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[NXT Championship]: Sami Zayn (c) vs. Kevin Owens
There is an interesting scenario with these two. Is it too early to take the title away from Zayn, or will doing that be the best course of action to garner more sympathy from the audience and really put Owens over? I think there's more than just this match between these two and when you factor in the tournament, I can't imagine either man moving on to feud with Neville or Balor solo.
PREDICTION: Sami Zayn retains, but through some kind of odd method such as Kevin Owens getting himself disqualified.
[Finals for NXT Championship #1 Contender's Tournament]: Adrian Neville vs. Finn Bálor
This is Balor's match to lose. Neville already had his run with the belt and should be coming up to the main roster soon, so having him in the finals but come out short is a way to simultaneously put him over to an extent without having to corner yourself into keeping him in the title hunt and on the NXT brand for much longer.
PREDICTION: Finn Balor wins.
[NXT Women's Championship Fatal 4-Way]: Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch
Bayley is walking out with the title. That has to happen, right? There's been far too much between these people to have someone like Sasha Banks win the belt and continue to feud with Bayley. Plus, who is there for Charlotte to face after this? I'd expect her to come up to the main roster around or after WrestleMania. The only other alternative to Bayley winning is for Becky Lynch to fully turn on Sasha Banks and start a feud with her, but that leaves Bayley out in the cold. All things considered, Bayley seems like the best course of action in my mind.
PREDICTION: Bayley wins the championship.
[No Disqualification Match]: Baron Corbin vs. Bull Dempsey
Baron Corbin has come out on top every time these two have met, but he's been defeated now by Adrian Neville, which means he can lose here. Having Bull Dempsey cheat to get a victory could be in the cards. However, don't count out Corbin still just winning despite this statistic. WWE appears to be protecting him more than Dempsey, which could go a long way in deciding the winner of this match.
PREDICTION: Bull Dempsey gets the win after someone helps him out, starting a new feud for Corbin.
Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze
Anybody else feel like this is mostly on the card to give Itami a win so people don't think he's been fully surpassed by Balor? One way or another, I'm a fan of Tyler Breeze and even though I think Itami has some work to do, I'm confident he'll get there. This should be a fun match, if not just because it's NXT and the statistics are in their favor. Most matches are good, so I have no real reason to think this won't be.
PREDICTION: Tyler Breeze wins. What? After I just said it's about a win for Itami? Yup. Breeze cheats and they start a new feud.
Our pre-show team consists of Renee Young, Corey Graves, Jason Albert and Byron Saxton. They run through their predictions for all of the matches, pointing out how Kevin Owens is a dangerous man, Charlotte doesn't have to be pinned or made to submit to lose her title, and so forth. Our commentary team for the show itself is Byron Saxton, Jason Albert and Rich Brennan. What does this mean for Alex Riley?
Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze comes out with a selfie stick (covered in his fuzzy ring attire material). An obsessed woman run out to jump on his back, which he doesn't acknowledge at all, even as security takes her away (this is kayfabe). Very nice touch for the entrance. Breeze works on Itami's legs, trying to neutralize his kicks. Itami goes for a GTS, but Breeze escapes. Breeze hits a nice superkick. Itami starts fighting back, mostly with kicks—as expected. He hits a dropkick in the corner, then follows it with a running kick for the win.
WINNER: Hideo Itami via pinfall
Good starter match to warm up the crowd.
[No Disqualification Match]: Bull Dempsey vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin charges the ring and they go straight to the outside to brawl. Dempsey predominantly is in control. After some basic brawling (not much to point out), Dempsey hits his headbutt off the top rope, but only gets a two-count. He goes back to attacking Corbin, throwing him into the steps and introducing a steel chair, but Corbin hits the End of Days before Dempsey can use it.
WINNER: Baron Corbin via pinfall
This was far from awesome. I'd recommend skipping it if you are short for time.
[NXT Tag Team Championship]: Blake and Murphy (c) vs. Lucha Dragons
I still don't get why WWE felt the need to drop the names to just Blake and Murphy, particularly as their Twitter accounts are the total opposite, saying Wesley and Buddy. This is definitely the Blake and Murphy show, though. The commentators are putting them over far more and the match is revolving around them. They hit a nice double team move where one tosses Sin Cara up while the other hits a neckbreaker. Both teams have good ring gear on tonight, by the way. Kalisto hits a great hurricanrana that spikes Murphy's head into the mat, rather than just being a flip. That looked sweet! After a series of reversal pin attempts, Blake and Sin Cara are tagged in. Sin Cara hits a powerbomb on both men. Murphy hits a suplex and Blake follows it up with a frog splash from the top rope to retain the titles.
WINNERS: Blake and Murphy via pinfall
The crowd wasn't as into this as the other matches, so the lack of energy hurt it a bit, but I enjoyed it a lot more than the previous bout.
There is a Solomon Crowe vignette that says to stay tuned for next week. I guess he's not making his debut tonight? That's a shame.
[#1 Contender's Match]: Adrian Neville vs. Finn Balor
Balor comes out in the same Carnage-inspired face paint as before, which is a little disappointing. He does seem to be trying harder with this entrance than last time, though, so I'll cut the guy some slack when it comes to people praising him. He's got a great entrance. I'll shut up about that now. (But if you still say it's the best in the history of the company, Undertaker has something to say about that). So far, it's a pretty even match, with both men having some time to shine, although I'd give the slight edge to Balor looking a tad stronger (at least in my opinion, of course). Balor launches himself over the top rope. Neville gets dropkicked into the barricade. Balor then jumps from the top rope and stomps on Neville's head while he was getting up in the ring. Two-count. Balor hits a Pele kick, but Neville turns right around and nails Balor with a superkick. Both men are down. Neville gets a two-count after a corkscrew splash from the second rope. Balor hits the Slingblade, then a reverse lifted DDT for a two-count of his own. Balor climbs the ropes, but Neville hits an enziguri. Neville hits the Red Arrow, but Balor counters into a pinfall attempt that Neville kicks out of. Balor dropkicks Neville, climbs the ropes, hits his footstomp and gets the win.
WINNER (and new #1 contender to the NXT Championship): Finn Balor
Best match of the night so far. Very good!
After the match, they shake hands.
[NXT Women's Championship]: Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch vs. Bayley
I'm digging Becky Lynch more and more as time goes on, but I'm also a fan of the other three in this match, so while I'm rooting for Bayley or Sasha Banks to win the title, I'd be okay with any outcome. Becky and Sasha team up and take Bayley and Charlotte out, but argue over who gets the pin. Becky suplexes Sasha and turns her attention to Bayley. Charlotte gets back into the game. Charlotte picks up Sasha and slams her right into Bayley's legs, Codebreaker-style. Sasha places Charlotte on the middle rope and Becky on the bottom one, then jumps up and knees them both in the stomach. Bayley re-enters and suplexes Sasha, then gives Charlotte four back-elbows in the turnbuckle. Bayley gives Charlotte a hurricanrana off the corner. Becky breaks up a Bayley-to-Belly pinfall attempt. Bayley fights with Becky on the outside. Sasha jumps to the outside, landing on both of them, while Charlotte starts to stir in the ring by herself. Charlotte then jumps over the top rope onto all three. Becky puts Charlotte on the top turnbuckle. Bayley gives Becky a German suplex and gives Charlotte a Bayley-to-Belly off the ropes. Sasha tosses Bayley to the outside and tries to steal the win, but Charlotte kicks out. Sasha puts Charlotte in a crossface until Becky distracts her. She goes back to the crossface again. Sasha turns it into a pinfall and gets the win.
WINNER (and new NXT Women's champion): Sasha Banks via pinfall
Fantastic match! Best Divas match of the whole year so far (and possibly even last year).
Charlotte goes to shake Sasha's hand. They then hug it out, but Sasha pushes her away and poses with the title.
[NXT Championship]: Sami Zayn (c) vs. Kevin Owens
They're using the heartbeat drone for the pre-entrance backstage footage!!! I love that so much. Owens keeps toying with Zayn, stepping outside of the ring. Zayn's had enough, so he jumps out and starts the fight. The story of the match is Zayn's determination and speed against the motivation and power of Kevin Owens. Predominantly, this is Owens in charge. Owens continues to dominate and the commentators compare it to Brock Lesnar's destruction of John Cena (although it isn't that bad). Zayn hits a Blue Thunder Bomb out of nowhere, but Owens kicks out. Owens then hits a superkick and cannonball in the corner. He follows it up with...I don't know what this is called and neither do the commentators. He essentially turned a vertical suplex into a backbreaker, but on Zayn's head instead. Zayn kicks out. Zayn hits a suplex on Owens—he's able to toss around someone much bigger than him in an impressive way. Zayn hits an exploder suplex into the corner. Owens dodges the Helluva Kick, going to the outside. Zayn escapes a powerbomb attempt. He hits a springboard moonsault onto Owens, but smacks his head on the entrance ramp in the process. Zayn dawdles with the Helluva Kick (story being that he's woozy from the ramp). Owens hits a pop-up powerbomb. The referee pulls Owens off Zayn after he keeps just pounding on him. This could very well end in a disqualification. Owens hits another powerbomb. Then another. Owens places his hands on Zayn for a pin, but Zayn slowly rolls a shoulder up. The trainers come to check on Zayn and the referee tells Owens again to back off. Owens lands another powerbomb. Then another. Then goes for another and the referee stops him, then calls for the bell. He declares Owens the winner.
WINNER (and new NXT champion): Kevin Owens via the referee stopping the match
This wasn't as entertaining as the two previous matches, but it told a completely different story and was definitely good in a different way.
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