A new NXT Champion in Sami Zayn, the debut of Kevin Owens and body paint on Finn Balor? What more could you ask for? It’s pretty scary to think that NXT R-evolution will be a better show than this weekend’s WWE TLC event, but it could definitely be the case in the next few days.
With a beefy card and plenty of possibilities moving forward, NXT has more than enough talent, even if former Champion Adrian Neville makes the jump to the WWE, to survive- and even thrive.
Kevin Owens vs. CJ Parker: this was not only a raucous debut for Owens, but it was probably the best match of Parker’s NXT career. Hitting the Double Knee in the corner and a Palm Strike that bloodied Steen, umm Owens, Parker looked strong. Regardless, Parker was broken in half with Clotheslines and put away with a T-Bone Buster and a beautiful Pop-up Standing Powerbomb. Add in a Glipping Suicide Dive earlier in the contest and this was vintage Stee…Owens.
NXT Tag Team Champions Sin Cara and Kalisto vs. Simon Gotch and Aiden English: The Vaudvillains put on a show in the early going with quick tags and isolation tactics, but Kalisto eventually got the win on Goth with the Ultimo Dragon Flipping Reverse DDT.
Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin: Corbin showed us a few more moves, but still got the easy win with the End of Days in less than a half minute.
Konnor and Viktor vs. Hideo Itami and Finn Balor: Balor’s entrance was wonderful and the match was stiff and fast-paced. Using fast tags, power moves and pure cunning, The Ascension were in control until Balor got the hot tag and decimated both Viktor and Konnor with strikes and aerial maneuvers. Itami had his moments to shine and nearly hit the GTS, but Balor was able to fight off the Fall of Man and hit the Pele Kick to even things up. After a pair of double Diving Foot Stomps, Balor and Itami got the win.
NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks: The best match of their young careers. Polished, tight, plenty of strikes and counters, these two put on a show. It’s just a shame it wasn’t on RAW. These two proved they belong on the main roster. Banks even performed a Suicide Dive at one point, making sure that this match wasn’t left in the background. Flair did her part though with Clotheslines, strikes, aerial maneuvers and plenty of desire. The match took a wild turn at the end, when Charlotte reversed the Superplex from Banks and hit the Diamond Dust for the win.
NXT Champion Adrian Neville vs. Sami Zayn: A near 40-minute epic. To say these guys “brought” it was an understatement. There were so many times when the match could have ended that it was truly unpredictable. Battling via strikes, counters and Zayn’s unique Suplex-based offense as well, both Zayn and Neville were on top of their game. But between his signature Diving Through the Ropes DDT and a beautiful Half-Nelson Release Suplex, Zayn had a killer instinct. But after Neville pulled the referee into Zayn’s Helluva Kick, the match went even crazier. Neville used the opportunity to use the championship helot, but Zayn hit the Big Boot and resisted the opportunity to use the belt himself. After Neville nearly won with a Rollup, Zayn got the win with his Signature Exploder Suplex and another Helluva Kick.