NXT returned last night (Feb. 19) for Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. You can find the results at the live blog here.
A New Challenger
The main event tonight was Velveteen Dream against Roderick Strong.
It was a fun bout, which is to be expected with this duo. Roddy is a fantastic worker and a perfect choice for Dream’s first match back to knock off any rust. Not that Velveteen looked rusty. He looked good out there.
He brought the charisma and the Marina Shafir tights. (These were some detailed tights with Marina’s face both on the front and the back.)
Undisputed got involved but Dream took them out from the top rope and was able to win with the Dream Valley Driver. The end felt like there may have been a slight bit of a crunch for time, but it was a good match.
Afterwards, the Undisputed ERA beat down Velveteen Dream and stood tall, hinting that Velveteen will be Cole’s next big challenger. It reminded us that the ERA is still the dominant faction, despite a bunch of recent losses, and that it’s going to take a Herculean effort to depose those.
It wasn’t anything special. It was a by-the-books segment, but that’s not always bad. It was a good match and the beat down to help build up an eventual challenger. Now how long until we see Britt Baker on Dream’s tights?
No more Johnny
NXT opted to go with a Tommaso Ciampa promo kick off his feud with Johnny Gargano.
This is a smart way to go about it. Ciampa is a good promo. Gargano tops out at “He’s alright.” So Tommaso the man to go first to in order to properly get this feud running.
He didn’t wait for scheduled time. Instead, he interrupted Austin Theory’s match before his opponent could even walk out. This is something I enjoy. It makes NXT feel like a fluid, connected show. Ciampa didn’t have a scheduled segment. He stole someone else’s.
His promo helped sell the feud being he pretty much vowed to end Gargano’s NXT career. In fact he claimed he had to if he was ever going to get things right in NXT. He also teased that he knew why Gargano attacked him, but didn’t say it because Theory tried to attack him. That leaves a little thread of mystery.
Throughout all this, stupid Austin Theory tried to step up to an angry Ciampa. He paid for it multiple times. That was entertaining, and it sets up their match for next week.
Dominik Dijakovic isn’t over his loss from Portland.
After Keith Lee straight up squashed Kona Reeves in an impromptu match, Dijakovic came out and claimed he had their title match won at TakeOver. If he didn’t hurt his back on the Spanish Fly from the top rope, he’d have been able to hit Feast Your Eyes for the win.
While Lee wasn’t into the excuses, he’d be fine to fight forever as long as Regal allowed it.
I appreciate the reason Dijakovic gave for wanting the rematch. The hurt back preventing the Feast Your Eyes was a good story in the match itself. And now it’s continuing as the reason for the rematch. That attention to detail is much appreciated, and that line of thinking reminds us that this should feel like a real sport at times.
Props to the fans for playing their part with the “Fight Forever” chant and not going rogue chanting something dumb.
Lee was great here as always. That dudes has such charisma. Another detail that was appreciated was him saying “OK, let’s see what Regal says” and not just accepting a match without power to.
Is this going to lead to a Dijakovic heel turn? I think it’s the most likely scenario.
During the middle of the Robert Stone Brand relaunch, a match between Kayden Carter & Chelsea Green, Bianca Belair interrupted to cut a quick promo on Charlotte Flair and challenge her to a match.
Belair has developed into a fantastic promo and a fantastic character in general. She sold the match with just this promo. Charlotte cut a promo solo to sell her match with Rhea on Monday but this felt like it did a better job.
If I had to choose between a triple threat a WrestleMania or a one on one between Belair and Flair prior, I’d choose the latter. I’d prefer to see Charlotte work both women one on one instead of trying to cram it into one match.
A good mix
The BroserWeights continued with their mix of comedy and great in ring action this week.
They had a little comedy bit before their match against Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch about them partying too hard until the Dusty Cup trophy got itself suspended for violating the wellness policy. The nods to Matt Riddle’s history as a stoner usually gets a chuckle out of me.
Then they had a strong match against the team of Lorcan & Burch, who I wish would have a more prominent role in the division.
The longer the BroserWeights are together, the more they’ll gel in both their matches and their silly promos.
All the Rest:
– Jordan Devlin defeated Lio Rush to retain his cruiserweight championship. Devlin has more of a meticulous style, which I actually like as the top heel in the cruiserweight division. He is very athletic and can fly, but he wore down Lio Rush on his way to victory. Now we wait and see where the Irish Ace shows up next.
– It looks like the Grizzled Young Veterans are an NXT prime team now, picking up the victory over Team Good Hand defeating Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza. This is good. The Grizzled Vets are good, especially with the promo chops of Zack Gibson, and the division needs another strong team.
This was a solid show. Nothing too wild in the fallout from Portland, but still a good show.
Sounds off below.