It’s NXT time and we kick off with a recap of last week, including Kevin Owen’s awesome beatdown of Alex Riley.
Match 1: Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks
This match is for the Women’s Championship after Alexa beat Sasha by countout last week. Trash talk from Banks before the lockup, and she charges into a drop toehold and quick rollup from Alexa. Kick out at one, and Sasha isn’t happy.
Banks runs at Bliss but gets caught in a crucifix rollup, but Sasha kicks out again. Alexa goes for some kind of tilt-a-whirl rollup and almost falls on her head half way through, but Sasha helps her out and then reverses with a knee to the gut. Hair pull into an Irish whip from Banks, but Bliss reverses the hiptoss into another rolling pin attempt.
Dropkick from Bliss into a pin attempt and the challenger is in command of this match. Irish whip into the corner is reversed but Banks hits a stiff kick to Alexa’s face to take control. Head slam into the mat followed by a finger stomp from Banks, then a hair-whip takeover and running slap for a pin and a one count.
Bliss gets caught in the corner and Sasha hits her with the double knee drop to the midsection, then locks in a backbreaker submission. Bliss reverses and goes for a schoolgirl rollup, but sort of messes it up as Banks just stands there. They try the sequence again and it works, leading to Sasha getting dumped out of the ring hard.
As the ref starts to count her out, Bliss rolls Sasha back into the ring, then hits a series of slaps and running forearms. Legsweep takes Banks down, her head bouncing off the mat, and Alexa hits the Bliss Flip, which is a sweet standing moonsault kneedrop. Pin and a kick out at two.
Irish whip into the corner and Bliss hits a springboard code red for a pin and another two count, but once again Banks looks like she landed hard. Alexa goes to the top rope but takes too long, as Sasha pops up, slaps her in the face, hits an armdarg off the top and locks in the Bank Statement submission for the tap out win.
Outstanding match from both competitors.
Kevin Owens promo, telling Finn Balor to bring the demon to the ring with him tonight, followed by a recap video package. Sweet.
Tyler Breeze promo interrupted by Hideo Itami, challenging him to a two out of three falls match next week. Breeze accepts.
Back from the break with a Finn Balor interview. He does his talking in the ring, and he doesn’t need the demon to beat Kevin Owens. This slight bummer is followed by another nice recap video of Balor’s time in NXT. Excellent job by the production crew on the videos tonight.
It’s the realest guys in the room, and Enzo is talking to Carmella when he is interrupted by Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake setting up a feud.
Match 2: Finn Balor vs Kevin Owens
Balor makes his way to the ring first, without the warpaint. Owens is next to a mixture of cheers and boos from the crowd. The competitors circle each other to start, and Owens stays true to form by rolling out of the ring before Balor can lock up.
Balor waits calmly as Owens eventually gets back into the ring, then they lock up. Finn forces Owens back into the corner but breaks on the refs count, Owens takes the opportunity to hit him with a cheap shot, then locks in a headlock and takes Balor down to the mat. The Irishman fights his way to his feet but he can’t break the hold, eventually making a break but immediately getting taken down with a shoulderblock from Owens.
Back on his feet Balor leapfrogs a charging Owens and hits a big dropkick, sending the champ rolling to the outside as we go to an ad break.
Back from the break and Balor is in control with an armbar on Owens. Elbow to the jaw breaks the hold, Irish whip into a sunset flip from Owens is reversed into a low dropkick from Balor, followed by a pin and a one count. Back to the armbar for Balor but Owens eventually forces him into the corner and hits some chops.
Owens goes for a charge but Balor backdrops him over the ropes, hits an elbow and then tries to suplex him back into the ring. While Cesaro can pull this off, it doesn’t seem a good idea on this occasion… Owens hits a stun gun on the top rope and Balor sells like he’s been shot. Stomps from Owens then a hard lariat, followed by mounted punches and an elbow drop.
Continued abuse from Kevin Owens slows down with a rear chinlock, but Balor eventually breaks free with an elbow. He goes for a running move but gets chopped down mercilessly by Owens, who walks over him and pins him for a one count. Owens continues to work on the neck with various submission moves, then casually tosses Balor out of the ring when the ref objects.
Owens goes for the apron powerbomb but Balor reverses into a backdrop and throws Owens back into the ring. Balor goes for a running cross body but Owens catches him, swings him around and hits a modified Death Valley Driver. Pin only gets a two count and Owens is pissed, hitting a running senton on Balor, then pinning him in the corner and chopping the crap out of him.
More hard strikes from Owens followed by another chinlock, and they’re giving these two wrestlers the time to tell a good story. Balor is almost exhausted as he fights out of the submission hold, only to be whipped hard into the turnbuckle, taking a scarily Benoit looking bump.
Owens lifts up Balor and hits an overhead release suplex, followed by a pin and a two count, followed by another chinlock into the final ad break.
Back from the break Owens gets sent to the outside and Balor hits the tope con hilo over the top rope, then rolls Owens back into the ring. As the champ is getting to his feet Balor hits the double stomp to the back of his neck, but Owens kicks out of the pin at two. Balor picks up Owens in a dragon sleeper position and prepares to hit the reverse Bloody Sunday, but Owens powers out and hits a hard elbow into a Pele kick from Balor.
Both men are down but Balor looks to be building momentum, hitting Owens with a running chop in the corner. He misses the second attempt and Owens hits a chop of his own, then launches Balor across the ring. Finn reverses the Irish whip and hits the Sling Blade, then turns Owens inside out with a massive clothesline.
Balor picks up Owens and hits the reverse Bloody Sunday, an awesome move that the commentators call a double underhook reverse lifting DDT. I like the old name better. Pin by Balor and a long two count. As Owens struggles to his feet Balor lines him up in the corner, but the champ dodges the running dropkick and Balor hurts his knee in the attempt.
Owens smells blood and takes out the same knee from behind, then hits a chop block as Balor talks to the ref. More abuse to the knee as Owens slams it across the ring apron, then rams it into the ringpost. Balor can barely stand as Owens rolls back into the ring and kicks him in the knee repeatedly, then hits a knee DDT.
Owens stands on Balors leg and hits a senton, then locks in a Boston Crab. Balor finally reaches the ropes and Owens breaks the hold, setting up for a powerbomb before Balor reverses and hits the standing double stomp to his chest. This is Awesome chant from the crowd as Owens climbs the turnbuckle and Balor hits a top rope enziguiri, climbing up for the superplex.
Unfortunately for Finn, Owens hooks the leg on the way up and hits a devastating package piledriver off the second rope. Pin and Balor manages to kick out at two and a half. Kick to the head from Balor is repaid with another chop block from Owens, and the challenger is down in the corner with the ref checking on his knee.
Owens ignores the ref and hits the cannonball rolling senton, then wraps Balor’s leg around the rope and hits another cannonball. As he goes for a third cannonball Balor rolls out of the way, then hits the shotgun dropkick on Owens into the corner. Owens is down and Balor is climbing the turnbuckle, looking to hit the coup de grace.
Balor hits his finisher but his knee is too damaged to make the pin, giving Owens the chance to regain his senses, hit the pop up powerbomb and pin Balor for the pin and the three count.
Probably one of the longest matches on WWE TV in the last year, and certainly one of the best.
Only two matches, but an excellent episode of NXT all the same.
Tags: Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, NXT, sasha banks