Hey guys, I just got back from the NXT Live Event at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium here in Riverside, California. This is NXT’s second stop in Riverside in less than 2 months. No complaining here, though. The Venue was packed and pretty much every seat was filled. Alicia Taylor is the ring announcer for the evening. Enjoy this edition of the Champ’s Report.
The Broserweights (Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle) vs Dorian Mak and Austin Theory
Riddle and Dunne come out to a nice pop. The 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winners got a lot of love from the NXT Universe. Dorian Mak is formerly known as Dan Matha in NXT. This match was a showcase for Austin Theory. He held his own with the well established Dunne and Riddle. Mak was a boring and generic heel. Mak was getting some “Mr. Clean” chants because he’s bald. A very good choice for the opening match. Mak is disposed off on the outside. This allowed Dunne and Riddle to hit a double team knee finisher on Austin Theory. 1-2-3.
Winners: Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle
Backstage we see Shane Thorne talking to Jessi Kamea about how much Riverside sucks. Jessi walks away and Shane turns around. He turns right into Babatunde and is terrified.
Thorne: “You’re not from Riverside, are you?”
Babatunde: “I’d better not be, for your sake”
Damian Priest vs Cameron Grimes
Damian Priest was a full on babyface for this match. Grimes was playing the role of cowardly heel here. Both men were playing to the crowd in the early moments of the match. Cameron kept accusing Priest of pulling his hair. It was a good back and forth match with the Archer of Infamy putting Cameron away with the Reckoning 1-2-3.
Winner: Damian Priest
Jordan Devlin (c) vs Kushida for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship
This was an awesome match. Both men gave it everything they had. Kushida was super over and kept working the right arm of the Cruiserweight Champion. Kushida was taken down by the Irish Ace and Devlin connects with the Devlin Side 1-2-Kickout by Kushida. Jordan Devlin is losing his mind. He can’t believe Kushida kicked out of his finisher. Devlin goes to the top rope, but Kushida meets him up there. Kushida connects with an Avalanche Spanish Fly into a Cross Armbreaker. The crowd is going nuts. Devlin is about to tap, but narrowly escapes. Kushida is taken out and Devlin goes to the top rope again. Jordan hits a Moonsault 1-2-Kickout, but the ref counts to 3. Crowd is furious. “That was 2” chants fill the venue.
Winner: And Still NXT Cruiserweight Champion: Jordan Devlin
Devlin gets on the mic
“Kushida, we both know that match shouldn’t have ended that way. Why don’t we have a rematch….Right now!………..Haha, just kidding. The Irish Ace Cruiserweight Championship US Tour continues.”
Candice LeRae and Rhea Ripley vs Dakota Kai and Jessi Kamea
Candice gets the Riverside hometown billing and the pop that comes with it. The NXT Women’s Champion, Rhea Ripley was equally as over. Rhea was very upset while standing on the apron. I couldn’t see what was going on, but I believe she was dealing with a heckler of some sort. Dakota Kai is take out on the outside. Jessi is then taken out with the Riptide, followed by a 2nd rope Moonsault by Candice 1-2-3.
Winners: Candice LeRae and Rhea Ripley
Candice’s family was sitting ringside and she spent a few minutes celebrating with them.
Angel Garza vs Shane Thorne
Before the match, Garza went around ringside and had a couple of women kiss him on the cheek. Shane tried the same thing, but had no luck. He even tried getting a kiss from Alicia Taylor, but she ended up just twisting his ear. This was a solid match. I forgot how good of a wrestler that Shane Thorne is, since he’s not featured much on NXT TV. Shane foiled Angel’s attempts to rip his pants off (I feel weird typing that). Angel is eventually able to rip them off, he throws the pants in Shane Thorne’s face and uses the momentary distraction to nail a Superkick. 1-2-3.
Winner: Angel Garza
Post match, Thorne gets on the mic and says how much he hates Riverside. He started pointing at people in the crowd and told them how much he hates them. Babatunde’s music hits. Shane looks like he has seen a ghost.
Thorne: “Hey Babs….Let’s see a smile….Come on”
Thorne then decides to hug Babatunde. Babatunde is not amused. Military Press Slam to Thorne. Babatunde then high fives some of the fans on his way to the back
Bianca Belair vs Tegan Nox
Bianca was way over with the crowd. Plenty of dueling “Let’s Go Tegan” “EST” chants. This was another fun back and forth match. Tegan took Bianca down, then she went to the top rope. The ref is checking on Bianca. Here comes Dakota Kai. Dakota shoves Nox off the top rope and Bianca connects with the KOD. 1-2-3.
Winner: Bianca Belair
Bianca leaves and Dakota attacks Tegan. Tegan is up against the turnbuckles, Dakota attempts a splash, but Tegan avoids it. Tegan connects with the Shiniest Wizard to take her rival out
Undisputed ERA vs Keith Lee, #DIY and Velveteen Dream
Everyone got a massive pop here. Gargano and Ciampa probably got the biggest reaction since they came out as #DIY (They were also wearing the same gear that they wore at World’s Collide). Tommaso got a mic and mocked NXT Champion, Adam Cole……”Daddy’s Home, Bay Bay!” All sorts of chants filled the arena. “Johnny Wrestling” “Undisputed” “Velveteen” “Welcome Back (for Dream)” “Oh Bask in His Glory” Etc. The ref put gloves on and I noticed Bobby Fish holding his ear. He might have gotten cut, not sure. Match ends with Kyle O’Reilly eating a Jackhammer from the North American Champion, Keith Lee 1-2-3.
Winners: Keith Lee, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa and Velveteen Dream
Post match, we get some dialogue from the victorious team.
Ciampa: “Thank you, Riverside. You guys make the 5 hour Bus Ride worth every second”
Gargano: “He’s right…..Wait a minute, isn’t someone I know from Riverside? My favorite wrestler is from Riverside. *Looks at Ciampa* Sorry”
Ciampa “You mean your favorite “Women’s” Wrestler”
Gargano “No, I mean my favorite wrestler. Come on man, it’s 2020. You can get in trouble”
Ciampa “You think I care about getting in trouble. I literally call myself Daddy”
They bring out Candice LeRae. Johnny tries to hand her 3 mics at once. He called it a bouquet since it’s almost Valentine’s Day. She cuts a short promo and they bring some of her family in the ring. A feel good moment to end the show
Everyone in the Main Event
Ref who counted Kushida’s shoulders down