WWE NXT 12/13/17 is going to be a stacked show as it is airing on the USA Network as part of “WWE Week” on the cable network. I’ll be watching on the WWE Network as I’m “West Coast challenged” and would have to wait an additional 3 hours to watch this on cable. So, yeah, here’s hoping they keep NXT on the Network going forward. Anyway, confirmed for tonight is Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce (non-title I’m guessing) and the main event of Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole for a spot in the Fatal Four Way match to see who faces Almas at the next TakeOver. Since this is a show being used to turn the masses onto the yellow brand, I imagine we’ll have a tag match of some sort and expect the champ to pop in for a backstage segment or something. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 12/13/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. We open with a dramatic video package explaining why Almas is champ and Regal’s plan to find a new number one contender.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped (originally taped 11/29/17) from Full Sail. Mauro welcomes us to the show and we see Nigel and Percy.
Later tonight? Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole in a Fatal Four Way Qualifier match.
Almas’ music hits and he’s out with Zelina Vega. He’s dressed to work a match so “champ enters first”. He gets some boos from the Full Sail crowd and soaks it in a bit. Out next? Fabian Aichner.
Match #1: Andrade Cien Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) vs. Fabian Aichner
Maybe this episode being aired (edited, but we’ll get to that) on the USA Network had something to do with it – but this match and the one that follows felt like main roster matches. That’s kind of a bad thing. Aichner gets in a ton of offense early on, including some 2 counts – on the champ – and I expected to settle into a nice two segment, competitive match. Nah. Immediately after the second two count, Vega distracts Aichner, Almas dumps him to the outside, tosses him into the steps, and then hits his finisher out of nowhere for the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – I want to believe that they had to “main roster” this match up for time because this felt like the entire middle of the match was missing. There was absolutely no reason for Almas to win so quickly after getting dominated the entire match.
Later tonight? Cole vs. Black.
Before the break, we see a video explaining who Aleister Black is.
Back from break, we get a gruesome shot of the staples in Alexander Wolfe’s head. That’s right, it’s another nicely shot outdoor SAnitY vignette. EY tells us that SAnitY has not left the battlefield and next week they’ll finish what they started at War Games when they face 2/3 of the Undisputed Era for the tag titles.
Back in the arena, Lorcan’s music hits. Burch’s music hits next and they head to the ring. We learn they’re facing the Authors of Pain so… yeah. AoP are out next with Ellering.
Match #2: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Authors of Pain (w/ Paul Ellering)
Lorcan and Burch do a series of uppercuts and then get dominated by AoP. After the Super Collider and Last Chapter, AoP pick up a quick and easy win over one of the fledgling new teams at NXT. What a waste.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Absolute waste of Lorcan and Burch. AoP are decent enough but they have no real purpose at NXT any longer. Send them up to do this on Raw or SmackDown already.
Up next? Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce. This match is apparently a “WWE Network exclusive” as WWE chose to air an Ember Moon hype video on the USA Network instead.
Back from break, we see a hype video on the Pete Dunne / Tyler Bate story.
Next week? Dunne defends the UK title against Bate!
Meanwhile, Ember Moon is out because the “champ enters first” now for whatever reason. Royce’s music hits and she and Billie Kay are out next.
Match #3: Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay)
Finally something on this week’s episode that actually feels like NXT! Royce has one of the better matches we’ve seen from her lately and she even hits a 619 on Ember at one point! Kay factors in briefly early on, but this is a relatively clean match for the Iconic Duo. After getting Royce caught in the ropes and hitting a stomp, Moon goes up and puts Royce away with the Eclipse.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – After the last 20 minutes or so of this episode, this match was a breath of fresh air.
Post-match, Moon briefly celebrates until she’s taken down by Kay. The double team ensues and Royce bounces Moon’s face off of Kay’s knee. Nikki Cross heads out, makes the save, and cleans house. While we’re not really at “RubyCross” levels quite yet, Cross’ mannerisms imply that she’s crazy (obviously) and may want a shot at Moon’s title.
So, instead of all that (easily one of the high points on this week’s show) you got this if you watched on the USA Network instead:
Next, we see something called “Street Talk” that involves the Street Profits interviewing random fans outside of Full Sail.
After that, we get a video package on Adam Cole.
Up next? The main event. We also learn that Regal has banned Fish and O’Reilly from ring side. I like to think he locked them in a cage and fed the key to Killian Dain.
During the break? Shayna Baszler is signed and is coming to NXT soon!
Next week? SAnitY defends the tag straps against Fish & O’Reilly!
Back in the arena, Cole’s music hits and he’s out with Fish & O’Reilly. Two thirds of the Undisputed Era head to the back and Cole heads to the ring alone. Cole is insanely over at Full Sail. Black’s music hits and he’s out next. Black is also insanely over at Full Sail. They’re really forcing the Full Sail crowd to have to make Sophie’s Choice with this match.
Match #4: Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole (Fatal Four Way Qualifier Match)
This match and the women’s match before it saved this week’s episode. Cole presents as the cocky heel and knocks it out of the park. He constantly taunts Black throughout the match and it eventually ends up being his downfall. This is a really strike heavy match and it boiled down to who would hit their finisher first. Cole has a shot at a superkick after a backbreaker gets him two, but Black is able to block the kick. Black hits another sick knee strike that staggers Cole, but Cole taunts Black again and asks him what he’s “got”. The answer? A Black Mass. Goodnight, Adam Cole.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – A well executed match and it played perfectly to the strengths of both guys. Also, having Black continue his undefeated streak was a good idea. Not sure if they’ll go with him in the Fatal Four Way, but that’s always a grey area if he doesn’t win there but also doesn’t take the pin.
Post-match, Black celebrates by sitting cross-legged on the mat.
We get the updated Fatal Four Way graphic and see next week’s matches again (likely to hype the WWE Network to the USA Network audience since they never do this).
We go off the air on Black getting ready to leave the ring.