‘WWE NXT’ Spoiler-Free Preview [Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, Apollo Crews — January 20, 2016]

This week’s edition of WWE NXT packs four men’s matches and a women’s tag team bout into one hour of programming on the WWE Network. Many of their top-tier performers are in action, including Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, and Apollo Crews. NXT Women’s Champion Bayley sees tag action with No. 1 contender Carmella. All of this takes place tonight as they build towards the big taping on Friday at the University of Central Florida that kicks off the WWE Royal Rumble 2016 weekend, where Bayley will defend her title and a new No. 1 contender for the NXT Championship will be determined.

What follows is a spoiler-free preview of WWE NXT airing on the WWE Network on January 20, 2016. The full WWE NXT spoilers are also available.

  • Sami Zayn vs. Adam Rose — A week ago, Zayn announced his intention to be the first-ever two-time NXT Champion. Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin both had a thing or two to say about that. This week, Sami faces Social Outcasts member Adam Rose in an attempt to prove his title-shot worthiness.
  • Apollo Crews vs. Tye Dillinger — Both having lost at NXT TakeOver: London, Crews and Dillinger will need to turn things around before NXT’s next big event, NXT TakeOver: Dallas, part of the WrestleMania 32 weekend.
  • Baron Corbin vs. Rich Swann — While Baron Corbin tries to prove he deserves a shot at Finn Bálor’s NXT Championship, Rich Swann will be making his NXT debut at Full Sail University. Swann has no previous experience at WWE or TNA in the United States and isn’t at all related to the recent Bullet Club and NJPW signings.
  • NXT Women’s Champion Bayley and Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss and Emma (w/ Dana Brooke) — On the episode of WWE NXT that first aired on January 13, Carmella won a women’s battle royal (from which Dana Brooke was absent) to become the new No. 1 contender for the NXT Women’s Championship. Following that victory, Bayley made her way to the ring to give Carmella a congratulatory hug. This week, they team up together against women who’d like to be competing for the NXT Women’s Championship themselves. With Dana Brooke at ringside, can Bayley and Carmella focus on this match instead of their future title bout?
  • Samoa Joe vs. Johnny Gargano — Like Zayn and Corbin, Joe wants a chance to show the NXT Universe that he deserves another shot at Finn and the title. He will face Johnny Gargano, a relative newcomer to NXT. While Samoa Joe has an extensive past with TNA and is well-known among United States wrestling fans, he’s been heavily involved in the NXT storylines and has only wrestled in front of the main roster WWE Universe in matches taped for WWE NXT. Advertised as the main event, a video was posted at WWE.com with the following caption.

“Independent scene standout Johnny Gargano faces his toughest test yet in NXT when he takes on Samoa Joe, tonight at 8/7c, only on WWE Network.”

As with all non-TakeOver NXT programming, this show was pre-taped. The episodes for January 27 and February 3 have already been taped as well. It would follow that the tapings taking place at UCF this week will be for at least the February 10 episode, if not also for February 17 and beyond. Without giving away any spoilers, this is where Bayley will defend the NXT Women’s Championship against her friend Carmella. According to WWE.com’s announcement, at the same taping, a new No. 1 contender for the NXT Championship will be determined.

New episodes of WWE NXT air live on the WWE Network on Wednesday evenings beginning at 8/7c. Beginning Thursday, replays of WWE NXT are available to stream on-demand with a Hulu Plus subscription.

[Image via Twitter]