This week’s episode of NXT begins with NXT Women’s Champion Bayley making her way to the ring. She grabs a microphone and begins to speak about NXT Takeover: Respect making history. During her promo she speaks about Dusty Rhodes having a huge part in Sasha Banks and herself coming up in NXT. While holding her championship high, after proclaiming NXT’s future women’s division has been validated, she is interrupted by Alexa Bliss with both Blake and Murphy. Alexa Bliss goes onto state what was accomplished last week was incredible. Alexa then states Bayley is an incredible champion and tears up while paying respect for Bayley.
Bayley doesn’t appear to be impressed. Bliss then rips the championship out of Bayley’s hands. Bliss than states “people like Bayley aren’t meant for this (NXT Women’s Champion).” She then makes her way back up the entrance ramp, finishing the opening segment of the program. Alexa Bliss has really stepped it up in recent months and this a great feud for Bayley to segue to.
The winners of the Dusty Tag Team Classic are shown after their match from last week. During this segment Samoa Joe makes a point of him being undefeated since being in NXT and would like a shot at the championship. Fergal is about to grant Joe his wish, before William Regal interrupts saying everyone should get a chance to be the number one contender for the NXT Championship. He then states “Next week (this week) on NXT there will be a battle royal to determine the number one contender.” Samoa Joe looks to be disappointed and ends the interview by saying “All I have to do is win a battle royal.”
There are then vignettes promoting tonight’s NXT Championship number one contender battle royal. The likes of ‘Perfect 10’ Tye Dillinger, Apollo Crews, and Rhyno proclaim they will win tonight’s battle royal and earn a shot for the championship from NXT Champion Finn Balor.
NXT Tag Team Champions the Vaudevillians - Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton
The match starts off with Angleo Dawkins and Aiden English. English is able to get out of Dawkins grasps with a European arm drag. He then catches a big right hand of Dawkins. Sawyer then tags into the match the two of them begin to tag in and out, while double teaming on English. Sawyer slows things down with a head lock, but tags his partner after English escapes. As Dawkins comes into the ring Aiden English is able to tag Simon Gotch into the match. He begins a unique offense on Sawyer and follows up with a T-Bone suplex. Gotch tags English into the match and the Vaudevillians pick up the win after a whirling dervish. This was a good match to help re-establish the champions after the big tag tournament completed from the week prior.
Winner by Pinfall:
NXT Tag Team Champions the Vaudevillians
Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson are in the backstage area being interviewed by Devin Taylor. Dawson did most of the talking and came across great. He sounded confident and arrogant. It was a great promo, where the two claimed they are the rightful number one contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championships. Dawson goes onto say the Vaudevillians aren’t their focus, but Enzo and Big Cass are. This will be a great tag team match when it comes into fruition.
This interview is followed up by a recap of Asuka and with a post-match video of Dana Brooke being catered to by the NXT trainer following her match with Asuka. Asuka pats Dana’s head and gives Emma a deep stare. Emma looks to be distraught by the interaction.
This lead into the next match which featured Nia Jax.
Evie - Nia Jax
Nia Jax is a larger women and looks like she could demolish hear opponent if she wanted. Evie doesn’t make much of an impact, but Nia Jax definitely did. She attacked Evie in a methodical fashion. There was an impressive bear hug delivered early on.
The match ended with a standing Rock bottom. Which made great sense, with her Samoan heritage and relation to Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson. Another impressive debut in the NXT Women’s Division. With Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch breaking out of NXT come Nia Jax, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Bayley, Dana Brooke, and hopefully the emergence of Lance Storm Academy graduate Emma.
Winner by Pinfall:
There is another vignette shown from competitors in the NXT Championship number one contender battle royal. This included promos from both ‘Prince Pretty’ Tyler Breeze and ‘the Lone Wolf’ Baron Corbin. Both men stated why they will be winning the battle royal in the main event of the program.
Eva Marie is also shown in a vignette from Paris, France. Eva Marie came off like an arrogant ‘Diva’ who deserved a vacation after her matches in the previous weeks. She didn’t sound confident and almost sounded hesitant, but didn’t slip up her words. If she puts in the time she could be great, but she has a long road of experience to gain before she starts showing true signs of greatness.
The competitors are shown entering the ring for the battle royal to determine the number one contender for the NXT Championship. The last person to enter the ring is Samoa Joe and all the wrestlers in the ring appear to be gunning for him.
Battle Royal to be number one contender for the NXT Championship
Right off the bat Samoa Joe is attacked by multiple wrestlers, including Rhyno, Corbin, Dash, and Dawson. Joe is on the apron, but is able to fight off all four opponents and makes his way back into the ring. The four on one attack continues and it appears as though Joe may be an early target for elimination. It was nice to see Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa in the match. Bull Dempsey was in the ring wearing a Bull-Fit shirt, without showing the physique that made Bull-Fit famous. The match slows down with multiple battles going on, but not too much action. The first elimination is from Apollo Crews to Steve Cutler. Crews then eliminates Danny Birch and Elias Sampson. One after the other, followed by Johnny Gargano. Crews launched Gargano to the two recently eliminated wrestlers on the outside. He flew like he was Spike Dudley being launched into the ECW audience by Bam Bam Bigelow. Crews is the most dominant thus far in the battle royal, with 3 eliminations. Enzo Amore is almost eliminated by Wesley Blake at one point, but his agility is able to save him from being thrown over the top rope.
There are several near eliminations, followed by multiple people at the same time, including Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Dash, and Dawson. Bull-Fit shows a payoff for Bull Dempsey as he throws the ‘Perfect 10’ Tye Dillinger out of the ring, only to be thrown out himself by Rhyno as he was attempting to elimate Baron Corbin. Corbin is then attacked by Samoa Joe, only to be yet again saved by Rhyno. The last nine competitors are the former NXT Tag Team Champions Blake & Murphy, Zack Ryder, Tyler Breeze, Rhyno, Baron Corbin, Tomasso Ciampa, Samoa Joe, and Apollo Crews. The next to go is Zack Ryder, followed by a double cross by Baron Corbin to Rhyno. He grabbed Rhyno and tossed him out like moldy bread. Rhyno sold it well, appearing to be visibly shaken on the outside of the ring.
Ciampa is then eliminated by Samoa Joe. Blake & Murphy are double teaming Samoa Joe, but Apollo Crews is able to make the save. Samoa Joe is then able to eliminate both Blake & Murphy at the same time. The final four are now determined as Baron Corbin, Tyler Breeze, Apollo Crews, and Samoa Joe square off for a chance to be number one contender. Breeze and Joe go at it, while Crews and Corbin are locked up in the corner. A big standing Rock bottom delivered to Breeze from Joe on the roped, followed by a running big boot to knock Breeze over the top rope. Joe kicks Crews to break up Corbin and Crews. He then sets up a muscle buster to Corbin, but Corbin escaped to his feet and throws Joe over the top to the ring apron. Breeze then sneaks up behind Joe and eliminates him to pay him back for his elimination from moments prior.
Corbin and Crews don’t slow down as they both drill each other from one end of the ring to the other. Corbin tries to throw Crews over the top rope, but he just can’t get him off the apron. With every attempt Crews holds on to the ropes. Crews is able to get a second wind and reverses multiple moves attempts by Corbin. He then makes a mistake with a standing moonsault only to be on the receiving end of Corbin’s knees. This doesn’t slow Crews down as he eliminates Corbin with a clothesline to Corbin forcing over the top rope. Apollo Crews won the battle royal and is the new number one contender for the NXT Championship.
Winner and number one contender for the NXT Championship:
This battle royal did a lot to begin new feuds going into the months ahead. This also did a great job of protecting Joe from having it appear as though the spot was ripped away from him. Time will tell, but the coming months of NXT could be very exciting with the likes of Asuka, Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, and Bayley in the women’s division, a couple different tag team feuds coming out of the show, and also potential feuds in Samoa Joe/Tyler Breeze, Baron Corbin/Rhyno, and Apollo Crews/Finn Balor. If these are the matches lined up for the next NXT Takeover special, the event could be just as exciting as its predecessors. All in all this week’s episode of NXT was a great fallout from NXT Takeover: Respect.