NXT fan favorite Sami Zayn returns to action on this week's episode of WWE NXT, and Apollo Crews issues a challenge to NXT Champion Finn Bálor. Meanwhile, NXT Women's Champion Bayley teams up with No. 1 contender Carmella in a tag match. Samoa Joe, Baron Corbin, and Tye Dillinger are all in action, and Rich Swann makes his Full Sail University on-air debut.
While we will briefly touch on future episodes that have been recorded by the WWE developmental program, full spoilers for Wednesday, January 20, are below, immediately following a quick recap of a few things that happened last week which directly affect this week's episode.On last week's episode of NXT, Sami Zayn cut a promo in which he declared his intention of becoming the first two-time NXT Champion. Samoa Joe interrupted him and said that he felt he deserved a title shot. Both of them were interrupted by Baron Corbin. While Finn Bálor and commissioner William Regal were nowhere to be found, it seems clear that these three will be fighting for the No. 1 contender spot. Also, Carmella won a Women's Battle Royal to become the No. 1 contender for the NXT Women's Championship. She last eliminated Eva Marie, although Asuka arguably had the best overall performance. Bayley hugged Carmella after the battle royal.
NOTE: The following contains full spoilers for the January 20, 2016 episode of WWE NXT.
- Sami Zayn made Adam Rose tapout in the opening match. This is the first of three matches on this episode of WWE NXT that are part of the storyline revolving around naming a No. 1 contender for the NXT Championship.
In a crazy series of events, @CarmellaWWE wins the @WWENXT Women's #BattleRoyal to face @ItsBayleyWWE! https://t.co/eESLfNBexe
— WWE (@WWE) January 14, 2016
- Apollo Crews pinned Tye Dillinger in the second match of the night. Post-match, Apollo cut a promo and challenged Finn Bálor to a match. Interestingly enough, he said the match doesn't have to be for the NXT Championship. That's an interest unlike any of the other three winners of the men's singles matches on this episode of NXT.
- Baron Corbin pinned Rich Swann. This was Swann's debut match. He has no prior experience with WWE or TNA, and has no affiliation with the recent Bullet Club signings. Reports are that he was received well, and he has built quite a reputation in the independent promotions.
- WWE Women's Champion Carmella and Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss and Emma (w/ Dana Brooke) when Alexa Bliss tapped out to Carmella. Just like last week, the champ and her challenger hugged it out in celebration after their victory.
- In the final match of the night, Samoa Joe made Johnny Gargano tap out. All three guys wanting a title shot from Finn Bálor won their singles matches this week. More on how that story develops below.
WWE has also reported on their website that they will be taping future WWE NXT programming on January 22 at the University of Central Florida, with two advertised matches including Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe to determine the No. 1 contender for the NXT Championship, and Bayley vs. Carmella for the NXT Women's Championship.On the January 27 episode of WWE NXT, there is a Triple Threat Match to determine the No. 1 contender for the NXT Championship featuring Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin. In that match, Corbin taps while in submission moves from both Joe and Zayn. This sets up the No. 1 contender's match at the UCF tapings.
New episodes of WWE NXT air live on the WWE Network on Wednesday evenings beginning at 8/7c. Beginning Thursdays, replay of WWE NXT are available to stream on-demand with a Hulu Plus subscription.
[Image via WWE]