NXT Recap: March 25th 2015

NXT returns home to Florida on this show before the WWE hosts its biggest show of the year, WrestleMania. With that momentous occasion on the horizon, the NXT superstars and divas would have to work extra hard to be noticed this week. With only two matches being featured in the hour-long broadcast, the pressure was on these four individuals to make an excellent show. And boy did they deliver.

The main event was for the NXT Championship, as Kevin Owens defended his coveted belt against Finn Balor. The Irishman earned his opportunity at the title back at Takeover: Rival with a stunning performance and victory over Adrian Neville. However, Owens has been unstoppable since his arrival on the roster, and you can look at the battered bodies of Sami Zayn and Alex Riley to prove that point. Both superstars are undefeated heading into this contest – which of them will give way with the biggest prize on the line?

The other match of the night is also a championship contest with plenty of potential, as Sasha Banks defends her NXT Women’s title against Alexa Bliss. Bliss showed a lot of fire when the pair met last week, and pulled off a shock victory by count out over the champion. The Boss will be reluctant to relinquish her grasp on the title, so Bliss will have a difficult time achieving a second consecutive upset.

Quick Results

  • NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks defeats Alexa Bliss
  • NXT Champion Kevin Owens defeats Finn Balor

Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss (NXT Women’s Championship)

When NXT emanated from Columbus, Ohio last week, Alexa Bliss pulled off a shock victory in front of her hometown crowd when she defeated NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks. After a stop/start beginning to her career in NXT due to injury, Bliss immediately pushed herself into the title picture with that win. The Boss though has firmly placed herself as the best on the roster over the past few months, and will be an even tougher prospect with her precious belt on the line.

Highlights

Bliss has some very inventive pin attempts, and with a bit more refinement will look amazing

Banks reversing Bliss’ jump in the corner with a wicked kick to the face

Excellent sunset flip out of the corner by Bliss earning a near-fall

Crowd Reaction

The crowd getting involved whenever Banks taunts her rival or lands a particular insulting move

“Let’s go Bliss” – despite some shaky spots, the crowd getting behind the challenger

Low Points

Some of the early pin attempts by Bliss looked a little sloppy, perhaps trying too hard

Finish

Bliss ascends to the top rope, but is caught with an armdrag off of it. Banks then locks in the Bank Statement and forces her opponent to submit.

This was a decent match, in spite of a few clunky moments in the ring, mainly on the part of Alexa Bliss. She has amazing potential and athleticism, and once she can perform her moves more crisply she’ll be a major asset to NXT’s already incredible women’s division. Bliss isn’t quite there yet, and I think this match demonstrated that as much as it displayed her potential in future. Sasha Banks was the clear choice to win as she has barely scratched the surface of the possibilities with her as champion. Whoever her next challenger proves to be, Banks will give them a major road block.

Rating – 2.5/5

Kevin Owens vs Finn Balor (NXT Championship)

The second and final match of the night is a battle for the NXT Championship. Finn Balor earned his opportunity in a hard-fought victory over Adrian Neville at Takeover, and his unique gimmick has captured the imagination of the crowd in a huge way. But, Kevin Owens is definitely not going to surrender his title easily, after the path of destruction he carved out to get the top of the mountain. With not only the belt, but a pair of undefeated streaks on the line also, this should not only be an amazing contest, but extremely important going forward.

Highlights

Perfect dropkick by Balor sending Owens scrambling to the outside early on

Owens insulting his opponent when on top with taunts and stepping across him – screaming in Balor’s face

Owens transitioning from a side slam on Balor into a modified Celtic Cross

Hard Irish Whip by Owens, and the impact of Balor against the turnbuckle seemed to shake the whole ring

Balor diving over the top rope onto Owens at ringside

Balor showing great strength by hoisting Owens up into a lifted reverse DDT

After blocking a powerbomb attempt, Balor dives in with a double foot stomp

Owens connecting with a modified fisherman suplex off of the second rope

Crowd Reaction

Crowd mainly behind Balor, but also revel in Owens’ self-assured assault

The customary NXT chants rain down when they are witnessing a match of true quality

“Better than RAW”

Low Points

Nothing of note to complain about

Finish

Balor connects with his flying Double Foot Stomp, but is unable to capitalize due to the damage inflicted to his knee. So when he returns to the action, Owens connects with a Pop-Up Powerbomb to retain his championship.

An excellent, extended match to close the show, and the added bonus of it being for the NXT Championship just built up the intensity for the fans and competitors. This match demonstrated how ready both of these men are for the prospect of competing on the main roster. Kevin Owens in particular had the perfect attack on a damaged limb, and used that to secure his title defense. Finn Balor was also impressive in his fighting spirit, and had the crowd fully behind his pursuit of the NXT Championship. But for now, there is no better leader for the brand than Owens.

Rating – 4.5/5

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