After last week’s epic show, NXT returns this week off the back of the controversial finish of the championship encounter that closed that edition. Sami Zayn once again fell short in his pursuit of the NXT Championship, despite giving arguably the strongest showing of his time in the developmental territory. But, when Adrian Neville injured his leg following a missed Red Arrow, Zayn’s lack of a killer instinct reared its head once again and he was caught in a small package. Tonight, Zayn addresses his loss and where he goes from here. Also on another packed edition of NXT, The Vaudevillains would look to send a message to the NXT Tag Team Champions Lucha Dragons, whilst Baron Corbin and Bull Dempsey demonstrated their dominance over a couple of despairing victims. Bayley looks to earn some retribution on Becky Lynch following the Irishwoman’s betrayal a few weeks ago, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady are in action against Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, and Tyson Kidd returns to battle CJ Parker and make a challenge of his own.
- Becky Lynch defeats Bayley
- The Vaudevillains defeat The “Mini” Lucha Dragons
- Baron Corbin defeats Elias Sampson
- Bull Dempsey defeats Steve Cutler
- Tyson Kidd defeats CJ Parker
- Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady defeat Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder
Becky Lynch vs. Bayley
The opening match, and it doesn’t start off much more energetic than with the appearance of Bayley. The bubbly and popular diva has been a firm favorite among the NXT crowd since her debut, and continues to delight them whenever she appears. But tonight that playful attitude might be left in the locker room, as Bayley takes on her former friend Becky Lynch. The Irishwoman has aligned herself with Sasha Banks in hopes of making a name for herself, and did so by taking out Bayley following a defeat to Banks a few weeks ago. Tonight, Bayley has a chance to get a measure of revenge, but with Banks lurking around ringside, would Lynch catch her out again?
Bayley wastes little time getting on the offensive, springing off the turnbuckle into an armdrag, before being hoisted onto the apron by Lynch. The redhead ducks a clothesline and hauls Bayley down by her hair onto the apron, following up with a snap suplex. She keeps Bayley grounded with a leg drop and elbow, then placing her in a tight headlock. Bayley fights out, ducking a Lynch clothesline into a brief roll-up attempt, following up with lariats of her own. She charges at Lynch in the corner, and hits a suplex. Bayley ascends the middle rope and tightens her hair band, but misses her flying maneuver as Lynch escapes to the apron. Bayley is in hot pursuit, but Banks gets up on the apron, allowing Lynch to guillotine her opponent on the top rope, rolling Bayley up for the victory. After the match, Banks and Lynch mock Bayley and get in her face, causing NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte out from the back to protect her friend and chase off the catty duo.
A short match, which crippled the amount of action that could take place. I’m yet to see enough of Lynch to give an accurate report on her potential – she has a great deal of flexibility and strength, but she hasn’t employed a finisher yet on TV as far as I remember. The amount of roll-up pins currently in the divas division has been absurd and it is beginning to infect NXT. Bayley’s popularity is growing all the time, and hopefully she will get a run with the title before she is rightly called-up to the main roster. Rating – 2/5
The Vaudevillains vs. The “Mini” Lucha Dragons
The Vaudevillains may no longer have the peppy entrance music, but that has allowed them to focus more on being fully-fledged heels. The gentlemen tandem have set themselves apart as the outright contenders to the Lucha Dragon’s NXT Tag Team Championships. Aiden English grabs a microphone and makes the proposal that they should be entitled to their title shot tonight. Immediately the entrance theme of the champions blazes throughout the venue, but the champions don’t make their way out. Instead, they are approached by two dwarfs wearing luchadore masks.
Although they only seem to be out there to have some fun, the Vaudevillains beckon a referee and an impromptu match is underway. Unsurprisingly, the miniature pairing are quick to try and escape the ring, only to be pulled back in by Simon Gotch, lifting one in a suplex hold, showing his immense strength, before transitioning into an airplane spin. English tags in and does the same, before passing him off once more to Gotch who hits a scoop slam. The little man makes a tag to his reluctant partner, who is the unfortunate recipient of an uppercut to the back of the head followed by a swinging neckbreaker. English makes the cover for the easiest victory of their career, but they will have to battle a lot harder to defeat the real Lucha Dragons for the championships.
Obviously, this wasn’t a real match, but as comedy filler goes it was pretty good. The little Lucha Dragons running to the ring and trying to jump in from the apron was funny, as was the emotions and moves of the Vaudevillains in taking down their smaller rivals. This will be good for getting in the heads of the champions, adding a little bit of rivalry to the feud beyond simply being a match between them and the number one contenders. Rating – 2/5
Baron Corbin vs. Elias Sampson/Bull Dempsey vs. Steve Cutler
The music of Baron Corbin fills the arena, and immediately a sense of premonition sets in among the crowd, as well as some sympathy for the victim that awaits him in the ring. But, the crowd still bays for blood, and Corbin does not look to take his time against Elias Sampson. The crowd begin to chant the seconds it takes for him to pick up the inevitable victory. After a hard right hand and the End of Days, Corbin gets the pin and the clock stops at 22 seconds, another quick demolition job for the biking loner. As Corbin walks up the ramp, the music of Bull Dempsey plays, as the brawler makes his way to the ring for his match against Steve Cutler. The two powerhouses barely glance at each other, and as the bout gets underway, the crowd count the seconds like in Corbin’s match. This one goes longer, due to Dempsey’s desire to hand out punishment rather than just end the match as quickly as possible, but still causes the crowd to boo and start chanting “Baron’s Better!”. Dempsey lands repeated elbows to the heart of Cutler, followed by a running splash sending him to the canvas. The Bulldozer ascends the top rope for his diving headbutt to score his own simple victory.
Having these two powerhouses develop some animosity over which is the dominant force in NXT is a smart move. Corbin’s run against jobbers has been fun and gotten him over remarkably strong, but he needs to enter his first real feud. The same goes for Dempsey, who needs to move on from his last rivalry with Mojo Rawley. As a pair of wrecking balls, they could either make excellent rivals or maybe even a tag team, but their interaction is a good thing. Rating – 2/5
Tyson Kidd vs. CJ Parker
Tyson Kidd still finds time to appear on NXT, as he is gradually becoming the WWE’s most heavily broadcast star, alongside this, on the main shows and on Total Divas. Last week, Kidd teamed with Justin Gabriel opposite Hideo Itami and the debuting Finn Balor in a losing effort, and would likely be determined to rectify that with a victory tonight. His opponent in that quest is the environmentalist CJ Parker. The supposed Savior of the World has been making only sporadic appearances as of late, mainly as a feeder to some of the top stars in NXT. Can he respond against one of the most in-form superstars in WWE at the moment?
Kidd and Parker look set to lock up, but Kidd consistently grabs the ropes to ward off his opponent and get in his head. They do eventually tie-up and Parker puts in a hammer lock, which Kidd expertly counters by going through the ropes and wrapping Parker’s arm in the ropes for an illegal hold. Kidd mocks Parker’s peace symbol as the crowd chant “Total Divas” repeatedly to rile the Hart dungeon survivor. Parker goes on the offense with some strikes of his own, but is met with a kick to the face and another to the gut by Kidd, who charges off the ropes straight into a roundhouse kick from Parker. The eco-warrior whips Kidd hard against the turnbuckle as he assumes control of proceedings, but misses a splash in the corner. Kidd lands on the apron following a kick to Parker, who in turn seems to have blocked a shoulder to the gut, but ends up having his leg caught in the middle rope. Kidd hits his inverted swinging neckbreaker, and places Parker in the Sharpshooter, which he cannot withstand for long before tapping out. Following the match, Tyson Kidd grabs the microphone and addresses last week’s defeat to Balor and Itami. He states that “his” uncle Bret Hart would expect Kidd to make a challenge rather than wait to have the challenge be made, so he says that he wants Balor one-on-one next week on NXT, so he can avenge the tag team defeat.
A good match between these two, and it is great Kidd continues to feature on NXT despite his resurgence on the main roster. Parker looked good as well in spite of the limited time they had to perform, with some strong offense and use of character. But, at the moment he is only one step above a jobber in that he has an identifiable and unique gimmick, but other than that he is being fed to the top stars for victories. The idea of Kidd facing Finn Balor in his first singles match in NXT is a mouth-watering prospect, and hopefully will lead to an awesome match between two talented competitors. Rating – 3/5
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder
The Certified Gs are in action next, as Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady make their way to the ring, with their beautiful friend Carmella in tow. They perform their usual in-your-face promo that always gets the crowd chanting along and hanging on their every word. They have been absent since being one of the last three teams in the battle royal to determine the number one contenders for the tag team titles, where they put up a courageous effort against the Ascension. Tonight, they take on another recently forged team of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, looking to make a name for themselves in a crowded division that is showing a lot of potential.
Amore starts out with Dawson, locking him in a headlock until he is yanked by his stylish locks to the mat. Dawson keeps him down with punches and a leg drop before tagging in Wilder, as the pair slam him down once more on the back of his head. Another tag leads to a Dawson lifting Wilder into a leg drop on Amore, who is taking a significant beating. But, when he is thrown against the ropes, he fights back with a knee lift, tagging in Big Cass. A few hard punches to the gut land on Dawson, then grabbing Wilder by the throat and pushing him to the outside. Cass knocks Dawson down once more and then brings Amore back in, who combine for an inverted atomic drop and a big boot to the face to get the victory. After the match, the Ascension charge out from out of nowhere, taking down Amore and Cassady on the ramp, then assaulting Dawson and Wilder in the ring with the Fall of Man. They pronounce that they will rise again, seemingly making targets out of Hideo Itami and Finn Balor after two weeks ago.
A short match with very little to either offend or excite people – it was just there to provide some action before the Ascension left as the main talking point. Amore and Cassady continue to be strong on the microphone and a work-in-progress in the ring, whereas Dawson and Wilder look pretty solid, but like half the teams down in NXT need their own name and unique identity. Rating – 2/5
Sami Zayn Promo/William Regal Announces Takeover III Main Event
The final part of the night features Sami Zayn making his way out to the ring. Last week, he looked to finally ascend to the top of the mountain and complete his road to redemption with the NXT Championship. Zayn dominated the majority of his match with Adrian Neville, showing a swagger and strength that he hadn’t demonstrated to this extent before, as well as his usual grit and determination when the action swung in the champion’s favor. He came close to victory on a number of occasions and avoided all of Neville’s best offense, including his attempt at the Red Arrow. But, on the Geordie’s landing from that attempt he appeared to badly damage his knee, meaning that Zayn couldn’t hit his Helluva Kick on his downed opponent. He and the referee went to check on the fallen star, with the latter getting ready to declare him unable to compete, until Neville wrapped Zayn in a small package to retain his belt.
Zayn’s lack of a killer instinct had cost him his chance at glory once more. Zayn shows the video of his defeat in the main event, as the crowd in unison chant “You Got Robbed!”. He describes the result of one of the worst feelings he had ever experienced, when he let victory slip through his fingers in a second. Zayn calls out Adrian Neville from the back, and the champion accepts his request, still showing a noticeable limp on his way to the ring. Zayn informs Neville that if what he and a number of other naysayers have said is true, in that he cannot win the big one, that he questions why he is even in NXT. He asks Neville that if their friendship still means anything, then he wants another title match, and if he cannot defeat Neville, then he is finished. Neville tries to talk some sense into Zayn, saying how much he respects him and how good he is, and that he shouldn’t throw his career away over it, but Zayn doesn’t want to hear any of that. NXT General Manager William Regal steps into this volatile situation to announce that at Takeover III: R Evolution, Neville will defend his NXT Championship once more against Zayn. After this, despite the pleas of Neville and Regal, Zayn states firmly that if he doesn’t win, his time in NXT is done as he walks away.