So the best WWE shows of the year have been WrestleMania and Payback. Those are the only shows that be considered on the level of the NXT Live Specials. NXT has gone two for two so far in Live Specials so let's see how the third can do. We open with the NXT Tag Team Championship as the Ascension put their 344 day reign on the line against Sin Cara and Kalisto. They've now been dubbed the Lucha Dragons which instantly make them cooler. We got a good opener, better than any other Ascension match I can remember. Kalisto works at such a fast pace that it led to some botches but this was still fun and he pinned Viktor with his finisher. A lot of fun and the win was a big deal. ***
Next, out came the "Moon Child" CJ Parker. On the Pre-Show, he interrupted the talk of KENTA's debut so a lot of people expected him to be involved with KENTA on the main show. Instead, he would face Baron Corbin, making his debut. This lasted about a minute and Baron Corbin won this easy squash with a tremendously impressive finisher. I feel like this guy may be one to watch down the road. No Rating
It's time for Hair vs. Hair! Sylvestor Lefort or Lefart as Enzo Amroe calls him, comes out first with Marcus Louis to some strange music. Enzo and Big Cass follow and are entertaining as always. The match itself wasn't anything special as Enzo still needs work in the ring. He is always entertaining though but still doesn't have a finisher. He won following a rollup and they chased down Lefort. He ran scared so they ended up using the hair removal cream on Louis. As a whole, the segment was fun. **1/2
It was now time to introduce Japanese sensation KENTA! William Regal welcomes him and he's shown as being a big deal. He gets on the microphone and struggles with English so that was rather awkward. He announces that he's changing his name in honor or an idol of his and will be known as Hideo Itami. I prefer KENTA, but this is fine. Some people online were upset about it but they need to get over it. He was interrupted by the Ascension which surprised the hell out of me. They were pissed about dropping the belts and threw Hideo out of the ring. THEY DUN MESSED UP! Hideo gets in the ring and takes them out while in casual attire. Hideo is going to be a badass. Enjoy this picture from Triple H's Twitter. The future is bright.
To calm the crowd down, as they were loud for Hideo's debut, we get Bull Dempsey vs. Mojo Rawley. I had no expectations heading into this match and I was right to feel that way. This didn't exceed or disappoint. It was a short match that Bull Dempsey won. He won with a headbutt and I would prefer he did an actual splash since he's a pretty big dude. These are probably my two least favorite NXT performers. It gets an extra half star because I hate Mojo more. **
At ArRival, Emma and Paige had one of the best women's matches I can remember. At TakeOver, Charlotte and Natalya bested that. Tonight, Bayley and Charlotte did just as good. Charlotte has only impressed me against Natalya but she did well here too. Bayley is too adorable for words, so I was hurt that she lost. She did bust out a top rope hurricanrana, causing Byron Saxton to shout "WHAT THE WHAT?" Charlotte hit a moonsault that looked poor and won with her finisher. A really good women's match. Sasha Banks came out to attack Bayley after the match and Charlotte saved her out of respect. I sense a Triple Threat match. The three best women's matches of the year have all been on NXT. ***1/4
It was about 9:23 and the entrances for the main event started. THEY WERE GETTING 30 MINUTES! My goodness did they use it well. Things started out with a brawl outside and even featured a double suplex at the top of the ramp. I'm not even going to try and break down play by play of any sorts here. Tyson Kidd impressed me more than I expected. He nearly won with a Sharpshooter but Adrian Neville jumped in and caught Tyler Breeze's arm mid tap out. Breeze hit his beautiful Supermodel kick and came close on two occasions. Sami Zayn was easily the crowd favorite and came close on a few tries too, none bigger than after kicking Kidd in the face. He had the three but Neville pulled the referee out of the ring. He then kicked Zayn in the face and hit the Red Arrow on Kidd to win as Zayn was inches away from making the save. Outstanding match that had me on the edge of my seat. That's how you close a show. ****1/2
Seriously if you don't watch NXT then you are missing out on the very best part of the WWE. This was yet another standout show from them. Not everything was great as Bull/Mojo was crap the lack of actual payoff for Enzo/LeFort was disappointing. Everything else delivered though. Solid tag team match, really good women's match, KENTA was fun and the main event was one of the best matches of the year. Overall: 8/10.