While last week's episode of WWE NXT focused primarily on the NXT Women's Championship Match between Bayley and Carmella, as well as the ensuing chaos that involved Nia Jax, Eva Marie and Asuka, the feud between Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe takes center stage tonight as they fight to determine the No. 1 contender for Finn Bálor and the NXT Championship. Three weeks ago, the Triple Threat Match between Zayn, Joe, and Baron Corbin ended in controversy when Corbin tapped while in simultaneous submission holds from both of his opponents. Then, two weeks ago, NXT General Manager William Regal announced that the result of the match had officially been ruled a draw and a new match between just Zayn and Joe would determine the No. 1 contender. That match takes place on WWE NXT tonight.
A new No. 1 Contender for the #NXTTitle will be decided TOMORROW as @SamoaJoe & @iLikeSamiZayn do battle on #WWENXT!https://t.co/SnkhW2Icdw
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) February 16, 2016
The ever-expanding NXT tag team division also shows off four of their top teams in an eight-man tag match, Asuka takes on one of the NXT women's division rookies, and Tye Dillinger busts out his "Perfect 10" gimmick for a match against Alex Riley (as confirmed by WWE.com's official WWE NXT preview).
Because episodes of WWE NXT are taped several weeks in advance, NXT spoilers for the February 17 episode are available. All of the matches from this episode of WWE NXT were not taped at Full Sail University like most episodes. Rather, it was taped at the University of Central Florida. It was live on January 29 as part of the Royal Rumble weekend.
- Eight-Man Tag Team Match -- NXT Tag Team Champions Dash & Dawson and Blake & Murphy vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady and American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) -- It would seem that Gable and Jordan are beginning to challenge Enzo and Big Cass as the most over tag team in the NXT Universe. For the sake of the Full Sail regulars, one hopes that the two teams will collide over the NXT tag titles before either or both of them are called up to the main roster. Meanwhile, former champions (and Alexa Bliss minions) Blake and Murphy struggle to remain relevant as the current champs continue to reign supreme over the NXT tag division.
- Asuka vs. Deonna Purrazzo -- It's unclear exactly what direction NXT is going with the Women's Championship. While Nia Jax has already had an opportunity against Bayley, you have to believe they have bigger things in store for her than simply jobbing to face champions. With the backing of WWE Corporate, Eva Marie is always a potential threat. And then there's Asuka. Despite making the save for Bayley and Carmella last week, her eerie smile directed at the current champ resulted in an ecstatic "Yes!" chant from those in attendance.
!!! @Zakioka_wwe: リングの上にはNXT Women's ChampionのBayleyとAsukaその時、Asukaがとった行動は！？ pic.twitter.com/3q9MlV77ZE
— ASUKA / 明日華 (@WWEAsuka) February 12, 2016
- Tye Dillinger vs. Alex Riley -- Riley is one of several WWE Superstars who have looked to NXT for an opportunity to re-brand his in-ring persona. Tye Dillinger, on the other hand, is still trying to break through to the main roster for the first time, hoping to be recognized by the WWE writing staff as a "Perfect 10."
- NXT Championship No. 1 Contender's Match -- Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe -- This match should outshine everything else on the card. While the WWE Universe is excited to see both of these competitors on Raw and SmackDown in the near future, their feud over a chance to face Bálor has grown into a thing of beauty on its own. While both guys had bouts nominated for NXT's 2015 Match of the Year, this has the full potential to be a five-star classic.
New episodes of WWE NXT air on the WWE Network on Wednesday evenings beginning at 8/7c and are immediately available to stream on-demand. Beginning Thursday, replays of WWE NXT are also available to stream on-demand with a Hulu Plus subscription.
[Image via WWE]