After a quick highlight package from last week’s TakeOver: Respect episode, the show kicks off with Bayley coming out to a great reception from the crowd. Bayley addresses the NXT audience as they chant “Match of Year.” Bayley recalls last week and says the whole show made history. She then attempts to talk about her main event spot but is stopped by “You Deserve It” chants. Bayley holds her title up, and Alexa Bliss makes her way to the ring, accompanied by Blake and Murphy. She gives Bayley some kind words before stealing the title off Bayley, and Blake and Murphy block Bayley from getting it back. Bliss taunts Bayley before throwing the title back at Bayley. She claims she is going to take the title off Bayley for real. It seems like Alexa Bliss is heading towards a Women’s title match at some point in the future then.
[adinserter block=”1″]A backstage segment is shown where Finn Balor and Samoa Joe are with William Regal discussing their success at TakeOver. Joe tells Balor he is undefeated and came to NXT to win the title. Balor says he would happily grant Joe a title match, but Regal steps in and announces a battle royal on this week’s NXT to determine the new #1 Contender for the NXT championship.
The Vaudevillians vs Saywer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins (non-title match)
Aiden English and Angelo Dawkins start this match. English applies an early arm submission but loses his control when he hits Fulton on the apron. From there, Fulton puts English in a headlock for a short amount of time. English gets out, and makes a tag to Simon Gotch, who goes on the offence on Dawkins. After a slam onto his back, Gotch tags in English, hits Dawkins on the back of the head, and English hits the Whirling Dervish to secure the victory for the tag champions.
Result – The Vaudevillains win
Notes – Short and simple. A victory for the tag champions. Nothing of incredible note happened but the champions won and that’s how champions should be booked.
Evie vs Nia Jax
The anticipated debut of Nia Jax finally arrived. The crowd welcomed her warmly. Nia throws Evie straight to the floor. Evie runs into Nia but Nia doesn’t move. Nia applies a bearhug immediately and rocks Evie up and down whilst in the hold. Evie breaks out but is thrown into the corner. Evie lands some kicks to Nia but is quickly caught and hit with a strong slam resembling a chokeslam. With this, Nia Jax picks up a debut victory.
Result – Nia Jax wins
Notes – Nia Jax gets a win on her debut and looks strong. A great booking decision. And she does look strong. She looks like a powerhouse. Does she look like she will have incredible matches with the best in the company? Probably not, but she could add something to the division with her power and strength.
#1 Contenders Battle Royal for the NXT Championship
Rhyno, Baron Corbin and Samoa Joe were the only superstars to get televised entries. Brawls break out everywhere to start. Apollo Crews grabs a few eliminations including Steve Cutler and Elias Sampson to empty the ring a little. He then shows strength to throw Johnny Gargano over the top and onto the eliminated. In quick succession, we see the eliminations of Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Dash and Dawson. Bull Dempsey then eliminates Tye Dillinger. Rhyno comes to the aid of Corbin and dumps Dempsey out of the match. Mojo Rawley is the next to go over the top. Zack Ryder is the next elimination, a few minutes after. The crowd are split with who they want to win. Baron Corbin ignores earlier help from Rhyno and throws the veteran over the top. During the break, Samoa Joe eliminates Tomasso Ciampa, and he then claims both eliminations on Blake and Murphy. Down to the final four. Breeze, Joe, Corbin and Crews. Joe with a huge boot to eliminate Tyler Breeze. Joe sets up Corbin for a Muscle Buster but he escapes. He plants Joe on the apron but Joe hits a kick to Corbin’s head. BREEZE PULLS JOE OFF THE APRON! Down to Crews vs Corbin. Both men trade blows as the crowd take the side of Apollo Crews. Corbin plants Crews on the floor and hits some heavy blows. Corbin attempts to throw Crews over a couple of time but he hangs on. Crews finds some energy to land some clotheslines. Attempt at a standing moonsault but the knees of Corbin block. Crews lands some heavy kicks to the head that had Corbin finding the ropes. CLOTHESLINE OVER THE TOP! CORBIN IS ELIMINATED! APOLLO CREWS IS THE NUMBER ONE CONTENDER FOR THE NXT CHAMPIONSHIP! BALOR VS CREWS!
[adinserter block=”2″]Result – Apollo Crews becomes the #1 contender for the NXT championship
Notes – It was what a battle royal was. Mass brawling and a lot of attempts to throw people out of the ring. Extremely interesting to see Apollo Crews become the #1 contender. He is fairly new to the company, so to get a title shot so early is incredible. Him vs Balor will be gold. Breeze pulling Joe off the apron seems to set them up for a match, which is a shame because Joe will surely go over meaning Breeze loses again. Speaking of Breeze, I had a random thought during the match that he could make an interesting alliance if he was paired with Blake and Murphy. That could work.
Analysis – Not a show heavily involved on the in ring competition. The show opened with a promo and took a while before any matches took place. The tag match was very brief, the debut of Nia Jax was rather short and simple too, and the battle royal wasn’t about the wrestling but more so the eliminations. The show focussed on forthcoming battles, and created some really interesting ones. Alexa Bliss and Apollo Crews are very unexpected choices to challenge for titles, but they are both in the prime position for title matches. Tyler Breeze now seems to be on a collision course with Samoa Joe, too. Not a remarkable show by any means, but the booking was solid throughout, something that is usually missing off the main roster shows.