This week on NXT (12/7/2016), the landscape for all the championships in NXT start to become a little clearer as well as a potential new member of Sanity.
NXT Tag Team Championship Picture
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa made their triumphant return to NXT this week with their newly wont NXT Tag Team Titles. Gargano and Ciampa celebrated with the crowd until the familiar music of The Authors of Pain hit. Paul Ellering started talking and then The Revival came out and claimed that they were the ones who deserved a shot because they were the ones that helped AOP win The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. The Authors ended up pushing The Revival down and the teams had a stare down. Paul Ellering told them that the next chapter shall read that The Authors of Pain will be NXT Tag Team Champions.
William Regal announced later in the evening that The Revival would get their title shot on January 11th. The winner of that match will face The Authors of Pain at NXT San Antonio. I think this is a very fair way of creating some competition for the belts. It gives both teams that have a true stake to that Number One Contender spot a chance at the titles. I imagine that The Revival will lose in January and move up to the main roster while #DIY will face AOP in San Antonio.
Sanity defeated No Way José and Rich Swann, but that wasn’t the biggest story coming out of the match. At the start of the match, Sawyer Fulton was noticeably absent from the group. Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe ended up teaming, but before that, Young threw Fulton’s jacket down and spit on it before kicking it to the outside. Later on in the match, Damo, the big new recruit from Ireland came out and knocked No Way José into the ring post. This gave Sanity the advantage and they won by pinfall. Damo picked up Fulton’s jacket and then tossed it on the entrance ramp.
It looks like Sanity may have dropped a member and added another one. If Fulton did get dropped, management probably either didn’t quite think he was living up to potential or just wanted a way to add Damo to the roster in an impactful way. I’m certainly intrigued as to what’s on the horizon for Sanity.
Tye Dillinger made good on his claim that if he didn’t beat Samoa Joe last week that maybe he didn’t belong in NXT. He went in to see GM William Regal, but before he could actually say he was done (I assume), Regal offered him a spot in a tournament to crown the Number One Contender to the NXT Championship. Tye obliged and will face Eric Young. The rest of the brackets are: Elias Samson vs. Roderick Strong, Oney Lorcan vs. Bobby Roode, and Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. No Way Jose. The winners of those 4 matches will have a Fatal 4 Way Match to determine the Number One Contender to the NXT Championship.
I like this method of getting a new contender for the NXT Championship. NXT always feels like more of a real competition than the main roster brands and maybe these types of tournaments are the reason why. I just think it gives more legitimacy to the actual Number One Contender which is always a nice thing.
Asuka keeps claiming she has no competition. One person I literally forgot about was Nikki Cross. Nikki has been such an unknown commodity in since joining Sanity that I didn’t even think of that. The two women just stared each other down with creepy smiles. I’m all for this feud! It would definitely be a hard-hitting match.
Ember Moon/Kimber Lee
Ember Moon took on Chikara star Kimber Lee in a match that aired on NXT. Kimber Lee was fairly impressive in the early going. She managed to get a number of holds on Ember and it was a lot more competitive than most matches with “local competitors”. I love that NXT is giving a lot of new female talent the opportunity for TV time even if they aren’t under contract. You just never know who might show up. Ember Moon ended up getting the win with the Eclipse.
Samoa Joe/Shinsuke Nakamura
The rematch from Osaka, Japan for the NXT Championship between Joe and Nakamura aired on this edition of NXT. It was cool getting to see the customary ribbon throwing before the match from the Japanese crowd. This match didn’t feel quite as significant as previous encounters between these two. As expected, Nakamura did indeed win the title back in front of his home crowd. It was also announced that the rematch will take place inside a steel cage on the Australian tour this month.
It looks as though Nakamura is keeping the title and that Joe will finally make his way to the main roster. It’s about time, Nakamura can hold the title until Wrestlemania weekend and debut on the main roster after that. That sounds like the best course of action to me. It’s weird to think about the depth of talent that WWE has right now and that they just keep getting more. It’s incredible.
It was a great episode of NXT, we were introduced to what’s next for each title and we were treated to the NXT Championship match from Japan. It was a pretty good show.