NXT Live Event
Chicago, Illinois at The Portage Theater
Report by Dot Net reader Josh Weiner
Doors were supposed to open at 11:30 a.m. but we froze outside until 12:40 p.m. Around 12:30, Finn Bálor came outside and high-fived fans waiting in line. He took a picture with a fan wearing a Bullet Club jacket.
1. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady defeated Dash and Dawson by DQ in an NXT Tag Title match. Enzo and Cass were very over in Chicago.
2. Tomasso Ciampa beat Bull Dempsey via armbar. Today is Bull’s birthday, so lots of “Happy Birthday” chants. Ciampa was very well received from the smart Chicago crowd. The crowd did the “Ciampa’s gonna kill you!” chant.
3. Elias Samson over Tye Dillinger with a DDT. Dillinger was surprisingly over even while doing mostly heel work. Tye did a cartwheel and then got the ref to turn a cartwheel as well. Lots of “break it” chants in reference to Samson’s guitar.
4. Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. Bayley won via Bayley-to-Belly. Bayley is super over without a doubt. Before the match began, a guy a few rows away from the ring yelled “Hug me, Bayley!” She then signaled “time out” to the ref and Bayley ran down and gave the fan a hug. The crowd then chanted “He’s got a boner!” Classy. The crowd also chanted “Bayley’s gonna Hug you!” Someone tried to get the London Bayley chant going but it didn’t work.
5. Apollo Crews pinned Baron Corbin after two standing backflips. Good match between these two. Corbin is a throwback heel. He did the little nuances that are subtle but classic.
6. Nia Jax and Eva Marie beat Carmella and Peyton Royce via leg drop by Nia Jax. I can’t imagine anywhere Eva is not hated. She makes everything she does in the ring look like a struggle. If Vince is hell-bent on keeping her, they better find her a different role in the company.
7. Finn Bálor defeated Sami Zayn to retain the NXT Title. Balor won via Coup de Grace. Both men were extremely over. There were chants of “Let’s Go Finn!” and “Let’s Go Sami!”, then the crowd chanted “BOTH THESE GUYS!” Zayn missed a Helluva Kick in the corner, but immediately hit it when Finn moved down the apron. Good near fall. Both guys took the mic after the show and thanked the fans for braving the cold and apologized for the delay.
Bálor said he needed to address the elephant in the room. The crowd chanted “Bullet Club”. He said four years ago in Japan, he and his band of brothers created a little “club”. But now, it’s not just him that’s creating something. It’s everyone in the back and everyone in the crowd that’s created something amazing in NXT.
Zayn then thanked the crowd, and put over Finn as champion and for going out in the cold with the fans. Finn said it was almost 4 o’clock but they were ready to do it all again for the 7:30 show. They thanked us again and the show was over.
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