Signed, Sealed And Delivered
– Giving the Tag Team Championships to Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy so quickly may hurt them – even if they looked good, as they defeated Lucha Dragons in shocking fashion. The idea is revolved around “newcomer’s success” per se, but we haven’t seen what Blake and Murphy can truly do when under pressure. The Dragons were over as Champions too and losing them so quickly hurts them too. These two teams are due for a rematch, so this might be the time for Blake and Murphy to solidify themselves as serious in the tag team picture, now that they lead the division. Blake and Murphy are quick and energetic – if one had to draw a comparison to another team, it might point to Paul London and Brian Kendrick. While they seemed to come off heelish last week, Blake and Murphy appeared to be humbled faces.
– The Bayley-Charlotte backstage segment played up the ongoing tension between Charlotte and Bayley, with Charlotte not pleased about Bayley coming out to save her last week. From a storyline perspective, it’s easy for us to see why Charlotte would be upset with Bayley, since her interference pretty much set up the reason why Charlotte has to defend her belt against three Divas. If only Charlotte had better mic skills, it would have been even better. She just didn’t sound threatening, though she made an attempt.
– After coming so close to victory in a great match last week against Hideo Itami in Round 1 of the NXT World Title Number-One Contender’s Tournament, Tyler Breeze established that it didn’t affect him and was ready for more competition. This was good for his “narcissistic” gimmick perhaps, but maybe they should’ve had him be a little bothered by it. This was his chance to go for the NXT Title. Isn’t that what everybody wants?
– The Adrian Neville-Tyson Kidd #1 Contender’s Tournament match was filled with good action. Some kind of cryptic message also popped up during Neville’s entrance. Interesting. Based on Neville’s previous spot in the Title picture and Kidd not really going anywhere in NXT, Neville was the favorite here. The good thing was Kidd was someone who could make this fun, and that’s what happened. Even in defeat, Kidd looked strong. With the exception of Dempsey/Corbin, they’ve booked this tournament just right and haven’t rushed any matches either.
– Neville’s post-match comments made him sound tough and eager to face more competition and get back to where he once was. Neville looked good on this episode. He’s going to go far. He’s an all-around kind of competitor.
– The backstage interview with Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch appeared to set up tension between them because of how the NXT Divas Title is in play. Lynch obviously won’t help Banks in this case.
– The backstage interview with Murphy and Blake had them again appear as humbled guys who respected the Lucha Dragons and just wanted to take on anybody. Fighting champions? We’ll see.
– The Charlotte/Bayley and Banks/Lynch tag team match disappointingly ended in a no contest, but it hyped the fatal four way for next week some more and followed up on the tension between Bayley and Charlotte headed into the match by having them fight. Having no finish in the match also prevented anyone from looking weak.
– The Finn Balor backstage interview played up his history with Itami, whose comment about having to take Balor out if he had to was good. Nothing too convincing here though as both guys lack good mic skills at the moment, but this was necessary to hype their match. What they lack on the mic they more than make up for in the ring.
– The Emma backstage interview set her focus on a “restart.” More hype for next week, but this was just random. What exactly will she do?
– Was it smart to have Baron Corbin defeat Bull Dempsey in such quick fashion in their match in the #1 Contender’s tournament? Albeit, Corbin came out looking like a beast. This may be in advance if he will lose to Neville next week, but this was all at poor Dempsey’s expense. He’s 0-2 against Corbin in a “personal” feud and just got dominated here. Dempsey has decent mic skills and that can help him, but he needs momentum back pronto.
– The backstage segment with Corbin and Dempsey furthered their feud some more, even though Dempsey got pushed away again, looking weak. Maybe Dempsey ties it up or costs Corbin when he faces Neville next week?
– They’ve spiced up the Kevin Owens-Sami Zayn encounter for February 11 as good as they could, with it now being for the NXT Title. The contract signing segment with them and William Regal was intense and entertaining. To Zayn, this was personal going back to their 12-year friendship and to Owens, this was business. Owen’s comment about it being “for his wife and kids” may had come across as sympathetic but with his laid-back demeanor and intense stare, Owens was definitely a bad-ass heel here. You had to love the tension between the two and Owens got the “first shot” by throwing the pen at Zayn’s face, clear disrespect. With some time left between now and February 11, how will they keep this feud hot? It seems WWE wants to keep the Belt on Zayn, but with Owens on the rise, this could be the time for Zayn to drop it and be in chase mode again, as Zayn’s character is completely investable in that way and Owens could be a dominant Champion.
– Tag Team Championships – Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy def. The Lucha Dragons via pinfall to Become New Champions
– NXT World Title #1 Contender’s Match – Round 1 – Adrian Neville def. Tyson Kidd via pinfall to advance
– Charlotte/Bayley and Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch to a No-Contest
– NXT World Title #1 Contender’s Match – Round 1 – Baron Corbin def. Bull Dempsey via pinfall to advance