Air Date: 13/1/16
This is the first show of 2016. The show starts with William Regal announcing a battle royal to find the number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship and introducing Sami Zayn to a massive pop. He puts over NXT and Full Sail only to be interrupted by Samoa Joe. Joe takes issue with Sami wanting a title shot which leads to Baron Corbin also coming out. Corbin also wants a title shot. The three get into a brawl with Sami coming out on top.
Bayley is backstage talking about her match with Nia Jax and the battle royal tonight.
We get the results of the NXT Year End Awards, and a short promo from each winner. Enzo and Big Cass won tag team of the year, Bayley won female competitor of the year, Finn Balor won male and overall competitor of the year, Brooklyn won Takeover of the year, and Bayley/Sasha from that show won match of the year.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Danny Burch
Burch was already in the ring when the match started. This was a really stiff hard hitting match with both guys just punching and slapping the shit out of each other. Ciampa has been having some of the best matches of his career since leaving Ring of Honor and this was a good performance by him, if a little short. Tommaso makes Burch tap with an armbar ** ½
Backstage Enzo and Big Cass cut a promo on Dash and Dawson, I really like the more serious side of these two. They are really showing some range and it’s impressive. Good stuff.
Billie Kay, Deonna Purrazzo, and Emma cut short promos about the upcoming battle royal tonight.
William Regal and is in his office and makes a triple threat match between Zayn, Joe, and Corbin to find the number one contender in two weeks.
Dash and Dawson vs. The Ascension
It’s always interesting to see The Ascension on NXT since here they are still treated as monsters instead of the jokes they are on the main roster. You can also tell that they prefer working in NXT and it shows in their ring work, less so here as this was basically a glorified squash with Dash and Dawson killing the beasts but the point still stands. Dash pins Konnor after a lung blower ** ¼
Backstage Nia is told she can’t compete tonight while Eva Marie celebrates in the background in the single best performance of her entire career.
More promos from Carmella, Peyton Royce, and Alexa Bliss backstage.
Elias Samson vs. Corey Hollis
Boring squash match. Elias Samson wins with a neckbreaker *
Backstage Finn Balor talks about his match with Samoa Joe at Takeover London and the upcoming number one contender’s triple threat. After that we get promos from Cameron, Aliyah, Liv Morgan, and Asuka.
Battle Royal to Find the Number One Contender for the NXT Women’s Championship
This was a fine battle royal, I liked the finish with both Eva Marie and Carmella rolling under the ring earlier in the match and getting back in the match later. Carmella is an interesting choice to face Bayley since she’s not the best in the ring, but we’ve seen what Bayley can do against people lesser than her with the Nia Jax match and the inbuilt storyline with Bayley and Carmella being best friends will make this interesting to watch at least. Carmella wins by last eliminating Eva Marie *
Not a strong show to start the year, this felt like largely groundwork to set up the next few weeks of TV which is fine but can be a little bit tedious.