The first announcement of the night was that there will be a #1 Contender’s Tournament for the NXT Championship. Also, Sasha Banks was granted another opportunity to face Charlotte for the title last night.
Sami was supposed to have a match with Tye Dillinger but the champ attacked his opponent before the bell rang and quickly got rid of him. I’ve never seen Sami Zayn in such a state – he looked completely out of control and it was all because of Kevin Owens.
William Regal rushed out to the ring, bursting with emotion himself. Mr. Regal takes his job as the NXT GM seriously, so he wasn’t going to let Sami take the law in his hands, or grant Kevin Owens a title match that he hadn’t earned.
And here, Sami Zayn’s well-known respectful character came into play. He begged Regal to give him Owens with or without the title on the line. Going the nice way did the job – Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens in a non-title match was booked for NXT Takeover on Feb 11.
I can’t stress enough how powerful the character development on NXT is. There’s something so perfect in the way Sami Zayn remains respectful, without getting immediately walked over. It’s so human, so real, to see him get angry, without losing his core. Even the nicest guys get angry in real life without becoming any less nice. This usually gets forgotten on WWE’s main shows.
In another backstage segment Mr. Regal made his next announcement – the following week NXT will host a contract signing between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. I imagine that won’t end peacefully.
Curtis Axel vs. Finn Balor
This was the first match of the #1 Contender’s Tournament. Finn Balor won so definitively that there’s almost nothing to discuss here.
I felt bad for Axel. He jobbed on the main roster and he’s jobbing now on NXT.
Sasha Banks Promo
Sasha, playing her mean girl gimmick, bullied the interviewer, while threatening the Diva’s Champion. I wasn’t into this promo. The fake swag was a bit over-the-top.
Bull promised that there will be no counting and no bright lights next week when he faces Baron Corbin at the #1 Contender’s Tournament.
I’m excited about this match. I still think that Corbin will win but I want to see him face a challenge for once.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
The matched started off with a healthy dose of aggression from two bitter rivals. However, it didn’t last long. Becky Lynch interfered and caused Sasha the match.
Both Becky and Sasha attacked Charlotte. Bayley came out to save her but then turned on her.
William Regal came out and announced a Fatal 4 between the ladies in the ring at NXT Takeover. Bayley was conflicted, Sasha was angry, Becky couldn’t be happier and Charlotte just accepted it.
Mr. Regal spiced things up this time. Throwing in Becky Lynch and Bayley out of the blue was a smart move. It will keep the audience guessing. Also, it’s a great showing of confidence in the women’s division. When’s the last time you saw a Divas’ Fatal 4 Way?
Kevin Owens saved all his comments for the contract signing next week. He isn’t a very talkative man, is he?
The Vaudevillains vs. Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy
That match made my night. I love the Vaudevillains as much as the next guy but seeing Blake & Murphy win got me excited. It was unexpected and they made it look fun.
The end of the match came literally out of nowhere. The Vaudevillins didn’t see it coming at all. I think Murphy and Blake didn’t see it either but that’s another topic.
After the match Buddy Murphy and Lesley Blake got so excited that they talked themselves into challenging the Lucha Dragons for the titles next week over a fluke win against the Vaudevillains. This somehow worked. These guys are hilarious.
Tyler Breeze vs. Hideo Itami
There’s a match that didn’t go well with me. Well, not the match itself but the ending.
The action in the ring was amazing. Tyler Breeze’s look & gimmick would be terribly misleading for someone, who doesn’t know him but I’m a big fan of his. Prince Pretty owned the ring. He evaded Hideo’s kicks, applied novel moves and generally told the story of the match.
When Hideo got fired up and turned the match around in seconds, I wasn’t surprised but I was disappointed. I don’t mean to take anything away from Itami but Tyler Breeze has worked hard for a very long time in NXT and it pains me to see him overlooked over and over again.
Are you content with the way the #1 Contender’s Tournament has gone so far? Which NXT Takeover match are you most excited about?
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