeks ago. Ziggler was in a black suit, juxtaposed to Escobar’s white suit. Ziggler soaked it in a bit, then slowly made his way to the ring as Escobar looked confused and mad as to why Ziggler was there. Ziggler entered the ring and took Barret’s seat at the middle of the table, putting his feet up as the crowd cheered for him. Ziggler said what a night, NXT on SyFy, what a moment (yelling as much as Breakker as much as…Ziggler). Ziggler said Breakker, kid, you know how to use Twitter, big fan, chase that clout as he’ll hang onto his money and titles.

[HOUR TWO]

Ziggler said you wanted to know if I worked Tuesdays, well apparently I do now; he said with a bonus, “Thanks Ace.” He said he has a plane to catch, so he asked Breakker who the hell are you? Breakker yelled that he’s the NXT Champion and the reason Ziggler’s down here, pal. He said he’ll handle Ziggler after handling Escobar. Ziggler said that’s an amateur move, looking past the opponent, and only DZ can do that, but he’s not DZ. He listed off his accolades as Escobar made the “keep talking” gesture. Ziggler said he’s humble and that out of 100 matches, 99 don’t go his way, but we all know what he can do any day of the week; the crowd chanted “Steal the show.” Ziggler said all those accolades, but one title he does not have is the NXT Championship.

Ziggler said he doesn’t care what the fans are yelling or talking about, he doesn’t have to be better or smarter than Breakker (“which I am”), then Tomasso Ciampa’s music hit. Ciampa said Ziggler in an NXT ring, ain’t that something. What a moment, he said. The crowd is really just trying to take over the segment. Ciampa said he’ll be honest: Ziggler as NXT Champion is a hard pass. He took a seat and put it right next to Ziggler. He said listen, kid (to Ziggler), he loves his spirit, but if he’s going to walk into his home-

Escobar just stood up and asked what the hell is going on? He said first, Ciampa and Breakker play frienemies and now he wants the title. He turned to Ziggler and said he doesn’t go here, and he’s here because of some mean tweets. He said once becomes the new NXT Champion, he’s going to handle Ziggler and Ciampa. Ciampa said listen homeboy, interrupt me again and you won’t be making to Vengeance Day. Ciampa said he’s next in line, unless “kid” has a problem with that. Ziggler said Ciampa said this is his home, the same few hundred Florida people come out and clap like seals no matter what you do, week in and week out, and Ciampa thinks this is his home. He asked when the training wheels come off, but Ciampa just kicked him out of the ring.

The two fought at ringside, then LDF attacked Breakker. Ciampa and Ziggler started fighting back to Gorilla. Breakker fought off LDF, then turned to see Escobar. Escobar looked around, then went after Breakker. LDF caught up, hit a double enziguri, and a double spinebuster of Breakker through the table. Escobar took a mic and said everything happens on his time, and this is his time.

-A video played with Kay Lee Ray saying now she’s going to make Rose suffer for not giving her the match when she asked. She bashed a lot of glassware with her bat.

-They showed a “Moments Ago” video as Waller and Sanga were leaving, saying Knight got lucky, but he’s a real loser for breaking the restraining order. He was asked about challenging Knight to a match next week, then said no, idiot, he’s going to get arrested next week. He said karma is a bitch and walked off.

-Sarray was shown making her way to the entrance, looking at her grandmother’s jewel. She made her transformation as she came through the curtains to some. “The Warrior of the Sun” made her way to the ring for her match with Kai. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: The only person that was likeable in that segment was Escobar. Breakker still just continues to yell, and if he’s ever in a feud with Ziggler, I pray for all of our ears at the amount of shouting that will happen between them. I’m glad there was no triple threat of fatal four-way announcement as sticking with the singles matches is best for all four, especially if Ziggler truly is on NXT now. I tweeted he’s basically been enhancing talent for the better part of a decade and hey, he even alluded to his record!)

(5) SARRAY vs. DAKOTA KAI – Singles match

Kai was in control as they returned, but Sarry rolled her up and then into a single leg crab before Kai grabbed the rope. Sarray went for her Sunray Dropkick, but Kai moved and then hit a series of her running boot washes in the corner for a two-count. Kai hit a big pump kick, but Sarray showed fighting spirit and then the two began trading shots. Sarray hit a running wheelbarrow pin into a double stomp.

Sarry climbed to the top and hit a missile dropkick for a two-count. Kai went for a scorpion kick, didn’t hit well, so hit another one. She then hit some kind of twisting neckbreaker for a two-count. She whipped Sarry into the corner, but Sarry turned it into a sunset flip for a two-count, then the two traded different pins for two-counts. Kai hit another pump kick, went for her running boot, but missed. Sarray hit a jumping spin kick to the chest, then went for her Sunray Dropkick and hit in the face. Sarray then hit her overhead uranage for the victory.

WINNER: Sarray at 4:12 televised (modified Saito)

-They cut to a vignette with Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams at the barber shop. Williams said to shape up the mustache since he has a date with OllieJayy. Hayes said come on man, it’s my third date. They shifted to his title defenses, and Williams said Twitter thinks Grimes has a chance. They laughed it off. Hayes said Grimes has been in NXT two years and look at his accolades; Williams said what accolades?

Williams set the record straight: Hayes is the Breakout Tournament winner, North American Champion, Cruiserweight Champion unifier, and leading the team to a victory at WarGames. Hayes said he’s the money fight and he does numbers. He said at Vengeance Day, that’s all it is and all it’s going to be. He then got ready for his line up. They hyped the title match for next week.

-Hartwell was on the phone as Persia Pirotta approached. Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne appeared and tried to sow dissension. Pirotta said they’re best friends and Hartwell said they’ll win again. Jayne asked who’s going to console Pirotta after they lose: Lumis or Hudson as they Dolan held up an old photo of Hartwell and Hudson. Things broke down and refs had to come in and break it up. A camera zoomed in on the photo as they cut to break. [c]

-They returned with a Black History Month video on supporting Black-led organizations, focusing on Bianca Belair meeting Jackie Joyner-Kersee and her center and foundation.

-They showed another video for Nikkita Lyons, who said she’s not a jack of all trades, but a master. She said she can also kick ass. They showed her hitting pads and a dummy. She said people would try to break into her van as unruly concert goers, so she picked the fights because she knew she could end them. She said if you come at her with that “weak ass shit,” you better prepare for a lion’s roar.

-Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs were in the back as Briggs tried to encourage Jensen to ask out Kayden Carter. They approached her and Kacy Catanzaro and Jensen said they should do something next week. Catanzaro said they’d love to do something with the two of them. The two agreed and left, then Jensen and Briggs argued over what happened.

-MSK made their entrance for their semi-final match with Malik Blade and Edris Enofe. The latter made their entrance.

(6) MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter) vs. MALIK BLADE & EDRIS ENOFE – Semi-finals of the men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

Lee and Blade began the match. They locked up with Blade using his size advantage to shove Lee in the corner. Lee, still locked up, climbed to the second rope, then they broke. He leaped over Blade, then hit a go-behind. Lee and Blade hit some evasive maneuvers on each other, then Carter tagged in. Lee hit an enziguri, allowing Carter to come in and hit a bronco buster for a one-count. Carter mised an enziguri, then Enofe tagged in and hit a big belly-to-back suplex for a one-count.

Enofe cinched in a rear chinlock, but Carter fought to his feet, then sent Enofe to the apron. Enofe came back in, went for a rana, but Carter flipped onto his feet. Blade and Lee tagged in, but MSK took it to Blade with a double team combo before taking out Enofe. They cut to break as the online player doesn’t play the split-screen, but at least this one is during a match and not at the beginning of the match. [c]

Blade had Carter in a rear chin lock as they returned. Carter hit some short elbows, then both men made tags. Lee took out Enofe, then hit him with some heavy strikes and a leaping double stomp. He hit a running forearm and enziguri in the corner, then a big exploder. Lee hit a running meteora, then tagged in Carter. Lee catapulted Enofe into a superkick then a leaping double stomp from the top, but Blade broke up the pin. Blade sent Lee outside, then hit a tope con hilo. Enofe rolled up Carter off the distraction for a near-fall.

Blade tagged in and they hit a double team vertical-cutter combo. Enofe then went to the top and hit a huge splash, but Carter kicked out since Lee didn’t make in time (good call, Carter!). Lee then sent Blade outside. They hit Enofe with some more double team offense and hit their finisher for the victory.

After the match, MSK faced off with The Creed Brothers in front of the trophy, talking smack to each other.

WINNER: MSK at 9:28 (tandem blockbuster)

-A Grimes vignette played, saying it’s no secret he comes from humble beginnings. He said no one’s taken more body blows and grown more in NXT than him. He said through everything, he came out the other side a self-made man. They showed his house, cars, and money as he said he has everything except what he got into this business to be. He said he would trade it all and come back to the trailer park if he can walk through that door and see the championship on his mantle. He said everyone knows Hayes is on that fast track, but Grimes said 2022 will be his year and he has a one-way ticket to the moon.

-They hyped the main event as they cut to break with a WWE 2K22 commercial. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: That was a fun match. Blade and Enofe work very well together, their middle school humor in backstage segments aside, and the near victory was a well-done spot. Barrett mentioned Enofe and Blade only met in December, so even if it’s just kayfabe, it’s a good start to their potential year or two-year journey to become Tag Team Champion. MSK vs. The Creed Brothers should be a good match, and The Creed Brothers should go over next week. Don’t be surprised if MSK heads to Raw after WrestleMania.)

-They returned with Kai in the back, holding her head. Choo mockingly said it’s not as easy as it looks before grabbing all of her shopping bags and walking off.

-The announcers went over the card for next week’s Vengeance Day event.

-As Rose was making her way for the entrance, Hartwell and Pirotta took out her cronies. The officials made Rose go without them. Ray entered first, followed by Rose. Alicia Taylor gave formal ring introductions from inside of the ring. She began her intros with four minutes left until the top of the hour (the show is set to go until eight minutes after).

(7) MANDY ROSE (c) vs. KAY LEE RAY – NXT Women’s Championship match

Ref D.A. Brewer drew the assignment as Ray dodged Rose and landed a series of chops. Rose slipped the KLR Bomb attempt and slapped Ray. She then hit a big Thesz Press to Ray. Ray responded with a big lariat, then some forearms followed by a rope-assisted tornado DDT for a two-count. Ray stalked around Rose before climbing to the top for her senton, but Rose rolled outside. Ray hit a lope through the bottom rope and near the corner, close to the announce table. She rolled Rose back in for a two-count. Ray whipped Rose into a corner, then again, but Rose dodge a strike and caught a kick, then sent Ray head-first into the turnbuckle. She worked Ray some more in the corner as the ref counted. Rose then countered a lariat with a spinebuster for a two-count.

[OVERRUN]

Rose locked in a body scissors as Joseph threw to Mitchell, Mitchell said Toxic Attraction and Hartwell & Pirotta were escorted from the building. Ray leaned back into a pin, then the two began trading pinning attempts with a bridge and a backslide. Rose hit a gut knee, then a flipping sidewalk slam for a two-count. Barrett kept saying Rose’s strength is underrated. Rose talked some smack to Ray as she took her time damaging Ray. She then locked in an abdominal stretch, landing 12-6 elbows to the ribs. She drove her elbow into ribs and kept it there, but Ray flipped her out of the hold.

Ray gained the momentum and hit a dropkick, then an enziguri in the corner. Ray hit a quick second rope moonsault for a one-count, then a two-count. Ray used that to transition into a Koji Clutch, but Rose stacked her into a pin for a two-count. Ray went for the KLR Bomb, but Rose countered with a sunset bomb for a two-count. Rose, with anger in her face, set for double underhook, but Ray blocked and hit a gourdbuster. Rose parried a superkick into a rollup for a two-count, but Ray hit the next superkick for a two-count. Ray climbed to the top rope, possibly for her senton, but Jayne appeared to distract the ref as Dolan pushed Ray off of the top. Rose then hit her running knee finisher for the victory to retain her title.

After the match, Jayne grabbed tha bat and scared off Brewer by acting like she was going to hit him. Rose took the bat and made to hit Ray, who was being held up by the other two. Shirai’s music hit as she made the save; I guess we know who her partner’s going to be! Shirai took out all three of the heels by herself, hitting a tiger feint kick to Golan and her springboard dropkick to both. Rose tried getting after Shirai, but Ray hit the KLR Bomb, finally. Shirai and Ray stood tall in the ring as the show went off the air.

WINNER: Mandy Rose at 7:58 (running knee) to retain the NXT Women’s Championship

(Hazelwood’s Take: Maybe my expectations for Rose matches are so low that I thought that match exceeded expectations, probably due to the involvement of Ray. What I want to know is how did Dolan and Jayne make it back inside if they were “escorted out” of the building? A bribe? A secret entrance like at the Staples Center – basketball fans will get that reference – or something similar? Still, there was nothing in the match that was remotely off or looked odd, so kudos there. I like the pairing of Ray, but feel like they cannot lose a match in the Dusty Classic as two powerhouses teaming together. It reminds me of Samoa Joe teaming with Finn Balor – and their eventual feud is what I see happening between these two.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Well, that was a furious first hour of NXT. There just didn’t seem to be any breaks. The action was pretty good and the stories built well, but once that NXT Championship summit hit, a lot of the energy seemed to dissipate from that first hour. The MSK vs. Blade & Enofe match helped, but maybe that took out the remaining energy because the crowd was dead for the main event – though sometimes a dead NXT crowd isn’t the worst thing. It also looks like we finally have a start date for the women’s Dusty Classic in two weeks, the show after Vengeance Day. I don’t think all the teams have been revealed, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see the loser of next week’s Women’s Tag Team Championship entered into the Dusty Classic. On the other hand, I’m really intrigued to see how they build Blade & Enofe from here, and decidedly NOT interested in whatever Jensen & Briggs are doing with Carter & Catanzaro.

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