NXT welcomed October in a big way tonight, with two championships headlining an impressive card. In the main event, Adrian Neville defends his NXT Championship once more against Tyson Kidd, but more than the gold is on the line. When Natalya pleaded with General Manager William Regal to give Kidd one last chance at Neville, he allowed it with the condition that if Kidd lost, he can no longer challenge for the title whilst Neville is champion. The stakes couldn’t be higher for Kidd – will he reach the summit at NXT, or will he fall short, never to return?
In the other championship bout, Charlotte granted Bayley another opportunity at the NXT Women’s Championship, after the bubbly hug machine finally earned the champ’s respect for her gutsy performance at Takeover II. Bayley is determined to right the wrongs from that night, and take the title for her own, but Charlotte seems to be getting stronger every week.
Also, Hideo Itami looks to get his feet around one of the Ascension when he takes on Viktor in singles action, The Vaudevillains are in action after a brief absence to battle Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan, and Baron Corbin looks to continue his dominant start on NXT when he fights Troy McClain.
- NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte defeats Bayley
- Hideo Itami vs. Viktor is a No Contest
- Baron Corbin defeats Troy McClain
- The Vaudevillains defeat Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan
- NXT Champion Adrian Neville defeats Tyson Kidd
Charlotte vs. Bayley (NXT Women’s Championship)
The opening match has golden implications, as the gutsy Bayley makes her way down to the ring, streamers and inflatables in tow. She might have a doe-eyed exterior, but at Takeover she showed that she has the heart of a champion, coming agonizingly short to ending the reign of the Nature Girl, Charlotte. Last week, Bayley lamented about how the loss had let down her fans and family, but even in defeat she had earned the respect of the champion that she had been craving. It is for that reason that Charlotte was happy to grant her a rematch, but the champion has been impressive since winning the title, and will not give it up without a fight.
The two budding divas lock up, the taller Charlotte quickly getting the upper-hand, forcing Bayley in the corner. But, she is able to evade on oncoming Charlotte, and gives the Nature Girl a “Woo” of her own for good measure. Bayley launches into a flurry of roll-ups and inventive pin attempts, until the champion has enough and shoves her rival to the canvas. Bayley responds with a springboard armdrag, followed by a couple more on the mat that force Charlotte to the outside. Both women seem keen to show-off their technical skill within the ring, Charlotte focusing in on the leg of her opponent, whilst Bayley concentrates on the arm. They trade holds and stretches before Charlotte wisely drops a knee across Bayley’s ankle to force her down.
As the action returns from commercial, Bayley attempts to regain momentum, but Charlotte avoids an attempted shoulder charge and goes back to the leg with a chop block. Charlotte shows no absence of malice when she twice smashes Bayley’s leg hard against the ring apron, and that damage sets in motion the Figure Four Leglock. The move made famous by her father Ric Flair has Bayley writhing in agony, the Champion urging the submission. But Bayley shows her heart and willpower to reverse the pressure. Bayley avoids Charlotte charging into the corner, and tightens her scrunchy to signal the momentum has shifted. She lands a few shots on the champ against the turnbuckle, then lands a twisting elbow from the middle rope which brings a near fall. Bayley attempts a scoop slam, but Charlotte counters into a hard neckbreaker, with leaves the challenger pron to Natural Selection, and Charlotte retains her title. Post-match, Charlotte raises Bayley’s hand and they hug in a show of respect.
This match certainly wasn’t as good as their battle at Takeover, their new-found respect for each other taking the edge away from the feud. It was a solid encounter, focused more on their technical prowess, but felt less urgent than their previous encounter. Also, the crowd was pretty dead throughout the match, only taking an interest on occasion. That was a shame, as the chain wrestling from the outset was pretty impressive, making it even more baffling that these two aren’t competing on the main roster. However, that means that I would likely have to sit through matches between Eva Marie and Cameron every week, so Charlotte and Bayley can stay in developmental as long as they want.
Rating – 3/5
Hideo Itami vs. Viktor
The Ascension take to the stage, their intimidating entrance echoing around the arena. But, they are facing something they’ve not been used to in recent memory, that being singles competition. Viktor is on his own tonight as he goes one-on-one with recent acquisition Hideo Itami. The Japanese Sensation immediately got on the wrong side with the former NXT Tag Team Champions when they interrupted his debut at Takeover II, and last week the bitterness between these men heightened when Itami’s distraction cost the Ascension in their rematch for the titles against the Lucha Dragons. Can Itami cut the dominant pairing down to size one at a time?
Sadly, we never get to answer that question. As soon as Itami enters the ring, he is blindsided by Konnor, and both members of the Ascension stomp their defenseless rival on the canvas. Itami is not given any respite as both Konnor and Viktor take turns to pound on their victim, as the referee tries in vain to ward them off. Eventually, the entire refereeing team at NXT come out to try and break this mauling up, but the Ascension ignore their pleas. Konnor holds Itami in a back drop position, and Viktor flies off the top rope with an elbow to send him to the mat in a broken heap. The match never gets started, but the Ascension have sent their message. Who knows how Itami will respond to this mugging, but one thing is for certain, he can’t take down the vicious tandem on his own.
This was a useful segment to continue the feud, the Ascension maintaining their dominant stature after a poor run of results. It would have been nice to see Itami get in a little offense, maybe stage some kind of mini-recovery, but that doesn’t take away from the segment. This likely means that Itami will have to find a partner if he ever wants to get revenge on the Ascension, which could mean another member of the recent acquisitions, namely Kevin Steen and Prince Devitt.
Rating – 3.5/5 (For the segment as a whole, as there was no match)
Before the next match, there is a video insert where we see Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady late at the WWE Performance Center with their friend Carmella, teaching her the ropes to becoming a wrestler. Amore and Carmella lock up, but it isn’t long before the Certified G starts messing about with the newbie, flexing his muscles and sniffing her hair. However, he ends up on the wrong side of a dropkick by Carmella that sends him to the outside, leaving him rather embarrassed. This trio certainly has plenty of promise, and if one thing is certain, it is their charisma is in no way Sawft.
Baron Corbin vs. Troy McClain
Recent vignettes have promoted Baron Corbin as this emotionless drifter, who only appears to show enjoyment in the misery of others. The videos have similar production styles to that of Sin City, which have helped made Corbin more of an intriguing character. He is getting a lot of attention, especially following back-to-back demolitions of CJ Parker in his previous matches, and for his incredible finishing maneuver, the End of Days. Tonight, he takes on Troy McClain, who for those that don’t follow the dirt sheets closely, was recently released by the WWE. I wonder how this match is going to pan out?
The pair lock up, but the mammoth Corbin throws McClain against the ropes into a stiff elbow, a wry smile forming on the face of the giant. A hard clothesline in the corner is followed by a fist to the face. McClain is dazed, and is sent right into the awesome End of Days, which is swiftly becoming my favorite finishing move in all WWE. Another simple victory for Corbin in his unbeaten start.
It’s a typical squash match, which means it can’t merit a high rating. But, there is something about the look and presence of Baron Corbin that makes me think he isn’t just a flash in the pan. The WWE seems to have plans for him, and with his callous, sadistic but understated demeanor, he is demonstrating flashes of a raw, young Undertaker. That might be too much to suggest before he has had a sustained feud, or even a match which lasts more than two minutes. But they all have to start somewhere, and fans should definitely keep an eye out for this guy in the coming months. Not that you’d be likely to miss him.
Rating – 1.5/5
The Vaudevillains vs. Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan
It’s time for the excitement factor to pick up, as the greatest entrance in WWE today is upon us with the arrival of the Vaudevillains. But, horror of horrors, their entrance music has been changed for reasons both unknown and unfathomable. Their theme was an assured way of getting the crowd invested in the tandem, and without the jaunty beat they seem less appealing. This didn’t stop the crowd attempting to clap along to the tune of their old music, and hopefully this will only be a temporary excursion. They face the pairing of Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan, still waiting patiently for either the creative team or the WWE Universe to give them a team name. It seems both have more urgent priorities.
Aiden English opens the contest with Tye Dillinger, both partaking in some mind games in the early going. A quick roll-up attempt by English is kicked out of, but he drags Dillinger into his own corner. A tag to Simon Gotch results in some double-team action, with double punches first to the gut and then the face for both Dillinger and an onrushing Jason Jordan to the delight of the crowd. Dillinger is able to break free and make it to his own corner, Jordan coming in and tackling Gotch against the turnbuckle. But, the strongman Gotch fights back with uppercuts, the second to the back of the head leaving Jordan prone for English’s swinging neckbreaker.
Jordan escapes by throwing English hard against the middle rope, and brings in Dillinger who exposes his bare knee to take some shots to the temple of his opponent. An attempted suplex is countered by English into a roll-up, and a forceful kick-out by Dillinger allows him to tag in Gotch, who wastes little time with a hard punch from the apron. He takes out Jordan in the corner, before attempting a Fireman’s Carry on Dillinger who breaks free, but is only rewarded with an elbow to the face. The strongman then provides a couple of Airplane Spins, first on Jordan, then on Dillinger, the latter he transitions into a rolling senton, and a tag to English leads to That’s a Wrap for a convincing win for the Vaudevillains.
For a team with the word “villains” in their name, it was odd to see the Vaudevillains play the face role in this match. Perhaps the WWE officials have realized how over they are and have decided to run with it, but for that to have the fullest effect they need to return to their old theme music. The match itself was short but did the job, making English and Gotch look like strong contenders in the Tag Team title picture. The Lucha Dragons should be looking over their shoulders.
Rating – 2.5/5
Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd
The main event arrives, and few carry more excitement than when the title is on the line. Natalya pleaded with General Manager William Regal to give Tyson Kidd another chance to become NXT Champion, which made the Englishman skeptical to say the least. But, he granted the opportunity on the condition that Kidd never gets another shot at Adrian Neville if he falls short once again. It’s now do or die for Kidd, who’s dream of being NXT Champion has come down to the Last Chance Saloon. But Neville has been a fighting champion, and already holds three pinfall victories over Kidd in title matches. Will the threat of this being his final shot motivate Kidd onto victory? Also, there is a wildcard in this match, as Titus O’Neil, who two weeks ago teamed with Kidd opposite Neville and Sami Zayn, is watching from the crowd.
They open up with some chain wrestling, which with these two athletes you know is going to be fluid and seamless, until it is cut off by a shoulder barge by Kidd for the early advantage. Both Kidd and then Neville focus in on their rival’s arm, before Neville looks for a quick roll-up. Kidd breaks out quickly and responds with kicks, chops and forearm smashes to wear down the champion. Neville slides through the legs of Kidd and provides a few chops of his own, followed by a back body drop. Action soon moves to ringside, as Neville stands on the apron to launch a strong kick to the face of Kidd, as the champion takes control leading to the break.
As the action returns, Kidd connects with an emphatic neckbreaker/slam combination for a near-fall, very impressive move. Neville charges at Kidd in the corner, only to be met with a reverse elbow, but as Kidd climbs the turnbuckle the champ responds with a high kick. Neville sets up for a superplex, but Kidd fights back and attempts a sunset flip powerbomb, only for Neville to acrobatically land on his feet and return with a delayed corner dropkick. This is immediately followed by a sit-out powerbomb that seems lucky not to break Kidd’s neck, but the Canadian manages to kick out.
Neville attempts a Shooting Star Press, but Kidd rolls out of the way, but is lifted onto the apron by the champ. Kidd springboards back into the ring, Neville attempts a dropkick to his mid-air opponent, only to be caught in the Sharpshooter. Neville desperately manages to crawl to the bottom rope after an agonizing number of seconds, but Kidd doesn’t hesitate to tie up Neville in the ropes. His charge at the champ sees him thrown to ringside, but as Neville attempts a high-risk dive, Kidd breaks it up with and elbow, and the champ is knocked to the floor. A suicide dive by Kidd is then countered by an enziguri, but Neville is then caught from behind by Titus O’Neil and rammed to the floor. Sami Zayn charges out to boot O’Neil in the face. Neville recovers to get back in the ring, but is placed on the top rope by Kidd. Neville blocks, sending Kidd face first to the mat, in prime position for the Red Arrow, which connects and Neville retains. The champion keeps his belt, and Kidd’s final opportunity ends in disappointment.
This was a strong match, what we’ve come to expect from these two technically astute competitors. The crowd seemed far more split on this, perhaps a sign that Neville’s appeal is slowly waning. But, the champion put on an excellent performance, as did Kidd, although it is sad that he is out of the title picture for the time being. The interference by both O’Neil and Zayn added some extra jeopardy to the match, making one question whether Kidd could finally win the gold. Sadly for him, he will never get that chance again, so it only remains to see who will be next to challenge Neville for the NXT Championship.
Rating – 4/5