Xavier Woods’ new attitude may not be enough to best the Bulgarian Brute Alexander Rusev, but he’ll give it his best. Former NXT Champion Bo Dallas takes on Big Cass.
Match 1: Paige (NXT Women’s Champion) vs Sasha Banks
Winner: Paige via submission
So Tensai is now Jason Albert. Guess that’s how you shed a gimmick name.
Paige goes right on the attack, as we’d expect from the NXT Champion. Quick two count before Sasha throws a cat fight flurry in the corner and tosses Paige across the ring. Sasha stomps on the head of Paige multiple times then covers for a one count. Sasha tries a straitjacket hold next and keeps the champ grounded. Another straitjacket, this time with knees in the back of Paige. Paige finally fights up to her feet and elbows Sasha multiple times. Short arm clotheslines and an awkward dropkick from Paige, then the Scorpion Crosslock for the win.
Charlotte attacks after the bell because this is WWE. Natalya shows up to make the save and that’s that. I still don’t like “run ins” with music…makes it seemed too planned.
Match 2: The Ascension (NXT Tag Team Champions) vs Travis Tyler & Cal Bishop
Winners: The Ascension via pinfall
Konnor quickly tags in while Tyler is grounded to run him over with a shoulder. Viktor tags back in and after some nonsense on the apron, Bishop tags in and works the arm of Viktor. Viktor answers with an elbow and an STO. Tags on both sides and Konnor brings Tyler back to his corner and boots away at him then freight trains him in the turnbuckle. Viktor’s turn again, then back to Konnor. Knee off the ropes from Viktor and the Fall of Man to cinch it.
Match 3: Mason Ryan vs Wesley Blake
Winner: Mason Ryan via pinfall
Slow start before Ryan starts in with short arm shoulder blocks and a fireman’s carry followed by an arm bar. Blake tries to fight back but dives into a powerslam. Ryan posts himself in the corner and Blake takes advantage by working the arm but only gets a one count. Ryan fires back with a huge right hand, snake eyes, a boot and the cobra clutch slam.
Bayley chats with Devin about the WWE Network, then the BFFs interrupt. Bayley mocks Summer Rae-on a stick and when the BFFs threaten her, Nattie makes the save again. She and Charlotte stand nose to nose and will be facing off soon enough.
Match 4: Xavier Woods vs Alexander Rusev
Winner: Alexander Rusev via submission
Tyler Breeze comes out before Rusev and asks Woods to step aside so he can fight Rusev. Lana calls for attention. Rusev comes out and Breeze puts the boots to Woods. Rusev poses as Woods attempts to recover.
Rusev lays in to Woods at the bell and kicks at the legs of the faster man. Slow and methodical pace as Rusev strikes away at Woods. Woods manages to answer back but runs into a huge Samoan drop. Rusev throws Woods with his swinging slam then follows with the Accolade.
NXT champion Adrian Neville is about to be interviewed, but Dallas quickly interrupts. Bo ends up getting slapped. In two weeks, they have their rematch.
Match 5: Colin Cassidy vs Bo Dallas
Winner: Bo Dallas via pinfall
Long feeling out process while Bo tries to not get overwhelmed by the bigger man. Bo outsmarts Cass and elbows him into the corner. Bo runs into a scoop slam then bails to the floor. Bo tries to bait Cass into coming out but ends up settling for a headlock. Bo runs into a shoulder block and gets sent all the way to the floor…in fact he got hit so hard, it knocked us to a commercial.
Back to action, Bo takes over with more elbows and boots. Cass gets sent to the ropes and eats a huge elbow for two. Cravat from the former NXT champion now to keep the bigger Cass down. Long cravat with Bo stopping Cass from fighting up to his feet. Cass finally breaks free but Bo levels him with a clothesline for two. Short arm back elbows and a clothesline for a near fall on Cass. Cass reverses a whip and puts Bo into the turnbuckle to even things up. Cassidy lays in the SAWFT forearm clubs and then hits a monster boot to the head but Dallas kicks out. Bo grabs the hair to gain the advantage then hits his version of Future Shock to win it.
Surprising amount of offense for Sasha in this one, to be honest. Paige solidifies the Scorpion Crosslock as her secondary (maybe primary) finish. Natalya shows up for a quick save after Charlotte attacks, setting up likely a tag match and then a title match down the road.
Another squash. I get the gimmick, and it’s fine as we build them, there’s just not much to say about it.
Mason Ryan squashes a guy. I could do without two squashes in a row, personally.
Squash the third. This will set up some Breeze/Woods program with Rusev beating them up. And that’s fine because that’s what Rusev should be doing.
Good match. Glad to see that Cass can hold his own in a match with some length and even more so that Bo’s Belly to Belly arm drag finish is gone. Bo wins clean so that he has momentum going into his rematch. Logical, good booking. No even-Steven like on WWE TV. And that, kids, is why NXT is the A+ show.
Sheamus returns to NXT. Rusev likely crushes someone. Ascension likely squashes two someones.
As always, if you like what you read here, let me know in the comments or on twitter @sbfantom. I sincerely would like to hear what people think and strike up some conversation!
Tags: alexander rusev, mason ryan, Natalya, NXT, Paige, sasha banks, The Ascension, WWE, xavier woods