Tonight's episode of NXT will include an appearance by the men's Royal Rumble winner.
After winning Sunday's men's Royal Rumble match and defeating Randy Orton on Raw, Edge will appear on NXT tonight. Edge announced the appearance in a tweet on Tuesday: "In Orlando to visit my wife. Then I had a thought, @WWENXT needs to get #RatedR"
With WWE yet to announce which title Edge will challenge for at WrestleMania 37, Edge may be on NXT tonight to interact with NXT Champion Finn Balor. Balor appears set to defend his title against Pete Dunne at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day on Sunday, February 14.
Tonight's show will also feature matches in the men's and women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classics. The men's Dusty Classic quarterfinals will conclude with Undisputed Era's Adam Cole & Roderick Strong vs. Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher and The Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) vs. Legado Del Fantasma's Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde. The semifinals of the women's Dusty Classic will begin with Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez.
Plus, NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar will defend his title against Curt Stallion. That match was originally supposed to take place last week, but there was an angle where Stallion was attacked backstage.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The show opened wth Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez cutting a promo on the way the ring. Their entrance kicked off a show that is beginning with a women's tag match in the ongoing tournament.
Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez defeated Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro in a Women's Dusty Classic semifinal match
Gonzalez pinned Catanzaro after a pop-up chokeslam. Catanzaro hit an insane double stomp just moments before. With the win. Kai & Gonzalez are headed to the finals of the tournament.
Kai & Gonzalez dominated early on until a melee began. Cat-and-mouse with Gonzalez giving chase. She caught Catanzaro, and Gonzalez press slammed Catanzaro back into the ring from the floor. The heels worked over Catanzaro.
Hot tag to Carter, and she ran wild. In keeping with her luchadora background, Carter springboarded into some lucha libre spots. As Carter was fighting with Gonzalez, Kai tried to trip her up. Carter kicked her away, but the distraction allowed Gonzalez to shove Carter off the apron. The show cut to a picture-in-picture commercial as Carter was down selling.
The heels worked over Carter during the break. Tag to Catanzaro, and she got a near fall on Kai. Catanzaro climbed up part of a lighting grid that stood like a pilar, and she leaped off with a dive.
Carter took a combo move where Gonzalez press slammed her into a GTS-like kick from Kai. Catanzaro jumped in to break up the pinning attempt. The babyfaces low-bridged the top rope on a charging Gonzalez. They teamed up to stun Gonzalez. That led to Catanzaro with an unbelievable multiple rotation double stomp for a close two count. Kai broke it up.
Catanzaro went for a rana, but Gonzalez countered to deliver a pop-up chokeslam. Gonzalez then covered her for a pinfall.
Announcers Tom Phillips and Beth Phoenix congratulated Wade Barrett on officially becoming an United States citizen. They presented him with a gift that included a framed photo of "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and some apple pie.
Toni Storm in a backstage interview talked about being in the upcoming triple threat match for the NXT Women's Championship at TakeOver. Storm said she was at the top of her game, and she would show that in her match later on tonight.
Edge was backstage chatting with NXT General Manager William Regal.
Austin Theory (with Johnny Gargano) defeated Leon Ruff
Theory pinned Ruff to win the match. Dexter Lumis made a save after the macth when Theory was delivering a post-match beatdown on Ruff. Lumis would go on to pull out some of Theory's hair.
Theory was bullying Ruff until Ruff fired but on him. Gargano tried to get involved, but Ruff superkicked him. Ruff with a missile dropkick off the top, and Ruff decked Gargano when he tried to interfere again. Theory and Ruff both went down on a shoulder tackle.
Everybody was down selling when Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae came down to ringside. They were seemingly going to help their partners in The Way, but Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart ran down to run off LeRae and Hartwell. The two teams meet in a semifinal match in the women's Dusty Classic.
Spoofing Eddie Guerrero, Ruff sold like Gargano hit him. A referee kicked Gargano out of the ringside area, and Gargano was ordered to the back. Ruff then used a springboard cutter for a near fall. To no avail as Theory caught him on another dive, and Theory dropped him on the barricade. Back in the ring, Theory delivered a Marc Mero TKO cutter (that Theory calls the "ATL"), and he covered Ruff for a pinfall.
Theory kept attacking Ruff after the bell. He gave him another ATL cutter. He went outside the ring looking for plunder, but Dexter Lumis snatched him in his clutches. During the attack by Lumis, Theory supposedly had some of his hair ripped out. Barrett on commentary said he was scalped. Hardly.
A vignette hyped El Legado del Fantasma. Another vignette told the a Chinese tale that relates to Xia Li & Boa. It explained that their mentor figure is a over 1,000 years old in a fantastic mythical tale.
El Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde) deafted Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) in a Dusty Rhodes quarterfinal match
Mendoza pinned Dorado, and Legado del Fantasma is advancing to the semifinals.
Best match of the night so far that was billed as battle of sorts for the heart of lucha libre. It was a WWE-version of rudos against tecnicos. They wrestled and flew through a commercial break.
Metalik looks so much more like the high flyer he was before joining WWE. That is a great thing. Hot tag to Dorado after the commercial break. He was a house of fire, and he flew around the ring. Dorado with a handspring into a stunner for a two count.
Wilde countered Lucha House Party with a springboard into a double DDT spot. Lucha House Party fought back, and they did some wild high spots. Metalik with a super Frankensteiner to the floor. Dorado moonsaulted off the ring post to the floor.
Blind tag by the rudos, and they catch Dorado with a combo kick/leg sweep, and Mendoza pinned Dorado.
MSK after the match came out to the stage to cut a promo on Legado del Fantasma. The two teams meet next week in the tournament semifinals.
Pete Dunne was joined by the NXT Tag Team Champions Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan. They entered the ring for a promo near the top of the second hour. Dunne was looking for NXT Champion Finn Balor.
Balor entered the scene, and he cut a promo on Dunne. Balor claimed Dunne was hiding behind Burch & Lorcan, so Dunne told them to leave. Dunne said he was winning the title from Balor at the first chance he gets. Balor informed him that chance comes at TakeOver, as they will have a title match on that card.
Edge interrupted them, and he got between them in the ring. He said a lot of times they focus on the "E" in WWE, but in NXT they focus on the second "W" in WWE. Edge said NXT helped him find his passion. It helped him get his career back after nine years away. He used his passion to win the Royal Rumble, and that allows him to challenge any champion in the company.
Edge went on to put over Balor and Dunne, and Edge said he was watching their title match at TakeOver. He pointed at the NXT title in saying he never had that. Edge said if hasn't made his choice by TakeOver, then their match might make up his mind. He was teasing challenging the winner at WrestleMania in a title match. He never actually said he was challenging for the NXT title, but he teased it greatly.
NXT North Americam Champion Johnny Gargano was being interviewed by someone that was not McKenzie Mitchell. Gargano was happy someone else was interviewing him this time, but he soon freaked out when she told him Kushida would be challenging him at TakeOver in a North American title match. Gargano could not believe the news, and he demanded they go to Regal's office.
When Gargano got to Regal's office he found Kushida already there. Kushida told Gargano that Regal was busy. Gargano acted like he would come back later, and then he tried to sucker punch Kushida. A brawl erupted backstage. Kushida kicked him in the arm before the fight was broken up.
Toni Storm vs. Jessi Kamea (with Robert Stone & Aliyah) ended in a no contest
The referee threw the match out when Mercedes Martinez entered the ring, and a brawl erupted amonst all three.
Kamea is now a part of the Robert Stone Brand. She got some offense on Storm before Mercedes Martinez got into the ring to attack Storm. Kamea also fougth with Martinez, but she was pulled away by Aliyah and Stone.
Martinez was fighting with Storm when NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai entered the scene. She sat on the turnbuckles with her title hanging from her shoulder. Shirai watched her two opponents at TakeOver fighting among themselves. When there fight spilled outside the ring, Shirai did an Asai moonsault off the top rope to the floor. The champ stood tall.
Next came a Curt Stallion promo, it was something. Better than whatever that was last week, but oh my. It was something. Tonight was the biggest night of his life. He hollered "place your bets" really loud before saying Curt "The Lone Star" Stallion is going to make everybody in Texas proud.
A vignette hyped Cameron Grimes. He returns next week on NXT.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar defeated Curt Stallion to retain his title
Escobar pinned Stallion to retain. Scarlett was scouting Escobar, and Karrion Kross confronted him after the match.
Stallion was fighting from underneath almost from the start. Escobar grounded him, and Stallion ate a dropkick for a near fall.
Scarlett was seen watching over the macth. She was there apparently to scout Escobar for her charge, Karrion Kross. That distraction eventually got to Escobar, and Stallion was able to clothesline him out of the ring before a commercial break.
Stallion was backdropped on the ring steps during the commercials, and Escobar was back in control when the show returned from the break. Escobar continued to work over Stallion. He applied a half crab, and then a crossface.
Escobar missed a charge, and Stallion made a comeback. He cleaned house, and then Stallion leapt through the ropes with a tope. He jumped off the top rope with a splash for a two count. Escobar countered Stallion to give him an exploder suplex into the turnbuckles. Stallion still fought back as they exchanged strikes.
Escobar delivered a Phantom Driver, and then he executed a double underhook neckbreaker. Escobar then pinned Stallion to retain his title.
Karrion Kross entered the scene after the match. He beat up Mendoza & Wilde at ringside, and then Kross confronted Escobar. He told Escobar he was giving him the gift of time to think about things. Kross hinted that time will soon run out.
A feature aired that highlighted Black History Month.
Edge was leaving the building, and he was asked if he made his decision yet. He had not. Kross then confronted Edge in the parking lot. Kross did not have on a shirt when he confronted Escobar in the ring, but Kross put on a shirt to confront Edge. Anyway, he confronted Edge. Another tease, but this one was teasing a match with Edge against Kross. Like earlier, just a tease as nothing is official.
Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher defeated Undisputed Era (Adam Cole & Roderick Strong) in a Dusty Classic quarterfinal match
Ciampa pinned Cole to win the match. Ciampa & Thatcher advance to the semifinals.
Great wrestling sequences from the start. Undisputed Era would seem like the better team because they have been stablemates so long, but Thatcher & Ciampa showed great teamwork. That was part of the story in the match before a commercial break.
Strong with a superplex spot with Thatcher. That led into Cole making a hot tag, and he cleaned house. Backstabber on Ciampa for a near fall. More exchanges, and Cole with an ushigoroshi for another two count.
Ciampa countered an attempted figure four from Cole, so Cole applied it to Thatcher instead. Ciampa broke up the submission hold after Ciampa himself had to escape the Stronghold. Thatcher & Ciampa with a combo for a near fall. Strong escaped their clutches with an Olympic Slam.
Cole tagged back in to get a near fall on Ciampa. Thatcher with a save to protect Ciampa, but Thatcher gets rocked by Cole with a superkick. Strong then give Thatcher a backbreaker on the barricade. In the ring, Ciampa delivers a Willow's Bell to Cole and covers him for the pinfall.
Thatcher & Ciampa move on to face Grizzled Young Veterans in the semifinals of the Dusty Classic.