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Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens demand a title match
William Regal cleverly broke the fourth wall, saying “I’m not going to allow this contract signing turn out like every other contract signing in WWE, and have people fighting.” Regal vowed to cancel the match if Zayn or Owens laid hands on each other.
Zayn signed the contract, and handed it to Owens. Owens stared at Zayn, who asked him to explain why he had turned against him. Zayn said that maybe Owens would rather forget the last 12 years existed, but that after knowing him for so long, perhaps he should have seen it coming.
Zayn reminded Owens that all the hard work they had gone through together had always had the end goal of reaching WWE. Owens pointed at the contract, telling Regal that it said “non-title match.” Owens said that his actions at R[E]volution were for business.
Owens said that he was after a prize, and that prize is the NXT title, not Sami Zayn himself. Owens refused to sign the document, saying he would only wrestle Zayn in a title match. Zayn told Regal to make it a championship match, and Regal relented, altering the contract.
The crowd chanted “Sign Owens sign” as he signed the contract, then threw the contract and pen at Zayn. Zayn stepped up to Owens, but Regal got in the way, as Owens slowly retreated from the ring.
Scott’s Thoughts: In kayfabe, the #1 Contender’s tournament makes even less sense now, but the stakes for the Zayn/Owens match at Takeover are as high as they can be.
Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy def. The Lucha Dragons by pinfall to win the NXT Tag Team Championship
Blake and Sin Cara started things off, trading arm drags before Blake hit a gorilla press slam. Sin Cara hit Blake and Murphy with a double arm-drag, following up with a dropkick to Murphy. Murphy countered a springboard with a dropkick of his own for a near-fall.
Sin Cara fought back with a big boot and a rollup powerbomb, tagging in Kalisto, who hit two springboard crossbodies and an enziguiri. Kalisto hit a sunset flip powerbomb, and chaos broke out.
Once the ring cleared, Blake blindly tagged in as Kalisto hit Murphy with the Salina del Sol. Blake came in from behind Kalisto and pinned him, winning the match and the titles.
Scott’s Thoughts: Uh, wow. I thought Murphy and Blake beating The Vaudevillains was solely to provide the Dragons with a fresh matchup. Very interested to see where they go from here. Hopefully the first stop is at the “new ring gear and theme music” store.
Adrian Neville def. Tyson Kidd by pinfall in the first round of the NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament
As Kidd entered, the stream was momentarily hacked by Solomon Crowe, teasing his long-awaited debut. Kidd and Neville started with a nice mat-based exchange, until Kidd kipped up and curtsied, mocking Neville. Neville responded with a hurricanrana, and Tyson repeatedly slipped in and out of the ring, breaking the referee’s count.
Kidd goaded Neville out of the ring kicking him into the barricade, hitting a hurricanrana from the apron that sent Neville face-first into the steel steps. Neville barely broke the ten-count, returning to the ring.
Kidd connected with a basement dropkick for a very close near-fall. Neville responded, clotheslining Kidd out of the ring and hitting a plancha onto the entrance ramp. Back in the ring, Neville hit a series of kicks and a standing moonsault for a near-fall.
Kidd suplexed Neville onto the ropes, then hit his spinning neckbreaker finisher. Neville managed to kick out and hit a big boot, following up with a sitout powerbomb for a two-count. Kidd fought back, dropkicking Neville off the apron, then hitting an enziguiri from the apron.
Kidd got Neville back in the ring, but couldn’t get the pinfall. Kidd tried for a sharpshooter, but Neville fought out and hit an enziguiri. Neville climbed up top and hit the Red Arrow for the pinfall victory.
Scott’s Thoughts: Excellent back-and-forth action in this one. These are two of the best in-ring workers in all of WWE, not just NXT.
Charlotte and Bayley fought Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch to a no contest
Charlotte confronted Bayley backstage, and Bayley refused to apologize, saying that she needs to be more fierce. She cited Sami Zayn’s recent serious turn, and how it had helped him. Bayley pledged to be on the same page as Charlotte for their tag match. Charlotte warned Bayley that she wouldn’t make it to Takeover if she crossed her again.
Bayley hit a shoulder tackle on Sasha to start the match, following up with two springboard arm drags, slipping and nearly falling off the ropes on the second one. Charlotte and Becky tagged in, as Charlotte hit repeated Flair chops.
Charlotte hit repeated knee drops, tagging in Bayley, who drove Becky into the barricade with a baseball slide. Sasha took a cheap shot at Bayley when the referee turned away, allowing Becky to hit repeated leg drops for a near-fall.
Sasha and Becky exchanged quick tags, wearing Bayley down. Bayley finally fought back with a suplex on Becky, reaching Charlotte for the hot tag, as Sasha tagged in as well. Charlotte hit a clothesline and a neckbreaker, locking Sasha into a figure-four and bridging it.
Becky broke up the hold, but Charlotte knocked her out of the ring. Sasha took advantage to hit a neckbreaker, and Bayley made the save, inadvertently hitting Charlotte as she did so. Charlotte shoved Bayley, and Bayley hit Charlotte with a stiff forearm to the face.
Bayley and Charlotte brawled around the ring, taking a moment to get rid of Becky and Sasha, before turning their attention back to each other. The two women stared each other down as referees separated them.
Scott’s Thoughts: The shades of grey here are fantastic. It’s very unclear — in a good way — what the face/heel dynamic between Bayley and Charlotte is at the moment.
Baron Corbin def. Bull Dempsey by pinfall in the first round of the NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament
Baron knocked Bull down with a shoulder tackle, following up with a splash into the corner. Baron hit the End of Days to finish off the squash.
Scott’s Thoughts: I’m assuming they’ll give Baron an actual match against Neville. That will certainly be interesting to see.
– Emma said that she was returning to NXT, because it didn’t work out for her on the main roster. Emma said that she would face Carmella next week to get a fresh start on her career. This is almost certainly for the best, as Emma was buried badly on the main roster.