WWE NXT kicks off with highlights from a Dusty Rhodes Classic Tag Team Tournament from the weekend between the Hype Bros, Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder, and Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. Jordan and Gable picked up the victory to set up a match against Rhyno and Baron Corbin in the semi-final which will be live at the Takeover event next week.
[adinserter block=”1″]Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson’s victory against the NXT Tag Team Champions, The Vaudevillains, is shown next, which sent Dash and Dawson to the other semi-final of the tournament. Their opponent will be found out in the first match of the night.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs Samoa Joe and Finn Balor
Enzo and Cass come out first to another big pop that they are receiving on a weekly basis now. They cut a promo before the match in honour of Dusty Rhodes to which the crowd responds with chants of ‘Dusty’. Cass starts the match against Samoa Joe. Cass shows some early strength to knock Joe out of the ring and the two big men begin to brawl on the outside. Enzo Amore flies out the ring onto Joe and Balor follows suit by jumping onto Cass, before the two fliers have a stare down. Cass continues to impress in the match before Balor catches him with a kick from the apron and Joe gets a near fall. Two massive boots by Cass on both opponents as he continues to impress in the match. Enzo goes to the top rope and, with the aid of Cass, hits a big splash onto Joe. Instead of kicking out, Joe powers through and lifts Amore up as he gets up. Balor tags himself in and runs across the ring to kick down Cass. Joe hits the Muscle Buster and Balor goes up top for the Coup de Grace on Amore to pick up the victory to qualify for the live semi-final at Takeover where they will face Dash and Dawson.
Notes – A fantastic tag team match between four fantastic performers. The crowd are still enjoying Enzo and Cass, and they have to move to the main roster as a tag team rather than have them split and then move up.
Johnny Gargano vs Apollo Crews
The commentary team played up Crews’ unbeaten run in NXT and the ability he possesses. Gargano starts the match with an early rope submission on Crews which the ref breaks on four. Crews responds with a huge leap and a huge dropkick as Gargano rolls out of the ring. Gargano hits an impressive spear from the apron onto Crews before applying a modified abdominal stretch, which slows down a match that had been moving at a good speed. A big suplex from Crews gets himself back in control before hitting a few clothesline takedowns. He follows up a splash in the corner with a gorilla press and standing moonsault for the victory.
Notes – Crews continues to impress in NXT and is entering his first real feud with Tyler Breeze. Gargano had a good showing as well and will be a great addition to the roster if NXT can keep him.
A backstage segment is shown where William Regal announces Dana Brooke will take on the debuting Asuka at the Takeover event.
Dana Brooke and Emma vs Billie Kay and Peyton Royce
Royce starts the match with Brooke and attempts some early pins to score an upset. Billie Kay tags in and the two rookies show great teamwork. Emma comes in but Kay remains in control and hits Emma with a suplex that she held for a good few seconds. A distraction by Brooke allows Emma to take control from Kay. Brooke and Emma exchange tags and beat down Kay in the corner. Kay finally fights out of a submission from Emma but Emma stays in control. A big boot from Kay allows her to tag in Royce while Brooke also comes in. Strong kicks by Royce. Royce then botches a move from the top rope that neither her nor Brooke cover very well. Emma interferes from the outside and Brooke hits her finisher for the pitfall victory over Kay.
Notes – Royce and Kay have been used to put others ago again but show signs of having a lot of potential. The botch aside, they showed they can put on a good match with accomplished wrestlers. Brooke now has a huge chance to prove herself when she takes on Asuka that will be a huge stepping stone for both women.
Tomasso Ciampa vs Tyler Breeze
Back and forth counters by both men open this bout before Prince Pretty sits on Ciampa’s back and is taken for a ride around the ring. Ciampa hits a running knee in the corner for a near fall. Breeze hits a neck breaker to take control. Ciampa continues to hit some big strikes with both his hands and feet. Innovative move by Ciampa as he bounces Breeze off the rope and plant him on the mat. Ciampa hits another huge knee and a clothesline for a near fall. A big dropkick by Breeze finally gets Ciampa reeling. Breeze shows aggression with some stamps. Breeze then hits a move than resembles the killswitch that Christian used to use as his finisher. Breeze secures the win with this move.
[adinserter block=”2″]Notes – It was great to see Breeze use another move as his finisher. His match with Crews will be fantastic but I really hope Breeze isn’t going to be used a way to get others over. He still needs his own push which he well and truly deserves. Just like Gargano, Ciampa would be a great addition to the roster. He looked good in the ring again, and his striking ability looked brilliant.
NXT finishes with almost an almost 10 minute video package hyping up the rematch between Bayley and Sasha Banks at Takeover. The package was absolutely phenomenal. There was footage from their original match at Brooklyn (including some nice backstage from the event) as well as their preparations for their Takeover rematch. It was exactly how a video package should promote a main event, and was also a great to promote one of the biggest women’s wrestling match ever. Both women have deserved their place in this position, and the match will be exceptional. Bring on Takeover: Respect!