1/11 Zim’s WWE NXT TV Review: Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano vs. The Revival for the NXT Tag Titles

By Zack Zimmerman

WWE NXT on WWE Network
Taped January 5, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

A brief video hyped the main event of the show, an NXT Tag Team Championship match between #DIY and The Revival… The opening video played…

The commentators welcomed viewers inside Full Sail for the first time in 2017. Tom Phillips, Percy Watson, and Corey Graves checked in from the booth before throwing to a breaking news clip. A camera caught up with Billie Kaye and Peyton Royce attacking NXT Women’s Champion Asuka in the parking lot as she was walking into the arena. They talked some trash and left her laying as they walked off…

Back inside the arena, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce made their entrance for a tag match. Their opponents were already waiting in the ring.

1. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce vs. Sarah Bridges and Macey Evans. Kay took control and tossed Evans into a big spinning boot from Royce. They went back to the well a short time later, but Evans ducked and Bridges took the hot tag. She came in with a kick and whipped Kay hard into the ropes throat-first. Her run on offense didn’t last long, however, as the heels used a referee distraction and raked the eyes to take advantage. Peyton drove Bridges face-first into Kay’s knee with a bulldog and they scored the pinfall.

Billie Kay and Peyton Royce beat Sarah Bridges and Macey Evans in about 2:05.

After replays, Kay and Royce had microphones in the ring. The crowd chanted “Asuka’s gonna kill you,” but Peyton said they’re Asuka’s top competition. Billie said they run the women’s division. Peyton said Asuka’s title belongs to them. Suddenly, Asuka limped out from the back and made her way to the ring. Referees tried to stop her, but she made it to the ring only to take another beating from Kay and Royce.

Out of nowhere, Nikki Cross hit the ring and attacked Kay and Royce before running them off. As they regained their composure on the ramp, Cross went to the top rope and wiped out a recovering Asuka with a missile dropkick. She stood over Asuka and laughed in a deranged manner before slowly exiting…

The NXT Tag Team Championship match was advertised for later in the show… An exclusive interview with NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura was also advertised for later.. [C]

Zim Says: The match was nothing, but I liked the angle afterwards. They have a couple of potentially big matches on the table with Asuka vs. Cross and Asuka vs. Ember Moon, but it looks like they’re going to hold off on giving any of them singles matches at this point, as it appears Moon still isn’t in the picture but Cross, Kay, and Royce are set up for what looks like a Fatal Four-Way.

A replay showed the angle that took place before the break. They also showed Asuka getting up angrily and shoving one of the referees to the mat…

Backstage, a new interviewer randomly jumped out of the shadows to get a word with Nikki Cross who was walking with Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe. Cross didn’t let the interviewer speak, but declared that she’s going to take the Women’s Championship from Asuka. Eric Young said the taking begins with this. They walked away, but as the camera panned over, it revealed Damo watching from the shadows…

Back in the arena, The Drifter was sitting on the stage. He played a song on his guitar and sang as the crowd heckled him. He finally finished up and slowly completed his entrance. His opponent was already waiting in the ring.

2. Elias Samson vs. Jonathan Cruz. Samson took ahold of the wrist and used his strength to hoist Cruz overhead and work the arm. Cruz snuck in a few quick roll-up attempts and got the better of Samson with a running headscissors, but Samson leveled him with a clothesline and took over. Samson worked Cruz over for the next couple of minutes, stretching him around the ringpost and slamming him into the apron before connecting on a running knee strike.

Cruz tried to fire back with punches, but Samson flattened him with a big boot. Samson hit a reverse Roll of the Dice and scored the pinfall.

Elias Samson over Jonathan Cruz in about 3:25.

In anticipation for tonight’s title match, the commentators threw to a brief video recapping the first big encounter between #DIY and The Revival at NXT Takeover Brooklyn II, where then-champions The Revival managed to retain their titles…

Zim Says: I was stunned when that match ended and my stopwatch only said 3:30. Unreal how Drifter matches feel like they’re happening in slow motion. I would’ve sworn that was at least 5 or 6 minutes.

Back in the arena, Andrade “Cien” Almas made his entrance. His opponent, Oney Lorcan, was out next to a good reaction with the crowd chanting along to his Bro Hymn knockoff theme. A brief series of replays recapped Lorcan’s upset win over Almas in Osaka, Japan last month.

3. Andrade Almas vs. Oney Lorcan. Lorcan whipped Almas to the mat, but Almas rolled through and hit his tranquillo pose. Lorcan tossed Almas into the ropes, but once again Almas stopped himself and hit the pose in the ropes. Without hesitation, Lorcan charged in with a drop kick that wiped Almas out to ringside.

Almas tried regaining himself on the outside. but Lorcan followed up by leaping off the ringsteps into a big blockbuster. Lorcan tossed Almas back into the ring and looked to follow up, but Almas caught him with a backbreaker and then dropped an elbow across Lorcan’s chest. Almas charged at Lorcan in the corner, but stopped short and just slapped him in the face.

Lorcan fought out of a neckbreaker, but as he tried to gain momentum he ran right into a dropkick from Almas. Almas synched in a Fujiwara armbar, but Lorcan managed to fight out. He began to rally and connected with some hard charging uppercuts before tossing Almas overhead with a suplex. Lorcan looked for his running blockbuster, but Almas ducked it. HE teed off with shots, but Lorcan dug deep and smashed Almas into the turnbuckles with a running Alabama slam.

There was a moment where the referee backed Lorcan off while Almas was in the ropes. This allowed Almas to hit a kick to the kneecap and drop Lorcan with the hammerlock DDT for the win.

Andrade Almas pinned Oney Lorcan in about 4:55.

After replays, one of the interviewers joined Almas in the ring and asked what we can expect from him in 2017. Almas spoke in Spanish and the crowd chanted “what?” so Almas got angry and told them to shut up. He mocked them for not understanding Spanish and said that 2017 is his year. He told the crowd to shut up again before he walked out…

The commentators plugged a WWE.com article which ranked #DIY vs. The Revival at NXT Takeover Toronto the top WWE match of 2016. A brief recap video aired on the match, showing the highlights and the finish which brought #DIY tag team gold for the first time…

The interview with NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura was advertised up next…

Zim Says: Fun match from Lorcan and Almas. It didn’t last long, but the pacing and physicality was solid.

An interview from “earlier today” with Shinsuke Nakamura, conducted by Tom Phillips, aired. Phillips congratulated Nakamura on his wins in Osaka and Melbourne, and asked how it felt to have Samoa Joe in the past. Nakamura said he fought hard against Joe and is proud to still be champion. He was asked to react to Bobby Roode becoming No. 1 Contender. Nakamura said he’s one of the best in the world. He said he looks good and sounds good, but he’s not strong and he’s not a king, so he won’t be NXT Champion.

Phillips claimed that Roode refused to appear on camera in advance of their title match, but he gave Phillips something to give to Nakamura. Phillips handed Nakamura Bobby Roode’s ticket from NXT Takeover Dallas in 2016, where Roode was watching from the crowd as Nakamura made his debut. Nakamura was intrigued by the ticket, and that ended the interview…

The contract signing for the NXT Championship match was advertised for next week…

Back in the arena, former two-time NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival made their entrance. They got a big reaction from the crowd who appear to be cheering for them out of respect, but they didn’t acknowledge it or do anything differently. NXT Tag Team Champions #DIY were out next to a big reaction of their own. Both teams received formal in-ring introductions. At that point, the crowd booed the challengers and cheered the champions roundly.

4. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. #DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) for the NXT Tag Team Championships. #DIY cleared the challengers from the ring shortly after the minute-mark going into a break. [C] Back in the ring, Gargano avoided some offense from Dawson, but he was unaware of a blind Revival tag and Dash clipped his knee right out from under him. From there, The Revival went to work on the knee, as has been the story throughout this feud.

Around the four-minute mark, Dash wrapped Gargano’s leg hard against the ringpost, and frequent tags kept the challengers in firm control. They hung Gargano in the tree of woe and pounded away at the knee. Gargano managed to reverse a suplex attempt into an inside cradling had the visual pinfall, but Dawson distracted the referee and Dash managed to kick out at the last second. The Revival dumped Gargano to ringside over-confidently, and he Dash went out in pursuit, Gargano shoved him hard into the ringpost.

Gargano slowly made it back into the ring and crawled towards his corner to tag out, but at the very last instant, Gargano leapt for the tag only to be cut off in mid-air by Dawson. The Revival remained in control going into the final break of the show. [C] Back from break, Gargano was still isolated until he connected with an enzuigiri and made the hot tag.

Ciampa came in on fire as he charged at Dawson with a high knee strike. Ciampa connected with rolling German suplexes and then connected with a hard sliding knee strike, but Dawson managed to kick out before the three-count. Wilder helped Dawson escape a suplex attempt and The Revival turned it into a hard lariat and jackknife pin attempt for a near-fall.

The Revival looked to follow up with a Hart Attack clothesline, but Ciampa ducked the line and Gargano connected with a superkick. Ciampa grounded Dash in the bridging armbar and looked to have him in trouble, but Dawson charged in and shoved Gargano into them, breaking it up. Gargano made a blind tag and caught Dawson with a rolling kick, but he was caught on the slingshot spear attempt. Dawson looked to op him up with the Shatter Machine, but Ciampa broke it up.

Action spilled to ringside where Gargano wiped Dawson out with a high-impact suicide dive and Ciampa crashed through Dash and the timekeepers table with a flying knee off the ring apron. Things finally made their way back into the ring, where after a hotshot on the top rope, Ciampa was spiked by a Dawson DDT for another very good near-fall. Things broke down and both members of #DIY fended off The Revival with strikes. This left The Revival in the middle of the ring attempting to help each other back to their feet. As they did, #DIY charged in with the running knee and superkick combo on both members of The Revival. Both men made covers and they secured the pinfall.

#DIY retained the NXT Tag Team Championships over The Revival in about 14:00.

A lengthy series of replays aired before #DIY were handed their titles in the ring and began to celebrate. Suddenly, The Authors of Pain’s music played and Paul Ellering made his way onto the stage. Out of the crowd, Akem and Rezar hit the ring and ambushed the tag champs. They smashed them together in powerbomb position before slamming them to the mat twice respectively. Replays aired and the segment wrapped up with Gargano and Ciampa trying to recover in the ring…

Backstage in his office, William Regal was standing by with one of the interviewers. He said that no team has more momentum than #DIY right now, but The Authors look like a threat to that so at Takeover San Antonio, #DIY will defend the tag titles against The Authors of Pain (which had already been announced over a month ago). He was also announcing the contract signing for next week, when Asuka burst through the door in shambles. She had makeup running down her face and her clothes were all messy from the attack earlier. She implored Regal to make the title match for Takeover. Regal asked “against who?” and Asuka snapped “all of them!” The camera zoomed in on her tear-filled eyes and the show ended…

Zim Says: Very nice main event tag match. Obviously not in the same class as either of their Takeover matches, but these teams are incapable of having a bad match together and I’m always engaged by the way the matches build on one another. The Revival’s heat segments don’t always make for the most exciting action throughout, but they allow the match to build strongly and once they get going, there’s no slowing these teams down. I just question how a #DIY/Authors match will be perceived after a run of so many good matches between #DIY and The Revival.

Overall, this show was some hit and some miss. I could’ve done without the Drifter and I didn’t think Nakamura’s interview was particularly good or even as endearing as he has the tendency to be at other times. However, I liked what they’re doing to advance things in the women’s division and tag division. They don’t have much time to build up the San Antonio Takeover and they have a lot of work to do if they think they’re going to get people excited for Nakamura vs. Roode. That’s on them. We’ll see how they do with the contract signing next week. Until then, folks, thanks for reading along!

You can check back tomorrow for the Dot Net NXT Audio Recap available to Dot Net Members.

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



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