NXT Review (10/23/19)

Venue: Full Sail Live (Winter Park, FL)

Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair
Opening Bell: 8:04:40
Final Bell: 8:17:18
Match Time: 12 Minutes, 28 Seconds
*Commercial Break: 8:10:33 – 8:14:08 (3 Minutes, 35 Seconds)
Result: Ripley pinned Belair following a Pumphandle Powerbomb

“I would say Belair has better technique than Rhea Ripley. Though Ripley has absolute brute force. Belair perhaps a better discipline, whereas Ripley is this wild errant aggression.” – Nigel McGuinness

Starting off, a tie up, fight for power, broke into a stare down, which transitioned into a test of strength. Belair got the first notable advantage of the match, driving Ripley into the corner, but Ripley countered with a fierce stomp. A waste lock take down broke some of Ripleys chains off her gear. Both women struggled to suplex each other before Rhea got the upperhand with a Delayed Vertical Suplex. After slamming Rhea off the top rope, Bianca hit her own Delayed Suplex.

After Rhea delivered a brutal boot to Bianca’s midsection, Beth Phoenix said the”NXT Women’s Division’s showing what empowerment looks like on a global state.” Seems like she probably meant stage.

Ripley’s Cannonball off the apron onto Bianca on the outside got an “Oh!” reaction from the crowd. Io Shirai sensed this was her time to interfere as she rushed down to the ring and hit Ripley with a cheap shot Tiger Feint Kick, then threw a stunned Ripley back into the ring where Belair hit her with what appeared to be a match-deciding Spear. But a Ripley kick out at two said otherwise.

A screaming and shocked Belair was matched in the shocked department by an apoplectic Io on the apron who couldn’t believe Rhea kicked out. Candice LeRae came rushing out to subdue Shirai.

With Io out of the picture, Rhea managed to reverse Bianca’s swipes and caught her with a Pumphandle Powerbomb that led to a pinfall victory as LeRae watched on the ramp.

As expected, this was a physical back and forth display of strength, power and athleticism by these two that managed to get the two other notable challengers for Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship, Shirai and LeRae, involved as well. Rhea got an establishing win, but Bianca also got a chance to strut her stuff and show she’s a worthy contender in an evenly balanced affair.

After a promo package for tonight’s triple-threat main event for the NXT North American Title, Cathy Kelly is shown interviewing Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate, asking Dunne about last week’s loss to Damian Priest.

“No excuses. But I promise ya, there’s a receipt coming,” said Dunne about Priest. Kelly’s question about Killian Dain and the fireworks they had before the match got the response of “I don’t care about Killian Dain” from Dunne.

A Tommaso Ciampa overcoming injury video package.

“Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

Matt Riddle vs. Cameron Grimes
Opening Bell: 8:28:25
Final Bell: 8:39:52
*Commercial Break: 8:33:08 – 8:36:39 (Three Minutes, 31 Seconds)
Match Time: 10 Minutes, 43 Seconds
Result: Riddle pinned Grimes following a Bro Derek

Grimes and Riddle both looked to hit big moves early but both missed/avoided. Riddle hit a number of kicks and forearms and an Exploder Suplex to gain the advantage.

Riddle hit a Goldberg-taunting Jackhammer for a near fall.

“Very controversial online presence, Matt Riddle.” – Nigel McGuinness

Grimes broke out an impressive looking back flip into a German Suplex combination to get back into the match before the commercial break.

Returning from commercial, Riddle hit a Ripcord Knee and a Bro to Sleep for a near fall. Grimes hits an impressive looking slam before heading to the top rope where he was met by Matt with a thunderous Suplex. A Floating Bro attempt was thwarted by Grimes’ knees. A sequence that saw the two trade blows was ended by a Final Flash Knee Strike into the Bro Derek as Matt was able to pick up a hard fought victory.

“Cameron Grimes proves that he can hang with the level of athlete of Matt Riddle.” – Mauro Ranallo

Another superlative showing by Riddle to add to the collection. This was the kind of effort that proved that an up-and-comer like Grimes can benefit way more from going in the ring and showing he can go toe-to-toe with someone the caliber of Riddle instead of just squashing lesser opponents in blink-of-an-eye matches.

Riddle offered a post-match fist bump to Grimes who showed no interest in returning the favor. Grimes then shoved Tyler Bate who was sitting ringside who responded with a knockout punch that left him sprawled out on the floor looking up at the lights.

A Dominik Dijakovic video segment.

“I promised my family a championship. And then six months ago, that got sidelined. But tonight, I feed my greatest rival and I keep my promise.”

“In a match that I’ve just signed, Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai will face Marina Shaffir and Jessamyn Duke. And the winner of that match will go on next week to face the WWE Women’s (Tag) Champions, The Kabuki Warriors, in a championship match. Thank you.” -William Regal

Breezango and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. The Forgotten Sons
Opening Bell: 8:52:06
Final Bell: 9:05:22
*Commercial Break: 8:54:02 – 8:57:58 (Three Minutes, 56 Seconds)
Match Time
: 13 Minutes, 12 Seconds
Result: Scott pinned Wesley Blake following a Back Kick

Tyler Breeze and Jaxson Ryker started things off before an intimidated Breeze quickly tagged out to Strickland. A fearless Fandango tried his luck and showed off his moves with a bit of taunting gyration before the commercial break.

Returning from commercial Ryker is firmly in control on a helpless Breeze.

“Ryker describes his offense as a vulgar display of savagery.” – Beth Phoenix

The crowd chants “Tyler!” hoping to give him a boost. Finally, Breeze was able to avoid the charging big man who goes crashing shoulder first into the post. It gave Tyler the window he needed to make it to his corner and tag in Fandango who came flying in with  slaps and strikes. Eventually, Scott found his way into the ring but he quickly ended up in a 3-on-1 disadvantage. The Forgotten Sons hit a unique looking combination Hurricanrana and Double Head Butt move from three different corners of the ring, which seemingly spelled doom for Swerve but luckily his teammates were able to break up the pin before the third strike of the ref’s hand.

Scott was able to get a second wind, knocking all three Sons to the outside. After a quick brawl with Ryker on the turnbuckle and a Superplex tease spot, Scott used Ryker as a springboard to hit Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler with a Moonsault to the outside.

Breeze and Fandango hit a Double Superkick on Ryker but the pin was broken up by the other Sons. Eventually, everyone ended up on the outside besides Scott and Blake. After rolling through a slam attempt, Swerve surprised Blake with a kick to the back of the neck to knock him out long enough to get a three count.

A post-match mini-dance party ensued among the celebrating trio of victors.

After making name for himself in one-on-one competition against Roderick Strong a few weeks ago, this was yet another breakthrough showing by Scott who wowed the crowd with his athleticism and kick striking ability.

NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong video package.

“I know Mr. Regal’s trying to screw me putting me in a match with those two big goofs. But when the bright lights are on, I’m at my best. And tonight, I prove it. And that’s undisputed.”

Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush made his way down to the ringside area to join the commentary team before the show cut to commercial.

Returning from commercial, Killian Dain was shown standing in front of a fire taping up his pointer and middle finger on his left hand.

“Pete Dunne, you tried to break my fingers. Now I’m going to break you.”

Angel Garza vs. Jack Gallagher
Opening Bell: 9:15:45
Final Bell: 9:19:47
Match Time: Four Minutes, Two Seconds
Result: Garza pinned Gallagher following a Springboard Moonsault

“Let’s go Garza” chants from the crowd at the start. The two traded head locks early before Gallagher attempted an unsuccessful crucifix pin attempt. Soon enough, Garza’s pants were ripped off. Gentleman Jack displayed some impressive strength with a Delayed Suplex and some ferocity with a skull-cracking head butt.

Unfortunately, Gallagher got a bit overconfident with a charging leap into the corner where Garza made him pay by slamming  him to the mat and hitting him with a Springboard Moonsault to pick up a statement win in front of the champion before pointing at Rush and calling him out in a post-match taunting sequence.

Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai vs. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shaffir
Opening Bell: 9:27:20
Final Bell: 9:30:40
Match Time: Three Minutes, 20 Seconds
Result: Nox pinned Duke following the Shiniest Wizard

Duke surprised Kai with a a kick to the face as the bell rang. Shaffir quickly tagged in and threw a jolted Kai around the ring.

“Shaffir calls herself the CEO of the Judo Throw.” – Beth Phoenix

Kai caught Shaffir with a kick which allowed her to make it the corner to tag in Nox. Tegan showed some good energy flying around the ring and hitting a Crossbody onto Duke before finally nailing her with the Shiniest Wizard to pick up the victory.

There was not really much to this match but it did give Nox the chance to show off some of her big moves in a quick affair.

After the conclusion of the contest, The Kabuki Warriors appeared on the screen to taunt Nox and Kai in their native language before Kairi Sane said, “Next week, you have no chance.”

A Keith Lee video package.

“The very thing I’ve chased since I’ve walked through these doors has finally arrived. I intend to do everything within the fiber of my being to seize it, when I become NXT North American Champion.”

Roderick Strong vs. Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic
Opening Bell: 9:42:54
Final Bell: 10:01:15
Match Time: 18 Minutes, 21 Seconds
*Commercial Break: (PIP) 9:44:10 – 9:46:40 (Two Minutes, 30 Seconds)
*Commercial Break: 9:51:32 – 9:55:02 (Three Minutes, 30 Seconds)
: Strong pinned Lee following a running kick

Strong looked to escape the two big powerhouses as soon as the bell rang but they converged on him on the outside forcing him back in between the ropes. There, he was blasted by a huge shoulder tackle by Lee, knocking him back to the outside. “Oh, Bask In His Glory” chants from the crowd. Lee hit Dijakovic with a big Pop Up slam before the commercial break.

Back from commercial, Lee and Dijakovic were slugging it out while Strong came swirling around like a pesky fly before being swatted away. Strong got his revenge on Lee, however, as he pushed him over the ropes and stole his Superplex attempt onto Dijakovic.

After Lee made his way back into the ring, the three traded kicks and knees before Dominik managed to suplex the 320-pound Lee onto the 200-pound Strong.

After Lee rolled to the outside, Dijakovic attempted a Cannonball onto the outside but was caught. Before Lee could powerbomb Dijakovic, Strong came flying in to break things up. He soon paid the price for that decision, however, as Dijakovic hit him with a thunderous right hand.

Back inside the ring, Donovan brought Strong to the top rope looking for a Superplex of his own, but Lee decided to join the fun to make it a Tower of Doom.

After a commercial break, Strong backed up his claim that he shines brightest in these types of spots by neutralizing Dijakovic with a Backbreaker and hitting Lee with a flurry of running forearms, a knee strike and an Olympic Slam. “This Is Awesome!” chants from the NXT Crowd.

Soon enough, Lee and Dijakovic realized it was best to team up for a bit to take out Strong so they can duke it out themselves. They entered the ring to a standing ovation from the crowd, slugging it out with haymakers and head butts. Dijakovic’s ring-shaking Chokeslam on Lee nearly earned him the North American Title but Lee kicked out at the last second.

The two behemoths then took turns displaying their awe-inspiring athleticism with high-flying moves over the top rope to the outside. Lee’s flip earned the loudest ovation of the night from fans who had no trouble letting the performers know just how much they loved the incredible physics-defying feats they were seeing unfold in front of them.

Lee looked to have his first championship victory in NXT in sight when he slammed Dijakovic from the second turnbuckle, but the opportunistic Strong came flying in with a kick to steal the pin and hold onto his NXT North American Title.

This match had all the big power moves and exhibitions of athleticism expected from a Lee/Dijakovic encounter, and then some. The delayed Tower of Doom spot and Keith Lee’s flip over the top rope were absolutely wild, and they had the crowd going crazy.

The Undisputed Era’s post-match celebratory beat down of the gargantuan glory possessor was cut short by Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor.

After a main event which left the crowd struggling to process what they were seeing in terms of big men doing such insane things, the most unbelievable move of the night came from the 5’11”, 190-pound Balor who with one flick of his heel nailed an unsuspecting Gargano with a devastating kick, completely altering the dynamic of NXT.

Total Commercial Breaks: 10 (Two PIP)
Total Commercial Break Time: 36 Minutes, 15 Seconds

Commercial Breaks
1) (PIP) 8:10:33 – 8:14:08 (Three Minutes, 35 Seconds)
2) 8:20:27 – 8:24:15 (Three Minutes, 48 Seconds)
3) 8:33:08 – 8:36:39 (Three Minutes, 31 Seconds)
4) 8:43:57 – 8:47:29 (Three Minutes, 32 Seconds)
5) 8:54:02 – 8:57:58 (Three Minutes, 56 Seconds)
6) 9:08:47 – 9:12:47 (Four Minutes)
7) 9:21:20 – 9:25:08 (Three Minute, 48 Seconds)
8) 9:33:15 – 9:37:20 (Four Minutes, Five Seconds)
9) (PIP) 9:44:10 – 9:46:40 (Two Minutes, 30 Seconds)
10) 9:51:32 – 9:55:02 (Three Minutes, 30 Seconds)


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