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It was the dawn of a new era in NXT, as newly crowned NXT Champion Finn Bálor came to Full Sail University for the first time since his victory in Tokyo. The NXT Universe welcomed the new champion with open arms. Bálor reflected on his career, saying that all the sacrifices were worth it for the honor of being NXT Champion, before turning his attention to TakeOver: Brooklyn and his rematch with Kevin Owens. Though he would come face-to-face with his challenger later in the night during a contract signing, the demonic Superstar guaranteed he would remain champion at the Barclays Center.
The “Total Divas” star made her highly anticipated return to the ring this week on NXT. Eva Marie looked impressive, showing off agility, staggering strikes and mat prowess. Though Cassie stunned the reality TV star with a series of well-placed kicks, Eva Marie emerged victorious in the end, picking up the win with a move made famous by her trainer, Brian Kendrick: Sliced Bread. No. 2.
Baron Corbin brashly stated last week that he doesn’t respect competitors who came up through the independent scene and that he’s the real deal. The Lone Wolf certainly backed that up this week, connecting with End of Days in mere seconds to rack up another win.
NXT newcomer Mike Rallis tried to stand toe-to-toe with Samoa Joe, but only drew the fury of the submission specialist. Joe pummeled Rallis before getting the three-count with a thunderous Muscle Buster.
At the start of the bout, Emma drew the ire of Bayley, luring the cheery Diva into a trap that led to her taking control. When it looked as if Bayley was bouncing back, Emma targeted her injured hand, ramming it into the ring post and turnbuckles before wrenching away at her fingers.
Despite the damage done to her hand, Bayley showed tremendous heart in fighting through the pain. Dana Brooke tried to swing the match back in Emma’s favor, but was thrown out by the official. With the odds evened, Bayley earned a hard-fought victory with a Bayley-to-Belly Suplex.
After the bell, the excited Diva declared that she wants to be the NXT Women’s Champion. She said that before she can do that, she needs to beat the best, issuing a challenge to Charlotte!
Fresh off earning the No. 1 Contendership to the NXT Tag Team Championship, Aiden English & Simon Gotch set out to prove why they’re worthy of challenging Blake & Murphy. They faced much larger opposition in the duo of Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton.
The Vaudevillains showed off an aggressive new attitude in the ring, not backing down despite the size disadvantage they faced. The manly duo picked up the win after clocking Dawkins with the Whirling Dervish. Could the same fate await Blake & Murphy?
The tension in arena was palpable as Bálor and Owens arrived to put pen to paper on the contract for their championship rematch on Aug. 22. Coming face-to-face for the first time since their battle in Tokyo, Owens said he was going to prove that their first encounter was a fluke, while the NXT Champion seemed unfazed by his challenger’s boasts.
But once the names were on the contract, things turned sour, as Owens tossed the table at Bálor and slammed his face into it. When William Regal tried to control Owens, the bruiser struck the NXT General Manager with a big right hand! Owens tried to hit the NXT Champion with the Pop-up Powerbomb, but Bálor sent him retreating with a flying forearm and dropkick. Though he was able to escape this time, Bálor won’t let Owens get away that easily in Brooklyn.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Lina defeated Jasmin
- Eva Marie defeated Cassidy (3:55)
- Baron Corbin defeated Jesus De Leon (0:10)
- Samoa Joe defeated Mike Rallis (2:05)
- Bayley defeated Emma (w/ Dana Brooke) (5:30)
- The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) defeated Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton (2:50)