Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight right here on TJRWrestling. The calendar has officially turned to March, which means we are now under one month away until NXT Takeover: Dallas which will take place on WrestleMania weekend. Although we don’t have any matches official as of yet, I expect that to change very soon. Tonight we have a huge debut along with a main event that is just as big with Finn Balor going against Neville. That should be spectacular, so let’s get to the action!
The Vaudevillians vs. Hugo Knox and Tucker Knight
The Vaudevillians get a good reception as they come out but as we’ve seen in recent weeks, they’re leaning more heel than face. Hugo and Aiden English start the match. Pretty sure this is Hugo’s debut on NXT TV. They tie up and Aiden gets Hugo in the corner but gets caught with a dropkick by Hugo. Simon Gotch tries to get in the ring but Hugo knocks him back. This gives Aiden the break he needed though and goes after Hugo. He tells Hugo that “This is how a man does it boy” and then tags in Simon. They double team Hugo and then Simon gets a headlock on him. Hugo has great size and physique but I can’t take him seriously in purple polka dot attire. Aiden gets back in the match and sends Hugo hard into the corner and both Vaudevillians follow him into the corner with European Uppercuts. Simon is now legal and goes back to the head and neck of Hugo. He goes for a suplex but Hugo lands on his feet and tags in Tucker. Tucker steamrolls both Vaudevillians but Simon cuts him off with a kick and then tags in Aiden to hit their Whirling Dervish and get the win.
Winners: The Vaudevillians
Alex Reyes is backstage with Dana Brooke and Emma. Alex brings up the fact that Deonna Purrazzo took on Asuka again recently and was defeated yet again, like Dana called. Dana says he shouldn’t be surprised. When she says something is going to happen, it’s going to happen. Emma says tonight she’s going to show her opponent a lesson and Alex is about to be immasculated in 3-2-1, and then Dana pats his head as they leave.
A Finn Balor vignette is shown to hype tonight’s main event.
A recap of last week’s attack of Enzo Amore outside the Performance Center is shown as The Revival, Dash and Dawson, take him out until Big Cass shows up. Now we catch up with everyone involved, first Enzo and Cass. Cass says the champs wanted to take them out of the title picture but all they did was show how gutless they are. The next time they seem them, there will be nowhere to run and they’ll be standing over Dash and Dawson the new NXT Tag champions. Now Dash and Dawson are on screen and Dash is wearing a sling and says this is the second time they’ve been jumped by Enzo and Cass from behind. Dawson says that they’ve given Enzo and Cass opportunity after opportunity, but if they’re lcuky and want to get up close with the belts again, maybe they’ll let them spit shine the titles.
It’s announced though right after the promos that at WWE: Roadblock in Toronto on March 12th, live on the WWE Network, it will be The Revival defending the NXT Tag Team Titles against Enzo and Cass.
Quick Plug: I wasn’t able to plug it last week as it really was a last minute audible called, but I joined the guys over at Main Event Madness again for their two-year anniversary podcast. We talked about Bayley, Shane McMahon, and the possibilities of a brand extension. Some really good conversation on the show, so I hope you’ll check it out on iTunes or on YouTube.
Emma (w/Dana Brooke) vs. Santana Garrett
Good to see Santana back on NXT, she’s a really good talent. She gets a nice reaction as The Broski’s Favorite Diva doesn’t look impressed. Both ladies tie up and Emma gets Santana in the corner. She gives her a boot to the stomach and then rams her face into the top turnbuckle repeatedly. Santana finally blocks one but Emma kicks her right in the back of the knee. Emma hits a double underhook suplex and then pulls up on Santana’s arms as she steps on her hair. Santana gets snapmared and then kicked right in the spine as Emma starts to toy with her. Santana tries to fight back but Emma hits a running front kick right in the chest and goes back on the attack. Emma showing a vicious streak in the ropes and then gets Santana’s arms and pulls back on them in a submission attempt. She rams a couple knees into the spine for good measure. Santana gets to the corner and fights back with a couple elbows and a couple clotheslines. She hits a side Russian leg sweep and then gets the crowd behind her for a handspring back elbow. Santana wants to go to the top rope but Emma cuts her off and puts her in the tree of woe. Emma kicks her repeatedly in the spine and then grabs the ref so that Dana can pull back on Santana’s hair and inflict more damage. Santana tries to sneak in a pinfall but Emma kicks out and then curb stomps Santana into the mat, followed by the Emma Lock. Santana has to tap out.
Winner: Emma (w/Dana Brooke)
William Regal is backstage with Eva Marie and Nia Jax. Regal says he saw their interview last week after the match they had and agrees they have a compelling case and should be treated like big stars. Eva Marie says its about time as that’s all they’ve ever wanted. Regal says with that being said, their next match will be against Bayley and Asuka. Regal says he has to meet the new acquisition as Eva and Nia look quite concerned.
A Debut Cut Off
William Regal is in the ring now, that was some fast moving by him, and says we all know NXT is dedicated to bringing in the very best from around the world. With that, he’s excited to announce one of the greatest signings to date for NXT. After a few seconds of building up hype, The Greatest Man That Ever Lived arrives in NXT as Austin Aries steps out! This is a great day for NXT. Aries soaks up the cheers from the crowd but all of the sudden Baron Corbin blindsides Aries from behind and absolutely destroys him at ringside with the End of Days on the floor for good measure. Corbin raises Aries’ ripped off shirt and raises it high as he stares right at Regal. He yells “an eye for an eye!” and then throws the shirt in Regal’s face. Regal looks disgusted as he goes to check on Aries who’s being looked at by the officials.
Elias Samson vs. Steve Cutler
My feed cut out for a second but it comes back with Cutler getting Samson in a headscissors but Samson gets out and then goes to town on Cutler and is relentless on his attack. He sends Cutler into the corner and follows him up with a back elbow. Then he convulses or something in the ring. They say he’s playing air guitar, but it didn’t look like it. Samson goes back to the attack in the corner and then hits a snap suplex. He drops a big elbow and then a running high knee. He tells the already quiet crowd to be quiet and hits the snap neckbreaker and this is over.
Winner: Elias Samson
The Hype Bros are backstage now and Mojo says he’s glad they lost their match with The Vaudevillians. Maybe they weren’t being serious enough and having too much fun. Now though, they have a challenge. If The Vaudevillians want to mess with them, they’re messing with the wrong team. Zack says they’re here for one reason and that’s to be one of the greatest tag teams the WWE has ever seen. There’s no derailing The Hype Train, especially from The Vaudevillians. Mojo says they’re going to rough up The Vaudevillians so bad, they can’t say anything. They leave and then out from behind the curtains, The Vaudevillians show they were lurking and heard everything.
A Neville vignette is shown to hype tonight’s main event.
Next week we return to Full Sail University and it will be Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn in a 2 out of 3 falls match to determine the new #1 contender finally.
Finn Balor vs. Neville
Twenty minutes left in this show as Finn’s entrance concludes, which makes me very happy. The crowd starts a “This is Awesome” chant as the bell rings. Both men tie up and end up in the ropes and we get a clean break. They feel each other out and Finn goes for the left arm of Neville. Neville reverses it just like that, but then Finn reverses it back just as quickly and now gets a headlock on Neville on the mat. Neville shoots him off but gets dropped with a shoulder block. Finn bounces off the ropes again but gets hit with a hiptoss and then a seated dropkick. Neville gets Finn into the corner and gives somewhat of a clean break but grabs Finn into another headlock. This time Finn shoots him off and both men reverse moves until Finn hits a seated dropkick of his own. Finn goes back to the headlock but Neville gets him to the ropes and punches his way out of it. He hits a snap suplex but Finn kicks out at one. Now Neville hits a couple elbows on Finn and then sends him hard into the turnbuckles. We go to commercial with Neville standing over Finn.
We come back with Neville hitting a knee drop across the throat and then going for a pin but Finn kicks out quickly again. Neville goes back to the headlock as the crowd gets behind Finn. Finn tries to fight out but Neville hits a clothesline. Finn goes back to the corner as Neville continues his attack. He runs at Finn in the corner and Finn dumps him high over the top rope and Neville lands hard on the floor, hitting the steel steps on the way down. Neville manages to get back in the ring and actually gets Finn to go to the outside to regroup after a body splash. Neville doesn’t waste any time though as he hits a springboard moonsault off the second rope onto Finn. Neville gets Finn back in the ring and goes for a pin but Finn kicks out and Neville goes to a crossface on Finn. It turns to a headlock as Finn fights out of it. Finn comes off the ropes and Neville hits a stiff forearm which Finn follows up with a chop and then a Pele kick. Neville lands in a seated position and in a funny moment, the ref goes to check on him and ends up knocking him all the way over. Finn now starts sending Neville back and forth to the corners and hitting chops along the way. Neville goes to the outside and Finn waits on him and then hits a running kick from the apron. Finn gets him back in the ring but Neville kicks out after a pin attempt. Finn now goes for Reverse Bloody Sunday but Neville gets out and kicks Finn right in the stomach. Finn tries to go back on the offense but Neville hits a beautiful German suplex out of nowhere off the ropes and then hits a dead weight German Suplex with a bridge. Finn kicks out again. Neville now looks like he wants to hit Red Arrow but Finn gets out of the way. Neville drops him with an enziguri though and then goes for Red Arrow immediately again. This time it’s Finn with the enziguri which drops Neville to the floor. Finn hits his suicide senton over the top rope onto Neville. He gets Neville in the ring and wants to hit his Coup De Grace but Neville cuts him off this time. Now both men are standing on the top rope and Neville hits a leaping Hurricanrana off the top! Neville goes for Red Arrow a third time and Finn moves for a third time as Neville lands on his feet. Finn hits a Sling Blade but can’t follow up as Neville gets him in a rolling pin. Finn kicks out and then as they both get up, Finn catches a boot from Neville and lays him out with a lariat. Neville gets up, only to be met with the Shotgun Dropkick. Finn goes up top and hits the Coup De Grace, but as we saw against Apollo Crews, that’s not enough as he then hits Neville with Bloody Sunday and picks up the hard fought win.
Winner: Finn Balor
After the match, the crowd gives both men a well deserved standing ovation and give Neville a chant of his name. Neville shakes hands with Finn and raises his arm. Finn gives the Bullet Club guns in the corner as he celebrates. Yet another sign?
Rich Brennan is backstage with Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn. Next week they finally determine who the #1 Contender is and it won’t be easy. Joe says that’s the problem though, it should be easy. Sami should learn that if Joe didn’t show up in NXT, Sami wouldn’t be walking. Sami says it’s funny he talks about gratitude considering all of Joe’s accomplishments are predicated on the hard work of others. The cake walk is over though. Joe’s success will not be at the expense of Sami Zayn anymore. Joe says he’s the man responsible for giving Sami a career still and next week, he takes it away. That ends our show.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
– That main event, especially when they came back from commercial, was outstanding. They were flawless together in the ring. Go out of your way to watch this.
– I’m sure next week you can go ahead and book Austin Aries’ first match in NXT against Baron Corbin at Takeover. Good opportunity for both men and should be a fun match with different styles. Corbin has been fantastic as of late.
– I really enjoyed the emphasis of the secondary tag team rivalry with The Hype Bros and Vaudevillians. Don’t think it’ll lead to a Takeover match but it’s good to see them not get lost in the shuffle right now.
– Elias Samson just isn’t working. NXT at its core is a developmental program and I have no problem with them trying to get him over, but it’s just not working. The crowd was crickets both weeks he appeared.
Next week’s Spotlight will be a day late as I’ll be seeing my Detroit Pistons in town against The Dallas Mavericks, but have no worries, I will be here covering the huge main event match between Joe and Zayn to finally see who goes on to face Finn Balor for the NXT Title at Takeover. It should be just as good, if not better, than tonight’s main event. I’m looking forward to it so hope you’ll join me once again. Until next time, Stay Hyped!