This should be an exciting episode of NXT as Finn Balor will face Apollo Crews in a non-title match. We start things off with the return of The Vaudevillains. We haven’t seen these guys in a bit so let’s see what they have to bring to Full Sail.
The Vaudevillains vs. The Hype Bros
I am not sure what Mojo has to do at this point to get over but I personally think this is a good step for him. He seems to have improved in the ring since teaming up with Ryder. English starts off against Mojo and Mojo quickly gains control with a splash. He gets the crowd hyped and tags in Ryder. Ryder counters a backdrop attempt by English and hits a dropkick. He goes for a scoop slam and Gotch interferes, distracting Ryder long enough for English to take control. He hits a kick in the corner and then a splash. The Vaudevillains are definitely showing a more aggressive side as English tags in Gotch and they hit a series of double team strikes on Ryder. Gotch goes for a pin but Ryder’s foot is in the ropes. He nails Ryder with a strike and goes for another pin attempt, barely getting a two count.
We get some quick tags between Gotch and English as they maintain control. They go for a double backdrop and Ryder is able to counter taking down English with an enziguri and kicking Gotch in the gut. This creates some space and Ryder is able to make the hot tag to Mojo, who quickly takes down Gotch with a face slam. He then hits a splash in the corner. Mojo goes for another one but he misses. Ryder is able to tag in. English attempts to interfere but Ryder nails him with a forearm. He then hits a dropkick on Gotch and goes for a Broski Boot but English pulls Gotch out of the way. Gotch tags in English and hits an uppercut on Ryder followed by English hitting the Whirling Dervish and getting the pinfall. The Vaudevillains definitely looked strong here, showing a more aggressive heelish side that we haven’t seen from them in quite some time. We’ll see where this goes.
We are shown some highlights from the Women’s #1 Contender Battle Royale 3 weeks ago featuring Asuka being eliminated by Eva Marie and Carmella eliminating Eva to win the match and becoming the #1 contender. Tom Phillips interviews Carmella about her win. She talks about how wrestling is in her blood. Her dad was a wrestler in the 90’s. He was even a jobber in the WWE. Tom asks if her friendship with Bayley is going to be affected by the championship match and Carmella says nothing will change that friendship. They both understand what is important and why they are here. Tonight Carmella will take on Emma. She says tonight she will prove why she deserves to be the #1 contender and why she will be the next NXT Women’s champion. This was a good spotlight on Carmella.
When we come back from break, Dash and Dawson are interviewed backstage. They talk about how they beat Enzo and Cass in London. Enzo and Cass can talk all they want but they’ll never beat them. They’ve beat every tag team in NXT, including the Ascension, and are on their way to becoming the greatest NXT tag team of all time. They’re happy to give Enzo and Cass another shot at the title but it will have the same result as always. Pretty good stuff here from the champs.
Carmella vs. Emma
Emma is accompanied to the ring by Dana Brooke. Emma talks some trash before the bell. They go back and forth a bit after locking up but Emma gets a little cocky and Carmella slams her face first into the mat when Emma has her back turned. Emma is able to counter a corner attack by Carmella and takes control. She gets Carmella in a stretch hold and Dana cheers her on. She turns the stretch into a pin attempt and gets a two count. Carmella counters an Emma choke attempt with a monkey flip and then slams Emma into the turnbuckle. She hits a headscissors off the second rope and then connects with the Bronco Buster in the corner. Carmella goes for her submission but Emma is able to counter by grabbing Carmella’s hair and slamming her to the mat. She then hits a series of shoulder tackles on Carmella into the corner. Emma tries to follow up with a double underhook suplex but Carmella counters with a backslide and gets the three count. This was a pretty good match and helps build Carmella’s momentum going into her big championship match with Bayley next week.
We are shown clips of the controversial #1 contender’s triple threat match from last week where Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe both had Baron Corbin in a submission hold when Baron tapped. Regal is supposed to make a decision regarding who will be #1 contender tonight. Both Joe and Sami are asked about the finish. Sami believes he is the winner but it is up to Regal. Joe threatens the cameraman and walks off.
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassidy vs. ???
Before the match Enzo and Cass give a good promo to hype up the crowd. They never said the names of the guys Enzo and Cass destroyed. This was your pretty standard squash match. Cass tossed Enzo onto one of the jobbers to get the win. These guys are definitely at their best when they are chasing the titles but it seems like it might be time for them to either finally win the belts or move on to bigger things on the Main Roster.
Apollo Crews gives a promo backstage saying tonight is his night to prove himself. It is his night to prove that he has what it takes to become NXT Champion. We are then told we will hear from William Regal and his decision regarding last week’s triple threat match next. When we come back Regal says there will be a rematch. Corbin interrupts and says there better be a rematch. Regal says the one thing that was 100% certain is that Corbin lost, so he won’t be in the rematch. Corbin says Regal is a joke and leaves in a huff. Regal tells us there will be a rematch between Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn to determine the #1 contender. I’m down with that.
Asuka vs. Santana Garrett
Nice to see Santana in an NXT ring. She is a veteran on the indies and also has appeared in TNA and Global Force Wrestling. Santana hits Asuka with a series of forearms out of the lockup but Asuka just seems to enjoy them. She hits Santana with a hip attack followed by a series of kicks. Santana dodges a big roundhouse from Asuka but Asuka follows up with a huge overhand punch. Asuka then goes for a running kick to the head on a prone Santana but Santana counters with a rollup and gets a two count. Santana takes control and hits a big side Russian legsweep, getting another near fall. She then gets Asuka in an arm lock submission. Asuka counters by going for a leglock but Santana manages to get out of it. Santana hits the ropes and Asuka catches her in an armbar. Santana attempts to power out but Asuka turns it into the Asuka Lock and gets the submission victory. This was a really great showing by both Garrett and Asuka. Garrett got quite a bit of offense in but Asuka was just too much for her and continues to look unstoppable.
Finn Balor is interviewed backstage. He discusses last week’s triple threat match. He says Regal made the right decision by letting Joe and Sami have a rematch and settle things in the ring. He says that what should have happened in his previous match with Crews will happen tonight because he is the best. Good interview here by Balor and he does a good job showing the confidence of a champion.
Apollo Crews vs. Finn Balor (Non-Title Match)
I am a huge fan of both of these guys so I am definitely hyped for this. The two shake hands to start things off. We get some good chain wrestling as Balor maintains control with a series of takedowns. Balor keeps Apollo on the ground with a headlock. Apollo manages to turn it over into a pin multiple times but the best he can get is a two count. Apollo finally gets Balor into the corner and Balor has to break the hold. Apollo gets Balor in a headlock of his own but Balor reverses it and gets Apollo back on the mat. Apollo powers out and whips Balor into the ropes. Apollo follows this up with big dropkick, sending Balor out of the ring. Balor is on the ramp as we go to break.
When we come back Apollo has Balor in a headlock in the ring, firmly in control. Balor powers out and irish whips Apollo. Apollo counters with a sunset flip but Balor counters with a dropkick and goes for the cover. He gets a one count and quickly follows up with an armbar on Crews. Crews powers Balor into the corner and gets a break. Balor hits some quick strikes and a big kick. He goes for a pin and gets a two count. He stays right on Crews, hitting some chops in the corner. He then hits a snapmare and goes for another pin, getting another two count. Balor again stays right on Crews, getting him back in armbar.Crews finally powers out and whips Balor into the corner. Balor hits a kick on a charging Crews but Crews responds with a series of clotheslines. He then hits a big splash in the corner. Finn recovers and goes for an attack on the apron but Crews counters with a big clothesline and Finn goes to the outside. Crews goes for flip attack off the apron but Balor gets out of the way. Crews anticipates this and lands on his feet on the ramp. Finn is already back in the ring and hits a big dive over the top rope on Crews. That was pretty awesome.
Finn tosses Crews back in the ring and goes up to the top rope for the Coup De Grace. He connects right on the back of the head of Crews and goes for the pin but Crews kicks out at the last second. Finn goes for a DDT but Crews counters by tackling Finn to the mat. He then hits a Samoan Drop and gets a two count on the pin attempt. Crews goes for an Enziguri but Balor sniffs it out and hits a Sling Blade on Crews. Apollo recovers in the corner, showing some fire, and hits Crews with a big boot. He then hits a huge Gorilla Press slam followed by a standing moonsault for a near fall. Crews goes for his toss powerbomb finisher but Balor counters with an enziguri and follows it up with another Sling Blade. He then hits the dropkick into the corner and the Coup De Grace. Instead of going for the cover Balor hits a big brain buster and then gets the three count.
This was a great match and both of these guys looked pretty amazing. Balor and Apollo shake hands and hug after the match, showing some great sportsmanship. In two weeks we’ll find out who is the number one contender as Samoa Joe will face off with Sami Zayn. So much great stuff going on in NXT! This was another great episode!