HEADS UP: By necessity, we'll be discussing spoilers from the January 7, 2016 NXT taping at Full Sail Live in this post. If you've seen the image on our main page or gotten this far, you haven't seen anything you wouldn't see on WWE social media or WWE.com. Back out now if you want to keep it that way.
Shortly after last night's show in Winter Park, Florida at WWE NXT's home base at Full Sail University, this message was Tweeted out:
BREAKING: @iLikeSamiZayn vs. @SamoaJoe to crown a #1 Contender to the #WWENXT Championship will take place at the CFE Arena @UCF on 1/22!— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 8, 2016
The Orlando show on Royal Rumble weekend will be taped and run after the episodes that were filmed at Full Sail Live on January 7. If you stay off the internet and immerse yourself in the kayfabe of weekly airings on WWE Network, you'll be fine.
But if you know this match is set to take place to determine Finn Bálor's next challenger, and you're watching along and see them make a Triple Threat between Baron Corbin, Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn for the #1 contendership, you can make some guesses about how the latter contest will play out. At the very least, you know the stakes have been lessened, because the threeway doesn't decide the issue.
Not a huge deal, but a weird call.
On WWE.com this morning, however, they're advertising the Women's title match between Bayley and Carmella for the University of Central Florida's CFE Arena show, too. That showdown comes about as a result of #1 contender's battle royal that occured last night. What kind of sucks about this one is, the end of the match was a fake-out where the live crowd was swerved into thinking Eva Marie had won before the Princess of Staten Island re-appeared to eliminate her.
If you're someone who likes to get caught up in watching the initial broadcast, free of spoilers, this one is more of a bummer.
Neither announcement "ruins" anything. We all know that in pro wrestling there are many yet limited ways to get from point 'A' to point 'B', so hardcore fans of the type who follow NXT closely could probably make a good guess at how the matches taped at Full Sail would turn out anyway.
But it's also the kind of thing many internet fans would slam another promotion - say TNA - for doing. I suspect NXT will get a pass, and they probably should on account of their track record of delivering compelling stories told logically.
What particularly interests me is, why would they do this?
The Orlando show, announced back in November, is a rarity for NXT. Tickets are still available just a couple of weeks out from the opening bell.
We've gotten so used to Triple H Tweeting sellout announcements hours after ticket windows open, I didn't realize that the brand has never had to promote the way others do. Word that NXT was coming to town meant a buying frenzy...they didn't even have to say who was scheduled to appear.
San Jose sold out almost immediately. Brooklyn added seats and still packed the house. British fans scooped up anything they could.
But in a market that can get NXT shows on a monthly basis, with options in all price ranges available that same weekend, they've had to advertise in a more traditional way.
It's something the man fans only half-jokingly call "Based Haitch" and his team didn't have to deal with during the amazing 2015 NXT experienced, but will have to consider as they grow their brand via more and more live shows.