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NXT made its debut at the CFE Arena on the campus of the University of Central Florida with a huge main event featuring best friends Carmella and NXT Women’s Champion Bayley clashing for the title. The impending battle left the NXT Universe wondering two things: Who would leave as champion, and would their friendship survive?
After being left out of the No. 1 Contender’s Match with Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe, Baron Corbin was looking to take out his frustrations on Johnny Gargano. The Cleveland native employed a stick-and-move offense that paid off, as Johnny Wrestling got the upper hand on The Lone Wolf.
However, a hard right hand from Corbin turned the tides of the bout. The Lone Wolf dominated Gargano, though Johnny Wrestling refused to give in. Gargano threw everything he had at his towering opponent, but in the end, it was Corbin who walked away victorious after catching Gargano with End of Days for the three-count.
Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley were looking to get back on track after suffering their first loss as a team at the hands of The Vaudevillains last week. The loss seemed to invigorate The Hype Bros, who came out of the gates afire. Corey Hollis & John Skyler briefly took control of the bout, but there was nothing they could do to slow down Rawley, who barreled over them before hitting the Hype Ryder on Hollis to earn the win.
With Carmella’s title match just minutes away, the rest of the NXT women’s division is jockeying to be next in line for a title opportunity. Cameron showed her mean streak early on, hammering Alexa Bliss with a set of vicious knees. Unfortunately, that only seemed to anger her fierce opponent. The confident Alexa overpowered her rival, slamming Cameron’s face into the canvas and standing on her back. With Blake & Murphy cheering her on from ringside, Alexa crushed Cameron with the Sparkle Splash to win the battle.
The Drifter has been in NXT for several months now, and still, little is known about the mysterious musician. Elias Samson prefers to let his actions in the ring speak for him. Samson was majorly aggressive from the bell, picking apart Jesse Sorenson before silencing his opponent with a devastating knee to the face, followed by a lightning-quick neckbreaker for the three-count.
Emotions were running high for Carmella as she received the biggest opportunity of her young career, challenging her best friend, Bayley, for the NXT Women’s Championship. The two besties shook hands at the outset of the match, before going hold-for-hold with each other, neither woman able to gain the upper hand.
Bayley quickly built up a head of steam and caught Carmella with a knee to the chest, gaining momentum by the second. The Princess of Staten Island nearly caught the champion with a rollup, but Bayley showed why she’s the NXT Women’s Champion, weathering her friend’s offense.
Carmella looked concerned for her best friend after Bayley took a nasty spill to the arena floor. Though she looked apprehensive at first, The Princess of Staten Island quickly realized the immensity of the opportunity in front of her. Carmella brought the NXT Universe to its feet with two consecutive dives to the arena floor! The challenger almost locked on her neck crank submission, but Bayley escaped, setting off a series of pin attempts by both women. Bayley came out on top of the scrum, successfully pinning Carmella to retain her title.
After the bell, there were no hard feelings between the best friends, as Bayley and Carmella embraced following their hard-fought battle. The celebration was brought to a screeching halt, as Eva Marie and Nia Jax attacked Carmella from behind. Bayley tried to save her best friend, but the 2-on-1 advantage was too much to overcome. The two brought Carmella back to the ring, where Jax crushed Carmella with several brutal leg drops. However, the carnage was cut short when Asuka made her way to the ring. Eva Marie quickly hid behind Nia, who never broke eye contact with The Empress of Tomorrow as they left the ring.
Bayley got back into the ring to check on her friend, but soon found herself face-to-face with Asuka. The Empress of Tomorrow looked at Bayley with a wide smile on her face. As the NXT Universe roared at the thought of Bayley and Asuka squaring off, Asuka gave the NXT Women’s Championship a couple pats, perhaps sending a warning to the reigning champion.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Manny Andrade defeated Rich Swann
- Baron Corbin defeated Johnny Gargano (5:56)
- The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder) defeated Corey Hollis & John Skyler (3:26)
- Alexa Bliss (w/ Blake & Murphy) defeated Cameron (4:16)
- Elias Samson defeated Jesse Sorenson (2:39)
- Bayley (c) defeated Carmella to retain the NXT Women's Championship (10:46)