Welcome to eWrestling.com's LIVE results coverage for the black-and-gold brand's kick-off to the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic which starts TONIGHT, January 20, 2021 at 8:00p.m. as the show airs live from the WWE Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida on the USA Network at 8/7C!
Advertised for this week's edition of WWE NXT, The NXT Fight Pit is back! Tommaso Ciampa will look to settle his bitter rivalry with Timothy Thatcher inside the Fight Pit. Elsewhere, the first-ever Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic kicks off, plus first-round action continues in the Men's tournament. Catch it all this Wednesday night on NXT at 8/7 C on USA Network!
Featured below are complete results of the January 20, 2021 edition of WWE NXT On USA Network which airs live at 8/7C! The following report was written by eWrestling.com's longest running female reporter, Jamie Rush. Follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieRush312.
WWE NXT Results (01/20/21): Capitol Wrestling Center
As the clock hits 8:00 p.m. we head into the regular opener with the "WWE Then... Now... FOREVER." After that, we immediately head into a video package for last week's kick-off for the Dusty Rhodes Classic.
We start off tonight's WWE NXT on the USA Network with a video package highlighting the opening of the Dusty Rhodes Classic and the winners for the first round of the Classic after last week's opening matches. The Undisputed Era defeated Breezango to move on, then Legado Del Fantasma defeated the Bollywood Boyz, next MSK defeated Swerve Scott and Jake Atlas, then Grizzled Young Vets defeated Ever-Rise, and finally Drake Maverick and Killian Dain defeated Curt Stallion and August Grey.
Easy enough, right? Then we head into the Women's Dusty Rhodes Classic this week, which is the first women's classic EVER! There will also be a bout between Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher later tonight in the Fight Pit! We head to the arena where we see the team of Leon Ruff and Kushida already inside the ring!
Leon Ruff & Kushida vs. The Way (Austin Theory & Johnny Gargano)
Already inside the ring for tonight's first match of the evening and the Dusty Rhodes Classic is Leon Ruff and Kushida. The crowd begins a "Kushida! Kushida!" chant from the screens inside the audience. Austin Theory and Johnny Gargano make their way out next representing "The Way". Gargano stops to point out the Dusty Cup at the top of the stage to Theory before they make their way down the ramp towards the ring.
Back at ringside is Beth Phoenix who states she HAD to return for the Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic. Back in the ring, Leon Ruff asks to start things off inside the ring to which Gargano obliges. Austin Theory in for his team. The referee signals for the bell and our first match is officially underway! Theory showing off his strength with a Shoulder take down.
Leon Ruff looks to fly, but gets caught, Theory rolls off Theory and uses his nimble athleticism to roll around Theory and land a Dropkick. Kushida tags in and Theory gets locked in a unique submission move. Next we see Gargano finally tag in as he begins to angrily stomp down Kushida. Talking trash, Gargano wastes plenty of time running his mouth instead of running offense inside the ring.
A few quick moves from Gargano. Gargano then tags in Theory who lands a few moves of his own then tags Gargano back in. Quick tags and some tandem offense to stay in control for The Way. Kushida slides out of a Theory suplex and backs into his corner for a tag to Ruff. Ruff re-enters the ring and comes in hot, lighting Theory up with kicks. Gargano with a distraction from ringside lets his teammate catch Ruff for a Sitout Powerbomb.
Theory then heads in for the cover, Ruff kicks out at the two! Both men back to the ring as we head to commercial break.
We go split screen for some ads, and The Way work over the former North American champ during the break. An enziguri from Ruff gets him free for a tag, but Gargano pulls Kushida off the apron. More offense on Ruff follows, but he won’t stay down for three. He fights off Theory in the corner and hits a cutter from the middle rope. Both men tag, Thesz Press and ground & pound to Gargano from Kushida.
Theory in to save his mentor, but Kushida takes them both out. After a dive he rolls Johnny in, but misses a kick. Gargano answers with a superkick, but his follow-up is countered into an armbar. Theory with the save again! Johnny and Kushida trade strikes, and Gargano makes it to his corner. Double team gets two on Kushida. A frustrated Johnny sets up for Meet in the Middle, but Ruff flies in to save his partner. He flies to take out Theory, which lets Kushida bridge out of a suplex and he gets three on Johnny!
Winner and Advance To Second Round Of Dusty Classic: Leon Ruff & Kushida
Video Package - Pete Dunne
We head into a video package highlighting Pete Dunne and Finn Balor. He and Finn Bálor had a similar come-up, but while Finn left, Dunne stayed and built a brand. Finn told him to get in line, but he doesn’t wait. Bálor says he doesn’t watch the business, but Pete knows he watches him. They’ll both be remembered in history, but Dunne will be remembered better.
The announcers tell us Kyle O’Reilly is cleared for action, and we learn Karrion Kross will be in action next!
Karrion Kross vs. Ashante Odonis
"The end is here! Fall and pray. Fall and prayyyy..." Scarlett Bourdeux mouths the words as she makes her way down the ramp in an all leather as she enters the smoke filled ring and suddenly Kross is standing behind Scarlett as his music speeds up as Kross's entrance finishes and we see his opponent in the corner of the ring awaiting the bell to ring. The referee signals for the bell and this match-up is officially underway!
The match begins and Ashante immediately dives onto Kross with a Headlock, but Kross hits a Float over Suplex, then a Saito suplex. The referee checks on Ashante but Kross quickly grabs him and hits another Saito suplex. Kross takes to the corner and readies himself, then hits the running forearm to the back of the head and scores the pin-fall.
Winner: Karrion Kross
After the Match
Immediately following his pin-fall victory, Kross stands tall as Scarlett joins him and raises his arm. The music hits as we go to replays. We come back to Kross staring down at Adonis as trainers check on him. Kross runs over and grabs Troy, dropping him into the Kross Jacket submission. Kross breaks it and makes his exit.
Promo - MSK
We head backstage and MSK cut a sit-down promo in a ring and they start off by joking. They say they are finally in NXT and they are not going to let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slip by. With that, we head to commercial break!
Promo - Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm
Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm cut a promo, saying they don’t give a damn about friendships. They make fun of Kacy Katanzaro and Kayden Carter and say two real women will progress tonight.
Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic
Imperium vs. Lucha House Party
The match gets underway with Barthel and Dorado, and Barthel pushes him to the corner before taking a front facelock. Barthel hits a suplex and takes a wristlock. Dorado counters him but runs into a forearm. Barthel hangs Dorado on the bottom rope and chokes him with a boot. Dorado fires back with some deafening chops and flips over him to tag Gran Metalik.
Metalik jumps on Dorado’s shoulders and hits a splash to Barthel for a splash. Aichner gets a tag and catches Metalik with an arm-drag and stomps him down. Aichner catches a flying Dorado and hits a gutbuster. Metalik and Barthel get tags and the Lucha’s come in fast and furious. Dorado jumps over the ropes at Aichner but gets caught and body slammed on the floor. Imperium then hang Metalik in the tree of woe and hit stereo dropkicks to his head. Once again, we head to commercial break!
Back live and Imperium are still in firm control. Barthel tags in and takes a rear chinlock on Dorado. Barthel puts Dorado on the top rope but Lince kicks him back and hits a swinging tornado and both men are down. Tags made to Aichner and Metalik, and the latter hits a springboard crossbody. Metalik is whipped to the corner but flips over to the apron where he hits an enziguiri and a walk along the ropes into a hurricanrana. Metalik springboards off multiple ropes to hit a moonsault to Aichner for a two-count.
Barthel tags himself in and catches Metalik in a wheelbarrow so Aichner can hit a diving DDT but Dorado breaks the pin attempt. Barthel puts Metalik on the top rope and tags Aichner for an assisted suplex but Metalik lands on his feet and tags Dorado. The Lucha’s hit a dropkick into a powerbomb for a near-fall. Aichner whips Dorado to the corner and tags Barthel and they hit stereo slams. Barthel gets the tag and they hit a spinebuster/running kick for a near-fall. Dorado lands a superkick to Barthel, then goes up top for a shooting star press and the win.
Winners: Lucha House Party
Video Clip - Ciampa and Thatcher
We see footage of an official weigh-in for Tomasso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher from earlier today with an incredible amount of flashbulbs going off. Thatcher shoves Ciampa but referees get between them. They face off in the main event, inside the Fight Pit. With that, we head to commercial break!
William Regal - Kick-Off For Dusty Rhodes Women's Tag-Team Classic
As we return from commercial break, William Regal introduces Beth Phoenix on the stage and she says she is very proud to be here as NXT makes history again. NXT has been at the forefront of the Women’s Revolution, where stars like Becky Lynch, Asuka, Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Shayna Baszler, and more have originated. She says these women went on to main event PPV’s, even including WrestleMania. So, without further ado, she kicks off the first round of the Women’s Dusty Classic!
DUSTY RHODES WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CLASSIC
TONI STORM & MERCEDES MARTINEZ VS. KACY CATANZARO VS. KAYDEN CARTER
The match begins with Storm and Carter, and they lock-up. Kayden takes the back but Storm shrugs her off and hits a dropkick. Storm takes Carter to her corner and tags Mercedes. Storm and Martinez assault Carter and score a quick one-count. Kayden kicks Mercedes back, ducks a clothesline and tags Kacy. Catanzaro hits a drop-toe-hold, then her and Carter hit a double kick to Martinez. Kacy hits a slingshot tope for a two-count.
Mercedes drops Kacy with a chop to the chest, then shoves a boot in her face and drops her with a European uppercut. Martinez applies a rear chinlock and holds her down. Kacy tries to fight back but gets slammed. Catanzaro reverses Martinez with a tilt-a-whirl guillotine but Mercedes lifts her up for a powerslam and a two-count thanks to Carter’s interference, we head to commercial break with that.
Back live and Storm is in control of Kacy and drops her with a forearm before tagging Martinez. Mercedes hits a release suplex and Catanzaro rolls to the corner where Storm hits a running hip attack. Mercedes backs Kazy to the corner and chops her before putting her on the top rope. Merecedes gets Kacy on her shoulders but Catanzaro counters with a spinning hurricanrana off the top!
Carter gets the tag and comes in hot against Storm. Carter hits a dropkick to Mercedes that also splashes Storm on the mat. Carter drops Storm on the bottom rope and hits a running face wash. Carter with a roll-up for a two-count, then comes back with a basement dropkick to Storm. Martinez runs in but Kacy knocks her from the ring and hits a spinning crossbody. Storm meanwhile catches Carter with a headbutt, and looks to apply a Boston crab with the foot on the back.
Io Shirai appears at ringside and pulls Mercedes off the apron and throws her over the announce desk. Storm saw her but apparently the referee didn’t. Carter takes advantage of the distraction and drops Storm, then tags Kacy. Catanzaro hits an insane (and dangerous) spinning Phoenix Splash where she landed on Storm’s back with her back, and won the match.
WINNERS: KACY CATANZARO & KAYDEN CARTER
Finn Balor approaches William Regal backstage and asks for Dunne and Co. He says he wants Lorcan and Burch first, so he can cut off the arms, then the head. Regal tells him he needs friends but Balor says that’s the old him, he doesn’t have any friends anymore. Regal tells him to keep his friends close as we head to commercials.
Catanzaro and Carter get interviewed backstage and reiterate that they’re going to win the whole Dusty Classic. They say they just took out two of the toughest women in the tournament and they’re going to win.
BRONSON REED VS. TYLER RUST W/MALCOLM BIVENS
The bell rings and Rust takes the wrist but Reed no-sells it and turns the tables. Reed takes a headlock and Rust tries to shoot him off but he can’t. Reed hits the ropes and hits a massive shoulder tackle that sends Rust flying out of the ring. Bivens gives Rust some advice and sends him back inside but Reed immediately kicks him and hits a military press into a gutbuster. Reed hits a reverse fallaway slam and Rust rolls to the apron.
Reed pulls Rust up by the hair but gets his arm snapped over the top rope. Rust then gets inside and targets the arm with kicks and uppercuts. The camera cuts to the backstage area where Io Shirai and Toni Storm are brawling with referee’s trying to separate them. Bronson Reed fires back with forearms, then hits a big body block and a chokeslam for a near-fall.
Reed heads to the top rope and Rust hits him with a pump kick. Rust gets Reed on his shoulders and hits a Samoan drop for a two-count. Rust looks to hit a Skull Crushing Finale but gets shoved off and hit with a senton. Reed heads up top and hits the Tsunami for the win.
WINNER: BRONSON REED
As we return from commercial break, Finn Balor walks into the locker room with Undisputed Era. Balor says he’s looking for payback. He says they’re all grown men and they know why he’s here, so are they in or is he still sucking meals through a straw? Roddy gets angry but Cole holds him back. O’Reilly says he’s in.
Santos Escobar is walking around the ring and he says a real Champion does what he wants, when he wants. He is the NXT Cruiserweight Champion for life. A true Champion doesn’t have curses like Johnny Gargano, or a glass jaw like Finn Balor. They act like Champions but it’s all pomp and circumstances and they can’t even defend the title. Like Karrion Kross. It must be a heavy chip on their shoulders but he backs up everything he has said and beat everyone that stepped in his way.
Escobar congratulates Joaquin and Raul for winning their first match in the Dusty Classic, and they’re on track to being Tag Team Champions. Together they will be real Champions. Lucha House Party run down to the ring and brawl with Legado del Fantasma but the numbers get the better of them. Curt Stallion runs down and evens the numbers and they clear the ring.
Drake Maverick and Killian Dain are interviewed backstage but Maverick commandeers it and says they’re best friends. Best friends who will run through their competition in the Dusty Classic. Dain says he said it well and slaps him on the back, which hurts Maverick. We head to commercial break.
FIGHT PIT MATCH
TOMASSO CIAMPA VS. TIMOTHY THATCHER
The bell rings with both men standing on the platform above the pit. Ciampa makes for Thatcher and they start brawling. Ciampa attempts to hit Willow’s Bell on the platform but Thatcher counters him and chokes him on the railing. Thatcher delivers European uppercuts, then hits a snap suplex on the wooden platform. Ciampa slams Timothy into the railing and starts putting the boots to him over and over. Ciampa chops the chest repeatedly against the railing, then puts him under the metal bar and chokes him before hitting a catapult!
Thatcher grinds Ciampa’s face into the railing now. Thatcher with more right hands, and another big uppercut. Thatcher with a suplex on top of the perch. Thatcher goes for the single-leg Crab on the perch while kicking Ciampa in the back. Ciampa resists the submission and kicks Thatcher away. Ciampa charges with a running boot to the side of the face. Ciampa stomps away while Thatcher is down. Ciampa with a big chop. Thatcher fights back as they continue trading strikes. Ciampa with big chops against the railing. Thatcher fights back with rights of his own, bringing Ciampa to one knee and then down on the catwalk. Ciampa crawls away. Thatcher tries to send him face-first into the steel railing but it’s blocked. Ciampa grinds Thatcher’s face into the railing again. Ciampa stomps some more while Thatcher is down. Ciampa slingshots Thatcher’s throat under a part of the railing and smiles. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial break.
Ciampa ends up knocking Thatcher to the bottom level during the break. Ciampa beats Thatcher around the cage but Thatcher takes Ciampa down and grounds him as the referee checks on him. Ciampa fights back with a chop but Thatcher uppercuts him back down. Thatcher stomps on the limbs and drives a knee into Ciampa’s back while he’s down. Thatcher with a headlock in the middle of the cage. We come back from the break and Thatcher sends Ciampa face-first into the steel but Ciampa does the same. Ciampa keeps sending Thatcher face-first into the cage walls.
Ciampa with a running knee to the face, sending Thatcher face-first into the steel again. The referee counts but Thatcher makes it back to his feet at the 6 count as Ciampa attacks. Thatcher blocks the Fairy Tale Ending and sends Ciampa shoulder-first into the steel. Thatcher grinds Ciampa into the steel and tries to bend his hand into the corner of the cage post. Ciampa fights back but Thatcher rams him into the cage wall, then slams him in the middle of the structure with a suplex. Thatcher grounds Ciampa again, focusing on his arm and shoulder.
Ciampa breaks the hold but Thatcher stays on top of him and bends the fingers back. Thatcher smiles at Ciampa’s pain. Ciampa sends Thatcher face-first into the steel. Ciampa goes on and launches Thatcher face-first into the cage wall again. Ciampa with a single-leg Crab again. Ciampa breaks it and kicks Thatcher in the spine again. More back and forth between the two fighters. Thatcher kicks Ciampa away, into the steel. Thatcher applies a Sleeper hold in the middle of the ring now.
Ciampa starts to fade as the referee checks on him. Ciampa breaks the hold with a back kick that goes below the belt, but is still legal. Ciampa drapes Thatcher over the referee’s back while the referee is checking on Thatcher, and nails Willow’s Bell. Thatcher makes it back up at the 9 count. Ciampa immediately attacks. Thatcher blocks the Fairy Tale Ending. They trade big strikes in the middle of the ring now. Thatcher rams Ciampa into the cage wall. Ciampa drives Thatcher’s head into the cage post, then drops him with a Fairy Tale Ending. Ciampa jumps on Thatcher’s back and rolls him over in a Sleeper on the mat. Thatcher fights to his feet and breaks the hold. Thatcher rams them back into the steel and Ciampa goes down.
Thatcher with another Sleeper hold now. Ciampa gets wedged in between two of the cage walls in a corner now. Thatcher wails away on him. Thatcher uses that to apply a modified Stretch Muffler now. Ciampa finally taps out as he’s all twisted up in the corner and Thatcher wins.
Winner: Timothy Thatcher
After the Match
Thatcher drops to his knees and poses as he remains undefeated in the Fight Pit. Thatcher stands tall now as his music hits. We go to replays. The referee raises Thatcher’s arm as we see Ciampa down in the corner of the cage, trying to recover. The referee checks on Ciampa while Thatcher drops to his knees and stares Ciampa down. Thatcher comes over to Ciampa and drops to his knees, then stares Ciampa down. Thatcher nods at Ciampa in an apparent show of respect as NXT goes off the air.
**That's all folks! Be sure to return this Friday for WWE Friday Night SmackDown with yours truly! As always, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay awesome! RUSH OUT!**
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