Tyler Breeze def. Hideo Itami in a 2-out-of-3 falls match
Hideo hit a series of strikes and corner dropkick. Hideo added a single-leg dropkick for a laughably easy first fall. Breeze pretended to be hurt, but immediately hit a Beauty Shot, earning the second fall about 30 seconds before he ate the first pinfall.
Breeze hit a dropkick for a near-fall, following up with elbow and knee drops. Breeze missed with a dropkick, and Hideo hit clotheslines and a legsweep in response. Hideo hit a tornado DDT onto the top rope, followed by a spinning lariat for a two-count.
At this point, Rich Brennan and Corey Graves pushed *very* hard the idea that Breeze and Hideo were exhausted, from the grueling 2-out-of-3 falls match which had started about six minutes prior. Come on. Breeze and Hideo traded unsuccessful pinning maneuvers until Breeze hit a Supermodel Kick for two.
Hideo came up empty on a corner dropkick, and Breeze missed with a Beauty Shot. Hideo hit the corner dropkick this time, but ran into a Beauty Shot from Breeze to lose the decisive fall.
Scott’s Thoughts: This should absolutely not have been 2-out-of-3 falls, it’s that simple. If you’re not going to give a match the proper amount of time for the match type, just don’t book it. As much as I hate distraction rollups, those are pretty much the only way to believably barrel through the first two falls as quickly as this match did.
Furthermore, maybe I’m just spoiled from attending the NXT live event in San Jose on Friday, but their match at that event was far better than this encounter. The third fall of this match was a good one, but the first two falls were so extremely silly that the match as a whole required a tremendous amount of suspended disbelief.
Blake and Murphy def. The Lucha Dragons by pinfall
Keeping with the “lose the first names” tradition, Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy now go solely by their surnames. Kalisto opened up with a springboard arm drag, and Sin Cara added a dive between the ropes on Blake and Murphy. Kalisto added a top-rope moonsault, knocking Blake and Murphy down again.
Back in the ring, Blake hit elbow drops on Kalisto for a near-fall. Blake added a clothesline, and Murphy tagged in to hit a double-knee to the face for two. Sin Cara tagged in with a flying headbutt and a springboard crossbody. Sin Cara hit a second-rope moonsault for a two-count of his own.
Sin Cara followed up with an enziguiri, but Blake took advantage of a referee distraction to take a cheap shot at Sin Cara. Blake tagged in as Murphy hit a running vertical suplex, and Blake added a frog splash to earn the pin.
Scott’s Thoughts: This was far less botchy than the last encounter between these teams, so that is a victory in itself. This was honestly a pretty enjoyable match, despite the fact that Blake and Murphy are not over at all.
Bayley def. Emma by pinfall
Emma sauntered to the ring, doing a half-assed version of the bubble dance. When she entered the ring, she started to skin the cat like she used to, only to stop and roll under the bottom rope. The match got underway, and Bayley knocked down Emma with a shoulder tackle, and Emma responded with a legsweep.
Emma hit a clothesline and repeatedly taunted Bayley, urging her to bring out her dark side. Bayley missed a splash into the corner, and Emma managed to put her in an Emma Lock. Emma followed up with an Emmamite Sandwich, earning a two-count. Bayley reversed the pinfall, rolling Emma up for three.
Scott’s Thoughts: This was a pretty odd match, as Emma has probably never wrestled as a heel before. The pacing was quite slow, and Bayley won the match using only a shoulder tackle and a couple of other strikes.
Sami Zayn returns
Zayn started the show in the ring, saying that instead of focusing on wrestling in front of “my people” in Abu Dhabi, he had still remained focused on Kevin Owens. He said that Owens isn’t the man he used to know, and that he had looked into Owens’ eyes, seeing something he had never seen before. Zayn said that he had plenty of time to form a plan, which was to kick Owens’ ass on his way to regaining the NXT Title.
Scott’s Thoughts: Zayn has pretty much said these same things before (including at Friday’s live event in San Jose), but his delivery is always solid, and his message remains relevant to the NXT Championship picture.
Rhyno squashes a local wrestler, stakes his claim to the NXT Championship
Rhyno started off with a belly-to-belly suplex, then finished his nameless opponent off with a Gore. After the match, Rhyno announced that he had come to NXT to fight for the NXT Championship. He warned Zayn, Owens and Finn Balor, saying that no matter who holds the title when he gets his shot, they’ll be ripped apart by a Gore. Later in the show, Rhyno interrupted a Zayn interview, stating that the line for the NXT Championship starts behind him, not behind Zayn.
Scott’s Thoughts: Rhyno’s current NXT run has been more fun than I expected, as he still moves around quite well for a big man. Furthermore, as an established veteran, a win over Rhyno instantly carries weight for whoever takes him out.
Jason Jordan def. Tye Dillinger by pinfall
Jordan hit two belly-to-back suplexes, followed by a running splash for two. Dillinger used a schoolboy for a two-count of his own, followed by an inverted atomic drop and a side Russian legsweep. Jordan fought back with a fisherman’s suplex, earning the pinfall.
Scott’s Thoughts: I had completely forgotten that Jordan and Dillinger had broken up, and I review NXT every single week. For a brief match between two competitors who I do not particularly care about, this worked well. Jordan is a physically imposing guy, and a seemingly good worker too. It’s probably time to find out what he can do.