Happy Hump Day everyone! It’s another Wednesday evening, which of course means another hour of NXT entertainment. A week after we actually got a bonus two hour year in review show, we are back to the normal format of sixty fun filled minutes of action and brand new to television matches. This week is going to be mostly all about setting up the rest of the card for the rapidly approaching NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, which hits us during the weekend of the Royal Rumble. We also get a tag title rematch between champions Fish and O’Reilly, and former champs Sanity. What will be in store for us fans when NXT heads to the City of Brotherly Love? Let’s crack open this Nutshell and find out!

Best Match of the night:

This was an easy one. All about the tag title match, as we had a late substitution which saw Aleister Black and Roderick Strong team up to take on Fish and O’Reilly. Four really strong wrestlers and strikers in the ring, battling for the NXT tag straps? Yes please!

Worst match of the night:

Not really one to complain about. I mean, Baszler and Sullivan both had short matches, but they were there to serve a purpose and they worked, I’d hardly complain about either of them, to be honest.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

NXT! NXT! NXT!

Shayna’s gonna kill you

Kassius Ohno

Ohno

One more time

Lio! Lio! Lio!

Let her go

Nikki Cross

Aleister

Star of the Night

I shall give four options. Or really, two, as I consider one a group award.

On the female side? Shayna Baszler. We all knew she’d be a force once she was formally unleashed on the women’s division, and now she has been.

On the men/group side, tonight was all about the Undisputed Era starting 2018 with a bang.

Spot of the Night:

That stomp by Baszler on Dakota…they sold it well

Ohno’s “high tension elbow strike”. I liked Nigel’s name, “Northern Forearm”

How about Lars Sullivan, delivering a second Freak Accident, this one off the second turnbuckle.

Undisputed Era, with their post-match assault on Aleister Black, including dropping Black onto a steel chair. Ouch.

Jobber of the Night:

Poor Dakota Kai, she was fed to Shayna Baszler…and Shayna took full advantage of things, winning the match via an injury stoppage.

Lio Rush would like a piece of the price too. Little guy, as prodigious as he’s supposed to be, was destroyed by Lars Sullivan

Upset of the Night:

Nothing doing here

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

The Authors of Pain can suddenly speak English?! Who knew…I mean…they’ve been around over a year, and I am pretty sure this episode was the first time we’ve heard them speak English….outside of Ellering, of course.

Lars Sullivan, after destroying Lio, calls out Killian Dain

We then cut to the back, where Undisputed Era was laying waste to members of Sanity ahead of their rematch tonight.

Botch of the night:

Wasn’t really one to speak of. I am sure Strong cutting off Regal, and then Black cutting off Strong, was all planned.

Commentary of the night:

“Oh my, with the ghost of WCW Saturday Night in attendance….”

LOL Moment of the night:

Wasn’t NXT, but when I was logging in to watch the show, the WWE app said “Boogeyman and other legends to appear on RAW 25”. Really?! Boogeyman?? A legend?? Me thinks the definition of “legend” suddenly got watered down…

Nigel, as we watched the replay of Sullivan’s second turnbuckle Freak Accident, declaring that Rush was probably fifteen feet in the air…OK, I get it, you want to sell it…but it was at most like, ten feet. Let’s not go too crazy…

Noteworthy Moment:

We’ve finally had the in ring NXT debut of the Queen of Spades. Don’t be shocked if she shoots up to the top of the heap rapidly.

Velveteen Dream is back, and even more arrogant than ever…interrupting Johnny Gargano and demanding that Gargano thank him for the opportunity, since it was due to Dream being out that created the chance for Johnny. It will be interesting to see where they go with the Dream character in 2018.

Regal announces that next week, we have a #1 contenders match for the tag titles–Street Profits versus Authors of Pain, winners get the champions (Undisputed Era) at TakeOver: Philadelphia.

Here’s just a random question…do we think Lio Rush got fed to Lars Sullivan because of Lio’s comments a few months back that weren’t well received? Could be….I wouldn’t put it past folks…

Black and Cole had issues during the main event, which pulled Black away from the match and allowed Undisputed Era to retain…but also set up another match for TakeOver.

Overall lowlights:

This is going to be a funny one…but Regal getting cut off by Strong…and then Strong, about to head to the back to “find a partner”, got interrupted by Black. I mean, it was awesome, but I actually like when Regal comes to speak.

And yes, the above is tongue in cheek. I loved the segment.

Overall highlights:

Shayna and her in ring debut. She’s mean, nasty and vicious, and unlike just about every woman we’ve ever seen roll through NXT.

The Atlanta crowd. Wow were they hot.

Black and Strong, an interesting team. Two outstanding wrestlers, very impressive strikers, and guys the crowd was just loving. Nice segment and match for them.

After the final bell:

As far as first shows of the year go, this one was a really good one. Lots of seeds planted for the remaining card as we head into TakeOver. Sanity is being phased out, from where I sit (phased out meaning, I do believe we see them on RAW or SmackDown in a few weeks).

Speaking as a Philly area native, I do believe the crowd in Philly is going to love an Adam Cole/Aleister Black match even more now that it’s become an extreme rules match.

All in all…a really good show. It’s amazing how much more can be crammed into an NXT hour…feels more action packed and entertaining than the shows on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Results:

Shayna Baszler destroys Dakota Kai, winning the match via injury stoppage. As Dakota was being tended to, Baszler attacked yet again, and that brought out Ember Moon (to set up their TakeOver match).

Kassius Ohno defeats Raul Mendoza

Lars Sullivan destroys Lio Rush

Undisputed Era defeat Roderick Strong and Aleister Black (Strong and Black replaced Sanity, after a pre-match attack by Unisputed Era on Sanity)

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