Last week, rather than bringing you another pre-taped episode of WWE NXT from Full Sail University, the WWE Network aired a special “NXT Best of 2015” episode that included highlights of such things as Kevin Owens’ meteoric rise through NXT to the main roster, Sami Zayn’s injury, the debut of Hideo Itami, NXT on tour, the emergence of Finn Balor, the NXT side of the Divas Revolution, and even a never-before-seen match between Cesaro and Neville. And that was just Part 1.
This week, Corey Graves and Rich Brennan bring you Part 2 of this NXT retrospective, continuing the look-back at the best NXT moments of 2015.
- Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens at Beast in the East: Placing an emphasis on Balor’s history in Japan, the special takes a look at the build-up to Balor’s first NXT Championship reign that began in Tokyo, where he defeated NXT Champion Kevin Owens.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 7, 2016
- Never before seen match — Apollo Crews vs. Tye Dillinger: When tickets went on sale in November for WrestleMania 32 in Dallas, as confirmed by WWE.com, NXT was in town to give the Texas residents a small taste of what they can expect when WWE takes over the home of the Cowboys. Apollo Crews made his NXT debut in 2015, and Tye Dillinger’s “Perfect 10” gimmick brought him to the highest point in his career so far. They had a match in Dallas that had never been aired by WWE prior to this special.
- The rise of Bayley: Finally coming into her own, Bayley is the NXT Women’s Champion and a leader in the NXT locker room. While other members of the “Four Horsewomen” moved to the main roster, Bayley continues to help the NXT women’s division grow.
- A new crop of NXT women: Now that NXT has been shown to produce some of the highest quality female wrestlers in the world, all eyes are on the NXT women’s division to see who the next big thing in women’s wrestling will be. This segment specifically takes a look at Carmella, Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, Emma, Dana Brooke, and Asuka.
— WWE Breaking Ground (@BreakingGround) January 5, 2016
- The passing of Dusty Rhodes: “The American Dream” was a huge part of NXT, providing encouragement and advice to all of NXT’s future stars. Several NXT stars talk about Dusty during this portion of the show. As Wrestle Zone noted, Dusty Rhodes was a mentor for many of the up-and-coming talents on the NXT roster.
- The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament: Highlights of the entire tournament were shown, especially the finals which saw Finn Balor and Samoa Joe defeat Baron Corbin and Rhyno. This victory served as a transition point for Joe to challenge Balor’s reign as NXT Champion. More on that later.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 7, 2016
- 2015 Graduates — Neville, The Ascension, Tyler Breeze, Becky Lynch, Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks, The Lucha Dragons, Charlotte: Highlights were shown of these WWE Superstars who officially made their transition to the main roster in 2015.
- Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady and The Hype Bros vs. Dash & Dawson and Chad Gable & Jason Jordan: As some superstars move on from NXT, others must take their place. With the Lucha Dragons and The Ascension moving to the main roster, the four teams in this eight-man tag try to prove that they’re the next great tag team in NXT.
- Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe — NXT Championship Match: A video package of the way this feud began was shown before highlights of the match that took place at NXT TakeOver: London.
This WWE NXT special can be streamed on-demand through the WWE Network. If you have a Hulu Plus subscription, you can stream this episode of NXT on-demand beginning Thursday. Part 1 of this NXT retrospective is currently available through the WWE Network and Hulu Plus.
[Image via WWE NXT]