Sami Zayn vs. Tye Dillenger ended in a no contest
Finn Bálor def. Curtis Axel
Charlotte def. Sasha Banks via DQ
Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy def. The Vaudevillains
Hideo Itami def. Tyler Breeze
The show opens with GM William Regal announcing that the next NXT special will take place live February 11th. Starting tonight there will be a tournament to see who will be the number one contender for the NXT Championship. Also taking place tonight will be Charlotte defending the NXT Women’s Championship against Sasha Banks.
The first contest of the night is surprisingly NXT Champion Sami Zayn taking on Tye Dillenger presumably in a non-title contest. The Champion Zayn makes a B-line for the ring skipping his usual dancing and getting the crowd fired up. Zayn just starts laying in shots on a defenseless Dillenger. The bell doesn’t even ring before Dillenger is out of there and Zayn is on the mic. He screams Owens name as if he wants his head on a plate. Instead of Owens out comes GM Regal who in the end after some back and forth pleading from Zayn grants Zayn a match at the next NXT Takeover event against Kevin Owens. This match will be a non-title match and next week will be the contract signing for that match.
Finn Bálor has the coolest entrance in wrestling. So much so the announce team spends some time talking about it. Most of the match he had against Axel was slow paced with Axel on offense. When Bálor gets his offense in it’s pretty hard to stop him because he’s hitting you full force. Again he uses the Slingblade neckbreaker which Rich Brennan of the announce team calling it by name. Before my astonishment could wear off Bálor is coming off the top rope with a devastating double foot stomp. He gets the three count and advances in the NXT Championship number one contender tournament.
I loved the beginning of the NXT Women’s Championship match. The look in the eyes of both women gives off the impression that they both do not like each other. At the very best one despises the idea that the other may be better than her. This is so evident that both competitors won’t even let the other get the upper hand in a collar and elbow tie up. Both women go crashing to the outside with the champion first to her feet. Becky Lynch tries to get involved but gets dropped by Charlotte. Banks gets some quick offense before Lynch jumps in the ring and attacks Charlotte. The referee calls for the blatant disqualification as Team BAE jump the champion Charlotte. Out comes Bayley to rescue her friend as Team BAE cowardly exit the ring. Bayley grabs a hold of the NXT Women’s Title and becomes transfixed by it till Charlotte snatches the belt from her. It is almost like a fuse went off inside of Bayley as she grabs Charlotte and slams her to the mat with her belly to belly finisher. Again out comes GM Regal to schedule another match on the February 11th NXT special. Charlotte will be defending her NXT Women’s Title against Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks in a fatal four way match. Excellent call by the GM.
Some new guy is backstage hoping to get some thoughts from Kevin Owens on facing Sami Zayn at the next NXT special. Owens says that whatever he has to say he’ll say to Zayn at the contract signing next week.
I found the tag team match between the Vaudevillains versus Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy to be very interesting more so on the Blake and Murphy side. Those two just look like a complete tag team. Similar in look, great physique, and both move quickly around the ring. From a tag team standpoint I could be wrong but it was a long while before Blake saw any action setting up a great hot tag to Blake. Murphy gets sent to the outside by Gotch and inside the ring Adien English reverses a whip into the ropes in which Blake ducks and Murphy catches English behind Blake with a side kick from the outside. Blake rolls up English and gets the three count. I would definitely say this was an upset. Backstage Murphy and Blake throw down a challenge to the NXT Tag Team Champion Lucha Dragons next week for their titles.
The main event saw Hideo Itami take on Tyler Breeze and the winner will advance in the NXT number one contender tournament. There is no doubt in my mind Tyler Breeze will be a big star one day. I see a lot of old school Shawn Michaels in him where his look and attitude are sure to annoy you but you’re forced to bite your tongue if you really pay attention and see how good Breeze is in the ring. The gimmick just works but as cheesey as it is it doesn’t take away from his talent. Itami seems to be moving along and getting acclimated with the WWE style and living in America quite well. One thing to look for is both men bring something new to the table. With the main roster transforming almost in ways that show no more is the overblown muscular type the stereotypical look for a main eventer but simply someone who looks athletic and keeps themselves in good shape. Itami’s striking might also be an indication that this new class of NXT Superstars bound to be stars on the main roster one day will all bring a much more stiffer, hard hitting type of offense. Itami “hulking up” then going full smash mode with a flurry of punches and kicks to pick up the win was my favorite part of the match. Great back and forth action in this one, coupled with all around great action to look forward to next week makes this another solid episode of NXT.