By Zack Zimmerman
WWE NXT on the WWE Network
Aired February 10, 2016
Taped January 22 at the University of Central Florida (UCF)
The show opened with a brief package to hype the main event featuring “besties” Bayley vs. Carmella for Bayley’s title… The opening music video aired… Inside the arena, Rich Brennan welcomed viewers to UCF. The place looked like a larger-scale Full Sail with a little bit less technology. Baron Corbin made his entrance.
1. Baron Corbin vs. Johnny Gargano. The crowd chanted for “Johnny Wrestling” and Gargano quipped “that’s me.” Gargano tried to stick-and-move, which worked in the early going as Gargano kept Corbin on the defensive. All it took was a right hand from Corbin to stop Gargano’s momentum and swing it his way.
Corbin worked Gargano over in the corner and verbally accosted the referee on several occasions. Graves talked about how miserable Corbin has been since losing in the three-way and being taken out of the title picture by William Regal. Garage looked for a comeback with a mounted choke from behind. Gargano hit the rolling kick that Kalisto also uses and then followed up with a slingshot spear, but that was only good for a one-count.
Gargano hit the ropes to follow up, but Corbin planted him with a huge Deep Six spinning side slam. Corbin stalled rather than going for a cover however, and Gargano dropped Corbin with a surprise superkick for a great near-fall. The two brawled around ringside, but as soon as they re-entered the ring, Corbin connected with the End of Days for the win.
Baron Corbin over Johnny Gargano in about 6:00.
Replays aired… A replay from the three-way main event two weeks ago aired… Backstage, Sami Zayn reacted to William Regal’s decision to make a No. 1 Contendership match between Zayn and Samoa Joe. Zayn said initially he was disappointed because he thought he won, but he isn’t complaining. He said his thing is overcoming obstacles and this is just another one. Zayn said next week is the first time he’ll ever face Joe in a singles match and he doesn’t know what’s going to happen, but he’s not going to let Joe stand in the way of him becoming the first-ever two-time NXT Champion.
The main event women’s title match was hyped… An ominous Vaudevillains vignette aired…
Zim Says: That was pretty good. Gargano plays a very good underdog and the size difference was a nice visual to add to that story. The match didn’t overstay its welcome, which is a big thing in differentiating a good match vs. bad match for Baron Corbin at this point. Hot crowd too.
Back in the arena, The Hype Bros made their entrance. Their opponents were already in the ring. They were donning matching maroon trunks but were never announced.
2. The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder) vs. Jon Skyler and Corey Hollis. Ryder opened up working over one of the jobbers. Mojo tagged in and Ryder whipped the opponent into a hard clothesline from Mojo. The Hype Bros knocked both opponents to ringside and looked to single one out in the ring, but a distraction led to them briefly getting the heat on Ryder. Mojo got the hot tag and after a Stinger Splash, a pounce, the Hyperdrive facebuster, the Broski Boot, and the Hype Ryder, they won.
The Hype Bros won in about 3:30.
Zim Says: Hype.
Backstage, Bayley and Carmella were actually interviewed together for their title match in the main event. Bayley said the only thing harder than winning the championship has been keeping the championship. She said she’s proud of Carmella, but she’s not ready to let go of her title. Carmella said that this is the biggest opportunity of her career. She said that Bayley will always be her best friend, but when the bell rings that friendship goes on the shelf. They agreed let the better woman win, and shook hands before walking off set… [C]
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe in a No. 1 Contendership match was hyped for next week’s show, and Graves revealed that Joe would be giving his thoughts on the match later in the show… Back in the arena, Alexa Bliss made her entrance with her boys by her side. Cameron was out next to silence and a smattering of boos.
3. Alexa Bliss (w/ Blake and Murphy) vs. Cameron. Bliss got the better of Cameron with an arm drag before things briefly broke down into a cat fight. Cameron began to work the heat in this heel vs. heel match and Cameron hit a stiff double-knee strike to the back of the neck while Bliss was draped across the middle rope. Bliss took a powder at ringside, and then fired up when she re-entered the ring.
Bliss then took her turn working the heat in this heel vs. heel match, although the crowd would occasionally cheer spots designed to make Cameron look like a jabronie. The crowd grew impatient while Cameron hit a spinning face buster for a two-count. Bliss came right back with a small package for two, but Cameron put her right back down with a neckbreaker for another two-count. Moments later, Bliss hit her back-handspring knee drop and then came off the top with her Sparkle Splash for the win.
Alexa Bliss beat Cameron in about 4:15.
The segment closed with Blake and Murphy hoisting Bliss on their shoulders… Both main event competitors were shown preparing backstage…
Zim Says: That match wasn’t as bad as I expected based on our correspondent’s report, but that’s a long way off from calling it a good match. I will say that Bliss is becoming an act that I’m really starting to enjoy in the division.
Backstage, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady reminded tag champs Dash and Dawson that they have unfinished business and they’re going to follow up their NXT Tag Team of the Year Award with another this year. They were singing when Chad Gable and Jason Jordan walked on set. Jordan said that there’s no way that Enzo and Cass can go back-to-back with them in the mix. Gable implied that it being an Olympic year turned things in their favor, but the other three guys weren’t seeing the connection. They agreed that whatever the rest of the year may hold, they’re fighting together for an eight-man tag next week and they’re coming out with the win. Gable tried to get everyone to do his line at the end, but they all just walked away on him.
Back in the arena, The Drifter drifted to the ring. His opponent, Jesse Sorensen, was already in the ring but received an introduction.
4. Elias Samson vs. Jesse Sorensen. Graves accused Samson of being a poser and actually being the guy who sits by the jukebox listening to Nickelback. Funny. Some people in the crowd chanted “drift away” while Samson was busy doing absolutely nothing. He hit a few knee strikes and some knee drops and a choke with, you guessed it, his knee. Samson continued to take way too long doing nothing, before he pushed his opponent off the ropes and hit another knee strike. Go figure. He hit a neckbreaker and won.
Elias Samson squashed Jesse Sorensen in about 2:30.
The commentators wondered if/when we’ll actually find out what this guy is about… A replay aired from last week’s main event with Finn Bálor beating Apollo Crews before shaking his hand… Backstage, Apollo Crews said he had no regrets about taking the match. He said he wanted a conclusion to their match from a few months ago and he gave it everything he had, but the result wasn’t the result he’d hoped for. He said he had a brush with the best and now he knows what it takes to get there. He said he’s not going to waste time talking about it, but there’s going to be a new Apollo Crews the next time we see him in the ring…
Zim Says: I really liked what Crews had to say in his promo and from a story perspective, it’s a great device to keep him moving on the upward track. I’m just not left entirely convinced when i hear Crews speak. He doesn’t come across as genuinely confident, but rather a guy over-thinking the lines he has to deliver and delivering them awkwardly as a result. As for The Drifter, I agree with Orlando. Drift away.
Bayley was shown backstage preparing for the main event… Back in the arena, Carmella made her entrance. She cut her usual promo on the way to the ring. The champ Bayley was out next to her usual big ovation. Even Carmella was clapping along to Bayley’s entrance. Both ladies received full formal in-ring introductions.
5. NXT Women’s Champion Bayley vs. Carmella for the NXT Women’s Championship. The two opened with a hug of course. They opened with some chain wrestling, with Bayley mostly in control. Bayley hit a fancy lucha arm drag off the middle rope, but after an atomic drop from Carmella and a double-dropkick, the two squared at a stalemate. Bayley began to rally with a jumping clothesline and a big knee drop for two. [C]
Back from a lengthy break, Bayley had Carmella grounded with an armbar. Carmella mounted a comeback with a Thesz Press and a ‘rana out of the corner. Bayley kicked out of a near-fall and began to rally with her comeback series of shots in the corner. Bayley hit a big powerslam mid-ring for a near-fall. Bayley looked to follow up, but Carmella dumped Bayley out of the ring through the ropes.
Carmella looked unsure, but then opted to hit the ropes and wipe Bayley out at ringside with a nice looking dive through the ropes. The crowd popped big and Carmella did her little shuffle in celebration. Carmella then thought about it, and decided to hit the same dive again. This time, she quickly tossed Bayley back into the ring and went for three consecutive pinfalls, all for two. After an exchange, Carmella hit the Flatliner and looked for her finishing submission, but Bayley slipped out. Thus began a lengthy series of the ladies trading rollups, which ended when Bayley sank in a deep jackknife cradle and secured the pinfall.
Bayley defeated Carmella in about 8:15 to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
Post-match, the two hugged in the ring and Carmella left the ring for Bayley to celebrate. Before long however, Bayley’s attention went to the ramp where Carmella was being mugged by Eva Marie and Nia Jax. Bayley ran for the save but with Carmella already down the heels isolated Bayley and dragged her to the ring where they put a beating on her. The crowd chanted “you can’t wrestle” loudly. Moments later, the crowd popped big when they realized Asuka was walking down the ramp. She jumped up on the apron with was enough to back the heels off Bayley. Asuka entered the ring and stared both Eva and Jax out of the ring without having to touch them.
Asuka held the ring while Bayley made it back to her feet. Once she was standing by Asuka’s side, Asuka turned to her and the two faced off. The crowd chanted “yes!” before Asuka simply brushed her hand over the women’s title belt and smiled. Asuka walked backstage and Bayley looked like she realized what she was in for before turning her attention back to helping her friend Carmella…
Backstage, Samoa Joe addressed Sami Zayn. He said Zayn is obviously ungrateful. He said that he saved Zayn’s career and life (when he debuted) but now he sees that he needs to take that all back. He said that when Zayn looks into his eyes, he will see the inevitable standing before him because Joe is the next NXT Champion…
Zim Says: Great promo from Joe and great angle to get the ball rolling on Asuka vs. Bayley. The match with Carmella wasn’t particularly good, but it wasn’t particularly bad either. It was more just a relatively forgettable match that adds another name to Bayley’s list of defenses. Overall, this show was benefitted by the fresh setting and (for the most part) the crowd, but it also followed the same pattern that the last month of shows has followed. Decent opener, decent main event, pointless squashes filling out the bulk of the show. I said the same last week: things will pick up as the build for Takeover Dallas picks up, but I’m overly eager for that to start because these holding pattern/seed planting shows have gotten old.
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.