January 11, 2015 by gorillapressonline
The first NXT of 2015 was aptly broadcast on New Years Day. This product had an excellent 2014 and big things are set for the new year, too. Last time around, Curtis Axel revealed that he wanted to move back to the ranks to hone his craft – very smart move from Axel and all eyes will be on his re invention.
This week’s episode opens with the NXT tag team champions The Lucha Dragons facing off against the hard-hitting duo of Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan.
The tag division is thriving in NXT right now, and what separates it from the main roster, in particular, is the diversity. Here we have the high-flying, crowd-pleasing Dragons coupled with a strong-style, British-infused duo of Dillinger and Jordan.
Jordan quickly catches Kalisto after a huge springboard, effortlessly tossing him across the ring in a great display of strength. Dillinger and Jordan have been working better as a tag team the past few weeks, working off each other and proving good ring space for team moves. Sadly this connection doesn’t help them gain a victory as Sin Cara hits a Sunset Bomb from the top rope to steal the W.
Celebrations are quickly put to a close as The Vaudevillians attack the Dragons in the ring, making easy work out of the champions with a Whirling Dervish.
Lucha Dragons get the victory
Up next, Bull Dempsey uses a little bit of psychology on CJ Parker who will face Baron Corbin later in the night. Dempsey makes Parker fully aware that this is bigger than him and his rivalry with Corbin and something must be done.
The crowd are chanting Blue Pants the moment Carmella gets into the ring, Enzo compares her to Sami Zayn and, after a quick hubble telescope joke – Enzo calls it the Humble telescope – Blue Pants gets a huge pop after big Cass’ introduction.
The crowd are wild for Blue Pants, much to the dismay of Carmella, she steps on her hair, offering hard slaps but, after a distraction from Enzo who is trying to give Carmella advice and dance on the ring apron, Ole Blue Pants takes advantage and gets a small package roll up for the win.
Carmella quickly assaults Amore and, as Big Cass holds her back, the dissolution of the excellent team continues – this is clearly leading to a feud against the big two with Carmella as the stakes.
Both Enzo and Big Cass could thrive in the singles division, but it would be unwise to split this team just yet, as they are firmly over with the NXT Universe.
Old Blue Pants gets her redemption and her first NXT win
The Lone Wolf of NXT has his sights set on the Eco Warrior CJ Parker – Bull Dempsey has already played his part in this encounter, by riling up Parker earlier.
Sadly this is to no avail as Corbin keeps his streak alive by delivering the End of Days in just 34 seconds.
Once the bell has rung, Corbin challenges Dempsey to an official match, pulling him over the guard rail as the two behemoths beat each other senseless before every referee turns up to split the two up.
Excellent build-up to what can only be a brutal and relentless match with pride, ego and domination on the line.
Baron Corbin Makes Quick work of Parker
NXT GM William Regal announces that Sami Zayn will appear on the next episode to address his injury status, but is disrupted by Axel who is still after his NXT contract. Regal obliges and offers a match against Hideo Itami to prove himself next week.
Charlotte Flair takes to the ring next and, as the crowd frantically cheers for Blue Pants, she makes them aware of the fact NXT is revolutionising women’s wrestling and fans can’t help but agree with her.
The Boss Sasha Banks is frustrated as she can’t quite beat the champion despite having two top class matches, she barges in on the interview but Natayla dashes to the ring to even the odds, leaving the heel duo retreating.
A short video message is shown from Sami Zayn from his home town, with him promising he will tell all in the coming weeks.
Renee Young speaks to Kevin Owens about his relationship with Zayn, Owens has made a tremendous impact in NXT in a very short time. Owens is clearly enjoying his time with them, as he stands up and leaves the interview after Renee claims he stole Zayn moment from him. The way NXT are handling this feud is refreshing, Owens is fitting into his heel persona nicely not playing it over the top but more relaxed and methodical.
After a spectacular match at [R]Evolution, The Ascension wanted a rematch and Balor/Itami are more than happy to accept.
The match at the PPV was very much the Finn Balor show, he delivered most of the offence and garnered a good deal of the high spots of the match.
The crowd are intense as Itami is announced – by far the loudest they have been tonight – but they don’t quieten down when Balor makes his entrance, either. Itami and Balor are furious from the get-go, stomping Konnor and Viktor in the corners, The Ascension single out Balor and try to control the ring and keep him away from Itami.
If the PPV was all about Balor, this episode belongs to Itami, the NXT Universe have only had a glimpse of his talent and this is only the start.
Finn Balor takes a huge elbow as he tries to springboard over the ropes to attack, knocking him onto the ring apron, before taking a huge slam outside the ring. Balor is singled out and fights valiantly against The Ascension as Hideo stands helpless, Balor turns the tides with a Pele Kick on Konnor, and Itami swiftly evens the odds by attacking Viktor with a bunch of effective and efficient kicks.
Balor lands a devastating double foot-stomp to Konnor allowing Itami to get the win utilising a spinning head kick to knock down The Ascension for the second time and ending the first NXT of 2015 with style.
The fans are clearly familiar with Itami as they all chant GTS in unison – former WWE superstar CM Punk admits to being influenced by the Japanese icon and the reason to his use of the GTS in his time with the company.
Interestingly, Daniel Bryan also claims Itami as a huge influence and has himself had some excellent matches against him around the world.
The Japanese superstar is definitely finding his footing with the NXT/WWE style and, as the confidence in him grows, his abilities (which, in fairness, no wrestling fan has ever doubted) grow tenfold. Teaming him with Balor is an excellent choice and down the line, when the team eventually dissolves, we have a feud to steal the ages in the making right there.
Hideo and Finn take the first victory of 2015, leaving The Ascension in their wake
A great start to what is sure to be a fantastic year for the WWE‘s hottest show right now.
Catch NXT on Thursdays on the WWE Network