Last week’s show, once again, didn’t give up any previews of what to expect on WWE NXT 01/29/14. I’m assuming we’ll get The Miz vs. CJ Parker since we got that backstage segment that ended with Parker slapping Miz – but nothing else coming from it. Beyond that? No clue. I suspect Rusev will now fight a 3 on 1 handicap match against “not yet the New Day” with Sin Cara subbing in for Big E. PROVE ME WRONG 2014 NXT.
WWE NXT 01/29/14 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Tom Phillips welcomes us to the show as The Ascension’s music hits. Tom is joined by Alex Riley and William Regal this week. Already at ringside? Two dudes.
Match #1: The Ascension vs. Two Guys
Ascension squash. One of the random guys gets in a solitary jawbreaker to tag out to the fresh other guy. It doesn’t go well as the Ascension hit the Fall of Man not long after that “hot tag”.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – The Ascension destroy two random guys. Nothing to see here.
Meanwhile, Sylvester Lefort is backstage interviewing people to join his stable. Cal Bishop enters. Cal’s cauliflower ears are unacceptable to Lefort so he excuses Cal.
Later tonight? CJ Parker vs. The Miz.
Also, later tonight? Adrian Neville and Bo Dallas have a contract signing.
Back from break, commentary hypes up the contract signing. Apparently, Neville gets to pick the stipulation for the NXT Championship match. Remember this for later.
Corey Graves’s music hits and he’s out. Graves cuts a promo on Neville for trying to end Graves’s career. He’ll never forgive Neville for that and he has a message for all of NXT – stay tuned. Camacho’s music hits next and he’s out on that fancy lowrider bicycle.
Match #2: Corey Graves vs. Camacho
I guess it’s “squash match week” at NXT? This is a Graves squash where he works a headlock for 75% of the match, then dragon screws Camacho through the ropes. Graves locks on the Lucky 13 and Camacho taps.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – They’re hyping up Graves as this sadistic submission guy, but I have a sinking feeling he’s not going to get too far with this character tweak before he has to retire.
Meanwhile, Devin Taylor is backstage with Antonio Cesaro. He calls her “Debra” and says “whatever” when she corrects him. Cesaro doesn’t get why Zayn can’t take “no” for an answer. Cesaro has already beaten Zayn and Sami is delusional if he thinks he can face Cesaro now that he’s on crutches. Cesaro says he has better things to do and leaves the interview.
Up next? Bayley vs. Sasha Banks.
Back from break, Lefort is still backstage interviewing people. Sawyer Fulton enters, wearing a shirt that exposes one of his nipples. He shakes Lefort’s hand, won’t let go, says he didn’t know about the interviews, and just acts generally weird. Lefort dismisses him.
Meanwhile, Bayley’s music hits and she’s out… with Natalya again. Huh. Because it’s a women’s match on NXT in 2014, Renee Young joins commentary as is the law. Sasha’s old music hits and she’s out with Charlotte and Summer Rae.
Match #3: Bayley (w/ Natalya) vs. Sasha Banks (w/ Summer Rae & Charlotte)
Okay, I think I finally get why Natalya is shoe-horned in as Bayley’s “friend” now. The match is rather “meh” for a Sasha and Bayley match… I mean, Bayley fires up towards the end, but Sasha’s offense still feels somewhat “Diva-esque”. But, yes, the point to Natalya – towards the end of the match, Charlotte gets up on the apron to distract Bayley. Nattie comes out and pulls Charlotte down and a brawl breaks out. So, the point all along had nothing to do with Bayley, it was to set up Natalya vs. Charlotte. Okay, makes sense now. Bayley uses this distraction to hit Sasha with the Bayley to Belly and picks up the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – This program makes a lot more sense to me now. The match itself was “okay” but I like that they’re teasing Natalya vs. Charlotte now.
Up next? Tyler Breeze in action!
Back from break, Big Cass’s music hits and he’s out. Breeze’s music hits and he’s out next.
Before the match can start, Breeze takes an excessive amount of time taking selfies in the ring. Cass starts up a “sawft” chant which barely phases Breeze. Finally, Cass leaves the ring, takes a phone from someone at ringside and starts taking selfies and mocking Breeze. Full Sail loves this and chants “This Is Awesome” during it.
Match #4: Big Cass vs. Tyler Breeze
Breeze attacks on the bell but quickly falls victim to strikes from Cass. After a big boot gets Cass two, Aiden English appears on the Titantron singing “Colin” over and over again. English then opens a door to a room where we see Enzo in his wheelchair on the phone. English enters, closes the door, and we hear Enzo freaking out. Breeze uses this distraction to hit the Beauty Shot and get the victory.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Okay, this was fun but just a little overbooked.
Post-match, Cass heads to the back to check up on Enzo.
Up next? The Miz vs. CJ Parker.
Back from no break, Cass is backstage looking for Enzo. Cass finds Enzo, but English is gone. We learn that Enzo threatened English and Aiden threatened him back. Cass says that Aiden must like playing games. Cass starts naming off games while Enzo says “how you doin'”. So, the first time we’ve seen that. Cass tells Enzo to stop saying “how you doin'” but, sorry Cass, it’s gonna be a thing. They call English “sawft” but Cass leaves first and Enzo realizes the battery in his wheelchair is dead.
Meanwhile, CJ Parker is out for his match. The Miz follows.
Match #5: CJ Parker vs. The Miz
Ah, we’re back to the 2013 “main roster talent shows up and handily beats developmental talent” thing. This is okay, but Miz is never really in any danger of losing the match. Since I’m only really familiar with 2015 and later Miz, I didn’t realize he used to use the Figure Four as his finisher. After softening up Parker, he slaps on the Figure Four and Parker taps out.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – The best match on the show, but it felt like a showcase for the Miz… on the developmental show… which doesn’t make a ton of sense.
Next, we get a “backstage exclusive” interview with Sami Zayn. Sami wants Cesaro to tell him “no” to his face next week. I mean, Cesaro already told Zayn “no” to a rematch to his face the first time he told him “no”. It’s not like he did it over text or via backstage promo.
Meanwhile, Lefort is backstage still interviewing people. Mason Ryan enters and agrees to work for Lefort if Lefort can beat him in a match next week.
Up next? Contracts will be signed!
Back from break, Renee is in the ring to oversee the contract signing. Neville is out first in street clothes. Bo’s music hits, but he doesn’t come out. Neville cuts a promo on him and says he still has the match whether Bo comes out and faces him or not and signs the contract. Bo’s music hits a second time and he’s out dressed to wrestle. Bo says he isn’t afraid of Neville, he’s just tired of him. Bo will sign the contract on his own terms, but for now Neville can take a seat while Bo shows him why he’s the NXT Champion.
Some random music hits and Danny Burch (yep, that Danny Burch) is out.
Match #6: Bo Dallas vs. Danny Burch
Burch gets in three uppercuts. The rest of the match is just Dallas doing moves to Burch and staring at Neville at ringside. Eventually, Bo hits a Double Underhook DDT and covers Burch for 3.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Seeing Burch getting destroyed felt weird watching this 5 years in the future, but weaving a random squash match into the contract signing segment isn’t something we’ve really seen at NXT yet.
Post-match, Bo gets on the mic and invites Neville to get in the ring so Bo can sign the contract. Bo signs, and then as Neville turns to leave – Bo drops him. Dallas leaves the ring and when he gets to the ramp, he gets taken out by Neville diving through the ropes.
We go off the air on Bo and Neville brawling on the stage.
Oh yeah, what was Neville’s stipulation for the match? Uh… nevermind.
Next week? Mason Ryan vs. Sylvester Lefort.
Also, next week? Sami Zayn asks Antonio Cesaro to say “no” to Zayn’s face about a rematch.