1. Regal is back from neck surgery, and he sets up a women’s battle royale for the number 1 contendership, then introduces Sami Zayn!
2. Sami proclaims that he is here to become a two time NXT champion, but Samoa Joe comes out to welcome him back and tell him to get in line. And just because things were getting too awesome, Baron Corbin comes out and sucks all the heat out of the room. Corbin brags about his durability, and can someone remind me why he retired from the NFL again?
3. Looks like we are heading for a 3 way dance to face Finn Balor, and I can cope with the presence of Corbin if it means we get to see Sami vs Joe.
4. Wrap up of the 2015 Year End awards, and with the possible exception of Enzo & Cass I totally agree with the viewer choices.
5. Good to see Tommaso Ciampa in solo action against Danny Burch, who plays the tough British geezer well. Not a bad match, but Ciampa can definitely do more in the ring, given the chance.
6. And Regal sets up the inevitable triple threat match between Joe, Zayn and Corbin in two weeks. Two weeks? Come on, man…
7. Next up we’ve got Dash & Dawson against the Ascension, who are back on NXT after their shining performance on the main roster. D&D are solid heel champs, which means that The Ascension are meant to be faces. To say they are not very good at being faces may imply that they are good at being heels, so let’s just say that they’re consistent.
8. Corey Hollis faces The Drifter Elias Sampson, and while Sampson isn’t a bad wrestler this gimmick is absolute death.
9. Women’s Battle Royale was fun, and a good chance for newbies like Aliyah, Billie Kay and Liv Morgan to get in the ring with experienced workers like Asuka and Emma. Oh, and reality TV stars like Eva Marie. It’s funny that most of the women look legitimately terrified of Asuka, which seems fair enough in my opinion. Carmella saves us from an Eva Marie win, which just means we get to watch Asuka kick the crap out of a few more people before she picks up the title.
10. Solid episode of NXT to start the new year, despite the absence of most of the big stars and a whole lot of talking. Maybe if Raw was only an hour long it wouldn’t suck as much.