Bayley opened the show. She talked about making history at NXT TakeOver: Respect. It was a nice little speech and she got a lot of nice chants. Fans chanted “Match of the Year”, “You deserve it” and “Women’s wrestling.” She talked about how it was the next step in the Divas Revolution. Alexa Bliss, along with Blake and Murphy, interrupted her. She initially congratulated her and called her an incredible champion. Alexa then stole the belt with the help of Blake and Murphy. Alexa talked about winning the belt for real and she threw it back at Bayley. So I’m guessing she’ll be in the hunt for the title now.
They showed a backstage post-match segment from NXT TakeOver. Joe and Balor’s interview was cut off by William Regal who was talking about the NXT title. Samoa Joe talked about how he was undefeated and challenged Balor the title. Balor agreed but Regal said that everyone should get a shot, much like with the Dusty Rhodes Classic. He announced the number one contendership battle royal for tonight but Joe protested saying that he should be having the shot. However, Regal made it clear that it would be a battle royal. So Joe came off as the heel following the PPV so it might be him that could be turning in the future. We shall see…
They showed a bunch of backstage promos during the night with the battle royal competitors. Tye Dillinger, Apollo Crews, Rhyno, Baron Corbin and Tyler Breeze all cut the promos. They were short but sweet promos but I’d like to have seen one from Enzo or somebody! The Vaudevillains were in a non-title match against Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton. It was a short but sweet match. Really, all the match time on this episode was for the battle royal. The Mechanics cut a promo mocking Enzo Amore and Big Cass and talked about how they beat the NXT Tag Team Champions in the Dusty Classic. They basically claimed to be both the number one contenders and the NXT Tag Team Champions! I’m guessing their going to be going after the tag titles. However, there’s a lot of great tag teams that they could pick from to go up against the Vaudevillains. The Dusty Classic did a great job for developing the tag team division even more.
They showed another NXT TakeOver post-match segment, with Asuka going up to Dana and Emma backstage. Asuka was just awesome on that show in general and she was great in this segment. Nia Jax finally debuted against Evie. The crowd was very welcoming, which really helped her case. The NXT arena in Florida is a very good crowd to debut people in because they’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and they were giving Nia Jax all sorts of love. They chanted “Nia’s gonna kill you” and they were more than happy with her. Nia’s size really does help her and she’s got a lot of potential. She’s a rare powerhouse for WWE to really get behind. They had Awesome Kong/Kharma before, but there were a few issues. However, if Nia Jax is here to stay then she can become a star. Baron Corbin tweeted this below, which really does sum it up for Nia…
We had the battle royal for a NXT title shot. There was LOADS of heat on Baron for this one. The fans DID NOT want him to win. The favourite from the get-go was really Tyler Breeze but we’ll get onto him. The Mechanics, Baron and Rhyno all went for Samoa Joe right away! They established Joe as the favourite which I’m all for considering how this ended. Apollo did his Atomic Drop finisher on Johnny Gargano, that he did to Tyler at Respect, onto the men on the outside to eliminate him. That looked cool.
The Mechanics eliminated Big Cass but then Enzo eliminated the Mechanics by himself which got one of the strongest pops of the episode! Sadly, he was tossed over too. There were a lot of big “Tyler” chants as Rhyno and Baron had been teaming up. However, Baron ended up double-crossing Rhyno. I figured Rhyno was going to be the one to do the double cross!
Samoa Joe eliminated Tommaso Ciampa with a hard slam onto the apron. That looked like it sucked for Tommaso! Joe then eliminated both Blake and Murphy. This lead to the final four being Joe, Breeze, Corbin and Apollo. Samoa Joe got rained with boos after he eliminated Tyler! Tyler responded by eliminating Joe which got a big pop. Tyler got a big “Thank you Tyler” chant. Did the NXT crowd really not want Joe to win? I’d understand if it was like Baron Corbin. However, Joe didn’t seem to be getting bad reactions during this show. I guess they just wanted Tyler to get revenge on somebody. Unfortunately, Joe was that somebody. I’m guessing then it won’t be Joe vs Balor at the next NXT TakeOver which is a shame. But you never know.
Apollo Crews eliminated Baron Corbin in an alright final two to win the battle royal and become the number one contender. I’m fine with Apollo winning. I’m shocked that he’s getting a title shot this quickly after debuting with WWE but you can tell they see something big with him. I don’t think he’ll win the title, unless they want to get Finn Balor onto the main roster as soon as possible. I figured they’d want to do it by giving the title to Joe first but I guess Crews makes sense since he just debuted on NXT and he’ll be there for a while first. It was a decent battle royal. I wanted Joe to win but I’m fine with Apollo.
This was an OK show that was really just about the battle royal. The battle royal they put on was fine and this was an OK follow-up from NXT TakeOver: Respect.