It’s NXT time and we kick off with a recap of Takeover and the explosive debut of Samoa Joe! After the package Sami Zayn’s music plays, but Kevin Owens comes out instead. He talks about how he doesn’t have to prove himself, and challengers have to earn their matches against him. Another strong promo from the champ, but we’re getting close to Raw territory with the talky-talk on the wrestling show.
William Regal comes out and accuses Owens of injuring Hideo Itami (among others), which Owens denies. Before too long Solomon Crowe comes out with his emo haircut and calls Owens a piece of crap. Owens takes the bait and awards Crowe a match, and Regal sets it up for the main event.
Recap of the Hideo ambush at Takeover followed by an interview with Itami. When he comes back, there will be no stopping him. Keep working on those promos, buddy.
Backstage interview with Zack Ryder at Takeover, interrupted by the super-annoying Mojo Rawley. Wow. So glad this guy is back.
Match 1 (finally): Bayley vs Emma
Stalling and jawing to start, then Emma shoves Bayley down and lays in some kicks. Toss into the corner and more kicks from Emma, followed by a big right hand and some posing for the crowd.
Bayley reverses an armlock and rolls into a rear mount, raining down punches on the top of Emma’s head. That’s a good way to break your hand, girl. Flying clothesline in the corner from Bayley gets a two count. Emma reverses an Irish whip and slams Bayley down for two, then hits a running kick for a pin and another two count.
Clubbing blows and a foot choke in the corner from Emma, followed by a ponytail grab takedown on Bayley. Emma poses for the crowd and hits another ponytail slam, then a ponytail submission around the bottom rope. I’ll admit I don’t watch much women’s wrestling, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone work the ponytail before.
Emma gives some verbal abuse until Bayley snaps and forces her into the corner, hitting a shoulderblock, cartwheel, back elbow into a suplex. Bayley goes up to the second rope but Emma grabs her foot, then hits a dragon whip into a bridge leglock submission. Emma works the submission hard and Bayley is eventually forced to tap out.
Another exceptional match from the NXT divas.
After the math Dana Brooke gets in the ring and holds Bayley so Emma can slap her. The mean girls taunt Bayley until Charlotte comes out for the save. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go as planned, and Charlotte gets bitch slapped and hit with whatever Dana’s finishing move is called.
Recap of Corbin vs Rhyno at Takeover, along with a backstage segment with Rhyno challenging Corbin to a rematch.
Becky Lynch video package. She’s come a long way.
Match 2: Mike Rawlis & Elias Sampson vs Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy
The champs are accompanied by Alexa Bliss, who I must admit adds some flavour to the somewhat bland tag team. Rawlis starts out against Blake, who has modified his top-ponytail to make it look slightly less stupid.
Rawlis gets in some good offence to start, hitting a shoulderblock and hiptoss on Blake and then another hiptoss on an interfering Murphy. Blake takes out the big man with a hard clothesline, tags in Murphy and hits a powerslam.
Murphy hits a flip senton on Rawlis, followed by a two count. Side headlock from Murphy, then a punch in the corner and tag to Blake. Whisper-in-the-wind clothesline from the champs, followed by a rear chinlock from Blake.
Hot tag to Elias Sampson and he hits the ring like a man possessed, holding his own for about ten seconds against the champs before they hit their combination brainbuster/frog splash finisher for the pin and the three count.
Not a bad match from the champs, but the pacing felt a little off. After the match Alexa hits the sparkle splash on Sampson, which to be honest doesn’t look like it hurts that much.
Post match interview with Alexa and the champs. She’s a better talker than worker at this point.
Match 3: Tye Dillinger vs Finn Balor
Balor has the crowd in the palm of his hand as he makes his way to the ring. Lockup and some chain wrestling to start, followed by forearms and strikes from Dillinger. Irish whip reversal into a sunset flip powerbomb from Dillinger into a seated dropkick from Balor, and these guys aren’t working at a WWE pace.
Boots in the corner from Dillinger, followed by a foot choke and snapmare takedown. Tye pauses to pose for the crowd, which doesn’t seem like a great idea. Ignoring wrestling logic, Balor doesn’t take the opportunity to fight back, and Dillinger locks in a cravat submission.
Balor is selling like a champ for Dillinger in the cravat, but eventually elbows his way out and hits a double boot from the corner. Clothesline into a hesitation dropkick from Balor, and the Irishman is heating up. He tries to lock in the reverse bloody Sunday but Dillinger fights his way out, hits a kick but runs into the sling blade.
Big dropkick from Balor into the corner takes Dillinger down, Balor heads to the top rope and hits the Coup De Grace for the pin and the three count.
Another solid match from Finn Balor, and maybe the best I’ve seen from Tye Dillinger.
Interview with Jason Jordan. We shouldn’t worry about him. Okay then.
Match 4: Kevin Owens vs Solomon Crowe
There is bugger all time left in this show so I don’t think this is going to be a long match. Owens bails to the outside to start, drawing out Crowe and hitting him with a cheap shot on the way out.
Hard strikes from Owens on the outside, and he eventually rolls Crowe back into the ring. Crowe hits some strikes and a running forearm for a brief comeback, but he makes the mistake of going to the top rope and Owens simply shoves him to the hard floor below.
Back from the ad break Owens has Crowe in a rear chinlock, making it look a lot more painful than a lot of NXT talent. Crowe tries to fight his way out but gets thrown to the mat and stomped repeatedly. Owens picks up Crowe by the hair and throws him out of the ring.
Showing some moxie, Crowe rolls back into the ring at a nine count, only to be thrown out again by Owens. Back in the ring Crowe finally gets some offence, hitting chops on Owens before being taken out with a kick to the gut.
Big right hand from Crowe staggers Owens, allowing Crowe to hit the running knee in the corner. Crowe gathers momentum but gets turned inside out by a back elbow from Owens, followed by a running senton.
Pop up powerbomb destroys Crowe and Kevin Owens gets the pin and the three count.
After the match Owens goes to powerbomb Crowe onto the apron, but Samoa Joe appears to make the save. Owens bails as Joe enters the ring, taunting him and proclaiming that the champ is here.
Another solid episode of NXT.
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Tags: bayley, Finn Balor, JT on NXT, Kevin Owens