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    Friday, January 6, 2017

    The NXT Grapevine, January 2017

    It's a new year (yes it is!), and that means another edition of the NXT Grapevine! NXT returns to Full Sail next week after spending the last few episodes highlighting the live shows in Australia and Japan, which means another taped set of matches.These matches serve as the lead-in to NXT TakeOver: San Antonio, which happens over the Royal Rumble weekend at the end of the month.

    As usual, we'll put a SPOILER WARNING here. The matches below have yet to be aired, so do not read them if you want to be spoiled. Do also note that things may be filmed out of order every now and then, so expect some changes and cuts when these matches hit the WWE Network.


    Airing January 11th:

    • Peyton Royce and Billie Kay attacked NXT Women's Champion Asuka in a parking lot.
    • Peyton Royce and Billie Kay def. Macey Estrella and Mary Dobson. After the match, they cut a promo on how the Women's Championship belongs to them. Asuka came out but was beaten down before Nikki Cross made the save. Cross then laid out Asuka afterwards.
    • Elias Samson def. Jonathan Cruz.
    • Andrade 'Cien' Almas def. Oney Lorcan. Almas reportedly debuted a new finisher in this match. Afterwards, Almas cut a promo and said that 2017 will be his year.
    • NXT Tag Team Championship Match: DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) def. The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) to successfully retain the championship. Afterwards, the Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) run in from the crowd to lay out DIY.

    Thoughts: DIY vs. Authors looks set for TakeOver: San Antonio, which should be a different match compared to the Revival-DIY matches we've gotten used to. It should be fun watching Gargano and Ciampa in a clear underdog role against the bigger, stronger Authors. Elsewhere, Peyton and Billie (one of them, I suppose) looks headed for a title match against Asuka, though where Nikki Cross fits in to all of this is still a mystery.

    Airing January 18th:

    • Nikki Cross def. a local talent.
    • Roderick Strong def. Steve Cutler. Afterwards, Strong got a mic and said that he doesn't care what Andrade 'Cien' Almas thinks of him, and that he's only here for the NXT Championship.
    • Tye Dillinger came out and cut a promo on how he doesn't think he has it anymore. He talked about how there are only so many times you could let the fans down. SAnitY (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe and Nikki Cross) came out and Young offered Dillinger a spot in the group. Dillinger refuses and lays Young out, but Damo ran in and attacked Dillinger. Damo then accepted a jacket from SAnitY, officially joining the group.
    • Ember Moon def. Liv Morgan.
    • A contract signing for the NXT Championship match at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio took place. Bobby Roode downplayed Shinsuke Nakamura's accomplishments, Nakamura responded by telling Roode that he looks like a Shiba Inu. He then promised to knock off Roode's head in their match.
    Thoughts: Almas vs. Strong looks bound to happen at the next TakeOver, which should be a fun match. Both men are very talented, so this could be a sleeper pick for match of the night. Dillinger getting tangled up with SAnitY also looks great, and if Dillinger is indeed on his way to the main roster this could be a way to get SAnitY look very strong.

    Also, no, Bobby Roode does not look like a Shiba Inu. Having no post-contract signing brawl also feels weird, but maybe we're just too used to Samoa Joe coming in and shouting "REGAAAAAAL!".

    Airing January 25th:

    • Aliyah def. Mandy Rose.
    • No Way Jose def. Kona Reeves. Elias Samson came out afterwards to interrupt Jose's celebration and sing a song.
    • Eric Young def. Chris Atkins.
    • TM-61 (Nick Miller and Shane Thorne) def. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder). The Revival beat TM-61 up after the match, and a medical team came out to check on Thorne's leg.
    • NXT GM William Regal came out and announced that NXT Women's Champion Asuka will defend the title in a four-way match against Peyton Royce, Billie Kay and Nikki Cross at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio. All four women come out for a brawl, with Asuka and Cross standing tall at the end.
    • NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Tajiri def. Bobby Roode and Samoa Joe after Nakamura pinned Joe. Roode received several "Shiba Inu!" chants throughout the match. Afterwards, Kassius Ohno made his return and had a brief staredown with Nakamura before leaving.

    Thoughts: Looks like we're finally getting a multi-man match for the Women's Championship, and having Asuka and Nikki Cross in it should be great. Ohno returning is a big surprise, and it looks like he's gunning for Nakamura and the NXT Championship right away. Jose-Samson looks like your typical TakeOver opening match, and it should be fun to see who wins that. Either guy can use the win to build up a stronger presence, so let's see if they go with Samson or Jose for now.

    And yes, you read that right: Kassius Ohno is back in NXT. A potential feud with Nakamura looks awesome as all hell.


    What do you think of the upcoming episodes of NXT?

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    Item Reviewed: The NXT Grapevine, January 2017 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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