WWE NXT Location: Orlando, FL Date: January 20, 2016
Tensions are high in NXT, to say the least. With their NXT Championship No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match just one week away, Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin were all in action, tuning up for their biggest match of 2016 so far. Plus, NXT Women’s Champion Bayley joined forces with the No. 1 Contender to her title, her best friend Carmella, to take on two women furious that The Princess of Staten Island won last week’s Battle Royal, Alexa Bliss and Emma.
Sami Zayn defeated Adam Rose
With the No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match looming, Sami Zayn hit the ring to take on Social Outcasts member Adam Rose. The former party animal went right to work on the former NXT Champion, but the unflappable Zayn bounced back and took control. Though Rose used a cheap shot to slow his rival down, Zayn could not be contained. The former champion caught Rose off-guard with a face-first slam into the mat before locking on the Koji Clutch.
Apollo Crews defeated Tye Dillinger
Though he may not be a part of the huge No. 1 Contender’s Match, Apollo Crews still has his sights set on capturing NXT’s top prize. Coming off his loss to Baron Corbin at TakeOver: London, Crews needed a victory to get back on track. Standing in his way was “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger, who still remembers falling to Crews in his debut match at TakeOver: Brooklyn. Despite Dillinger’s best efforts, Crews muscled his way to victory, hurling Dillinger into the air and catching him on the way down with a big powerbomb to get the three-count.
After the bell, Crews admitted that he felt there was unfinished business between he and NXT Champion Finn Bálor, after their title match was interrupted by Baron Corbin and Samoa Joe. Though he said he hadn’t earned another title opportunity, Crews issued a challenge for a one-on-one, non-title match, which Bálor was happy to accept!
The Lone Wolf has boldly declared himself the uncrowned NXT Champion ahead of the No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match. However, before that battle, Corbin had to get through NXT newcomer Rich Swann. The well-traveled competitor utilized his agility to stick and move, striking Corbin and getting away before The Lone Wolf could answer. Swann nearly upset Corbin after catching him with a hard kick to the jaw, but that only seemed to anger the 275-pounder. A furious Corbin finally caught Swann and planted him into the canvas with a devastating spinning slam.
Though they’ll square off for the NXT Women’s Championship in the near future, best friends Bayley and Carmella joined forces this week to take on Alexa Bliss and Emma. The nefarious duo tried to tip the scales in their favor before the bell, shoving Carmella out of the ring and pummeling Bayley into the canvas. The battered NXT Women’s Champion refused to let Carmella start the match and found herself at the mercy of the devious duo, which occasionally got a hand from Dana Brooke at ringside.
Alexa & Emma worked over Bayley, trapping her in their half of the ring while Carmella could only try to will her on. The resilient NXT Women’s Champion eventually found an opening to slip out and tag in her best friend. The Princess of Staten Island charged into battle, pouncing on Alexa Bliss and evading a sneak attack from Emma. Carmella quickly picked up the victory after slamming Alexa into the canvas and locking on a neck crank that forced Bliss to tap out.
Samoa Joe defeated Johnny Gargano
Johnny Gargano was confident as he headed into this week’s main event, vowing to end Samoa Joe’s bullying. However, Joe was laser-focused on getting to next week’s No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match. Though “Johnny Wrestling” did not back down from the submission master, there was no stopping Samoa Joe, who withstood everything the independent-scene standout threw at him and pounded Gargano at ringside.
Joe seemed content to take a count-out victory as Gargano struggled to get back into the ring, but the spirited Gargano slid in at the last possible second and backed Joe into the ropes with a series of forearms and enzuigiris. Gargano’s fortunes took a turn for the worse when he tried to dive through the ropes at his foe, only to catch a vicious knee to the face. That allowed Joe to lock on the Coquina Clutch and win the battle. Samoa Joe is on the warpath heading into next week’s No. 1 Contender’s Match. Will Zayn or Corbin be able to stop him?