We open with a video package hyping the main event for tonight. It will be Finn Balor defending his NXT Championship against Apollo Crews. First out is Asuka.
Asuka vs Cameron
The former main roster diva, Cameron, is here on NXT to take on Asuka. A chance for Cameron to revitalise her career as many have done before her. Crowd fully behind Asuka as she catches a kick by Cameron but puts her leg down. Cameron goes for a slap but an incredible reversal by Asuka to lock in an arm bar. Cameron takes control shortly after and gets Asuka in a headlock. Asuka fights back with some quick attacks to Cameron’s head. Asuka catches Cameron again with an arm submission. Asuka hits strikers to Cameron’s head and takes her right out. Asuka locks in the Asuka Lock and picks up the victory.
Notes – Asuka again looked remarkable. Her strikes are incredible and she works at a phenomenal speed. She really is the next big women’s wrestler in NXT. As for Cameron, it is a good career move to drop into NXT and revitalise her career.
Backstage, Dash and Dawson announce that they will be challenging the Vaudevillains for the NXT Tag Team Championships next week on NXT.
Another backstage segment airs, with Jordan and Gable challenging the Ascension from the main roster to come back to NXT and have a match.
Bull Dempsey vs Angelo Dawkins
Dempsey starts with a headlock that Dawkins fights out of with a strong strike to the face. Dawkins then applies a submission of his own. Dawkins continues to strike Dempsey in the face but Dempsey rallies and powers out with strikes of his own before a splash in the corner. Dempsey goes to the top rope and lands on Dawkins, covering him for the victory. Sawyer Fulton walks out on Dawkins after the match.
Result – Bull Dempsey wins
Notes – A contest between two men who have been nowhere near the screens of NXT as of late, and they didn’t serve up a great match at all. A quick squash match that served to show an impending split between Fulton and Dawkins.
Eva Marie vs Gionna Daddio
Eva Marie comes out to a chorus of boos and as soon as she is shoved straight over, the crowd cheer. She is facing a new diva to the NXT universe, Gionna Daddio. Eva takes control straight away and hits a suplex pin combo. Daddio gets some offence in but Eva quickly strikes her off before planting Daddio onto the mat and gets a three count.
Result – Eva Marie wins
Notes – The crowd reaction to Eva Marie was strong again. She didn’t prove them wrong in the ring, either. The match was poor, and the finisher looked like a botch at first. Daddio didn’t get enough time on the offence to show if she has a future.
Finn Balor vs Apollo Crews for the NXT Championship
Crews enters to a nice reaction from the crowd. He looks pumped. Big match feel as the lights dim down and spotlight the two competitors in the middle of the ring as the ring announcer introduces both men. A shake of hands in a sign of respect and we are underway. Crews shows early signs of athleticism, cartwheeling over Balor on the floor before leaping over him and delivering a dropkick. Crews holds Balor up in a suplex position, even removing one arm away, before dropping him and getting a two count. Crews goes for a big elbow drop but Balor avoids contact and applies a submission hold to wear down Crews. Crews springs over Balor but Balor counters through and lands a dropkick to a sitting Crews. Another near fall and another submission by Balor. Roll through eventually and a dropkick followed by a clothesline. Crews battles out but is caught with a huge kick as he is sitting on the top rope and falls to the outside. Balor lunges over the top and lands on top of Crews. Nice pace to this title match so far. TakeOver worthy. Balor is whipping Crews corner to corner, hitting chops to his chest as he goes along. Clothesline by Balor for a near fall. Big backdrop by Crews for a near-fall. Crowd absolutely split in this match. Balor lifted high in the air by Crews but drops on his feet. Crews still hits a giant kick, but Balor hits a sling blade. Another clothesline by Crews and he hits the Gorilla Press. Attempts to hit a Standing Moonsault but Balor gets his knees up. Balor then hits a nice slam on Crews. Balor then dropkicks Crews into the corner and he has him set up for the Coup De Grace. Crews avoids it and gets up, before both men exchange incredible kicks to each other. Both men are down and the ref is counting… BARON CORBIN INTERFERES! MATCH IS OVER! Baron Corbin has ended a sensational match. He is attacking Crews on the outside, and now he is attacking Balor on the inside. Triple threat at TakeOver? Maybe not… HERE’S SAMOA JOE! Joe has cleared Corbin out of the ring, who has scurried up the ramp. Balor is slowly getting to his feet… OH MY GOD JOE IS ATTACKING BALOR! JOE HAS TURNED HEEL! THIS IS THE INEVITABLE BREAKDOWN THAT HAS BEEN COMING! SAMOA JOE IS UNLEASHING ON BALOR! MUSCLE BUSTER! HE NOW HAS THE TITLE! JOE IS GOING AFTER THE NXT CHAMPIONSHIP!
Result – Match ends in a no contest as Baron Corbin interferes
Analysis – Not the greatest episode in a while but was very much saved by the main event. A show that contained 4 matches and 3 of them were squash matches, the show isn’t a spectacle throughout for its wrestling. The main event stole the show, with Balor and Crews looking incredible. Eva Marie looked far from impressive once again. Asuka, on the other hand, looked great as she seems headed for a match against Emma in the near future. And, as for what’s next, we have an NXT Tag Team Championship match to look forward to next week between the Vaudevillians and Dash and Dawson, which should be a good match.
Did you watch NXT this week? What did you make of Balor vs Crews? Should NXT have a fatal four way match between these men, or would you prefer to see Joe and Balor go at it on their own? Let me know by commenting below or contacting me on twitter @carlo_george