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
[adinserter block=”1″]The Ascension began the show to a good reception from the fans that loved them when they were in NXT. They came up against the random pairing of Rhyno and the Lone Wolf, Baron Corbin. Viktor and Rhyno began the match, and Viktor took quick control over the veteran. Corbin tagged himself in early on but the heels stayed in control, sharing tags while keeping the big man down. Corbin got himself back into it when he threw Viktor into the ring pole. Rhyno and Corbin then exchanged tags while keeping Viktor down. Konnor received the hot tag to get the match back in favour of the Ascension, before dodging a gore from Rhyno and setting him up for the Fall of Man. Corbin grabbed Viktor’s leg before they could execute the move. Konnor, distracted by this, eventually got his by Rhyno’s gore and Rhyno got the three count to bump off the Ascension. Rhyno and Corbin win.
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
[adinserter block=”2″]The former NXT champion return to the scene where he truly made his name. Neville returned to NXT to a great reception from a grateful crowd. Crowe started the bout with Gable. Great technical ground wrestling by Gable started the bout as the crowd cheered for Neville. Crowe got Gable into a headlock before tagging Neville in. Neville was immediately on the back foot however, as Jordan entered and took Neville down. Neville showed his athleticism before countering a German Suplex with a dropkick. Gable and Jordan end up down on the ramp as Neville and Crowe occupy the ring. Back from a brief break and Jordan and Gable are working down Crowe, with Jordan hitting a powerful belly to belly Suplex. An exchange of tags as Crowe is beaten in the corner. A shoulder to the ribs makes Crowe roll out as Jordan fans Gable down with a towel. Submission holds from both men were applied as Crowe isn’t able to find a tag to Neville. He finally made the tag and Neville explodes with his quick offence. Neville finds a kick to both men’s head as he sets Jordan up for the Red Arrow. Gable pulls Jordan out, but Neville and Crowe jump onto both men on the outside. Jordan catches and launches Neville to halt his run, but Crowe enters and hits a knee to Jordan’s face. Jordan powers him off though, and a tag team manoeuvre secures the win for Gable and 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.