#98! Nothing last week, as NXT presented it's big show from Melborne (which I still haven't seen, so no spoilers), but I was out of town. So we ring in the new year with a brand new show instead, and what a show it is! DIY defend against the Revival in our main event, but we've got a lot of ground to cover before then.
To start with, we catch some footage of Asuka getting jumped by the Aussie Mean Girl Squad outside. They blindside her and then add insult to injury by dumping water on her. That sends the AMGS out to the ring to mash up Some Jobbers. We're back to no chyron for the nobodies, so get used to that one. The jobbers both have pretty good looks and not bad Token Jobber Offense, but no surprises here. Billie Kay cuts them off with the Austin Aries Special ("I think I'd try and put my thumb in her eye, Mauro."), then it's the facebuster across the knee for the pin. Match Rating: I Mean The Jobbers Have Distinct Visual Appearances, Not That They Are Pretty, Although They Are Also That. I'm not trying to make this about physical appearance, I just want to be fair to all parties. Anyhoo, the AMGS get on the mic and call out Asuka, making a double "I want the belt" motion to convey that, like team Chris and Kevin, they'll both be the champ. Of course, if you call out Asuka, she complies, and in a nice piece of continuity, her makeup is smeared down the front of her jacket from the earlier drenching. Asuka's not doing so well, but then out comes Nikki Cross! She cleans house, and just as Asuka's coming back around, Asuka eats a missile dropkick from Cross! During the break, the refs bring Asuka around, and she repays that by beating the shit out of one of them. Meanwhile, Cross (w/SAnitY) is backstage to let us know that she aims to make good on SAnitY's threat to take what they want, starting with the women's championship.
Great segment, super dense, and connects a bunch of threads from the past month or so. Really fun stuff.
The Drifter's out, and if you could just bottle the hate Full Sail has for him. After his song, he also squares off against Some Jobber. SJ's a lil' guy, but he's actually awfully good. Doesn't keep him from eating a swinging neckbreaker, though. Match Rating: That Old CJ Parker Magic.
Andrade Almas and Oney Lorcan have a rematch from the Osaka show, where Lorcan got a big win. This time around, though, Almas fails to come out to the ring in his La Sombra mask, and I am very sad. Anyhoo, Almas starts off with some taunts, but it soon spills outside where Lorcan hits him with a blockbuster on the floor. Almas turns things around back inside the ring, though, dropping Lorcan's neck across his knee. He does the double knee fake-out slap, then starts working Lorcan over in the corner. Lorcan elbows his way out, but Almas comes back with a dropkick for two, into a Fujiwara armbar. Lorcan escapes and they start trading some shots, until Lorcan gets the better with a massive European uppercut. He goes for another blockbuster, but Almas dodges, following up with a flurry of elbows and forearms. Lorcan tries one more time with an Alabama Slam across the ring from one corner to the other, but the ref gets in his face, and while he's distracted, Almas hits a low dropkick to set up the hammerlock DDT for three. Match Rating: Not Quite As Good As Osaka. Almas gets on the mic afterward, first to berate the crowd en Espanol, then to berate the crowd for not knowing Spanish. Seriously, this is in Florida. At least some of them should know Spanish. Anyhoo, 2017 will be Almas' year.
Nakamura had a sitdown interview with Tom Phillips, and it doesn't hit on too much. He gives respect to Joe, and to his next challenger, Bobby Roode, but he's confident he can beat Roode. The segment ends on kind of neat beat, though, when Phillips tells Nakamura that Roode gave him something to give to Nakamura: Roode's ticket from Takeover: Dallas.
It's an unusual way to start an angle, honestly, and I like it. But that's not important. What's important is what's next - our main event, as DIY take on the Revival for what will likely be the last time. Dawson starts out with a hard shot to Johnny Gargano, who retaliates with an inverted atomic drop. He tags in Ciampa, who starts throwing forearms around as Dash jumps into the ring, so DIY hit them with a pair of dropkicks, then send both of the Revival out to the floor. When we come back from break, Gargano's got an armbar on Dawson. He relents, and goes for an atomic drop, but as he lifts Dawson back, Dawson makes the blind tag to Dash Wilder. Dash eats an elbow as he comes in, but Dawson proves a distraction and as Gargano reverses an Irish whip, Dash comes in with a chop block from behind. Now the Revival are right where they want to be, and they start putting it to Gargano's knee. They're really going to town here. Gargano tries to fight his way out, but again the Revival use distraction techniques to keep control, and keep working over the knee. Gargano manages to roll out of the ring and posts Dash when he tries to follow up, but Dash manages to tag in Dawson before Gargano can get to his own corner, and Dawson cuts off Gargano with a massive tackle. He brings Gargano back to the Revival's side of the ring, and Gargano eats a Demolition backbreaker/turnbuckle knee combo. Gargano gets twisted into a really wicked half crab, but when they let up on him for just a moment, he finally clips Dawson with an enzuigiri and makes the Hot Tag to Ciampa! Ciampa is a house moderately afire, throwing a mess of elbows and a running knee to the corner for Dash, and then he lifts Dawson up into a German suplex. He holds on for a second one, and as Dash tries to make the save, Ciampa back body drops Dash and rolls through into a third German suplex on Dawson! He hits a big knee for two, but the Revival rally back as Dawson hits a big clothesline that sets Dash up for a sunset flip into a jacknife cover for two. The Revival shoot for a Hart Attack, but Ciampa ducks low, and Gargano pops Dash with a superkick. Ciampa covers, and Gargano runs interference against Dawson, but Dawson manages to shove Gargano into the pin attempt to break it up. The Revival goes after Ciampa, but Gargano makes a blind tag to bring himself back in, and as Ciampa and Dash go outside, Gargano hits Dawson with his roll through kick. At this point, all four guys are moving too fast for my notes to keep up with. I know that a battering ram attempt gets countered here, and there's some other good stuff, but my notes are useless until the Revival go outside, and things slow down a bit as HOLY SHIT! Gargano topes out of the ring and mostly into the guard rail, as Ciampa sentons out onto mostly the timekeeper's table. DIY definitely came out of that much worse off than the Revival. Still, they technically remain in control, and try for the big combo. They get cut off, though, and as Gargano gets pulled outside by Dash, Dash also manages to pop Ciampa with a guillotine across the top rope, and Ciampa staggers around into a DDT from Dawson for two. Whew, that one was close. However, as Dawson tries to follow up, he eats a knee from Ciampa, just as Dash is eating another enzuigiri from Gargano. The Revival crawl toward each other in the middle of the ring, and as they huddle up, Ciampa and Gargano seize their opportunity, hitting a massive double knee strike/superkick combo to both of the Revival. One, two, three, DIY retain! Match Rating: Shortish (Well, For These Guys), But Definitely Sweet.
After the match, though the Authors of Pain are out to ruin DIY's celebration with some powerbombs. I hope DIY can pull a decent match out of these two human walls.
Backstage, GM Regal is in his office with some announcements for the upcoming Takeover: San Antonio. I liked it better when they had names instead of places. Anyhoo, Regal makes the tag title match for the AoP official, as well as announcing the contract signing for Nakamura/Roode for next week. I love that NXT has made contract signings one of my favorite parts of the show. Before we cut out, though, Asuka bursts into the room, demanding Regal make a championship match. "With who?" "ALL OF THEM!" Okay, then.
Big, dense show, tying together a lot of the stuff for Takeover, and delivering a truly spectacular swan song (if, indeed, it is) for the Revival. 2017's off to a hot start, and my big, secret, largely not-thought-through 100th recap spectacular is only a few weeks away!
KJames and Spiff, I completely agree that Santinois horrible in the ring, but a turn from comedy to straight heel IS pretty easy. All he has to do is throw Maria under the bus (not literally but with the WWE, who knows?)