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NXT Live Event
Report by Dot Net reader Tom
1. No Way Jose beat Angelo Dawkins. The crowd weren’t particularly hot for either men. No Way Jose gets a lot of chanting when his music hits, but otherwise the crowd were pretty flat during the match.
2. Bayley and Carmella beat Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss. The crowd was flat for Bliss and mildly interested in Jax. Carmella got a very good reaction (lots of ‘How You Doin’ chants) and actually did a little bit of mic work that was over with the crowd. Bayley’s music hit and you’d think the roof came off the place. She is ridiculously over. The whole match was filled with singing and chanting for the faces, especially Bayley. A fairly formulaic tag match with the faces going over clean after a Bayley-to-Belly on Jax. I was surprised to see this match go on so early to tell the truth.
3. Tye Dillinger over Hugo Knox. ‘The Perfect 10’ Dillinger was over with the crowd, many of whom were waving sheets of paper with ’10’ on them. Knox looks good despite a weird gimmick involving doing the splits. Weirdly, when he mimicked Dillinger’s cartwheels etc he actually did them much better, leading to ‘He’s 11!’ chants. Knox went for a split-leg moonsault off the top rope but only found Dillinger’s knees. Dillinger then won with his double-knee attack with the opponent against the lower turnbuckle.
4. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas beat Austin Aries. Aries came out first to a huge reaction, and cut a heel promo but the crowd refused to boo him. Aries got visibly frustrated but the crowd just wanted to chant his name. The crowd weren’t into Cien’s entrance but got behind him as the match went on – both men put in a good effort. Near the end of the match Aries went for a brainbuster but Cien got out of it and hit his finisher for the win.
5. Shinsuke Nakamura beat Bobby Roode. Easily match of the night. Both men were wildly over and received dueling chants throughout the match. Great back and forth action including a couple of quick counts until Roode hit his spinebuster for a close two-fall. Moments later, Nakamura came back with a Kinshasa kick for the win. The crowd were going crazy and applauded both men.
6. The Revival beat American Alpha to retain the NXT Tag Titles. The crowd were hot for this one and very impressed with the in-ring ability of the Alphas. Glad to see Dash and Dawson wrestle, though this match flattered to impress until the finish. After some good near-falls for the face team, Dawson pinned Gable in a victory roll position with interference from Dash (he appeared to have his arm on Dawson, helping him keep the cover). Both teams did well. It was fun to hear the crowd get behind the Alphas with a modified football Yaya/Kolo Toure chant for Gable/Jordan.
7. Asuka beat Peyton Royce to retain the NXT Women’s Title. A weird match. The crowd popped big for Asuka, but nobody seemed to know who Royce was. A bit of a waste of Asuka, as Royce never seemed like a legitimate opponent (especially as she has been off TV for so long). Royce got in little offence and submitted to the Asuka Lock.
8. Finn Balor beat NXT Champion Samoa Joe via DQ. Excellent reaction for both men as expected. Not so many ‘Joe’s Going To Kill You’ chants as the crowd had really run that into the ground with Asuka moments earlier. Instead it was ‘Finn Finn Finn’/‘Joe Joe Joe’ chants mostly. Back and forth match with both wrestlers failing to hit their finishers. Joe eventually went to ringside, took a steel chair inside the ring and smacked Balor with it for a DQ finish.
After the match, Joe continued to beat down on Balor with the chair. Eventually, he set up Balor for the Muscle Buster, but Balor kicked him off and hit Joe with the Coup De Gras for the happy ending. Balor did some post-match mic work and dodged ‘Thank You Finn’ chants by asking the crowd to thank the other NXT wrestlers and named half the roster.
The arena was relatively full, hardly any empty seats around. There were a lot of young kids in the crowd and it was nice to see the older fans avoiding the usual ‘F- You’ chants.
Overall a good show, definitely with value for money considering the talent on show.
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