NXT is back, following the success of another special event. NXT Takeover: Rival was full of surprises and some amazing matches. A new NXT Champion was crowned, as Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn due to referee stoppage of the match. Sasha Banks was able to claim victory in the Women’s Fatal 4 Four and became the new NXT Women’s Champion. Adrian Neville and Finn Balor stole the show in their #1 contender’s match; with Balor earning his chance to battle for the NXT Championship in the future. Following any special event, new storylines are born and begin to expose themselves to the audience. Many questions will be presented, and things will continue to develop in the coming months. How will Charlotte react to losing her title? When will Finn Balor take his shot at the title? Will Sami Zayn be able to regain his title from the powerhouse, Kevin Owens?
The show opens with General Manager William Regal addresses the conclusion of the NXT Championship match from Takeover: Rival. He confirms that Kevin Owens is the champion due to a knockout. Regal tells Owens that although he is the champion, he is not in charge of NXT; Regal then sets up a non-title match between Adrian Neville and Kevin Owens.
Following the intro, Kevin Owens hits the ring and addresses the crowd, which is surprising split between cheers for Owens and Zayn. Owens tells the crowd that he said he would do what it takes to make a better life for his family, and he did just that. Next, he addresses the new #1 contender, Finn Balor, and threatens to do the same damage to Finn that he did to Sami Zayn. The crowd was very divided in their support, but Owens is clearly over with a large section of the audience.
The first match of the night had a huge surprise entrant. Rhyno returned to WWE, and received a huge pop from the crowd of Full Sail University. The match was a squash, as Rhyno easily handled his opponent and quickly hit his famous Gore. The announcers seemed to be hinting at a long term return to Rhyno, as their was many mentions of his career being rebuilt in NXT.
Finn Balor is interviewed backstage about the challenge from Kevin Owens. Balor says he’s to battle anytime, anywhere. He is interrupted by Rhyno, who stares a hole right through him, possibly setting up a feud till the next special event.
The Vaudevillians v Big Cass & Enzo Amore
Enzo and Cass claim that they’re ready to challenge for the NXT Tag Team Championships, once they defeat the Vaudevillians. Enzo Amore started the match, and the Vaudevillians quickly took advantage. Enzo was finally able to make a tag to Big Cass. Enzo distracted his opponents and Cass was able to hit the Big Boot. Enzo quickly covered and picked up the victory. The NXT Tag Champions graced the screen and cut a promo to begin the feud with Enzo & Cass. They also had some flirty words for Carmella, who could be a wildcard in the eventual match.
Adrian Neville cuts a good promo about his match at Takeover, and says he wants to defeat Owens tonight for what he did to Neville’s good friend, Sami Zayn.
CJ Parker hits the ring, and is complaining that he wasn’t involved in the recent NXT Takeover event. He begins to wrap caution tape around the ring, and claims he is taking over. The screen begins to flash and change, with the words “This is not a test” taking over. Parker is then attacked from behind by a character new to NXT television. Solomon Crowe makes his debut by quickly disposing of CJ Parker.
Sasha Banks v Blue Pants
The new NXT Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks, is ready for her first match with the title. She faces off against the extremely popular joke character known as Blue Pants. Sasha offers Blue Pants a chance to exit the ring, but she instead attacks Sasha. Banks takes advantage but keeps getting rolled up by Blue Pants. Sasha had the match won, but stopped to count so she could hit the Bank Statement on Blue Pants and force her to tap out. After the match, she is interviewed in the ring and calls out the women of the NXT locker room, claiming she is the “baddest” Diva in NXT. Sasha Banks received an odd amount of boos from the crowd, and seems to be becoming a strong heel in the Divas division.
Doctors address that Sami Zayn received several blows to the head, and that’s why they were forced to stop the match. He did state that Sami will be making a full recovery and will return.
Adrian Neville v Kevin Owens
Adrian Neville is the first to the ring, and seems very focused on his match with Owens. The bell rings and Owens quickly rolls out of the ring, but Neville meets him outside. Back in the ring, Owens takes advantage of Neville after hitting a huge gut buster. Neville seems to be completely out of it as Owens uses his monstrous power to toss Adrian around the ring and throws him to the outside. The announcers continue to state how “disrespectful” Owens looks as he easily handles Neville. He attempts to throw Neville out of the ring again, but he is able to hold on. Owens puts Adrian on his shoulders, and is quickly reversed into a DDT. Neville now has the advantage, but Owens leaves the ring to regain his breath. Neville hits a huge flip off the top rope and slams into Owens on the outside. Every chance he gets, Owens escapes the ring to regroup. Neville knocks Kevin down outside the ring, then quickly hits an amazing 540 Splash off the apron of the ring to the outside; which leads to a two count. Neville is able to gain a huge advantage and hit some impressive German Suplexes on Kevin Owens. Owens goes for his cannon ball into the turnbuckle, but is super kicked by Neville and is quickly hit with the incredibly Spike DDT. Neville is only able to gain a two count, then heads to the top rope before missing his Red Arrow. Owens is able to hit the insanely powerful looking Pop-up Powerbomb on Adrian and pick up the pin fall victory.
The main event was incredibly strong, and proved that NXT is the place to see the most impressive work in the ring. Owens continued to look powerful as the NXT Champion. Neville was able to hit some seriously impressive moves that could definitely help him become very popular on the main roster. Besides the main event, there wasn’t much excite to this episode of NXT. New feuds are being set up and should become more interesting in the coming weeks. Hideo Itami was no where to be found, which seemed a bit unusually for the amount of exposure he had when he arrived in NXT. Solomon Crowe made his debut, but did little to explain why he is there and who he actually is. Charlotte was also missing from the episode, even though Bayley and Becky cut promos on the new Women’s Champion. Rhyno had a extremely exciting NXT debut, and should be able to find a very comfortable new home at Full Sail University. Overall, another solid episode but could have done more to build off the success of Takeover last week.
United States Championship
Tag Team Championship