After an absolutely insane TakeOver: London last week, NXT keeps the momentum rolling in the sold out SSE Arena in London, England! Just as an advance warning to anyone who may be planning to watch next week, NXT will be airing a year in review episode hosted by Corey Graves, meaning we will not have a review for next’s weeks edition.
As so eloquently put by Trask when I was talking to him while doing this review, we have the NXT version of a Wrestle Kingdom 10 opener. Whoever wins this match, I would think, is going to be considered the number one contender for Dash & Dawson going forward. That assumption has nothing to do with the fact that Byron Saxton and Corey Graves have said it at least five times a piece.
Nothing of particular importance happens in the first minutes of the match, other than the fact that the crowd is absolutely electric for Gable & Jordan. At one point, we have a funny little moment where every single man in the match tries to charge at each other and poor Drake is stuck in the middle trying to maintain some semblance of control. Gable is doing some excellent limb work in the match, and the crowd is absolutely in love with Gable. Alexa Bliss inserts herself into the match, per usual, allowing Blake and Murphy to do some shenanigans behind the referee’s back. Gable is tossed around by both Blake and Murphy and the Vaudevillians until Gable counters a senton and tries to get a tag off to Jordan, but is unsuccessful.
Corey Graves at one point mentions “Buddy Murphy”, and I got very confused. I forgot that Murphy had a first name. Jordan gets the hot tag and cleans everyone out of the ring. At one point, Zack Ryder does an outside dive onto everyone else in the match, and Jordan follows it up by SUPLEXING one of the dubstep cowboys (Blake and Murphy) into the pile. Jordan and Gable pick up the W here, and I would think after a strong showing there are going into the hunt for the tag team championship. Very solid opener which did its purpose of showcasing Jordan and Gable in front of the international crowd. Not to say that the other teams didn’t do their job, but NXT has an insanely talented combination there.
Winners via Pinfall: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable
We end up getting a promo cut by Tye Dillinger on the returning Sami Zayn. In addition, we also see a vignette for “The Drifter” Elias Sampson, who’s debuting next apparently!
Dempsey maintains a good deal of dominance over the debuting Elias Sampson, that is until Sampson hits Bull Dempsey with a leaping knee to the jaw. Sampson follows it up with a diving elbow drop to the throat from the top rope and ends up picking up the victory. The gimmick of Sampson is lost on me, and I’m assuming a host of other people. As for a debut match-up, it wasn’t that great by any means. Why debut a country/western music gimmick in London, and why book him against Bull Dempsey? Sorry, Elias Sampson, but I think you’ll need to head back to the drawing board and come up with something better.
Winner via Pinfall: Elias Sampson
We cut away to an interview involving Dash and Dawson. Nothing special, just a typical “you guys are good but we won” type of promo after their victory over Enzo and Cass last week at TakeOver: London. Another Sami Zayn promo airs, letting us know that he’s returning next!
Sami Zayn gets an absolutely massive reaction from the crowd as they sign along with his theme. To be fair, I would too. After seven months, Sami Zayn finally returns to NXT. The match starts off about how you would expect when someone returns from injury. They made it seem questionable if Zayn’s shoulder fully healed, and then we see in the follow-up that Zayn and his shoulder absolutely fine. Dillinger runs Zayn’s shoulder into the ring post and begins to work on the recovered shoulder. The crowd chants some fairly interesting things at Dillinger, with one particular chant being “top knot wanker”. Zayn fights out of the precision targeting of his shoulder and nails a huge outside dive to turn the momentum back into his favor. Back inside the ring, Zayn hits a Blue Thunder Bomb and only is able to come up with a two count. Zayn tries to follow up with old faithful and hit the Helluva Kick, but Dillinger reverses into a small package and comes out with a huge superkick for a near-fall on Zayn. Zayn fights back, hits the exploder suplex, and connects with the Helluva Kick to cap off a successful return and the main event of the show! An excellent return match for Sami Zayn. Pace was just right, Dillinger did an excellent job with the limbwork on Zayn’s shoulder, and Zayn did great selling it, as he usually does. Sami Zayn cuts a promo at the end of the show, talking about how he’s always been set back whenever he finally gets to the point in his career when he wants, and he’s not going to let that happen in the new year. He tops it off with a “WE ARE NXT” chant with the crowd.
Winner via Pinfall: Sami Zayn
That’ll wrap it up for this episode of NXT, folks! I hope you enjoyed the action as much as I did. I would also like to take the chance to wish everyone reading a Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays) and a happy New Year from all of us here at Wrestling With Words!