By Zack Zimmerman
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NXT on WWE Network
Taped January 27 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
The opening video played… The commentators welcomed viewers and hyped Takeover Dallas in two days. American Alpha’s music hit and the duo made their way to the ring to kick off the show. A graphic hyped their upcoming title match against The Revival in Dallas. Their opponents were already waiting in the ring.
1. American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) vs Jon Skyler and Corey Hollis. Jordan ragdolled Hollis out of the gate and AA used a neat ally-oop amateur slam early. Skyler managed to tag in and briefly got the better of Gable, but Gable used his great technical work to take control and ground his opponent. Gable hit an armbreaker before Jordan tagged in and hit a big dropkick.
Gable came back in and sat in an armlock for longer than was necessary. Skyler fought to his feet and backed Gable into the corner where Hollis took control for his team. Before long, Gable sent his opponents flying with belly-to-bellies. Jordan came in with a big flapjack, his corner spear, and the ally-oop back suplex for the win.
American Alpha won in about 4:40.
The winners celebrated and the Revival were shown watching on a monitor backstage… A clip of a Finn Bálor interview from earlier in the day aired. Bálor said Joe thinks he’s bigger than NXT and is obsessed with wining the NXT Championship and beating Finn Bálor. Bálor said the reality is that Joe is obsessed with the wrong things. Finn said his obsession is being the best and that obsession brought him the NXT Championship. He said it’s why he beat Joe in London, and it’s why he’ll beat Joe in Dallas and walk out champion. “Two more days, Joe. Two more days…”
Alex Riley vs. Apollo Crews was hyped for later, as was Samoa Joe vs. Bull Dempsey… An NXT rally video aired…
Zim Says: Good interview from Bálor. That match went about two minutes longer than it needed to. It was the first time I was bored during an American Alpha match and it seemed like the crowd was too. They came back at the end, as did I, but cut out those middle two minutes and it would’ve been a much more efficient showcase.
Back in the arena, Baron Corbin made his entrance. A brief recap aired of him attacking Austin Aries during his debut last month. His opponent was already waiting in the ring.
2. Baron Corbin vs. Michael Cuellari. Cuellari hit a dropkick early, but Corbin shook it off and dropped him. Corbin teed off in the corner and then hit the Deep Six spinning side slam for the win.
Baron Corbin over Michael Cuellari in about 1:00.
The commentators noted how sharp Corbin looked and wondered if Aries had to be worries come Takeover. Corbin picked Cuellari back up and planted him with the End of Days to leave him laying. Graves speculated that something a fan said irked Corbin and inspired the post-match attack…
A graphic hyped Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura before a video package aired recapping the announcement, introducing Nakamura, and hyping the match… Samoa Joe vs. Bull Dempsey was hyped for later… The “No way Jose” vignette aired…
Zim Says: Simple, effective warm-up for Corbin going into his match with Aries.
Back in the arena, the NXT Tag Team Champions Dash and Dawson made their entrance. They were announced as such, but Corey Graves corrected her and noted that they are “The Revival.” a short but effective hype video aired of the champs. Their title defense against American Alpha in Dallas was hyped.
3. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. Tucker Knight and Steve Cutler. Cutler was backed into the enemy corner but showed some good fight and made it back to neutral ground. Curler continued to show some good fight but Dawson tagged in and dropped a suplex lift forward across the top rope. Dash and Dawson used a combo drop toe hold and elbow drop, as well as an assisted gutbuster for a near-fall. They used an assisted gordbuster and continued to isolate Cutler.
They went back to the well, but cutler reversed and made the hot tag to the tubby polka dot-wearing Knight who had an impressve run of offense. He was rolling when The Revival used a slip out to ringside and blind tag to feed into their Shatter Machine for the win.
The Revival won in about 4:45.
The champions celebrated and American Alpha were shown watching on a monitor backstage… A recap showed Samoa Joe attacking Bull Dempsey and choking him out last week before warning Bálor that his fate would be the same…
Backstage, Bull was standing by with Alex Reyes. Bull said that he was going to chalk it up to Joe’s jealousy of his conditioning, but the reality is that Joe is a bully. Bull said he won’t be bullied, and he’s going to give Joe a cheat meal of his ham hocks. Bull said the special guest coming to dinner is the “last of a dying breed” and warned Joe that “fit happens…”
Samoa Joe vs. Bull Dempsey was hyped as the main event… Apollo Crews vs. Alex Riley was hyped up next…
Zim Says: This tag match got the same time as the opener and I thought it was quite a bit more entertaining. I’m really looking forward to the tag title match in Dallas, and it’s probably the most excited I’ve ever been about a match in the NXT tag division. I don’t have much to note on the Bull interview other than there were some ironic lines at the end with Bull referencing “the last” of things.
Back in the arena, Apollo Crews made his entrance. The commentators briefly recapped Crews’s encounter with The Drifter last week. Alex Riley raged out to the ring next.
4. Apollo Crews vs. Alex Riley. Crews was making movement but Riley halted him instantly with a hard clothesline. Riley began to wear Crews down in the corner before hitting a headbutt and elbow drop for a quick pin attempt. Seconds later, Crews rallied and hit the Stinger splash and jumping clothesline. Brews hit a big enzugiri and the tossing sit-out powerbomb for the win.
Apollo Crews pinned Alex Riley in about 2:00.
Replays aired. Crews was celebrating when the screens went dark and a douchy acoustic guitar began playing. Elias Samson drifted out and sang a douchy song with an N*Sync headset. The crowd crapped all over it but Samson carried on and on. Samson slowly removed his guitar, but rather than entering the ring to confront Crews, he slung the guitar over his shoulder and backed out of the arena…
Backstage, Baron Corbin said that Austin Aries hadn’t appeared in the arena since getting beaten down when he showed up. He said Aries is safe doing interviews from home, but he knows if he shows up again he’s going to take another beating. Corbin said that Aries is going to lose in Dallas and then he can go back to wowing crowds of 50 people with his fighting spirit and Corbin will go on being the hottest star in the hottest company. Corbin said there’s no shame in losing to a bigger and better man, plus after the match Aries can sit next to Virgil and sell photos of Corbin standing over him. Corbin said the End of Days is coming for Aries and for the few fans that stick around afterwards, Aries can tell them the tale of the “Lone Wolf” Baron Corbin.
Zim Says: Hot damn! That promo was so good I don’t even care about the rest of the segment before it. Awesome stuff from Corbin. I’m not saying it’s the most hyped match going into the show, but this Aries/Corbin match has had the best direct build of anything on this Takeover card.
A video hyped Bayley vs. Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship in Dallas. Video clips were shown and soundbytes were played to build both competitors and express the significance of this matchup…
“Earlier today,” Sami Zayn gave a sit-down interview. He acknowledged that he had arrived on Raw and had his focus on Kevin Owens, but that doesn’t mean he’s taken his attention from his match with Shinsuke Nakamura in Dallas. Zayn sounds like kind of a dick when he said that this is probably the biggest match of Shinsuke’s career. Zayn said he made the big first impression with Cesaro three years ago, and that’s why he’s still sitting there. Zayn said he takes pride in how he’s helped build NXT and he’s not going to let Nakamura just waltz in. Zayn said this is once in a lifetime, even if they end up competing again down the road, there will be only one Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn at Takeover Dallas in two days…
Back in the arena, Samoa Joe made his entrance. A graphic hyped Samoa Joe challenging Finn Bálor for the NXT Championship at Takeover Dallas. Bull Dempsey made his final entrance into the NXT arena next.
5. Samoa Joe vs. Bull Dempsey. Bull brought the fight to Joe out of the gate and even took him down with a body block, despite taking himself down as well. Before long, Joe cut Dempsey off with a back elbow. Joe teed off with rapid shots in the corner and a big twisting enzugiri. Joe continued his attack and before long, he choked Bull out.
Samoa Joe beat Bull Dempsey in about 1:30.
Joe maintained the hold and wouldn’t release it despite the refs pleading with him. William Regal came down with a couple of jobbers who managed to break Joe off, but Joe quickly dispatched them and re-applied the choke. Finally, Finn Bálor hit the ring and went after Joe. the two brawled around ringside where Bálor caught Joe with the PK from the apron. Bálor hit a shotgun dropkick that knocked Joe though the barricade, but as they brawled by the announce booth, Joe sent Bálor toppling hard over the table. Bálor came flying at Joe moments later and the two continued to brawl while referees and officials separated the two. They managed to break free and continue brawling before they were finally separated to close the show…
Zim Says: Not a bad go-home segment. Between the build and it being a rematch, I’m less excited for this title match than most of the other matches on the show, but I’m sure it’ll deliver when the time comes. Overall, this show delivered some solid final hype for Takeover on Friday. The time between London and Dallas was a real down time and the build for Dallas a whole hasn’t been particularly exciting, but this show did the best it could’ve done as far as last-minute build. Despite feeling a relative lack of momentum, the Takeover Dallas lineup is killer and I expect some shakeups to result which really leave NXT feeling exciting again with some fresh matchups. I’ll be back on Friday to cover Takeover live, so feel free to tune in and watch along with me.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the DotNet NXT Audio Recap, Darren Gutteridge’s NXT Hitlist, and our NXT Takeover Dallas preview and predictions article.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.