It’s NXT time and we start out with one half of the Lucha Dragons facing the master of the selfie-stick.
Match 1: Kalisto vs Tyler Breeze
Breeze lounges in the corner as the ref demands that he start the match, and after a little more delaying the competitors lock up. Breeze uses his size advantage and pushes Kalisto back into the corner, but Kalisto reverses out of an armbar and hits an armdrag.
Breeze locks in the headlock and the match slows down before it had the chance to build up. Kalisto fights out of the submission but gets taken down with a shoulderblock. Nice double leapfrog spot turns into a headstand headscissors takedown from Kalisto, followed by chops and a top rope springboard armdrag.
Breeze bails to the outside and Kalisto teases a suicide dive but rebounds off the ropes, which the broadcast almost totally missed because they were doing a recap of the springboard armdrag.
A series of reversals sends Kalisto to the apron, and he attempts a springboard assault but gets taken out by a dropkick from Breeze. Pin and a two count. Breeze continues to wear the luchador down, taking time to should at the ref not to touch him.
Back from the break and Kalisto is in control, hitting a bunch of flippy moves before Breeze reverses a springboard elbow into a supermodel kick. Stomps to Kalisto in the corner but the smaller man fights back, taking out Tyler’s knee. Breeze is out as Kalisto ascends the top turnbuckle and hits an impressive 720 splash, but Breeze gets one hand on the rope before the three count.
Back to their feet and Kalisto goes for the SDS but Breeze slips out, hitting the beauty shot for the pin and the three count.
Good opening match with Breeze improving every week and Kalisto bringing some flippy fun to NXT.
Recap of the Kevin Owens / Alex Riley feud, and the two face off in the ring later tonight!
Match 2: Wesley Blake vs Colin Cassidy
The Dubstep Cowboys enter first with their ear-bleedingly horrible music, followed by Enzo and Cass with their crowd-pleasing scthick. How you doin?
This is a rare solo match for tag-specialists Blake and Cassidy, so it should be interesting to see how the pair put together a match. Lockup to start and Big Cass shoves Blake half way across the ring into the turnbuckle.
The announcers put over the huge size difference as Blake uses his speed to his advantage and starts working the big man’s arm. Cass eventually powers out and Irish whips Blake into the ropes, missing a clothesline but hitting him with a knee to the gut.
Cass continues to lay in some standard big man offense, including chops in the corner and a biel launching Blake from corner to corner. How you doin chant from the crowd as Cass hits a big back drop on Blake, but eventually gets caught with a stun gun over the ropes. Back in the ring Blake takes out Cassidy’s knee, lays in some boots and then hits a springboard crossbody for a pin and a two count.
Key lock submission from Blake as the tag partners offer support on the outside, and Cass reverses with a side suplex. Big shoulderblock from Cass and then elbows and chops in the corner, followed by a running splash and spinning side slam. Cass is about to hit the SAWFT elbow when Buddy Murphy jumps onto the ring apron for the distraction.
Cass takes Murphy out with a big boot, but Blake rolls him up from behind, grabs a handful of tights and gets the win and the three count.
Decent match from both men, with Cass turning into a believable dominant big man and Blake bumping hard before pulling out the surprise victory.
Match 3: Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks
Lockup and Alexa throws some elbows and takes Sasha down with a drop toehold, then climbs onto her back and slams her head into the canvas. Quick pin and a two count for Bliss, but Sasha takes control with a big knee to the gut, then drags Bliss around the ring by her hair and taunts the crowd.
Alexa eventually breaks free with an elbow but runs face first into the second turnbuckle, allowing Sasha to take control. Kicks from Banks in the corner followed by the suspended double knee drop, followed by a pin and a two count.
Long submission from Banks, turning into a bridge over her knee as Bliss tries to fight out. Punches to the gut, and elbow to the face and a leg sweep takedown set up the standing moonsault knee drop from Alexa, into the pin and a two count.
Alexa misses a charge in the corner but hits a modified sunset flip for a two count. Sasha bails to the outside but Bliss hits a Lou Thetz press from the apron and lays punches into Banks on the outside. Back on their feet Sasha tries to run Alexa into the turnbuckle post, but Bliss reverses and Sasha takes the hit.
As Sasha lies stunned on the outside Alexa rolls back into the ring for the countout victory.
Great match from the divas, with Bliss looking like a strong contender for the title and Banks continuing to grow.
Kevin Owens promo about how nobody is taking the NXT title away from him and his family. Solid work.
Match 4: Alex Riley vs Kevin Owens
It’s the rage man on his way to the ring first, and he’s both buffed and oiled to the max. Owens comes out next, looking like he doesn’t give a f**k.
Owens gets in Riley’s face as soon as he’s in the ring, and Riley takes a shot at him even though the ref hasn’t run the bell yet! Do you even know the rules of this sport, Alex Riley? The ref reminds him of his fearsome power, finally ringing the bell so Owens can get on with the massacre.
Lockup and Riley forces Owens back into the corner, using the power of rage. Owens pushes him away and taunts him to bring it on, then kicks Riley in the gut for good measure. Hard stomps on a prone Riley do not bode well for the former commentator. Eventually growing bored, Owens lifts his opponent to his feet and hits a strike combination, briefly interrupted by a half-hearted comeback from Riley.
Headbutt from Owens takes Riley down, setting him up for a stiff kick in the ribs. After a messy Irish whip Riley finally gets some offence with a dropkick, followed by a running elbow in the corner. Owens swats him away and intercepts a kick, returning the favour with a boot that the commentators generously suggested was to the hamstrings. Riley is down in the corner as Owens sets up the cannonball, hitting it hard.
Owens pauses for a moment to regard the crowd, then picks up Riley and hits a hard lariat. Big elbow drop gets a two count, then Owens remembers the WWE style and locks in a rear chinlock. Owens eventually breaks the hold and taunts Riley some more, leading to a blind elbow out of the corner that sent Owens to the outside.
Owens rolls back into the ring and goes for another cannonball, but Riley rolls out of the way and picks Owens up for the spinebuster. Long two count for Riley but Owens kicks out, quickly takes control and hits a trio of running sentons. After throwing Riley to the outside, Owens slams him into the steel barrier a couple of times, then tosses him back into the ring, hits the popup powerbomb for the pin and the three count.
Another strong showing from Kevin Owens, with a decent if somewhat unremarkable performance from Alex Riley.
Owens goes to continue the beating on the outside but Finn Balor’s music hits. He stares down Kevin Owens and then hits a running clothesline off the stage as Owens refuses to stop beating on Alex Riley.
Brawling between Owens and Balor leads to Owens being thrown into the ring steps and then rolled into the ring, setting him up for the shotgun dropkick from Balor. Owens bails out before Balor can hit the top rope stomp, giving Riley a kick in the ribs on the way past as he heads to the back.
Overall a good episode of NXT, showcasing some growing talents and building the rivalry between Kevin Owens and Finn Balor.
Tags: Kalisto, Kevin Owens, NXT, review