February 14th, 2021 will mark a date in professional wrestling history when today’s top superstars of WWE NXT each get an opportunity to showcase their skills inside and outside of the ring at the Capitol Wrestling Center live on the WWE Network. Who doesn’t love to watch wrestling on Valentine’s Day?
Eli Drake now known as LA Knight shows up on the pre-show and He’s one of the greatest talents ever and one of his gifts is not only wrestling but combined that with Drake’s talking. Drake wants the Championships in NXT. So every Champion will have a target on their back. Drake is going to be such a great addition to the NXT roster. The man has all the tools, those intangibles every company looks for when they are recruiting talent.
Josiah Williams opens up the show with an original song titled “NXT Flow, NXT will you be my Valentine,” along with a fantastic opening video package previewing all the matches.
Dusty Rhodes Classic Women’s Tag Team Tournament | Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vs Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon
The winner of this match get a title opportunity to face WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler.
Raquel vs Shotzi to start, Gonzalez is just too powerful. Moon tags in, Gonzalez to me has shown how awesome of a competitor she truly has become in a short amount of time. Both Blackheart and Moon tried to double team her, however Gonzalez combatted their speed with her strength. Kai with a pump kick to Shotzi, Blackheart turned it around using her innovative offense. I like the pairing of Blackheart and Moon; their styles compliment each other. Shotzi approached this match also utilizing technical submission holds and Moon would continue grounding Kai. Good teamwork by Ember and Shotzi against the formidable duo of Dakota and Raquel. Gonzalez takes control of a match, she’s very dominant whenever she comes in. Raquel throws Moon and Blackheart with ease and Dakota uses high-flying creative offense. A lot of near falls and spectacular back-n-forth between the two teams. Gonzalez with a one-armed slam to Blackheart. Gonzalez & Kai def. Blackheart & Moon becoming the winners of the first ever 2021 Dusty Rhodes Classic Women’s Tag Team Tournament.
North American Championship Match | Johnny Gargano (NAC) vs. Kushida
Kushida is one of wrestling’s top stars and the one thing that eludes him is the North American Championship.
Gargano with his stable “The Way” have been successful as of late, but Johnny has proven why he’s called Johnny TakeOver. Gargano came out with his wife Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell. Kushida attempts the Hoverboard Lock submission hold on Gargano, trying to end it early. Gargano and Kushida wrestle on the mat. We witness a lot of maneuvering with counters. Kushida working on Gargano’s arm. Johnny is very scientific, executing a wrist lock on Kushida. Nice transitions by both men so far beginning in the early moments of this match.
Tempo picked up as Kushida and Johnny really picked up their pacing within the contest. Gargano with a kick off the apron and that aggression comes out from Johnny Wrestling. Kushida does some amazing counters; one example has to be the armband submission. They fought out on the outside. Kushida and Gargano match up very well. They can go quick, high-risk and go fundamental meaning technical. Gargano with an opportunity to change the momentum in his favor by giving a rope-assisted neck breaker on Kushida. This allowed the North American Champion to take control of Kushida. Kushida shows his resiliency by making a comeback against Gargano. The champ is feeling the wrath of his challenger. Kushida targeted Johnny’s arm, to apply an armbar. The Gargano Escape on Kushida, Hoverboard Lock on Gargano. Armbar by Kushida still not enough to put Gargano away. One final beat on the stage by Gargano followed by one final beat in the ring. Gargano def. Kushida retains NXT North American Championship.
Dusty Rhodes Cup – Men’s Tag Team Tournament Finals | MSK vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans
The winner of this match gets a NXT Tag Team Title Opportunity at Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan.
Nash Carter and Wes Lee are an exciting team to watch. I like the team from England and what they bring to the table The Grizzled Young Veterans. Zack Gibson vs. Carter to begin, MSK have to use their speed and high-flying abilities to combat a technically savvy and the intense well-oiled machine of Zack Gibson and James Drake. Drake keeps Carter grounded. That’s a smart strategy because they are dangerous when they’re on the move. Wes Lee vs Drake so innovative are MSK, it’s hard for their opponents to prepare for that. These guys Carter and Lee can do some moves over the top rope I’ve never seen before. Gibson seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time helping his team gain an advantage. Experience to me is so vital here and that will favor the team from the U.K. Drake and Gibson keep the young team MSK isolated to their corner. Lee bringing some explosive offense this guy can soar in the air. I’m so impressed with MSK. Carter is fired up facing Gibson, Carter executed a cutter to Gibson for a near fall. Drake hit a 450 splash off the top turnbuckle on Lee only to come up short with another near fall. A doomsday device to Lee by Drake clotheslining him through the ropes while Gibson held him up. Wes Lee with a reverse cutter in mid-air on Drake. MSK def. The Grizzled Young Veterans and are crowned the winners of the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Classic Men’s Tag Team Tournament earning them a shot at the NXT Tag Team Titles.
Triple Threat NXT Women’s Championship Match | Io Shirai (NXT WC) vs. Toni Storm vs. Mercedes Martinez
I’m glad to see Martinez came back to NXT. Toni Storm has proven herself time and time again. Io Shirai is the Women’s Champion for a reason, she’s one of wrestling’s top superstars. Martinez wanted to start the match not waiting for ring introductions by brawling with Storm and now Shirai gets involved in the action. Shirai can move so elusively and she is deceptively quick. Storm was getting her offense in until Martinez plants Storm with a DDT on the floor. Martinez to me could be the one to upset Shirai and spoil Toni’s chance to become Women’s Champion. Shirai out of nowhere with a missile dropkick out of nowhere to take her opponents out. Both Storm and Martinez have a definite power advantage over the Women’s Champion. Storm and Mercedes battle on the top turnbuckle and a nasty German suplex on Storm by Martinez. Double stomp by Shirai to Martinez. Martinez slams Io into that plexiglass wall around the outside area. Storm has Martinez and Mercedes DDT’s Storm. A cross body block by Shirai from a tall structure near the ring. Martinez drops Storm down on the mat. Storm Zero by Toni to Mercedes for a near fall. Shirai Moon over Moon Moonsault on Storm and pins Martinez. Shirai def. Storm and Martinez retaining the NXT Women’s Championship.
Main-Event NXT Championship Match | Finn Balor (NXT C) vs. Pete Dunne
Balor is the standard everybody wants to wrestle to reassure they have what it takes to prove their greatness against the best in Finn Balor. Pete Dunne is a very worthy challenger not only establishing himself in NXT U.K. but also currently NXT now. Dunne has been a NXT United Kingdom Champion and he is just 26. Dunne is accompanied by the NXT Tag Team Champions Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan until he comes through the entrance. He’s the Bruiserweight for a reason. Edge is watching somewhere and has a vested interest in this match he may want to challenge the NXT Champion. Classic stare down between these two great athletes. The dream match begins, a lock up positioning to start by both men. Dunne goes after the arm of the Champion. Balor wrestling Dunne on the mat. Finn applied pressure on his opponent’s arm. Dunne aggressively attempted that patent joint manipulation by bending those fingers. Very much a feeling out process to see who gains the upper-hand first. Wade Barrett said it, it’s England versus Ireland. Balor shoulder-tackled Dunne but Dunne had a leg scissors submission hold on Balor. Phenomenal grappling by both Champion and Contender. Dunne bends the fingers of Balor and Dunne uses submission offense to catch Baylor off guard however Finn is ready. Dunne targets Baylor’s jaw and the arm which was injured. The way Dunne bends body parts is sickening, painful and so effective. Dunne took control even when it appeared Balor had an answer for it. Dunne was dominant in the early moments of this match. Balor bends Dunne’s legs in a submission. Balor has momentum and takes control of Dunne. These guys are so aware of what the other tries to do. The Bruiserweight takes it to Balor. Finn goes after Dunne’s knee. Finn is on the attack, the champ realizes he can’t let up on Dunne. Pete slammed Baylor’s fingers on the mat to break the STF submission hold. An intense bout so far. Sit-down powerbomb by Dunne to Balor into a near fall. Dunne stomps on Balor’s elbow then Balor nails the knee. Backstabber and dropkicks Dunne in the corner. Coup de Grace countered by Dunne into submission. More finger manipulation by Dunne. Balor came back and then Dunne with the bitter end into a near fall. DDT counter by Balor, double stomp to the back of Dunne by Balor. Balor ripped the mouthpiece from Dunne double drop kick to the face and a Coup de Grace from the top turnbuckle and followed by a 1916 finisher. Balor def. Dunne retains the NXT Championship
But wait, it’s not over! Afterwards, Burch and Lorcan attack Balor. Dunne beats down Balor. A triple team effort, Undisputed Era Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong come out to help make the save. O’Reilly helps Balor up. They all stand in the ring together.. all of a sudden, Cole super kicks Balor and O’Reilly isn’t happy about it! Cole super kicks him turning on Kyle O’Reilly! It’s mayhem! Another great show filled with outstanding matches and with one big surprise at the end.