The first NXT show since the Brooklyn shows aired this week on the WWE Network, and it was the opening night of the Dusty Rhodes tag team classic. Random pairings and main roster superstars that used to be fans favourite participated in the event in Round 1, while some newer NXT stars got another chance to showcase what they had. Here’s what went down.
The Ascension vs Rhyno and Baron Corbin
Notes- A decent start to the tag classic, which is evidently being taken very seriously by everyone in NXT. Great to see NXT’s most dominant tag team get involved, and was interesting to see Corbin work with another superstar. Hard hitting match, and was a solid bout to start.
Alexa Bliss vs Blue Pants
Alexa Bliss vs Blue Pants followed, a match set up at NXT Brooklyn when Blue Pants came out to side with the Vaudevillians against Blake and Murphy. The small but fierce Alexa showed her frustration with some early aggression. Forearm smashes and kicks to Blue Pants while she was grounded. Wild elbows to the mid-section in the corner by Bliss as she commanded the early stages. Blue Pants found some offense with some high kicks and a suplex to a near fall. Bliss, however, regained control immediately with some knees to the stomach before going up top and hitting a Sparkle Splash. A three count from this gave Bliss a sweet victory after NXT Brooklyn.
Notes- A good way to show that the feud isn’t over between both these two and their respective tag teams, Blake and Murphy and the Vaudevillains. Blue Pants isn’t going to lose her popularity any time soon, so a defeat here isn’t harmful in the slightest. A short and uninspiring bout but does its job for the feud.
Apollo Crews vs Martin Stone
Early signs of athleticism and strength from Crews followed by a couple of signature poses by the new man. Stone hits a big clothesline to halt Crews’ momentum before mocking his signature pose. Stone locked Crews in a submission to keep him down but he fights back and hits some takedown manoeuvres. A big splash in the corner as Crews regains control. A gorilla press and standing moonsault secures another victory for Crews.
Notes- another match to showcase the ability of Crews. Not yet in a feud so too early to decide much about where Crews is going to go and how well he will do, but he has looked impressive in his first two matches.
Eva Marie vs Billie Kay
A smug Eva Marie taken down by a big boot early on by Kay who seemed to start eagerly. Marie fought back immediately though with shoulder rams to the mid-section and a Suplex before locking in a submission hold. Eva hits a running senton for a two count as the crowd are split between cheering for Eva and chanting that she sucks. Kay got back into it with a couple of clotheslines, but two elbows and a Sliced Bread won the match for Eva.
Notes- a slow paced match that served just to keep Eva’s run going. Far from a classic and will unlikely be mentioned at any point again in either one’s career.
Neville and Solomon Crow vs Chad Gable and Jason Jordan
Notes- a solid main event as Chad and Gable progress, which was a smart move to have an established tag team go through on the same night as a thrown together pair. Jordan’s strength and Neville’s athleticism worked well together, and their chemistry suggested a feud that would work at some point down the line.
Analysis – a solid show to kick-start the tag team classic. Two decent tag matches sets the standard going forward, and some intriguing matches advertised in the same tournament. None more so than Samoa Joe teaming with Finn Balor, the NXT champion. An unlikely pairing that has feud instead of victors written all over it. Solid wins for Alexa Bliss, Apollo Crews and Eva Marie tonight, and it was fantastic to see Neville and the Ascension return home.