Last week was the special event Takeover: Fatal 4-Way, which featured Adrian Neville retaining his NXT Championship against Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd as well as the name change for Kenta / Hideo Itami and new tag team champions, amongst other things. With tonight's episode advertised as the in-ring debut of Hideo Itami, what else is in store for the NXT arena?
Titus O'Neil is heading to the ring. He says it is an honor and a privilege for the crowd to be in his presence. He wants the show to be called NXTITUS from now on. Sami Zayn comes out to put a damper on his mood and call him out for not being able to win a match to save his life. Adrian Neville comes out to say that if anybody is going to defend NXT, it's going to be him, not Sami Zayn. Tyson Kidd joins the party, egging Sami on about how Adrian retained the title at Takeover. William Regal comes out to restore some order and make a standard tag match: Titus O'Neil and Tyson Kidd versus Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn. Holla holla! Regal's the MacMilitant.
MATCH: Charlotte vs. Emma
I wonder if Emma is going to steal the show. [Is that joke too old at this point? Eh, I don't care.] Charlotte takes charge early on after Emma pissed her off by slapping the NXT Women's Championship out of her hands. Emma botches a roll-up attempt by not grabbing onto Charlotte. Emma hits a crossbody for a two-count. Charlotte hits a neckbreaker and follows it up with Natural Selection for the victory.
WINNER: Charlotte via pinfall
MATCH: Hideo Itami vs. Justin Gabriel
Kenta has some good generic music. I'm glad they didn't go full-on Japanese with it like they normally do. Also, I'm kind of digging Justin Gabriel's weird look with his ponytail. It's something a little different and it isn't as though he's got something to lose. I'm curious as to whether or not Itami picked Gabriel or if WWE assigned him to be his first opponent. Nonetheless, they're working well together in the ring. Itami's ring style fits in well. He's not coming off as some outsider in a different land like Sin Cara did. His kicks are nice and stiff. Very nice springboard dropkick to the torso from Itami. He goes to the top rope and stomps down on Gabriel's chest for the win.
WINNER: Hideo Itami via pinfall
After the match, The Ascension come out and attack Itami, who tries to fight back but can't beat the numbers game.
MATCH: Baron Corbin vs. CJ Parker
Baron Corbin (who looks like Bo Dallas, by the way) is probably going to make short work of Parker here. After just a handful of moves—essentially just a clothesline and a punch and his finisher, End of Days—Baron Corbin wins with ease.
WINNER: Baron Corbin via pinfall
In a pre-recorded promo, Carmella comes to the Performance Center to tell Big Cass and Enzo Amore that she wants a job. She tosses a medicine ball at Enzo. I'm digging these guys.
MATCH: Sami Zayn & Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd & Titus O'Neil
Zayn does Neville's standing moonsault and gets a "better than Neville" chant from the crowd. Neville follows this up by doing a standing corkscrew moonsault to show him up.
When we come back, Titus is tossing Sami Zayn around like he's nothing. Kidd and O'Neil stay in control, passing Zayn between each other and toying with him. Zayn's attempts at reaching Neville are fruitless for quite a while, but he gets the tag eventually (as expected). Neville goes full-steam at Kidd. O'Neil pushes Neville off the top rope and Kidd capitalizes for the win.
WINNER: Tyson Kidd and Titus O'Neil via pinfall
No surprises here that NXT was an entertaining episode. This show has been consistently showing up many of the main roster shows for quite some time. As we've been mentioning on our Monday Night Raw Post-Show, WWE's programming has been struggling. It's nice to see NXT is not floundering as much. Although this is not an episode that makes a lot of waves with matches of the year or anything of the sort, every segment was worth watching.