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411’s NXT Report 1.08.15

January 9, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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411’s NXT Report 1.08.15  

This week’s show begins with the first appearance of our new NXT Champion, Sami Zayn, since he was attacked by Kevin Owens after winning the title. It’s great to see him with the belt. “OLE” chants fill the arena before he even speaks so he goes out through the crowd raising the belt in the air. He also gets the Daniel Bryan post WrestleMania “You Deserve It” chants. He says that being champion means that you can do anything you want your way and it doesn’t have to be the way other people want you to. He calls his fans “Zayniacs”. I kind of hope that doesn’t catch on. He says that Kevin Owens hurt him, but didn’t end him and he’s ready to defend his belt anytime and any place. Adrian Neville interrupts, who should be selling his Kevin Owens attack too. He congratulates Sami, who brings up Adrian’s rematch. I think Sami mentioning it was a great way to make him look like a fighting champion. William Regal comes out, and his theme is so much more suited for a heel gimmick. He announces that next week, Neville gets his rematch. Solid opening segment, with a big main event set up for their Wednesday debut, but I think this needed some Kevin Owens involvement.

The Vaudevillains are interviews backstage about righting the wrong of their NXT Tag Team Title loss at R Evolution. They say they’re going to win tonight. Nothing special, though Simon Gotch is doing non-stop squats.

Curtis Axel vs. Hideo Itami

I love the idea of Curtis Axel back in NXT. Commentary does a good job in playing up how Axel is looking to reboot his career here. He calls Itami a piece of crap and chops him. He sends him off the ropes and Itami comes back with a big kick. Itami fires off more kicks in the corner, but once they break, Axel clotheslines him. Axel delivers some mean looking clotheslines to the back of Itami’s head. After a dropkick, Axel shouts stuff again, but the crowd is not reacting well to him. He earns a near fall with a knee to the face. Curtis continues to work over Hideo while commentary discusses that the mean streak may be what he was missing on the main roster. Itami rallies with a hard jumping clothesline followed by a tornado DDT that hangs Axel on the rope. A flying clothesline from the top gets two. The crowd is chanting for the “GTS.” A series of kicks from Itami is blocked and Axel tries the Perfect Plex, but Itami gets free. He hits a spinning kick and wins.

Winner: Hideo Itami in 5:44

A bit underwhelming as Hideo Itami still seems to be trying to find his groove. Curtis Axel should also catch on more with the NXT fans after more appearances. **3/4

Byron Saxton comes to interview Tyson Kidd about his match with Finn Balor last week, but he has his headphones on. So Byron goes to interview Natalya, but Tyson cuts her off and wants her to check on “his” cats. She says they are “their” cats, but Tyson says that he is the one who feeds them mouth to mouth. When Nattie leaves to do so, Tyson admits they are his cats. He promises to beat Finn Balor, become the face of NXT and then says he will replace Sarah McLachlan as the face of whatever organization she runs. Hilarious stuff. Tyson is great.

A video package airs for highlights of Bull Dempsey and Baron Corbin. Next week, Dempsey takes on Corbin. Big show next week. Corbin/Dempsey, Kidd/Balor and Zayn/Neville.

A promo for NXT on Wednesday airs, focusing on Charlotte. The Sasha Banks one last week was better.

Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks w/ Becky Lynch

This is the first time we’ve seen Alexa Bliss since Sasha Banks broke her nose a while back. I still think the pairing of Sasha and Becky is awkward, even though I really like both girls. Alexa comes out of the gates aggressively with some forearm shots. She gets a sunset flip in the corner for two but her head scissors attempt is countered into a stiff backbreaker. Sasha screams “How’s your nose Alexa?”  and is just awesome at playing the heel. A body slam is reversed into a small package that gets Alexa a near fall. She gets the same result for a crucifix pin, but ends up stuck in the corner and Sasha lays her across the second buckle, driving her knees into her midsection. She pulls Alexa out and connects with the Bank Statement, forcing her to submit.

Winner: Sasha Banks in 2:05

i wish this got more time. Both girls are good. Sasha Banks continues to impress. **

Tyler Breeze say that he returns, next! Yes!

Tyler Breeze vs. Chad Gabel

There are actually dueling chants going on right now. Is Gabel going to be the male Blue Pants? Gabel slams the shit out of Tyler Breeze with some amateur work, as they’re playing up his background in that. Tyler gets free and stomps away on Gabel in the corner. He wears down Gabel with a headlock, but he gets to his feet and throws Breeze over. He drops a knee and then applies an armbar while hanging upside down over the rope. When he enters, he runs into the Beauty Shot to end this.

Winner: Tyler Breeze in 2:36

An expected win to get Tyler Breeze back into things, but Chad Gabel impressed. Good stuff. **

Finn Balor is interviewed about his match with Tyson Kidd. he says that Tyson needs more than nine lives to survive him, FACT!

A clip from Tyler Breeze winning is shown, when a person pops out from behind the curtain in the rafters. They pause on him, but you can’t tell who it is. Interesting for sure.

NXT Tag Team Championship: The Lucha Dragons (c) vs. The Vaudevillains

Simon Gotch starts with Kalisto and the Lucha Dragons work early double teams with stereo kicks and a wheelbarrow senton for two. Sin Cara locks in a Gory Special submission of sorts for a bit. Gotch backs Cara into the corner and tags Aiden English. Cara is knocked outside, and pulls English out hard. Kalisto dropkicks Gotch out and the Champions each take out the Vaudevillains with a suicide dive. We go to commercial where it is announced that Daniel Bryan is returning to the ring on the Thursday return of Smackdown! Kalisto tries an awesome springboard when we return, but Gotch holds English, leading to Kalisto crashing to the mat. Kalisto is playing the face in peril for a bit as the Vaudevillains tag in and out quickly. They get some near falls, as Kalisto is resilient. He gets near the tag, but is stopped as English grabs his arms. He finally makes the tag in the middle of a flying head scissors, which was cool. Sin Cara come sin with a springboard cross body and head scissors takedown. He dropkicks Gotch and snaps off a an interesting sunset bomb pinning combination from the top, though Gotch breaks the pin. Cara does his school boy powerbomb, but Kalisto comes off with a spinning move that drives English into the mat. That double team is enough to retain.

Wnnners and Still NXT Tag Team Champions: The Lucha Dragons in 9:11

Solid little tag team match. Nothing special, but the double team to end the match was cool and I appreciated that. **1/2

The final score: review Average
The 411
A perfectly acceptable edition of NXT. The opening promo set up next week well and all of the matches tonight were at least decent. However, this needed some Kevin Owens as he is kind of a big deal right now. It also seemed more like they were more focused on setting up next week's big Wednesday debut, which is okay to do sometimes.

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WWE NXT Report, Kevin Pantoja