Saturday, 16 January 2016

TV REVIEW: WWE NXT #179 (Women's Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal)




The first proper edition of NXT in 2016 featuring Sami Zayn's return to the Full Sail Arena and a Battle Royal to crown the new Number One Contender to Bayley's Women's Championship...but was it any good?




Things got off to a strong start this week with William Regal introducing former NXT Champion Sami Zayn on his return to the Full Sail Arena, with the crowd giving Zayn a great rendition of the "Ole" chant. Samoa Joe's interruption bought plenty of energy, with Joe coming across as a major bad-ass, as the former ROH World Champion ran through why he deserved a title shot ahead of Zayn in a tenacious promo, with intense pitch perfect delivery. I felt that Baron Corbin handled himself well on the microphone with a counter argument to Joe's, as he presented his victory at Takeover: London as why he deserved a title shot, and whilst he's still got some way to come to be on the level of Joe or Zayn, he didn't look out of place here at all. With no one managing to get the better of anyone else for too long in the back and forth brawls that followed, the three are poised to put on an intriguingly well-balanced Triple threat bout to crown a new Number One Contender to Finn Balor's NXT Championship in two weeks time.


fast-forward...
The results of the NXT 2015 Year-End awards were revealed in a video package, with Finn Balor winning Male Competitor and Overall Competitor of the Year, Sasha Banks vs. Bayley from Takeover: Brooklyn winning the Match of the Year, Bayley winning Female Competitor of the Year, Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady winning Tag Team of the Year and Takeover: Brooklyn winning Show of the Year...Tomasso Ciampa squashed Danny Burch in a short, but physical encounter, winning via Submission with the Sicilian Stretch...Enzo Amore cut a fiery promo with the help of tag partner Colin Cassady on Tag Team Champions Dash & Dawson, it looks like that feud is only just beginning...The Ascension got a surprisingly big pop upon their returning to the Full Sail Arena for the first time since losing to Chad Gable & Jason Jordan on NXT #172 (filmed in late October 2015)...Tag Team Champions Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder went over a babyface Konnor & Viktor in an enjoyable brawling contest, that went a good couple of minutes too short for me...Whilst Corey Holis got a jobber entrance, "The Drifter" Elias Sampson was swanning around with a guitar on his shoulder and that funky scarf on his neck...Unsurprisingly, Corey Holis jobbed to Elias Sampson in quick order, with The Drifter getting a win with a new neckbreaker finisher...Sampson got some mic time after the bout, but I'm still to be convinced by the character or the performer...Alex Reyes got Finn Balor's thoughts on the Number One Contender's Triple Threat being set for two weeks, with Balor cutting a typically understated promo claiming that he'd still be holding onto the belt no matter who won...Promos from the Women's Battle Royal competitors aired throughout the show, but the section with former Funkadactyl and Total Diva, Cameron, Breaking Ground favourite Aaliyah, someone called Liv Morgan and the wonderful Asuka having their say on the match...Only Asuka, Eva Marie, Carmella, Emma & Alexa Bliss got entrances for the Battle Royal, chances are the winner would come from that pack...



  
The battle royal to become Number One Contender to Bayley's Women's Championship was a bit slow to get going, due to the majority of the girls in the ring clearly not having much of a chance of winning (Aaliyah, Deonna Perazzo, Liv Morgan, Cameron, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) from either being used exclusively to put others over, still being very green, a combination of the two or just being Cameron. An early botch-fest from Liv Morgan and Cameron as the girls attempted some weird powerbomb elimination, fucked it up and then struggled to repeat the spot, did not make for a good start. Whilst Alexa Bliss and Emma were eliminated surprisingly early, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce both put in great performances that will hopefully see them move onto bigger things over the coming months. The final few moments of action in this were superbly booked and had the Full Sail crowd completely buying into every bit of action. Firstly, after spending pretty much the entire match on the outside Eva Marie eliminated Asuka to massive heat, before the crowd went nuts when Carmella tossed Eva over the top and earned herself a shot at the Women's Championship. A brilliant finish to an entertaining main event, with Carmella offering an interesting story opposite champion Bayley, thanks to their real life friendship that was showcased on Breaking Ground, whilst managing to keep Asuka away from the title for at least a few weeks! 


fast-forward...

Bayley came out to raise Carmella's hand and celebrate her friends victory, I half expected Carmella to turn heel, but that didn't happen and the show ended on high note...



Finally...







ATPW Scale Rating - 5.32 (Good)


A strong start to the year for NXT as the opening segment set the wheels in motion for an intriguing title picture that will hopefully unfold over the coming months and the main event gave an opportunity to shine to a number of female competitors as NXT continues to rebuild the division, after a number of big departures in 2015. A handful of shorter matches also entertained with Tomasso Ciampa and Danny Burch's psychical encounter standing out from the bunch.


Here's to a massive 2016 for NXT.

No comments:

Post a comment