Following in the footsteps of The Man Beast, Rhyno, former WWE Tag Team Champion The Brian Kendrick made his way to NXT this week, looking to kick-start his career by taking on the No. 1 contender to the NXT Championship, Finn Bálor. And while Kevin Owens kept a close eye on his top challenger, the NXT Champion shocked the WWE Universe when he chose his next target.
Fresh off his victory over Tyler Breeze at TakeOver: Rival, Hideo Itami was looking to continue his good fortunes against Bull Dempsey, who was hoping to get back on track after falling to Baron Corbin. Despite giving up a good deal of size to the 300-pound Wrecking Ball, Itami did not back down, fighting out of Dempsey’s clutches and chopping the big man down to size with his trademark kicks.
Itami picked up the victory with a flying dropkick, but the Japanese sensation’s night was not over, as Breeze ambushed him with a Supermodel Kick. However, that wasn’t enough to keep Itami down. Itami got up and cut Breeze’s selfie session short with a series of lightning-quick kicks.
Sin Cara & Kalisto were out to solidify themselves as contenders in NXT’s tag team division, taking on Jason Jordan & Tye Dillinger, a duo still looking to establish themselves. The Lucha Dragons took control and isolated Dillinger, while Jordan grew frustrated as his partner refused to tag him into the bout. When Dillinger finally offered to tag his partner in, Jordan jumped off the apron and walked away. That left Dillinger alone with the former champions, who pounced on the opportunity and won the bout.
A furious Dillinger refused to leave the ring, demanding an explanation from Jordan before saying he’d take on whoever was scheduled to compete next. Dillinger may have been regretting those words when Baron Corbin entered the arena. Like many of The Lone Wolf’s opponents, Dillinger fell victim to End of Days within seconds.
Later, cameras caught up with Jason Jordan, who said he’d give an explanation for his actions, but on his own terms.
With NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and Charlotte focusing on their title showdown next week, Bayley and Becky Lynch clashed this week to perhaps be next in line to challenge The Boss. Becky gained the early advantage, stunning Bayley with a series of leg drops. Bayley continued to show off her newfound killer instinct, but injured her shoulder along the way. Becky targeted the injury, locking on an armbar and bending Bayley’s injured limb to a dangerous degree, leaving the happy-go-lucky Diva with no choice but to submit.
Though NXT Champion Kevin Owens was watching from the announcers’ table, No. 1 Contender Finn Bálor was completely focused on his bout against The Brian Kendrick, one-half of the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions in history. The experienced Kendrick took advantage of the WWE rookie’s sportsmanship, feigning an ankle injury to sucker Bálor in and take control.
Though the wily veteran used every trick up his sleeve to try to defeat the enigmatic Bálor, there was no stopping the world-travelled Superstar. Bálor answered everything Kendrick threw his way, including a tornado DDT, top-rope dropkick and Tiger Suplex before flipping out of The Kendrick. Bálor followed up with the Sling Blade, a huge dropkick of his own and the Coup de Grace to pick up a huge victory!
While Bálor and Kendrick battled, Owens was watching and providing his insight alongside Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Alex Riley. However, the NXT Champion did not take kindly to Riley’s line of questioning about his title victory over Sami Zayn at TakeOver: Rival, insulting Riley before storming away from the booth.
After Bálor’s win, Owens returned to the arena and stared down his No. 1 Contender before stalking over to Riley and recklessly hurling him over the announcers’ table. NXT went off the air with a remorseless Owens walking away as A-Ry’s fellow announcers tended to him.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.