Reviews

WWE NXT Spotlight 01/20/16 by Kurt Zamora

Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight right here at TJRWrestling. Last week we saw the brand set into motion some new challengers for the NXT and Women’s Championships as Carmella will be Bayley’s next opponent and next week we’ll have a Triple Threat match to determine Finn Balor’s next challenger. Tonight we’ve got a fantastic main event as Johnny Gargano takes on Samoa Joe. Let’s get to the action!


Sami Zayn vs. Adam Rose

The Social Outcast does not get the warm homecoming that The Ascension got last week. This is Sami’s first match back at Full Sail since returning from his injury. The men tie and and Sami gets a wrist lock which Adam reverses. Sami spins out of it and sends Adam to the mat while holding on to the lock. Adam grabs Sami’s ear and then throws him to the ropes and Sami has a unique leapfrog as he bounces backwards over Adam off the bottom rope and then hits an arm drag. Sami sends Adam to the ropes and then snapmares him down. Adam blocks his face from a kick that he knows is coming, but Sami spins over him and kicks him in the spine instead. Adam manages to fire back though and sends Sami down. Adam taunts the crowd and then hits an atomic drop and a clothesline. A huge knee drop and a forearm later and Adam gets a quick two count. Now Adam goes to the headlock on Sami. Sami rolls Adam off but Adam hits a knee to the midsection. Sami goes to the conner and gets chopped hard. Adam sends him to the opposite corner and hits two more hard chops. Sami tries to fight back but gets cut off in the corner. Sami sent to the opposite corner again but he leaps over the ropes and lands on the apron. He fights off Adam and then tries to go to the top rope, but Adam stops him and sends him to the mat. Adam is now the one heading to the top rope and hits a diving headbutt but that only gets a two count. Adam stays on Sami and chokes him on the middle rope. However, out of nowhere Sami drops Adam and locks on the Koji Clutch and Adam has no choice but to tap out.

Winner: Sami Zayn

Rich Brennan is backstage with Johnny Gargano who asks him if he’s ready tonight for Samoa Joe. Johnny says he knows all about Joe. He knows Joe is angry from losing at Takeover. Joe is a schoolyard bully. Joe won’t intimidate him though. How do you counter a bully? You walk up to him and punch him right in the mouth. He’s all heart so as long as his heart is still beating, Johnny Wrestling will not back down.

Earlier today we catch up with Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. They can’t believe they weren’t even nominated for Tag Team of the Year in 2015. Blake & Murphy were nominated even though Gable and Jordan beat them at Takeover in London, which happened to be in 2015. They can do it again though, next week. Gable says he’s still a little stung by not being nominated. Jordan reminds him though that they’re just going up. Before they know it, they’ll be the Alpha Males of NXT. They compliment each other on their Olympic and NCAA accomplishments and then Gable says they’re the American Alpha. Gable says that was dumb and shouldn’t have said it. Jordan actually says its awesome though. Gable says he knows, that’s why he said it. So next week it’ll be American Alpha vs. Blake and Murphy. As always, they’ll be Ready, Willing, & Gable. Tremendous promo.

Apollo Crews vs. “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger

Apollo clearly trying to rebound after his surprising loss to Baron Corbin in London. They tie up and Apollo backs Tye into the corner. They break cleanly. Tye gets a wrist lock and sends Apollo to the mat. Apollo kips up and then tries to reverse the hold but Tye gets a headlock and sends Apollo back down. Apollo once again gets out but Tye gives him a snapmare and then gives himself a 10. Tye goes back to the headlock but gets shot into the ropes and then Apollo hits a sky high dropkick. Tye doesn’t stay down long and punches Apollo. Apollo gets him in a delayed vertical suplex though. Tye tries to knee his way out but Apollo readjusts in mid air and then gets him back up in the suplex. Great strength by Apollo. He drops Tye and then they both end up on the outside. Tye gets some separation and goes back to the inside so he can hit a suicide dive through the ropes on Apollo. He gets Apollo back in the ring after that and then drops his knee pad and hits his finisher with the knee to the head. Apollo kicks out at two though! Tye tries to capitalize but Apollo fires back with a spear and then after hitting Tye with an enziguri, he gets Tye up in the back suplex and rotates him for the powerbomb to get the 1-2-3.

Winner: Apollo Crews

Apollo says a lot has been on his mind lately. He doesn’t like matches that end in disqualifications. He wants to finish what was started a while back. He’s not asking for a title match because he knows he doesn’t deserve one yet, but he is asking for a match against Finn Balor.

Alex Reyes is backstage with BAMF now. Alexa takes over the interview before it starts though. She says she’s not happy with how she was humiliated by them in London. They had an opportunity and they blew it. They’re both much better than what they showed in London. Blake and Murphy say they’re the best. Alexa says she’s going to lead by example tonight when she takes on Bayley and Carmella tonight. It’s going to be quite Bliss-tasteful.

A vignette is shown for The Vaudevillians that looks like they’re going from good to evil again. Their happy go lucky music cuts off as their facial expressions change for the worse.

Now we see a recap of Kevin Owens making his shocking appearance at the Milwaukee live event last week.

Baron Corbin vs. Rich Swann

I do believe Swann has a nice following on the independent scene but sadly I’m here to tell you that I know nothing about him. I apologize. Swann gets a real nice reaction for his appearance. Baron tries to go after him but Swann gets out of the way and kicks Baron in the leg. Baron tries it again and same result. Swann tries to take advantage but Baron drops him quickly. They go to the corner and Rich kicks him in the gut. He ducks a clothesline and flips over a drop down but then gets caught in mid air. He slides out and then runs the ropes but gets caught in a back body drop where he takes a full somersault bump and lands face first. Impressive if not unnecessary. Baron now plays the power game on Swann and works him over. Swann hits a back elbow though and then ducks a couple shots. He hits a tilt-a-whirl Hurricanrana and a couple clotheslines, followed by a superkick but Baron still kicks out at two. Swann goes to the top rope, jumps over Baron but when he runs back towards Baron, Baron catches him in his version of the Black Hole Slam, which Corey Graves says is called the Deep Six now, and Baron picks up the win with that.

Winner: Baron Corbin

Rich Brennan is backstage with Carmella and Bayley. He says he knows they’re really good friends but it must be a huge accomplishment to be the #1 Contender to Bayley’s title. Carmella says she’s feeling fabulous that she gets a shot at the title finally and it’s just that much better that it’s against her best friend. Bayley agrees but tonight is not about the title. It’s about shutting up Alexa and Emma. Bayley gets cut off by the Tag Team Champions, Dash & Dawson. They call Carmella Carms. They say just like her men Enzo and Cass, she never wins the big one. She hopes Baymella will stay friends after she loses because just like her men, she’s all fluff and no stuff. Carmella wants to go after them but Bayley holds her back.

Baymella vs. Alexa Bliss and Emma (w/Dana Brooke)

Shoutout to my buddy Jeff who is a bigger Alexa Bliss fan than anyone ever should be. Before the bell rings, Emma goes right after Carmella and sends her off the apron. Then they double team Bayley and put the boots to her. Bayley is selling her ribs but tells the ref that she’s ready and now the bell rings. Emma and Alexa immediately get Bayley into their corner and go to town on her ribs and midsection. Quick tags from both women as they work over the champ. They do a double hair pull and send Bayley hard to the mat as we go to commercial.

We come back to Alexa on top of Bayley and now working over her left arm. Bayley tries fighting out but Alexa sends her to one of the neutral corners and then kicks her in the ribs. She sets Bayley up on the top rope but Bayley fights back and then hits a jumping back elbow. Alexa gets the tag first though and Emma runs straight to Carmella and knocks her off the apron. She goes after Bayley but Bayley hits a couple ax handles and then gets a couple shots in the corner. Bayley hits an Exploder Suplex out of the corner but Dana distracts Bayley from the outside and that allows Emma to recover and knock down Bayley again. Bayley is sitting in the corner and then gets hit with the Emma Sandwich. Bayley kicks out after that and then Alexa tags into the match. Alexa toys with Bayley and stands on top of her. She goes back to the left arm again and then sends Bayley back to her corner. Emma tags in and hits a double underhook suplex but Bayley kicks out again. Bayley is back in the wrong corner again, but she fights out and then rolls under Alexa and finally gets the hot tag to Carmella. Carmella is a house of fire against Alexa and hits a hurricanrana out of the corner. Now she hits a Bronco Buster in the corner. Emma tries to come in but she’s dumped to the outside. Carmella drops Alexa with a flatliner of sorts and then hooks her legs around Alexa’s neck and wraps back in a really nice submission. Alexa has to tap out.

Winners: Baymella

Alex Reyes is backstage with the NXT Champion Finn Balor. He asks Finn about Apollo Crews’ challenge from earlier. Finn says he understands where Apollo is coming from and so he’s talked to William Regal and Apollo will get what he wants. There will be no question who the better man is.

Johnny Gargano vs. Samoa Joe

Sadly there’s only seven minutes left in the show. This match deserves double or triple that time. Joe forces Gargano into the corner and face washes him with some forearms. They end up in the opposite corner and Joe does the same thing. Now to a third corner and the same thing. Gargano has enough though and hits some forearms of himself but Joe cuts him off and sends him to the mat hard. Joe hits some right hands but Gargano moves out of the way of a running attack and then hits an enziguri. Joe goes to the outside and Gargano gets on the apron to try and take a chance but Joe runs up and kicks Gargano’s legs out from under him and Gargano face plants on the apron. Joe gets him back in the ring and starts teeing off on Gargano. Joe hits his enziguri in the corner. Gargano has some fight left and fires up but once again Joe cuts out his legs from under him. Gargano is hanging onto the bottom rope and Joe gives him a running kick to the outside. Joe tries to settle for a countout but Gargano comes back in at a nine count. Joe starts slapping Gargano around but Gargano hits two enziguris. Gargano then hits his slingshot DDT but Joe kicks out at two. Gargano runs at Joe in the corner and ends up back on the apron. He dives through the second rope but Joe just kicks him straight in the face. He picks up Gargano and hooks on the Kokina Clutch and Gargano taps out.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Joe stands tall as our show comes to an end.

K-Tank’s Final Takes

– I liked what I saw of all three participants in next week’s Triple Threat match. I would expect Sami to win the match and set up him vs. Finn at Takeover: Dallas, but I can honestly see any of the three winning.

– Interesting to see Apollo get a shot at Finn, albeit a non-title match. I’m not sure if NXT wants to pull the trigger on him yet as the new face of the company so it seems like a little bit of start/stop action with him.

– Rich Swann had a nice debut tonight, some real solid offense and great athleticism.

– American Alpha is a tremendous name for Gable and Jordan. They were money in their vignette tonight.

– One non-NXT final take, I think Roman Reigns walks out of the Royal Rumble NOT WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I don’t know if that means Triple H or Brock or someone else walks out the new champion, but I expect some sort of big surprise to end the PPV.

I’ll be back next week to see who claims their shot to be the #1 contender to Finn Balor’s title. Until then, always be Ready, Willing, & Gable.