The February 3 2021 episode of WWE NXT, live from the Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, saw two huge title matches booked for NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day, while one team booked their place in the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals and the semi-final brackets for the Men's finals were confirmed:
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semi-final: Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez def. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter
The first team in the Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final has been confirmed after Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez picked up a huge win over the team of Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter.
An entertaining contest that saw Catanzaro jump from a ringside lighting structure onto Gonzalez and Kai, it appeared she and partner Carter were on their way to victory after a Swanton Bomb onto the second-generation superstar. Kai's interference to break up the pin, however, led to a one-armed powerbomb by Gonzalez onto Cantanzaro, securing the win for the duo and booking their place in the Final.
Either Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart or Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell of The Way await them.
Austin Theory def. Leon Ruff
Speaking of The Way, the group's youngest member claimed victory over Leon Ruff. The former WWE NXT North American Champion looked to surprise Austin Theory with a quick roll-up before engaging with Johnny Gargano at ringside. A strike from the old North American Champion to its current holder led to chaos as Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell looked to help Gargano, only for Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart to attack their Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic opponents.
Amidst the confusion, Gargano was expelled from ringside, but Theory would connect with the ATL to take the pin-fall and the win. Not finished with his fallen adversary, Theory struck Ruff with another ATL before grabbing a chair from ringside. Dexter Lumis would stop the assault, however, choking the match winner before ripping out a strand of hair from the scarpering Theory.
Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic quarter-final: Legado del Fantasma def. Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado
A lucha libre showdown in the last eight of the Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic saw Legado del Fantasma get the better of Lucha House Party. High spots were the name of the game as both teams brought their high-flying best throughout a thrilling tag-team encounter.
Lucha House Party looked set for the semi-finals after Lince Dorado's storming efforts, following a hot-tag. But a tag missed by the legal member of Lucha House Party allowed Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza to combine, with the latter hitting a flying kick on Dorado for the pin.
A showdown with MSK for a place in the Final is next for Legado del Fantasma, and Wes Lee and Nash Carter made clear their intention to beat Wilde and Mendoza in the semi-finals after this contest.
Finn Bálor confronts Pete Dunne, Edge interrupts and teases choosing an NXT Championship match
It's official. Finn Bálor will defend the NXT Championship against Pete Dunne at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day next Sunday. The Prince confronted Dunne in the ring and offered The Bruiserweight a chance to take the title from him next weekend, before 2021 Royal Rumble winner Edge made his way down the ramp and into an NXT ring for the first time.
The Rated R Superstar revealed that it was through watching NXT that he got his passion for wrestling back, and it was that passion which saw him win the Royal Rumble and therefore be able to challenge any champion in WWE at WrestleMania 37. Edge would then compliment both Balor and Dunne, telling the latter that he saw a lot of himself in the former United Kingdom champion before putting over the NXT Champion's recent attitude and performances, saying Balor is in 'a zone that is special to watch'.
The WWE Hall of Famer will be watching the NXT Championship match at TakeOver because, as Edge himself put it, he has never been NXT Champion. And maybe watching Bálor and Dunne competing for it will inspire him to choose an NXT Championship match at WrestleMania 37...
Johnny Gargano brawls backstage with Kushida
Johnny Gargano's backstage interview was going so well. The NXT North American champion was only too happy to be talking about how The Way were on a roll, but was stopped dead in his tracks when informed he would be defending his title against Kushida at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day.
Baffled and determined to get to the bottom of the situation, Gargano stormed to General Manager William Regal's office but was greeted by his TakeOver opponent at the door. The champion would attack his challenger, but Kushida got the upper hand, landing a vicious kick on Gargano's arm.
Jessi Kamea def. Toni Storm by disqualification
A short-lived match between Toni Storm and Jessi Kamea came to a quick end as one of Storm's two opponents at TakeOver: Vengeance Day, Mercedes Martinez, entered the fray. Martinez would confront Storm before striking Kamea, causing the disqualification.
The two challengers to Io Shirai's NXT Women's Championship would brawl, leading to Shirai power-walking down to the ring and watching on from the turnbuckle. As the duo spilled to the outside, Shirai moonsaulted onto both Storm and Martinez, making a statement ahead of the triple threat match for her title next weekend.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match: Santos Escobar def. Curt Stallion
After last week's match for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship was delayed, following Legado del Fantasma's beatdown of Curt Stallion, the action was confined to inside the ropes in Wednesday's match.
With Scarlett watching on from the upper tier of the Capitol Wrestling Center, Escobar would retain his title with a Phantom Driver and Legado, getting the win over his challenger.
Immediately after the action, Karrion Kross made his way to the ring, brutally attacking Wilde & Mendoza before issuing a warning to Escobar.
It wasn't the only message Kross had to deliver on NXT as the former NXT Champion interrupted Edge's departure, warning the Royal Rumble winner that he would have the title back before Edge had the chance to challenge either Bálor or Dunne. The Rated-R Superstar told Kross such words could serve as motivation to come back to NXT again.
Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic quarter-final: Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher def. Undisputed ERA
A hard-hitting and brutal tag-team showdown between four of the black-and-gold's most hardy superstars main-evented Wednesday's NXT, as Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher saw off Adam Cole and Roderick Strong to reach the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semi-finals.
The wrestling contest quickly descended into an all-out brawl between the four combatants, before a hot-tag to Cole from Strong saw the former NXT Champion and Undisputed ERA leader clean house. Cole and Strong thought they had put Ciampa down with a double-team superkick/knee combo, only for The Blackheart to kick-out!
After tagging Strong back in, Undisputed ERA would look to finish Ciampa, only for Thatcher to make the save and pull Cole to the outside. In the pandemonium, Strong would be caught by Ciampa, who hit Willow's Bell and pinned Strong for the win, progressing he and Thatcher to the last four.
Next week, Thatcher and Ciampa will face Grizzled Young Veterans in the semi-finals, with a fight between the two teams at the top of the NXT stage closing the show.