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WWE NXT - January 8, 2015

by Samoa Rowe

-From Winter Park, FL. Our hosts are Jason Albert, Alex Riley, and Corey Graves.

-They kick things off with NXT Champion Sami Zayn making his first appearance since winning the title and getting attacked by Kevin Owens. He gets a much bigger reaction than usual with a loud “Ole” chant so he takes extra time to celebrate in the stands. He finally tries to talk but the crowd cuts him off with a “You deserve it” chant. Sami says that to him the NXT title represents his mantra of doing things his own way. He panders to the crowd, saying he’s part of a band called Sami Zayn and the Zayniacs, prompting another round of “Ole.” Zayn continues, saying that R-Evolution was the greatest night of his career, even though it didn’t end the way he wanted it to. He shared a real moment with Kevin Owens, who then ruined it by turning on him. Sami isn’t backing down from Owens or anyone else and vows to take on all challengers. He’s joined by Adrian Neville, who’s fishing for his rematch. William Regal appears and puts both wrestlers over before making their rematch official for next week. A longer than usual talking segment on NXT, but necessary for moving things forward.

-The Vaudevillians are working out in black and white. They are ready for another shot at the tag titles and look forward to proving why they are real men.

-The lamest Royal Rumble advertisement in history airs. You see, all of us normal people want to get out of work or changing diapers, but those wacky WWE stars want to stay in the ring.

Hideo Otami vs. Curtis Axel

Axel is looking to reignite his career in NXT the same way Tyson Kidd did in 2014. He’s got his work cut out for him, because there’s an audible groan in the studio when his music hits. Axel towers over Hideo and uses it to his advantage. Hideo hits a leg lariat and follows with his patented kicks. Axel recovers and wears Otami down with ground and pound type offense. After an hour of rest holds, Hideo pops up with a clothesline. Hideo snaps Axel’s neck on the ropes with a tornado DDT. Springboard clothesline by Otami gets a 2 count. Axel blocks a kick, but Otami reverses into a spin kick for the win at 5:43. Unbelievably vanilla match between two guys who are both better than this.
Winner: Hideo Otami

-Byron Saxton tries to interview Natalya about Total Divas, but Tyson Kidd interrupts to nag her about not checking on their cats (who are apparently with them at the building). Natalya reluctantly submits and heads off, leaving Tyson to self-promote in obliviously awesome fashion. We need to see more of this Kidd on Raw and Smackdown.

-Video package putting over Bull Dempsey and his path of destruction, which is now leading towards a collision with fellow bulldozer, Baron Corbin. They finally face off next week.

Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks (with Becky Lynch)

Bliss is all business and takes the fight to Sasha, looking for revenge for her recently broken nose. Banks reverses with a backbreaker for a 2 count. Alexa counters with a small package, but is clearly on defense. Sasha drives her knees into Alexa’s gut. The Bank Statement ends it at 2:04. Great squash match, Alexa is protected because of her injury, and Sasha gets put over as a crafty bully.
Winner: Sasha Banks

-Tyler Breeze’s vacation (main roster house show tour) is finally over and he’s returning… next!

Tyler Breeze vs. Chad Gable

There’s a “Let’s go, Gable” chant for the newcomer, a former Olympian. Gable scores a couple of waistlock takedowns and goes after the head. Breeze escapes a headlock and stomps a mud hole into Gable. Cue the chinlock! Gable comes back with an awesome arm drag and applies a hanging armbar. Gable has to let go and Tyler capitalizes with the Beauty Shot for the win at 2:36. Nice little win for Breeze, but I hope we see a lot more of Chad Gable.
Winner: Tyler Breeze

-Devin Taylor interviews Finn Balor about his upcoming match with Tyson Kidd. Finn says he’s looked up to Kidd for what he’s accomplished in the ring, but this cat lover needs more than 9 lives to survive against him. Short and sweet.

-They replay footage of Breeze celebrating but zoom in on a mysterious figure watching from afar.

NXT Tag Team Championship:
Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) © vs. The Vaudevillains (Simon Gotch and Aiden English)

Kalisto quickly scores a springboard cross body on Gotch. The Lucha Dragons follow with a Wheelbarrow Senton to keep Gotch on the defense. Gotch gets stretched on Sin Cara’s back but manages to drive him into the turnbuckles for a tag to English. Sin Cara gets school boyed through the ropes and pulls English to the mat. The Lucha Dragons score stereo dives on the Vaudevillains to send us to commercial. Back from the break, and they pick things up where they left off Kalisto controlling English’s arm. English counters Kalisto on the top rope to set him up as the Face in Peril. Kalisto takes a beating but manages a hurricanrana. Sin Cara tags Kalisto’s foot mid-rana to charge back into the match. Sin Cara nails the Sunset Bomb on English, but Gotch breaks the cover. The Lucha Dragons finish English with a vertical suplex/flying neck breaker combo at 8:01 (shown). That finisher needs a name, ASAP. Average match, both teams have settled into working the same formula week in and week out.
Winners and still NXT Tag Team Champions: Lucha Dragons

Final Thoughts: I guess you could call this an “off week” for NXT, as there weren’t any standout matches, but it set the table for a big episode next week. Mild thumbs in the middle.

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