WWE NXT for 12/21/16
Watch: WWE Network
Full Sail University – Orlando, Florida
Last week’s NXT saw four matches to determine who would compete in tonight’s main event–with the winner being the next challenger for Shinsuke Nakamura’s NXT Championship (seemingly at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio) in January. Also set was Daria Berenato challenging The Aussies to a match this week, but we would only know which would answer the challenge upon bell time; Peyton Royce or Billie Kay? Let’s get to this week’s show.
Billie Kay def. Daria Berenatorough, but super fun
As you can see by the sub-heading, it’s Billie Kay that answered the challenge. The two queens of the women’s division have moved on from Liv Morgan seemingly after sadly not a great blowoff. Daria’s entrance is awesome with dramatic music combined with a fighter-esque walk to the ring plus graphics. The match was rough around the edges, to the point where I’m possibly padding the review because I really enjoy everyone involved here. It was extremely short with Kay obviously being overpowered by the “shooter” Daria. Commentary tried to cover up for not-connected punches by saying she’s shadow boxing, and in turn, I guess that makes Kay just back into the corner and freak out, out of fear. We got teases of the Aussies leaving, only for Peyton to be elbowed, but she came back from the damage just in time to drag Daria back, throw her into the ring, and for Kay to hit the big boot. Right around this time, some guy screamed “BOOOOOO” just like Homer Simpson would. Kay got the win.
•Post-match, Kay and Royce put the exclamation mark on their victory, calling out Asuka.
“When you find the guts to face us, we’ll be waiting, to teach you, EXACTLY who calls the shots around here.”
The Authors of Pain def. Enhancement Talentthe next chapter apparently
As typical WWE commentary lingual puts it, this is the next chapter for the tag team. Something so big that it just has to be a TV squash. Indeed the next big chapter. “I’m not afraid of you” was a sentence said, only for the jobbers to be crushed at the same time, literally, being clunked together via powerbombs. In a clip that made its way onto Twitter at the time of taping, one partner got crushed via the other being powerbombed onto his face. Then as they were going to hit the Last Chapter, the ref called for the bell. A stoppage finish to get the monsters over even more. Dig it. Coming off the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic win, the unit are being primed for #DIY, also seemingly a TakeOver: San Antonio match.
•Post-match, Ellering said they’re coming for the NXT Tag Team Championships in San Antonio.
•Asuka was interviewed backstage. She said the Aussies need to be careful, but NIKKI F’N STORM was lurking on the side of the interview set. Yes x1000.
•A very well put together video package aired, recapping the matches leading up to tonight’s main event, along with the four’s thoughts on tonight’s match.
#1 Contenders Elimination Match: Bobby Roode vs. Andrade Cien Almas vs. Roderick Strong vs. Tye Dillingera certified banger
Order of elimination: Strong pinned Almas, Dillinger pinned Strong, Roode pinned Dillinger to become #1 Contender to Shinsuke Nakamura’s NXT Championship
What. A. Match. This swept the airwaves out of nowhere to become one of the best NXT TV matches this year, just as we’re approaching year end festivities. Everything about this was wonderful. The way it was laid out, the finishes, the booking of the overarching Roode > Dillinger storyline. When I say I love EVERYTHING about this match, I mean it. It started out as a sprint with Roderick getting shine (all the way up until his elimination), diving on everyone. It transitioned into smarter than everyone Roode not only scaling the outsides to keep throwing people out, but continually working over whoever was in front of him. It didn’t feel like boring heel work. It kept me invested in the match and kept me on my toes. Speaking of investment, the new Almas is much better than the attempted mold of him beforehand. Now he’s basically La Sombra. Although he was the first one out, he got a few minutes to wrestle one-on-one with Strong, a match I’d be clamoring for at a TakeOver. They tore it up, which brought us to one of my favorite Tower of Doom spots, possibly…ever? It seemed like Dillinger was killed as he somehow landed on his neck in between everyone else’s impact. As Almas was dragging Dillinger, seemingly going for a submission, he was hit with a Sick Kick (outta nowhere™) for the first elimination. Roderick didn’t last too much longer after that, yet again putting on a fun sequence with Dillinger, only to be hit with the Tye Breaker. We were down to the two that are constantly aiming for the title, but also aiming to be better than one another. A surprise within the NXT realm was that these two work so well together to constantly over deliver. This match hit a frantic pace, one that made me lose my shit. The two put on a tremendous final few minutes. The match peaked when Roode just, somehow, kicked out of the Tye Breaker. They then tried to set up a few top rope spots but it just couldn’t be in Dillinger’s favor. He was then shot on the top rope, he fell down, and a spinebuster was hit, followed by the Glorious DDT for another Perfect 10 loss. Love the wrestling.
•Bobby Roode basks in his own glory for the end scene. We have our NXT TakeOver: San Antonio main event set: Bobby Roode challenging Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship.
Good - 7.5/10
A very good effort was put on display this week by NXT. Although it started a little on the "meh" side, I still love all the girls involved in the current women's undercard angle. Plus it inches us closer to matches like Asuka vs. Aussies, and, MY GOD, Asuka vs. Nikki Storm! After a quick Authors of Pain clean-up with a scary move incident, we moved onto the tremendous four way main event that is in my Top 100 matches of the year. Everything worked so well and is the main reason why this episode gets a fairly high rating. With that, I'll see you next week for more of NXT, as we're still weeks out from TakeOver: San Antonio. Happy Holidays everyone.