Who Got NeXT: You Can Bank on NXT’s Women’s Champion

Thursday night, history was made for the NXT brand.

For the first time since its creation, NXT traveled outside of its Full Sail University comfort zone and came to Ohio, of all places, to put on the show’s first live event in Columbus. Despite some talent misspelling the city’s name on Twitter (I’m sure C-Bus native Alexa Bliss gave them a hard time), the show was a great success.

Friday night, the brand will head to Cleveland for another show that’s sure to deliver (it sold out in mere minutes once announced a couple of months ago).

But before this happened, NXT had its regular show at Full Sail.

The main event was another classic between rivals Charlotte and Sasha Banks (c) for the NXT Women’s Championship. The two have an untouchable chemistry with each other and the audience knows it, chanting “this is wrestling” numerous times. They have counters upon counters for each other’s counters and both display amazing fluidity in the ring. Also, Banks is an absolute submission savant.

The highlight of the match, for me, was when Banks was dazed near the left corner turnbuckle and Charlotte hit an absolutely devastating spear that would’ve made Edge proud. Smarks in the crowd began shouting “Better than Reigns! Better than Reigns!” and many people may believe that (catchphrase pun not intended).

The match finish was interesting, as Charlotte went for her finishing move Natural Selection off of the turnbuckle (see NXT Takeover: REvolution), but missed. Banks took advantage and pinned her with some leverage from the ropes as a great heel should, and she retained her title.

Let it be known that in a backstage interview, the returning Alexa Bliss said that she had her eye on this match. Potentially a fresh look at the divas women’s title picture?

Oh, and another intriguing note: happy-go-lucky Emma wasn’t herself backstage when talking to Bayley in the locker room. When Bayley asked Emma to show her bubbles, she said no and that her behavior was just like Bayley’s when she was on NXT before and got her nowhere on the main roster. The segment ended with Emma saying, “it’s something to think about.” Could this be a potential turn for both of them?

Now that we’ve taken care of the girls, let’s move on to what else happened on the show.

– Tyler Breeze basically squashed Adam Rose to open up the show. Besides the Beauty Shot out of nowhere for the 1-2-3, it was an “eh, whatever” match. Adam Rose needs to get back to being Leo Kruger.

– Before Blake & Murphy beat Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton in a non-title tag team bout, Enzo and Big Cass cut a quick, hilarious gem of a promo on the two. Enzo referred to Wesley Blake as “Sweet Boy Frosted Flake Wesley Blake” and Cass referred to Buddy Murphy as “that Australian dude.” This duo is pure gold and I look forward to this feud between the two escalating in the upcoming weeks.

– Baron Corbin flattened this poor guy Tony Briggs. End of Days….END of Days….END OF DAYS!!!!! (During the “match”, Kevin Owens confronted Alex Riley. We’ll get to that last.)

– Solomon Crowe made his in-ring debut and squashed Bull Dempsey (sigh, he’s being killed each week). I’ve heard a lot of good things about Crowe, but so far this character’s fell short of my expectations thus far. I was expecting a darker, creepier hacker guy, but instead I see more of a nerdy, punk rockish dude. He has a creative finisher, but it doesn’t look like it’d hurt at all. I’m going to give it a chance for a while, but right now I’m not feeling it.

– A recording of Sami Zayn played before the main event. The former NXT Champion talked about how Wednesday marked his 13th year in professional wrestling, and how he wasn’t mentally ready to get back in the ring just yet. He took the video on his phone late at night in his hometown streets of Montreal. He said that once he’s ready, he’s gunning for Owens. Zayn is one of those guys that you can feel the reality and passion every time he speaks, a Mick Foley-esque type. The emotions are 100 percent real, something that lacks in today’s WWE and is thus quite refreshing to see.

– On to the solid sub-storyline going on here. As I said a few points ago, Kevin Owens ventured to the announcer’s table just as the Corbin match was coming to an end. Jason Albert told Alex Riley to ignore it, and he tried his hardest.

Standing there as a nuisance for two to three minutes, Owens took a sip of Alex Riley’s water and seconds after, poured the rest over Riley’s head. The two got into each other’s faces and pleasantries were exchanged (Riley looked HEATED!), leading to Riley barging into general manager William Regal’s office.

He demanded to face Kevin Owens, but Regal gave him an ultimatum: commentate or wrestle. Riley chose the latter and Regal told him that he could get Owens when he thought Riley was ready. NXT’s resident jobber C.J. Parker was also in Regal’s office and laughed at the idea of Riley returning to the ring after nearly two years away from it. Riley stormed off by saying that he’d get to Owens, but next week he’s starting with Parker.

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