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WWE NXT results, recap, reactions from January 8, 2015: We write the songs

My fear of NXT spoilers often leads me to be completely wrong about what will appear on any given week's episode...and I love it.

Segment One


  • The champ returns for an emotional moment with the NXT Universe, and delivers the most Sami Zayn-est promo ever.
  • Mentioning Kevin Owens actions triggers a declaration to defend the belt any time, any where.  That brings out Adrian Neville for a little mutual admiration, which William Regal joins briefly to book a rematch between the two friends for next week's show.
  • The #1 contenders for the tag belts get some promo time from the locker room and promise to show the fans why they're so manly.
  • My dream match happens a week earlier than I thought it would, with Hideo Itami eking out a slightly rough-looking victory over Curtis Axel in a very stiff-looking contest.


  • If you weren't a little verklempt for the impromptu trip into the stands and the "You Deserve It" chant, we will probably never exchange friendship bracelets.
  • Zayn, like Daniel Bryan, has an hard-to-describe mixture of being both impressive and relatable.  It's a similar trait to the "it" factor that gets ascribed to Finn Bálor or Roman Reigns, but different.  They're like your friend in middle school's older brother who's into all the same stuff that you are but who somehow manages to get laid.  Maybe your middle school experience was different from mine...that's not the point.  The point is, if anyone else cut the promo that Sami did to open this episode, I would probably have made gagging noises and wrote snarky things about it.  With Happy, Bearded Guy, I was grinning while getting teary eyed and fired up all at the same time.
  • Even "Sami Zayn and the Zayn-iacs" worked for me.  Sue me, I'm a mark.
  • Would love to get a little more background on the situation with Owens.  They have plenty of time to deliver on that front, but I worry they're leaning on the non-WWE history a little too much.  Since Neville is clearly a true blue babyface again, I'd love to finally see an acknowledgement from him about bending the rules, with or without a "power corrupts" excuse.  As part of Zayn's story is that he became champ without cutting corners, it would be a nice way to tie off Adrian's arc.
  • Just a hunch, but KO might get involved with that rematch next week.
  • My understanding of what they're trying to accomplish with the Vaudevillains promos is the inverse of how much I enjoy the Vaudevillains promos.
  • I should probably recuse myself from reacting to the Axel match, because I seriously geeked out seeing him return the Mr. Superstars form I connected to as a young(er) wrestling blogger.  And for the non-McGillibuddies in the audience that means - ring general who snaps off crisp moves and stiff strikes while adorkably talking trash before getting beat.  So you can see where this checked off all those boxes.
  • Really enjoyed commentary again this week, especially Corey Graves and Jason Albert.  In this bout, I liked their pointing out that the Axe-man giving Itami time to recover from head strikes was probably a mistake.  It's kind of weird to hear the Savior of Misbehavior talk about head trauma, though.
  • Hideo's progress continues - I like that the running short drop kick is more clearly not a Busaiku knee, and the DDT off the top rope is super-cool.  But from the Perfect-Plex counter through whatever exactly the low spin kick finisher is, we're still not there.
Segment Two


  • Byron Saxton catches up with Natalya & Tyson Kidd backstage.  After a momentary Total Divas plug, the Fact-Dropper reveals that he is looking past his bout with Finn Bálor next week, because he's focused on the NXT title and supplanting Sarah MacLachlan as the face of the SPCA.
  • Bull Dempsey & Baron Corbin get a video package, and their first in-ring clash is also scheduled for next week's mega-show in support of the move to Wednesdays.
  • With the ladies tag I thought was this week also shifted to January 14th (I think), Alexa Bliss returned to get revenge for her nose against The Boss.  Alas, she got a Bank Statement instead.
  • Back from a global househunting expedition, Tyler Breeze squared off against a smaller version of Kurt Angle Chad Gable.  The Olympian looked good, but not gorgeous, and went down to a Beauty Shot.


  • I remain recused for Tyson's promo.  I...that was...I mean, it's like he read my mind and cut a promo.  And honestly, I was too busy giggling from his delivery of "they're my cats" when Natty walked away to judge fairly anyway.
  • The build to the hoss fight has been so satisfying that the match is almost guaranteed to disappoint.  The match should have maybe happened sooner to avoid that.  I guess we'll find out next week.
  • Will never forgive them for changing Bliss' entrance theme, but it's so nice to see her back that I'll forgive it for this week.
  • Alexa has improved so much in the ring since her debut, it's really time to give her a proper feud.  If only the main eventer that she's had a mini-feud with had a sidekick in need of something to do...  Seriously, who doesn't want to see her snap one of those Sunset Flip Powerbombs off on that backstabbing Becky Lynch?
  • We need a name for The Boss' double knee drop.
  • Are we getting Banks/Lynch versus Natalya/Charlotte next week?  I kind of hope they save it for the week after to give it time, because that line-up for the Wednesday premiere is already redonkulous.
  • Gable is U.S. Olympian Chas Betts, and has obviously been working some dark matches in order to have already formed a connection with the Orlando crowd.  Interesting that they're not even shying away from the Angle comparison, either.  I thought it was blatant based on the singlet alone before I even noticed that he had G-A-B-L-E down the spine.  We got just enough to see what the excitement is about with the London 2012er (ARMBAR).
Segment Three / Main Event
  • Devin Taylor caught up with Bálor, whose promo on Kidd has me more anxious for a heel turn than ever - Fact.
  • The Vaudevillains need to start their road to redemption, because they're now 0 - 3 against the tag champs after a solid match that I just couldn't get that invested in...kind of like all of Lucha Dragons matches.


  • Guess I'm in the minority, but I'm not feeling the two sentence bites of babyface Finn.  His accent is charming, but it seems like he's almost sleepwalking through this character.  Perhaps it just pales in comparison to his physical charisma during the entrance and match, but I want to see more character and mic work before I hop back on the "stone cold leadpipe lock" bandwagon.
  • If that's Mojo Rawley hiding on the concourse, I'm quitting.
  • Credit the announce team again with at least taking a few breaths to try and rationalize the lack of character development or promo time for the tag champs, saying that they let their actions speak for them.  It's such a small thing, but something we hardly ever get from other commentators.
  • Is there an NXT tag team curse?  Sin Cara and Kalisto are both entertaining workers - the latter especially is capable of some really amazing things.  But I just don't care.  A repetitive series of wins doesn't help.  And there doesn't seem to be a story arc to this series the way there are for the singles' titles, another detriment.
  • English has come a long way as a member of this team.  I, like many others, have seen him as the weak link - and I still think Gotch is a more well-rounded performer.  But I enjoyed his trash talking tonight, his still largely strike-based offense looked better and his physique looks a lot more impressive than a few months ago.  Seriously, dude has guns.
  • For as cool looking as the last spot was, Kalisto needs to tighten that up a little bit.  Hopefully it was a production issue more than sloppiness, but his part of the finisher was more head scratcher than holy @#!+.

This was a fun show, but I'm still struggling with these less than stellar main events.  It leads to an uneven feeling show, and the best parts of this week's episode were talking segments.  Next week almost feels like a live special in terms of card and hype, so may look back fondly on these more methodically paces shows.

Grade: B

Tell us what you thought of this episode, Zayniacs Cagesiders - and remember you don't have to listen to what "they" say you have to think!

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