NXT ON USA
SEPTEMBER 16, 2020, 8PM EST
LIVE IN ORLANDO, FLA., AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY KELLY WELLS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett
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-Additional to the matches announced, per twitter, William Regal has two “major announcements” tonight.
-Earlier today, Wade Barrett announced that he’s signed a contract with WWE and will be in the NXT booth for the long-term.
-Recaps opened with the championship match from last week, continued with Tegan Nox eating with the Garganos and concluded with Rhea Ripley vs. Mercedes Martinez, who seemingly completed her move to the main roster with a split from Robert Stone in a WWE.com exclusive.
(1) SHOTZI BLACKHEART vs. IO SHIRAI
Non-title. Shotzi was introduced first and drove to the ring in her tank. Io’s unofficial tweener days may be over, as the PC crowd cheered her even as she headed to the ring to square off with a babyface.
Shotzi extended a hand, and Io slapped it hard. Collar and elbow. Shotzi tossed Io, then missed a boot. Rope run and Io missed a clothesline. Shotzi did her wolf howl. Rope run again and Io flipped and postured. Quick takedown by Shotzi for one. Crucifix by Io for two. Jackknife pin by Shotzi for two. Reversal for two. Shotzi grounded Io and wrenched her arms, then took shots at her biceps. Io rolled to a rope to break. Shotzi charged and missed in a corner, then got dumped. Moonsault by Io from the apron kind of made contact on the ramp side of the ring. Back inside and Io covered for two. Split-screen commercial. Io controlled the majority of the break.
Io hit Shotzi with an Irish whip, but Shotzi hit a shotgun dropkick in the corner, then threw shots. She put Shirai on the mat and hit a running knee. Io got up and the two exchanged shots. Io missed an enzuigiri but took down Shotzi with a crossface in the center of the ring. Shotzi swung her legs until she could reach a rope to break. Io missed 619 and Shotzi hit a step-up enzuigiri and a question mark kick. Senton on the ropes by Shotzi. Io blocked a German suplex by grabbing the ropes, but Shotzi hooked the arms and hit a suplex with a bridge for a long two. Io worked a bridged submission on the ropes and Io floated over for a cover to break. Io escaped a fireman’s carry and hit a flapjack, then 619. Missile dropkick from the top connected for a very long two. Io went up for the moonsault but Shotzi tripped her up, then hit a huracanrana from the top for another near-fall. Shotzi sold agonizing frustration.
Shotzi went up the buckle and Io popped up, then joined her. Shotzi blocked a superplex, then put Io on the apron. Shotzi wanted a – destroyer? – on the apron but Io blocked and hit a German on the apron, after which Shotzi crumbled to the outside. Io dragged Shotzi into the ring for a two count. Io hit double knees in the corner and set up Shotzi for the moonsault. She hit it (hard and with mostly the knees on Shotzi’s chest) to finish. Wade Barrett put Shotzi way over in defeat. Io brought Shotzi to her feet and they had a friendly handshake. Wade put Shotzi over again and called it a star-making performance.
WINNER: Io Shirai at 14:20.
(Wells’s Analysis: Excellent opener that’s probably Shotzi’s best match in NXT. It’s long been unclear if Shotzi is going to be moved to the next level, but it genuinely may be her time to stick in the uppercard now)