WWE NXT Report JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 1/8 - Week 134: Sami Zayn returns as NXT champ, Lucha Dragons vs. Vaudevillians Tag Title match, set-up for next week's big show; Overall Reax
Jan 8, 2015 - 11:59:09 PM
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WWE NXT Results
January 8, 2015
Taped at Full Sail University
By Justin James, PWTorch contributor
[Q1] No pre-credits video this week. Expected for tonight is the re-match of Lucha Dragons against the Vaudevillains for the NXT Tag Team titles and the return of NXT champion Sami Zayn.
Speaking of Zayn, he kicks off the show to a huge pop. It was pretty neat to see Edge wearing a Zayn shirt on Raw, by the way. Jason Albert, Rich Brennan, and Corey Graves are the announcers with JoJo in the ring.
Zayn leaves the ring to pose on the barricade and then stroll through the crowd. Someone's going to lose ring time if this goes on much longer. Zayn gets a "you deserve it" from the crowd. He wants to talk about what the championship means. For anyone else, it means they are the best. For him, it means that he can do it his way and doesn't have to do what anyone else wants him to be. He says that the title is "ours" and he knows that it is cheesy. He thanks the audience for being such a big part of his success.
Zayn moves on to Kevin Owens. "You hurt me but you didn't end me." Zayn says he is ready to defend the championship anytime, anywhere. He is hoarse.
Adrian Neville comes out, dressed to wrestle. He is looking pretty serious. Zayn offers him his mic, then gets another. Neville apologizes for interrupting, but he's wanted to talk to Zayn for a few weeks. He says that the last time they met, they tore each other apart and Zayn proved to be better. Respectful handshake. Zayn thanks Neville. Zayn says that he is pretty sure Neville gets a re-match. He says that neither one of them have been 100 percent. William Regal's music cuts him off for a rare appearance.
Regal cuts off the "Regal" chant and puts the focus back on Zayn and Neville. He thanks them for the match. He says that Neville gets a re-match, and it will be next week. Zayn politely leaves the ring.
[ J.J.'s Reax: Fantastic work all around, but I would have liked to see a bit more build than that. It's amazing how the Takeover schedule allows stories to breathe, they are a few weeks removed from Takeover and having the promos that Raw would be done with by the second hour of the post-PPV show. ]
Backstage, black and white video in the locker room of The Vaudevillains. Basic pre-title match promo from Aiden English.
Hideo Itami comes out to a good reaction for a match against Curtis Axel.
[Q2] It will be interesting to see how this match ends. Is Axel heading for a feud with Itami? Will this elevate Itami? Or Axel?
1 - HIDEO ITAMI vs. CURTIS AXEL
Axel puts Itami in the corner, then jaws, which angers Itami. Axel with basic, slow offense, but Itami strikes back with a running kick, then kicks in the corner. Ref break lets Axel clock Itami. Axel ties Itami in the ropes then lands forearms to the back of the head. Itami elbows out of a headlock, but telegraphs a back drop and eats a knee for a two count.
Axel continues to wear Itami down with plodding offense. Axel mocks Itami which causes the crowd to rally behind Itami to no effect. Jumping clothesline drops Axel to swing the match. Tornado DDT dropping Axel over the rope, flying clothesline for a nearfall. Axel catches a Shining Wizard attempt, but Itami reverses a neckbreaker attempt. Snapmare, then a big kick to Axel's head for the win.
WINNER: Hideo Itami in 4:55. Wow, this match was pretty awful. Axel's pacing was like watching paint dry. You can't wrestle a 1980s WWF match at NXT and expect it to pass muster.
Backstage, Byron Saxton talks to Natalya and asks if he can talk to Tyson Kidd, who is warming up. She says that Kidd is busy. Saxton congratulates her for being on Total Divas. Kidd wants to know when was the last time she checked on his cats; they argue over whose cats they are, then argue over who has a big week. Natalya is shooed away to feed cats. Kidd says he's looking past Finn Balor next week to the NXT Championship. He vows to become the face of the ASPCA as well as NXT. Fact.
[ J.J.'s Reax: This controlling husband/mildly crazed Tyson Kidd routine doesn't work for me. ]
Video package on Baron Corbin's rise, Bull Dempsey's dominance, and their feud. They are finally facing each other next week. NXT is packing next week to draw viewers to the new Wednesday time slot.
Alexa Bliss makes her return after about a month of absence. It seems that the last time she faced Banks she got her nose broken. Banks is out with Becky Lynch.
2 - ALEXA BLISS vs. SASHA BANKS (w/Becky Lynch)
Banks shoves Bliss so Bliss unloads. Bliss with rapid fire offense, but Banks reverses a head scissors into a backbreaker for two. Bliss turns a powerslam into a small package, then tries a crucifix pin. Bliss takes the double knees through the corner ropes. Backstabber into the Bank Statement, Bliss taps.
WINNER: Sasha Banks in 2:10. Bliss did much better than I've seen in the past. I like how hard-hitting this match way, as neither lady held back in their offense and a number of counters and reversals made them look like credible ring threats.
Video from Tyler Breeze, it's time for him to return.
[Q3] They play highlights from Zayn vs. Neville at Takeover to hype their re-match next week. Tyler Breeze comes out to hysterical shrieks from women. Nice to see him back and I think the time off was good for him to feel fresh again.
3 - TYLER BREEZE vs. CHAD GABEL
Gabel with a quick pair of belly-to-backs. Amateur wrestling style here. Breeze mocks the crowd support for Gabel as he stomps him in the corner. Breeze cinches in a very tight chinlock. Gabel escapes but walks right into a boot to the middle. Gabel with an armbar through the ropes, but then he walks into the Beauty Shot.
WINNER: Tyler Breeze in 2:27. I liked Gabel here, and it was nice to re-introduce Breeze to the audience and re-establish him as a heel and undo his babyface drift.
Backstage, Devin Taylor talks to Finn Balor. He is excited to face Tyson Kidd, as he has respected Kidd for a while. They have trained at many of the same places, and Kidd came through the Hart Dungeon. Kidd will need more than nine lives to survive Finn Balor. Fact.
[ J.J.'s Reax: Balor just works for me. This was a short promo but so effective. He stuck to the basics and seemed natural. ]
Neither The Vaudevillains nor the Lucha Dragons get much of an entrance on their way in.
4 - NXT tag champs LUCHA DRAGONS (SIN CARA & KALISTO) vs. THE VAUDEVILLAINS (AIDEN ENGLISH & SIMON GOTCH) - NXT Tag Team Championship match
Kalisto and Gotch start and Kalisto's early offense lets him isolate Gotcha. Sin Cara with some fun offense, and a unique submission into a backslide. Gotch takes Sin Cara to the corner to take in English. Sin Cara fights out of the corner, English sends him through the ropes, Kalisto sends English outside, Kalisto sends Gotch to the outside, stereo dives plant the Vaudevillains on the ramp.
[ Break ]
[Q4] Kalisto has English in a post-break armbar. The pace picks up. Gotch grabs English to block a springboard armdrag, then Gotch tags in and gets aggressive. Kalisto dodges a corner charge, schoolboy gets two, but he can't get to the corner. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from English, but Sin Cara is able to tag Kalisto's foot as he spins by.
Hot tag offense from Sin Cara. Gotch interferes and pays the price. English gets stuck in the turnbuckle, then takes a sunset flip powerbomb, Gotch breaks up the pin. Kalisto blind tags in, then Sin Cara picks up English for the one-arm powerbomb, Kalisto hits a spinning top rope forearm at the same time, which ends the match.
WINNERS: The Lucha Dragons in 9:20. Decent match, but the lack of crowd investment for either team brought the excitement level down dramatically. The crowd popped for the Vaudevillains's mannerisms and the Lucha Dragons's offense, but didn't seem to actually care for either team.
RESULTS SUMMARY: (1) Hideo Itami beat Curtis Axel. ... (2) Sasha Banks beat Alexa Bliss. ... (3) Tyler Breeze beat Chad Gabel. ... (4) NXT tag champions Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) beat The Vaudevillians (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) to retain the NXT Tag Titles.
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