Hey, it’s WWE NXT! It’s that show whose main title changed hands on a proper show! Whit–whoo!
The show started with Dana Brooke & Emma coming down to the ring for the opening match. They were out there to fight Sasha Banks and whoever she could find as a partner, but Banks came out alone. Brooke & Emma made fun of Banks not having a partner but Banks said she’d take them on all on her own.
Suddenly, Charlotte’s music hit and she came down to join the match. She offered to be Banks’s partner but said that Banks would owe her one. Banks agreed and the match was ON.
So they had a match, and it was a pretty good match. Nothing world-breaking but a decent contest where Brooke, the least of these women, looked pretty good. The good gals got the win after just under five minutes of fun, when Banks locked on the Bank(s) Statement on Emma as Charlotte hooked Brooke in a Figure Eight Leglock. Emma submitted but Brooke was also tapping.
After the match, Banks & Charlotte hugged and then Charlotte called in her favour – she asked for a title match next week. Banks teased saying no but eventually agreed. Good start to the show.
“This past weekend”, Bayley cut a backstage promo about her broken hand. This looked like it was filmed on a mobile. A shitty one, too. She vowed to go after Emma, and then the NXT Women’s Championship. Good, if muffled.
They showed a video hyping the Kevin Owens versus Finn Balor NXT title match at Beast In The East, and then showed the match. Here’s what I wrote on Saturday:
Hey, it’s Finn Bálor! He did his demon entrance which is still slightly spine-tingling, despite some awful direction by whoever was in that particular seat. To say Bálor, who is yet to appear on the main roster shows, was over is an understatement. Then Owens came out and the place went crazy again. NXTis big time.
They did the traditional Japanese title match rituals, such as streamers and girls presenting flowers to the competitors. Bálor accepted this gracefully but Owens threw his flowers to the floor and moaned about the streamers. Classic heeling.
And then they had a match. A great match. Twenty minutes of nearfalls, heel stalling, trash-talking… fast and slow, always intense. Owens stole Cena’s moves, as is his wont lately, and even teased a package piledriver, turning it into a slam instead. Bálor, for his part, teased the Bloody Sunday when his Coup de Grace only got a nearfall, and you could tell Cole was itching to call it by name.
Owens ensured that he was a very effective heel by stalling and very loudly deriding Japan and its people rather than by any shortcut cheating, and Bálor played the determined, resolute babyface throughout. Both men were perfect.
Bálor got the win – and became the new NXT champion – with a second Coup de Grace at just under twenty minutes, and the place came unglued. This was the first ever NXT title change outside of Full Sail and truly marked the little promotion (with deep pockets, admittedly) as a big thing.
After the match, Tatsumi Fujinami came out, to a big, respectful pop, and embraced the new champion. Then Bálor asked for a handshake and Owens looked like he was going to accept but then blew it off and left the ring. Great stuff.
They showed footage of Kevin Owens from backstage, which didn’t air on the Beast In The East show, where a cameraman asked him for his thoughts after losing the title and Owens grabbed the camera and chased him away.
Backstage back at Full Sail, Devin Taylor spoke to Chad Gable. He said that Jason Jordan not picking him as a partner obviously meant that Jordan wanted to stay at the bottom. He said he was ready, willing, and… “Gable!” shouted Jason Jordan, who wanted to accept his offer. Gable extended his hand for a handshake, a towel with his name printed on it draped over his arm…
Somewhere else backstage, Solomon Crowe said he was back. He called himself “NXT’s resident little monster.” Okay.
Hey, it’s Marcus Louis! He came down to the ring, with no music and no video, for a match with… Solomon Crowe! Louis looked creepy, or at least like someone pretending to be creepy. Crowe looked the same as he did last time we saw him but I don’t think he’s a hacker any more.
So they had a match and it was a solid match but both men seemed lacking in something. I don’t know what it is but they’re both not quite there, if you know what I mean? And that’s fine for Louis, because he’s a developmental project but Crowe ought to be somewhere by now. Still early, I guess. Anyway, Crowe got the win with the Stretch Muffler, which they called the Crowe Bar.
The Vaudevillains cut a talky, saying they were headed to the top of the NXT tag-team division, and promised to become number one contenders last in the show.
They showed a bit from backstage at Tokyo, where Finn Balor was congratulated by Cesaro and Neville, both NXT alumni. John Cena walked up and congratulated him, too, calling it “one Hell of a match.” Balor then cut a talky to camera, saying winning the title in Tokyo was a dream come true.
They promised an update on Sami Zayn’s medical condition for next week’s show.
Hey, it’s our main event! It’s The Vaudevillains versus Enzo & Big Cass! And the winners will be the number one contenders to Blake & Murphy’s NXT Tag-Team championship!
The Vaudevillains came out first and got a good reaction, but then so do Enzo & Big Cass, who come out with Carmella. This is not just babyface versus babyface, it’s Full Sail Favourites versus Full Sail Favourites. Enzo did his usual schpiel and Cass told the Vaudevillains they had to put up or shut up.
Enzo & Simon Gotch started the match, with Gotch getting the better of the earlier exchanges, ending in a one-count from a roll-up. Enzo then cleared him out of the ring, and then Aidan English came in and Cass cleared him from the ring. Enzo & Big Cass then did the S-A-W-F-T in the ring and the show went to commercial.
After the break, Enzo & Big Cass were double-teaming English in the corner. Enzo boxed English to the mat but then English got his boot up in the corner on a charging Enzo. The Vaudevillains took over, isolating Enzo with some sweet teamwork, but Enzo made the hot tag and Big Cass came in and took out Gotch. He then hit a spinning sidewalk slam on English but got distracted and almost pinned with a roll-up. He came back, hit the East River Crossing on English and then called for Enzo.
Enzo climbed up the turnbuckle for the finish but Gotch yanked Big Cass out of the ring before he could launch Enzo at English. Enzo took off anyway, and hit English with a splash but his momentum carried through and English made the pin for the win. The Vaudevillains are number one contenders!
This was a Great Show. It was a joy to watch and just skipped along with fun matches, good promos, and progressive angles. NXT has had a few off weeks lately but this is right back on track.