Kevin Owens def. Solomon Crowe; William Regal and Samoa Joe both developing issues with Owens
Owens entered to Sami Zayn’s music, wearing a John Cena t-shirt. Owens said that he had been thinking about starting an NXT Title open challenge, but that he’s not an insecure person who feels the need to defend his title to prove himself. When the crowd started to get behind him and sing “John Cena sucks,” Owens turned them against him immediately, saying that they should sing that for Zayn, because he sucks too.
Owens said that he’s a good person, because he puts his family first. He doubled down on the “I’m a good guy” angle, saying that he had allowed the crowd to soak in Samoa Joe’s debut, instead of taking him out. He said that if Joe ever steps in the ring with him again, Owens will drop him immediately.
William Regal entered, and Owens said that he only attacked Regal because Regal had laid hands on him first. Regal admitted as much, saying “That’s the only reason you still work here.” Regal said that he was sick of seeing people getting stretchered out of NXT, like Hideo Itami. Owens firmly denied having any involvement with the parking-lot attack on Itami.
Owens said that Zayn being rolled out on a stretcher is no one’s fault but Zayn’s — except maybe Regal’s, for allowing Zayn to wrestle Owens in the first place. Solomon Crowe entered, accusing Owens of being afraid of losing the title, hiding behind the excuse of making wrestlers earn their shots. Owens said that Crowe had just earned himself an opportunity, and Regal granted them the match.
Once the time arrived for the main event, Owens beat down Crowe outside the ring, before tossing Crowe back inside. The crowd chanted “Get a stretcher,” and Owens dumped Crowe back onto the floor. Owens beat down on Crowe in the ring for awhile, then threw him on the floor again.
Crowe beat the ten-count to get back in the ring, but Owens simply threw him out of the ring again, screaming “Show me you belong in here!” Crowe hit an enziguiri, following up with a running knee in the corner. Owens immediately regained the advantage with a clothesline, a senton and a pop-up powerbomb to finish the match.
After the match, Owens set Crowe up for a pop-up powerbomb, but Samoa Joe entered to stop him. Owens escaped up the entrance ramp, pointed at Crowe and said “That’s you next time, buddy. You should have stayed in oblivion.”
Scott’s Thoughts: There are few in the business who are better at cutting heel promos than Kevin Owens. I’m loving the slow burn between him and Regal, and I get the feeling that we’ll see Regal and Owens in the ring at some point in the near-future.
The match against Crowe was just okay, but it served as a good enough set-up for Joe to provide Owens with a second future opponent. This episode did a better job on the whole of setting things up for the future, than it did in providing an entertaining hour of television for this week.
Emma (w/ Dana Brooke) def. Bayley by submission
During her entrance, Emma’s original music quickly cut to some generic classic rock which is apparently serving as her heel theme. Bayley earned a two-count with a clothesline, but Emma responded with a basement dropkick for two of her own. Emma grabbed Bayley’s ponytail, hitting two snapmares using Bayley’s hair.
Bayley fought back with a suplex and climbed up top, but Emma caught her and bridged a leg whip into the Emma Lock, forcing Bayley to tap out. After the match, Dana held Bayley up for Emma to take some cheap shots, but Charlotte came to the rescue. Emma and Dana managed to get the upper hand on Charlotte as well, with Dana hitting a fireman’s carry reverse sit-out powerbomb.
Scott’s Thoughts: This was a fun match, and Emma seems to be getting more comfortable with her heel persona. I still don’t see what there is to like about Dana, but this *is* developmental, so I’ll give her a chance.
Blake and Murphy (w/ Alexa Bliss) def. Elias Sampson and Mike Rollins by pinfall
Mike “Don’t call me Seth” Rollins hit hip tosses on both Blake and Murphy, but Blake hit a clothesline, which Murphy followed up with a senton for two. Blake and Murphy took turns wearing down Rollins, who finally made his way to Sampson. Sampson hit a clothesline and a dropkick on Murphy, but Murphy responded with a spinning heel kick.
Blake tagged in as Murphy hit a running vertical suplex, with Blake adding a frog splash for the pinfall. After the match, Alexa hit a Sparkle Splash on Sampson, adding insult to injury.
Later, Devin Taylor asked Alexa why she had aligned herself with Blake and Murphy. Alexa said that, unlike Carmella, she likes hanging out with winners. Alexa said that she has a match next week with Carmella, and that she’ll send her right back to the garbage dump she came from.
Scott’s Thoughts: I still don’t understand why Blake and Murphy are the champs, but at least they’re getting a little bit of personality, thanks to the addition of Alexa as their pint-sized heater.
Finn Balor def. Tye Dillinger by pinfall
Finn rolled through a sunset flip, hitting a basement dropkick. Dillinger gained the upper hand, but Finn quickly responded with a clothesline and another dropkick. Finn hit a Sling Blade, a corner dropkick, and Coup de Grace to polish Dillinger off.
Scott’s Thoughts: It always kind of seems like the creative team at NXT doesn’t have much of an idea how to book Finn. He’s been the No. 1 contender twice now, but he doesn’t really have a gimmick, and has yet to have a memorable feud.