Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight right here on TJRWrestling. Since I have another four days to kill until I see my Carolina Panthers claim their first Super Bowl title, what better way to kill said time than to dive into another episode of the best Pro Wrestling going right now? Tonight we have a huge main event as Apollo Crews gets his rematch against Finn Balor. With basically two months left until the next Takeover event in Dallas, the brand has plenty of time to build up angles and storylines towards what is sure to be one of the hottest tickets of the year. Let’s see what the Yellow and Black have in store for us tonight.
A vignette hyping tonight’s main event is shown to start the show. It’s deemed a “title free match”. Is non-title one of the phrases Vince doesn’t like right now?
The Vaudevillians vs. The Hype Bros
Nothing different about The Vaudevillians entrance dispite their vignettes as of late. Good reaction for the Hype Bros as they have some added effects to their entrance once they get in the ring. Mojo and Aiden English start the match. They reverse holds and Mojo gets a crucifix pin for just a one count. Then he hits a cross body block. He grabs Aiden and brings him over to Ryder who tags in. After a snapmare by Mojo, Ryder hits a sitting Blockbuster neckbreaker. Ryder goes to follow up and hits a face plant bulldog and then a dropkick. He goes to bodyslam Aiden but Simon Gotch comes in for the distraction. Ryder takes him out but Aiden gets a cheap shot from behind and gets the advantage. Now Adisen works over Ryder in the corner and after a big back elblow, he goes for a pin and gets a two. Gotch now tags in and starts working over Ryder. He goes for a neck wrench on Ryder as Mojo tries to get the crowd behind them. Gotch brings Ryder back over to his partner and Aiden tags back in and chokes Ryder under the bottom rope. Just like that, Gotch tags back in. They try to double team Ryder, but Ryder gets out of it and breaks free to tag in Mojo. Mojo rolls over Gotch and then gives him an Avalanche splash in the corner. He goes for a second but Gotch moves out of the way. Mojo manages to get a tag to Ryder though and Ryder knocks Aiden off the corner first. Then he goes to Gotch and sets up for the Broski Boot, but Gotch moves out of the way. The Vaudevillians double team Ryder and then hit the Whirling Dervish on Ryder and pick up the victory.
Winners: The Vaudevillians
We get a recap of the Battle Royal that Carmella won three weeks ago that gets her a title shot against Bayley. Tom Phillips now takes us to a sit down interview he did with Carmella earlier. He asks Carmella how did it feel to win the Battle Royal? She can’t describe it and says it was amazing. Tom says the fans always see her with Enzo and Cass, but the fans are now knowing how talented she is. He asks her about her journey to NXT. She brings up that her dad was a WWE wrestler back in the early 90’s, Paul Vardale. They show a shot of him and I’m assuming he was enhancement talent back in the day. She talks about the submission and MMA background she has because of her dad. Tom brings up that next week she gets her shot against Bayley. We’ve all seen the partnership of Baymella from Breaking Ground and such. Has this match changed their dynamic? Carmella says not at all. Baymella will live on no matter who wins their match next week. Tom says that this week first, Carmella has to go against Emma and wants to know her thoughts on that. Carmella says she’s going to show Emma and “Little Miss Piggy” why she deserves to be #1 Contender.
The trailer for Edge and Christian’s new show is shown. I only bring this up because if you haven’t seen this yet, you absolutely need to go out of your way to do so. This show will be amazing.
Alex Reyes is now backstage with the NXT Tag Champions Dash and Dawson. He brings up the harsh words they’ve had for Enzo and Cass lately and they’ve said that they own Dash and Dawson a beating. Dash and Dawson laugh it off. Dawson says that they got the tag title shot they wanted in London but they did what they always do and they lost. So even if they get another tag title shot, they’ll just lose like they always do. Dawson said that they’re on the way to becoming the greatest tag team champions in NXT history. They’ve beaten everyone already so if Cass and Enzo wants another title match, they’re all for it. The end will be the same as always though.
Carmella vs. Emma (w/Dana Brooke)
I think Dana has dyed her hair blonde so much, it’s turned it grey. Just another hard hitting observation from yours truly. Emma and Carmella tie up and go to the corner where Carmella gets a headlock. Emma reverses it and is shot into the ropes where she gives Carmella shoulder tackle. Emma trash talks Carmella but gets tripped by her as she goes to run towards the ropes. Carmella tries to get the advantage but gets clotheslined by Emma. Emma then mounts her and hits her with some right hands before going for a pin that Carmella kicks out from. Emma snapmares her and then gives her a stiff knee to the spine. Emma grabs the arms of Carmella and stretches her out over her head in a submission move. Emma pulls Carmella’s legs up and gets a pin out of it but Carmella kicks out. Emma starts to toy with Carmella but Carmella fires up and starts beating on Emma. She hits a Lou Thesz press and then a Hurricanrana out of the corner. She follows up with a Bronco Buster in the corner. Emma fights back though and turns the tables again. She rams Carmella hard into the corner and then tries for a double underhook suplex but Carmella reverses it into a back slide and Carmella picks up the win.
We get a recap of last week’s main event controversial finish between Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe. The cameras catch up with Zayn afterwards and he stakes his claim on why he should be declared the winner but he understand’s Regal’s position on the matter. Now we see what Joe has to say, which is nothing as he punks out the camerman and then walks out.
A vignette for American Alpha is shown.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. Ricky Starks and ??
Enzo and Cass start with a promo and talk about how if they had a dime for everytime they get knocked down and didn’t get back up, they’d have zero dimes. That’s what real G’s do. They get back up and they keep fighting. One thing remains the same, they are hard body. So there’s only one word for those that try to knock them down, S-A-W-F-T, SAWFT. I only know Starks name because he wrestles locally here in Texas. He’s really good, so it’s awesome to see him in NXT even in this role. Enzo beats up the other guy until it’s time to tag in Cass who continues to beat him down. Cass hits a huge big boot on the no name and then Starks gets in the ring only to get demolished himself. He gets toss clear over the top rope and takes a nasty fall to the outside. Cass and Enzo hit their double team finisher and just like that, it’s over.
Winners: Enzo & Big Cass
We catch up with Apollo Crews as he gets ready for his match tonight. He’s asked if he’s ready for tonight’s match. Apollo says he was left with uncertainty and a void after their last match on whether he can beat Finn Balor. Tonight though is his night and he can prove to everyone, including Finn, that he’s capable being NXT Champion.
We get our first WrestleMania countdown video package. We are officially two months away. I will be there, so stop me and say hello if you see me.
We go to William Regal who has a decision on the ending of last week’s main event match. There will be a rematch… and then Baron Corbin interrupts. Regal says the only thing that is definitely conclusive is Corbin lost, so he’s not part of the rematch. Corbin says this is a joke and leaves. Regal announces that Zayn and Joe will have a rematch and the winner of that match will get the title shot against Finn Balor.
Asuka vs. Santana Garrett
Santana gets a nice reaction from the Orlando crowd as she was of course Brittany in Impact Wrestling. She’s done well for herself on the Indies since leaving. Both women tie up and neither gets the advantage. Brittany lays in some forearm shots but Asuka no sells them and screams at Santana. She then goes for a back hand slap and Asuka just smiles at her. Santana goes to run the ropes but Asuka cuts her off immediately her Rear View move. Then she slaps her ass for no reason. Asuka then kicks Santana, who then ducks a heel kick but doesn’t duck a forearm shot. Santana gets a roll up but Asuka kicks out at two. Santana then follows up with a Russian Leg Sweep and Asuka then kicks out again. Santana hooks a modified abdominal stretch. Asuka gets out and grabs the heel but Santana gets out before damage can be done. Now Asuka hooks the cross arm breaker out of nowhere, but Santana fights out of it. As soon as she’s out of that though, Asuka hooks on the Asuka Lock and Santana has to tap out.
Alex Reyes is now with Finn Balor and he’s asked about last week’s main event. Finn says that Regal made the right decision giving Zayn and Joe a rematch against each other. Tonight though he goes against Apollo Crews. Apollo won’t have to wait much longer to see what would’ve happened the last time they faced off if they were able to finish the match. Apollo will see why Finn is the best and why he’s the NXT Champion.
Apollo Crews vs. Finn Balor
Both men shake hands to start the match and then they trade go behinds. Finn gets an armbar on and sends Apollo to the mat. Apollo reverses it but then Finn reverses it back and hooks a headlock. Apollo tries to shoot him off but Finn keeps it on. Apollo gets him off for just a second before Finn gets it again. Apollo tries a back suplex to get out of it but Finn keeps it locked in. Apollo tries once more to shoot him off but to no avail. Apollo gets Finn to the corner and the ref makes Finn break the hold. Apollo now gets the headlock but Finn turns it into a headscissors and then goes right back to the headlock. Apollo finally shoots him off and then after a leapfrog and drop down, he hits one of his sky high dropkicks. Finn rolls to the outside and looks almost incredulous as we go to break.
We return to Apollo getting a snapmare on Finn and then going back to the headlock. Finn gets out of it and sends Apollo to the ropes. Apollo comes back with a high sunset flip roll up but Finn rolls through it and hits a sitting dropkick. Now Finn goes to the arm and locks on an armbar. Apollo gets him to the corner again and Finn breaks the hold but hits a couple open palm strikes and a big kick to the midsection. Then he snapmares Apollo and kicks him in the chest and gets a two count on a pin. Now he follows Apollo into the corners and chops Apollo. Another pin and another two count. Now he’s back to the armbar. Apollo whips Finn to the corner but Finn gets a boot up. Apollo rebounds though and hits a couple of clotheslines and then a splash in the corner. He goes for it again but Finn jumps over the top rope to move. Apollo manages to clothesline Finn down on the apron though. Apollo goes to dive on Finn but Finn slides back into the ring. Apollo manages to land on his feet but Finn comes from inside the ring and hits his suicide dive over the top rope. Finn sends Apollo back in the ring and then goes to the top rope and hits a double foot stomp to the back of Apollo’s head. Apollo kicks out though. Finn tries to hit a DDT but Apollo blocks it and then turns a bodyslam into a Samoan Drop. He goes for the pin and Finn kicks out. Apollo stalks Finn and then goes for an enziguri but misses. Finn hits a Sling Blade but then Apollo hits a big boot. Apollo Gorilla Presses Finn over his head and down behind him and then hits his standing moonsault but Finn kicks out yet again. Apollo goes for his toss powerbomb but Finn reverses it, hits an enziguri and hits another Sling Blade. Now he lines up Apollo for the Shotgun Dropkick and Apollo hits the corner hard. Finn goes right to the top and it’s Coup De Grace time. That’s not the finish though as Finn gets Apollo up once more and he hits Bloody Sunday, a sign perhaps, and picks up the hard fought win.
Winner: Finn Balor
Post match, Finn goes to check on Apollo and helps him up. Finn applauds Apollo and then both men shake hands and Apollo raises the hand of Finn. That’s our show.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
– I was surprised to see The Vaudevillians beat The Hype Bros so decisively considering The Hype Bros have been on some main roster live events as of late. I think both teams will be fine regardless though. They really built up the “vicious side” of The Vaudevillians, so clearly they’re going back heel.
– Good interview by Carmella and then a strong performance against Emma. I’m looking forward to her holding her own against Bayley next week.
– Loved the mean streak that Enzo and Cass showed tonight. That match took longer to write about than the actual match was. Not sure they’re primed to beat Dash and Dawson as I would expect that spot is being groomed for American Alpha, so it’ll be interesting to see where they go from there.
– Asuka was devestatingly quick tonight. Again, I would think she’s being groomed for Bayley after the Carmella match next week. I like how Asuka has been presented the last few weeks much more. Far less creepy, far more kick ass.
– Slow, methodical match between Finn and Apollo. I think they were saving something for a potential match down the road. Now Finn waits for Joe or Zayn as they’ll face off in two weeks.
So next week we’ll be back here for the big shows NXT taped at UCF and we’re kicking off with the NXT Women’s Title match between Bayley and Carmella. Until next time, Keep Pounding and Go Panthers!