This Week in WWE – NXT (1/18/2017)

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This week on NXT (1/18/2017), Sanity recruits a new member while Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura make their title match official!

Nikki Cross

Nikki Cross has really embraced her character ever since her debut with Sanity. When she was wrestling under her real name, she always had that physicality and personality, but she’s taken that to a higher level now. Cross beat Kennadi Lewis with her Swinging Neckbreaker after jumping on her back and raking the eyes. They’ve been very quick to build up Nikki and part of me wonders if she could walk away with the NXT Women’s Championship in San Antonio. I’m not so sure it would be the right time for that though.

Roderick Strong

There have been so many high-profile debuts in NXT from former ROH and TNA stars that it just becomes commonplace after a while. That was how it felt with Roderick Strong. Strong debuted in surprising fashion at an NXT taping and it was great and all, but then he became just another guy on the roster. He hasn’t really had his chance to make a mark yet.

Strong beat Steve Cutler on NXT with a Sick Kick after a pretty good match. The thing I notice with Roderick is that he’s so confident in the ring and so polished. He reminds me a lot of Randy Orton in the way that he makes it look so effortless in the ring. He’s a natural. After the match, it was announced that he would face Andrade Cien Almas at Takeover: San Antonio. I think this could be a good launching point for Roderick in NXT. It’s time to see what he can do on a bigger stage. If history is any indication, he’ll be just fine.

Liv Morgan/Ember Moon

Liv Morgan and Ember Moon are the odd women out of the NXT Women’s Championship Match at Takeover: San Antonio. They met up backstage for a promo this week to talk about what would happen after that match. Liv mentioned that they were after the same thing and that they should meet in the ring to see who challenges the winner at Takeover. Ember agreed and said Liv better be ready because after Liv is eclipsed, she’s going for that title.

I love Liv as a character because she’s just being herself out there and you can tell in the way that she talks. She’s very natural and doesn’t force anything. I like that in a performer because a lot of people try to say more than they need to. Liv says what’s on her mind and seems really comfortable any time she has to do a promo. The same can be said for Ember Moon, she’s equally as confident with promos. Both women capture my interest every time they’re on screen. They’ll face each other next week on NXT!

Tye Dillinger/Sanity

The Perfect 10 came out to address his future to the NXT Universe this week talking about how he came so close in the Fatal 4 Way and talking about how everyone believes in him. Before Tye could get to his point, Sanity came out to interrupt him. Alexander Wolfe attempted to give him the jacket and have him join Sanity and Tye dropped the jacket out of the ring.

Eric Young took over and started talking to Tye and comparing himself to Tye. He told him that sometimes the right decision feels wrong. Young said that he tried to do it their way, but he’s going to do it his way. Young gives Tye the jacket and makes clear that he’s not asking. Tye then proceeded to punch Young and knock Wolfe out of the ring. He went for the Tye Breaker before being speared by Damo. Damo takes the jacket and it looks like he’ll be the new member of Sanity.

Finally, Damo looks to have officially joined Sanity. It took a little while, but Sanity has their enforcer. The thing I don’t understand is, what happened to Sawyer Fulton? I’ve read that he’s injured, but why not address it in some way? It’s really weird when someone just randomly vanishes like that without explanation. I’m sure Damo will be an interesting addition, but I would have probably preferred someone else.

TM61

TM61 got a surprise win over The Revival this week on NXT before being beaten down post match. Shane Thorne in particular got the worst of this as they attacked his knee. The real reason for this attack was to likely write TM61 out of storylines as Shane Thorne actually is having knee surgery and is expected to be out at least a few months.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for this up and coming team. TM61 has been steadily gaining momentum over the last few months and I really believe a feud with The Revival would have been a turning point for them. I do think it will be good for them to come back in a rebooted way. It’s never a bad thing for a team to reinvent themselves and I think this could be the right time for TM61 to do that. I’d look for them to be a top team in the back half of 2017.

Bobby Roode

I like Bobby Roode for a million reasons, but the biggest one is that he doesn’t have to be a cowardly heel. Bobby is a confident heel who knows how good he is and what he’s worth. He came out for the contract signing and told Nakamura he was the It Factor of Sports Entertainment and that he’s the biggest star on God’s green Earth. He also made fun of Nakamura’s hand gestures which was hilarious to say the least while also saying he has half a haircut. Awesome stuff.

I really expect Nakamura vs. Roode to be an incredible match. I’m happy that Roode is getting the opportunity to show what he can do even though he’s one of the oldest stars in NXT. I was always afraid he wouldn’t get as much of an opportunity because of that. it just shows how much times have changed in WWE. If you’re good, the opportunity is there. This will be an exciting new match-up after having Joe vs. Nakamura for so long. 

Conclusion

NXT continues to impress me on a weekly basis when they aren’t giving matches that have already been spoiled on WWE.com. I really think that NXT gets every ounce of content that they can out of the hour of programming they have in a week. I’m sure that the go-home show before Takeover next week will be equally as exciting!

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