Hey, it’s WWE NXT! And they’re On The Road, brother!
The show started with a video package which told us that this show was not from Full Sail University – it was from the Arnold Sports Center in Columbus, Ohio! They hyped hometown girl Alex Bliss versus Sasha Banks, and Alex Riley’s revenge mission against Kevin Owens!
The Arnold Sports Center is bigger than Full Sail, and the crowd were not the usual regulars, so this would not be the usual show.
JoJo announced Kalisto, who came down to the ring for the first match, against Tyler Breeze. Breeze got some chants from the crowd, although the duelling “Breeze is gorgeous! No, he’s not!” was sadly absent.
They had a decent match, with Breeze playing base for much of Kalisto’s lucha-inspired offense. Breeze hit a Supermodel Kick for a nearfall, but otherwise it was all Kalisto. A Beauty Shot of nowhere – three weeks in a row, now – gave Breeze the win in just short of eight minutes. Good stuff.
They showed a video package hyping the Kevin Owens/Alex Riley feud. Owens comes across as such a dick. Which is as it should be.
Backstage, Alex Bliss cut a talky explaining how happy she is to be home in Ohio and putting Sasha Banks on notice for their non-title match.
They showed a really good video piece on NXT’s presence at the Arnold Sports Classic, including a visit to sick kids at a hospital. This made them seem big time and HHH ended with, “That’s not a developmental brand anymore, that’s a brand.”
Backstage, Finn Balor talked to Alex Riley and told him he’d be watching very closely tonight, because he would be fighting Owens for the title next week. Riley says he will do to Owens what Owens has done to everyone else, but Balor warns him to be careful.
They showed another video package, this time on NXT’s debut in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of this mini-tour. It looked like a ton of fun.
Hey, it’s Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy! I loves me some Dubstep Cowboys! But tonight Blake is flying solo, taking on Big Cass because some things from the main roster bleed down here, unfortunately.
Blake and Murphy look SUPER-HYPED to be in Columbus. They’re jumping and styling to the ring like it was 1985. And that’s not a bad thing.
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady & Carmella come out, and Enzo does his usual schtick. I can’t believe there are people who say they are tired of it – maybe they’re tired of living?
It’s funny that, even in Columbus, he & Cass got cheered and Carmella got booed. The princess of Staten Island can’t get no love.
They went back and forth, but Cass got on top. Murphy jumped up on the apron to interfere, and Carmella got up there to stop him. Cass kicked Murphy off the apron and Blake pushed him into the ropes, sending Carmella to the floor. As Cass looked over, concerned, Blake rolled him up for the pin.
After the match, Cass and Enzo checked on Carmella, who was ouching her ankle and very upset about a tiny cut on her knee…
They showed a hype video for Dana Brooke, who will be coming soon. She’s a fitness model, whatever one of those is.
Hey, it’s Alexa Bliss! She glittered her way down to the ring for her match with Sasha Banks.
Banks came out and was OVER. Despite this being Bliss’s home town, the crowd was split, but way more for Banks than Bliss. Banks tried some trash talk but the crowd didn’t want to hear it. She’ll need to work on that.
They had an okay match. Bliss is still green but Banks carried her well enough that you weren’t taken out of the match by anything horrible.
The finish came when both girls were brawling outside the ring, and Bliss sent Banks into the ringpost and made it inside just before the ten count. Banks was FURIOUS, Bliss was surprised and DELIGHTED.
Backstage, Kevin Owens cut a talky on Riley, saying he will make him wish he never quit his cushy announcer’s job. Then he’ll go after Finn Balor.
Alex Bliss was backstage, over the moon at her victory over Sasha Banks. Banks interrupted and reminded her that she wasn’t pinned, and William Regal appeared and made a title match between the two for next week’s show.
Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Kevin Owens versus Alex Riley! They both got big pops coming down the ring – it’s the psychopath versus RAGE!
Before the bell, Owens taunted Riley and the ref had to keep them apart. The match started and Riley bulled Owens into the corner, and the ref broke them up again. Owens took Riley apart after that, methodically and calmly, until a dropkick from Riley gave him hope, but Owens came right back with his cannonball in the corner.
There was a funny moment when Owens had Riley on the mat in a chinlock and the crowd chanted, “Rest Owens Rest!”.
Owens taunted Riley throughout, playing the best dick heel, but Riley came back with an elbow, and then knocked Owens outside. Back in the ring, Owens went for a cannonball again, but Riley moved and hit a spinebuster for two. Good spinebuster, too.
Riley missed a crossbody and Owens hit a series of running sentons, and then rolled Riley outside. He threw him into the barriers and then back into the ring, where a pop-up powerbomb ended it.
After the match, Owens set up to powerbomb Riley into the ring apron but Finn Balor appeared on the stage and warned him off. Owens decided to do it anyway, and Balor dived into him before he could.
They brawled around ringside and Balor threw him into the ring and hit his dropkick into the corner. Owens escaped the ring before Balor could land his double footstomp off the top, and left the arena, kicking Riley for good measure on his way out. Balor stood tall in the ring – they’ll fight on next week’s show, for the title.
This was a Good Show. Not a Great Show, because there was nothing you’d go out of your way to see, but a nice little television programme that never dragged and had some decent action. What more can you ask from a professional wrestling show? Nothing, that’s what.