11/27 Zim's WWE NXT Coverage: Bayley defends the NXT Women's Championship against Eva Marie, Dash and Dawson defend the NXT Tag Team Championships against The Vaudevillains, Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe contract signing for Takeover London, plus Sami Zayn, Asuka, Apollo Crews, Emma, Dana Brooke, and more
By Zack Zimmerman
WWE NXT on the WWE Network
Aired November 25, 2015
Taped November 19 at Full Sail University
The opening video played... Inside the arena, cameras panned the crowd. Michael Cole was standing in the ring behind the setup for a contract signing. He noted that GM William Regal was out tonight (crowd booed) because he's recovering from successful surgery (crowd cheered). Cole said that Regal put Cole in charge of all administrative decisions tonight. Cole also said that Regal denied Eva Marie's request for a title shot against Bayley, but WWE Corporate stepped in and declared that the match will happen and it will happen on this show.
Cole then turned attention to the NXT Championship match at Takeover London where Finn Bálor will defend his title against Samoa Joe. Cole began to introduce Finn Bálor, but Bálor's music interrupted and Bálor made his full lengthy entrance. Once in the ring, Bálor spoke directly to Samoa Joe and said that he did what he felt he had to do to make the match happen. He said it made him realize that friendship and trust are a rarity. He called Joe out, told him to look him in the eye, and realize that he's not entitled to anything. Finn said he's going to stick his foot down Joe's throat.
Cole next introduced Samoa Joe. Joe walked directly down to the ring and signed the contract immediately. Bálor demanded that Joe look him in the eyes, but Joe didn't make eye contact once. He simply signed the contract, left the ring, and headed up the ramp and into the back. "You're a coward Joe," Bálor said. Bálor subsequently signed the contract. Michael Cole declared that the match was official and Bálor's music hit. It appeared as though everything was going to go off without a hitch, but as Bálor stood at the top of the ramp holding the belt up, he was blindsided by Joe.
Joe tossed Bálor into the ring, but several referees slowed Joe down enough for Bálor to recover and hit a running dropkick. Bálor began brawling with Joe, but out of nowhere Joe slipped in behind and sank in the Coquina Clutch. Referees tried poorly to separate the two, but Joe put Bálor out cold and only released when he was ready. Joe stood over the fallen champ and raised his fist before backing up the ramp while the crowed booed... A Breaking Ground commercial played...
Zim Says: Really good stuff here. It was super simple, but super effective. Joe's heel character advances every week and it's becoming a really great foil to the strong and confident, but still underdog, champion Bálor.
The commentators recapped the contract signing segment and subsequent brawl. They hyped Asuka vs. Dana Brooke in a Takeover rematch for later in the show. They also hyped the Women's Title match between Bayley and "WWE Corporate's" Eva Marie...
Back in the arena, The Vaudevillains made their entrance. A replay showed them losing the NXT Tag Titles to Dash and Dawson two weeks ago. The new champs Dash and Dawson were out next.
1. NXT Tag Team Champions Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder vs. The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) for the NXT Tag Team Championships. The Vaudevillains got the better of Dawson with some nice tag team offense early. English used a nice arm drag where he rolled through right into a grounded armlock. English was in control until Dash and Dawson made a quick tag which English didn't notice. Dawson ran in and drove him to the match with an arm breaker to take control. [C]
Back in the ring. Gotch got the hot tag and ran through Dash and Dawson. He used a nice split-legged sunset roll out of the corner and another sneaky O'Connor roll attempt for quick two-counts before planting Dawson with an arm-trap Saito suplex for a near-fall. A short time later, English sabotaged a Shatter Machine attempt and Gotch rolled through for another near-fall.
The Vaudes set up for the Whirling Dirvish, but Dawson avoided it and attempted a pin. However, English managed to reverse the pin into one of his own for another good near-fall. Gotch had been wiped off the apron from ringside, and for the second time in the match English missed a tag by his opponents. This one cost them because English ran right into the Shatter Machine and took the pin.
Dash and Dawson retained the NXT Tag Team Championships in about 4:45.
Afterwards, replays aired and the champs were backing up the ramp when Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady's music began to play. Enzo and Cass ran out and brawled into the ring with Dash and Dawson before clearing them from said ring. The champs hurried out of the arena while Enzo and Cass held the ring intensely...
Backstage, Tom Phillips approached Eva Marie and asked why they were in Mr. Regal's office. She said that he's still recovering from surgery and she needed a bigger place to prepare for her title match. She said that she misses Regal and she knows he won't mind her using his office. Tom asked why Eva Marie stated that her title match with Bayley is inevitable. Eva said that she's "literally" the hottest prospect in a long time. She said Bayley is a "swell girl," but it's time for a "real woman" to take that title. Eva pointed to a table full of gifts that fans of Total Divas had apparently sent, but said one thing more important than gifts is friendship. With that, she introduced her new friend Nia Jax, who walked into the room. "Nothing beats friendship," Eva closed. The camera lingered too long and Eva just awkwardly stared at Tom...
The commentators said this doesn't look good for Bayley... A recap aired of Asuka beating Dana Brooke at Takeover Respect, and Dana challenging Asuka last week to a rematch this week. A graphic hyped Asuka vs. Dana Brooke up next... A vignette aired in black and white with a man playing his acoustic guitar and singing. It showed close-ups of his beard, his plethora of necklaces, and the bandanas he had tied around his wrists, but he was never shown in full and there was no indication of who he is or when he is coming...
Zim Says: I believe that vignette was for "The Drifter" Elias Sampson. Going backwards from there, I thought the Total Divas gifts were a bit on-the-nose, but otherwise I actually thought Eva cut a pretty good promo. She sounded like a self-righteous and overly-confident heel character should. It's peculiar to me that this tag title match was about a minute shorter than Dash and Dawson's win over jobbers John Skyler and Corey Hollis last week. That just doesn't make sense. Though I will say that for a match that went under five minutes, I enjoyed this one quite a bit.
Corey Graves thanked The Struts for "Could Have Been Me" which they're using for Takeover London...
Back in the arena, Asuka made her entrance to a big reaction from the crowd. Dana Brooke's music hit and she came onto the stage with a mic in-hand. She said she hopes that Asuka has gotten all of the smiling out of her system because she's about to come down to the ring and smack the smile off her face. Dana carried on, but suddenly a hooded Emma appeared in the ring and tried to attack Asuka from behind. With little trouble, Asuka dropped her with a roundhouse kick.
Dana Brooke marched down to ringside and distracted Asuka long enough for Emma to bring Asuka down with a single-leg from behind. Emma repeatedly drove Asuka's face into the mat before applying the Emma Lock. Emma removed her hoody and threw it over Asuka before heading back up the ramp with Dana...
Backstage, Tom Phillips was standing by with Women's Champion Bayley and asked about Eva apparently having the deck stacked in her favor tonight. Bayley acknowledged that and said that in some peoples' minds, Eva is the perfect champion. She's pretty, she's got a reality show, and she had corporate on her side. Bayley said that the difference between her and Eva is that she's a wrestler and Eva is not. She said Eva is underestimating her and tonight, Bayley is going to show her why she's the NXT Women's Champion. "Am I right?" Bayley asked as she high-fived Tom before leaving the set.
Zim Says: Bayley has really found her groove on the mic and as a character. She's a completely pure babyface, but she doesn't ever come across as campy or groan-inducing. It's really something. Nice little segment to get heat on Emma going into her match with Asuka as well.
A great vignette aired for Sami Zayn's impending return to NXT...
Back in the arena, Apollo Crews made his entrance. His opponent, Jesse Sorensen, was out next. Rich Brennan acted surprised to see him, but Graves and Saxton completely no-sold him.
2. Apollo Crews vs. Jesse Sorensen. Crews hit his great dropkick sequence right out of the gate. He held a vertical suplex for about 20 seconds before dropping Sorensen to the mat for a two-count. Sorensen got a boot up in the corner to slow Crews's momentum momentarily, but Crews came right back with a stinger splash and his jumping clothesline. Crews lifted Sorensen for a back suplex, but then ran forward while tossing and twisting Sorensen, planting him sitout-powerbomb style for the win.
Apollo Crews squashed Jesse Sorensen in about 2:00.
Replays aired, including a slow-mo shot of the cool finish. Crews took a mic and addressed Baron Corbin. He said that Corbin cost him his chance at the NXT Championship, so he accepts Corbin's challenge for Takeover London. Crews said that when Corbin steps in the ring with him, Crews is going to lay him down...
Backstage, Corbin responded to Crews accepting his challenge. Corbin said that Crews is going to end up being the answer to a trivia question because he'll be that one guy who did that one thing that one time. Corbin said at Takeover London, "Apollo Nation falls..."
Back in the arena, WWE referee Charles Robinson walked down the ramp and into the ring. The announcer informed everyone that WWE Corporate had sent Charles Robinson to ensure no controversy in this Women's Championship match. The crowd groaned audibly... [C]
Corey Graves thanked Motorhead for "Ace of Spades" which they're using for Takeover London... A graphic hyped Samoa Joe vs. Tommaso Ciampa for next week...
Eva Marie made her entrance to a chorus of boos from the Full Sail faithful. She was accompanied by her new friend Nia Jax. The fans sang for Bayley and popped big when her music hit. The champ made her entrance with the full support of the crowd. Their new favorite thing is singing "heeeeeey, we want some Baaayleeey." The lights dimmed and both ladies received formal in-ring introductions. Eva was booed out of the building and Bayley was cheered like a true star.
3. NXT Women's Champion Bayley vs. Eva Marie (w/ Nia Jax) for the NXT Women's Championship. Referee Charles Robinson was a second at ringside while an NXT referee handled the in-ring action for the time being. The two ladies traded headlock takeovers in the opening minute before Eva slammed Bayley to the mat with a handful of hair and took control. Eva hit a suplex for a two count, but mere seconds later Bayley hit the Bayley-to-Belly and made the cover. Before the three-count however, Nia Jax yanked the referee to ringside.
Referee Charles Robinson entered the ring in time to count a near-fall for Eva Marie on a rollup attempt. Robinson was distracted momentarily by the injured ref being taken out, allowing Jax to drop Bayley with a headbutt from the apron. Eva followed up with a running senton for multiple near-falls. Eva hit repeated shoulder thrusts in the corner before Bayley snuck in a few hopeful rollup attempts. Shortly after the four-minute mark, Bayley fired off the ropes with a hard clothesline. Bayley hit a scoop suplex and began to fire up with a signature sequence in the corner, but Referee Charles Robinson strangely called for a separation.
The "separation" was enough for Eva to connect with Stale Bread #2, but Bayley managed to kick out at two. Bayley shoved Eva Marie who ran over Charles Robinson. She bumped to ringside before Bayley and Eva battled to the top rope. Bayley was briefly hindered by Nia Jax, but she fended her off and regained control on the top rope, where she planted Eva Marie from with a Bayley-To-Belly for the win.
NXT Women's Champion Bayley defeated Eva Marie in about 6:30 to retain the NXT Women's Championship.
Afterwards, replays aired. When they ended, Bayley had somehow been laid out and Nia Jax was standing over her in the ring to deliver her weak looking leg drop. Jax picked up the title belt and held it as she dropped one more leg for good measure. Jax dropped the belt on Bayley before backing up the ramp to close the show...
Zim Says: I don't think Jax is quite ready for a title program, but she is a good foil to the underdog babyface Bayley so we'll see how the feud and the impending match play out. As for tonight's match, I thought it was overly convoluted by comparison to what I know and love about NXT. They had to throw a lot of tricks out there to cover for Eva. Overall a passable segment and a decent transition to the next fees for Bayley.
Happy Thanksgiving to those who enjoy the holiday!!
Be sure to check back for the DotNet NXT Audio Recap and Hitlist.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.
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