3/16 Zim’s WWE NXT Live Coverage: The Vaudevillains vs. American Alpha to become No. 1 Contenders to the NXT Tag Titles, Bayley and Asuka vs. Nia Jax and Eva Marie, plus appearances by Shinsuke Nakamura and Austin Aries

Logo_NXT_dn_crop600By Zack Zimmerman

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NXT on WWE Network
Taped January 27 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

A recap showed Samoa Joe defeating Sami Zayn in last week’s 2-out-of-3 falls number-one contender match…The opening video played…

Inside the arena, Sami Zayn made his way to the ring to a nice ovation from the crowd. They chanted his name and once they concluded, he began by saying that last week he went to war with Samoa Joe. Zayn said normally it’s humbling to come out and admit coming up short, but he’s not embarrassed because he went toe-to-toe with Joe for nearly an hour and it could’ve gone either way. Zayn said Joe is a world class competitor but his goal is still to become a 2-time NXT Champion. He said the only thing nagging at him is that Takeover Dallas is going to steal the spotlight that weekend, but as he continued, NXT GM William Regal’s music hit and he interrupted.

Regal came out onto he stage and said that as a pioneer of NXT and one of the top competitors there, Sami Zayn deserves something special for Wrestlemania weekend. He said that Zayn deserves an opponent who is one of the best talents in the world, and he’s NXT’s newest signee. Static took over the big screen and when it cleared, it revealed Shinsuke Nakamura. He said “NXT, Sami Zayn, I will see you in Dallas, when Shinsuke Nakamura takes over.” The crowd chanted “holy shit” and Sami Zayn’s face conveyed a similar expression. The commentators freaked out and Sami Zayn left to his music…

The commentators recapped what just happened before turning toward hyping the main event tag match and the ladies tag match coming up later…

Zim Says: Well that’s certainly exciting. It’s one of the occasions where I wish NXT had more live aspects so things like this could remain more of a surprise, but great news nonetheless. Nakamura has so much to offer.

Back in the arena, the Hype Bros made their entrance. Their opponents were already in the ring.

1. The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder) vs. Angelo Dawkins and Kenneth Crawford. The Hype Bros were in control for the opening couple of minutes, including a Broski Boot-turned double dropkick through the ropes. After a very short heat on Zack Ryder, Mojo got the hot tag and cleaned house. He hit a big discus punch and then they connected with the Hype Ryder to secure the pinfall…

The Hype Bros won in about 3:35.

A recap showed NXT’s second annual appearance at the Arnold Classic, which featured all of the NXT talent and appearances from Triple H and Arnold Schwarzenegger himself…

Zim Says: The Hype Bros still don’t do much for me, but I must admit that they’re getting over with the Full Sail crowd. obviously we’ve seen that that’s not an accurate reflection of how acts will fare outside of that environment, but the two aren’t dying the death that I foresaw when they first paired up.

Backstage, Emma and Dana Brooke were walking when they approached Deonna Perazzo. They mocked her for not listening to them about Asuka and then getting beat by her again. Emma said tonight Deonna is in for something worse because the Emmalution can’t and won’t stop. Donna spoke up and said it could be stopped and it will be tonight. Dana said that if she’s taking this so seriously, then they will too. Dana patted her on the head and the two took off…

Back in the arena, Deonna Perazzo made her entrance. Emma was out next with Dana Brooke alongside.

2. Emma (w/ Dana Brooke) vs. Deonna Perazzo. Emma worked Deonna over aggressively throughout the opening minutes, even receiving a moderate “lets go Emma” chant from the crowd. Emma hit her low running crossbody in the corner, but went to a mat hold rather than following up as usual. Deonna made a short comeback but before she gained too much momentum Emma caught her in the Tarantula in the ropes. Emma stomped Deonna’s face into the mat and put her in the Emma lock for the win.

Emma forced Deonna Perazzo to submit in about 3:50.

A recap showed The Revival retaining the NXT Tag Team Championships last Saturday at WWE Roadblock… The main event No. 1 contenders tag match was hyped… [C]

Zim Says: Evil Emma doing Evil Emma stuff will always get a thumbs up for me, though this didn’t feel very significant aside from getting a bit of heat back onto Emma.

The Vaudevillains were shown warming up backstage… Back in the arena, Tomasso Ciampa stormed his way to the ring. his opponent was already waiting.

3. Tomasso Ciampa vs. Jesse Sorensen. Ciampa hit a dropkick right at the bell and began rocking Sorensen with a series of hard knee strikes. Sorensen fought out of a power bomb lift, but Ciampa put him right back down with a hard clothesline. The commentators spoke about how Ciampa had been getting his feet under him in NXT lately and tonight he’s showing a new level of intensity.

Ciampa was rolling until he ran right into a great looking dropkick from Sorensen. Sorensen’s momentum didn’t last long as Ciampa hit a knee strike with Sorensen doubled over in the turnbuckles. Ciampa landed some ground-and-pound before applying his bridging armbar for the win…

Tomasso Ciampa over Jesse Sorensen in about 2:30.

American Alpha were shown preparing backstage… An Austin Aries interview was hyped for later in the show… The ladies’ tag match was hyped up next…

Zim Says: They’ve certainly been talking Ciampa up on commentary his past few appearances and with him picking up wins as of late, I’m curious to see what this leads to for him and/or the opponent that they’re building him up for.

A recap showed Eva Marie and Nia Jax putting a beatdown on Bayley and Carmella after their title match last month before Asuka hit the ring and made the save… Back in the arena, Nia Jax was out first. Eva Marie made her entrance next. Asuka was the third entrant, before the NXT Women’s Champion rounded out the competitors for the match.

4. NXT Women’s Champion Bayley and Asuka vs. Nia Jax and Eva Marie. The crowd loved Bayley and hated Eva, as per usual. Asuka tagged in and Eva tried to scurry back to her corer, but Asuka cut her off. Eva landed a forearm, but Asuka smirked it off and completely wore Eva out with stiff strikes and kicks. Asuka wiped Eva out with a flying hip attack before Bayley tagged in.

Nia Jax managed to make a blind tag and crushed Bayley with a big Samoan drop, only for Eva Marie to re-enter the match and sit in a hold with Bayley. There was a paint-by-numbers hope spot for Bayley that Eva was a few steps behind on before Bayley dumped her on the back of her head with a suplex. Nia Jax came in looking to drop a leg but Bayley evaded and it landed on Eva. Jax was cleared from the ring before Asuka hit a kick from the apron and Bayley hit the Bayley-to-Belly for the win.

Bayley and Asuka beat Eva Marie and Nia Jax in about 4:00.

Post-match, GM William Regal’s music interrupted the celebration and he once again made his way out onto the stage. Regal congratulated the victors. Regal said Bayley sets the standard for what a champion should be and Asuka has elevated the most standout ladies roster in the industry. With this, Regal announced that the new number one contender and Bayley’s next challenger at Takeover Dallas will be Asuka. Bayley’s face expressed the weight of the challenge she’s in for and Asuka just let out her ear-to-ear smile before leaving the ring to the champion…

A recap showed Baron Corbin attacking Austin Aries during his debut segment two weeks ago… The commentators conducted a picture-in-picture interview with Austin Aries. They welcomed him and asked how Dallas will be different from two weeks ago. Aries started by saying that he’s happy to be in NXT. He turned to Corbin and said that Corbin made a mistake by attacking him rather than just coming out and asking for his advise. Aries said that Corbin wants to be champion and Aries has been a champion everywhere he’s been.

Aries said he wasn’t signed because he’s 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds. He said he’s been the greatest at what he does for over a decade and Corbin will learn that the only thing anyone gets handed in this business are lessons. He declared himself the greatest man that ever lived and said that at Takeover Dallas, it’s going to be a bad day to be Baron Corbin… The main event was hyped up next… A commercial hyped Asuka vs. Emma for next week’s show…

Back in the arena, American Alpha made their entrance. The Vaudevillains were out next.

5. The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) vs. American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) to determine the No. 1 Contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championships. Gable and Gotch spent the opening minute being awesome on the mat, before English tagged in and ate a big judo throw. American Alpha hit a nice double dropkick to send English to ringside and then cleared Gotch out as well with a double clothesline. [C]

Back in the ring, Gotch was somehow in control of Gable as the Vaudevllains isolated him in their corner. English had a chin lock applied but clawed away at the face as soon as it was out of the referee’s sight. The Vaudes continued their assault on Gable until Gable managed to use a sunset roll to send Gotch’s head into the bottom rope. Jordan took the hot take and came in wild as always. He hit a capture suplex on Gotch and a back suplex on English, but before the babyfaces could hit their finish it was broken up.

English missed a Swanton, but Gable followed up with a wicked rolling Chaos Theory German suplex for a near-fall that Gotch broke up. Jordan wiped out Gotch with a huge belly-to-belly throw on the floor, but English caught Gable with a huge sit-out power bomb for a near-fall. Unbeknownst to English, Jordan tagged himself in and caught English with his lunging spear in the corner. Wasting no time, American Alpha hit the ally-oop back suplex and scored the clean pin.

American Alpha defeated The Vaudevillains in about 7:00 to become No. 1 Contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championships.

Zim Says: That match got really fun down the stretch. I would’ve liked to see this get some more time on a show that didn’t already have so much going on, but I enjoyed it a lot while it lasted. The finish is a no-brainer, so I’m not really sure what more needs to be said other than Gable and Jordan are arguably NXT’s hottest act rolling into WrestleMania weekend, which is a great thing for the tag division. Overall, this show was action packed, fast-paced, and super newsworthy. I fell way behind in coverage because of this and there was so much that I didn’t get the chance to express here that I’ll be sure to touch on more in tomorrow’s ALL-ACCESS NXT AUDIO REVIEW, so be sure to tune in for that. But as a whole this show was a nice return to form after a series of tapings post-London that really dropped NXT into a holding pattern lull. All eyes towards a stacked Takeover Dallas show!

Be sure to check back for the DotNet NXT Audio Recap (WHICH WILL BE ALL ACCESS THIS WEEK) and Darren Gutteridge’s NXT Hitlist.

Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.


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