1/26 NXT Takeover Phoenix Pre-Show Report: NXT Year-End Award Winner announcements, panel discussion with Charlie Caruso, Sam Roberts, Pat McAfee

By Ryan Harrison, PWTorch Specialist


JANUARY 26, 2019


  • Charlie Caruso, Sam Roberts and Pat McAfee were the commentators.  They spoke sold the WWE Network subscription while speaking of the Royal Rumble event as well as the following Elimination Chamber pay-per-view where the WWE Women’s tag titles will be introduced.
  • Sarah Schreiber introduced the NXT Year End Awards that will be given out tonight.
  • Ricochet shown entering the arena to where a video build up to his upcoming match with Johnny Gargano.  Gargano spoke of his 2019 aspirations as the voice of Tomasso Ciampa was in the background was encouraging him.  Ricochet said that Gargano has changed and that he would beat him back into his old self. Great set up as Johnny looked delusional.
  • Commentating team spoke of this where Sam Roberts spoke of how Johnny Gargano must win tonight and not just be a participant in a great match.
  • First NXT Year End Award was given to Ricochet as Breakout Star of the Year.  Spoke of his favorite moment was winning the North American Championship and that he will be successful against Gargano tonight.
  • The Match of the Year Award was given to Gargano vs, Andrade “Cien” Almas.  Gargano accepted the award and showed off his cocky attitude.  Said that 2018 was the birth of Johnny Takeover.  Zelina Vega showed up and pointed out that he lost that match and asked what has he done since besides losing matches and beating up people in parking lots as they have went on to Smackdown: Live to where they are in the Royal Rumble and having great matches with the likes of Rey Mysterio Jr. Gargano stated that he will have match of the year tonight against Ricochet.
  • Video of Kassius Ohno and Matt Riddle was shown building up to their match.  It painted the picture of Ohno being upset as he was once the shiny new comer only to be forgotten and now the focus is on Riddle.  Showed their first match to where Riddle won in fast convincing fashion and then their follow up match that Riddle also won, but was viciously attacked by Ohno.  Riddle wants retribution and Ohno believes he can finish off Riddle.
  • Male Competitor of the Year Awards: Goes to Tomasso Ciampa. He compared it to “Goldie” and laughed while giving it back.
  • Female Competitor of the Year Award went to Kairi Sane.  Thanked the NXT Universe.
  • Commentating team went over the match card again, spoke of the tag team title match.  Bobby Fish showed up to the commentating table with the NXT Tag Team of the Year Award.  Funny how he was ringing the award bell.  It was also funny that McAfee pointed out that he had permission from Adam Cole to show up.  Fish stated that the Undisputed Era will win as they have done before.  Great to see Fish show off his personality.  The back and forward between Pat and Fish was very entertaining.
  • Shayna Baszler and Bianca Belair video build up was shown.  Highlight Baszler and her accomplishments.  Belair’s accomplishments were shown as well as she spoke of how Baszler will find out that she is the best and how Baszler had a great year as a two time champion.  Also how she is undefeated and she will win the title.  Baszler laughed it off as she spoke of what she has done to her competitors.
  • Commentators spoke of the Baszler and Belair match as Roberts and McAfee discussed who they thought was better.
  • Overall Competitor of the Year Award went to Kairi Sane.  She was very emotional as she asked if Sarah Schreiber was sure.  After confirmation, Kairi was proud for her two awards.  She said it made her day.  Said she will never forget this and in 2019 made the promise to be the NXT Women’s Champion again.
  • Commentating team made the correction of Adam Cole will not be competing in the tag team championship match as it will be Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong defending the titles.
  • The team then spoke of the Royal Rumble pay per view.
  • Aliester Black and Tomasso Ciampa video promo was played.  Highlights of previous videos were shown.  This was the same video promo was shown before on this past NXT show.
  • Commentating team ended the show discussing this match to clashing opinions.  Seemed like for the most part McAfee played the face commentator while Roberts played the heel. Carruso remained neutral.

ON-SITE (OFF-TV) NOTES by Brian Alston, PWTorch VIP Member

Matches taped for the Wednesday, Jan. 30 NXT TV show.

(1) Io Shiraz & Kairi Sane vs. Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir

(2) Street Profits vs. Forgotten Sons (w/Jaxson Ryker)


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