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- The Big News: In two weeks Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin will square off in the triple threat #1 Contender's match.
- The Medium News: Carmella won a battle royal to become Bayley's next challenger.
- The Little Beaver Sized News: Asuka kicked Eva Marie's head clean off her shoulders.
After a 2 week break, let's see if I remember how to do this.
Rich Brennan and Byron Saxton are gone, Tom Phillips is here and Corey Graves never left. The show starts with the return of Mr. William Regal! Mr. Regal thanked the fans for making NXT the fastest growing promotion in the world before announcing a battle royal with the winner getting a shot at the Women's Championship.
Mr. Regal introduced Sami Zayn before leaving. This is Sami's first appearance in the NXT Arena since NXT Takeover: Unstoppable in May. He got quite the reaction coming out, with a standing ovation and chants of “Welcome back” and an extended “Ole” song.
Sami loved being back and announced that he is here to be the first ever 2x NXT Champion, which led to chants of “two times”. This brought out Samoa Joe, who is not happy about losing to Finn Balor at NXT Takeover: London.
Joe stated that he is happy Sami is back and he can appreciate Zayn wanting to be champion, but he doesn't deserve the title match. The last time Sami was in the ring he had to be saved by Joe after a beating by Kevin Owens. Joe pointed out that Finn Balor said he did not beat Joe, he survived. Joe finished by saying that if Sami wants to not get injured again he will leave the ring.
That brought out Baron Corbin. Corbin agreed with Joe and said Zayn belongs in the back of the line. At Takeover he beat Apollo Crews, while Samoa Joe failed in his shot at the gold. While Sami was at home he was passed by someone hungrier and more durable. Corbin proclaimed himself to be the uncrowned NXT Champion.
Joe pointed out he choked out Corbin in Brooklyn, so he doesn't belong in this conversation. Joe threatened Sami again before leaving. Sami said he was standing in the ring and Baron attacked him from behind as Joe walked away. Baron went for End of Days, but Sami got around it and booted Corbin out of the ring. Joe teased attacked Zayn from behind, but stopped when Zayn turned around.
- Bayley cut a promo saying that she survived the match with Nia Jax and honestly didn't know she still had all that in her. She is jealous because she loves battle royals and may give the winner a hug.
-They announced the 2015 NXT Awards:
- Tag Team of the Year: Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady
- Female Competitor of the Year: Bayley
- Male Competitor of the Year: Finn Balor
- Takeover of the Year: NXT Takeover: Brooklyn
- Match of the Year: Bayley vs Sasha Banks from Brooklyn
- Overall Competitor Of The Year: Finn Balor
All the winners got a plaque with a golden ring bell and hammer on it.
Tommaso Ciampa submitted Danny Birch
20 minutes in and we get the first match of 2016. Tommaso Ciampa, complete with correct spelling of his name, one on one with Danny Birch. Birch didn't get an entrance, but he got a bit of offense. Ciampa hit a really nice draping STO, which should have been his finish, but Birch kicked out. Birch got a near fall with a punch to the face. No, really. Ciampa picked up the win with an armbar after rolling over Birch's back. That looked really nice.
- Enzo and Cass said they will not forget being injured by Dash & Dawson. Enzo said real G's never lose and real men don't hide behind women. They vowed to finish the business between them.
-A promo package for Billie Kay, Deonna Purrazzo and Emma, all of whom said they would win the battle royal. The highlight was Billie starting her promo by saying “In case you forgot, I am Billie Kay”. I guarantee 90% of the people watching had no idea.
-Mr. Regal announced Sami Zayn vs Samoa Joe vs Baron Corbin in a #1 Contender's Match in 2 weeks.
NXT Tag Team Champions Dash & Dawson defeated The Ascension
The Ascension continue to be God's to the NXT crowd. I always think it's funny how much they put over their Tag Title reign when there were literally no other teams for about 6 months and the gimmick was every week they would take on a different jobber team.
Viktor started the match by beating the living crap out of Dash Wilder. Honestly he probably beat the dead crap out of him too. Dash got tired of being stiffed, so he leveled Viktor with a couple blows too. The champs got the heat on Viktor while the announcers talked about Enzo & Cass being tag team of the year. Konnor got the hot tag and used the Dusty Rhodes flip, flop and fly routine on Dawson.
We had a Pier 6 break out before Dash & Dawson got the win with their finish.
- Nia Jax was being worked on by the trainer and the trainer did not clear her to compete in the battle royal. Mr. Regal refused to let her join while Eva Marie was quite happy that her largest opponent (even though she is a friend) wasn't in the match.
- Carmella, Peyton Royce and Alexa Bliss all said they would win the battle royal. Carmella spent Christmas in a tanning bed.
Elias Sampson pinned Corey Hollis
Elias Sampson does not use public transportation. Seriously that is the tidbit we got from Corey Graves. Corey Hollis is the foe this week. Hollis looked at him like “Dude, remember when we were nameless jobbers together?”
This is Sampson's second match since being repackaged. The first one saw him beat Bull Dempsey in a bad match no one cared about. This one saw him win with a swinging neck breaker in a meh match that a couple people cared about.
After the match Sampson announced that what NXT needs is what he is.
- Alex Reyes interviewed Finn Balor about the upcoming #1 Contender's Triple Threat Match. Balor said the Joe match was physically and mentally draining. Joe is a monster, but as champion he never rests and faces every challenger. He said all of the three challengers plead a good case as to why they should get the title match. As far as he is concerned the title will stay with him regardless who wins.
- Cameron, Aliyah (making her debut), Liv Morgan and Asuka all said they will win the battle royal.
Carmella won the #1 Contender's Battle Royal, last eliminating Eva Marie
Emma, Alexa, Carmella, Eva Marie and Asuka were the only ones to get an entrance. Eva pouted when her music was cut off for Asuka's. Eva took offense to Asuka walking by her, so when the bout started Eva had something to say, so Asuka kicked her head off.
This was an over the top rope battle royal, so Eva was allowed to roll under the bottom rope and have emergency head re-attachment surgery before continuing. Aliyah, in her debut, was the first one out. That was followed by Deonna Purrazzo, who can go lose a battle royal in TNA now, Cameron, Liv Morgan, Bliss, Emma, Royce, Kay, Asuka and Eva Marie.
Morgan lifted Cameron up for a power bomb, but dropped her, so they went right back to the spot, which led to Bliss throwing them both out. Bliss should have been the favorite since she is shorter than the top rope, but she didn't make the final four. Eva stayed on the floor the entire match until Asuka eliminated everyone else in the ring. Eva threw Asuka over the top rope to the floor, but she forgot one person. Earlier Carmella was knocked to the floor and the entire crowd knew what was going to happen. Sure enough Carmella got in and threw out Eva Marie to win!
After the match, Bayley ran down and hugged her new #1 Contender as the show ended.
So that does it for this week. Until next week, remember to say your vitamins and take your prayers.