Date: January 18, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Percy Watson
It takes an impressive company to make a big story out of a ticket to a show but that’s what NXT has managed to do. Last week Bobby Roode sent NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura his ticket from Takeover: Dallas. It makes for a very interesting way to set up a story and that’s we’re getting as we head towards San Antonio. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Roode vs. Nakamura.
Nikki Cross vs. Kennedy Lewis
Nikki goes straight at her and tears Kennedy apart in the corner. A fisherman’s neckbreaker wraps Lewis up at 1:30.
No Way Jose is talking about how he’s looking forward to having fun in 2017. Kona Reeves comes up and tells him to be more serious.
The Revival is ready to get their Tag Team Titles match when TM-61 comes in. Dawson doesn’t think much of them so a match is set up for tonight.
Roderick Strong vs. Steve Cutler
Cutler actually takes over to start and headbutts him in the ribs. Strong’s comeback is cut off by a kick to the stomach and we hit a chinlock with a knee in his back. An Olympic Slam gets Strong out of trouble and he slams Cutler around a few times. The Sick Kick gets the pin on Cutler at 4:04.
Rating: D+. Nothing to see here but it’s cool to see Strong getting a win on TV. I often forget about him being in NXT as he hasn’t really done anything around here yet. He’s still a good talent though and a good looking finisher is more than enough to get him pretty high up the card.
Strong wants the NXT Title and isn’t worried about Andrade Cien Almas.
Ember Moon is talking about how she wants the next shot at the Women’s Title after San Antonio when Liv Morgan interrupts and issues a challenge for next week.
Here’s Tye Dillinger to talk about his future. He’s failed so many times now and he’s not sure how many more times he can let himself down. Tye isn’t sure if he has it anymore but he knows the fans are still behind him. He was THIS CLOSE in the four way but here’s Sanity to cut him off. Eric Young says Tye wasn’t that close but Alexander Wolfe actually offers Dillinger a vest.
Tye throws it down so Eric talks about how he’s been in the same spot as Dillinger. NXT was the light at the end of his tunnel (nice little jab at TNA) but now he’s going to do it his way. Eric finally orders him to put on the jacket but gets ten fingers in his face. The fight is on with Tye cleaning house but Damo comes in and destroys everyone. Damo takes the jacket instead.
TM-61 vs. Revival
Revival jumps them to start and Thorn is taken down with a bad knee. We hit the slow stomping with Dawson telling Thorn to “come on matey”. A Shatter Machine takes Thorn down but he made a tag first, allowing Miller to come in and clean house. Miller eats a spinebuster, only to grab a small package for the pin on Dawson at 4:22.
Rating: D+. The word on the street is that Thorn was coming in with a really bad knee and couldn’t do much here. There’s nothing wrong a quick match to give them a win before finding a way to write them off TV. It’s still a big deal to beat the Revival though you have to imagine that they’ll be on the main roster soon.
Post match Revival breaks Thorn’s leg to put him on the shelf. Thorn does a stretcher job.
Strong vs. Almas and Dillinger vs. Young are set for San Antonio.
It’s time for the contract signing for the NXT Title match with William Regal running things. Roode and Nakamura come out but Roode says there won’t be any physicality tonight. Bobby is familiar with Nakamura’s work in Japan but it was never worth his time to go face him. The ticket was from Takeover: Dallas where Roode got one heck of a reaction and it got him thinking.
Nakamura has destroyed everyone he’s fought but he’s forgotten to shave half his head and does some weird dance. Roode imitates the dance and asks who Nakamura really is. Nakamura calls him Bobby-san and says Roode looks like a Japanese dog. Roode says we’re not in Japan (the land of zero talent) anymore and Nakamura is in there with an icon. At Takeover: San Antonio, Roode will silence the fans and take the title. Roode signs but Nakamura says he’ll kick Roode’s head off. The champ signs as well and says it’s going to be GLORIOUS before doing Roode’s pose (Roode: “DON’T YOU DO IT!”) to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This is a show where the wrestling didn’t matter, which is often the case in NXT. Instead, this was about setting up new stuff for Takeover (check), advancing what was already set (check) and giving us a match for next week (check). That’s what NXT does better than any other promotion that I’ve ever seen: use its TV time as efficiently as possible. We’re on a roll heading in to Texas and next week’s go home show should be just as good.
Nikki Cross b. Kennedy Lewis – Fisherman’s neckbreaker
Roderick Strong b. Steve Cutler – Sick Kick
TM-61 b. Revival – Small package to Dawson
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