WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 10
With NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day just days away, the February 10 edition of WWE NXT set the stage for the first major event of 2021 for the black-and-gold brand.
Three semifinal matches were on tap for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. The women's final semifinal match was a battle of rivals where Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon looked to cost The Way a major opportunity by defeating Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell.
Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa have had an unlikely ride in the men's Dusty Rhodes Classic, but they needed to fight one of the best tag teams in the world, The Grizzled Young Veterans.
Austin Theory announced that because of injuries suffered at Kushida's hands, the NXT North American champion would not compete at TakeOver. He wanted to get revenge in a battle with the Japanese Superstar.
Pete Dunne and Finn Balor were set to face off in the middle of the ring before their huge NXT Championship match. Karrion Kross and Scarlett had something to say on the show, likely connected to the recent warning made to Santos Escobar.
Cameron Grimes returned to the NXT ring, as did Xia Li, who has been looking to make a lasting impression on behalf of Tian Sha.
This episode was huge for the black-and-gold brand, setting the stage for NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day.
Men's Dusty Classic: MSK vs. Legado del Fantasma
Legado del Fantasma punished MSK early in this match, sending the team painfully to the floor outside. Nash Carter found himself isolated in the heel corner but managed to get the tag to Wes Lee. Lee pushed Carter into Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza mid-rotation to send the match into chaos.
Wilde hit a reverse hurricanrana into Mendoza's spinning brainbuster for a near-fall. MSK refused to stay down no matter what, and the two worked together to hit an elevated running blockbuster for the win.
Scarlett entered William Regal's office and made clear he would need to sanction Karrion Kross vs. Santos Escobar next week. The NXT general manager was glad to agree. The NXT cruiserweight champion told Wilde and Mendoza to make up for their loss by finding Kross. Kross laid them out.
MSK def. Legado del Fantasma by pinfall to advanace to the finals of the men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
MSK continues to find its groove in NXT. While Lee and Carter were talented before they came to WWE, it can often take time to adjust to a new wrestling style. The team feels unique but also already familiar working with some of the best NXT has to offer.
This was a great match between two motivated teams with much to prove. The action was nonstop with plenty of great spots throughout. Some things MSK did in this match are completely unique to WWE. Mendoza and Wilde did not look out of their depth keeping up.
These teams should both be in the tag team title picture after this tournament. Especially with so many teams reaching new heights, it is worth considering another multi-team title ladder match soon.
Xia Li (w/ Boa and Tian Sha) vs. Cora Jade
NXT showed a video package to put over the intense personal hatred between Io Shirai, Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez.
The arrival of Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter distracted Xia Li to start, but it did not last long. The dangerous Chinese Superstar dominated Jade and knocked her out cold with a spin kick.
Carter got in the face of Tian Sha until Li knocked Carter off the ramp. As Mei Ying choked out Boa for letting anyone get close to her, Li knocked out Catanzaro with a spin kick.
Li def. Jade by pinfall.
This was a fascinating segment. Li continues to pick up dominant wins, even against promising newcomers like Jade. The inclusion of Carter and Catanzaro can add an emotional element to this story, helping evolve the story of Sha. Hopefully, the squashes will stop soon and turn into complete matches.
It does feel like a waste to bring in a new potential star, only for her to immediately get knocked down with such fervor. However, this is typically NXT's modus operandi. New stars lose first and then start to get build once WWE trusts them unless they are seen as absolute stars.
Women's Dusty Classic: Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon vs. The Way
Johnny Gargano was wheeled out with a cast on his left arm from multiple fractures at the hands of Kushida. William Regal arrived to announce The Rebel Heart was faking and had been cleared yesterday. Kushida attacked and revealed that Gargano could use his left arm.
Candice LeRae mentally adjusted quickly to take over the action, planting Shotzi Blackheart on the mat and repeatedly pulling at Blackheart's heart. The Poison Pixie lost her focus when her rival refused to stay down, allowing a hot tag to Ember Moon.
The War Goddess ran over Indi Hartwell, and Blackheart and Moon got a chance to team together, shifting the momentum. LeRae hit a tight-rope headscissors on Moon, launching her into Blackheart and the announce table.
The action shifted back and forth, but no one could quite put this away. It looked to be over after LeRae hit Blackheart with the Wicked Stepsister to set up a springboard elbow from Hartwell, but Moon broke it up.
LeRae took the Eclipse to set up a diving senton. Hartwell covered her mentor to take the shot for her, but she was the legal woman and was pinned for three.
The two final teams in the women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic faced off as William Regal announced the winner would get a shot at the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships.
Blackheart and Moon def. LeRae and Hartwell by pinfall to advance to the finals of the women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
These women brought everything to this contest, and it showed. LeRae carried the physical side of this encounter and allowed Hartwell to get in some impressive moments in the biggest match of her career. Moon and Blackheart are good together and continue to improve as a unit.
With Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez winning last week, the only challengers to the heels who made sense were Moon and Blackheart. Despite this, the women nearly sold the idea that LeRae and Hartwell would pull it out.
The women's final is the absolute best matchup the first women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic could have produced. Either team could make a major impact against the WWE women's tag team champions.
Austin Theory vs. Kushida
Austin Theory and Kushida went after each other immediately at the bell. While Theory thought he could assert his power against his smaller opponent, the Japanese Superstar had too many counters for the young performer, whipping him around and wearing him out.
The technical attack of Kushida did serious damage to the left arm of the heel. Theory only found an opening when he tripped the Japanese Superstar off the top rope. However, Kushida powered through a powerbomb on the apron and locked Theory in an armbar.
Gargano kicked Kushida to cause a disqualification, and the two viciously attacked the No. 1 contender to the NXT North American Championship. Dexter Lumis pulled Theory below to save Kushida and scared off Gargano. Kushida locked Theory and Gargano in Hoverboard Locks, and Lumis put Theory to sleep.
Kushida def. Theory by DQ.
Theory continues to improve with serious competition. Kushida made him look good by competing with him at a high level. Kushida looked like the better man, but Theory stayed in the fight and never looked weak. In fact, Gargano was the one who looked weak, tapping out to Kushida in fear.
This has been a fun rivalry, and Gargano has truly shined in his new role. He has fully committed to his ridiculous persona. No one in NXT is funnier than The Rebel Heart right now. It was obvious he was faking the arm injury, but that did not stop the segment from getting more ridiculous with every passing minute.
He has made Kushida look unstoppable whether the challenger wins at TakeOver or not. It will be interesting to see what happens between them at TakeOver and what role Lumis will have.
Cameron Grimes Strikes It Rich
Another vignette aired for Imperium, clearly warning that all members of the dangerous European stable would soon arrive in NXT.
Cameron Grimes appeared in a Lamborghini, giving away money on his way to the ring. He revealed he was now seriously rich from investing in GameStop and Dogecoin, and he told William Regal he would now choose what he did in NXT with all his money.
Grimes' reinvention was awkward to start. This story of The Technical Savage getting rich off GameStop stock and Dogecoin felt too much like WWE trying to play at being current. Grimes did not deliver the promo well, especially without a true crowd to hate him.
Hopefully, there is some plan at the end of all this. It is simply not clear yet. Grimes remains an awkward piece in NXT, not quite fitting on the wrestling-heavy brand.
Men's Dusty Classic: Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Grizzled Young Veterans
Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa talked about The Grizzled Young Veterans, calling them entitled, including their arrogant name.
Zack Gibson taunted Thatcher and Ciampa until The Blackheart charged at The Grizzled Young Veterans. The angry faces tried to isolate Gibson, but James Drake helped get his partner out of the situation. GYV tripped Ciampa, forcing him to land hard on his neck.
This left Thatcher alone in the ring in what felt like a handicap match against an experienced team that beat him down viciously. The Blackheart finally returned to the ring, clutching his neck but able to get the tag to save his partner.
Despite a brief flurry from Ciampa, The Grizzled Young Veterans took back over and hit a devastating Doomsday Device. This set up GYV to hit the Ticket to Mayhem to pull off a huge victory.
Grizzled Young Veteran def. Ciampa and Thatcher by pinfall to advance to the men's finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
This was pure tag team excellence on display as the heels divided and conquered. It was an incredible performance from The Grizzled Young Veterans, and Ciampa was fantastic in his babyface comeback for the team.
Ciampa and Thatcher found a great dynamic together. The two should continue to work together going forward. Even if they lost, this is a team that can absolutely work a fantastic match with the current NXT tag team champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch.
With MSK making it to the finals, Grizzled Young Veterans had to rise to meet them. The two established tag teams needed to be in the finals over any others.