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NXT 1/20/2021: Fight Pit Main Events; Three Dusty Cup Matches; Plus More!

Here's what's on tap for tonight:

  • NXT Fight Pit: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher

  • First Round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Leon Ruff & Kushida vs. Austin Theory & Johnny Gargano (NXT North American Champion)

  • First Round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado vs. Imperium

  • Quarterfinal Match of the Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro vs. Toni Storm & Mercedes Martinez

  • Karrion Kross in action!

We start by showing highlights of last week's Dusty Classic matches. We're in the Capitol Wrestling Center kicking tonight off with some Dusty Classic action! Beth Phoenix is back on commentary with Wade Barrett and Vic Joseph.

First Round Match of Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

Leon Ruff & Kushida vs. The Way (Johnny Gargano (NXT North American Champion) & Austin Theory)

Ruff starts with Theory. They lock up and Theory throws Ruff with ease. Ruff gets to his feet and they lock up. Theory overpowers Ruff again but Ruff comes back with a drop kick. Theory sends Ruff to the corner but counters a charging Theory. They trade counters. Ruff tries a crucifix bomb unsuccessfully. Ruff gains control and tags Kushida. Kushida and Ruff double team Theory with kicks. Kushida targets the right arm of Theory. Theory stomps Kushida's foot creating separation and allowing him to tag Gargano. Gargano goes on the attack with stomps. Kushida fights to his feet and they trade blows. Kushida knocks Gargano into the corner and Theory blind tags and hits a drop kick for a near fall. Theory takes Kushida to the corner. A forearm shot before sending Kushida to the opposite corner. Theory tries an arm submission of his own. Gargano tags back in and they double team Kushida with back elbows. More stomps and a near fall for Gargano. Low drop kick for another near fall. Theory tags back in and Kushida blocks a suplex. Theory pounds his back but Kushida avoids a suplex and tags Ruff. Missile drop kick by Ruff followed by a flying forearm! Ruff builds momentum. Ruff misses a splash. Gargano provides a distraction and Theory hits a huge Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall as we go to a commercial.

Theory continues to beat down Ruff during the break and tags Gargano. Gargano taunts Kushida while working on the arm of Ruff. Good teamwork by The Way as they continue to isolate Ruff.

Back to full screen now and Gargano has Ruff grounded. Near fall for Gargano. Gargano tags Theory but Theory avoids a double team. Ruff crawls to the corner but is cut off by Theory. Enziguri by Ruff to Theory. GARGANO RUNS AROUND AND KNOCKS KUSHIDA OFF THE APRON. Gargano tags in. He and Theory hit a nice neck breaker back breaker combo for a near fall. Theory picks up Ruff for a power bomb but Ruff counters with a jumping cutter!! Kushida and Gargano both tag in! Kushida builds momentum taking it to Gargano and Theory. Hand spring elbow to Theory! DDT TO GARGANO ON THE OUTSIDE!! Kushida misses a kick to Gargano back in the ring but Gargano connects with one! Kushida with a suplex in and arm breaker!! Theory breaks it up! Kushida throws Theory out of the ring. Kushida and Gargano trade kicks. Theory tags in. A neck breaker/super kick combo to Kushida! Near fall for Theory! Gargano tags back in. Theory holds Kushida for a super kick but Ruff saves the day. Ruff with a swanton to the outside on Theory. Kushida picks up the pace inside. Great exchange between the two. CARTWHEEL DROP KICK BY KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA FOLLOWS WITH A HAMMERLOCK SUPLEX WITH A BRIDGE TO BEAT GARGANO!! Great stuff here! I'm kind of surprised The Way lost to be honest! They will face the Grizzled Young Veterans next round!

W: Leon Ruff & Kushida via pin @ 14:45

Pete Dunne cuts a promo on Finn Balor. Commentary talks about people who have their eyes on Balor. Which leads to a Karrion Kross vignette. He's in action next!

McKenzie Mitchell catches up to Malcolm Bivens outside William Regal's office. Bivens hypes Tyler Rust future as a future champion. Rust comes out of the office and says they got the match against Bronson Reed. Bivens says he has a match to win and calls him the future.

Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett vs. Ashante "Thee" Adonis w/ Desmond Troy

Kross dominates right away. Belly to belly suplex with a roll through. DOOMSDAY SAITO!! The ref checks on Adonis. ANOTHER DOOMSDAY SAITO!! RUNNING FOREARM BY KROSS ENDS IT!! Squash! Troy checks on Adonis after the match and KROSS PUTS HIM IN THE KROSS JACKET!!

W: Karrion Kross via pin @ 1:16

MSK promo backstage. They talk about being the #1 team in NXT. Highlights from their match last week are shown. They're finally here and plan on winning the Cup.

Another first round match is next!

Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm talk backstage about how they will destroy Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter.

First Round Match of Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

Imperium vs. Lucha House Party

The match starts with Lince Dorado and Marcel Barthel. Barthel takes control with a suplex and works an arm. Dorado takes down Barthel but Barthel quickly regains control. Dorado is sent to the corner but he chops his way out. Dorado with a super kick and tags Gran Metalik. They pick up the pace and Metalik hits a splash off the shoulder of Dorado for a near fall. Barthel regroups and tags Fabian Aichner. Aichner takes control using his power. Metalik is sent into the corner. Metalik tries to pick up the pace but Aichner catches him and delivers a back breaker for a near fall. Reverse sling blade by Metalik gives him the upper hand and he tags Dorado. LHP clears the ring! Dorado dives to the outside but Aichner catches him and spine busters him into the apron and then slams him on the floor outside. Barthel crotches Metalik on the top and Imperium hangs him in the tree of woe. Imperium with tandem drop kicks to Metalik as we go to a commercial.

Back from the break, Aichner is in control of Dorado in the ring. Barthel tags in and delivers kicks and punches to Dorado in the corner. Barthel goes up to the top with Dorado where Dorado fights him off. TORNADO DDT BY DORADO!! Metalik and Aichner both tag in. Spring board cross body by Metalik!! Metalik lands a kick followed by a TOP ROPE RANA!! SPRING BOARD MOONSAULT BY METALIK!! 1...2...NO!! Aichner is up and goes for a slam but Metalik avoids. Barthel tags himself in. A double team DDT by Imperium gets a near fall. Dorado breaks it up. Metalik gets isolated in the Imperium corner. Metalik escapes and tags Dorado. LHP WITH A DROP KICK SUNSET BOMB DOUBLE TEAM!! 1....2...NO!! Dorado catches Aichner with a kick. Things break down and AICHNER HITS A STALLING BRAIN BUSTER ON DORADO!! 1...2...NO!! Barthel tags in. Dorado avoids the European Bomb! Aichner is sent outside and Metalik hits him with a moonsault! Barthel with a roll up for a near fall. DORADO WITH A SUPER KICK! DORADO WITH A SHOOTING STAR PRESS WINS IT!! LHP faces Legado del Fantasma in the next round. Another good match here. ALEXANDER WOLFE COMES OUT ON STAGE TO STARE DOWN IMPERIUM. Barthel and Aichner do the Imperium pose to him.

W: Lucha House Party via pin @ 13:40

Backstage with William Regal for a weigh in for the Fight Pit. Tommaso Ciampa is 201 pounds and Timothy Thatcher is 225 pounds. Regal wishes both men the best of luck. Thatcher shoves Ciampa and the refs have to pull them apart to avoid a brawl.

The Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic starts next! Here is the bracket:

William Regal is on the stage with WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix. Beth says NXT has been at the forefront of the women's revolution. Phoenix brings up names such as Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Alexa Bliss, and Shayna Baszler for paving the name among others. Tonight will make history again with the 1st ever Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic!! All the ladies are on the ramp that are participating in the tournament.

Quarterfinal Match of Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro vs. Mercedes Martinez & Toni Storm

Storm and Carter start it off. Lock up and both ladies trade counters. Solid chain wrestling here. Carter gets the upper hand but runs into a shoulder block. Storm with a take down for a near fall. Storm takes Carter to the ropes and tags Martinez who hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Carter fights back and tags Catanzaro. Catanzaro builds some momentum with a flip over the ropes onto Martinez to get a near fall. Martinez stops that with a slam and boots to Catanzaro. Uppercut by Martinez who follows up with a chin lock. Catanzaro fights to her feet but is slammed back down. Catanzaro ducks a clothesline and goes for a tilt-a-whirl but Martinez blocks and slams her. Carter breaks up a pin as we go to a break.

We're back with Storm in control of Catanzaro. Tag to Martinez who belly to belly suplexes Catanzaro. Storm helps out and Martinez gets a near fall. Martinez pushes Catanzaro in the corner with chops. Martinez puts Catanzaro on the top and goes up with her. Catanzaro blocks a superplex but HITS A RANA FROM THE TOP!! Martinez tags Storm and prevents a tag. Carter is able to get a tag afterward, Carter picks up the pace and takes out Storm and Martinez in the corner. Carter rolls through a victory roll and delivers a super kick. Storm rolls to the ropes but Carter makes her eat another kick. Basement drop kick for Carter but Martinez breaks up the pin. Catanzaro comes back in to knock Martinez out of the ring. Catanzaro dives out onto Martinez. Head butt by Storm to Carter. German suplex by Storm. Carter blocks another. Storm tries a single leg crab and locks it in! THE REF IS DISTRACTED AND IO SHIRAI IS HERE TO BEAT THE HELL OUT OF MARTINEZ!! Storm sees Martinez is out and Carter wipes out Storm!! CARTER HAS STORM'S LEG IN A GRAPEVINE AND CATANZARO HITS THIS RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME 450 CORKSCREW FROM THE TOP TO WIN!! It may have been more than a 450!! Damn impressive! BIG UPSET!!

W: Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro via pin @ 12:50

McKenzie Mitchell is following Finn Balor who is heading to see William Regal. Balor wants Pete Dunne but he knows how this works. He says he will take Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch first to take them out. Balor claims he doesn't have friends and only enemies. Regal insist he gets a partner.

Bronson Reed is heading to the ring when Isaiah "Swerve" Scott stops him to give him advice. We can't hear what they're saying. Reed faces Tyler Rust next!

Backstage, a ref is going over the rules of the fight pit with Tommaso Ciampa.

McKenzie Mitchell has breaking news about Ashante "Thee" Adonis not being cleared for the Dusty Cup after the beating from Karrion Kross. Kacy and Kayden are here to celebrate!! They claim they will win the whole thing!

We see that Swerve told Reed to never get in his business again.

Tyler Rust w/ Malcolm Bivens vs. Bronson Reed

Rust uses his speed to avoids Reed and land a kick. More of the same until Reed takes Rust down. Side head lock by Reed and Rust backs Reed into the ropes. Rust cheap shots Reed. Reed comes off the ropes and sends Rust out of the ring with a shoulder tackle. Rust regroups and reenters the ring. REED GORILLA PRESSES RUST INTO A RIB BREAKER!! Fall away slam by Reed to follow that up. Rust needs to regroup again. Reed tries to pull Rust back in but Rust hangs Reed's arm up on the top rope. BACKSTAGE IO SHIRAI AND TONI STORM ARE BRAWLING!! Commentary discusses that while Rust tries to take down Reed. No luck there as Reed is just to powerful. Reed hits a splash in the corner and follows that with a chokeslam!!! 1...2...NO!! Reed goes to the second rope but Rust goes to the top to greet him. Reed pushes him away but Rust with a pump kick! Rust with a Samoan drop! Near fall for Rust. REED IS BACK UP AND HITS A SENTON!! TSUNAMI SPLASH ENDS IT!! Rust got a little offense but Reed was just too powerful. I don't mind the Shirai/Storm brawl in the back but it took a little bit away from this. Bivens tells Rust he will get him next time!

W: Bronson Reed via pin @ 4:52

McKenzie Mitchell is with Finn Balor. It's official. Balor and a partner face the NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch next week! Balor says some people owe him a favor and it's time to cash in.

The referee reminds Timothy Thatcher of the fight pit rules backstage.

Finn Balor goes to the Undisputed Era locker room. Balor is looking for his payback. Balor says they are all grown men around here. Balor asks Kyle O'Reilly if he's in or still sucking meals through a straw. Roderick Strong takes offense and Adam Cole holds him back. Balor asks O'Reilly again and O'Reilly nods yes. Balor says see you next week and O'Reilly says the same.

NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar makes his way to the ring. He says a champion does what he wants when he wants. He explain a champion does need to conquer a curse like Gargano or have a glass jaw like Balor. Escobar also disses Kross for getting hurt. Escobar says carrying the title was a heavy chip on Kross' shoulder. Escobar backs up everything he has ever said and beaten everyone in his path! He says the Lucha House Party came here to destroy his empire but he sent them packing. Raul and Joaquin are in the ring with him. He hypes their win in the first round of the Dusty Cup. They are one stop closer to tag gold and one step closer to joining him as the champion of champions. HERE COMES LUCHA HOUSE PARTY!! THEY BRAWL!! Legado del Fantasma get the upper hand but CURT STALLION IS HERE TO MAKE THE SAVE!! Legado del Fantasma is sent packing.

McKenzie is with Drake Maverick and Killian Dain. Drake says it's different this year because he has his best friend Killian Dain with him. They face MSK in the next round. Drake says they are going to win it all. Dain slaps Drake on the back as they leave and Maverick is in pain.

The fight pit is the main event and next!

McKenzie is with Lucha House party and Curt Stallion. Stallion says it won't stop until he gets......Santos Escobar interrupts and says he will embarrass Stallion next week with the title on the line.

NXT Fight Pit

Timothy Thatcher vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Both men brawl high above the pit to start! Ciampa tries to throw Thatcher over the pit possibly looking for a Willow's Bell but Thatcher fights back. Thatcher grinds the face of Ciampa. Uppercuts by Thatcher and a suplex on the floor above the pit. Thatcher with kicks to the back of Ciampa and he tries a single leg crab but Ciampa kicks his way free. A running kick by Ciampa catches Thatcher in the face. Stomps by Ciampa! Thatcher turns the tide and commentary hypes Thatcher's home field advantage. Ciampa with strikes as both men trade blows. More stomps by Ciampa as Thatcher hangs out of the pit. CIAMPA CATAPULTS THATCHER SHOULDER FIRST INTO THE PIT AS WE GO TO A PICTURE IN PICTURE BREAK!!

The fight goes down into the pit now where Ciampa pushes Thatcher's face into the cage. Ciampa rakes Thatcher's face on the steel. Thatcher takes Ciampa down. More uppercuts by Thatcher and Ciampa goes down. Chin lock by Thatcher. Ciampa fights to his feet.

Ciampa throws Thatcher into the steel multiple times! RUNNING KNEE BY CIAMPA TO THATCHER'S HEAD UP AGAINST THE CAGE! The ref starts the count. Ciampa goes for the Fairy Tale Ending but Thatcher sends Ciampa shoulder first into the steel. Thatcher goes after the shoulder and tries to put Ciampa's arm in between the corners of the structure but Ciampa escapes. Thatcher with a suplex on Ciampa. Thatcher goes for a shoulder submission but Ciampa breaks it momentarily. Thatcher goes all joint manipulation on Ciampa's fingers! Thatcher misses a knee strike and goes right into the cage! CIAMPA CATAPULTS THATCHER FACE FIRST INTO THE CAGE!! Ciampa with a single leg crab on Thatcher! Ciampa with a kick to the spine. Punches and kicks by Ciampa but Thatcher kicks Ciampa into the cage. Thatcher tries a sleeper and gets it locked in! CIAMPA WITH A LOW BLOW!! CIAMPA HITS WILLOW'S BELL ON THATCHER WITH THATCHER DRAPED OVER THE REF!! The ref starts counting but Thatcher is up at 9!! Ciampa goes on the attack but Thatcher counters the Fairy Tale Ending again! Both men trade punches in the middle of the ring. Thatcher tackles Ciampa into the cage. CIAMPA BOUNCES THATCHER'S HEAD OFF THE STEEL!! FAIRY TALE ENDING!! Ciampa tries to choke Thatcher out but Thatcher fights free and backs Ciampa into the steel!! THATCHER WITH A SLEEPER AND CIAMPA GETS WEDGED IN THE CORNER!! CIAMPA'S LEG IS TRAPPED! THATCHER LOCKS IN A STRETCH MUFFLER!! CIAMPA TAPS OUT!! This was hard hitting for sure. Thatcher remains undefeated in the pit!

W: Timothy Thatcher via submission @ 14:02

Thatcher stares down Ciampa and Ciampa stares back to end the show!

Next Week:

  • NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match: Curt Stallion vs. Santos Escobar (champ)

  • Quarterfinal Match in Dusty Cup Tag Team Classic: Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Leon Ruff & Kushida

  • Quarterfinal Match in Dusty Cup Tag Team Classic: MSK vs. Killian Dain & Drake Maverick

  • Non-Title Tag Match: Finn Balor (NXT Champion) & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch (NXT Tag Team Champions)

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