Tommaso Ciampa Saved Keith Lee From Undisputed Era
Lee spoke about how 2019 was the year of Undisputed Era and mentioned that their time of holding all the gold in NXT will end next week when he challenges Roderick Strong for the NXT North American Championship. I thought it was weird that Adam Cole was the one who interrupted him considering Lee's bad blood is with Strong at the moment. Was this intended to plant the seeds for Lee vs. Cole for the NXT Championship for down the road? The injury angle was well done and created doubt that Lee will be 100% next week (assuming he'll be able to compete at all).
Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne def. Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Quarterfinal Match
Riddle and Dunne may just have to become a permanent tag team going forward. They work wonderfully together and had an absolutely killer match here with Andrews and Webster. Holy hell, this was on another level! There was pretty much no chance of Andrews and Webster advancing here, but the obvious outcome didn't hinder my enjoyment of this outing whatsoever. Why weren't The Broserweights a thing earlier!?
Johnny Gargano Saved Tommaso Ciampa From Undisputed era
I'm fine with NXT doing talking segments to kick off the show once in a while, and although what they did earlier with Ciampa, Lee and Undisputed Era was fine, this felt like a rerun to me. It didn't help that it took place so soon after the opening segment, but at least it served to further the feud between Ciampa and Cole and officially reunite DIY. Trent Seven wasted no time in throwing the challenge out there on Twitter for DIY to face Moustache Mountain at Wolds Collide. Just take my money right now!
Grizzled Young Veterans def. Alex Shelley and Kushida in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Quarterfinal Match
I can't explain how cool and how surreal it was to see Alex Shelley in a WWE ring. After everything he's accomplished in his career, he deserves it. Granted, he and Kushida lost in their reunion (and part of me is mad about that), but I'm sure this was designed to be a tryout for him since I don't believe he's signed to any sort of a deal yet. Here's hoping NXT offers him a contract coming out of this. This was a super fun match and, again, tag team wrestling at its finest.
Isiah "Swerve" SCott def. Tyler Breeze and Lio Rush in a Triple Threat Match to Qualify for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4-Way Match at Worlds Collide
This was the match I was hoping for from Scott and Rush when they faced off the first time on 205 Live last week (before The Singh Brothers had to ruin it). Throwing Breeze in there made it that much better. I really like the idea of Breeze wrestling in the Cruiserweight division while Fandango is out injured, but Scott was the best option to win here. All three of them had terrific chemistry and produced a hell of a Triple Threat. We don't even know who the other two wrestlers in the match will be at Worlds Collide and it's already shaping up to be stellar.
Bianca Belair Won an NXT Women's Championship No. 1 Contender's Battle Royal
There was a ton of talent in this thing, including some stars who weren't previously advertised. Kacy Catanzaro made a surprising return (it was heavily rumored a while ago that she was done with wrestling all together), Mercedes Martinez got to shine in her first official NXT match, Shotzi Blackheart got the shock elimination over Shayna Baszler, Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai furthered their feud with Kai eliminating Nox (even though it was predictable), and the final stretch with Belair and Io Shirai was great. Honestly, Rhea Ripley vs. Belair feels is a bit of a letdown to me. Belair isn't a compelling contender and has already failed to capture the championship countless times in the past. Granted, the same can be said about Shirai, but at least Shirai vs. Ripley hasn't been done before. It feels like filler before whoever Ripley faces over WrestleMania weekend.
There weren't too many matches and segments on this edition of NXT, yet it felt like a lot happened. The Dusty Classic continued with two tremendous matches, the Battle Royal was given a ton of time and delivered (not to mention featured some nice surprises), the Cruiserweight Triple Threat was a blast, Lee vs. Strong was hyped for next week, and new matches were made official for Worlds Collide and TakeOver: Portland. The two hours were absolutely excellent and left me looking forward to everything NXT has to offer in the weeks ahead.