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NXT Live Events
Kingston, Rhode Island at The Ryan Center
Report by Dot Net staffer Zack Zimmerman
A replay aired on the screen of Samoa Joe beating Finn Balor to win the NXT Championship.
1. Chris Girard beat Mojo Rawley. Mojo played the heel, as hometown boy Girard got a huge ovation and multiple loud “Biff” chants. He had friends and family in the front row and won a fun short opener with a running blockbuster.
2. Bayley and Carmella beat Dana Brooke and Alexa Bliss. This was about what one would expect. Carmella attended URI where the show took place, so that plus Bayley’s popularity made for a great response to the babyfaces. Bayley scored the win after hitting her Bayley-to-Belly.
3. Manny Andrade over Riddick Moss. Same story as the previous night in Lowell with Andrade coming out virtually unknown and leaving to a huge ovation. He scored the win with the CMLL special running double-knees with Moss seated in the corner.
4. American Alpha beat The Revival to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship. A good match that the champs won with their Grand Amplitude suplex. It was similarly paced to their match the previous night, but they did a nice job of switching up spots and altering the things they did that were similar. A quality match with great fan reaction, especially down the stretch.
5. Austin Aries pinned Tommaso Ciampa. These two worked hard, but a slow start and awkward finish dragged it down a bit. After a solid back-and-forth match, Aries whiffed on the rolling elbow but Ciampa sold it anyway. They bounced back, redid the spot, and Aries scored the win with a 450 splash.
6. Asuka over Peyton Royce to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. This was a step up from Asuka’s defense against Alexa Bliss the previous night, but it’s clear that these matches are more about getting the next batch of NXT ladies ring time with Asuka rather than establishing her as the dominant kick-ass champion. Asuka got more of her trademark offense in here as well and got the submission win with the Asuka Lock.
They learned their lesson from last night and didn’t show the heat-magnet video featuring Roman Reigns. Rather, they had Tom Phillips, who is the ring announcer this tour, thank the crowd from the ring.
7. Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Elias Samson and NXT Champion Samoa Joe. Balor had his shoulder taped up a bit, but he wasn’t showing any signs of a leg injury stemming from Lowell. The story of the match was Joe ducking both babyfaces until the eventual big showdown with Nakamura, which the crowd ate up. Balor pinned Samson following the Bloody Sunday.
Afterwards, there were “See you Monday” chants. Balor said a lot has changed in the past 24 hours. He said holding the NXT title for 290-plus days and waking up without it this morning was a shock. He said he wasn’t sure how he’d bounce back, but thanks to the crowd support he realized that he’s still Finn Balor. He turned over the mic for Nakamura, who declared, “We are NXT… YEAOH!”
Overall, this was another excellent show from the NXT brand. The previous night in Lowell topped this show, but that’s not to take anything away from this one. In fact, the low points of the show were not as low as the previous night, the higher points were just not quite as high. Tonight marks the second ‘A-grade’ show in a row, and I’m counting on tomorrow being a third, so be sure to check back tomorrow for my review of the Poughkeepsie, New York live event.
The arena holds about 7-8,000 and had the curtains and set blocking off about a third of the place. I’d say there were about 3,500 people in attendance, and this was another hot crowd who wanted to have fun and enjoy the show, and they were given the material to do so.