Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. This week’s episode is taking place in Ottawa, taped at Smackdown Live two days after Takeover in Toronto. The champ, Samoa Joe, is here this week fresh off his capturing of the NXT Title for a second time. Sanity is also in the house, so let’s get to the action.
Asuka vs. Nicole Matthews
Yellow ropes and black mat for this taping, so still getting the full NXT treatment, just on a bigger stage. Matthews tries to take the fight to Asuka early, but every shot just infuriates Asuka more. Asuka drops her with her Rear View and then hard kicks to the chest. Matthews just falls before Asuka could line her up for a huge kick. Matthews gets up and gets on the second rope but gets caught in mid air in Asuka’s arm bar. Matthews fights out but then gets caught in the Asuka Lock and has to tap out.
Quick Plug: Be sure to check out this week’s episode of The Match Beyond podcast with Hank and Mark McAllen. Three Things on My Mind this week are the Goldberg/Lesnar fallout, fantasy booking WrestleMania 33, & in the holiday spirit we talk about what we’re thankful for in wrestling. It’s a great discussion, so give it a listen and let me know what you think!
We get a recap from last week when Rich Swann was in action but then Sanity came out to attack him and his opponent. No Way Jose came out to avenge his friend but Sanity took him out too which sets up tonight’s match between Jose and Eric Young.
Samoa Joe will take on Shinsuke Nakamura this Saturday from Osaka, Japan. Joe is asked backstage about the match. Joe says he’s not surprised that Nakamura gets his rematch this quickly because Regal wants the belt off his hands. Takeover: Toronto showed him one thing though, Nakamura is not on his level. Joe is going to show Nakamura in his home country. Tye Dillinger interrupts Joe and says that if Joe is the best, he wants to be in the ring with him. Joe says Dillinger definitely doesn’t belong in the ring with him. After Takeover, he’s already been embarrassed in this country enough. Dillinger says he could probably give Joe 10 reasons why he deserves a match, but he’s only going to give Joe one… and slaps the hell out of Joe. He walks off as Joe becomes enraged and yells that Dillinger will not walk out of here tonight.
No Way Jose vs. Eric Young (w/Sanity)
Great to see EY back in the ring in NXT and once again, I love Sanity’s entrance. Jose drops EY immediately with a punch and then goes to work on him in the corner. EY comes out of the corner and Jose gives him a back body drop. EY scrambles to the outside to regroup with his comrades. EY comes back in and is dropped again. He follows up with a clothesline in the corner and then whips him back into the corner, this time EY takes the HBK bump over the turnbuckle and down to the floor.
EY drags Jose to the outside but Jose keeps the upper hand and then sends EY back into the ring. Alexander Wolfe distracts Jose enough for EY to give Jose a neckbreaker over the top rope. He goes for a cover after Jose gets back in the ring and Jose kicks out at one. EY continues his attack in the corner and on the ropes. EY gets up on the ropes and then does a hanging dragon sleeper on Jose that the ref makes him break up before five. That was an impressive looking move. Jose kicks out of a pin again and EY goes back to working on the neck. Jose manages to fire up though and manages a comeback. He hits a hiptoss turned into a neckbreaker, followed by a big lariat but EY manages to kick out. Jose goes for the wind up pitch punch but Wolfe takes it instead as he gets on the apron. EY gets lifted hight in the air and caught with a big right hand on the way down. Nikki Cross distracts the ref though so EY can’t be pinned. EY sneaks from behind Jose, hits him in the neck and then connects with his awesome Wheelbarrow Neckbreaker and that’s the match.
Winner: Eric Young
Post match, Sanity is leaving but Nikki Cross breaks free and goes back to the ring and comes off the top rope with a front dropkick to the back of Jose.
Next week we will hear from the new Tag Team Champions, #DIY.
Asuka is backstage and is asked about her change in her persona as late. She says there is no change, she’s still Asuka and she’s the best. She’s just looking for competition and there just isn’t any left.
Samoa Joe vs. “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger
Big reaction for Joe. I’m sure the crowd wasn’t expecting to see him. Before Tye comes out, he’s interviewed backstage and is asked if this was an emotional decision? Dillinger said maybe it was. He’s been in WWE for a long time and if he can’t compete with the top guys like Samoa Joe, maybe he doesn’t belong here anymore. He gave Joe a reason for the fight and so he’s going to show that he belongs here.
Even bigger reaction for Dillinger as he comes out with 10’s being handed out throughout the crowd. Joe has his elbow taped up for this match. Both men trade blows early, including a sequence of hard chops. Dillinger manages to dropkick Joe and send him to the outside.
Dillinger is on the attack still and goes to the corner for the 10 count punch. Joe dumps him to the apron but Dillinger punches him from there too. Joe then dumps Dillinger to the floor again, but Dillinger trips Joe and comes back into the ring with a vaulted cross body block. Joe fights off a move from Dillinger and turns it into a unique knee drop that drives Dillinger’s knees into the mat. Now Joe starts to go to work on the left knee. Joe hooks on a version of the knee bar but Dillinger gets to the ropes. Huge NXT chant breaks out. Dillinger starts to fight back, but as he comes off the ropes, Joe mows him down. He drops an elbow and goes for a pin but Dillinger kicks out. Joe continues his assault in the corner, yelling at Dillinger that this is what he wanted. Dillinger fights back once more, but this time he’s caught in a snap powerslam. He manages to kick out though. Joe hits a snap suplex and is now stalking Dillinger as he goes back to the weakened knee. The crowd rallies behind Dillinger and he’s still got fight. However, Joe hits his enziguri in the corner and Dillinger is down.
Joe is hammering Dillinger with right hands and chops. Now he’s delivering stiff kicks to the chest and back, but Dillinger kicks out once more. He still shows fight and moves out of a big boot and then clotheslines Joe down. The crowd rallies behind him again, never giving up, and Dillinger is finally on the offensive again. Huge knee lift, followed by a clothesline. Dillinger with the mudstomp in the corner. He pulls the kneepads down and wants the Tyebreaker. He can’t lift Joe though and Joe counters with a German suplex. He then goes for another, but Dillinger escapes and gets a victory roll on Joe but Joe kicks out. Dillinger hits a Superkick that connects to the sternum but Joe still kicks out. Dillinger wants the Tyebreaker again, this time he gets Joe up but Joe fights out. Dillinger charges him in the corner but is caught with the urinagi. Joe then plants Dillinger with a Powerbomb, Dillinger kicks out but Joe rolls it into his high angle Boston Crab. He transitions that to a Crossface and now hooks on the Coquina Clutch and Dillinger passes out. He did not tap out.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Post match, Dillinger is obviously disappointed with the loss, but the crowd rallies behind him and gives him a standing ovation. He waves to the crowd as the show ends.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
– That was a tremendous main event. I’m really glad the crowd got behind it, because they got a hell of a contest. Dillinger would never give up and came across really strong as a babyface here.
– After the show, Dillinger was in an exclusive video online and didn’t want to admit that he didn’t belong in NXT and walked off before answering. We can only hope this leads to him being #10 in the Royal Rumble and moving on to better things. He deserves it.
– As noted above, Joe defends the title again against Nakamura this Saturday. I would assume the loser will move on himself, and despite the match being in Nakamura’s hometown, I think Joe will retain.
We’ll be back in Full Sail next week, so until next time… Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, but if you do, name it after me.