The January 22, 2020 episode of WWE NXT aired live on the USA Network from Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University.
The show was headlined by NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong defending against Keith Lee.
WWE NXT Results (1/22/20)
- Grizzled Young Veterans def. The Undisputed Era – Dusty Rhodes Classic Semi-Final Match
- Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai ends in a no contest
- Finn Balor def. Joaquin Wilder
- Shayna Baszler def. Shotzi Blackheart
- Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne def. Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel – Dusty Rhodes Classic Semi-Final Match
- Keith Lee def. Roderick Strong for the NXT North American Title
Here are the 5 takeaways from this week’s show:
Grizzled Young Veterans Move On
The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson, James Drake) vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish) battled in a semi-final match of the Dusty Rhodes Classic tag team tournament.
As seen on the show, Grizzled Young Veterans ended up winning the contest after Imperium distracted O’Reilly and Fish. This was a fine match but for hardcore fans, it was a special moment. It marked yet another crossover match for both brands – NXT and NXT UK.
This comes at a time where WWE is trying to hype up the WWE Worlds Collide show this coming Saturday night in Houston, Texas at the Toyota Center.
The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) vs. Imperium (WALTER, Alexander Wolfe, Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) will headline this show in an eight-man tag team match.
That’s how this semi-final match felt to most fans online but at the end of the day, it was a fine match that had a point and that’s all you can ask for as a fan.
Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai
A late addition to the card was a battle between Toni Storm and Io Shirai in a singles match.
This was a fun match and one I didn’t see coming originally but makes sense with the upcoming Worlds Collide show this Saturday night. After a back and forth affair, Bianca Belair ran down to cause the match to end in a no contest by attacking the two stars.
NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley ran down and brawled with Belair. Io took out Ripley and Belair. Storm ended up standing tall in the ring with the title, which led to the fans booing her.
This was also a nice way to build up Storm just days away from challenging Ripley for the strap at the Worlds Collide show. She was fresh off a loss to NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray in a Triple Threat Match at NXT UK Blackpool II.
Storm can be a nice challenger but it’s also clear that Io is quite over with the fans at Full Sail University as she regularly receives some of the biggest pops of the night.
Thus, her challenging Ripley, who is a babyface, is something that I can see happening down the line as well, which would no doubt be a fun feud.
Shayna Baszler Takes Out Shotzi Blackheart
Former WWE NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler took on Shotzi Blackheart in a singles match.
Of course, Baszler won this match and rightfully so. This marked her first singles match since dropping the NXT Women’s Title to Rhea Ripley in 2019.
WWE set up this contest last week during the women’s battle royal that saw Bianca Belair win to become the new #1 contender for the title. In the match, Shotiz eliminated Baszler.
Prior to the match, Baszler cut a backstage promo about how she would make Shotiz pay for what she did and is willing to take out any talent in her way while on the path back to the NXT Women’s title.
Thus, it’s clear that WWE is continuing the program between Baszler and Ripley. Now, it’s just a matter of time as to when WWE books the rematch.
The BroserWeights vs. Imperium
The BroserWeights (Matt Riddle, Pete Dunne) vs. Imperium (Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel) in a semi-final match of the Dusty Rhodes Classic tag team tournament as one of the hyped bouts featured on the show took place.
It was a fun match and one of the better contests on the card for this show. It was a hard one to pick considering both teams involved. Dunne and Riddle was victorious.
Now, The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson, James Drake) will take on Dunne and Riddle in the finals of this tournament that should be a fun one to see.
After the match, the two teams cut a promo about how they would win the trophy.
This was a tough tournament to predict the winners but WWE did a nice job of making it a fun yet important series of matches between some top teams throughout.
Keith Lee Becomes NXT North American Champion
In the biggest match of the night, NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong defended against Keith Lee.
As seen on the show, Lee picked up the win to become the new NXT North American Champion.
It was a move that many fans expected as Lee is over as a big star with fans in NXT. While he came up short in his hunt to challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Title, the company smartly recovered by making him a champion although it’s the mid-card title.
With such a talent in Lee, one has to wonder if not now then when as Lee could be called up to the main roster at any given time especially with his performance in the Raw vs. NXT vs. SmackDown Traditional Tag Team Elimination Match at the Survivor Series pay-per-view event last November.
Thus, with that being said, Strong does get a rematch for the title. When and where is the real question in this situation? I can see WWE booking a title rematch between these two stars at NXT TakeOver: Portland.