Veronica and Brendo discuss Sami Zayn’s Intercontinental title shot, the upcoming Smackdown #900, Sin Cara, the Total Bellas season finale, Nikki Bella’s issues, the Glasgow crowd at RAW and Smackdown this week, our love for Enzo, future women’s division prospects, the definition of Main Event, Renee Young’s instagram, and lots more. Thanks for listening and tell your friends!
Veronica and Brendo talk about Lana tweeting about our show, Daniel Bryan’s continuing awesomeness on Total Bellas, Johnny Ace being a chill dude, Sami Zayn training with Daniel Bryan, Nikki & Carmella’s face off, Alexa Bliss, James Ellsworth, AJ Styles calling out HBK, Talking Smack, Goldberg’s return, Bo Dallas, the TNA situation, and lots more. Thanks for listening and we’ll be back in two weeks!
Veronica and Brendo tell each other John Cena stories. They also talk about watching No Mercy together, Total Bellas, the real Lana, Alexa Bliss’ Instagram, James Ellsworth’s brush with doom, other wrestling near death experiences, and lots more. Thanks for listening and tell your friends!
Brendo and Veronica discuss Brendo getting PWG BOLA tickets for all three nights, Finn Balor and his RAW debut, who won the first week of the brand split, Nia Jax, the Smackdown women debacle, the awesome guy who got destroyed by Braun Strowman, The Miz, Randy Orton, Lillian Garcia’s departure, the correct pronunciation of “championship,” Shelton Benjamin, how to film a Battle Royal, Zach Sabre Jr., the issues of the Smackdown announce team, Veronica’s new wrestling watching activity, Sasha Banks, and lots more. Thanks for listening!
Tonight should be a great episode as Johnny Gargano takes on Samoa Joe in the Main Event. It is great to see Gargano receiving a high profile singles match as his first NXT match of 2016. We start off the show with a bang as Sami Zayn makes his in-ring return to Full Sail.
Sami Zayn vs. Adam Rose
I’m still bummed that WWE didn’t really do anything with Adam Rose after his amazing ESPN profile. He does get a good response from the Full Sail crowd as he spent quite a lot of time here. Zayn and Rose start off by exchanging wristlocks. Rose resorts to a choke to get out of the hold but Zayn comes right back with an armdrag . We get some chain wrestling and Zayn drops Rose with a dropkick to the head. Rose goes back on offense, hitting Zayn with a barrage of punches and then taunts the crowd. He hits a knee drop and a clothesline followed by a flying knee drop for a two count. He continues working Zayn over. Zayn shows some fire and tries to mount a comeback out of the corner but Rose shuts it down. Rose hits a flying headbutt for another two count. Rose is looking good and showing some aggression we don’t normally see from him on the main roster. Zayn seems to be biding his time and reverses a Rose clothesline into the Koji Clutch. Rose taps out and Zayn gets the win. This was a decent match and we are reminded that next week we will see Zayn vs. Joe vs. Corbin for the #1 Contender spot.
Rich is backstage with Johnny Gargano and asks Johnny if he’s ready for tonight’s match. Johnny gives a great promo saying Joe is a bully and the best way to deal with a bully is to walk up to him and punch him in the nose. He uses the Johnny Wrestling moniker and shows a lot of confidence. Nicely done, Johnny.
Chad Gable and Jason Jordan give a promo expressing their disappointment in not even being nominated for the Tag Team of the Year award. They challenge Blake & Murphy, who were nominated, to a match next week. These guys are great. Jordan has finally found his niche in teaming with Gable. They announce their new team name, The American Alpha. I can dig it.
Tye Dillinger vs. Apollo Crews
It’s pretty amazing that the “Perfect 10” gimmick is super over even though Tye loses almost all his matches. Apollo is on a whole different level, though. He continues to build momentum and his fanbase. They lock up and neither wrestler gains control as Drake breaks them up in the corner. Tye gains control with a wristlock and maintains control through some chain grapples. He gets the crowd going with his 10 taunts on Crews. Crews hits his huge suspended suplex. Awesome move. Dilling ends up on the outside and hits Crews on the apron. Crews falls outside and Dillinger hits a nice looking dive. He tosses Crews back in the ring and hits his knee smash finisher but Crews kicks out at two. Apollo comes back out of the corner with a big spear and then hits an enziguri to the back of the neck. He follows this up with his sit-out powerbomb finisher and gets the pin. Both of these guys looked good here.
Apollo gets on the mic and says he wants to finish what he started with Finn Balor. He knows he hasn’t earned a title match but he wants a one-on-one match with Finn. Balor and Apollo had a great match a couple months ago that ended in a DQ due to interference from Baron Corbin. What we got was great and this could be even better.
Blake, Murphy, and Alexa get interviewed. Alexa says she is not happy after their performance in London. I’m not a huge Blake and Murphy fan but I think they’ve shown an insane amount of improvement since their start at the bottom of the roster. Alexa says she’ll be teaming up with Emma against Bayley and Carmella tonight.
During the break there is a trailer for The Condemned 2 with Randy Orton and then a short teaser promo for The Vaudevillains indicating perhaps a more serious turn for the duo. We then see photos from NXT’s live show in Milwaukee this past weekend where Kevin Owens showed up to face off with Sami Zayn. That must have been pretty cool.
Baron Corbin vs. Rich Swann
YES! Rich Swann makes his TV debut! Swann is one of my favorite wrestlers and I think he has a bright future ahead. I don’t have high hopes for this match but I hope Swann at least gets some offense in. Swann’s still got his sweet wing trunks! Some big “All Night Long” chants for Swann. Awesome. Swann hits some kicks but Corbin slams him to the mat. Swann hits another kick out of the corner and then dodges Corbin with a sweet flip. He takes a crazy bump off a backdrop. Corbin whips Swann into the corner and he lands hard. He then gets Swann in a headlock and Swann flips out of it. Great headscissors by Swann and some nice looking dropkicks. Swann hits a superkick and gets a two count. Lots of great offense by Swann here and he is looking great. He goes to the top rope but Corbin gets up. Swann jumps over him but Corbin has it scouted and nails him with the End of Days and gets the pinfall. Great debut for Swann.
Rich interviews Carmella and Bayley. Carmella says that she is excited for her upcoming championship match with Bayley but tonight the focus is on their match with Emma and Alexa Bliss. They’re interrupted by Dash and Dawson who congratulate Carmella on her Battle Royale win but tell her that just like her boys Enzo and Cass, she can’t win when it counts. Carmella goes after Dash and Dawson but Bayley holds her back, telling her to take it out on Emma and Alexa tonight.
Bayley and Carmella vs. Emma and Alexa Bliss
Emma is accompanied by Dana Brooke. Alexa and Emma have some words before the match but it seems like they are going to cooperate. Bayley is probably the most over wrestler on the roster. Emma knocks Carmella out of the ring and Emma and Alexa double team Bayley before the bell even rings. Carmella gets back in and breaks it up. Bayley is selling her ribs but starts the match off. Emma and Alexa gain control quickly with quick tags and double team moves.Bayley tries to mount a comeback against Alex but Alexa continues to work over the ribs. Bayley creates some space and hits a diving attack off the top rope. Alexa gets the hot tag to Emma who takes out Carmella before Bayley can make the tag. Bayley surprises Emma with a flurry of offense but Dana Brooke distracts Bayley and Alexa nails Bayley from the apron. Alexa tags in and hits her with a series of shoulderblocks into the corner. She tags Emma in who hits a double underhook suplex for a near fall. Bayley manages to fight out of the corner and gets a hot tag to Carmella. A fired up Carmella hits a headscissors and then a Bronco Buster. Emma tries to jump in but Carmella tosses her to the outside. She then gets Alexa in her leglock submission for the tapout win. Carmella looked great here.
Rich interviews Balor regarding the challenge from Apollo Crews. Balor says he accepts Apollo’s challenge and they will find out who the better man is. Johnny Gargano vs. Samoa Joe is next and the commentators are really doing a good job building up Gargano and treating this match seriously.
Johnny Gargano vs. Samoa Joe
Great reception for Gargano and he looks like he belongs here in the Main Event. People love to crap on WWE but Hunter really is doing some amazing work in NXT. Even a year ago I probably wouldn’t have believed you if you told me we would be seeing Gargano vs. Joe in a WWE ring. The future is very bright even if only a small fraction of these guys make it big on the main roster. Joe is slow to obey the count in the corner multiple times. Johnny surprises him with some forearms but Joe tackles him to the mat. Gargano dodges a charging attack and hits him with a kick. Joe goes to the outside to take a breather. Gargano goes for an apron attack but Joe sweeps his leg to take him out. Joe throws him back in the ring and hits a barrage of punches followed by a big dropkick in the corner. Gargano tires to come back with some chops but Joe nails him with a combination of kicks and then hits a running kick to knock Gargano out of the ring. Joe hangs back and Gargano narrowly avoids a countout. Gargano hits a series of elbows and dodges a backfist from Joe to hit an enziguri. Gargano gets tossed to the apron but then hits a jumping DDT on Joe and gets a two count. Joe dodges a running attack into the corner by Gargano and nails him with a kick to the head followed by the Kokina Clutch to finish off Gargano. Joe looked very strong here but Johnny looked great as well.
This was a great episode. I enjoyed it more than last week’s as we saw matches building up to next week’s big triple threat match between Joe, Zayn, and Corbin. Rich Swann had a strong debut and Carmella looked great in the build to her match with Bayley.
It’s the first new NXT of 2016 as we had a Best Of episode last week. Time to get hyped! The Full Sail crowd is loud as always and we have Corey Graves and Tom Phillips on commentary. William Regal comes out to kick off the show. He is looking good after neck surgery. He announces that tonight’s main event is a women’s battle royale for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. He then introduces Sami Zayn.
It’s the first time Sami Zayn has been at Full Sail in several months and he looks happy to be there. Given the current WWE roster situation his stay might be brief! Big Ole chants for Sami as he hypes the crowd and the NXT roster. He says Full Sail is his home. He also says he came here to make a proclamation: That he will be the first two time NXT Champion. Samoa Joe comes out to respond. He says it is good to have Sami back but he doesn’t deserve a title shot, that the last time Sami fought for the title Joe had to come out and save his life. He tells Sami to walk away as they stare down. Corbin interrupts. He says he agrees with Joe that Sami’s place is at the back of the line. He reminds everyone that he won his match at Takeover: London and that Joe lost his. Dude has a point. Corbin’s mic skills have improved quite a bit. Joe responds by saying Corbin doesn’t even belong in the conversation. As Sami is yelling at Joe, Corbin attacks him from behind but Sami responds with a big Heluva Kick. He and Joe then face off but Joe leaves the ring.
Bayley is interviewed by Rich and she says she’s not even sure how she made it out of London with the belt but she’s ready to take on the winner of the Battle Royale. She ends the interview by giving Rich a hug. Nice.
The NXT year end awards are announced. Enzo & Cass win tag team of the year. Bayley wins Female Competitor of the year. Finn Balor wins Male Competitor of the Year. NXT Takeover Brooklyn wins Takeover of the Year. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks from Takeover Brooklyn is the Match of the Year. Finn Balor wins Overall Competitor of the Year. I liked those awards because they were quick and pretty on point.
Tomasso Ciampa vs. Danny Burch
I don’t think I’ve seen Burch before. It’s great to see Ciampa back in NXT. Remember when all the “insiders” said he wasn’t coming back because he was too stiff with Tyler Breeze? Since I heard that he’s been back at least twice. Silly dirtsheets. Burch hits a pretty good looking missile dropkick. The commentators remind me that Burch has appeared before so I guess I was wrong. Ciampa hits Burch with some fierce forearms followed by a face first slam off the ropes that looked great. Burch gets a near fall off a stiff right hand on Ciampa and then goes for a deadlift suplex but Ciampa gets out of it and hits him with a kick. Burch is looking pretty good here as he goes for a backslide but Ciampa reverses it into an armbar and gets the submission. Both of these guys looked good in this one with some strong strikes from both. Here’s hoping we’ll see more Ciampa in 2016.
Backstage promo with Enzo and Cass as they let Dash & Dawson know they are coming for them after the loss in London. These guys are so great, they don’t need the titles but I’m pretty sure we’ll see them with the straps sooner rather than later.
We get some promos for the Women’s Battle Royale including new gals Billie Kaye and Deonna Purrazzo as well as Emma. Regal is in his office and announces that there will be a match between Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, and Baron Corbin for the #1 Contender spot in two weeks.
Dash & Dawson vs. The Ascension
The NXT tag champs had a huge last half of 2015. Let’s see if they can take that momentum into 2016. I dig the whole 80’s NWA no-nonsense gimmick. When The Ascension are in Full Sail you kind of forget how much they’ve flopped on the main roster. I’m sure they miss those “Yah” chants as opposed to the crickets they hear normally. Victor is all over Dash to start the match but Dash hits him with a strong clothesline to take control and tags to Dawson. More aggressive offense and strong tag work for the champs. Victor finally hits a power move to create some space and make the tag to Connor. He starts wailing on Dawson as the crowd chants along. Dash manages to distract Connor and Victor gets dumped to outside. Dash and Dawson then hit their finisher on Connor for the victory. This wasn’t anything special but it made the champs look good.
Regal is in the trainer’s room with Nia Jax and Eva Marie. Nia Jax is not medically cleared for the Battle Royale as she suffered a kayfabe injury at the hands of Bayley’s submission at Takeover London. This makes sense as there is no way Nia Jax wouldn’t win that Battle Royale and it seems like they are going to keep her and Bayley apart for awhile to build to a rematch.
Elias Samson vs. Corey Hollis
They are pushing “The Drifter” pretty hard. I’m not really sold on the gimmick yet. He hits a big kick on Hollis and casually goes for the pinfall for a two count. He punches him a bit then shushes him as he gives Hollis his swinging neckbreaker finisher for the win. Nothing too exciting. He then brings his guitar into the ring and tells the crowd “What this place needs is what I am.” OK.
They play some highlights from the great Joe vs. Balor match at Takeover London. Rich then interviews Balor to get his comments on Joe and the triple threat match in two weeks for a shot at his belt. He comments on each challenger and tells us that regardless of their strengths the NXT championship is staying with him. Nicely done.
Cameron is here, you guys. And she’s going to be in the Battle Royale. We also get a promo from the debuting Aliyah who we met on Breaking Ground. The final promo from is from Asuka who has got to be the heavy fave and I am eagerly awaiting her getting a shot at Bayley.
Women’s Battle Royale
Alexa Bliss, Emma, Carmella, Eva Marie, and Asuka all get entrances. Asuka is by far the most popular and shoves Eva Marie out of the way to the great enjoyment of the crowd. “Asuka’s gonna kill you” chants to start and a vicious kick from Asuka to Eva Marie the second the bell rings. Aliyah is the first to be eliminated. Cameron does the honors. Cameron then ducks an attack from Deanna, who goes flying over the top rope. Liv Morgan then tries to powerbomb Cameron out of the ring but Alexa Bliss dumps them both over. I must have missed Eva Marie getting eliminated but that’s not a surprise. Emma eliminates Alex Bliss but is then eliminated by Asuka. Billie Kaye and Peyton Royce attempt to double team Asuka but she manages to slide back in the ring. Asuka then eliminates both of the rookies but Eva, who it turns out was hiding outside the ring, comes from behind to eliminate Asuka. Doh. However, Carmela was also hanging around the outside because she was injured and turns the tables on Eva Marie to win the Battle Royale. Bayley comes out to congratulate Carmela. I think these two friends are going to have a great match as the slow build to Bayley vs. Asuka continues.
There was nothing terribly exciting about this episode of NXT but it was a very solid show, as always. This is episode wrestling television done right, building storylines and wrestlers. We got a little bit of everything this week and the Main Event was entertaining and not too drawn out. We’ll probably get to see Asuka get her revenge on Eva Marie sometime soon and Carmela vs. Bayley for the title is a solid matchup. On the men’s side we saw a heartfelt return to Full Sail by Sami Zayn who will take on Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin in two weeks leading to a big title match. I am definitely looking forward to the coming weeks in NXT as we will hopefully see more new faces.