Hey, it’s WWE NXT! It’s better than Raw!
The show started with a re-cap of last week’s events in Columbus, Ohio, setting up tonight’s double main event of Kevin Owens versus Finn Balor for the NXT Championship, and Sasha Banks versus Alexa Bliss for the NXT Women’s Championship.
The announcers welcomed us to the show and we got straight on with the entrances for their first match – Banks versus Bliss!
Alexa Bliss, the babyface, got a weaker pop than Sasha Banks, because Banks is awesome. Ain’t no thing.
Banks trash talked her early and ran right into a drop toehold for a one count. Bliss hit a crucifix for another nearfall, and then tried more covers, all without success. She tried a corner leap over Banks but Banks sidestepped and kicked her in the belly.
Banks ran into a Bliss elbow in the corner, and ran in again into an attempted kick that she caught, then set Bliss up for the double knee stomp, which she hit.
Banks then stretched Bliss all over, but Bliss made a comeback and threw Banks outside, before remembering she couldn’t win the title by count-out and throwing her back in.
Bliss hits a Thesz Press but Banks escaped the mount. A massive slap from Bliss, a leg sweep and the Bliss Flip – finally hit dead on – got a nearfall, and she went up top for the finish. Banks, though, had other ideas, and yanked her off and locked on the Bank(s) Statement for the win.
So this was good in most places, never great but never awful. Bliss is still so green but getting better with every appearance. And it’s good practice for Banks to carry a greenhorn for when she gets called up to the main roster.
Backstage, Kevin Owens cut a talky. He invited Balor to bring the demon, but that no-one was taking the NXT title away from him or his family.
They showed a video package of Kevin Owens’s rise to the top in NXT. They’re doing a good job of making the main event feel like a big match.
Backstage, Emma told Bayley that she told her she was too nice, and her loss to Becky Lynch the other week proved that. She said that she couldn’t depend on the NXT fans.
Bayley started to tell her that she & Emma were different people, and that the NXT fans put her where she was, but Emma slapped her so hard that my sofa moved. FIRE!
Devin Taylor interviewed Tyler Breeze, and asked him what was next for him. “Another high quality question, Barbara Walters!” he said and reminded her that he’d beaten “Hideous” Itami.
Itami appeared and said that he had a win over Breeze, too, and challenged him to a two out of three falls match next week. Itami walked off as Breeze said, “I didn’t say yes, dummy!”. He then muttered, “Itami”, and dismissed Devin and exited stage left. I love Breeze.
Hey, it’s a hype video for Dana Brooke. New women!
Backstage, Devin interviewed Finn Balor. He said that he didn’t need the demon to beat Owens. They then showed a video package on Balor – again, good hype for the main event.
And to add to that, they showed highlights of Owens destruction of Alex Riley last week. Owens is a monster.
Backstage, Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady & Carmella were talking. Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy came in to apologise for Carmella getting hurt last week. They brought her jewellery, which they said they spent their championship bonus on.
Carmella wanted to know why Enzo & Cass never bought her gifts, and Enzo called it “fugazi”. Cass told them they should have gone to Jared’s (a chain of jewellers in the US) and Enzo said, “They spent their championship bonus on this? Must have been a light envelope.” Gold.
Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Kevin Owens versus Finn Balor for the NXT Championship!
So Owens is developing a new style since he debuted. His first match in, against CJ Parker, was all fast action and high spots, but he’s slowed down, maybe in an effort to try and cut back the cheers he gets.
Balor came to the ring without the demon bodypaint. But they did some cool stuff with lighting that made it look like the demon flashed into him at times.
Owens started out, as he has done recently, by rolling out of the ring and stalling. Back in, they locked up and Balor bulled him into the corner, and Owens got a sneaky boot to the belly as the ref was separating them. Good heeling.
Owens took Balor down with a headlock, and wore him down in the centre of the ring. Balor escaped and hit a dropkick, and Owens rolled outside again as we went to a break.
After the break, Balor had Owens in an armbar and Owens hit strikes to escape. Owens hit a running sunset flip but Balor rolled through it into a dropkick. Owens charged at him and got backdropped out onto the apron. Balor tried to suplex him back in but Owens dropped down into a neckbreaker on the ropes.
On the outside, Owens tried to powerbomb Balor on the apron and the announcers told us that we hadn’t seen Adrian Neville since Owens had done that to him. Well, apart from matches against Tyson Kidd, Baron Corbin & Finn Balor in the number one contenders’ tournament. So TNA. Balor backdropped Owens out of the powerbomb attempt.
Back in the ring, Owens tried a sideslam but Balor held on, and Owens transitioned into a Samoan Drop driver thingy for a nearfall. Owens hit his cannonball into the corner for another nearfall and then whipped Balor into the corner so hard that the announcers speculated that the ring moved. Owens locked on another chinlock as the show went to another break.
After the break, Owens and Balor were trading blows, until Balor backdropped Owens out of the ring and hit a flip plancha. Back in the ring, Balor’s double foot stomp to Owens’s back got a nearfall, and Balor went for the Bloody Sunday. Owens escaped but Balor hit a Pele kick.
Balor hit a slingblade and a HUGE lariat that Owens flipped for. The Bloody Sunday got a nearfall, and he whipped Owens into the corner for the hesitation dropkick that sets up the Coup de Grace. Owens moved and Balor hit knees-first on the turnbuckles.
Owens worked on the knee, really quietening the crowd. Balor rallied and took Owens up for a superplex, but Owens reversed it into a suplex off the top of his own for a nearfall.
Owens hit two cannonballs in the corner, and the ref tells him off for it. Because he gives zero fucks, he goes for another but Balor moved, and then dropkicked Owens into the corner for the Coup de Grace. He hit it but hurt his knee more and didn’t make the cover immediately. The hesitation cost him as Owens hit the pop-up powerbomb for the win.
This was a really good match. The crowd were a little flat, because this was near the end of that night’s tapings, and I’d really like to see this match-up again on a Takeover.
This was a Good Show. It was kinda weird, with only two matches, but it worked. Where does Owens go from here? Zayn’s the obvious one, but they need to build that, so who knows? Exciting getting there, though.