January 21, 2015
Full Sail University
Episode 260 of NXT kicks off with a video recap of the feud between Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville including highlights from last week where Zayn pulled out the victory to retain his NXT Championship. After the recap, we get a live backstage look at William Regal who is here to announce the next NXT special, again titled NXT Takeover, which will take place Wednesday, February 11. Regal also announces a #1 contenders tournament for the WWE NXT Championship.
Finally, we get to the opening video which is followed by Zayn’s music. Sami runs down to the ring and started destroying Tye Dillinger who was already in the ring. Zayn is not pleased and after disposing of Dillinger, Regal runs down to tell him to stop. Zayn says he wants Kevin Owens now. Regal, being the great GM he is, says Steen needs to earn a title shot and he just can’t leapfrog people. LOGIC….yay! Zayn tells Regal, title or not he just wants him, so Regal says February 11, NXT Takeover: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn.
#1 Contender Tournament Opening Round – Finn Balor vs. Curtis Axel: Axel has some nice offense throuhgout this match and while he’s still working the “WWE style” (slowing down the pace, headlocks, etc.) he’s doing it with a fire and an intensity that invests you in the babyface comeback. Balor turned the tables with a Pele kick, followed it up with a Tanahashi-style Slingblade, corner dropkick and double stomp from the top to get the victory. This was a lot of fun, great opener. **3/4
Backstage, Bull Dempsey is rubbing his hands together. No, seriously, that’s how the vignette starts. Bull says next week he gets his revenge on Baron Corbin in #1 contenders tourney and that this time everyone will be chanting “BULL! BULL! BULL!” Well, we’ll see…
NXT Women’s Championship – Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks: This much anticipated matchup ended up being a bit of a dud. It was nobody’s fault, it was a storyline match. Charlotte controls about 90% of the match which leads Becky Lynch to run in and cause the DQ. Lynch and Banks double team Charlotte until Bayley comes in the for the save. Bayley then grabs the NXT Women’s Title and stares at it as Charlotte demands she give it back. Charlotte eventually yanks the title from Bayley, which sets her off. Yes, Bayley showed anger her as she hits a Bayley to Bayley Suplex to Charlotte. Regal runs down and makes a four-way Womens Match for NXT Takeover: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley — sweet! *1/4
Random new NXT interviewer is backstage with Kevin Owens. He asks some horrible WWE backstage interviewer question to which Kevin Owens responds, “Do you work here?” I laughed. Owens says he’ll have something to say to Sami Zayn next week during their contract signing. Yes, a contract signing on WWE television. It’s been almost two weeks since we had one, well overdue.
The Vaudevillains vs. Buddy Murphy/Wesley Blake: Not much here to write about. English controlled most of the match via headlock. Wesley Blake eventually got the hot tag and showed some nice fire. Blake gets a near fall via a Powerslam then drives English to the ropes where Buddy Murphy hits him with a side kick. English falls back into Blake who rolls him up and gets the HUGE upset. Cool to see Blake and Murphy get the win but this was no good. *1/4
#1 Contenders Tournament First Round – Tyler Breeze vs. Hideo Itami: Great back and forth to start us off, Itami is finally looking comfortable in a WWE ring. Breeze has a more serious edge here, which seems to be a trend for NXT as a whole. Most of the old bubblegum/CHIKARA-esque gimmicks have been re-branded or altered into more serious personas. It’s a welcomed change for sure. Itami kicks out of a beautiful looking Supermodel Kick then starts his comeback with a series of kicks, a beautiful corner dropkick and finally a Flying Boot to get the win. This was a basic match but that’s all you really needed out of these two as Breeze gets back into the swing of things and Itami starts finding his feet. I enjoyed this a lot. ***
This was a great episode of NXT that you should definitely check out. It was a blend of both good matches, storylines and match announcements so it wasn’t only a entertaining show but it was an important one. The momentum of great TV from NXT continues.