Last week was NXT TakeOver: Londo, thankfully we don’t have to leave England just yet as on the same day, they taped this week’s episode of NXT! Tonight’s show features the return of Sami Zayn after being out seven months with a shoulder injury as well as a multi-man tag featuring a team that should have been on the main show, Gable and Jordan. Oh, and THE DRIFTER. Can’t forget about him!
Hype Bros. vs. Vaudevillains vs. Jason Jordan and Chad Gable vs. Blake and Murphy
Gable and Jordan got a MASSIVE reaction as if they were top stars from a 1998 episode of Raw is War. Gable was worked over before he made a hot tag to Jordan who cleared house. Jordan gave Murphy a belly to belly and wiped out everyone on the outside. Jordan and Gable then singled out Blake and hit him with their finish for the win. Fun match. The crowd helped a ton too as Jordan and Gable were probably the most over guys on this show or even last week’s show.
They showed footage of what happened after the Emma/Asuka match. Emma was backstage with Dana Brooke getting checked on by medical staff when Asuka walked in and mocked her and Emma. This was amazing. Dana said she wouldn’t rest until Asuka realizes who she’s messing with.
More clips of NXT stars visiting England, then clips of Finn Balor defeating Samoa Joe in the main event.
Tye Dillinger was looking himself in a mirror. Everyone should be talking about him, but they’re talking about Sami Zayn. Like he always says, every day in every way he’s a perfect 10.
The next segment, NXT mentioned that all of their upcoming house shows in the United States are sold out. WWE is drudging along, but NXT is hot.
A vignette for The Drifter Elias Sampson aired. He talks about his guitar, then said a lot of stuff that had no real meaning. Nicely shot, though.
Baron Corbin interview after his win last week. He declares himself the number one contender and tells Finn Balor to watch his back. It’s now clear a main event program with Balor is the next direction for Corbin. I think at this point, Corbin is ready for the NXT main event level but it’ll take some work because he’s not quite there in-ring wise yet.
“The Drifter” Elias Sampson vs. Bull Dempsey
The start of the Drifter’s music sounds like a UFO is about to land. Dempsey I think has found himself with this gimmick, and it works, but it’s clearly an opening level act that I’m not even sure will get him out of NXT. Sampson won with an elbow drop.
Sampson then in the most un-charismatic way possible played the guitar in the middle of the ring. Was playing for tips? This character needs tweaking if it’s ever going anywhere.
The tag team champions (Dash & Dawson) did their promo. THe highlight was essentially Scott Dawson saying it just wasn’t their (Enzo/Cass’) night.
Sami Zayn vs. Tye Dillinger
Zayn obviously got a huge reaction upon making his entrance. Fans sung along with his song as he did all of his posing and dancing. I’m not a fan of the dancing in the ring, but that’s a minor thing. Dillinger worked on Zayn’s injured shoulder throughout. Dillinger has enough developmental time that he knows what to do, it’s too bad he’s in this CJ Parker role where there’s no real elevation.
Sami looked good and picked up the win after a Helluva kick. This was a WWE by the numbers main event, which works best when you’ve been out for so long like Zayn has.
Zayn did a promo afterwards, saying he’s back. Even though every time he accomplishes a dream it quickly becomes a nightmare, he promises great things for 2016 not only in NXT, but for Sami Zayn as well. Show finishes off with Zayn letting out a hearty “We are NXT”.
Final Thoughts: For a filler show, this was really good. The opener was fun and the main event established that one of NXT’s biggest stars is back.