NXT opens with a video package hyping tonight’s main event: Sami Zayn vs Samoa Joe in a number one’s contender match for the NXT Championship.
Enzo, Cass and the American Alpha vs Blake, Murphy and the NXT Tag Team Champions Dash and Dawson
Dawson opens the bout with Gable. Gable shows off his impressive mat wrestling abilities up against Dawson early on. Dash makes a tag in, but this sparks every competitor in the match to enter the ring. They stand off for a moment before a brawl ensues. The heels are dumped on the outside. Back from the break, and the heels are in charge of the match. Blake has Gable down on the mat in a headlock as the crowd get behind Gable. Gable quickly hits a suplex into a roll up, but Blake kicks out and Dawson re-enters, going on the assault on Gable. The two heel teams exchange tags and take it in turns wearing down Gable. As Gable attempts to tag himself out, Dawson takes down Enzo before Cass hits Dawson into Gable. Gable finally manages to tag in Jordan and the two face teams go on a rampage, with Jordan and Cass clearing the ring. Big boots, German suplexes and a huge throw to the outside by Cass on Dash aid with that. He is thrown to the outside for his efforts, and Enzo hits Air Enzo with the assist from Cass for the victory.
Result – Enzo, Cass and American Alpha win
Analysis – Gable opens up looking impressive, suffers a beating by the opponents before tagging in Jordan who clears house and they set up their finishing move. It has been successful so far, but it threatens to become too repetitive. With Jordan and Gable seemingly being the next contenders for the tag titles, it was a shock to see Enzo pick up the pinfall victory over the champions rather than the Alpha. An entertaining opening bout.
Deonna Purrazzo vs Asuka
A week on from Asuka saving the day for Bayley before seemingly setting up a challenge for the champion, Asuka returned to singles action against Purrazzo. Asuka attempts an early spinning kick. She gets Purrazzo down and does land some chest kicks before an incredible takedown allows her to attempt a leg submission. Purrazzo escapes and lands a crossbody on Asuka. Purrazzo nails some strikes of Asuka who smiles, but Purrazzo then just slaps Asuka. Asuka floors Purrazzo and locks in the ankle lock before transitioning it into a German Suplex before transitioning that into an armbar. Swinging strikers set up a roundhouse kick for a quick but incredible victory.
Result – Asuka wins
Analysis – I attempted to type up this match live as the show happened, but Asuka’s insane pace when on the attack made me have to watch the match back after. Seriously, watch this match, and just enjoy how incredible she is. If she is on her way to a match with Bayley, we are in for an incredible treat.
CONFIRMED FOR NEXT WEEK – BAYLEY AND CARMELLA VS EVA MARIE AND NIA JAX
Tye Dillinger vs Alex Riley
The two exchange a series of holds before Dillinger grounds Riley and prances around chanting “10”. Amazing. It doesn’t last long, as Riley soon hits hard and takes control. He drops an elbow on Dillinger for a two count. Dillinger delivers a couple of chops before landing on top of Riley and striking him. Riley escapes and attempts a move from behind, but Dillinger rolls him up and gets a very surprising three count.
Result – Tye Dillinger wins
Analysis – It really was that short. And shocking. Riley’s second match back and he loses. There was nothing noteworthy in the match aside from the shocking result.
Finn Balor is interviewed. He firstly speaks highly of Apollo Crews and says he is sure it won’t be the last time they face off. He then speaks of the main event. He says he knows both Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn are ready, but he says he will be ready to defend his title when necessary. Fantastic by Finn to make Crews sound so good before talking about the main event.
Baron Corbin again walks into William Regal’s office and demands he is put back into the rematch. Regal denies this opportunity, stating that Corbin lost the match. Corbin says he believes in an eye for an eye, and leaves. Interesting. What does Corbin have in mind?
CONFIRMED FOR NEXT WEEK – AMERICAN ALPHA VS BLAKE AND MURPHY
Sami Zayn vs Samoa Joe in a number one contender’s match for the NXT Championship
Main Event. Joe. Zayn. Winners faces Balor. Joe looks calm and composed early on, and it is showing as he has Zayn down by the arm. Joe hits a cheap shot at Zayn as the ref tried to break the two up on the ropes. Zayn finally breaks out of the holds as he tosses Joe over by the arm at speed. The two men are being calculative so far, not wanting to give anything away. Zayn again uses speed to his advantage, dumping Joe onto the outside. He sets up a jump to the outside, but Joe walks away, leaving Zayn to bounce off the rope and back into the ring as the two men have a breather. Joe looks for an opening in the corner but the ref pulls them out. From there, Joe lands a huge chop on Zayn, but Zayn manages to drop Joe down again by the arm. Joe backs into the corner, and Zayn runs at him, but Joe slams him down hard to halt Zayn’s momentum. The two exchange blows in the centre of the ring, but Joe completely wipes out Zayn by tackling him on the legs, almost like a football tackle. Joe then lands a snap suplex for the first near fall. Joe begins to land hard strikers, firstly an uppercut and then another huge chop followed by another. Joe attempts a running move but is caught with three huge clotheslines by Zayn as he begins to rally. Zayn goes for the Blue Thunder Bomb, and, after it is originally blocked by Joe, Zayn hits it for a near fall. Zayn struggles with a limp Joe, who counters a suplex into an atomic drop followed by a boot and senton for another near fall. Both men exchanging pins and hitting some of the bigger moves in their arsenals thus far. Joe lands a flurry of slaps on Zayn, but Zayn manages to counter one and attempt to lock in the Koji Clutch. Joe avoids being locked in, and hits a running power slam for yet another near fall. Another exchange of strikes between the two men before Joe lands an Enziguri in the corner. He attempts a move in the corner, but Zayn lands a quick exploder suplex into the corner. Zayn sets up Helluva Kick, but it is countered… INTO A COQUINA CLUTCH! But the two fall into the corner immediately and Joe has to release, which he does after a four count. Joe now sets up a Muscle Buster, but Zayn jumps off…. HELLUVA KICK!!! 1…2…3!!! ZAYN WINS! ZAYN IS THE NEW NUMBER ONE CONTENDER…WAIT… Maybe not. So Zayn fell onto Joe after the Helluva Kick, and both men has their shoulders on the mat. Zayn was on top of Joe so he was making the pin, but Joe also had his arm over Zayn so he was also making the pin. The ref has told both men to stop celebrating as they attempt to reach a decision. William Regal is now out here. The ref is saying he is calling a draw. Regal is saying he needs a number one contender. The show once again ends in confusion as neither men has been confirmed a winner nor a loser, and the challenger to Balor is yet to be decided.
Result – Draw
Analysis – Oh WWE. You can’t have two number one contender matches in a row end in confusion and not have a definitive winner. The first time was fresh and wasn’t an issue, but this time, it feels overdone and repetitive. Not a good move in the slightest. The match itself was excellent. Joe was exceptional as the bullying heel in this match. A fantastic showing by him. Zayn showed his resilient self once again and looked like a hero doing so. It was a great encounter but will be tarnished by its ending. I’m all for a triple threat match for the title if that’s the way they plan on going, but this wasn’t the way to do it. Shame.
Overall analysis – the show really hit and miss this week. Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe had a great match but the ending ruined it a bit. Asuka looked sensational this week for a hit, but Dillinger vs Riley was a complete miss in the sense that nothing happened at all. And while the opening bout was entertaining, it wasn’t spectacular, and almost mirrored every American Alpha match ever. Let’s just say, NXT didn’t knock it out of the park, but wasn’t a third hour of Raw bad either.
CONFIRMED FOR NEXT WEEK
BAYLEY AND CARMELLA VS NIA JAX AND EVA MARIE
AMERICAN ALPHA VS BLAKE AND MURPHY
What did you make of NXT this week? Especially, what was your reaction to the end of the main event? Who won? Did they make the right booking decision? Let me know by commenting below or over on twitter @carlo_george