Hey, it’s WWE NXT! It’s that show that keeps rolling along, week after week, just like the old timey wrestling you used to like.
The show started with Finn Bálor coming down to the ring wearing a suit. He was holding the NXT title belt and this was his first appearance at Full Sail since he won the belt from Kevin Owens.
“Greg” spoke to him in the ring as the crowd chanted “you deserve it.” Presumably to Bálor, not “Greg”. Bálor said he’d wrestled all over the world and his career had been full of hard choices and sacrifices. One of the hardest decision was whether he should come to NXT but when he won the title he knew he’d made the right decision. Isn’t that like knowing you were right to buy a lottery ticket when you win the jackpot?
“Greg” brought up the re-match with Owens at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, and said there would be a contract signing later tonight. Bálor gave props to Owens – and the rest of the roster – but said Owens didn’t beat him in Tokyo, and wouldn’t beat him in Brooklyn.
This was a decent opening segment but Bálor’s still a little soft spoken for my money.
Backstage, Devin Taylor spoke to Eva Marie, and wanted to know what we could expect from her. She thanked William Regal for the opportunity but said that the WWE universe was wrong about her and she was looking forward to showing them her stuff.
Hey, it’s Eva Marie! We just saw her backstage! She came down to the ring for her debut match in NXT, against Cassie, who was already in the ring.
So they had a match and it was okay. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible. Eva Marie won with Sliced Bread, and I kind of expected more from her. Maybe she would have benefitted from a more experienced opponent leading her through but there was little to hate on here, and it’s all good building blocks, right?
Backstage, William Regal was walking and talking on the ‘phone. he entered his office and broke off his conversation because Tyler Breeze was lounging on his sideboard. Breeze wanted to know who he was going to face at the next Takeover show and Regal said he was working on it. Breeze said it’d better be good. It is. Regal went back to his ‘phone call, telling the person on the other end of the line that “you can’t get the staff.”
Match time again, and Baron Corbin came down to the ring to fight an unannounced area wrestler (Jesus de Leon). They locked up, Corbin threw him into the ropes and then hit the End of Days when he came back. Less than ten seconds, I’d say.
It’s fashionable to hate on Corbin but I won’t join in. I like the fella and I think he’s got a big upside. But he’s still very green. In the old days he’d be sent from minor territory to minor territory until he was ready but it’s a different business and they’re smart to get someone with something on TV so quickly.
Hey, it’s Samoa Joe! He came down to the ring to new music which expands on his old ominous opening and is much, much better than the quiet hip hop which used to follow. He’s out to fight Mike Rallis, who’s a big dude who usually works as part of a jobber tag-team.
So this was mostly Joe but Rallis got some brief heat when he backed Joe into a corner. He rushed in and Joe hit a uranage and then hit the Musclebuster for the win.
Backstage, Devin Taylor spoke to Emma and Dana Brooke. She said that Bayley – who Emma fights later – had promised to “more than hug” her. Emma said that was creepy, and that she broke Bayley’s hand and now she’ll break Bayley’s spirit. Brooke gave Emma a hug and they left, but then Brooke returned to pat Devin on the head.
And, yeah, into match four, and it’s Bayley versus Emma! Emma came out first, with Dana Brooke, and then Bayley and her whacky flailing arm inflatable tube men appeared. Bayley gave her tassels to the sweet little girl who’s always ringside (I imagine her to grow up to Bayley Jr one day) and then hit the ring to a HUGE pop.
So Emma and Bayley had a match and Emma worked on Bayley’s injured hand from the get-go. Bayley started no-selling and then Hulked up, and Emma took a powder, escaping outside and distracting the ref while Brooke slammed Bayley’s hand into the ringpost.
Emma kept the heat on Bayley but then Bayley made her comeback, with a nearfall and then a double clothesline than took both women down. Dana Brooke interfered again but the referee caught her and sent her to the back. Bayley and Emma traded nearfalls but then Bayley hit the Bayley-to-Belly for the win.
After the match, Bayley cut a talky. She said she plans to be the next NXT Women’s champion and to do that she needs to beat the best, so she challenged Charlotte to a match.
They showed clips of Charlotte’s win on Raw and then, backstage, Dasha spoke to Charlotte and asked about Bayley’s challenge. She said that what was happening on Raw wasn’t a revolution, it was a statement, She said that no-one deserved a match against her more than Bayley but that she wanted to take the NXT Women’s championship to Raw.
Dana Brooke walked up and said that Charlotte had had plenty of title shots, and would probably mess up her chance on Raw, too. She said she hadn’t had the chances Charlotte had had, but then she didn’t have Charlotte’s last name, either. Brooke challenged Charlotte to a match next week, and Charlotte said that Bayley would have to wait a week. Brooke then went to pat Dasha on the head but Dasha made an angry face and she walked off.
Hey, it’s The Vaudevillains! They came down to the ring to fight Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton, who I like a lot. Simon Gotch started out for the Vaudevillains and got the early shine but Fulton made a blind tag in and started taking him apart. The heels did some quick tags to keep Gotch under pressure but he eventually made the hot tag after innovative use of his boot on Dawkins. Aidan English came in and ran wild and then tagged Gotch back in for the Whirling dervish and the pinfall victory.
Backstage, Blake & Murphy were laughing and mocking the Vaudevillains retro style, saying they’re like something “from 1999”. Alexa Bliss shut them up and said her boys would keep their titles and she would make sure of it.
After a break, William Regal was in the ring for the contract signing between Finn Bálor and Kevin Owens. He hyped the NXT Takeover event in Brooklyn, which drew boos from Full Sail, which usually gets those events. Kevin Owens came out, not waiting to be introduced, and stared down a fan dressed as Bálor. He called Bálor out, and Regal introduced him. Bálor came out and posed with the same fan Owens stared down.
Bálor was about to sign when Owens grabbed the mic’ and asked him how it felt to be NXT champion. He asked him how it felt to know he’d be defending it in Brooklyn (boos from the crowd, which Owens played up to), and how does it feel to go in as champion but still be the underdog. Owens listed his accomplishments in his first six months and said that in Brooklyn he would show Bálor and “all these idiots” that Japan was a fluke. He said he’d put Bálor on the shelf for good.
Bálor said Japan wasn’t a fluke, that Owens liked to talk, and that he’d shove Owens’s words down his throat. He angrily signed the contract, which Regal notarised, then Owens signed the contract, which regal again notarised. Regal said that made the match official and Owens threw the contract at Bálor and flipped the desk over. He knocked Regal down and then took out Bálor. Bálor recovered and sent Owens out of the ring with a clothesline, and then hit a dropkick when he tried to get back in. And that, as they say, is your show!
This was an Okay Show. It was more build than execution, with short matches designed to begin or continue programs, or flesh out the characters and records of those fighting in them. That’s fine, you need that sort of thing to make the characters ad feuds mean more, and that’s something that NXT is very good at.