By Scott Strandberg
Hideo Itami and Finn Balor def. The Ascension by pinfall
The Ascension attacked Hideo and Finn before the match. Hideo and Finn tried for their tandem dropkicks, but The Ascension rolled out of the ring. Hideo and Finn isolated Viktor in their corner early, exchanging quick tags to wear him down. Hideo earned a two-count with a knee drop. Finn tried to springboard over the top rope, but Viktor caught him with a huge uppercut.
Konnor hit a gorilla press slam on Finn for a near-fall, following up with an uppercut for another two-count. The Ascension hit a double shoulder-tackle, earning a near-fall for Viktor. Konnor tagged in and hit another gorilla press slam for yet another two-count. The Ascension hit a double suplex, and Viktor nearly finished Finn off with a gorilla press slam and an elbow drop.
Finn hit a Pele kick, finally buying enough time to make the hot tag to Hideo. Hideo hit Viktor with a big boot and a series of kicks for a two-count. Hideo climbed to the second rope and transitioned a tornado DDT into a jawbreaker off the top rope. Hideo climbed to the top and hit a flying clothesline, but Viktor fought back with a huge STO for a very close near-fall.
Hideo set up for the GTS, but Konnor made the save. Finn hit Konnor with a half-nelson slam, then hit a diving double footstomp off the apron to Konnor on the floor. Hideo hit Viktor with a roundhouse kick and pinned him for the victory.
Scott’s Thoughts: Finally seeing the GTS will get Hideo so much more over with the fans, especially after he’s done with his current finisher-of-the-week schtick. This was a good match, but nowhere near as good as their battle at R[E]volution.
Blue Pants def. Carmella (w/Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady) by pinfall
Enzo kept not-so-subtly checking out Carmella’s ass as they walked to the ring. Once they got in the ring, the crowd started chanting for everyone’s favorite jobber, Ol’ Blue Pants. One fan even had a Blue Pants sign, which really cracked me up. Enzo said that Blue Pants was inspired by Sami Zayn’s performance at R[E]volution, and had embarked on her own road to redemption.
Another loud Blue Pants chant broke out. Enzo said that he knows a star when he sees one, and that he doesn’t have to look through the “humble telescope” to tell you that. Big Cass took the mic and — sounding wonderfully like a cheesy game show host — said, “She’s confident. She’s smart. She’s sexy. She’s cool. Back by popular demand…You can call her Cinderella, ’cause she’s the belle of the ball. Straight from the clearance rack…Ol’ Blue Pants!”
Blue Pants entered as Cass sang “The Price is Right” theme song. The onscreen graphic helpfully informed me that — like Big E, Rusev and Cesaro before her — Ol’ Blue Pants’ name has been shortened to simply Blue Pants. Enzo said that since we last saw Blue Pants, she had met up with Steve and gotten a Blue’s Clue, warning Carmella not to take Blue Pants lightly.
The crowd burst into a “Blue’s Clues” chant as the match began. Carmella hit a shoulder tackle and stood on Blue Pants’ hair. Enzo jumped up on the apron to encourage Carmella, flailing about with frantic punches and kicks to the air. Carmella walked over and slapped him, allowing Blue Pants to roll her up with a small package for the upset victory.
The fans reacted like they just saw the greatest thing ever, which they very well may have. Enzo looked shocked as Blue Pants ran around the ring celebrating, while a recording of Cass singing “The Price is Right” theme played. Carmella attacked Enzo after the match, and Cass had to break up the fight.
Scott’s Thoughts: Blue Pants is like NXT’s version of Damien Sandow, in that she has gotten over in spite of — or perhaps because of — her terrible gimmick. I watched this entire segment twice, and laughed even harder the second time. Enzo is such a tremendous comedic talent, and Big Cass has grown by leaps and bounds alongside him on the mic. This was hands-down the best comedy segment I’ve seen in wrestling in a very long time.
Charlotte and Natalya align against Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch
Devin Taylor interviewed Charlotte in the ring, asking her what’s left for her to accomplish in NXT. The crowd started again chanting for Blue Pants, which Charlotte shut down immediately by saying that no one is allowed to chant when a Flair is speaking. She said that she felt she has helped elevate women’s wrestling on the whole, before putting over Sasha Banks as the toughest Diva she’s ever faced.
Sasha and Becky Lynch entered, not at all fooled by Charlotte’s comments about Sasha. As they surrounded the ring, Natalya entered to even the odds. Sasha and Becky retreated, with Sasha saying they would fight “when we’re ready.”
Scott’s Thoughts: One last program with Sasha is the perfect way to transition Charlotte to the main roster, and Natalya is a good choice to partner up with her against Banks and Lynch. That should be a very good match, as all four women can really go in the ring.
The Lucha Dragons def. Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan by pinfall
Kalisto opened up the match with a springboard arm drag on Dillinger. Kalisto tried for a springboard crossbody when Jordan tagged in, but Jordan caught him and hit a fallaway slam for a two-count. Dillinger hit a gorilla press slam and a knee drop, and Jordan tagged in for a belly-to-back suplex. Kalisto fought back with a big boot and reached Sin Cara.
Sin Cara hit a springboard crossbody on Dillinger, following up with a spectacularly botched hurricanrana. (No idea if that was Sin Cara or Dillinger’s fault, but it is not every day that you see a botch that awkward. Yikes.) Sin Cara recovered to hit a springboard vertical press on Jordan, which Kalisto followed up with a corkscrew plancha.
Sin Cara hit a step-up enziguiri on Dillinger, earning the pin with his new top-rope sunset flip powerbomb finisher. After the match, The Vaudevillains attacked the Dragons and left them lying injured in the ring. Later in the show, Rich Brennan confirmed that the tag title rematch will take place next week.
Scott’s Thoughts: This was a decent match, aside from that crazy botch. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a hurricanrana end up looking like that. I liked The Vaudevillains attacking after the match — they need more of these classic heel moments.
Baron Corbin def. CJ Parker by pinfall
Parker and Bull had a solid backstage promo together, in which Bull tried to pump Parker up for his match with Corbin, but Parker was too hard-headed to listen. With Bull watching at ringside, Corbin opened the match by tossing Parker out of a gorilla press face-first onto the top turnbuckle. Corbin hit a big boot and the End of Days, glaring at Bull as the referee counted the pinfall.
Corbin grabbed a mic and asked Bull if he was just going to stand there all day looking scared, or if they were really going to do this. Corbin and Bull brawled around ringside, until referees managed to break up the fight.
Scott’s Thoughts: It’s about time they got this feud off the ground. I’m looking forward to their match, because it still remains to be seen whether either of them can actually work.
– Sami Zayn appeared by video from Canada, saying that he was so focused on Kevin Owens that he couldn’t even celebrate his NXT title win. Zayn said that he would have a message to deliver personally to Owens next week. Renee Young interviewed Owens, asking him why he betrayed his life-long friend. Owens simply responded that he’s 30 years old, and he’s only known Zayn for 12 years; thus, they are not life-long friends.
– Curtis Axel interrupted William Regal backstage, saying that he wants to reboot his career. Regal set up a match between Axel and Hideo Itami for next week’s show.