SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE NXT Results
February 3, 2016
Taped at Full Sail University
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
[Q1] Pre-credits video reminds us of the “title-free” (what’s wrong with “non-title?”) match between Finn Balor and Apollo Crews set for tonight.
The Vaudevillains start the show andSimon Gotch has a bit of a different hairdo. Announcer Corey Graves says that they had become a “sideshow” and are now returning to what worked for them. Tweaked presentation for The Hype Bros., as it seems to be new music, plus fog shooting onto the stage.
1 – THE HYPE BROS. (ZACK RYDER & MOJO RAWLEY) vs. THE VAUDEVILLAINS (AIDEN ENGLISH & SIMON GOTCH)
Rawley and English start. Quick crucifix gets one for Rawley. Rawley hypes the crowd, then Ryder comes in. Gotch interferes to give English an edge. Long period of isolation for Ryder.
Ryder finally makes the tag. Rawley with his usual offense, bu he misses a corner elbow. Ryder tags in and takes on English and Gotch. Gotch dodges a Broski Boot thanks to English, then the Whirling Dervish ends it.
WINNERS: The Vaudevillains in 4:15. Basic match to re-establish The Vaudevillains as heels.
NXT took a look back at the women’s Battle Royal three weeks ago where Carmella earned a #1 contender spot.
“Earlier today” sit-down interview between Tom Phillips and Carmella. She says it was amazing to win the Battle Royal. She tells us that her father was a wrestler, Paul Vandale, and this is all natural for her. She states that her title match won’t impact her friendship with Bayley. “Beymella is real.” She has a one-on-one match with Emma, and Carmella puts over Emma and says she will win and prove herself.
[Q2] Alex Rayez interviews NXT tag champions Dash & Dawson backstage. He asks about the simmering feud with Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady. Wilder compares them to Groundhog Day, coming back over and over again. Dawson says they are becoming the greatest NXT Tag Team of all-time, so if Amore and Cassady want another shot, they can have it.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Nice change of pace from the usual “get to the back of the line” that we expect from heels, instead carrying themselves like fighting champions and drawing heat for their in-ring conduct and general attitude. ]
Middling reaction for Carmella coming to the ring for her title warm-up match.
2 – CARMELLLA vs. EMMA (w/Dana Brooke)
Initial back-and-forth, then a clothesline from the corner lets Emma move into a mount, then a cover. Emma with some new moves the transition to a wristlock as Brooke howls from the outside. Monkey flip into a mount, then a Thesz Press give Carmella the edge. Bronco Buster gets the crowd behind Carmella, but a handful of hair lets Emma get Carmella in the corner. Carmella blocks a double underhook suplex and reverses into a backslide for the win.
WINNER: Carmella in 4:20. Dull match; no energy there.
– NXT offers a reminder of the “controversial ending” to last week’s #1 contender triple threat.
“Earlier tonight,” Sami Zayn says that he hopes William Regal gives him the title shot. He said that he sees Samoa Joe’s claim, but he believes that he earned it. Also “earlier tonight,” Joe just menaces the cameraman.
American Alpha vignette.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady come out. They are clearly on a collision course with American Alpha and/or Dash & Dawson. Amore re-emphasizes that they get knocked down and got back up again.
3 – ENZO AMORE & COLIN CASSADY vs. PAIR OF JOBBERS
[Q3] Amore and Cassady tear apart their unnamed competition. Air Enzo ends it.
WINNERS: Enzo amore and Colin Cassady in 2:24. Amore and Cassady carry their newfound serious attitude into the ring.
Backstage with Apollo Crews. He says he was robbed of the NXT Title by Baron Carbin, which left him feeling uncertain, but he knows he can be champion and he will prove it tonight to the NXT Universe and to Finn Balor.
Announcement from William Real’s office. He has reviewed the tape many times. There will be a #1 contender re-match. Baron Corbin interrupts. Regal says it is certain that Corbin lost and won’t be part of a re-match. Corbin storms off. Regal looks peeved. He books Zayn vs. Joe one-on-one for the #1 contender spot.
Asuka comes out to a big pop. She’s facing Santana Garrett, who holds like a million women’s titles right now.
4 – ASUKA vs. SANTANA GARRETT
Stout elbows to Asuka’s face, and she just shrugs them off. Axe-like chop. Asuka charges and Garrett backs her into the ropes to take the hip splash. Kicks from Asuka. Garrett with a schoolgirl for two. Side Russian legsweep gets Garrett a nearfall.
Garrett with an armbar of sorts, and Asuka transitions into a hold, but Garrett breaks free. Garrett runs into a jumping armbar. They roll on the floor, stand up, and transition into the Asuka Lock for the victory.
WINNER: Asuka in 2:26. Didn’t see much of a match here, but I would love to see Santana Garrett in NXT based on what I saw. Quality action in a short match.
Alex Rayez asks Finn Balor about the #1 contender situation. Balor praises Regal for letting Zayn and Joe settle things in the ring. Tonight he’ll have the ending that should have happened – Crews will lose because he is the best, and that is why he is the NXT Champion.
Main event time. Two striking things: I can’t remember the last time Finn Balor had a non-title match (Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament?), and I can’t remember the last time he lost a match (title match against Kevin Owens nearly a year ago?). It’s just a massive difference between NXT and the “WWE Formula.” Slightly revised intro for Balor. Graves points out that if Crews wins, it will cause confusion in the title scene (well, not really).
5 – NXT champion FINN BALOR vs. APOLLO CREWS – non-title match
[Q4] Handshake to start. Mat wrestling to start, soaking up a few minutes. Crews tries to suplex out of a headlock, but Balor shifts his weight to turn it into a headlock takedown. Long-form pacing here to built anticipation for the match breaking out. Crews is just out-wrestled on the mat despite his strength advantage. Crews gets a rope break in the corner, then Crews reverses the hold. Balor puts Crews back in the hold. Balor runs the ropes, but walks right into a dropkick. The match just got spicy…
[ Break ]
Crews has Balor in a side chinlock out of the break. Fitting, given the “Condemned 2” ad during the break. Rapid exchange, then Crews with a Sunset Flip, but Balor rolls through and nails a basement dropkick. Back to the mat. Crews gets the crowd behind him. Clean break, then strikes from Balor andkick to Crews for two. Balor goes around the ring with chops for a two count. Can NXT go long? This feels like a 30-minute match in the making.
Whip, then Crews runs into boots. But, he comes back with a jumping clothesline, clearing Balor off the apron. Crews is still in the ring. Moonault from the apron, but Balor ducks, jumps in the ring, and flip-dives to the ramp.
Back in the ring, Balor goes up top for a double stomp to the back of Crews’s head for a very close nearfall. Crews jumps on Balor, then shows amazing strength with a Samoan Drop from a front catch. Balor ducks an enzigui, then hits Slingblade, but Crews responds with a big boot to block the hesitation dropkick.
Gorilla press, standing moonsault, and it’s good for two and seven-eights for Crews. Balor blocks the powerbomb, then hits an enziguri. Slingblade, then hesitation dropkick. Balor to the top for the Coup de Grace. Balor then scores with a double underhook suplex to end it.
WINNER: Finn Balor in 11:38. Really solid match here, putting a full range of styles on display. Crews looked great in defeat.
Post-match, Balor checks on Crews and pats him on the shoulder, then helps him to his feet. Balor claps for Crews, offers a hand, then shakes, and gets a hug from Crews. Crews raises Balor’s hand. The new #1 contender match is booked for two weeks from now.
[ J.J.’s Reax: So nice to not see the “face loses a tough re-match, goes heel out of frustration” routine, not even hinting at it. Pure babyface presentation for Balor and Crews, and it works. ]
Final Reax: NXT just keeps on rolling. There is no clear indication if Santana Garrett is signed to NXT or if tonight was a one-off appearance, but she looked great against Asuka. All championship scenes are deep with talent and stories, with strong challengers lined up two-deep for each title (Zayn andJoe for Balor, American Alpha and Amore & Cassady for Dash & Dawson, and Carmella, Asuka, and Nia Jax for Bayley). They could run two Takeovers based on the current set-up.