By Zack Zimmerman
WWE NXT on WWE Network
Taped February 1 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
A brief video aired hyping the main event, featuring Tyler Bate defending the WWE United Kingdom Championship against Trent Seven… The opening video played… Inside the Full Sail Arena, the commentators Tom Phillips, Percy Watson, and Nigel McGuinness welcomed viewers. They talked up the main event match, and also mentioned that we’d be getting a health update from Shinsuke Nakamura later on…
The new NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain made their entrance. Their opponents were already waiting by ringside.
1. NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain (Akem and Rezar w/ Paul Ellering) vs. Lance Anoa’i and Garrison Spears. The Authors got both opponents in the ring and hit tandem Death Valley Drivers into the turnbuckles. They finished off Anoa’i with the Final Chapter clothesline/Russian side sweep combo.
The Authors of Pain won in about 1:20.
Replays aired. Afterwards, the Authors hit the Super Collider powerbombs on the jobbers for good measure…
A graphic promoted the main event before they re-aired the Tyler Bate introduction video that they showed last week… [C]
Zim Says: This marks the first step toward the Authors returning the NXT tag division back to the Ascension stone ages. Also considering they nearly killed one enhancement wrestler a few months ago, are running DVDs into the turnbuckle really the best idea?
A tweet from the official NXT Twitter was shown noting that Shinsuke Nakamura was back to training at the Performance Center following a “knee injury…”
Back in the arena, the duo of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce made their entrance for a tag match which was set up last week in the match against Liv Morgan. Morgan was out next, followed by her partner of choice, Ember Moon.
2. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce vs. Liv Morgan and Ember Moon. Moon got the better of Kay with a ‘rana, but a distraction from Royce on the apron allowed the Australian duo take control. They isolated Moon for a short time before she fought back with a butterfly suplex and Liv took the hot tag. There was an awkward spot where the ref got in the way but Liv rolled right on and planted Peyton with a bulldog. Moments later, Moon was wiped out to ringside by a boot from Kay, and Liv was left to take an assisted knee strike and get pinned.
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce over Liv Morgan and Ember Moon in about 3:20.
Replays aired and the villains celebrated their win while the babyfaces recouped on the ramp. Nigel McGuinness, apparently having memory troubles, called Kay and Royce “unstoppable” as a duo… [C]
Zim Says: That match was baaad. The stuff with Moon and Kay wasn’t particularly smooth or well-worked, and it only got worse once Liv tagged in. The story is ass backwards, the character progression is non-existent, and the work was sloppy. Thumbs down.
A replay from last week showed Eric Young demanding once again that Tye Dillinger join his Sanity group, and Dillinger once again refusing. He was subsequently attacked by Sanity before being saved by No Way Jose and Roderick Strong…
From the Performance Center, an interviewer spoke with Jose and Strong about helping Dillinger. Strong said that he’s had times in his life where he was a bully like EY, and he might even still be sometimes, but he didn’t agree with a 4-on-1 beatdown and that’s why he stepped in. Jose said that Dillinger is well respected and one of the hottest things in WWE right now. Jose said that if they didn’t step up, nobody else would keep Sanity in check…
Back in the arena, former tag champs DIY made their entrance. Tom Phillips on commentary noted that they’re still contractually owed a title rematch. Once in the ring, Tommaso Ciampa said that their dreams came true when they won the tag titles, and to make it better, the fans voted the match the best of the year. He talked about touring the world as tag champions until they met the Authors of Pain in San Antonio.
Johnny Gargano said that they’ve never faced a team like the Authors before, but in San Antonio they saw doubt in the Authors’ eyes. Gargano said they may have lost, but they’re far from broken, and they want their title rematch. No time later, Paul Ellering led the Authors out onto the stage and granted DIY their rematch in two weeks. He warned them to make peace with loved ones before then.
Gargano and Ciampa joked it off and suggested that they do the match right then and there. Suddenly, they were attacked from behind by The Revival. they dumped Ciampa to ringside and laid Gargano out with the Shatter Machine. The Authors charged the ring to get their payback on The Revival from attacking them last week, but The Revival were out as quickly as they ran in. They scampered, leaving DIY to recoup at ringside while the Authors vented in the ring…
Tyler Bate vs. Trent Seven was advertised as the main event before last week’s introduction video to Trent Seven was shown… [C]
Zim Says: The Authors are the force pulling the tag division to the stone ages, while The Revival and DIY are everything right about tag wrestling today. It should make for a really fun three-way title match. I fear for the day these teams aren’t around to make good matches around the Authors, but I’m not going to let that concern impart my ability to enjoy what should be a really fun tag title program until ‘Mania weekend.
A Kassius Ohno vignette aired, complete with his awesome new music. Clips were shown from his previous run in NXT and the former Chris Hero noted that he’s been all around the world and done a lot of things, but he’s coming back to settle unfinished business. He warned everyone that he’s a dangerous man, and a graphic hyped his impending return…
In his office, William Regal was standing by for an announcement. He made a triple-threat match between Liv Morgan, Peyton Royce, and Ember Moon for next week’s show, with the winner earning a future title match against Asuka…
Back in the arena, Trent Seven made his entrance. [C] A graphic advertised the three-way women’s match for next week’s show… Things picked right back up as Seven was still posing on the turnbuckles. The first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion and Seven’s former tag partner, Tyler Bate, was out next. Both competitors received formal in-ring introductions.
3. Trent Seven vs. WWE UK Champion Tyler Bate for the WWE UK Championship. There were two opportunities for a clean breaks in the opening minute, which each guy took as a chance to twirl the other guy’s mustache. They battled over a shoulder tackle in minute two with Seven getting the better. He charged across the ring, taking a cricket hurler hop before slapping Bate on the chest. Bate fought back with a dropkick at the three-minute mark and slowly began to go to work from there. [C]
Bate was still in control, but it didn’t last long as Seven no-sold a whole bunch of European uppercuts. They battled over a backslide before Bate re-established control with a diving European uppercut from the middle turnbuckle. Things went out to ringside where Bate hit a big flying press over the top rope onto Seven.
Bate looked to follow up back in the ring, but Seven scooped him up out of nowhere and hit a sit-out Attitude Adjustment for a near-fall. Bate fought off a lariat attempt from Seven and used his signature Airplane Spin in both directions. Seven fought out of a German suplex attempt and connected with a snap dragon suplex of his own. He followed up with a powerbomb for a near-fall, and switched right into a half crab when Bate kicked out.
Bate escaped the hold and caught Seven with the “Bop-Bang” punch spot. He looked to follow up, but Seven connected with the Rainmak, er, Seven-Star Lariat for another near-fall. The crowd chanted “this is awesome.” Seven went up to the top turnbuckle, but Bate popped up and used a dropkick which looked like it missed by a lot. The two battled up top before Bate brought Seven crashing down hard with an exploder superplex for a good near-fall of his own.
Bate hooked for his finisher, but Seven fought out and hit a series of spinning backfists. On the final one however, Bate used the momentum coming off the ropes to connect with his rolling overhead kick. Bate followed up promptly with the Tyler Driver ’97 and scored the pinfall.
Tyler Bate defeated Trent Seven in about 12:50 to retain the WWE UK Championship.
A series of replays aired. Once they concluded, Bate’s hand was raised in the ring as Seven sold the loss. Bate laid down his championship and extended his hand, which Seven reciprocated with a handshake and a hug. He left the ring to Bate to celebrate and the commentators gave one final plug for the women’s No. 1 contender triple threat on next week’s show before signing off…
Zim Says: Decent little match, but I had high expectations based on the reports coming out of Full Sail that night and this fell a bit short of what I had in mind. Neither guy really jumped out and the work was solid but not top-tier. If you want to watch 15 minutes of OK wrestling in a vacuum, go for it. Otherwise, this show seems entirely skippable. There was good progress made in the tag division and progress of some sort in the women’s division, but not really enough to warrant an hour watching this show.
It’s not the hottest show for me to go out on to say the least, but this show is indicative of the problem NXT has had for over half a year and it’s why I’m not sad to be putting my attention elsewhere for the time being. For those who aren’t aware, a change in my real-life schedule necessitates a shift in my DotNet schedule, so for at least the next 10 weeks I’ll be doing weekly live coverage and audio for 205 Live. Jason Powell will filling in on NXT duty for the time being. Thanks for reading along, I’ll see you next Tuesday for my 205 Live debut.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.