Reviews

WWE NXT Spotlight 12/23/15 by Kurt Zamora (Sami Zayn Returns)

Welcome one and all to another NXT show across the pond, as the NXT Spotlight this week here at TJRWrestling remains in London. Hot off the heels of a tremendous Takeover event, we saw all three champions retain and as we move forward towards the new year, we will see if new challengers for those said champions are starting to come to be this week. We’ve got two big matches as the greatness of Sami Zayn returns to action finally and we’ve got a huge Fatal 4-Way Tag Team match. Let’s get this show started!

The show starts with a great video package recap of the Takeover event. If you somehow missed the event or my play by play recap, you can read that here.

The Vaudevillians vs. BAMF vs. The Hype Bros. vs. Chad Gable & Jason Jordan

Well we’re not wasting any time tonight as we’re headed straight for this huge Fatal 4-Way match. The Vaudevillians come out first, dressed in an ode to Sherlock Holmes. They get a huge ovation. The last time we saw these two, they were teasing a heel turn but they are full babyface as they come out. The Hype Bros come out next and they get a mixed reaction. I definitely can understand this type of crowd not being into Mojo Rawley. But we know everyone loves Zack Ryder. BAMF come out in their “I was mugged at the Freddy Krueger convention” outfits to a solid round of boos. Jordan and Gable come out to what I seriously consider the biggest ovation in London period. They came unglued for these guys. They’re chanting so loudly that I can’t even understand what they’re saying as the bell rings.

Gable and Aiden English start the match. Hopefully I can keep up with what I’m sure will be a frantic pace. Aiden gets the armlock but Gable showcases his skills and reverses it. Aiden gets a back elbow and tags in his partner Simon Gotch. They test of strength and Gable gets Gotch down but Gotch bridges out of it and gets the armlock himself. Gable once again doesn what only he can do and reverses the action. He gets Gotch down and then bounces off the ropes and Mojo tags himself in. Gable is not happy as Mojo shoulder tackles Gotch down. Mojo tags in Ryder and gets Gotch up in a suplex as Ryder hits a dropkick from the second rope. Cool double team move. Ryder gets a two count as Aiden breaks up the pin. Now all eight men just start tossing each other out of the ring and then they get back in the ring and we’ve got a four way standoff as we go to break.

We come back to Aiden and Ryder in the ring. Ryder arm drags Aiden and sends him to the ropes and hits a flapjack that gets a quick two count. Ryder is backed into Gable’s corner and Gable tags himself in to a huge ovation. Gable works over the arm of Aiden and hits a great judo throw that lands Aiden in front of BAMF. Blake tags himself in. Blake and Gable reverse holds and attempts until Gable hits a beautiful headscissors takedown and then a dropkick. Blake is backed up into his corner and his partner Murphy tags in, who is also promptly taken down with a dropkick. Gable goes after Murphy in the corner and wants to hit a monkey flip but Murphy blocks it. Gable still manages to hook a cross armbreaker over the top rope, but Blake is there and takes a shot at Gable and knocks him all the way down to the floor. Blake tags himself in now and Gable is in the ring and Blake starts to work over the left leg. Blake has a spinning toe hold on, but Gable reverses it into a small package but Blake kicks out. Aiden tags in and goes to work on Gable himself. He makes a quick tag to Gotch who does the same and continues the assault on Gable’s left leg. Gable kicks him off and Gotch hits the middle turnbuckle, but Aiden tags back in. Aiden goes for a middle rope swanton splash but Gable gets the knees up. Murphy is able to tag in on Aiden and goes after Gable but Gable side steps him and throws him out of the ring. Gable leaps for the tag but Murphy pulls Jordan off the apron at the same exact moment.

Murphy drags Gable to his corner and tags in Blake. They try to double team Gable but Blake goes after the Hype Bros for some reason and that gives Gable just enough time to jump over BAMF and get the tag to Jordan. Jordan suplexes everyone out of their boots, it’s like a Taz 1998 Greatest Hits compelation. It’s fantasic. He hits an incredible head and leg suplex on Gotch. He goes for a pin on Blake after the straps come down but Aiden breaks it up. Mojo comes in and Fireman Slams Aiden. Gotch comes after Mojo and Ryder takes him over the top rope and then they proceed to double team The Vaudevillians with a huge dive over the top rope by Ryder. Jordan suplexes Murphy over the top rope onto all of them and then he grabs Blake, tags in Gable and they hit their toss back suplex combo and pick up the big win! That was phenomenal.

Winners: Chad Gable and Jason Jordan

After a recap of the Asuka/Emma match last week we go back stage after the show and see Emma getting treated by the doctor. Dana can’t believe what happened and says she wishes Asuka was here right now. Low and behold Asuka comes out of nowhere and Dana can’t do anything. Asuka taunts both of them and then leaves. Dana says she’s glad Asuka is gone now. Dana wasn’t gonna play nice and neither one of them are going to rest. It’s time to get serious and playtime is over.

A quick vignette promoting Sami Zayn tonight is shown.

A recap of the overall European tour for NXT is shown. It looked like an amazing time for everyone involved.

A recap of Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe is shown. Then we go to Tye Dillinger backstage in his locker room. Tye says everyone is talking about Sami’s return tonight but Sami is going against the Perfect 10 tonight.

The NXT shows in Milwaukee, Chicago, Pittsburgh, & Detroit are all sold out. Along with the NXT Dallas Takeover that takes place during WrestleMania weekend. I’m literally in the last row of the building but I luckily got my hand on a pair of tickets during the pre-sale. I cannot wait.

We get another Drifter video to hype the debut (?) of Elias Samson. He says no one knows him better than he knows himself.

Next Wednesday is a “Best of NXT 2015” episode, so looks like I’ll have a week off. Thanks NXT!

Yet another recap is shown, this one for the Baron Corbin/Apollo Crews match. Baron is shown after the match and he says he’s the uncrowned #1 Contender now and the uncrowned NXT Champion. Watch out, he’s coming for the title.

Bull Dempsey vs. “The Drifter” Elias Samson

Bull has new music which made not even realize it was him coming out at first. Guess that Bull-Fit gimmick didn’t catch on the way they hoped to. “The Drifter” comes out to zero reaction as he carries a guitar over his shoulder. His theme music isn’t bad, I was expecting worse honestly. In a bit of irony, the last time NXT was taking place outside of Full Sail, they were in Brooklyn and it was Elias Samson being fed to Bull Dempsey for his debut(?). Goes to show you how fast things can change in this buisness.

Bull does jumping jacks as the bell rings. Elias charges him but Bull tosses him around. Bull misses an elbow drop and then Elias goes on the attack, beating him down in the corner. Bull fights back and hits a couple AWFUL shoulder tackles onto Elias. They were seriously weak. Elias counters and hits a Harley Race high knee onto Bull. Elias goes to the top rope and comes off with a good looking elbow drop and just like that, the match is over.

Winner: Elias Samson

Elias strums his guitar in the ring after the match and then puts it over his shoulder as she stares at the crowd. Ok then.

A recap for the NXT Tag Team Title match from last week is shown. Dash and Dawson were caught up with after the match and asked about how the match went. Dash says Enzo and Cass put up a hell of a fight and proved they are one of the best tag teams. Dawson says it just wasn’t their night and they proved they are the best tag team on the planet.

Another short Sami Zayn vignette is shown.

Now a recap of the Bayley vs. Nia Jax match is shown.

“The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger vs. Sami Zayn

I guess Dillinger is back to being a heel this week. He gets a huge ovation nonetheless. Corey Graves has a great line about how the whole time they’ve been in London, he hasn’t seen anything better than a seven, so Dillinger is clearly in a class of his own. That familiar riff of Sami’s theme hits and the crowd goes insane once more as Sami Zayn is back! It is just great to see him back, it’s been too long. The crowd sings Sami’s theme song after it ends and then give him a huge “Welcome back” chant.

Dillinger goes right to the arm and shoulder of Sami that he had surgery on. They tie up twice and Dillinger goes to it both times. Sami gets to the ropes and they go a third time. This time Sami gets the advantage. He gets an armlock but Dillinger reverses and then snapmares Sami. He lets Sami know that was a ten. Dillinger gets a headlock , Sami shoots him off and then hits a trio of arm drags that sends Dillinger to the outside. Sami teases a dive over the top rope but bounces off the top rope and goes back into the ring. Dillinger isn’t happy as he pulls Sami to the outside, but Sami takes back over and chops him. He grabs a headlock but Dillinger pushes him off right into the turnpost shoulder first. We go to break.

We return to Dillinger with an armbar on Sami and he works over the previously injured arm. He goes for a pin but Sami kicks out. Dillinger mounts Sami and nails some punches and then stomps right on his face. Now he’s back to an overhead hammerlock on that arm. Sami works to fight out of it but Dillinger drops him back to the mat. Dillinger hits a short arm clothesline and refuses to let go of that arm. He taunts Sami a little too long and Sami fires back with a couple of clotheslines. Sami sends Dillinger headfirst into the turnbuckles and then hits a Fisherman Suplex, almost a Fisherman Buster. Dillinger goes to the outside and now Sami does decide to do his dive over the top rope and nails Dillinger. Sami throws him back in the ring and then goes to the top rope. Dillinger charges him and Sami jumps over him and catches Dillinger in a Blue Thunder Bomb. He goes for the pin but Dillinger just kicks out. Sami now lines up for the Helluva Kick but Dillinger grabs the leg. Both men counter holds until Dillinger almost pushes Sami into the ref. Dillinger rolls him up from behind but Sami kicks out. Sami gets up but is nailed with a Superkick. Dillinger with the pin again but Sami kicks out once more. Dillinger stalks Sami and has him in the corner. Sami gets a foot up and then hits a T-Bone Suplex into the turnbuckles. Sami lines up for the Helluva Kick once more and this time he drills Dillinger in the face with it and goes for the pin and Sami Zayn gets the win in his return!

Winner: Sami Zayn

Sami grabs the mic afterwards and the crowd continues to serenade him. Sami says he’s been waiting seven months to say something and he’s got to get it off his chest… He’s Back!! It’s clear he’s overcome with emotion finally getting back here. He says he feels like the last seven months and the trend of his career is once a dream is acheived, it becomes a nightmare. It happened when he won the NXT Title with Kevin Owens and it happened when he faced John Cena on Raw. But tonight, that trend is broken! Sami thanks the crowd and can’t believe 10,000 fans sold out the arena. Sami says this is just the beginning and more great things will happen with NXT in 2016. And he promises that great things are in store for Sami Zayn in 2016. He tells the fans to be safe and ends with “We Are NXT!”

End of Show.

K-Tank’s Final Takes

– It doesn’t get much better than the Fatal 4-Way Tag Match to start the show. Gable and Jordan were over like rock stars and they delivered. That was a fun, fast paced match that was made to showcase the next big thing in NXT. I can’t wait to see them start their rivalry with Dash and Dawson. It will be epic.

– Not sure what to make of Elias Samson. He had two moves. The elbow drop looked good, but we’ve seen it before. I hesitate to be negative on it though because it’s not just blatantly awful and also as much as NXT is taking the world by storm, at it’s core it’s still a developmental. So we need to see the development of wrestlers just like Elias. We’ll see where they go with him.

– Sami Zayn looked fantastic in his return. It’s great to see him back and I can’t wait to see him do great things in NXT again while he shakes off the rust. Clearly I’d love to see him come back to the main roster in time for a WrestleMania match with Kevin Owens, but if that doesn’t happen, how about a Zayn vs. Crews vs. Balor ultimate babyface Triple Threat Match at Takeover that weekend? A man can dream right?

As stated earlier, I’ll be off next week due to the recap episode, so I’ll see you guys back here in two weeks. Until next time, stay safe and have a very Merry Christmas, a very Happy New Years and Happy Holidays to everyone!