We see the usual intro, then go to the opening match.
Finn Balor vs. Tye Dillinger
Crowd chants “You’re a Jobber” at Dillinger before the bell. Chain wrestling early, series of evasions, then Balor with a dropkick. Dillinger comes back with a forearm, followed by a big chop to Balor in the corner. Gut kick & another big chop by Dillinger, but Balor avoids a corner charge and hits a big chop of his own. Running chop by Balor in the corner, followed by 2 flying forearms. Dillinger misses a right hand, Pele Kick by Balor. Balor off the ropes and hits the Slingblade. Dillinger goes into the corner, Balor charges and hits the Shotgun Dropkick, sending Dillinger crashing into the turnbuckles.
Balor heads up top, COUP DE GRACE!!! 1-2-3!
Winner: Finn Balor by pinfall (Coup de Grace)
Balor celebrates his win afterward, but then Tyler Breeze interrupts Balor on the Titantron as he is leaving.
Breeze: “Bravo, Finn. Bravo, Finn, everyone’s so impressed with Finn Balor. Everyone loves Finn Balor. Well, you know who doesn’t? Me, Tyler Breeze. Because you waltz in here and let me assure you that you are nothing more than a flavor of the month. I think its about time that you meet someone whose been dominating NXT, Prince Pretty. See you around, Finn.”
THOUGHTS: Simple showcase for Balor and a nice set-up afterwards for an eventual program with Breeze for the next live special.
Backstage, Devin Taylor interviews Dana Brooke and congraulates her on her debut last week.
Brooke: “Aw, Devin. What you saw last week was not the debut, it was the birth, no, no, no, the re-birth of the NXT Women’s Division. Now you see, it is molded in the shape of the most beautiful, the most deviant and definitely the most strongest Diva, Dana Brooke. Now this is Dana’s Playground and playtime is over.”
THOUGHTS: Promo was OK, but Brooke still comes off as very rough around the edges with her movements and her speaking. The NXT Women’s Division has had nothing but hit after hit for the last couple of years, this unfortunately looks like this may be their first swing and a miss.
Back from commercial, we go backstage as Devin Taylor interviews NXT Champion Kevin Owens about his return Grudge Match tonight against Alex Riley.
Owens: “You cold? I feel a draft. You know what? I’m gonna give Alex Riley credit, I don’t do that very much. A few weeks ago, he gave me a pretty good fight, you were there, we’re you there? You saw it? Good fight, but I won. Tonight’s gonna be the exact same thing because I’m better than him, that’s why I have this, he’s never had this, never will. So hopefully tonight, he will get a clue, finds a nice chair, table, some headsets and uh, just leaves me alone. Anything else? I’m gonna go get a coat.”
THOUGHTS: Good work from Owens, continuing to set himself apart from everyone else when it comes to cutting promos as the constant interactions with whomever the interviewer is allows for the promos to come across as conservations instead of your run-of-the-mill promo. Owens, along with a few others, notably Dean Ambrose, allow for their promos to not make the viewer think they are reading off a script like it seems that way from the rest of the roster.
Triple Threat NXT Women’s Title #1 Contenders Match: “Its” Bayley vs. Becky Lynch vs. “The Dirtiest Diva in the Game” Charlotte
Crowd chants for Bayley as the bell sounds. Charlotte & Bayley double-team Lynch early. Knees to the ribs by Charlotte, then goes for a pin, but Bayley breaks it up. Lynch fights back, but Charlotte with a back club. Charlotte goes for another pin, but again Bayley breaks it up. Basement back elbow by Bayley to the back of Lynch’s head, followed by a sliding clothesline. Charlotte with a series of knee drops to Lynch, then Bayley sends her outside. Charlotte with a series of big chops to Bayley, then avoids one by Bayley, but Bayley comes back with forearms. Bayley sends Charlotte into the turnbuckles, but Charlotte fights back with more chops. Knee drop by Charlotte, then applies the Rolling Figure Four Headlock. Charlotte kips up, then hits a series of shoulders to the ribs of Bayley in the corner. Lynch comes back in, but Charlotte fights her off. Charlotte runs into boots by Bayley, then Lynch hits a Wrist-Clutch Suplex. Lynch stomps away at Bayley in the corner as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial as Lynch with an elbow to the back of Bayley’s head, followed by an uppercut. Series of running snap leg drops by Lynch, followed by a leaping leg drop for 2. Lynch with a series of kicks to the back of Bayley’s leg, then locks in an ankle hold with her knee driven into Bayley’s knee. Commentary brings up how Lynch injured the knee of Bayley a few months ago. Crowd wills on Bayley as she counters out with a Sunset Flip for 2. More uppercuts by Lynch, followed by a Dragon Screw. Lynch goes for another leglock on Bayley, but sees Charlotte going onto the apron and knocks her back down to the outside. Bayley takes down Lynch and unloads with right hands to the back of Lynch’s head. Running shoulder to the ribs by Bayley in the corner, but Lynch avoids the running back elbow. O’Connor Roll, then Lynch switches into the Four-Legged Clover, but Charlotte comes back in and breaks it up with the Natural Selection! Charlotte covers Lynch, but Bayley breaks it up. Charlotte with shots to Bayley, then places her up top. Charlotte heads up with Bayley, but Lynch pulls Charlotte down by the leg. Lynch heads up now with Bayley and goes for a superplex, but Bayley blocks it. Charlotte gets underneath Lynch and brings her out of the corner in powerbomb position. Bayley heads up top at the same time, POWERBOMB/TOP ROPE BACK ELBOW COMBO BY CHARLOTTE & BAYLEY TO LYNCH!!! Charlotte grabs Bayley, but Bayley hits her with a T-Bone. BELLY TO BAYLEY TO LYNCH!!! 1-2….CHARLOTTE BREAKS UP THE PIN!! Charlotte grabs Bayley and locks her in the Figure Four. Bayley reaches the ropes, but Charlotte pulls her back to the center and re-applies the Figure Four, then transitions into the Figure Eight!
As Charlotte as the hold applied, Lynch crawls back in and puts an arm on top of Bayley, pinning her for the surprise win!
Winner and #1 Contender to the NXT Women’s Title: Becky Lynch by pinfall
Charlotte is in shock as she realizes that Lynch stole the win from her when she had Bayley beat with the Figure Eight. Lynch comes to and is in disbelief that she won the match. Lynch heads up the ramp, then celebrates her win as Charlotte looks on in disgust while we go to commercial.
THOUGHTS: Very fun triple-threat match that had an extremely creative finish with Lynch backdooring her way into a title shot when it seemed like Charlotte had the match won. Both Charlotte & Lynch’s facial expressions in selling the finish afterwards really drove home how clever the ending came across. Sasha vs. Lynch is a fresh match-up for the NXT Women’s Division and has the chance to open some more eyes on what Lynch can bring to the table when they clash, presumably on the next live special.
“The Moon-Child” CJ Parker vs. Hideo Itami
Parker with a leg kick early, then backs up into the ropes. Itami catches a kick, but Parker again backs up into the ropes. Parker takes down Itami in a side headlock, Itami misses a boot, Parker misses a clothesline, Itami misses a kick, but Itami catches Parker with a kitchen sink. Running PK by Itami gets 2. Parker goes onto the apron, but he grabs Itami and hot-shots him across the top rope. Parker knocks down Itami, then hits a series of left hands. Big left hand by Parker in the corner, followed by a delayed suplex for 2. Parker taunts the crowd, but Itami slips out of another suplex. Itami catches Parker with a leg lariat, followed by 2 clotheslines and a leg sweep. KENTA series by Itami, followed by a series of chest kicks and a spinning back kick to the ribs that sends Parker into the corner. Itami charges and connects with the running corner hesitation dropkick.
Itami off the ropes, Shotgun Kick to Parker for the win.
Winner: Hideo Itami by pinfall (Shotgun Kick)
Itami celebrates his win afterward as the crowd chants for him.
THOUGHTS: Another simple showcase here with Itami, building off the mini-documentary they showed with Itami at Wrestlemania AXXESS a couple weeks back. Thanks for coming, CJ Parker, hoping the best for you on the indie scene.
Backstage, NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks walks up to Becky Lynch.
Sasha: “Number 1 Contender, huh? Congratulations, Becky. But, if you think for even one second that you have a chance at winning this….”
Lynch: “Have a chance? Sasha, I don’t know how to tell you this, but silver is not really your color, it looks disgusting on you, its gonna look a whole lot better around my waist.”
Sasha: (mocking Lynch’s accent) “Disgusting? Disgusting? Please, I made you, Becky. Do not forget that.”
Lynch: (laughs) “You did not make me, I made me. Sasha, I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kinda a big deal.”
Sasha: “A big deal? I’m the NXT Women’s Champion, that’s a big deal. And you’re gonna regonize real quick who the Boss is around here.”
Lynch: “Save it for the ring, Boss girl.”
THOUGHTS: Good interaction between Sasha & Lynch to start the build to their eventual title match. Also brings an interesting dynamic as both women have been on the heel side of things, so time will tell if either of them will skirt over to the babyface side for at least this match.
“The Man-Beast” Rhyno vs. Jesus de Leon
“Rhyno’s gonna kill you” chants by the crowd as the bell sounds. Rhyno with a clothesline, followed by a Belly-to-Belly. Crowd chants for the Gore.
Rhyno charges, GORE, GORE, GORE!!! 1-2-3! Thanks for coming!
Winner: “The Man-Beast” Rhyno by pinfall (The Gore)
Rhyno celebrates his win afterward.
THOUGHTS: Arrive. GORE. Leave.
We see video from after NXT last week that was on the WWE YouTube channel with NXT Tag Team Champions Blake & Murphy serenading Carmella until the Jersey Boys run them off. They then notice that Carmella is wearing the jewelry that Blake & Murphy gave her as a gift a few weeks ago. They argue as we go to the main event.
THOUGHTS: Fun segment, contiuing the build between the two teams for their impending title match. Also, decent way to continue teasing Carmella leaving the Jersey Boys to go to Blake & Murphy.
Main Event in a Return Grudge Match: Alex Riley vs. NXT Champion Kevin Owens
Owens backs Riley into the corner, breaks clean as the two stare each other down. Riley backs Owens into the corner, then they get into a shoving match. Riley with a series of right hands, Owens misses one and Riley with a dropkick that sends Owens to the outside to regroup. Owens takes his time getting back in, then avoids a Riley baseball slide and slams the back of his head against the rampway! Owens gets back in and taunts the crowd as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial as Owens stomps away at Riley. Knee to the head, then Owens chokes Riley in the ropes. Series of right hands by Riley, but Riley fires back with a slap. Series of right hands by Riley, but Owens catches a kick, hits a kick to the inner thigh, a leg sweep and finally, the back senton for 2. Owens rakes his boot against Riley’s face, followed by raking his forearm against Riley’s face. Owens with a back club, then applies a chinlock. Crowd wills on Riley. Riley fights out with gut shots, then sidesteps a backdrop. Owens with a knee to the ribs, but Riley goes off his blind side and hits a clothesline. Running flying back elbow by Riley in the corner, followed by a Moonlight Drive. Riley fires up, then heads up top, but Owens falls into the ropes, crotching Riley on the ropes and sending him down to the mat. Corner clothesline by Owens, followed by the Cannonball!
Owens sends Riley off the ropes, POP-UP POWERBOMB!! 1-2-3!
Winner: NXT Champion Kevin Owens by pinfall (Pop-Up Powerbomb)
Owens walks across Riley afterwards, then celebrates his win. Owens goes to leave, but then sends Riley outside. Owens goes to leave, but then goes back to ringside and grabs Riley. Owens goes for the Apron Powerbomb, but then all of a sudden, Sami Zayn runs out to make the save! Owens & Zayn slug it out around ringside as multiple wrestlers & referees come out to try and break them up. “Let them fight” chants by the crowd as Zayn breaks from the pile and goes after Owens again. They break them up again, but then Zayn goes into the ring. The wrestlers & referees are holding Owens back by the barricade in one of the corners around ringside, then Zayn heads up top. FLIP DIVE WIPES OUT OWENS & THE ENTIRE PILE OF WRESTLERS & REFEREES!! More wrestlers come out to hold Zayn back from Owens as Owens retreats up to the ramp, in shock at the fight that Zayn gave to him. “OLE” chant by the crowd as Owens grabs the NXT Title belt and clutches it against his chest as he backs up the ramp to the back. Zayn stands tall in the ring as the show closes.
THOUGHTS: First off, poor Alex Riley. Always thought Riley was a good performer, but between his run in 2011 not clicking after initally doing pretty well, to his commentary run, to his return to the ring and getting destroyed now twice by Owens, can’t help but feel for the guy. Another good dominating performance for Owens, but the post-match angle with Zayn was the bigger story. Very effective angle between Owens & Zayn with the wild brawl, to the insane dive by Zayn onto the pile, to Owens, for the first time, backing up in retreat and showing shock and fear of Zayn. This angle was very well done and it appears to set-up a rematch between Owens & Zayn for the next live special. Me personally, I think if that is the direction they are headed to, its a little too early to go to this rematch, but time will tell depending on where they go from here how it all shapes out. But all in all, a very good closing angle with Zayn getting some measure of revenge on his former best friend and Owens showing vulnerability for the first time since arriving in NXT.
Overall, NXT this week was very run-of-the-mill up until the very fun Triple Threat Women’s Match and the damn good closing angle with Owens & Zayn. There was also a good amount of exposition created for the next live special with Balor & Breeze and the Tag Division, so while I wouldn’t say the whole show is worth watching this week, I will say that the Triple Threat Match and the closing angle are recommended viewing.
Jason Namako recaps and reviews the weekly NXT TV, as well as all live specials on the WWE Network for Wrestleview.com.