NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day
Original Air Date: February 14, 2021
Event Date: February 14, 2021
(aired live on the WWE Network)
Commentary: Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett
Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor
Theme Song: “Obey” by Bring Me The Horizon
Wrestle and Flow (featuring Josiah Williams) presents: “NXT, Will You Be My Valentine?”
Vic Joseph welcomes us to NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day as he introduces Beth Phoenix and Wade Barrett.
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final Match
Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vs Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart
(referee: DA Brewer)
Result: Raquel Gonzalez pins Shotzi Blackheart after a one-armed powerbomb, Gonzalez and Kai win the first-ever Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
This was a frantic and frenetic start to the night, and I enjoyed it very much. Gonzalez and Kai had a great combination of power, speed, and strikes, and they were in control of large chunks of this match. It was practically a free-for-all most of the time with everyone trying to hit big move after big move to try to end the fight. Considering the pace, it was surprising that it lasted as long as it did, but by the time the finish came around, it was completely believable. This was a lot of fun and a great way to start the show.
After the match, William Regal congratulates the winners of of the 2021 Women’s Dusty Classic Tag Tea Classic.
Outside the Venue
Earlier today, Pete Dunne arrived with the NXT Tag Team Champions, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch.
Outside the Venue
Earlier today, NXT Champ Finn Balor arrived by himself.
A look at Johnny Gargano and KUSHIDA heading into the NXT North American Title match.
The Way (Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell, & Austin Theory) get ready for Gargano’s title match. They all head towards the ring area, but, behind everyone else’s back, Theory is kidnapped by Dexter Lumis.
NXT North American Title Match
KUSHIDA vs Johnny Gargano (NXT NA Champ)
(referee: Tom Castor)
Result: Johnny Gargano wins via pinfall after two slingshot DDTs and retains the title in the second defense of his third reign
Great match! It was violent at time, but mostly this was a fantastic technical match with both men trying to injure their opponent with their most vicious holds and slams. After a while KUSHIDA began to take control of the match, but, as he often does, Gargano kept fighting and fighting. The majority of the tension was centered on how often KUSHIDA could attempt to destroy Gargano’s arm and how long Gargano could survive without tapping out. Turns out it was a pretty long time. Long enough for Gargano to repeatedly come up with smart ways to get back into the fight and do some damage of his own. I loved this match and will definitely be watching it again.
Next Sunday is the most dangerous stop on the road to Wrestlemania, the Elimination Chamber.
Mercedes Martinez warms up.
Toni Storm puts on her gear.
Io Shirai stretches.
A look at this year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and the paths of MSK and the Grizzled Young Veterans.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final Match
MSK vs Grizzled Young Veterans
(referee: Drake Wuertz)
Result: Wes Lee pins James Drake after an assisted blockbuster, and MSK wins the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
Very good match. MSK are an exciting, high-flying team, but after an initial burst of offense they were grounded for quite a while by James Drake and Zack Gibson. Nash Carter got isolated and beaten up for a long time, but when Wes Lee finally got a tag, he began to even up the fight with a series of dives. The match was a lot more even from that point on, and both teams looked very good doing what they do best (MSK running and flying and Grizzled Young Vets grounding and pounding). I think Drake and Gibson looked like the better tag team, but you can’t deny the excitement MSK brings to the ring. This was fun.
After the match, William Regal congratulates the winners of the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
WWE celebrates Black History Month with Titus O’Neil, Montez Ford, Sasha Banks, and Big E quoting Martin Luther King Jr.
Cameron Grimes is a country boy with lots and lots of money.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch give Pete Dunne a pep talk.
Finn Balor sits alone with his NXT Title belt.
A look at the buildup to tonight’s NXT Women’s Title Match.
NXT Women’s Title Triple Threat Match
Mercedes Martinez vs Toni Storm vs Io Shirai (NXT Women’s Champ)
(referee: Stephon Smith)
Result: Io Shirai pins Mercedes Martinez after a moonsault and retains the title in the sixth defense of her first reign
Great match. This was a fight that felt natural in how it started in the ring but made its way logically out and around the ringside area. All three women were going at each other the entire time, and none of them really had any sustained advantage throughout the match. There was a big moment when Io Shirai dove onto Storm and Martinez from one of the lighting structures (which might have happened on a table if the announce table hadn’t fallen apart as soon as it was touched), but other than that the match was filled with good three-way fighting with few really huge risks taken. I would have liked for it to have gone on longer, but it does make sense that it wouldn’t go on too terribly long considering how much damage everyone was taking.
Once again, we are reminded that Elimination Chamber is next Sunday.
WrestleMania is only 55 days away.
Earlier today, L.A. Night (formerly Eli Drake) signed an NXT contract given to him by William Regal. L.A. Knight was also on the NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day pre-show.
A look at the buildup to the NXT Title match.
NXT Title Match
Pete Dunne vs Finn Balor (NXT Champ)
(referee: Darryl Sharma)
Result: Finn Balor wins via pinfall after 1916 and retains the title in the third defense of his second reign
Great match! This match probably had the best build of any match tonight. Dunne and Balor began with an extended sequence of grappling, and the main focus of the entire bout centered targeting specific body parts. Balor was more effective with his focused attacks though, as his repeated attacks on Dunne’s knees hobbled Dunne by the final segments of the match. Dunne was highly effective with his joint manipulation, but when they did stand and strike, Dunne struggled to keep his legs under him at times. Even so, this was a very hard-fought match right to the very end. It was also very, very entertaining.
After the match, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch attack Finn Balor. Pete Dunne joins Lorcan and Burch as they beat on Balor, but Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong of the Undisputed Era run out to the ring to chase Dunne, Lorcan, and Burch away. O’Reilly helps Balor to his feet, and Balor poses with the Undisputed Era. It looks like the show is about to end, but Cole superkicks Balor in the face before the camera fades. After a bit or arguing, Cole superkicks O’Reilly as well. Cole leaves the ring, and Strong is unsure of what to think.
This was a great show. I haven’t been watching NXT for a long time, but I didn’t really need to know any of the stories heading into tonight. The action spoke for itself, and the recap videos did more than enough to catch me up on what I needed to know.
Match of the Night
Pete Dunne vs Finn Balor
I really thought I was going to pick KUSHIDA vs Gargano, and I think it might be just as good as the main event, but the NXT Title match was probably the best match overall tonight.