NXT Live Event
Chicago, Illinois at The Portage Theater
Report by Dot Net reader Jon Hedges
1. Dash and Dawson beat Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship. Huge pop for Enzo and Cass, who did their traditional entrance. How you doin?! Dash and Dawson entered to a chorus of boos and really soaked it up. I saw more personality out of Dash than normal. Gillberg chants to Dawson? Cass got a hot tag and cleaned house. Zo with the assisted splash but as the ref was counting. Dawson rang the ring bell and everyone was distracted, Dawson got a roll up with a handful of tights to retain.
2. Carmella over Alexia Bliss by submission. Carmella came out first and did her hottest chick in the ring routine. There was nice waist lock switching with the gals, about six in a row. Bliss took advantage with some nasty stomps to the head of Mella. They slowed it down for a few minutes and exchanged holds on the mat towards the end, but it was Carmella locking in her version of the Koji Clutch to make Bliss tap.
3. Elias Sampson defeated Bull Dempsey. Elias came out first to a lot of heat and asked the ring announcer to come to the ring so he can play a song about Chicago. It got a ton of heat and I could barely hear him. Bull followed to a decent reaction. Not much to talk about here. Elias slowed it down, Bull came back, but Elias caught him with his new neckbreaker finisher.
4. Bayley beat Nia Jax to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. Bayley came out with the #wackywavinginflatablearmflaylingtubemen in tow! Great pop, and we want some Bayley chants. Nia dominated the start by overpowering Bayley and squashed her with a big Samoan drop. Bayley fought back with a bunch of drop kicks and spinning elbows, then finished off Nia with a Bayley to Belly!
5. Sami Zayn beat Tommaso Ciampa. Nice reaction for Tommaso including the next great chant: Psycho Killer! Sami followed with his NXT band singing his theme followed by the familiar Ole! chants. The crowd chanted: “Both these guys, Both these guys!” Lol. Fast chain wrestling to start. Ciampa took control by slipping out of a 10 punch attempt in the corner and hitting Zayn with a running boot in the corner while he was still on the 2nd rope, which was very nice. Ciampa slowed it down and hit some of his hard strikes. Sami with a hot comeback and a Blue Thunder bomb for two. Both men went to the top rope Ciampa countered a superplex attempt and hit Zayn with the White Noise maneuver from the second rope for a two count. He also hit his Powerbomb lung blower for two. Wow. There were this is awesome chants. Ciampa survived a Koji clutch, Zayn hit his exploder suplex on Ciampa into the corner, and followed with the Helluva Kick for the win. Wow what a match!
Following the match both guys got a well-deserved standing ovation. Zayn look to have said to a fallen Ciampa to not worry about it, that was a hell of a match. Zayn let him have the ring to himself as the crowd gave him an ovation. Ciampa soaked it in and thanked the fans. Great stuff.
6. Eva Marie beat Peyton Royce. Mega heat for Eva as expected. Peyton got an okay reaction, I guess she’s a face by association. Pretty sloppy work by Eva. I’m not trying to pour it on, I actually think she serves a purpose with how much heat she gets and is out of this world hot, but man the in-ring work isn’t getting there. Royce hit a lot of big spinning kicks almost like clotheslines, but Eva rolled her up for the win.
7. Finn Balor defeated Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews to retain the NXT Championship. Apollo came out first to some Uhaa chants. Corbin was out next with mega heat. Balor was next with full on Bullet Club manerisms. Both faces tried getting at Corbin, who kept sliding out of the ring. Nice chain wrestling with Finn and Crews as Corbin lurked. He kept interrupting and sliding out. There was a weird moment where Corbin grabbed somebody’s hat outside the ring and I think it was the camera guys and they were pulling at it and Corbin fell over. The faces then took Corbin out with Crews shoulder blocking Corbin into the railing followed by Finn hitting a big dropkick on Corbin. The crowd was chanting “Corbin’s sleeping” as the faces were going at it in the ring. Corbin eventually woke up by stalling a Balor dive attempt and slowed down the match by beating on both guys to lots of heat. All three guys had a nice exchange where they clotheslined each other finished off with Balor’s Pele kick. Apollo and Corbin went at it with Apollo hitting his big enziguri. Corbin hit the End of Days on Apollo, but he was immediately hit by the Coup de Gras by Finn for the win.
After the match Finn called out Bayley, who was wearing a Balor Club t-shirt. They invited a bunch of kids in the ring to hold the belts, Finn started a happy birthday song for one of them and said these guys are the future. He finished with all the kids saying “we are NXT.” Very nice of them. Overall, an awesome show. I’m so glad I made the long drive.