Date: January 13, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
It’s the first regular show of the new year and we’re at the start of a new taping cycle. We’ve got a few months to go before we get to the next Takeover, assuming there isn’t another one before Wrestlemania weekend. In addition to that, we’re getting something like the NXT Slammy Awards tonight with the end of the year awards. Let’s get to it.
The announcers welcome us to the show for a change.
Here’s General Manager William Regal to announce tonight’s main event: a battle royal for the #1 contendership to the Women’s Title. With that out of the way, Regal introduces someone who hasn’t been here in a long time: Sami Zayn.
Sami thinks the fans remember him but gets cut off by OLE and WELCOME BACK chants. In case you don’t know him, he’s the lead singer of a band and that OLE chant is their lead single. He’s also a man responsible for building NXT and making what it is today. They just sold out a UK tour but it’s nice to be back home at Full Sail University. Sami is back for a reason though, and that is to become the first ever two time NXT Champion.
This brings out Samoa Joe who doesn’t seem to think much of Sami’s plans. Joe doesn’t know why Sami thinks he deserves another shot because the last time he had a title shot, it was Joe who had to come out here and save him. Finn Balor barely survived against Joe in London so if Sami wants to keep his shoulder in one piece, he better walk away right now.
Now it’s Baron Corbin interrupting to say that he actually won at Takeover. While Sami was gone, he was surpassed by someone more durable so Sami needs to go to the back of the line. Joe brings up choking Corbin out and tells Sami to mind his place in his ring. The ring is Sami’s place but Corbin jumps him from behind, only to get kicked in the face and knocked to the floor. Joe backs off from Sami who is left standing alone.
Bayley says she survived against Nia Jax instead of actually winning. Tonight she’s looking forward to seeing who survives in the battle royal and she might even give the winner a hug. She actually does hug Rich Brennan.
It’s time for the End of the Year Award winners, announced in a video package. The trophies are golden ring bells.
Tag Team of the Year: Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady
Female Competitor of the Year: Bayley
Male Competitor of the Year: Finn Balor
NXT Takeover of the Year: Takeover: Brooklyn
Match of the Year: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks – Takeover: Brooklyn
Overall Competitor of the Year: Finn Balor
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Danny Burch
Ciampa takes him down by the arm to start but Burch gets up and scores with a middle rope dropkick to take over. That just ticks Ciampa off so he blasts Burch in the face with a forearm. Something like a hanging Downward Spiral off the top rope gets two for Ciampa but Burch pops him in the jaw for the same. They slug it out until Ciampa takes him down and grabs a flip over armbar (picture Becky Lynch’s Disarm-Her but with Ciampa laying over Burch’s back instead of sitting on the shoulder) for the tap out at 3:42.
Rating: C. This was a hard hitting brawl while it lasted but I’m not entirely sold on Ciampa. The armbar was a nice finisher but it seems like almost everyone is using a submission hold these days. As usual though, NXT does a great job of using jobbers to set up bigger stars, which is almost unheard of on the main roster for the last several years.
Enzo and Cass say they haven’t forgotten about Dash and Dawson taking them out. The champs hid behind a woman like chicken tenders and next time business will be finished.
Billie Kay, Deonna Purrazzo and Emma all say they’ll win the battle royal.
Two weeks from tonight, Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin for the #1 contendership.
Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder vs. Ascension
Non-title. Wilder gets in Viktor’s face to start but gets pounded into the corner for his efforts. Ascension is the clear crowd favorite here which is really strange to see. It’s off to Dawson, who has a bit more luck by taking Viktor to the mat for two. The champs beat Viktor down in the corner and we hit the chinlock for a bit. Viktor fights up and catches Dawson in an STO, allowing for the hot tag off to Konnor. The flapjack drops Wilder and everything breaks down, allowing a blind tag to set up the Shatter Machine on Konnor for the pin at 4:10.
Rating: C+. I liked this a bit better and it’s probably due to the false hope that Ascension might actually start being booked like a power team instead of the goofs they’ve been since their Raw debut. Or maybe it was the Shatter Machine which is a really awesome looking finisher for such a slow paced team.
Nia Jax isn’t medically cleared for the battle royal. Eva Marie says she has this.
Carmella, Peyton Royce and Alexa Bliss say they’ll win.
Elias Samson vs. Corey Hollis
Samson forearms him down to start and stomps away in the corner. A throw sends Hollis flying and Samson stop to laugh. Samson looks down at him before grabbing a hard swinging neckbreaker for the pin at 2:20.
Samson says what this place needs is what he is.
Finn Balor says the match against Samoa Joe was the most draining match of his career but he faces every challenger head to head. Now he’s just going to wait to find out his next opponent. Corbin thinks he’s the uncrowned champion, Sami is a friend and Joe is the one that will never go away.
Cameron, Aliyah, Asuka and Liv Morgan promise to win. Well Cameron promises to win the battle royal to become #1 contender to the Women’s battle royal but you get the idea.
Carmella, Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss, Aliyah, Cameron, Liv Morgan, Billie Kay, Deonna Purrazzo, Emma, Eva Marie, Asuka
Eva gets right in Asuka’s face to start and is quickly dropped with a shot to the face. The other nine all circle Asuka with Emma jumping her, starting everyone else into a brawl. Eva is out on the floor but not eliminated, likely to reduce her chances of severely injuring someone during the match.
We take an early break and come back with no eliminations but Cameron throws Aliyah out a few seconds later. Cameron gets rid of Purrazzo as well, followed by Morgan botching something that looked like a powerbomb. She tries it again but Bliss comes up from behind and tosses Morgan and Cameron at the same time. Emma gets Carmella in the Dilemma to send her underneath the ropes and out to the floor, meaning no elimination. Bliss chokes Emma, only to be put on the apron and punched off for an elimination.
We’re down to Emma, Royce, Kay, Asuka, Eva and Carmella, with the final two on the floor. Emma has to kick away the other two Australians, only to have Asuka kick her out of the corner for an elimination. Billie and Peyton put Asuka on the apron but of course start fighting over who gets to eliminate her. Asuka puts them both on the apron and hip attacks both of them to the floor to get us down to three. Eva sneaks in and eliminates Asuka, freaking out the crowd until Carmella throws Eva out for the win at 10:45.
Rating: C-. These things are always hard to rate but the false finish was a nice way to tease the crowd. It says a lot that they had to have two people on the floor until the end for the double false finish. The other good thing here though is they kept Asuka safe, likely for a big showdown in Texas against Bayley.
Carmella celebrates until Bayley comes out for a hug. Asuka gives them an evil smile to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This show was much more about setting stuff up instead the show itself which is good long term but not the most interesting hour on its own. The triple threat in two weeks should be really good and they’re already doing a good job of setting up the women’s division with the new names. I mean, they’re not the Four Horsewomen but at least they’re trying and should be filling things in quite well. Good enough show here but again it’s about setting stuff up later on.
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