By John Moore
NXT TV on WWE Network
Taped February 1, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
The NXT intro video hyped the two title matches for this episode which was the Women’s Title on the line with Peyton Royce facing Asuka as well as DIY vs. the Authors of Pain. Tom Philips introduced the matches from within the building. Nigel McGuiness and Percy Watson were also on commentary. Philips also recapped Kassius Ohno returning last week. Patrick Clark made his entrance for the upcoming match. Nigel said that Patrick Clark’s attitude and look reminds of “Showtime” Percy Watson…
1. Patrick Clark vs. Sean Maluta. Maluta wanted to start off with the Code of Honor, but Clark just shoved Maluta and did some flamboyant poses. Maluta took the action to Clark. After a knee to the gut, Maluta hit a sitout front Suplex followed by a Shining Wizard to lead to the nearfall. Clark took control after the nearfall and hit some strong right hand moves. Watson pointed out that Clark learned his fighting skills from Military school. Clark tossed Maluta around.
Maluta came back with a chop. Patrick Clark quickly counter and hit a modified version of the Curb Stomp (with the Knee). Clark picked up the victory.
Patrick Clark defeated Sean Maluta via pinfall in 2:39.
Philips hyped the rest of the card before the commercial break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A decent undercard encounter. When I attended the San Jose NXT taping, the crowd was really into Clark’s Prince act, but he doesn’t go all out enough. He should at least do Dave Chappelle’s Prince voice, right?
Eric Young and Sanity were getting warmed up around a dumpster fire. EY asked what kind of man knows that he is walking towards his end while inviting his friends. EY said this man was Dillinger and that Dillinger was a disease that needs to be eradicated. EY asked Dillinger to let him be the one that ends it. Alone. Nikki Cross said otherwise they are going to have to burn down the whole world…
John’s Thoughts: Maybe they can borrow the gasoline from Randy Orton to help with that burning?
Peyton Royce made her entrance accompanied by Billie Kay. She still really likes her flower and Royce was in street clothes. Mike Rome handled the formal ring introductions for the Title Match…
2. Asuka vs. Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay) for the NXT Women’s Championship. Peyton Royce started off with a side headlock takedown which Asuka returned the favor with the same move. Nigel McGuiness talked about the great Japanese “sports entertainers” like the Jumping Bomb Angels. Royce managed to lock in another side headlock. Asuka fought out and hit some forearms on Royce. Asuka then hit a hiptoss. Royce missed a Wizard. Asuka and Royce missed kicks for the stalemate.
Asuka shook her behind to mock Royce followed by her consecutive hip attacks. Royce baited Asuka to the outside and ringed the arm on the ringpost. Royce picked up a two count sending us to the commercial break. [C]
Royce locked in the right arm of Asuka while maintaining control of the action. Royce targeted Asuka’s left arm which Nigel pointed out might hinder Asuka’s submission finisher. Royce locked in an overhead hammerlock. Royce wildly missed a reverse back kick. Asuka gained a rest period after hitting Royce with a suplex. Royce and Asuka traded forearms. Asuka hit Royce with a missile dropkick. After a raised knee strike Asuka gained a nearfall after a shining wizard.
Royce came back with a jawbreaker. Asuka went for a rollup to no avail. Royce came back with a rollup of her own. Royce then hit a jumping fist to the back of Asuka’s head to pick up a two count. Royce had the Fisherman Suplex blocked but she then hit a spinning back kick. Asuka converted the jumping crossarmbreaker into the Asuka Lock to pick up the win.
Asuka defeated Peyton Royce via submission in 7:52 to retain the NXT Women’s Championship…
Royce and Kay put the boots to Asuka post-match. They rammed Asuka’s left shoulder into the ringpost and targeted the injured shoulder. Ember Moon’s music played and she took down the heels. She hit consecutive kicks on Kay followed by an elbow. She hit a diving fist on Royce. Asuka stood up with her sadistic smile as the heels rolled away. Asuka then held up her title to Moon to foreshadow a future encounter…
John’s Thoughts: While this was a good match, it wasn’t quite a title match. This was more like tune up match for Asuka as we’ve seen in the past with non-title designations. The heels targeting Asuka’s left arm was smart. I hope the ending means we’ll finally get Ember Moon vs. Asuka, but they could easily go to Billie Kay trying to take advantage of the injured arm of Asuka. By the way, I’m really enjoying Nigel McGuiness in his WWE run way more than I did in his random ROH appearances. He really helped add to the story of this match.
The commentators recapped Shinsuke Nakamura’s injury from the match against Bobby Roode. They also went over clips from Kassius Ohno’s return and verbal exchange with Bobby Roode from last week…
NXT general manager William Regal announced Bobby Roode will be defending his NXT Championship against Kassius Ohno on March 15… Paul Ellering was giving some words of encouragement backstage heading into their title defense… [C]
During the commercial, a video package aired for WWE UK Competitor, Wolfgang. Tom Philips announced that Shinsuke Nakamura will be in the arena next week. This led into the tag title rematch… [C]
3. The Authors of Pain (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Tag Titles. Ciampa started the match off against Rezar. Razar had the power advantage to start off which Ciampa couldn’t overcome. Gargano tagged in and DIY hit a double spear on Rezar. They gave Akam a double clothesline over the top rope. An author managed to give Ciampa a powerbomb on the ringpost to lead to a pin attempt. The authors hit several elbows in tandem. The Authors worked isolation in their corner.
Ciampa tried to fight out but Akam hit Ciampa with a sidewalk slam. Rezar hit Ciampa with a roundhouse to the upper back. Ciampa tried to get some checks to the gut of Rezar but Rezar nosold it and maintained dominance. Ciampa tried next with several chops. Rezar no sold that and slaps to the face. Akam tagged in and the did a dual lift boot drop move.[C]
An author had Ciampa locked in a nerve hold. Ciampa dodged an elbow to send in Gargano for the hot tag. Akam no sold some flying forearms. Gargano sent Akam to the outside and kept him outside with an overhead roundhouse and tope. Gargano hit Rezar with a springboard DDT to earn a pin attempt on the Author. Gargano and Ciampa shook up Akam with double boots and Ciampa grounded Akam with a discus clothesline. Ciampa locked in a nice armbar which Rezar broke up.
Rezar took Ciampa to the top rope and went for a superplex but it was blocked. Ciampa slipped down and went for a power bomb. Gargano kicked Akam out of the way. Gargano helped Ciampa and they managed to hit Rezar with a double powerbomb. This lead to a nearfall. Ciampa tagged Gargano and they went for their stereo kick finisher. The Authors recovered and quickly grounded the former tag champs. Ciampa and Gargano rolled out of the Author’s double powerbomb finisher. Gargano and Ciampa locked in stereo crossfaces. The Revival interfered to cause the DQ.
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano defeated The Authors of Pain via DQ in 9:58. The Authors of Pain retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.
After disposing of Gargano to the outside, The Revival hit Ciampa with the Shatter Machine. One of the AOP members hit a double clothesline on Dawson. Wilder sent an Author to the outside by pulling the rope down. The Revival hit the other Author with the Shatter Machine to walk out standing tall over their two tag team adversaries. Ellering yelled at the Revival as NXT ended with ten minutes left before the top of the hour…
John’s Thoughts: Even though they billed this episode as somewhat big due to two title matches, they were more setup matches for encounters down the road. The tag title picture might be the best built title scene in NXT at the moment with three tag teams that can be considered championship worthy. Even the AOP are doing a decent job as the big man champs because they play their roles properly and have the right amount of aggression (unlike the Ascension, who had a ton of dull moments in their matches). Overall, this show was a step in the right direction for the tag team and women’s divisions.
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