January 11, 2017
Watch: WWE Network
Full Sail University – Orlando, FL
Since their inauguration in Toronto, #DIY has fought valiantly to remain the NXT Tag Team champions. But, that could come to an end tonight when Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa defend their titles against the former champions, The Revival. With TakeOver: San Antonio just two weeks away, there are sure to be hungry, up and coming talents chomping at the bit for a taste of championship gold. With that said, let’s dive into the show.
On her way back from a media appearance, the NXT Women’s champion, Asuka, was assaulted by Billie Kay and Peyton Royce in the parking lot.
Billie Kay & Peyton Royce def. Sarah Bridges & Macey Evans
Oftentimes, one-sided matches in NXT are difficult to watch in that they regularly involve exposing unseasoned and transitional talents. However, that was not the case here. Although this was the Peyton and Billie show, Bridges and her much more inexperienced partner Evans looked good in defeat. The action was concise, effectively got its point across, and further established Kay and Royce as a dominant force to be reckoned with.
Kay and Royce cut a post-match promo calling out Asuka, claiming that they are the most dominant force in the NXT women’s division, and the title belongs to them. Nikki Cross made the save when Asuka ran down to the ring and got jumped by Kay and Royce, but ended up snapping and attacked Asuka herself. I felt that this was very well done and it gave me the sense that Asuka is as vulnerable as ever and her women’s title reign could be in jeopardy come TakeOver: San Antonio.
During a backstage interview, Nikki Cross justified her attack on the Asuka by staking her claim to the NXT Women’s Championship.
Elias Samson def. Jonathan Cruz
Corey Graves’ unbridled hatred of Samson and his drifting ways amuses me. I have no desire to see Samson at this point. That’s not to say I think he’s bad, necessarily, I just find the bulk of his in-ring work monotonous and uninspired. Samson does very little to make the fans care about his matches and for someone who’s had a prominent role on TV for over a year (aside from the three-month period where he was sidelined by a knee injury), he has a distinct lack of direction. A serviceable showcase for Samson, but his string of victories – pun somewhat intended – continues to feel inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.
Highlights of #DIY vs. The Revival from NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II aired.
Andrade Almas def. Oney Lorcan
On paper, this seemed like a match-up I’d enjoy and it did not disappoint. Lorcan has this urgency about him that makes his matches feel gritty and violent. More importantly, Lorcan’s attitude provides a sense of believability, a sense that he’s always searching for a way to win. When you add the cool, calm, and collected persona of Almas into the mix, it makes for a unique dynamic that I’m not quite sure how to describe. I felt that both competitors were given a chance to shine here, and they ran with it. My favorite part of the match came when Lorcan hit Almas with a blockbuster off of the ring steps.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 12, 2017
Post-match, Almas cut a brief heel promo taunting the crowd for not speaking Spanish. He then said that Oney Lorcan was first, and Roderick Strong is next.
Highlights of #DIY vs. The Revival from NXT TakeOver: Toronto aired.
Backstage, Tom Phillips conducted a sit-down interview with the NXT champion, Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura said that, while he likes Bobby Roode, he doesn’t have what it takes to become the champion. The interview came to a close when Phillips presented Nakamura with something Roode asked Tom to give him; Roode’s ticket from TakeOver: Dallas. I felt that this segment was well done, and it adds another layer to the upcoming title match between Nakamura and Roode in San Antonio.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) (c) def. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
The lights were dimmed prior to the match, putting an emphasis on the importance of the titles. Thunderous chants of “DIY” reverberated throughout Full Sail, coming to a screeching halt. A hushed silence fell over the crowd, seemingly as if they had a preconceived notion of #DIY and The Revival making magic together for the third time. They did. Three key characteristics define the final encounter between these two teams; grit, determination, and callbacks. The Revival’s assault on the left knee of Gargano, which carried over from their previous encounters, was the epitome of unobtrusive yet effective. With each gasping breath, the titles seemingly escaping his hands, Gargano fought valiantly and eventually made the tag to Ciampa. Dawson and Wilder couldn’t help but attempt to do the same to Ciampa, but he had them scouted this time around. #DIY countering the slingshot spear/DDT combination from The Revival allowed them to pick up steam and rile up the crowd. Then, in a fitting end to the rivalry with Dawson and Wilder embracing in the middle of the ring, Gargano and Ciampa hit a superkick and running knee strike to retain the titles. A fantastic TV tag match that I implore everyone to watch.
Post-match, The Authors of Pain hit the ring and laid out #DIY.
After the Authors of Pain’s attack on #DIY, NXT General Manager William Regal announced that Gargano and Ciampa will defend their titles against Akam and Rezar at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio. Regal also announced a contract signing between Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura for next week’s show. Asuka burst through the door towards the end of the interview, demanding that Regal make the title match against “all of them!”
WWE NXT FOR JANUARY 11, 2017
Good - 7.0/10
Between the latest installment in the #DIY/Revival series, the build to TakeOver: San Antonio and an enjoyable encounter between Oney Lorcan and Andrade "Cien" Almas, this was a good show. With the exception of Elias Samson, each talent that was featured seemed to have a clear direction ahead of them. Something I found odd towards the end of the show was that William Regal rewarded The Authors of Pain for attacking #DIY after their title match. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this week's edition of NXT.