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NXT Live Event
Dublin, Ireland at The 3 Arena
Report by Dot Net Member Steve C
1. Hugo Knox defeated Tye Dillinger. Dillinger was over huge with the crowd and seemed to be cutting a good babyface local promo when he turned it for heel heat. The crowd still ate him up and massively favoured him over Knox, who won with a split leg moonsault off the top rope.
2. Andrade “Cien” Almas beat Wesley Blake. The crowd hated Blake and greeted him with slow chants of “Wesley” and also “Murphy’s better” which he played into very well. Almas needs to drop the braces and Savio Vega get up as people are not into this ring entrance. He turned them around though with the match itself and got a strong reaction when he put Blake away with his running-knees bronco-buster thing that he used at Takeover.
3. American Alpha defeated Alexander Wolfe and Sawyer Fulton. Wolfe and Sawyer looked like bad Mad Max rejects and did not click with the crowd at all. Huge reactions for Chad Gable and Jason Jordan with a lot of chants and songs directed their way. Jordan seemed to love all of it as he danced along in the corner. Fulton needs some work as he seems to be in extremely bad shape and the crowd was all over him. The outfit he wore didn’t help things. American Alpha won with their finisher after a formulaic but very enjoyable match.
After the match, The Revival came out to take some pot shots on the mic at Alpha. The challenged them to a match but then decided Alpha didn’t deserve another match and they went to leave. They eventually came back in to try and jump Jordan and Gable from behind but they had the tables turned and Dash was left in the ring to take a beating. They left after this. Dawson didn’t get physically involved and that was the last we saw of them, so it’s a shame we didn’t get a match. I’m not sure if Dawson is carrying an injury or anything like that that might explain it.
4. No Way Jose defeated Austin Aries. Unfortunately for Aries, a lot of people used this as toilet/bar break. Outside of singing along to his music, Jose does not seem to he connecting at all. They teased a match and then started to dance to Jose’s music, which started up again only for Aries to jump him from behind and start the match. Jose ended up winning with a roll up on Aries. The crowd was not happy and neither was Aries, who sold huge frustration.
5. Asuka beat Peyton Royce to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. Little to no reaction for Royce, but huge love for Asuka. Lots of “Asuka’s gonna kill you” chants as expected. Asuka won with the Asuka Lock after a fairly straightforward match. She’s very impressive in person but could have done with a more experienced opponent.
5. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Bobby Roode. Strange music hit and eventually Roode came out to a big babyface reaction. I had heard he was playing a heel on the shows so far and was wondering how that would work and then I got my answer. The opening strings of Shinsuke’s music hit and the place went insane. Everyone was on their feet and singing along to his music and cheered along with every move of his entrance routine. A lot of this crowd came to see Shinsuke and we were not disappointed. Roode did his part well but this was really all about Shinsuke. Some great back and forth action which ended with a Kinshasa kick for the clean win. The crowd loved everything about this.
6. Bayley and Carmella beat Nia Jax and Alex Bliss. Everyone got good reactions in this match which I was pleased to see, but it was clear who was the favourite here. Dublin loves Bayley. Constant singing and chanting for her, and there were many Carmella chants sprinkled in also. Bayley ended up putting Jax away clean with the Bayley to Belly. It surprised me to see Jax take the fall like that but they all did a good job here. Jax is showing real signs of improvement.
7. Samoa Joe beat Finn Bàlor to retain the NXT Championship. Monstrous hometown reaction for Bàlor as expected here. Everyone was on their feet and Finn was eating it up. Chants of “stand up if you love Bàlor” brought the entire arena to their feet several times. Great back and forth match with both men going for but missing their finishers. Joe eventually won with a roll up and a hold of the tights to retain.
After the match, Joe came back in to attack Finn from behind. As Joe was going to hit the Muscle Buster, Finn kicked him off the ropes and ended up nailing Joe with the Coup De Gras to send the crowd home happy. Finn got on the mic after and thanked everyone for coming and talked about how good it was to perform in front of his home crowd.
– The show ended up being better attended than ticket sales seemed to indicate. The top sections were tarped off but outside of the back few rows most of the other seats were filled.
– This was the first show in a long time that a large number of the crowd haven’t left when the main event starts. Usually we get a John Cena or Roman Reigns match on the main roster shows. Everyone stayed right to the end tonight.
– The crowd was definitely older than a normal WWE house show but there were some younger kids there and they seemed to know who most of the talent was. Interestingly, most of the kids cheered when Cena was shown in the video packages on the screen but booed when Reigns was shown.