Reviews

TJR: WWE NXT 09/01/20 “Super Tuesday” Review (4-Way 60-Minute Iron Man Match for NXT Title)

Welcome to the WWE NXT review here on TJRWrestling for a special “Super Tuesday” edition of NXT this week. It was on Tuesday because USA Network in the US was going to show the NHL Playoffs on Wednesday, but then Tampa Bay defeated Boston early and that plan changed. It was already decided that NXT was going to air on Tuesday this week and next week before moving back to the regular Wednesday timeslot. As usual for my NXT reviews, I will be doing a summary of matches and segments along with the analysis/star ratings for every match. I’ll go with a play by play format for the Tag Team Title match rather than the main event this week. It’s a really long main event too.

The opening video showed the highlight of Karrion Kross forfeiting the NXT Title due to injury. That set up the Fatal 4-Way main event this week. Breezango also became NXT Tag Team Champions last week. This week’s show was taped last Wednesday.

The show took place at Full Sail University as usual with development wrestlers in the crowd behind the plexiglass. The announcers are the tall announce team of Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett at Full Sail University and Beth Phoenix calling the action from her home in North America. In case you missed the announcer news this week, Mauro Ranallo is moving on from WWE while Barrett could be hired by WWE as a full-time announcer.

Street Fight: Legado del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Juaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza) vs. Tyler Breeze, Fandango and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

No tags in a Street Fight style match. It’s Tornado rules. The action spilled to the floor right away with the Fantasma trio in control early on. The first few minutes saw the heels continuing to be on the attack until Scott hit a dropkick on Mendoza into a chair. Breeze sent Wilde throat first across the guardrail and Fandango sent Escobar into a ladder. Fandango put the ladder on his shoulders to knock down the three opponents as they ran into the ladder like dummies. They did a comedy spot with Fandango doing a catapult that sent Breeze into the groin of Mendoza and Scott got a nearfall. Scott hit an impressive jumping knee on Escobar. Breeze sprayed some fire extinguisher spray onto the three heels. That led to a break.

There was a spot during the break with Fandango taking a dropkick off the apron and bumping through a table. Scott kicked Escobar and a jumping flatliner on Mendoza. Escobar sent Scott off the apron to the floor leading to a suicide dive that sent Scott over the barricade. The Imperium duo of Fabian Aichner and Marchel Barthel attacked Breeze from behind with punches. There was a very creative spot with Fandango and Scott on a forklift by the ring and they jumped off of it onto the heels in the ring. That was cool! The three faces were in control as Breeze and Fandango hit dives on four guys on the floor. Scott was left alone with Escobar with Scott hitting his sitout slam for the pinfall win after about 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Tyler Breeze, Fandango and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

Analysis: ***1/2 This was really good and full of action from the start of the match. They laid the match out well with some big spots using tables, ladders, even a forklift and other objects. The faces had to deal with Imperium showing up as well, yet they still managed to win with Scott looking strong as the winner for his team. In my preview for the show, I thought that Scott would get the win, but I figured it would be a pin on Wilde and Mendoza. Pinning Escobar is significant because it should lead to another Cruiserweight Title shot and Escobar rarely takes a pin. I’m glad that Breezango’s positive momentum continues one week after winning the titles.

There was a video with Tegan Nox talking about her friendship with Candice LeRae. However, they aren’t close friends anymore. This story has been developing for several weeks.

Candice LeRae vs. Kacy Catanzaro (w/Kayden Carter)

Kacy got a takedown with an arm drag, then a creative headscissors, but then Candice came back with a neckbreaker off the ropes. After Kacy got a rollup, Candice knocked her back down with an elbow to the head. Candice hit the flipping neck snap like Mr. Perfect. Kacy showed some fire with punches and flipping kick to the back for two. LeRae stomped on the back of Kacy to send her face first into the mat and Candice covered to win after about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Candice LeRae

Analysis: *1/2 A quick match to put over the heel LeRae, who might be getting a good push soon. Kacy has a lot of fighting spirit, she smiles a lot and she’s a likable underdog face. It just isn’t her time to get a push right now. They’re building to Candice vs. Tegan Nox soon.

Candice said that maybe she was a little jealous of Kacy and Kayden’s friendship because it reminded her of her friendship with Tegan Nox. Candice noted that Tegan wants to talk things over, so she does too. Candice invited Tegan to come to her house because dinner is on Candice.

Analysis: I guess we’ll get some dinner segments next week. Candice will likely be a bitch to Nox and it should set up a match.

Rhea Ripley did a promo saying she was sick of Mercedes Martinez and the Robert Stone Brand sticking their nose in their business. Ripley challenged Martinez to a Steel Cage Match.

Bronson Reed vs. Timothy Thatcher

They battled with forearm shots with the big man Reed also hitting a running splash to knock down Thatcher. Reed hit a senton splash to the ribs. Thatcher was able to get some offense going as he targeted the left arm of Reed since Thatcher is a submission specialist. Reed managed to come back with an elbow drop, then when Thatcher was on the floor, Reed hit a running suicide dive on the floor. The referee checked on Thatcher, so Austin Theory showed up with a bulldog on the floor that also slammed Reed’s injured left arm on the floor. Thatcher slapped on the injured left arm, then it was Fujiwara armbar and Reed tapped out to give Thatcher the submission win after about five minutes.

Winner by submission: Timothy Thatcher

Analysis: *3/4 It was okay for a short match with some hard shots from both guys. Thatcher gets the cheap win while Reed doesn’t lose clean because of Theory’s involvement. My prediction for this match was on point since Reed and Theory got into an altercation backstage last week: “I’m going to go with Thatcher with perhaps Austin Theory showing up to distract Reed.” Nailed it. If you pay attention to pro wrestling booking for years then you knew that was coming.

Thatcher celebration the win while the announcers noted he was going after Damian Priest and the NXT North American Title.

Mercedes Martinez answered the Steel Cage Match challenge from Rhea Ripley and said that next Tuesday it’s on.

It was main event time with a lot of show left because we know this match is going one hour. Johnny Gargano was up first with the graphic noting he was 5’10” and 199 pounds. He probably weighs less than that. Adam Cole is next on his own as the most recent former champion in this group and he was listed at 6’0” and 210 pounds. Both listings are generous. Finn Balor was next with a listing of 5’11” (that’s generous) and 190 pounds. The last name was Tommaso Ciampa, who appeared to be back in heel mode last week. Ciampa is listed at 5’11” and 201 pounds. I think both figures are generous there as well. They went to a break.

Analysis: The reason I mentioned the listed height and weight is to tell you that these are all average-sized guys under six feet tall and around the 200-pound mark. They’re the four most accomplished men in NXT history as well, so it’s a matchup of four of NXT’s greatest of all time. Going into the match, my pick was Finn Balor.

Fatal 4-Way 60-Minute Iron Man Match for the Vacant NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs. Finn Balor vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Cole

The most pinfalls and submissions at the end of the 60 minutes will be declared the new NXT Champion. There are no disqualifications or countouts in a WWE match with three or more wrestlers. It’s the first 4-Way Iron Man Match in WWE history.

Ciampa stomped away on Cole and Balor while Gargano went to the floor. Ciampa with an elbow on Balor and he sent him out of the ring. Ciampa with a knee that sent Gargano off the apron to the floor and Ciampa with a knee to Balor as well. Ciampa with a running knee on Balor and Gargano on the floor. Ciampa sent Cole face first into the ring apron. Balor sent Ciampa into the steel steps and Cole into the barricade. Ciampa grabbed Balor in a chinlock. Balor came back with a running elbow to the jaw. Balor was in control of Cole with a dropkick, but then Gargano came back with kicks on Cole and Balor. Gargano hit a neckbreaker followed by some Balor pointing and a running dropkick on Cole for two. Barrett did a nice job of pointing out that you always have to have eyes in the back of your head because one of the other guys would be ready to pounce. Gargano continued to focus on Cole with a rising kick to the left ram of Cole. There was a comeback by Cole with a neckbreaker. It was Cole’s turn to grab a headlock on Balor. Cole kicked Ciampa out of the ring. Cole charged, Balor got the boots up, then a forearm and a double stomp on Cole. Balor hit a reverse DDT on Ciampa for two. Balor slapped on a chinlock.

(Commercial)

The match returned with 45 minutes left with Gargano working over Cole with a hard chop. Cole hit a pump kick and a Ushigoroshi slam off the shoulders into the knee for a two count by Cole on Gargano. Cole went for a leap off the ropes, Gargano moved, then Cole hit kicks on the three guys and Ciampa hit a knee on Cole. All four guys were down selling as they were knocked out about 18 minutes into this match. Cole with a kick to Ciampa’s left knee, then Balor sent Ciampa into Cole, who was on the turnbuckle. Balor wanted a superplex, but Ciampa was there for a Tower of Doom spot with Ciampa doing a Powerbomb and Gargano got two nearfalls out of that. Gargano worked over Balor a bit with shoulder tackles, but Balor hit the 1916 slam on Gargano for a two count. Balor with the Slingblade neckbreaker on Gargano, then a running dropkick into the turnbuckle. Balor went up top, jumped off with the Coup de Grace, Gargano moved and Ciampa hit a slam off his back for a two count. That led to a break.

(Commercial – There was picture in picture action on n the version of the show that I downloaded, but I don’t review it.)

The match returned with Gargano and Ciampa having a staredown until Cole and Balor threw them out of the ring. Cole wanted Balor to work with him, but Balor threw Cole out of the ring and Balor hit a somersault dive onto Cole and Johnny on the floor. Balor with a running dropkick on Ciampa on the floor. Balor with a running dropkick on Gargano and Cole. Back in the ring, Balor jumped off the top with a Coup de Grace double foot stomp on Cole for the first pinfall in the match with 34:27 left in the match.

Scoreboard: Balor 1, Cole 0, Gargano 0, Ciampa 0

Balor worked over Gargano with hard chops to the chest. Balor with a body slam followed by an elbow drop for two. Balor worked over Gargano with a chinlock, then Ciampa went back in and Balor threw Ciampa into Gargano. Balor was on fire as he stomped on both guys repeatedly. Balor with a shoulder tackle that knocked Cole off the apron to the floor.

(Commercial)

Ciampa was in control when the match returned as he tried to send Cole into the apron, but Balor was there to stop that from Ciampa. Barrett was right in saying it was bad strategy because Balor should have let Cole take the shot. Back in the ring, Ciampa hit the Willow’s Bell DDT and the Fairy Tale Ending on Balor. Gargano was there to throw Ciampa out of the ring, so Gargano pinned Balor for the second fall of the match. It’s that classic heel “steal the pin” Move. Barrett called it brilliant.

Scoreboard: Balor 1, Gargano 1, Cole 0, Ciampa 0

Ciampa tripped up Gargano on the apron and kicked him into the guard rail. Cole with a pump kick on Ciampa and a running knee for the two count. Ciampa with a clothesline. Cole with a superkick on Ciampa, Balor with a Slingblade neckbreaker, but then Cole came back with a superkick. Gargano over the top, Cole with a superkick and Cole hit the Panama Sunrise flipping piledriver for a pinfall.

Scoreboard: Balor 1, Gargano 1, Cole 1, Ciampa 0

Cole was pulled out of the ring by Balor and Ciampa hit a forearm on Gargano, who was weakened. Ciampa had Cole and Gargano off the ropes and hit a double Widow’s Bell DDT on both guys. Ciampa wit the Fairy Tale Ending on Cole for the pinfall. All four guys have one fall with 22:41 left in the match.

Scoreboard: Balor 1, Gargano 1, Cole 1, Ciampa 1

The four guys were down selling to show how tired and hurting they all were. It was like an unscheduled rest period going into the last 20 minutes. Balor with a running kick to the head of Cole to knock him out of the ring while Ciampa sent Gargano out of the ring. Balor and Ciampa battled in the ring as they exchanged punches, then they ran into eachother with a double clothesline. Cole and Gargano hit a double superkick spot on the floor, so all four guys were out again. Ciampa with a hard whip into the turnbuckle along with a running knee into the face of Balor. The crowd chanted “one more time” so Ciampa hit Balor with another knee to the face. Ciampa punched Cole off the apron and followed him out to the floor. Ciampa whipped Gargano and Cole into the barricade leading into Ciampa’s self clapping. Cole and Ciampa battled on the apron with Cole kicking him in the ring. Cole and Ciampa were on the turnbuckle with Cole kicking the knee and that led to a break.

(Commercial)

There was 11:50 left as Balor was chopping the other three guys in the match. Balor charged in with a running chop on Cole. Balor sent Cole out of the ring and when he whipped Ciampa across the ring, Ciampa collapsed while selling the left knee. Balor slapped on a single leg crab on the left knee of Ciampa and then Ciampa got to the ropes, which led to Balor breaking it even though there were no rope breaks. Balor just let go. Balor with a kick that kept Cole out of the ring, then a Slingblade on Ciampa and a running dropkick. Balor slowly climbed to the top rope, so Gargano stopped him briefly, Balor went for Coup do Grace, Ciampa med and Gargano/Cole hit superkicks at the same time on Balor. Gargano with a superkick on Cole as well. Gargano was all alone in the ring with Johnny hitting a suicide dive on Ciampa on the floor and Gargano with a suicide dive on Cole as well. Gargano went for a suicide dive on Balor, who caught him and then Johnny hit a Tornado DDT off the apron to the floor leading to another break.

Analysis: I think they could have time timed the breaks better so that the last ten minutes were shown in full. They did show the last five minutes, but I would have liked to see more on the full screen.

(Commercial)

The match returned with 5:00 left as Cole blocked a Gargano superkick attempt. Cole with two superkick, Gargano ducked the Last Shot attempt and Gargano slapped on the Gargano Escape submission. Cole fought out of it while Ciampa pulled both guys out of the ring to break it up. Ciampa whipped Balor face-first into the barricade along with some hard chops. Ciampa with a suplex on Cole on the floor. There were about three minutes left as Ciampa whipped Balor into the barricade. Ciampa did the catapult to Gargano throat first into the bottom of the ring apron. It was sold like a big move with Gargano grabbing his throat, but Cole was there to break up the pin. Balor also broke up a pin attempt. Ciampa threw Balor and Cole into part of the set. Back in the ring, Gargano got an inside cradle for a two count. Great nearfall. Ciampa with a double chop to the throat of Gargano. There were 90 seconds left in the match. Ciampa set up Gargano on the top turnbuckle as the crowd was getting louder. Ciampa had Gargano on his back and he slammed him into the center of the ring. Right after that, Balor was on the top rope and jumped off with the Coup de Grace double foot stomp on Ciampa! Balor covered Ciampa for the one…two…three.

Scoreboard: Balor 2, Gargano 1, Cole 1, Ciampa 1

Balor was celebrating while Barrett said that Finn was the new champion, but there was still some time left. With Balor on his knees, Cole got back in the ring and hit the Last Shot knee to the back of Balor’s head! Cole covered Balor with only a few seconds left, referee Drake Wuertz slapped the mat for the one…two…three with one second left! Cole gets the fall to tie Balor. That’s the end of the match.

Scoreboard: Balor 2, Cole 2, Gargano 1, Ciampa 1

Wade: “No way!” Vic: “What just happened?” Replays aired after that.

Match Result: Finn Balor and Adam Cole tie with two falls.

Analysis: ****1/4 This was an excellent match that is not easy to book or take part in. These four awesome wrestlers did very well in telling the story. It was not a Match of the Year contender, but it’s still a great match. I can understand if some fans didn’t like the finish because it’s a title match that failed to deliver a new champion. It’s also a television show that has to keep people invested week to week, so doing an ending like that does help next week’s show. I think they could have been more creative with some weapons being used since there were no disqualifications. They didn’t use a chair, kendo stick or table even though they could have used any of those things. I get that it was by design to not use weapons and do those kinds of spots, but there could have been a point in the match where some weapon was introduced to increase the physicality of the match. I thought Balor was the most impressive for most of the match, Gargano was mostly an optimistic heel, Ciampa was very aggressive while also selling the knee injury and then Cole was the opportunist by getting that pinfall with one second left. They all worked well together, they had a lot of believable nearfalls and in the end, we got a controversial finish instead of a new NXT Champion. I admire the work of the wrestlers. The booking doesn’t bother me that much, but I do understand if some fans hated it.

Balor and Cole argued after the match with NXT General Manager William Regal entering the ring. Regal had the NXT Title in his hands. There was no microphone used, but the camera was in close to pick up what Regal said.

Regal to Balor and Cole: “Here’s what we’re going to do. Next week on NXT Super Tuesday 2, you two will face eachother one on one in this ring and it will be one fall to the finish. And then the winner will be the new NXT Champion!”

The crowd cheered while Balor and Cole talked trash to eachother. The announcers were excited about it. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: I’m all for that. There will be another outstanding main event next week. I’d say we’re pretty spoiled by this show most weeks. I’m going with Balor again next week. That’s my pick as the next NXT Champion.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. The four guys in the Iron Man Match. No point in ranking all four. It was even.

 

Final Thoughts

I give this show an 8 out of 10.

I thought it was a great show with an excellent main event that may not have been a match of the year contender, but it was still tremendous wrestling content for one hour. I mentioned in the match writeup that I’m sure some people are going to bitch about there not being a new NXT Champion, but I think building to next week’s Balor vs. Cole NXT Title match is perfectly fine. Those two guys were impressive along with Gargano and Ciampa. It’s not easy going one hour where you have four guys out there. I was very entertained by the match and I liked the creative ending. It’s not like we have seen anything like that before, so I say embrace it. I like seeing new things in a business that repeats booking patterns too often.

The rest of the show was fine with the Street Fight six-man tag being full of action. That forklift spot they did was really cool. The other two matches were on the shorter side, but they advanced storylines.

There wasn’t much talking on this show. Lots of action. I liked it a lot.

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John Canton

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