Original Air Date: February 27, 2019
Event Date: February 20, 2019
(available on the WWE Network)
Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
Ring Announcer: Kayla Braxton
“Resistance” by Powerflo
Johnny Gargano heads to the ring. Gargano comments on the last few weeks being interesting. Not only has he made his main roster debut, but he also lost the North American Title to Velveteen Dream. Gargano finally became Johnny Champion, but he failed in his first defense. He failed himself, and he failed the fans. Gargano still feels like a champ though, even if he doesn’t have a championship. Johnny is about to reveal the reason why he even became champ in the first place when Tommaso Ciampa comes out to the stage.
As he walks to the ring, Ciampa says Gargano is at his best when Ciampa is in his life. Whenever they are together they win. But last week, Gargano chose to fight alone, and he lost. Losing the title doesn’t have to be a bad thing though. Johnny realized that he needs Ciampa, and that’s not a bad thing. Johnny doesn’t have a title, but it doesn’t have to be that way. William Regal recently announced the return of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. The Classic is where the DIY dream started. Together, DIY can win it all.
Ciampa holds out his hand for Gargano. Gargano shakes on it.
Cathy Kelly congratulates Ricochet on his main roster debut, but she says he still has unfinished business with the Undisputed Era. Ricochet says that when you fight one member of Undisputed Era, you fight all of them. But now, Ricochet has Aleister Black on his side. Cathy asks Ricochet how he plans to deal with UE. Ricochet says that Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish are in the Dusty Classic, so he’s going to ask Regal to put himself and Aleister Black in the tournament as well.
Mia Yim gets ready for a fight.
Outside the Venue
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano exit the venue together. Candice LeRae is waiting for them. Ciampa walks away. Gargano tries to talk to LeRae, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Frustrated, LeRae tells Gargano that he better know what he’s doing.
Vanessa Borne & Aliyah vs Taynara Conti & Xia Li
(referee: Jessika Carr)
Result: Vanessa Borne pins Xia Li after an assisted backbreaker
This was okay. I like the team of Conti and Li, but Borne and Aliyah need some work. Conti and Li had good individual effort, though they didn’t necessarily work together much as a team. Borne and Aliyah did some teamwork, but it didn’t come across great (especially their odd tandem finisher). They’ll get better, but it just felt off that Borne and Aliyah seemed to be the focus of the match when Conti and Li seem to have progressed beyond them at this point.
Outside the Venue
Earlier today, Velveteen Dream tries to talk about being champ, but the Undisputed Era interrupts him. Adam Cole tells Dream that he’s going to take the North American Title from him. Dream wonders what Cole would say if he wasn’t surrounded by his friends. Dream says he has no time for Cole. Dream walks away. Cole is offended.
Outisde of William Regal’s office, Cathy Kelley says he is finalizing the brackets for the Dusty Classic. Cathy hears a commotion down the hallway and runs over to check it out. Bianca Belair and Io Shirai are yelling at each other. Eddie Orengo is trying to calm them down, but it’s not until Serena Deeb pulls Belair away that the two women separate.
Dominik Dijakovic vs Keith Lee
(referee: Tom Castor)
Result: the match ends in a Double Count Out
Good match. Both men had moments where they showed their impressive strength and surprising agility. Both men needed a good match, and they both got one here. What they showed us here got me excited for more. With the less than satisfying way this match ended, it seems clear that NXT knows this matchup has big-match potential. This was a very nice preview for the real match they’ll have at some point later on.
After the match, Lee and Dijakovic want to keep fighting. Referees separate them, but it’s clear this isn’t over between them.
Sasha Banks and Bayley, the WWE Women’s Tag Champs, head to the ring. Banks says it feels good to be home. Her and Bayley’s journey to become the tag champs started here in NXT. Bayley says it’s important for the two of them to share the titles with the NXT crowd. Their journey has just begun, and they want the women’s tag titles to be the most talked-bout titles in WWE. Sasha says they will defend the titles against anyone on any show. Maybe next time Banks and Bayley set foot in NXT, they’ll be defending the titles.
Shayna Baszler prepares for a fight.
Mia Yim vs Shayna Baszler (NXT Women’s Champ)
(referee: Darryl Sharma)
Result: Shayna Baszler wins via submission with the Kirifuda Clutch
Very good match. Mia Yim does very well with injury psychology, and Baszler gave her a lot to work with in this match. It looked like Baszler was going to have to fight hurt when she missed a strike and ended up punching the mat, but soon after that, Yim missed a kick and hit the ring steps full force with her leg. Baszler focused on Yim’s leg throughout the rest of the match. Yim showed strong desire and resilience, but Baszler was able to adjust on the fly and modified her own plan of attack to compensate for Yim’s repeated gutsy efforts. This was a lot of fun to watch, and it was great for Yim as a character. A very strong performance from both women.
This was a good show. The first match could have been better, the the next two matches made up for it. It was also surprisingly nice to see Bayley and Sasha bring the tag titles to NXT. Now they just need to take them to SmackDown as well…
Match of the Night
Mia Yim vs Shayna Baszler
I feel like this match elevated Yim a couple of notches, and it once again solidified Baszler’s dominance as champ.
Official Results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/2019-02-27