WWE NXT for January 25, 2017
Watch: WWE Network
Full Sail University – Orlando, Florida
After last week’s poor iteration, NXT looks to rebound prior to TakeOver: San Antonio. This is the go home edition of the show, with a four way face-off promised between everyone involved in the Women’s title match. Let’s see if we can do better than a 4/10 this time.
Ember Moon def. Liv Morgan
Last week, Liv Morgan shot on Ember, saying she’s come a long way from losing to Asuka in 30 seconds. This was a sweet sprint. These ladies had much better chemistry than first expected. I wasn’t sure if Liv, as much as I like her, would be able to hang in different portions of this type of match–but she fully did. Whether it was trading cradle roll-ups, or taking a bump to the floor cleaning the ropes, being thrown out of a guillotine choke, Liv looked like she belonged. There was a camaraderie that was rewarding in an exhibition way, like the two slapping hands before going for an exchange. Moon hit the Eclipse (O-Face) on Liv for the pinfall victory. Highly enjoyable short match that falls short of being something must watch, but welcomed with open arms for a placing like opener on NXT TV.
Andrade Cien Almas was interviewed backstage. He spoke in Spanish and English, which is a nice pallet as a heel. Before he could tee off on Roderick Strong, Strong showed up, with his awkward wording of his promo. If Almas was to attack him, why not just do it now?! Well, after faking out backing away, Almas turned around to smash Roddy in. Almas stands tall before he likely takes the pin this Saturday.
A really well put together video package hyping up #DIY vs. Authors of Pain aired, focused on #DIY’s win at TakeOver: Toronto, as well as Paul Ellering narrating the Chapters on the quest for them to become tag champions. I hope it airs on the show.
No Way Jose def. Kona Reeves
“Kona Reeves is the type of guy to make a fake profile online and pick up somebody.” -Corey Graves
Graves also said Kona is the type of dude to have an egg as his profile picture, sending him DMs on how to commentate. Kona is one of the mildly pushed young lions of NXT. He gets made fun of by everyone, gets to showcase some fun offense like surfing on the back of Jose, only to job out like everyone knows he’s going to. Not a bad gig thus far for him. He has a good look and is probably well liked by the booker-men. The two had a mini dance off to begin the new year prior to wrestling. Kona actually got in way more offense than just someone trying to win. He dominated a lot of the time, only for Jose to comeback and make quick work of him with the home run punch. The nightmare was only to come after the bell rang, when The Drifter’s music hit.
In a pretty freaking dumb post-match angle, Elias Sampson was out to sing Jose a hate-song, only to get riled up from the crowd chanting “Just Drift…Away”, climbing on the apron, getting socked by a weak elbow, then flustering away. Jose stood tall. For a undercard feud, this should be something…we’ll see before I bury it.
Eric Young def. Chris Atkins
At first, I thought this was pretty stupid. Atkins is an absolute monster and for him to be bumping right from the well was odd. But he got in some power offense quickly, only to be eye gauged, which is a realistic way to distract a giant (with SanitY also at ringside). We got some ridiculous spots like Atkins being hung in a choke on the top rope, followed by a giant elbow, and a ridiculous deadweight suplex from Young. He ran by Atkins in impressive fashion, while also mocking Tye Dillinger when he could. At first what seemed like a disaster, turned into a fun squash that sets pace for San Antonio.
Highlights of Shane Thorne’s surgery was shown. He’ll be out close to three-quarters of a year. WWE injuries always come at the worst possible time. TM61 would have likely gotten a tag title run, or at least hot program with The Revival this year, and that’ll likely be held off till 2018.
NXT has already made me sick of Square Hammer by Ghost. An awesome video package, recapping Nakamura’s journey to the NXT title, plus his journey since then, aired; including a throwback to when he signed and met with Vince, Triple H, etc. The build to one if, if not, the most lack-luster main events in NXT history on paper, is based upon both having amazing entrances, being charismatic, by default top guys, and Roode giving Nakamura the ticket from last year’s WrestleMania weekend TakeOver. Let’s ignore the bad contract signing.
After another lackluster front of the show, we arrived to the main event “face-off” between everyone in the Women’s title match. What’s funny is that Royce and Kay started it by themselves with a monologue, which fits their character so perfectly. They explained that it’s time the “little psycho” gets a beat-down, and really, you could throw that shade at either woman not in the ring yet. They were talking about Nikki Cross though, who came out next. The character dynamic continued to rule my world, with spoiled Aussie brats not wanting to be in any physical confrontation, reminding the Authority to keep the lunatic back. Only for Asuka to run out, causing the Aussies to bail, with the two rapid pitbulls licking their chops for violence. It’s just too bad Royce and Kay were playing smart, as they took it to both, at least for a little bit! They tried, but the pitbulls returned to their savage staring contest. In a VERY stupid instance, security ran out because the women are just too dangerous when not touching each other. It was neat to see the two form a team to wipe out the force, but security is overdone when so much worse has happened with no security in ring. Asuka hit a huge kick on Cross, but Cross got up and dove on Asuka and security, as Royce and Kay saw a ghost on the ramp. This was the best segment on NXT since the TakeOver: Toronto contract signing. All the characters and their interactions were down pat. I believe anyone can win on Saturday. End scene is Asuka and Cross laying next to each other.
WWE NXT (JANUARY 25, 2017)
Average - 5.5/10
Another heavily phoned in effort of a TV (and go-home TV in this case), dependent on squashes of Performance Center guys, as well as video packages. The only awesome takeaway was the women's segment that went on last, in what could easily be match of the night on Saturday. The build to a lot of matches has been lazy, but this one has not been. The only reason this eclipsed a 5/10 was the end segment, plus a really fun open. With that being said, that's the only thing you need to watch from this week's show. You gain nothing from seeing the minor final build to everything else. Nakamura, Roode, Ciampa, Gargano, Authors of Pain, Ellering, Dillinger never even stepped foot in the arena a week before the show. We'll have coverage of TakeOver: San Antonio this Saturday. Keep it locked.