This week’s edition of NXT kicked off with two major announcements from General Manager William Regal. He announced that the next NXT live special on WWE Network will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 11, as well as an eight-Superstar tournament to determine the No. 1 Contender to NXT Champion Sami Zayn!
Still furious after Kevin Owens’ attack last week, Zayn stormed the ring and pummeled Tye Dillinger relentlessly before demanding that Owens come to the ring.
When Regal tried to calm him down, Zayn said he won’t be wrestling anyone else, unless it’s his longtime friend. Though he was reluctant to reward Owens’ behavior with an NXT Title match, Regal finally relented when Zayn demanded a non-title match. At TakeOver on Feb. 11, Zayn will finally get his hands on Kevin Owens!
The tournament to determine Zayn’s next challenger began with Finn Bálor taking on former Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel. The third-generation Superstar was extra confident and may have underestimated his unusual opponent, as Bálor sent Axel to the arena floor and followed up with a daredevil dive over the ropes.
The aggressive Axel eventually pounced on Bálor, clobbering him with fists and boots, but may have taken a second too long to gloat. A missed double axe handle off the ropes gave Bálor the opening he needed to hit the Sling Blade and the devastating top-rope double stomp he calls the Coup de Grace to reserve a spot in the semi-finals.
The two former BFFs looked to be on equal footing in the latest chapter of their rivalry, until Becky Lynch tried to stick her nose in the proceedings, only to catch a clothesline from the champion.
That set off the Irish Diva, who ran into the ring and attacked Charlotte, costing Sasha the championship. The duo known as Team B.A.E. then ganged up on the champion until Bayley made her return from injury to even the odds. Bayley picked up the title to return it to Charlotte, but took too long a look at the prize, in Charlotte’s eyes. After the champion yanked the title out of her hands, Bayley stunned Charlotte with a Belly-to-Bayley Suplex! The tension boiling over among the four Divas led to Regal making a Fatal 4-Way for the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver!
Taking on the impressive, but less experienced duo of Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy, The Vaudevillains set out to prove they’re still the top contenders to the NXT Tag Team Titles.
However, Aiden English & Simon Gotch may have been blinded by their rage. Blake was able to use his leverage and send English straight into a big kick by Murphy. A stunned English stumbled back into a roll-up by Blake, giving the rookies the upset victory! After the bout, Blake & Murphy issued a challenge to NXT Tag Team Champions The Lucha Dragons. Kalisto & Sin Cara have accepted and will defend their titles against the confident challengers next week!
Hideo Itami was hoping to join his friend Finn Bálor in the semi-finals of the No. 1 Contender’s tournament, but would have to get through the wily Tyler Breeze to make it. Prince Pretty did well at avoiding Itami’s hard kicks at first, but soon found himself on the receiving end of a fierce boot to the chest.
Though Prince Pretty took control after throwing Itami face-first into the turnbuckle, Itami refused to give up. The Japanese star battled back with fighting spirit, stunning Breeze with a tornado DDT onto the ropes. After surviving another onslaught from Breeze, Itami secured his spot in the semi-finals with a huge flying boot to the face.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Solomon Crowe defeated Jason Jordan
- Finn Balor defeated Curtis Axel in a WWE NXT Title #1 Contendership First Round Match (4:55)
- Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks (w/ Becky Lynch) by DQ to retain the NXT Women's Championship (2:21)
- Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy defeated The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) (4:00)
- Hideo Itami defeated Tyler Breeze in a WWE NXT Title #1 Contendership First Round Match (12:55)