WWE: NXT Dominates the 10 Best Matches of 2020

Wrapping up 2020 as far as WWE & NXT PPV’s are concerned, we present our selection of the ten best matches of the year that is about to end, counting only those that took place in special events.

If last year Adam Cole was tied with Johnny Gargano as the fighter with the most appearances in this Top 10, he appears again to lead this ranking, with three mentions. However, their teammate in The Undisputed Era, Kyle O’Reilly, is next, also with four appearances, but with the disadvantage of not having participated in the best match of the year.

#10: Imperium (Walter, Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel and Alexander Wolfe) vs. The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong)
World Collide (January 25)

The fight was level and off to a slow start, although Alexander Wolfe had reduced the Imperium to just three men after being mishandled following a kick from Bobby Fish.
The fight gained intensity with the entry of Walter, who decimated O’Reilly and Strong before passing the witness to Barthel, in a period of clear dominance by the British. The Undisputed Era turned around the text after a great re-entry by Roderick Strong, which took Walter and Aichner to the mat, but the feud became very divided again.
At one point Walter was isolated outside the ring against the four elements of The Undisputed Era and, after showing some resilience, suffered a Olympic Slam from Strong in a commentator’s table, which was undone.

Returning to the ring, Adam Cole shone, who was close to victory after a knee on Barthel, who avoided defeat via submission to O’Reilly’s attempt. Barthel’s resistance allowed Walter to recover. Walter was very close to winning after a Frog Splash on Strong, but soon after he was close to defeat after suffering a Last Shot from Adam Cole, but his teammates avoided the end of the fight.

The final stretch of the fight was chaotic and unpredictable, with bodies scattered everywhere and several impacting blows from both sides. The triumph ended up smiling for the Imperium, after a Big Dropkick and a Powerbomb by Walter in Bobby Fish.

Winners : Imperium (Walter, Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel and Alexander Wolfe)
David Pereira Rating : 8/10
Dave Meltzer Rating : 4.25/5

#9: NXT Women’s Championship:
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai
NXT TakeOver: In Your House (June 7)

Chaotic combat, with each of the three being able to win. Rhea Ripley looked like she was going to get the triumph after projecting Charlotte from the top rope, but the ensuing settlement was stopped by Io Shirai. Ripley then held Shirai into submission, but Charlotte hit her with a kendo stick . Meanwhile Charlotte trapped Ripley in a Figure Eight and Shirai took advantage of Ripley’s lying position to Moonsault from the top rope, then advanced to the winning pin fall.

Winner : Io Shirai (New Champion)
David Pereira Rating : 8/10
Dave Meltzer Rating : 4.25/5

#8: Ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship:
Jeff Hardy (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn
Clash of Champions: Gold Rush (September 27)

A fight that promised a lot, even because it involved three fighters cut out for this type of fights. Maybe it wasn’t as good as expected, but it still had some good moments, like AJ Styles throwing a mini ladder that hit Sami Zayn’s hand or both Styles and Hardy falling off the top of the ladder.

At one point , Hardy was also thrown from the top of a ladder by Zayn, ending up outside the ring. And, of course, Jeff Hardy himself starred in the spot of the night when he applied one Swanton Bomb from the top of a ladder to Sami Zayn, who was outside the ring lying on a ladder stuck between the edge of the ring and one of the commentator tables. ‘s ear to a ladder outside the ring. Zayn tried to use a similar strategy with AJ Styles, eventually managing to handcuff him to the ladder that was in the center of the ring. With both opponents trapped, Sami Zayn had the green light to climb to the top of the ladder and remove the belts, thus becoming intercontinental champion for the second time, using an innovative strategy in combats of this kind – a similar tactic was used by John Cena in spent in a Last Man Standing match against Batista. Frustrated that the match was not going his way, Sami Zayn decided to use handcuffs to secure Jeff Hardy

Winner : Sami Zayn (New Champion)
David Pereira Rating : 8/10
Dave Meltzer Rating : 4.25/5

#7: Drew McIntyre ( WWE Champion ) vs. Roman Reigns ( Universal Champion )
Survivor Series (November 22)

Combat between two big fish, perhaps the main figures in WWE in 2020.
Roman Reigns dominated for a few minutes through submissions, keeping McIntyre on the mat, but the Scotsman responded with a good comeback . McIntyre was close to triumph after a Future Shock DDT whose effects didn’t go beyond near fall .

Shortly after, it was Reigns to respond, with a Samoan Drop on top of one of the commentators’ tables, which was destroyed, and a Spear against the protective barrier, which was also destroyed. Upon returning to the ring, Reigns advanced to the settlement, but the WWE Champion kicked out .

Reigns applied new Spear, this time inside the ring, but McIntyre got away again.
In response, McIntyre executed a Claymore , but in the fall Reigns crashed into the referee and so there was no one to count the settlement. While the referee was on the ground, Reigns delivered a low blow and a Superman Punch – with a Superkick from Jey Uso through the middle – and finally a Guillotine that put McIntyre to sleep. A fight that far exceeded expectations.

Winner : Roman Reigns
David Pereira Rating : 8/10
Dave Meltzer Rating : 4.25/5

#6: Tyler Bates vs. Jordan Devlin
NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool II (January 12)

Another intense fight with technical quality, in the good British way. Tyler Bate came close to winning after a Brainbuster , but the effects didn’t go beyond near fall . At one point, they both climbed to the top of one of the corners, where Devlin landed a Spanish Flag , followed by a Devlin Side , but Bate kicked out at the last moment. After good opportunities for both sides, Bate applied a Tornado DDT followed by a Tyler Driver , but it wasn’t enough. It took Bate to climb to the top of one of the corners and execute a Cockscrew Splash to claim the triumph.

Winner: Tyler Bates
Score David Pereira: 8/10
Dave Meltzer Rating : 4.5/5

#5 Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano
NXT TakeOver: Portland (February 16)

After a very physical match and a Street Fight , here’s a more technical duel, between two of the best performers that WWE has at its disposal. As is the prerogative of Bálor and Gargano, the combat progressively increased in intensity from the sound of the bell.
More experienced, Bálor won after a Coup de Grâce and a 1916 .

Winner: Finn Balor
Score David Pereira: 8.5/10
Dave Meltzer Rating : 4.5/5

#4: NXT Championship:
Finn Balor (c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly
NXT TakeOver 31 (October 4th)

A fight that started out quite technical, as is the prerogative of its two players, but that gained more intensity and more impactful blows as it went on. The final stretch of the duel was marked by a lot of emotion and occasions when both fighters were close to triumph. O’Reilly almost won by submission already after having applied a Brainbuster , Bálor responded with a 1916 . The strong kicks, these, were a constant from both sides. At a stage when both were already quite worn out and even bloodied, Bálor achieved triumph after a Coup de Grâce.

Winner : Finn Balor
David Pereira Score : 8.5/10
Dave Meltzer Rating : 4.5/5

#3 WarGames match:
The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong) vs. Pat McAfee, Pete Dunne, Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan
NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2020 (December 6)

Kyle O’Reilly and Pete Dunne opened hostilities. Oney Lorcan joined Pete Dunne, but after three minutes Bobby Fish re-established equal numbers. Danny Burch put his team back in numerical advantage, but Roderick Strong left three against three. Finally, McAfee entered the match three minutes before Undisputed Era leader Adam Cole.
However, before Cole’s entry, elements of the opposing team destroyed Roderick Strong, causing him to cross a table.

When Adam Cole entered, he used a fire extinguisher to open the wings, thus starting an authentic battle inside the double cage. At one point the Undisputed Era looked set to win, after planting three of the opposing team on a table and using the steel cage to hurt Dunne, Burch and Lorcan, before launching a four-on-one attack on McAfee. However, the faction of McAfee, Dunne, Burch and Lorcan managed to rebalance the fight, with McAfee having an incredible moment when he dived from the top of the cage onto the remaining seven fighters.

Pete Dunne was very close to triumph after a Bitter End on O’Reilly, but this one managed to get away with it. O’Reilly countered with a Suplex on Dunne on top of the metal plate that joins the two rings, but the effects did not go beyond near fall . Then it was the turn of Adam Cole to have been close to giving his team the victory, after a Panama Sunrise in McAfee. Still, the Undisputed Era emerged victorious after Kyle O’Reilly hit Lorcan with a Diving Knee Drop with a chair in the middle.

Winners : The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong)
David Pereira Score : 8.5/10
Dave Meltzer Rating : 4.75/5

#2: NXT North American Championship:
Keith Lee (c) vs. Dominik Dijakovic
NXT TakeOver: Portland (February 16)

Very physical fight, between the mighty Keith Lee and the mighty Dijakovic. At one point, Dijakovic projected Lee from the top of one of the corners with a sort of Attitude Adjustment , but the effects didn’t go beyond near fall.

Shortly after, Dijakovic returned to the charge by projecting himself in a somersault out of the ring, where Keith Lee was sitting in a chair, in what was a holy shit moment. Keith Lee countered with two bombastic Powerbombs , but Dijakovic got away with it. Dijakovic returned to the attack with a Spanish Flag from the top of one of the corners, but Keith Leekicked out in time. Practically in response, Keith Lee delivered a Big Bang Catastrophe to achieve victory.

Winner: Keith Lee
David Pereira Rating : 9/10
Dave Meltzer Rating : 4.25/5

#1: NXT Championship:
Adam Cole (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa
NXT TakeOver: Portland (February 16)

Another fight with a progressive rhythm, in the good way of those who are used to working in independent promotions. Several minutes after colliding with never at a commentator’s table, Ciampa applied a sort of Samoan Drop from the top of one of the corners, but Adam Cole kicked out . Ciampa returned to the charge with a Powerbomb on a commentator’s table, a straight knee, a Lariat and a Project Ciampa , but Cole got away with it again.

Even very dented, Cole managed to respond and apply Last Shot , but Ciampa went all the way to the ropes, avoided settling, and even returned to the charge with a Samoan Drop . on the edge of the ring. In this phase, he alternately watched the best blows of each one, in a very divided and exciting final stretch.

In desperation after seeing Cole almost give up, the remaining members of The Undisputed Era went to ringside to distract the referee and attack Ciampa. Ciampa even avoided defeat, getting the kick out several times when the end of the fight was expected, but when he was close to triumph there was no referee in the ring to make the count.

At one point, Johnny Gargano went to the vicinity of the ring, apparently to help Ciampa. However, he hit his former tag teammate with the belt and offered Adam Cole the win.

Winner : Adam Cole
David Pereira Rating : 9/10
Dave Meltzer Rating : 4.75/5

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