Jan. 21 (UPI) – Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher went to war inside Fight Pit in the WWE NXT main event.
Fight Pit is a specialty of Thatcher’s and is a modified steel cage with a small track at the top. The match can only be won by knockout or submission.
Ciampa and Thatcher started a brutal match on the promenade on Wednesday before finally dropping their battle into the ring.
Ciampa performed a low blow that was used to escape from the bed. Ciampa was also able to perform Willow’s Bell and land Fairytale Ending, but it still wasn’t enough.
Ciampa got stuck in a cage, which Thatcher took advantage of by placing her rival in a modified Stretch muffler. Ciampa was forced to step out due to staying on his surgically repaired knee, allowing Thatcher a big win.
Also at WWE NXT, the Beth Phoenix Hall of Famer, which introduced participants, kicked off the first Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic women’s tournament.
Phoenix spoke about how NXT has led the development of women in professional wrestling, and noted how stars such as Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Bayley and others started the yellow and gold brand.
Phoenix thanked the fans for supporting the wrestling and presented the first match of the tournament between Kacey Catanzaro and Kayden Carter against Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez.
Martinez was dominant in the duel, but was withdrawn by her rival, female NXT champion Io Shirai. The champion grabbed Martinez from the hoop and threw her at the desk and carried her away from the match.
Catanzaro and Carter wereted no time as Catanzaro returned the win with an impressive Twisting Senton off the ropes and advanced to the tournament.
NXT champion Finn Balor met with NXT Regal CEO and said he eventually wants to face Pete Dunne, but only after taking care of Dunne’s friends, NXT Tag team champion Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch.
Regal said Balor could face Lorcan and Burch next week if he finds himself as a team partner.
Balor, who said he had no friends, turned to his rival Kyle O’Reilly of The Undisputed Era with an offer. Balor recently defended his title against O’Reilly for the second time in a winning title.
O’Reilly accepted the offer, making the match official.
Other moments from the WWE NXT included Leon Ruff and Kushido, who defeated North American champions Johnny Gargan and Austin Theory to advance to the Men’s Classic Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic; Carrion Cross defeats Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis; The Lucha House Party defeated the Imperium to advance to the tournament; and Bronson Reed defeated Tyler Rust.