It’s NXT time and we’re kicking off with Finn Balor making his enigmatic way to the ring!
Match 1: Finn Balor vs Tye Dillinger
I heard somewhere recently that Tye Dillinger holds the record for the longest time in WWE developmental without getting called up to the main roster or being fired. The man formerly known as Shaun Spears first signed with the WWE back in 2006, and now seems to be reduced to jobbing to rising stars on NXT.
Lockup to start followed by some chain wrestling. Dillinger runs the ropes and gets hit with a big dropkick from Balor, but responds with chops. Irish whip into the corner is reversed and Balor takes control, hitting a clothesline followed by the Pele kick.
Sling Blade from Balor takes Dillinger out, setting up the shotgun dropkick into the corner. Balor goes to the top ropes and hits the coup de grace for the pin and the three count.
Total squash, with Dillinger hardly being given a chance to breathe. Maybe a move to Japan would work, Tye?
Interview with Dana Brooke. She’s like an annoying, overly muscular Barbie.
Interview with Kevin Owens talking about his impending match with Alex Riley. Owens plays a good arrogant tool.
Match 2: Charlotte vs Bayley vs Becky Lynch
It’s a triple threat for the number one contender to the NXT Women’s title. Stalling to start, before Charlotte and Bayley take turns beating on Becky. Lynch tries to fight back but keeps getting taken down, with Charlotte acting like an alpha predator and Bayley taking shots when she has the chance.
Lynch takes a powder so Charlotte and Becky turn their aggression on each other, with Charlotee trapping Bayley in a figure four headlock and throwing her around the ring. Shoulderblocks in the corner from Charlotee but Lynch is back in the game and hits a big suplex on Charlotte.
Back from the break and Becky is in control, hitting a big leg drop on Bayley followed by the hair whip leg drop for a bin and a two count. Becky continues to work on Bayley’s knee as Charlotte is nowhere to be seen, locking in a long kneebar.
Reversal into a rollup pin from Bayley but Lynch kicks out at one and hits a big knee followed by a European uppercut sending Bayley into the corner. Elbow in the corner from Lynch followed by a dragon leg whip. Charlotte climbs back onto the apron but Becky takes her out with an elbow. The distraction is enough for Bayley to turn the tables, hitting a drop toehold and then raining down punches on Becky’s head.
Big shoulder in the corner from Bayley but she is limping heavily, and Lynch avoids the back splash and hits a rolling suplex into a nice leglock submission that looks like something out of Chikara it’s so complex. Charlotte comes back out of nowhere and hits the natural selection on Becky, covering her for a pin attempt. Bayley pulls her off at two, so Charlotte replies by taking out her knee with a hard shot.
Charlotte lifts Bayley onto the top rope and sets up the suplerplex, but Lynch throws her off and goes for the same move. Bayley holds on for long enough for Charlotte to grab Lynch in a powerbomb position, and Bayley dives and hits a spinning back elbow on Becky. I expected the standard indie tower move, but this was a pretty awesome alternative. Holy shit chant from the crowd.
Charlotte plays to the crowd but Bayley hits her with a nice overhead suplex, then goes after Becky and hits the Bayley to Belly. Cover and a two count but Charlotte breaks up the pin, locking in the figure four on the injured knee of Bayley!
Bayley gets to the ropes, so Charlotte drags her back into the middle of the ring and locks in the move again, adding a bridge which she calls figure eight. Suddenly, Becky Lynch drapes an arm over Bayley and the ref counts one, two, three, stealing the victory from Charlotte and capturing the number one contendership!
Another great match from the NXT divas. The Lynch win allows Charlotte to move up to the main roster and the loss shouldn’t do anything to harm Bayley’s popularity.
Match 3: CJ Parker vs Hideo Itami
I guess Parker could be considered NXT enhancement talent now, the likes of Iron Mike Sharpe but with a more annoying gimmick. The crowd is solidly behind Itami, as Parker throws a leg kick to start and then hides in the ropes. Some stalling from Parker followed by another lockup, but Parker immediately retreats to the ropes when Itami grabs his leg.
Itami breaks the hold but Parker attacks from behind the ref, grabbing a headlock and taking Itami to the mat. Parker then either licks Itami or rubs his filthy hippie beard in his face, either of which is a pretty gross thing to do. Parker runs the ropes and dodges a couple of kicks, but gets caught the third time around with a big knee to the gut.
Kick to the chest from Itami for a one count, then Parker rolls to the outside and hits a neckbreaker over the ropes to shift momentum. Clubbing blow to the back from Parker, then a punch to the head. More pedestrian offence from CJ, and at one point they do a close up on Itami’s face in the corner – you can almost see him thinking he wouldn’t have to put up with this crap in New Japan.
Hesitation suplex from Parker gets a two count to some light booing from the crowd. He sets up for another suplex but takes too long, allowing Itami to slip out. Itami hits a running back kick, a clothesline, legsweep and strike combination, really letting him have it with the last couple of kicks.
The pained grimace on Parker’s face is hilarious as he waits for the hesitation dropkick. Massive dropkick in the corner from Itami sets up the shotgun kick, giving Itami the pin and the three count.
Not a terrible match but CJ Parker continues to bore and Itami needs higher caliber opponents if he’s going to get anywhere. Readers, sound off in the comments if anyone actually likes CJ Parker.
Match 4: Rhyno vs Emo Jobber
It’s time for the second squash of the night as the man-beast makes his way to the ring. He’s facing some dude with emo hair, and Rhyno plows over him with a shoulderblock and then hits the belly to belly suplex.
Crowd chants for the gore and Rhyno hits it for the pin and the three count.
Short and sweet, pretty much the same as all of Rhyno’s other matches since his return to NXT.
The tag champs serenade Carmella, who looks a tiny bit like a drag queen this week. Blake and Murphy make their exit as Enzo and Cass enter, do their thing and leave. Future mid card gold.
Match 5 – Alex Riley vs Kevin Owens
Riley is out first, and it looks like he’s been spending a bit of time in the gym lately. Owens is next, looking slightly less fat than he used to, but still as dangerous as ever.
Lockup and Owens forces Riley back into the corner, then backs off after getting in his face for a while. Another lockup and the same thing happens, only Riley comes out of the corner talking trash. A bit of shoving back and forth, followed by some big right hands from Riley. High elevation dropkick from Riley sends Owens to the outside, and Riley is fired up with RAGE!!!
Owens uses the ten count to his advantage, but Riley gets impatient and goes after him. This doesn’t end well as Owens slams him to the ramp, bouncing his head off the steel.
Back from the break and Owens is in control, laying boots into Riley inside the ring. Rope assisted choke and strikes from Owens, but Riley fights back for a moment before being hit with a stiff kick and standing senton. Pin and a two count from Owens, followed by some more ground based offence. Kicks and slaps are followed by a rear chinlock, but Riley fires up and hits a clothesline, running shoulder and then a spinning neckbreaker.
Riley goes to the top but takes to long, and Owens takes him down and hits the cannonball in the corner, setting up the pop-up powerbomb for the pin and the three count.
Solid match from Riley while Owens continues to look dominant. Sami Zayn returns to stop the post match beatdown.
Another good show from NXT, mixing a couple of crowd-pleasing squashes with some longer matches and great Divas action.
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Tags: Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, NXT, Rhyno