It’s NXT time and we start out with the beautiful Dusty tribute from Raw. Happy trails to you until we meet again, Dream.
Match 1: Enzo Amore, Colin Cassidy & Carmella vs Blake, Murphy & Alexa Bliss
It’s a six person mixed tag match, and Blake is rocking some nice plaits this evening. He starts out against Enzo and grabs a headlock. Enzo fights him off but gets taken down with a shoulderblock, then Blake shakes his plaits like a schoolgirl and grabs a waistlock. Transition back into a headlock and a reversal into another shoulderblock, in case you missed it the first time.
Blake tells Amore that he’s messing with the champ, and this is just the inspiration that Enzo needs. Headlock, reversal, leapfrog, drop toehold and a dance on the back from Amore. Running crossbody gets two for Enzo and Murphy hits the ring to make the save.
Big Cass cuts him off and slams him into the corner, and the ladies decide to get involved. Carmella hits a Thetz press and Alexa immediately rolls to the outside, leaving the men brawling in the ring and Carmella looking on. Double clothesline takes the champs over the top rope and the crowd hit the SAWFT chant as we go to a break.
We’re back with Enzo vs Blake, who gets taken down with the How U doin? punch combo. Enzo takes a shot at Murphy but gets hit from behind by Blake, who stomps him a few times then tags in Murphy. Strikes from Muprhy, then a headlock, which must be the move du jour.
Tag to Blake followed by a team assault, then back to the headlock. Punches from Enzo are cut off by a knee from Blake and a shove back into his corner, followed by more strikes and a tag to Muphy as Alexa takes a cheap shot. Murphy takes out Cassidy and they try another team move on Amore, but he dodges out of the way and cleans house, throwing Blake out of the ring and tagging Carmella.
Some stiff shots and a kicks from Carmella take Bliss down, allowing the guido princess time to pose. Bliss gets back to her feet and gets pinballed into Murphy, but she makes the desperation tag to Blake and Carmella is forced to tag out. Cass is in the ring like a flash and brings Blake in the hard way, then hits a running splash in the corner, big boot on the interfering Murphy, then a big side slam on Blake.
Tag to Amore, assisted splash on Blake for the pin and the three count.
Good tag match with Enzo playing the face in peril for most of the match, Cass hitting some big impact moves and Carmella managing not to injure anyone (I think).
Montage recap of Cena vs Owens at MITB.
Interview with Samoa Joe about his match with Kevin Owens tonight. Intimidation is a tactic of the weak.
Finn Balor video package. They let him use his real name, which is nice. He ran a wresting school. Becky Lynch says she owes him a lot, which is sweet. Great footage from Insane Championship Wrestling, which you should check out on YouTube if you haven’t seen it. The big question: now that Daniel Bryan is retired, could Fergal Devitt be the best technical wrester in the world?
Match 2: Charlotte vs Cassie
Headlock from Charotte to start, shoulderblock takes Cassie down, but she dodges a charge, reverses a takedown a locks in a headlock of her own. Tonight’s episode of NXT is proudly brought to you by the headlock. Leg scissors reversal from Charlotte into a submission which looks like it genuinely hurts, but Cassie slips out and kips up. Charlotte does the same and applauds her opponent, then gives a ‘woo’ for the crowd.
Waistlock from Cassie but Charlotte forces her back into the corner, then goes for a running shoulder. Cassie dodges out of the way and rolls Charlotte up for a two count, then hits a nice headscissors takedown followed by a running knee in the corner. Cassie goes for a monkey flip but Charlotte is just too strong and she shoves her off, then hits a running boot.
Knee drops from Charlotte get two, then a leg choke as a tribute to the Nature Boy. Modified headlock from Charlotte, followed by knees and a snapmare takedown. Back to the modified headlock, but Cassie eventually elbows her way out, and Charlotte looks slightly annoyed.
Back elbow from Cassie, then a running crossbody which gets two. Cassie throws a punch but Charlotte reverses into a bridging pin for two, then hits some big chops, a neckbreaker and a spear. Kip up and Charlotte is in control, locking in the figure eight for the submission victory.
Really good match from both wrestlers, with Cassie looking like a legitimate threat but Charlotte still coming out dominant in the finish.
Interview with Dana Brook. Call her misunderstood. Okay then.
Match 3: Kevin Owens vs Samoa Joe
I’ll be very surprised if we get a clean finish to this match. Owens makes his way to the ring first, then Samoa Joe enters to a growing chant. He needs better entrance music, as the crowd remain fairly subdued for what promises to be a hard hitting match.
Owens bails to start as usual, and Joe follows and gets in his face. Back in the ring they circle each other and lock up, with Joe eventually forcing Owens back into the corner. He breaks clean on four, which gives Owens a chance to pieface him and scream that the champ is here. Joe responds by smacking him in the face and hitting a rapid fire strike combination, which brings the crowd alive.
Hard strikes from Owens stagger Joe, but the champ gets taken down with a running back elbow as he tries to build momentum. Jawbreaker from Owens followed by a clotheline in the corner, but as he sets up for another Joe follows him and hit a running back splash followed by an enizguiri.
Stomps in the corner from Joe, then a face wash, followed by a running face wash what knocks Owens to the outside. He retreats up the ramp, then we get some editing and they’re back in the ring with Owens in control. I guess there was an ad break that my provider couldn’t fill?
Strikes by Owens in the corner, then a choke over the top rope. Irish whip gets reversed, but Owens dodges another back splash in the corner and hits the corner cannonball! That’s why he’s the champ.
Standing senton from Owens gets one, so Owens locks in a rear chinlock. Did you not get the headlock memo, dude? Joe starts to go purple which suggests that the move must be pretty snug, but he eventually fights his way out but gets taken down with a back elbow for a pin and a two count.
Back to the chinlock from Owens, trying to wear down the Samoan Submission Machine. With assistance from the crowd Joe finally fights his way to his feet and hits some elbows, then a strike combination interrupted by a knee to the gut. Atomic drop and big boot from Samoa Joe, followed by a running senton.
More punches from Joe and a running heel kick, which gets a long two count. Joe lifts Owens on to the top rope but Owens counters, forcing Joe back into the other corner. He runs into attack but Joe hits him with a single-arm slam, sending Owens to the outside.
Joe follows him but KO catches him by surprise and runs him head first into the ringpost. He sets up the apron powerbomb but Joe reverses and hits him with some hard slaps. They brawl on the outside as the ref tries to get them back in the ring, but he gets between the monters and gets taken out!
The ref calls for the bell and as expected it’s a Dusty ending, with the pair continuing to brawl until they are separated by a bunch of local workers in security outfits.
Great match to finish an excellent episode of NXT.
Tags: Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, NXT, Samoa Joe