WWE NXT kicks off with the number one contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championships, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. This isn’t the usual entrance though. There is no running from Enzo, and none of them have a microphone. They are walking to the ring with a purpose.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs Corey Hollis and John Skyler
Cass opens up with an aggressive offense, pummeling his opponent into the corner. He follows that up with a big splash. Enzo hits a hard running clothesline that had huge impact on it. Cass hit a big boot to the partner on the apron to isolate one man, before the assisted air splash by Enzo Amore picked up the victory for the number one contenders. They cut a promo after the match, with Enzo noting that they have been a tag team for longer than anyone else in NXT history, and they are essentially family. Cass then claims they are coming for retribution, and they will walk out of London as the new tag team champions.
Result – Enzo and Cass win
Notes – A standard squash match, maybe even a little shorter than the norm. This served to just make Enzo and Cass strong. The new demeanor is interesting, especially as the flamboyant entrance is what got them so popular in the first place. The promo after the match was solid though, as their intentions were made very clear.
Emma cuts a promo backstage and says she was part of the revolution for divas before NXT had even heard of Asuka. Before Charlotte and Sasha and Bayley, Emma was the one making headlines, and she will do the same against Asuka.
Asuka vs Deonna Purrazzo
A lock up quickly turns into a take down by Asuka. She immediately works on Purrazzo’s arm, grounding her while holding her arm behind her. What looked to be a pinfall attempt by Asuka turned into her applying an arm bar. Purrazzo made it to the ropes, but Asuka delivered some strong kicks to her back. Emma’s music hits, and she stands at the top of the ramp with Dana, staring at Asuka. Purrazzo attempts to attack Asuka from behind, but Asuka just nails a spinning heel kick and knocks Purrazzo out for the victory. Emma and Dana look petrified as their plan failed.
Result – Asuka won
Notes – another quick match won by the person going to TakeOver. Asuka will have her chance against Emma next week to really show what she can do. A match that I am really looking forward to seeing between two very talented women.
The drifter, Elias Sampson, again features on a video package playing a guitar and singing, this time on a train track. A very interesting build-up this is turning into.
Hype Bros vs Blake and Murphy
Blake and Murphy appear to be dressed as subtle elves given their green and red attires. Mojo Rawley has started this match with a very strange dance, and I don’t like it one bit. After Mojo takes both men down, Zack Ryder hits a baseball slide to both men on the outside. A dropkick to Murphy is followed by a slam to Blake. Ryder, at the second attempt, hits a Broski Boot in the corner to Blake. Murphy capitalizes here, and attacks Ryder while he was distracted. Blake, back up on the outside, aids Alexa Bliss in kicking Ryder in the head while the ref has his back turned. Blake and Murphy continuously hold down Ryder until he counters a double team move and tags back in Mojo. Mojo hits a stiff shot for a two count. Murphy then hits a Superkick on Mojo and the legal man, Blake, gets a two count. Murphy is thrown out of the ring, and the Hype Bros set Blake up for the Hype Ryder for the win.
Result – Hype Bros win
Notes – A match with reasonably poor chemistry here. Certain spots seemed muddled and the energy was lacking. I seriously dislike the Hype Bros tag team. It is really one dimensional and doesn’t have any real substance other than two men getting “hyped” a lot. Hopefully there isn’t a push here in the foreseeable future.
Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin are talking backstage. They’re both aware they don’t see eye to eye but tonight isn’t about that. Corbin speaks down the camera to Apollo Crews and says he really doesn’t like him. Joe then talks to Finn Balor and asks whether it was really Joe who betrayed, or was it Finn as he didn’t grant Joe a title match. Corbin promises a beating tonight.
Bayley vs Peyton Royce
A nice arm takedown by Royce to start this one. Bayley hits a corner clothesline but a shot to the back and a running knee keeps Royce on top. Royce holds Bayley in the corner with her leg and does so by looking exceptionally athletic. A spinning kick by Royce gets her a two count. Bayley creates an opening by hitting a running one armed bulldog followed by a suplex. Royce rolls Bayley up for another two count, but Bayley hits the Bayley to Belly for a three count. Nia Jax comes out after the match, accompanied by Eva Marie. Eva tries to talk but the crowd boo heavily again and it is almost impossible to hear her. Jax takes the mic and says she doesn’t need Eva to do her talking. Jax claims she will become the new NXT Women’s Champion. The boos were ringing loud on Jax too, but one must wonder whether they would have been so loud had she not been stood next to Eva Marie.
Result – Bayley wins
Notes – Bayley wins and the challenge for London is set. Bayley vs Nia Jax for the women’s championship. The match itself was actually dominated by Royce. Royce had a new entrance, bringing out a rose and showing some stern facial expressions, before she dominated a match with the champion. Is this a sign that Royce will get a push very soon? I hope so, because she is very good in the ring, and will be a nice addition to the roster. I really like the look of Royce.
Crews and Balor are backstage. Balor says they will give Joe and Corbin a taste of what’s to come next week. Crews says Balor and himself still have unfinished business themselves, and Crews is coming back for the title after London.
Another video for Sami Zayn, this time showing the moment Bret Hart introduced him and he challenged John Cena for the US title. It ends again by saying Sami Zayn Returns.
Apollo Crews and Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin
Four men. All wanting to fight. Joe and Balor open up the match, but Joe tags Corbin straight in. Balor turns his attention to Joe immediately and Corbin attacks, only for Balor to hit a dropkick and tag in Crews. Corbin sees Crews and tags himself out. Only a tease of these feuds so far, and I like it. Huge dropkick by Crews on Joe. Crews then tells Joe to tag in Corbin. Back from break and Corbin does tag himself in, but only as Joe is in control of Crews. Joe and Corbin begin to work down Crews, exchanging tags and working well as a team. Balor and Joe are finally in together. Balor finally gets a go at Joe, with clotheslines and kicks. Balor is feeling this. Running chops in the corner by Balor, but Joe counters and sets up the Muscle Buster. Balor rolls through and rolls up Joe, but Corbin kicks it out. Crews runs in and gets his hands on Corbin. Balor hits a dropkick into the corner on Joe. He goes up top, but Corbin pushes Balor off the top and straight into a Coquina Clutch by Joe. Crews again takes Corbin down on the outside and the two brawl all the way to the back. In the ring, Joe still has the clutch locked in, and Balor eventually passes out, giving Joe and Corbin the win. Massive statement made. Joe holds up the NXT championship, with one foot on Balor, to end the show.
Analysis – 5 matches in all, and all felt relatively short to make time for each other. Realistically, the Hype Bros vs Blake and Murphy didn’t need to be on this card, and it could have made some of the matches a bit longer. Every match on the card that featured someone on the TakeOver card was a squash match excluding the main event, and even that wasn’t long enough really. In terms of pushing forward the feuds, the show done a good job, and the greater wrestling matches will be saved next week for TakeOver: London.
Confirmed for NXT TakeOver: London
Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship
Apollo Crews vs Baron Corbin
Asuka vs Emma
Dash and Dawson vs Enzo and Cass for the NXT Tag Team Championships
Bayley vs Nia Jax for the NXT Women’s Championship
Will you be watching TakeOver London? Let me know your predictions either down below or on twitter (@carlo_george) and watch out for my predictions coming very soon!