NXT Inquisition for (1/22/20) (Lee/Strong)

Title implications are strong on this episode of NXT! This week, Roderick Strong defends the North American Championship against the number one contender, Keith Lee. Can the man who’s simply “Limitless” reach new heights? Will The Messiah of the Backbreaker keep his gold? This, and more, will be discussed in the Inquisition!

Match 1: The Undisputed Era (NXT Tag Team Champions Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) (w/Adam Cole and Roderick Strong) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) (Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinal Match)

O’Reilly and Gibson start things off with some grappling. O’Reilly fires off with several strikes on the corner after Gibson slaps him in the face. Gibson takes control, Drake tagging himself as O’Reilly is peppered with strikes of his own. O’Reilly focuses on Drake’s leg, executing a dragon screw through the ropes before Drake is sent to the outside. Back in the ring, Fish, the legal man, executes a senton atomico on Drake. Fish tags O’Reilly, who continues laying in on Drake in the corner. O’Reilly tags Fish again, The Undisputed Era hitting a double suplex on Drake. Off a backdrop, Fish gets a one-count on Drake.

Fish tags O’Reilly, continuing the focus on Drake’s leg. Off the jawbreaker, Drake finally manages to tag Gibson, who finds himself hit with myriad strikes by O’Reilly. Drake makes the tag, he and Gibson hitting tandem offense before NXT goes to commercial. The show returns to O’Reilly fighting back against Drake and Gibson. O’Reilly struggles to make the tag to Fish, but ultimately reaches his partner. Off the hot tags, Fish delivers a series of kicks to Grizzled Young Veterans. Fish catches an airborne Gibson with a kneebar before his opponent grabs the rope. Fish misses a moonsault on Gibson, who tags Drake. They attack Fish in the corner before delivering Helter Skelter for a two-count.

Drake tags Gibson as they go for double team offense. Fish escapes before O’Reilly makes the tag. They land Chasing the Dragon on Gibson! 1… 2… Gibson kicks out! O’Reilly tags Fish, Drake coming into the ring to even the odds. O’Reilly reenters the ring after being dumped, only to eat a superkick by Drake. Fish and Drake exchange strikes. O’Reilly makes the tag as they hit double kicks on Drake. Suddenly, Imperium’s music plays! They appear on the nearby platform, distracting The Undisputed Era. This gives Grizzled Young Veterans the opportunity to hit O’Reilly with Ticket to Mayhem for the 1… 2… 3! Grizzled Young Veterans advance to the finals!

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans

Post-match, a frustrated Undisputed Era call out Imperium. The show cuts to a video package hyping Rhea Ripley’s match against Toni Storm at Worlds Collide this Saturday. From commercial, we cut to a promo video featuring Shotzi Blackheart, who says no one can “out-crazy” her. She claims she will defeat Shayna Baszler tonight.

Match 2: Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai

They struggle to get the advantage over one another early on. Storm takes down Shirai with a headlock before escaping a legscissors. Following impressive athleticism, Shirai dropkicks Storm. In return, Storm hits a dropkick followed by a running kick for a two-count. Shirai avoids a German suplex before diving to the outside to escape. Shirai follows up with a single leg dropkick to Storm, who’s laying across the ropes. Back in the ring, Shirai hits a series of stiff chops. Shirai follows up with a chinlock and tackles Storm to the mat. This leads to an exchange of strikes before Shirai cinches a headlock. From there, Shirai unloads with strikes followed by a clothesline for a two-count.

NXT cuts to commercial before returning to Shirai in control of Storm, hitting a standing double stomp. The attack continues in the corner. Storm fights back with a release German suplex. Shirai avoids Storm Zero and hits a series of strikes. Storm levels her with a clothesline for a two-count. Shirai rolls up Storm for a two-count of her own. Storm catches Shirai’s tiger feint kick attempt before dumping her to the outside. Storm goes for a dive, only to be struck by a forearm by an appearing Bianca Belair!

Winner by disqualification: Toni Storm

After the decision, Belair drops Storm in the center of the ring. Enter Ripley, who marches down the ring. The NXT Women’s Champion. This leads to an in-ring brawl. Shirai suddenly hits a springboard dropkick on Ripley before dumping Belair to the outside. Shirai follows up with an asai moonsault on both! Storm attacks Shirai with a dive before standing tall in the ring. Lifting the fallen NXT Women’s Championship, Storm poses.

Backstage, The Undisputed Era is interviewed by Cathy Kelly. O’Reilly blames Imperium for their loss. Cole tells them to focus on Strong’s match against Lee tonight; Imperium will pay later.

From commercial, the show cuts to a promo by Ilja Dragunov. He calls himself invincible and will defeat Finn Balor at Worlds Collide. Speaking of Balor, he makes his entrance for the following match.

Match 3: Finn Balor vs. Joaquin Wilde

Balor takes control early on with aggressive offense. As he stomps away on Wilde, Balor verbally taunts him. Balor proceeds to chop Wilde numerous times. Wilde starts to gain momentum until Balor lays him out with a dropkick. Balor follows up with a shotgun dropkick and the Coup de Grace. “You come at Finn, you never not miss,” Balor exclaims before landing the 1916 for the decisive 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Finn Balor

NXT cuts to a backstage interview with Shayna Baszler. Regarding Shotzi Blackheart, Baszler says she ended her career before it even started. Baszler declares she’s not going anywhere and will go through everyone until becoming “Shayna 3 Time.” Following commercial, we are treated to a video package featuring DIY. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa reunite when they face Moustache Mountain, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate, at Worlds Collide!

Match 4: Shayna Baszler vs. Shotzi Blackheart

Baszler takes control of Blackheart to start the match. She taunts Blackheart, who attempts to go for her opponent’s legs. Baszler manipulates Blackheart’s wrist before the latter reaches the ropes. Blackheart dumps Baszler to the outside and it’s her turn to taunt. Baszler returns the favor by ejecting Blackheart to the outside. Baszler continues the attack, hitting a high knee. Back in the ring, Baszler gets a two-count. Blackheart starts to fight back, sending Baszler into the corner to land a running high knee followed by a DDT.

Blackheart continues her momentum with kicks and a slam to the canvas. Next, Blackheart lands a cannonball across the ropes! The fight goes to the apron, where Blackheart plants Baszler with the Sliced Bread #2! Blackheart goes for the flying senton, to which Baszler catches her with the Kirifuda Clutch! Despite a valiant effort to escape, Blackheart has no choice but to tap! However, Baszler refuses to release the hold, the bell ringing numerous times. Eventually, she finally lets go.

Winner: Shayna Baszler

After the match, NXT cuts to a backstage promo by Tegan Nox. She talks about her friendship with Dakota Kai until the double-cross at TakeOver: WarGames. We also get Dakota Kai’s thoughts, believing she was justified in her actions. Nox promises to end Kai. These former friends square off next week.

NXT cuts to a backstage interview with Angel Garza. The NXT Cruiserweight Champion claims he will beat whoever comes. He mentions Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and says that, at Worlds Collide, it’s his house.

Match 5: The BroserWeights (Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle) vs. Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) (w/Alexander Wolfe and Walter) (Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinal Match)

Dunne and Aichner kick things off with some mat wrestling. Aichner tags Barthel, more mat wrestling ensuing. Barthel wrenches on the wrist. Aichner makes the tag, flooring Dunne with an arm drag. Dunne takes control with a clothesline and tags Riddle, Aichner being attacked with tandem offense. Riddle hits a gutwrench suplex on Aichner, who tags Barthel. Once again, Riddle hits a gutwrench! Barthel takes control, double chopping Riddle across the throat. Riddle fights back with a series of forearms, but Barthel regains control.

Dunne and Aichner are tagged in. Dunne takes the fight to Imperium, landing suplexes and kicks alike. From there, Dunne lands a crucifix bomb on Aichner for a two-count. Dunne lands an apron moonsault on Barthel before X-Plexing Aichner on the apron. Walter steps up to Dunne, distracting him long enough for Barthel and Aichner to gang up. NXT goes to commercial, returning to Barthel firmly in control of Dunne. However, Dunne catches him airborne with a big forearm! Barthel tags Aichner, who keeps him from making the tag. Dunne tries to go for a top rope moonsault, but his injured knee causes him to collapse to the mat. Nonetheless, Dunne continues to fight Aichner, eventually tagging Riddle!

Off the hot tag, Riddle plants Imperium with a series of kicks, forearms, exploder suplexes, and Bro-Tons alike. Riddle tags Dunne back in as The BroserWeights stomp Aichner’s hands before kicking him in stereo. Aichner pushes Riddle into Dunne before tagging Barthel. Imperium attack Riddle with tandem offense, but it’s only good for a two-count. Barthel tags Aichner, Riddle catching them with a double knee strike. Dunne is tagged back in, as is Barthel. Imperium plant Dunne with a wheelbarrow/DDT combination for a pin, but Riddle breaks it up at two.

Dunne escapes a stalling suplex and wrenches Aichner’s wrist. Meanwhile, Barthel is trapped by Riddle’s ankle lock. Riddle hits a ripcord knee strike on Barthel while Dunne and Aichner exchange strikes. Riddle is tagged in as The BroserWeights attack Aichner. From there, Riddle hits Aichner with the jackhammer! 1… 2… Aichner kicks out! Riddle goes to the top, but Aichner catches him at the pass. Dunne tags himself in before Aichner hits Riddle with a brainbuster. Imperium neutralize Dunne. Riddle escapes the European Bomb and hits the Final Flash on Aichner. Following a powerbomb and a step-up knee, Riddle tags Dunne. They combine their moves on Aichner for the 1… 2… 3! The BroserWeights advance to the finals!

Winners: The BroserWeights

After the match, Grizzled Young Veterans meet The BroserWeights at the top of the ramp, where the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic trophy rests. Gibson calls Dunne the most selfish man in NXT UK, saying he has been the roadblock in his and Drake’s careers. They promise to win the finals. Riddle takes the mic, poking fun at “manipulating a joint,” saying he lost focus and started to daydream. “Riddle’s Gonna Smoke You” chants follow. Dunne says that whenever Gibson and Drake stepped up to them, they lost. Next week, they will do the same when The Broserweights win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

Photo / World Wrestling Entertainment
Match 6: Keith Lee vs. Roderick Strong (c) (w/Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole) (NXT North American Championship)

Strong goes for a single leg takedown before slapping Lee across the face. Nonplussed, Lee drops Strong with a forearm and attacks in the corner. Lee continues the attack with a chop in the corner and a forearm in another corner. Lee tosses Strong across the ring. Strong escapes to the outside as NXT goes to commercial. The match returns to Lee landing a crossbody block. Strong escapes to the outside once more. Lee follows and The Undisputed Era start to distract him. This allows Strong to hit a basement dropkick to Lee’s ankle, sending him off the apron and to the outside. Strong continues the attack on the ankle, slamming it against the steel steps.

Back in the ring, Strong stays on Lee’s ankle, wrenching back on it. Lee shoves Strong off, only for the champion to go back to the leg. Strong drapes Lee’s leg across the bottom drop and hits a banzai drop. Lee shoves Strong off once more, sending him to the floor outside. Strong quickly returns to the ring, applying the ankle lock. Lee finally kicks Strong off, though the champion fires away with several running forearms. Following another commercial break, Lee hits a powerslam on Strong for a two-count. Lee follows up with a big slam for another two-count.

After rolling Strong back in the ring, Lee is once again distracted by The Undisputed Era. This allows Strong to hit a DDT for a two-count. Lee and Strong exchange strikes before both men collapse to the mat. Lee climbs to the top rope, only for Strong to catch him. Strong lands an Olympic Slam from the turnbuckle! 1… Lee sits up while holding Strong! However, a few back elbows from Strong help him escape. Lee hits a double chop on Strong and pounces him over the top rope and onto Fish and O’Reilly! Back in the ring, Lee lands a huge lariat for a two-count.

Lee goes for a moonsault, but a distraction from The Undisputed Era helps Strong to roll away. Strong applies a grapevine ankle lock. Slowly, Lee makes it to the bottom rope. Strong lays in several strikes, but Lee fights back, not only against him but all of The Undisputed Era. Strong hits a jumping knee strike and a single leg dropkick! 1… 2… Lee kicks out! Lee catches Strong with the Big Catastrophe for the 1… 2… 3!

Winner and NEW NXT North American Champion: Keith Lee
Photo / World Wrestling Entertainment

Lee posed with his new prize as the new North American Champion. Suddenly, Imperium appears! They fight one another and Walter even paints Cole’s chest with a thunderous chop! These two factions will meet at Worlds Collide this Saturday!