Welcome one and all to the Thanksgiving Eve edition of the NXT Spotlight right here on TJRWrestling. If you are so inclined to celebrate Thanksgiving in the USA, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. If you’re not, then I hope you’re just having a good old fashion normal week. I know why you’re all here this week, to see my stellar writing as I bring you the play by play of The Red Queen of NXT, my girl Eva Marie, getting her shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. It’s sure to go down in the record books.
I swear I don’t purposely troll you guys about Eva, but it is fun being the minority and being a fan of hers. Let’s get to the action!
NXT Title Match Contract Signing
Finn Balor and Samoa Finalize the Takeover: London Main Event
Oh the horrors as we kick off this week’s show with Michael Cole. Cole is in full heel mode and he states that William Regal has appointed him in charge of this week’s show while he is out recovering from surgery. It looks like Cole was going to introduce Samoa Joe and give him a big introduction but the champ’s music cuts him off and here comes Finn Balor. Finn straight up ignores a guy in the front row throwing up the Too Sweet hand gesture. That was funny watching the guy play it off. Finn shakes Cole’s hand and then grabs a mic. He says Joe did what he had to do to make this match happen. Finn has learned that trust and friendship are a rarity in this business. He wants Joe to come out and sign the contract and then he’s going to shove his foot down Joe’s throat. Cole gets the chance to finally introduce Joe and here comes the challenger.
Joe walks in, signs the contract without even a glance to Balor and walks right back to the locker room. Balor is not happy but he signs the contract himself and Cole says the match is official now. Balor walks up the ramp holding the title in the air and then Joe comes back out and attacks Balor from behind. They end up back in the ring and both men brawl as the refs try to pull them apart. Joe manages to lock in the Kokina Clutch though and the champ is out cold.
NXT Tag Team Title Match: Dash & Dawson (c) vs. The Vaudevillians
Dawson and Simon Gotch start the match. Both men trade blows at the beginning and then Gotch makes the first tag and he and Aiden English double team Dawson. English sends Dawson to the ropes, but Dash holds Dawson back and Aiden hits nothing but air on a dropkick attempt. Dash tags in but Aiden manages to get the upper hand again and locks on an armbar. Now he sends Dash into the corner and he comes back and is given a back body drop. Dawson manages to make a blind tag as English goes for a reverse sunset flip. He takes out English and goes for the arm as we go to commercial.
We return with Dash working over the arm of Aiden English. Aiden manages to dump Dash out to the floor and makes the tag to Gotch. Dawson gets in the match as well and Gotch takes out both of the champs. He lands a sunset flip from the corner on Dawson and gets a two count. He then hits a high angle back suplex but again only a two count. Dash distracts Simon just enough to let Dawson get up and drill Gotch with a lariat clothesline. English kicked off the apron and the champs go for the Shatter Machine but English still manages to make the save and Gotch goes for another sunset flip and it gets two. Gotch tags in English and they go for the Whirling Derbish but the champs block that but English sneaks in a pin but again only a two. It’s now English that goes for a sunset flip but the champs make another blind tag and before English can see what has happened, he’s sent to the ropes and is hit with the Shatter Machine. The champs retain.
Winners: Still NXT Tag Team Champions, Dash & Dawson
The champs are enjoying their victory but that doesn’t last long as the all too familiar sounds of Enzo and Big Cass’ theme hits and here they come and they mean business. They attack the champs and beat them down in the ring. Cass hits a huge clothesline over the top rope on Dawson and the champs run away as fast they can with their titles.
Tom Phillips runs into Eva Marie inside William Regal’s office. Eva says she’s in there because she needed a bigger space to prepare for the match and Regal won’t mind since he isn’t here. Tom asks her why this match tonight was inevitable. Eva says she is literally the hottest prospect in NXT right now. She’s won all these matches in a row and although Bayley is a swell girl, it’s time for a real woman to hold the title. She is so happy for the support of the WWE Universe. The camera pans over and Total Divas has apparently sent her a bunch of gifts for tonight. Eva says what’s better than gifts is friendship and she wants to introduce Tom to her friend Nia Jax. Nia walks in with another gift and Eva looks pleased with herself.
There’s a vignette shown for “The Drifter” Elias Sampson, although he’s not mentioned by name at all. It’s a black and white video as he plays his guitar and sings a song. Definitely a different type of vignette.
Asuka vs. Dana Brooke
This is a Takeover: Respect rematch. We get highlights from that match along with the interaction between Dana and Asuka backstage last week that brought this match together. Dana comes out with a mic and says she holds Asuka has gotten all the smiling out of the way because in about two seconds she’s going to smack the smile off her face. Then from behind, Emma attacks Asuka. Asuka fights her off initially but Dana distracts her again and Emma takes out the leg of Asuka. Emma then locks on the Emma Lock until she’s satisfied with the damage. Both women leave content with their work.
Winner: No Contest
Tom Phillips is now backstage with Bayley and he talks about how confident Eva Marie seemed when he talked to her earlier. Bayley says to some people, Eva may be the perfect champion, but there’s one difference between her and Eva. She’s a wrestler and Eva is not. So once again, she’s going to prove all the doubters wrong and why she’s the NXT Women’s Champion.
A great, and I mean great, vignette for Sami Zayn is shown and it says “Sami Zayn Returns” at the end. He’s been advertised now for the UK Tour so I would be hopeful that he makes an appearance at Takeover: London.
Apollo Crews vs. Jesse Sorensen
The announcers make a big deal about Sorensen showing up in NXT even thoug he’s been used as a jobber before. I saw him at an indy show recently here in Dallas and I really liked his work. Apollo gets a go behind to start the match and then instantly shows off his agility with the up and under with the dropkick at the end. He then hooks a delayed vertical suplex as the crowd counts to 20 before he drops Sorensen. Apollo charges him in the corner but Sorensen hits him with a big boot and then works him over in the corner. Apollo fires up and hits a couple clotheslines and then an Avalanche Splash followed by his jumping clothesline. He gets Sorensen up in a back suplex and then spins him around for a sit down powerbomb, the ref counts to three and that’s the match.
Winner: Apollo Crews
Apollo grabs the mic and accepts Baron Corbin’s challenge for Takeover: London. Apollo says that when Baron gets in the ring with him, he will lay him down.
We go straight to Corbin backstage to get his thoughts on Apollo accepting the match. Corbin says that Apollo will a guy who will be an answer to a trivia question because his career won’t be long enough for anyone to remember. In London, Apollo Nation falls.
Next week on NXT it will be Samoa Joe vs. Tomasso Ciampa. I absolutely cannot wait to see that match.
NXT Women’s Title Match: Bayley (c) vs. Eva Marie (w/Nia Jax)
Lil’ Naitch Charles Robinson has been sent down by WWE Authority to ensure that nothing goes awry during this match. Bayley’s #1 Fan Izzy has a sign that says “Red is my least favorite color”. That’s pretty funny. Eva looking fantastic in gold tonight, perhaps a precursor to the result of this match. She is getting nuclear hear once again tonight. Only 10 minutes left in the show as Bayley makes her way to the ring, so I guess they’re not going to let Eva go 30 minutes tonight and really show what she can do. Ok that time I’m really kidding. Big match introductions for this match.
The bell rings and both women tie up. Bayley takes Eva down with a headlock, Eva reverses it but then Bayley reverses her and gets back in control. Eva grabs her hair and slams Bayley to the mat. Eva is proud of herself for that and then gets Bayley in the corner and works her over. She hits a snap suplex on Bayley and gets a two count. Eva points to Nia Jax but Bayley catches her off guard and hits the Bayley to Bayley. The ref in the ring is going to make the three count but Nia pulls him out of the ring. Bayley yells at Nia but Eva comes from behind and rolls up Bayley and here comes Charles Robinson but Bayley kicks out at two. Bayley hits Eva with a forearm and asks Charles what he’s doing. Now Charles goes over to the original ref and Nia takes the opportunity to hit Bayley with a headbutt. Eva then hits a senton splash on Bayley but still only gets a two count. She then chokes Bayley over the middle rope as she soaks in the boos and “Eva can’t wrestle” chants. Bayley tries to fight back with a couple shots to the midsection and then hooks a couple desperation pins but only two counts. Eva gets back on track and sends Bayley to the corner and hits a back elbow. But as she goes to run to the other side, Bayley fires back with a clothesline. Then she hits a suplex. Eva tries to retreat in the corner but Bayley charges with a couple shoulders to the gut. She goes to hit another one with a lot of momentum but Charles Robinson cuts her off for no reason. Eva hits a cheap shot and then connects with Sliced Bread #2 but Bayley kicks out! Eva wants to go for it again, but Bayley shoves her into Lil’ Naitch and he goes down to the outside. Eva hits a big boot and then goes up to the second rope. Bayley manages to cut her off, but then Nia Jax gets involved again and sends Bayley to the outside. Nia goes to check on Eva but Bayley sends Nia down hard onto the apron. Bayley gets back in the ring and hits a second rope Bayley to Bayley. The original ref is back in the ring and counts the three!
Winner: Still NXT Women’s Champion, Bayley
They show replays of the match but cut them short as Nia Jax takes out Bayley in the ring and hits her big legdrop. She hits a second one for good measure as she holds Bayley’s title. The show ends with Nia smiling at her work.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
– That was a FUN main event. Say what you will about Eva Marie, but they’re at least giving her the opportunity to succeed and not putting her in a position to fail. Which is more than we can say for 75% of the main roster. I loved the storyline going into this with her apparently having the Authority’s backing. She makes perfect sense for that role. The involvement of Charles Robinson was great and it really added to the feel of wanting Bayley to overcome the odds again. Embellish the strengths, hide the weaknesses. That’s a foolproof plan and they did that great tonight for Eva Marie.
– One last note on her, I really like the pairing with her and Nia Jax. It’s a female version of a big bodyguard for the cowardly heel that we haven’t seen before. There’s a lot of possibilities with that pairing and then when it’s time, you can have either one of them turn face on the other (ok, it’ll be Nia that turns face) and go from there. More smart booking.
– The contract signing was actually a great segment. I loved the attitude shown by Samoa Joe. It wasn’t a long drawn out promo fest where someone inevitably goes through the table. I thought the presentation was great and then the sight of the champ being choked out really gave Joe some heat heading into their match.
– Feel bad for The Vaudevillians as they clearly go back to the end of the line now, but it was great seeing Enzo and Cass back again. They got a monster reaction and it’s clearly going to be them challenging for the tag title at Takeover: London.
– As a whole, NXT is continually showing why it’s a superior show to anything the main roster is putting out there right now. Whereas Raw just gets worse every week, NXT has really picked up steam in my eyes over the last 3 weeks or so. Takeover: London should be a phenomenal show.
We’ll be back next week as we gear up for what should be an awesome, hard-hitting battle between Samoa Joe and Tomasso Ciampa. Until next time, never leave Michael Cole in charge if you’re going to be out of the office.