January 13, 2015 by gorillapressonline
Hideo Itami and Finn Balor once again defeated The Ascension on last week’s episode of NXT, leading GM William Regal to set another challenge for Itami tonight as he faces the returning Curtis Axel in the Main Event.
This episode also sees the first appearance of NXT Champion Sami Zayn after the infamously heinous attack by his ex-BFF Kevin Owens four weeks ago at NXT Takeover [R]Evolution.
Speaking of Zayn, he kicks off this week’s show with an already fired-up NXT Universe chomping at the bit to get started. Zayn encompasses himself in the thrall of the audience, thanking the fans whom have supported him, and in return the crowd fire back a raucous “you deserve it” chant.
Sami is an overtly positive person and this comes through tenfold in a heartfelt and inspiring speech, during which he urges everyone to stick to what they believe and to never compromise. He then proclaims that the NXT title belongs to everyone as they are all members of a band he likes to call Sami Zayn and the Zayniacs. Riveting stuff to start the show and Zayn thoroughly deserves the accolade.
Things don’t end there as Adrian Neville hits the ring to congratulate the champion and, in return, Zayn reminds Neville that he was sure a rematch was on the cards for them. Regal then makes things official and the bout is scheduled for the very first NXT on a Wednesday night.
Re-matches certainly seem to be on the agenda tonight, as the Lucha Dragons are set to take on The Vaudevillians for the tag team titles later on in the show.
Hideo Itami Vs Curtis Axel
First in the ring tonight, though, are Itami and Axel, in a bout that could rightfully headline the show. All eyes will be on Axel as he heads back to developmental to reinvigorate his flagging WWE career. This is a wise move from the company as they left the talented Axel at the wayside previously, due to not really having any creative direction in the main product (an unfortunately consistent complaint these days).
Axel looks in remarkably different shape to his previous incarnation and, although he doesn’t seem as toned, he carries himself in an aggressive and confident manner in the ring.
Itami ducks two forearms as he runs the ropes and hits Axel with a huge kick. Hideo could benefit greatly from the singles showcase as sadly he is a little overshadowed by the outstanding Finn Balor and, as much as that team works in cohesion, a little spotlight could allow newer fans the chance to see what Hideo can produce.
Axel produces some devastating smashes, taking control over the match. The booking for this bout has to be done carefully, the momentum Itami has achieved should be at the forefront but on the flip side the returning Axel could garner a huge push with a victory here.
Curtis is brash and outspoken in the ring, jeering the fans, and the mean streak that he is showcasing suits his character well, especially after an innovative use of the ropes as a weapon from Itami, followed by a top rope elbow, after which he takes the victory with a spinning kick.
This loss for Axel will allow his character to develop and it also gives a starting point for revenge in future weeks. However, he will need to bring a little more to the table to match some of the talent on this roster as most of his offence was nothing new, focusing on forearm strikes.
Hideo Itami takes the victory from the returning Axel
Up next, it’s announced that Tyson Kidd is set to face Finn Balor on next week’s show and, although he is training for his match, he is more interested in his humanitarian side and making sure his cats are well-fed by his wife and fellow Total Divas star Natayla.
A video package summarises an excellent feud, which had been planted in our heads over the preceding months between Baron Corbin and Bull Dempsey and, after a long wait, these seeds are finally coming to fruition.
Alexa takes an early advantage over the Boss with a great sunset flip powerbomb – these women bring it every week on NXT, and the main roster should definitely take note. Despite this, however, Sasha delivers an excellent counter to a hurricanrana and takes charge of the match, making quick work of Bliss with the Banks Statement submission.
Banks is wonderful in this heel role, especially alongside Becky Lynch, and although she can’t quite beat the current NXT Divas champ, she is clocking up the Ws on the show regardless.
Sasha Banks once again checks out the competition with the Bank Statment
Tyler Breeze Vs Chad Gable
Another long-awaited return on this show is Prince Pretty himself Tyler Breeze. Breeze is all set for the main roster and rightfully so, he is great on the mic and in the ring and, in a lot of ways, is a bit like a more exciting Fandango.
Chad Gable brings a high school wrestling vibe to the match, with a solid lock-up and mat work reminiscent of a young Kurt Angle. He delivers a brutal armbar takeover, which Breeze takes amazingly, selling like a champ.
Breeze shifts momentum easily, hitting a huge Beauty Shot to Gable, and ending the bout in the process.
As the match finishes, Breeze is taking the obligatory selfie when, at the top of the arena, a mysterious figure lurks in the shadows, stealing some of the limelight from Prince Pretty. An ominous end to a great match.
Tyler Breeze lands a Beauty Spot to sweep the win from under Chad Gable
Gotch and English callously attacked the Dragons last week after their bout before their tag team championship rematch. The Vaudevillans have failed numerous times in capturing the titles from the high-flying Luchadors, so their rage makes sense.
Gotch starts the match with some underhanded tactics that bounce back on him as Kalisto and Sin Cara take advantage with their innovative move-set. A cool-looking tag from a head scissors take-down allows Kallisto to tag Sin Cara, who subsequently hits a massive Sunset Bomb from the ropes.
The Luchas manage to retain after an inventive corkscrew double team move, the likes of which has never been seen on NXT before.
The villainous duo were once again denied the titles, but this feud is far from over, with every single match between the two teams offering something fresh to keep fans enthralled throughout.
The Lucha Dragons retain the belts once again, keeping the Vaudevillians away from the gold a little while longer
Another interesting show, which left a lot of questions waiting to be answered in the following weeks – will Curtis Axel get another shot a redemption? Who was the mysterious figure waiting in the wings to steal the attention from Breeze? Will the New York Nightmare overcome the Lone Wolf? And is Finn Balor set to take down Hart Dungeon alumnus Tyson Kidd?
There’s lots to think about before next week’s show, and if this is anything to go by, it’s only going to get better as the year progresss.
NXT makes the move to Wednesday from Episode 259, which is scheduled for broadcast on January 15th, 2015 on the WWE Network