Buddy Murphy & Wesley Blake v Lucha Dragons
The first match of the night saw the #1 contenders, the team of Blake and Murphy, face off against the tag team champions,the Lucha Dragons. Blake & Murphy earned this match by defeating the Vaudevillians on last week’s edition of NXT. The Lucha Dragons have seemed a little sloppy lately, and not nearly as exciting as they were originally. They also haven’t added much to their arsenal of tricks since becoming the champs. Blake & Murphy are hardly a new team, but just recently became more involved with television. This match was pretty average, and contained many of the normal, high flying spots like the Lucha Dragons are known for. Blake & Murphy looked strong against the champs, and used very smart team work to stay in charge for much of the match. After Sin Cara took a beating, Kalisto received the hot tag and hit some big splashes. Kalisto seemed to have the match won, but didn’t notice the quick tag by Blake & Murphy. Kalisto went for the pin but was quickly rolled up for the pin. Blake & Murphy are crowned the new NXT Tag Team Champions, receiving a huge pop from the crowd. Overall a good match, and very interesting to see a team like Blake & Murphy win the titles as a relatively unknown tag team. Should be a fun team to watch evolve and grow stronger with the championships.
Tyson Kidd v Adrian Neville
Round 1 of the #1 contenders tournament for the NXT Championship title shot continued with a match between Tyson Kidd and Adrian Neville. These two have had many battles in the past, especially while Neville was holding the NXT Championship. Both superstars are great workers, and the crowd is divided on which to cheer for. When Neville take an early advantage, Kidd escapes the ring and spends some time outside, and eventually drawing Neville to make a mistake. When trying to attack Kidd, Neville is dropped face first on the steel steps. Kidd returns to the ring and nearly wins via count out. The match continues with both superstars hitting some huge spots and exciting the crowd. Neville eventually hits the Red Arrow, pins Kidd to move on to the next round of the tournament. The match had some very strong moments, and both superstars proved they deserve to be considered top talents on NXT. Neville then cuts a promo about facing the winner of the Corbin-Dempsey match.
Charlotte & Bayley v Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch
Before the match, Charlotte confronts Bayley for attacking her last week and warns against doing it again. The NXT women seem to always put on great matches, no matter the time allowed. This match moved very quickly. Late in the match, Bayley broke up a pin on Charlotte, but seemed to mistakenly hit Charlotte. This leads to Bayley and Charlotte fighting, with Sasha and Becky take advantage of the situation. The match ends in disqualification, but continues to build up to the fatal four way championship match at NXT Takeover in two weeks. Bayley definitely seems to be the favorite, with Charlotte likely moving up to the main roster sooner than later.
Finn Balor is interviewed backstage about this match with Hideo Itami next week. Hideo approaches and assures Finn that he’s not afraid to take him out to move on in the tournament. Very surprising that they aren’t saving this match for the Takeover event.
Emma does a quick interview backstage and confirms that she is returning to NXT next week to face Carmella. Emma seems to be turning heel, as she spoke with more attitude and avoiding the bubbly dancing the fans are used to.
Baron Corbin v Bull Dempsey
The final match of the first round of the #1 contenders tournament saw Baron Corbin up against Bull Dempsey. These two have been in a feud since the December Takeover event. Corbin already owns a victory over Bull. This match moved very quickly, as Corbin took advantage early. Bull never got a strong hit on Corbin. Baron quickly hit the “End of Days”, and pinned Dempsey to move on in the tournament. Next, he’ll be facing Adrian Neville. Baron Corbin hasn’t wrestled a long match on television yet, but definitely appears to be the chosen strong man for the future of NXT. His quick and decisive victories look impressive, but he’ll need to do a lot more to defeat Neville, Itami or Balor.
Following the match, Corbin cut a rally bad promo about his match with Neville. Dempsey approaches Baron, but is quickly pushed back by Corbin.
Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens Contract Signing
Both men enter the ring to huge pops from the crowd. Regal makes it clear that this will not end up like all other contract signings, and they will not be fighting tonight. Zayn quickly signs the contract, but Owens refuses. He will not sign until the match is for the NXT Championship. Zayn begs for the change to be made, and Regal makes it a title match. Both superstars sign the contract, and Owens tosses the pin in Zayn’s face. Owens calmly leaves the ring, while Regal holds Zayn back from attacking Owens.
United States Championship
Tag Team Championship
The show continued to quickly move the story lines forward as the Takeover event is only two weeks away. This week’s edition wasn’t as strong as usual, but still contained better wrestling than most other shows on television. Takeover is shaping up to be a strong event, especially with the feud between Zayn and Owens. The two have a long, storied history. The match should be an early “Match of the Year” candidate.