Welcome one and all to the latest installment of The NXT Spotlight right here at TJRWrestling. I am your host as always and although I may be a day late, I’m not a dollar short. I’m here for you as we get ready for one of the biggest non-Takeover episodes of NXT ever. Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe in a two out of three falls match to determine Finn Balor’s #1 Contender. There must be a winner. Let’s get to the action!
Takeover Takes Shape
We start this week’s show back at Full Sail University with William Regal coming down to the ring. Regal grabs a mic and talks about Baron Corbin’s unprofessional actions last week against Austin Aries. Corbin’s actions deserve discipline and deserves a suspension, but Regal isn’t going to do that. Austin Aries has asked him not to. Aries’ only request was to give him a match against Corbin. So at Takeover: Dallas, Austin Aries and Baron Corbin will go one on one. Regal hypes up the main event tonight and then leaves the ring.
Two out of Three Falls Match: Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn
Sasha Banks, Hideo Itami, & Michael P.S. Hayes are shown at ringside as Samoa Joe makes his way down to the ring. Larry Zbyszko, Mauro Ranallo, & Adam Jones from the band TOOL are also shown at ringside. Side note, there’s also a guy in the front row who’s wearing a shirt that says “Flex Dana Flex” and let’s just say at first (and second) glance, it did not look like it said Flex. We go to commercial before the competitors are announced.
We return to Joe and Zayn getting the big match introductions in the ring. The bell rings as the crowd is fully behind Zayn. Both men feel each other out until Joe kicks him in the knee. Zayn shakes it off and then almost gets his head kicked off by Joe. They go back to the middle and knuckle lock and then Joe gets a wrist lock on Zayn. Joe with a quick pin that only gets a one. Zayn back to his feet quickly as they tie up and now Zayn gets the advantage with a wrist lock. He kicks Joe in the ribs and then rolls him up for a pin but Joe kicks out quickly. Joe forces Zayn back into the corner and actually gives Zayn a clean break as the ref gives his five count. They tie up again and Zayn gets Joe in the corner this time and face washes Joe with his forearm until the ref breaks it up. Once more on a tie up and Joe gets him down with a headlock. Zayn tries to throw him off the ropes but Joe doesn’t let go. Zayn gets him the second time but Joe comes back with a shoulder tackle and then a pin attempt. Zayn kicks out at two but Joe goes back to the headlock. Zayn fights out again, armdrags Joe and then goes to an armbar. Zayn turns it into a cradle pin but Joe kicks out. Zayn right back to the arm. Joe delivers a series of forearms to get out and then chops Zayn for good measure a couple times. Joe shoots him off but Zayn hits his backwards leapfrog off the bottom rope and then armdrags Joe again. Joe goes to the outside to regroup. Zayn wants to dive to the outside but Joe moves so Zayn bounces off the top rope and lands on his feet in the ring as we go to commercial.
We come back to both men tying up again and Joe gets the advantage with kicks to the chest of Zayn. Zayn gets slammed down and Joe follows up with a snap elbow drop. Joe goes right back to the headlock. Zayn gets out but runs into a back elbow. Joe goes for a pin but Zayn kicks out at two. Joe with some Mongolian chops in the corner and then face washes Zayn in the corner followed by the Samoan Broski Boot. Joe goes for the pin and Zayn kicks out again at two. Joe with a couple headbutts and some straight jabs to Zayn, who crumples on the apron. Zayn tries to fight back with a chop and some forearms but as he comes off the ropes, Joe catches him at an awkward angle and somehow is able to dump him with an overhead belly to belly. Joe starts to tee off on Zayn and working the body with punches and short elbows. Joe comes off the ropes and is caught with a stiff clothesline. Zayn hits two more clotheslines and then tries to get Joe in the corner but Joe goes for the Muscle Buster. Zayn gets out but gets caught with Joe’s corner enziguri. Joe with a pin but Zayn kicks out. Joe continues to lay into Zayn in the corner but Zayn once again fights back. Joe hits an atomic drop followed by a big boot and the running senton but Zayn kicks out again. Zayn crumples down again but as Joe goes for a move, Zayn catches him in the Koji Clutch. Joe escapes rather quickly and then hits a snap powerslam that gets a two count. We go to commercial.
We come back to Joe once again destroying Zayn in the corner. The ref checks on Zayn but Zayn shakes his head no. Zayn asks for more and Joe obliges. Zayn is on spaghetti legs but continues to fight backs. Joe sweeps the legs out from under Zayn. Joe goes off the ropes but Zayn backpeddles and is able to low bridge Joe over the top rope. Zayn follows up with a sitting springboard moonsault to the outside and takes out Joe. He sends Joe back in the ring and then goes to the top rope. High cross body but Joe kicks out. Zayn wants the Blue Thunder Bomb but Joe blocks it. Zayn goes for it one more time but Joe reverses it into a splash and a pin but Zayn kicks out. Joe hits a massive clothesline but yet Zayn kicks out again. Joe gets Zayn up for a Muscle Buster again but Zayn blocks it and then goes to knuckle lock Joe and walks off the top rope. Joe counters that move and catches Zayn in a urinagi in the corner. Joe wastes no time to go for the Muscle Buster again and this time he connects and picks up the first fall with it.
Samoa Joe 1 – Sami Zayn 0
After a commercial following the first fall, the bell rings again and Joe charges Zayn in the corner and wants to go for another Muscle Buster. Zayn fights out but Joe still chops him down to the apron. Joe hits some elbows and Zayn can’t stay on his feet. One more time for the Muscle Buster and Zayn continues to battle. A couple headbutts from Zayn, followed by a second rope missile dropkick. Zayn headbutts Joe again and draws a trickle of blood from Joe. The ref separates Zayn to take a look at it but Zayn refuses and starts to wail on Joe in the corner. Joe fires up and then just lays into Zayn. Joe with a snap suplex followed by a pin which Zayn kicks out at two. Joe goes back to a headlock. Zayn fights out, only to be snapmared and then a kick to the spine and boot to the chest. Zayn somehow turns that int oa pin right after but Joe kicks out and then kicks Zayn out to the floor. Zayn rolls back in the ring but Joe just sends him right back out. Zayn is sent hard into the ring steps. Zayn is back in at the count of eight as Joe starts to show some frustration. Joe sends him back to the outside and follows him there. Joe lays out Zayn with a STO on the floor. This time Zayn is back in at nine. Joe tells Zayn it’s not worth it and that causes Zayn to fire up. He wants to suplex Joe but Joe blocks it. Joe goes for the same but Zayn blocks it. Zayn finally hits a suplex and Joe goes to the outside. Zayn winds up and hits his suicide dive over the top rope onto Joe. He throws Joe back in and goes to the top rope. He jumps and lands on his feet. Joe goes for a clothesline but Zayn ducks and ends up hooking on the Koji Clutch. Zayn has it locked in good and Joe has no choice but to tap out.
Samoa Joe 1 – Sami Zayn 1
Another commercial break between falls and we come back to the bell ringing and both men trading blows. Zayn hits a Blue Thunder Bomb out of nowhere but Joe manages to kick out. Joe is set up for the Helluva Kick but Joe rolls to the outside. Zayn goes up top but Joe manages to cut him off. Joe wants a Superplex but Zayn has different ideas. Zayn hits a sunset flip powerbomb and Joe still manages to kick out. Joe rolls to the outside again to get some separation. Zayn rolls perpendicular to Joe and hits his Tornado DDT through the turnbuckles. Joe really sells the effects of the DDT and barely gets back in the ring at the count of nine. Zayn has the Helluva Kick set up again but Joe blocks the kick and turns it into a Powerbomb with the pin. Zayn kicks out and it’s turned into a high angle Boston Crab which is quickly turned into a crossface. Joe now cranks back on Zayn’s open arm in a Rings of Saturn style submission. Joe yells at him to think about his future but Zayn gets his foot on the rope to break the hold. Joe strikes Zayn with kicks to the chest and the last one to the ribs sends Zayn down in a heap. Joe follows up with palm strikes and slaps and an enziguri. Zayn is just barely making the ten count to get back to his feet. Joe with some brutal knees and kicks straight to the temple of Zayn and Zayn down again. Zayn pops right back up in an act of defiance and catches Joe out of nowehre with his own Kokina Clutch! He tries to sink it in but Joe gets to the ropes. Joe now gets caught in the corner and is drilled with an exploder suplex into the turnbuckles. Helluva Kick attempt number three and Zayn misses again. Joe comes from behind and hooks in the Kokina Clutch. Joe has it really sunk in with the body scissors. Zayn reaches for the ropes but passes out. The ref lifts up Zayn’s arm once and that’s enough for the ref and he calls the match. The match went 43 minutes.
Winner and new #1 Contender: Samoa Joe (two falls to one)
We see replays of all three falls and then Joe gets his hand raised in victory as officials check on Zayn. That’s our show.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
– Wow. What a freaking match. That was as hard hitting and old school psychology as you’re going to see these days. Zayn and Joe both played their roles to a T. Just brilliant. Starts slow but hooks you in by the end. Loved every second of it.
– One thing that I didn’t get to add in the recap, but I loved because of what it added to the match, was the commentary of Corey Graves and Tom Phillips. All episode long and repeatedly during the match, they kept hyping up an American Alpha vs. Vaudevillians match and appearances by Bayley and Asuka. By the time the third fall started, they announced that all of that would have to be rescheduled due to the length of this match. I loved that. That’s a small aspect of the entire story, but it adds so much depth to it. Kudos to them.
– So now we have our first two matches signed for Takeover: Dallas and they are both worth the price of admission. As long as you paid face value that is. It’s amazing to me that if the card fills out as expected, the “weakest” match on the card is going to be Austin Aries vs. Baron Corbin. Talk about a stacked show if that’s the case. Joe vs. Balor II should be outstanding and with all the rumors of either one of them getting called to the main roster, there is even more intrigue in this match than there was in the original that took place in London.
Just like that, our time has come to an end but have no fear, we will be back next week as we get ever closer to Takeover: Dallas. Until next time, I’ve got nothing witty to leave you with.