Welcome one and all to the first edition of the NXT Spotlight in 2016, right here at TJRWrestling. After a two week sabbatical, thank you all for coming back as we gear up for what promises to be another huge year for the yellow and black of NXT. The last time we were here, Sami Zayn had returned to the ring and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. Also, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan continued their quest to be the hottest act in the brand. Tonight we have a women’s battle royal to determine the new #1 contender for Bayley’s Title. We also will find out the results of the first ever NXT Awards. Let’s get to it!
A Hero’s Welcome
Tom Phillips is announced as the lead announcer for NXT again, which is good for the show in my opinion, and then the commish William Regal comes out to the stage. Regal talks about how fast NXT is growing and thanks the fans for making that possible. Regal announces tonight that we’ll have that women’s battle royal for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. Now its time to welcome someone back that hasn’t been to Full Sail in quite some time, Sami Zayn!
Sami gets a massive homecoming welcome from the NXT Universe as he makes his way to the ring. Sami makes a joke that it sounds like some of the fans remember him. Sami says a lot has changed since he’s been gone, so for those that don’t know who he is is, he’s Sami Zayn. He’s a lead singer of a band and it sounds like the band came to play tonight. The crowd belts a huge Ole! chant and Sami says that’s their #1 single. He’s also one of the people who helped build NXT to what it is now. Sami says as great as it was to return in London, there’s no place like home, and home is Full Sail University. As much as he loves the fans making him feel loved and fuzzy, he’s come here to make a proclamation. He’s come back to NXT to become the first ever two-time NXT Champion. Before he can continue though, Samoa Joe’s music hits.
Joe grabs a mic as he gets in the ring and tells Sami it’s obviously good to have him back. He can appreciates Sami’s determination and wanting back what he had, but he doesn’t know why Sami thinks he deserves it. Because the last time Sami was in the ring for the title, Joe had to come out and save his life. In London, Finn Balor didn’t beat Joe, he barely survived. So if Sami wants his shoulder to stay healthy, he suggests that Sami drops the mic and walk away. Now cue Baron Corbin’s music.
Baron says that Joe typically spits nonsense but tonight he agrees with Joe. Sami’s place is at the back of the line. He was actually victorious at Takeover: London while Joe was not. He had his shot and he failed. As for Sami, as he was home nursing his surgery, he was passed by someone more determined and more durable. As far as Baron’s concerned, he’s the uncrowned NXT Champion. Joe says he’s not sure how many brain cells he damaged when he choked out Baron in Brooklyn, but because of that he doesn’t belong in this conversation. As for Sami, know your place when you’re in my ring. Joe goes to leave and Sami says his place is in the ring and he’s standing right here. Joe leaves as Baron attacks Sami from behind. Baron gets the upper hand for a second until Sami hits the Helluva Kick and sends him over the top rope. Joe tries to sneak back in but Sami is waiting for him and Joe thinks better of it and walks off again.
Bayley is backstage with Rich Brennan and is asked about she survived her match with Nia Jax in London. She says she doesn’t know because Nia took a lot out of her, but she did know she had to stay NXT Women’s Champion. She’s asked about the Battle Royal and she says she’s jealous she can’t be in it because she loves Battle Royals. Since she can’t though, she’s looking forward to seeing who wins. Depending on who wins, maybe she can give them a hug. She hugs Rich and leaves.
2015 NXT Year End Awards Results
According to Tom Phillips, over 1 Million votes were cast. The winners are as follows:
Tag Team of The Year: Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady
Female Competitor of the Year: Bayley
Male Competitor of the Year: Finn Balor
Takeover Event of the Year: NXT Takeover: Brooklyn
Match of the Year: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (NXT Takeover: Brooklyn)
Overall Competitor of the Year: Finn Balor
I’ll have my thoughts on the winners in my Final Takes.
Tomasso Ciampa vs. Danny Burch
Excellent to see Ciampa back in NXT in 2016. Both men tie up and trade go-behinds. Ciampa gets Burch down to the match with a hammerlock and then works over the arms and stomps on one of his shoulders. Burch gets sent in the corner but gets a boot up and then comes off the second rope with a dropkick. Ciampa crawls into the opposite corner and Burch stomps him down there. He locks a headlock on Ciampa as the crowd gets behind the Sicilian Pyschopath, but Burch cuts him off as he tries to get out. Burch talks trash and Ciampa fires up and hits some stiff shots. Burch gets sent to the ropes where Ciampa gets Burch’s feel up on the top rope and hits a Flatliner from that position. Very cool move but only a two count. Ciampa tries to follow up with a high knee in the corner, but Burch moves out of the way. He hits Ciampa with a stiff right hand and gets a two count. He goes behind for a German Suplex but Ciampa blocks and then hits a bicycle kick of sorts to the elbow of Burch. Burch hits a couple of forearms and then both men trade chops. Ciampa then lays into Burch with some knees and slaps to the head. Burch goes for a backslide, but Ciampa reverses it and grabs one of Burch’s arms and flips into a Disarmer type submission. It’s not the Sicilian Stretch from ROH, but it’s a cool submission nonetheless. Burch taps out quickly.
Winner: Tomasso Ciampa
We go backstage to Enzo and Big Cass who call out Dash and Dawson. Cass says they don’t forget. Enzo says they didn’t go to London for Tea, they went for a fight. Real G’s don’t lose, they either win or they learn. Dash and Dawson have no backbones and they learned that when they tried to hide behind a woman in London. Now they know that they’re SAWFT. Cass says they have some unfinished business with the champs, but the next time they see them, the business will be finished. How you doin?
We then hear from Billie Kay, Deonna Purazzo, and Emma as they tell us why they’re going to win the Battle Royal tonight.
We’re now in the office of William Regal who discusses what he saw earlier tonight between Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn, & Baron Corbin. So the only way to settle this is to have a triple threat match in two weeks on NXT between the three of them to determine who the new #1 Contender will be.
Non-Title Match: Dash and Dawson vs. The Ascension
The crowd rises to their feet as soon as they see The Ascension and they get a huge ovation. As much as the Full Sail crowd can be annoying, I think it’s really cool that despite how The Ascension are portrayed on the main roster, they’re greeted like heroes when they come back. Frankly I think they could’ve made this match a bigger deal, but oh well. Viktor and Dash start the match and Dash pie faces Viktor. Viktor starts laying into Dash and backs him into the corner and lays some heavy chops in. Dawson comes in and gets a high knee for it, but Dash recovers and clotheslines Viktor. Dawson tags in and starts to work Viktor over in his corner. Viktor sent to the rope and gets hit with a back elbow. Dawson goes for a pin but Viktor kicks out. Dash tags back in and both champs double team Viktor in the corner. Dash hits a drop toe hold on Viktor, then tags in Dawson who hits an elbow drop. Viktor kicks out again. Dawson hooks on a headlock and then a front face lock as Viktor tries to get the tag. Dawson cuts him off and tags back in Dash. Dash walks into a STO though and Konnor finally gets the tag as Dawson also tags in. Konnor lays into Dawson as the crowd gets behind him. Konnor charges Dawson in the corner and then follows up with a flapjack. Dash has the ref distracted though. Viktor goes to take out Dawson but gets dumped over the top rope. Now Dash makes the blind tag and Konnor doesn’t realize it and ends up getting taken out by the Shatter Machine.
Winners: Dash and Dawson
We see the trainer with Nia Jax who has Eva Marie and William Regal with her. The trainer tells William Regal that after Nia got choked out by Bayley, she needs a couple more weeks of rest before she can be medically cleared to compete. So she’s not able to participate in the Battle Royal tonight. Eva Marie tells Nia she’ll be back in no time and Eva will win tonight for the both of them. She acts supportive but out of view of Nia, she gives a fist pump of excitement that Nia can’t compete.
Now we hear from Carmella, Peyton Royce, and Alexa Bliss as they talk about why they’ll win tonight’s Battle Royal.
“The Drifter” Elias Samson vs. Corey Hollis
Much better entrance presentation for Elias now that he’s in Full Sail. No video boards, and one single spotlight on him the entire time. He sits on the top rope and stares at his opponent while he takes off his ring gear. I liked the way it was done, it’s different. They tie up to start and Elias gets the headlock. Corey tries to get him off a couple times, but he can’t. Elias hits a forearm to the face of Corey. Now he stomps Corey down in the corner. Elias seems proud of his work. Corey tries to send Samson to the corner but Samson jumps up and tries to go over Corey, but Corey catches his feet. Elias then just donkey kicks Corey half way across the ring. Elias admires his work and then goes for a casual cover and gets a two count. Elias toys with Corey a bit and then tees off on him. He then pulls in Corey and hits a real nice snap rolling neckbreaker and that picks up the win for him.
Winner: “The Drifter” Elias Samson
Elias grabs a mic and his guitar after he wins and says what this place needs is what he is.
Alex Reyes is now with Finn Balor and asks Finn his thoughts on the Triple Threat match that was just signed to make a new #1 Contender. Balor puts over how tough his match with Joe was in London. That’s his job though. He’s the champ so he faces every challenger head to head. Now it’s time to just wait to see who’s next. He agrees all three has a case to be #1 Contender. None of it matters though because as far as he’s concerned, the NXT Title is staying with Finn Balor.
Now we hear from Cameron, Aliyah who is making her NXT debut, Liv Morgan, & Asuka as they tell us why they’ll win the Battle Royal and become #1 Contender. Let’s hope that Cameron doesn’t throw someone under the bottom rope and think they’re eliminated.
Women’s Battle Royal to determine the #1 Contender for the NXT Women’s Title
Everyone we heard from tonight along with the Red Queen of NXT, your favorite and mine, Eva Marie is in this match. Notably absent is of course Nia Jax and Dana Brooke who is still nursing her injury. Asuka cuts short Eva Marie’s entrance and Eva is none too happy about it. I’ve never liked Asuka anyways. I kid people, I kid. Eva steps up to Asuka as the bell rings and Asuka promptly lays her out with her heel kick. Eva rolls to the outside and I guess we won’t see her for awhile in this match. Emma now attacks Asuka and we’re off. I obviously can’t follow all the action so I’ll hit the highlights as I see them, and we go to commercial as I say that.
We return and no one has been eliminated yet as all the women are paired up throughout the ring. Cameron looks ridiculous for what it’s worth, a farmer’s girl outfit with the two tone black and purple hair. Nonetheless she manages to eliminate Aliyah and Deonna somehow. Liv Morgan decides she’s going to end Cameron’s life and goes to powerbomb Cameron over the top rope not once but twice. Neither time goes well at all, especially the first time. Cameron hooks a headscissor though on the second attempt and now Alexa Bliss comes from behind and eliminate them both. That was not good. Emma now hits an Emma Sandwich on Carmella and Carmella rolls to the outside. Emma and Alexa start fighting with each other and Alexa goes to the top rope and tries to hit a top rope reverse DDT, but Emma blocks it and dumps her to the outside and eliminates Alexa. Four women left in the ring and two on the outside. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce now double team Emma. Emma is on the top rope as she fights out of the double team and now Asuka comes up and kicks Emma off the top and sends her to the floor below. Emma now eliminated.
Billie and Peyton go after Asuak now but then they turn on each other. Billie is on the apron and gets a spinning back fist from Asuka but she hangs on. Now Peyton goes for a spinning heel kick on Asuka, but Asuka ducks and sends her over the top. Peyton lands on the apron next to Billie though. Asuka gets a running start and hits her Rear View and eliminates both of them. Asuka celebrates her eliminations, but she’s vulnerable standing on the bottom rope and now Eva Maria gets back in the ring and eliminates Asuka! That’s my girl! Eva now celebrates like she’s won but she forgot about Carmella herself and Carmella comes back in the ring to a monster reaction and and she dumps Eva over the top rope and Carmella is your new #1 Contender!
Bayley rushes the ring and Baymella embrace for a couple hugs as they celebrate the fact that they will be facing each other for the NXT Women’s Championship. Asuka stands on the rampway and smiles creepily at both of them. That ends our show.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
– If you’re wondering why the Ciampa match has no picture attached to it, that’s because for the first time since I start writing the NXT Spotlight, they didn’t add any pictures of the match to WWE.com or to the NXT Twitter account. I don’t know if you can call it the “James Storm Factor” but maybe they haven’t signed Ciampa to a contract yet and they don’t want to promote him like they did Storm and then nothing comes of it. Very odd though. Glad to see him get a showcase win nonetheless. I’m a big Ciampa fan.
– Eva Marie vs. Asuka? SIGN ME UP! That will be match of the year contender. Sometimes I just can’t control myself. I’ll be serious now.
– I’m not sure I like how lame they made Nia Jax look by not being in the Battle Royal. I’m assuming they’re saving her for something down the road, but Takeover: London was a month ago and no one has ever been out that long for being choked out. Especially when you’re choked out by someone far smaller than you. People will pay to see her destroy Eva though if that’s what they’re leading to based on the backstage segment.
– Really impressed with Elias Samson tonight. Much more confidence shown tonight and his presentation was much better than in London. He will fill the Tyler Breeze role nicely if he continues looking the way he did tonight.
– Clearly Enzo and Cass won the popularity vote on Tag Team of the Year although I think The Vaudevillians deserved it a little more. Other than that, I agree with every winner. Sasha and Bayley from Booklyn wasn’t just Match of the Year for NXT.
– Looking forward to the Triple Threat match in a couple weeks for the #1 Contender to Finn Balor’s title. I predicted they would go with Finn vs. Apollo vs. Sami at Takeover: Dallas, but maybe Apollo isn’t in the plans right now. There’s a lot of different routes they could take.
Nothing announced for next week yet, but I’ll be here once again to cover whatever happens. Until next time, don’t try to powerbomb someone unless you’re 100% sure you can do it.