The show begins with a new video package that shows Bayley’s title win, along with historic title wins from Daniel Bryan, Mick Foley, Eddie Guerrero and others. It then shows feuds where respect was earned.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semi-FInals: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe vs. Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson
No demon paint for Finn Balor tonight. Dash kicks Finn off the apron right at the bell. Joe fires up on him with right hands in the opposite corner. Joe charges in to hit him, but Dawson moves Dash out of the way and Joe hits the corner. Dash and Dawson now double team Joe with some shots. Dawson goes old school heel by raking Joe’s eyes across the top rope. Dash gets tagged and delivers some uppercuts. He misses a charge in the corner and Joe answers with an enziguri. Dawson is tagged and goes after Finn, but Finn still gets tagged. He clotheslines Dawson and knocks Dash off the apron. Chops to Dawson and a dropkick for both men. Finn follows with his front flip dive to the outside, taking them both out. He scores with a dropkick to the corner and goes up for the Coup de Grace. Wilder interrupts, allowing Dawson to chop block Balor. The Mechanics now target the knee. They use frequent tags and continue to have that very old school feel. Dawson works a half crab but Balor reaches the ropes. Balor finally gets a moment to make the tag, but Dash goes around and pulls Joe off the apron. They then hit an assisted elbow drop/backbreaker combo for a very close near fall. Finn is able to avoid a charge in the corner and go for the hot tag. Wilder stops him but Balor is able to slip free and tag Joe. Joe comes in hot, hitting a running kick and senton before powerslamming Dash for two. Joe misses in the corner, but Dash runs right into the STJoe. He sets him up for the Muscle Buster and Finn wants the tag. Joe doesn’t want to tag but he does and hits the Buster. Finn nails the Coup de Grace, but his knee is still busted up. Joe seems unhappy but Finn gets the 1-2-3.
Winners: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe in 9:03
Solid opening tag match here. They worked tag formula, the leg work came off well and the tension between the winners was a well told story. ***
Sasha Banks is shown preparing for tonight.
Highlights are now shown of NXT’s recent shows in Nashville and Louisville, set to “Throne” by Bring Me The Horizon.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semi-Finals: Baron Corbin and Rhyno vs. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan
Jason Jordan starts with Baron Corbin. The crowd is pretty behind Jordan as Graves mentions that Jordan has the strength to match him. Jordan slams Corbin and tries to get him on the mat but Corbin won’t stay. Jordan lands on his feet on a hip toss attempt and tries to shoulder block him. Corbin barely moves and lays him out with one of his own. Rhyno gets tagged and Jordan ducks a punch, before slamming him to the mat and getting two on an interesting pin. Gable gets tagged and the fans pop as he gets two on a sunset flip. “Gable” chants. Gable leaps over Rhyno and moves to a hammerlock, then to a headlock, then to a wristlock and back to a headlock. Rhyno gets tire of that and just runs him over for two. The fans chant “Gable” to the tune of Kurt Angle’s theme. Tag to Jordan, who drops a forearm on Rhyno’s arm while Gable holds it. They tag back out and focus on Rhyno’s left arm. Rhyno places Gable on the second rope, but he just holds the left arm, leans back and applies an armbar while hanging upside down. Rhyno then knocks him off the apron and tags Corbin, who pounds away on Gable. Rhyno comes in and also works over Gable. Tag back to Corbin, who delivers a right hand to Gable’s ribs. Baron works a modified chinlock of sorts. A “Save the Gable” chant breaks out. He gets close to a tag but Corbin knocks Jordan off the apron and nails a big boot on Gable for two. Rhyno enters and slams Gable. He goes up top and the high risk doesn’t pay off as he misses the splash. Both guys tag out and Jordan comes in hot. Dropkicks for both and Jordan is manhandling two buy guys. He suplexes Corbin and the STRAPS ARE DOWN. He drives his shoulder into Corbin and they go for the finisher but Corbin clotheslines Jordan and hits a massive Bossman slam on Gable. Jordan breaks up the pin but Rhyno then belly to belly suplexes him. Gable is left alone with Corbin and is hurt in the corner. He charges and Corbin looks for a slam, but Gable slips free and gets behind Corbin. He rolls through into a bridging German on Corbin, but Rhyno breaks the pin. Rhyno Gores Jordan. Gable charges at Baron and gets caught in a massive End of Days.
Winners: Baron Corbin and Rhyno in 10:24
Personally, I think the wrong team won. The match itself was a blast though as Corbin and Rhyno were great monsters and Gable and Jordan are just absolutely fun in the ring. ***1/2
Kevin Nash is in the crowd.
An Asuka video package airs.
Asuka vs. Dana Brooke w/ Emma
Instant “Asuka’s gonna kill you” chants. Asuka wants a handshake but Emma slaps it away. They lock up and trade wristlocks. Asuka rolls out and applies a hammerlock. Dana tries to roll out, but Asuka rolls with her twice. Dana elbows out and pats her head like she’s Devin Taylor before slapping her. Asuka laughs at this and then lights into her with strikes and kicks. She even lays Dana out with her rear end before mocking Dana’s weird hand motions. They trade blows before Asuka catches her off the ropes into an armbar like move but Dana scoots to the ropes. Asuka kicks her until she’s outside, continuing while there. Asuka gets on the apron, allowing Emma to get her foot stuck in the apron. It was really telegraphed. Dana gets two after a jawbreaker. Dana hits her handstand kick in the corner, before moving to a body scissors. Asuka slips free and gets an ankle lock in. Dana gets to her feet, so Asuka lets go into a German. She charges in but eats an eblow. Dana charges and Asuka catches her in a badass armbar. Dana gets close to the ropes, so Asuka rolls into a different variation of an armbar and then into a crossface type move. Asuka forgoes that and kicks Dana before laying out Emma with a backfist. She hits a running kick to a seated Dana. Asuka picks her up and locks in the Asuka Lock (cross face chicken wing/body scissors combo). Dana taps.
Winner: Asuka in 5:31
The debut showcase that Asuka needed. Dana played the bitch role so well and Asuka gave her the comeuppance she deserved. Well done. **
Dana didn’t learn and gets in Asuka’s face after the match, only to eat another roundhouse. Emma gets up but turns away from a confrontation with Asuka.
Finn Balor’s leg injury is recapped and we see him getting worked on backstage, while a concerned Samoa Joe looks on.
The Nia Jax vignette is shown. She debuts next week.
Apollo Crews vs. Tyler Breeze
Breeze goes for a quick headlock and they do the standard leap frog spot until Crews dropkicks Breeze out of the ring. Crews runs outside and shoulder blocks Breeze. Inside, Breeze levels him and tries a suplex but Crews reverses into a long stalling suplex. Crews tries a leap frog in the corner but Breeze is ready and goes for a school boy. Crews blocks but Breeze does one that sends Crews outside. They fight out there and Breeze shoves Crews into the LE apron screen very hard. Tyler works him over inside and hits a modified backstabber for a near fall. Apollo goes for the gorilla press but Tyler gets free and applies a Sharpshooter. Apollo fights out and nails a big clothesline but Breeze stays aggressive with kidney shots. He goes for ten punches in the corner, but he’s a heel so it fails and Crews goes for a powerbomb counter. Breeze counters that into a hurricanrana, followed by right hands. He charges but Crews delivers a LOUD kick to the back of Tyler’s head. Crews flips over Breeze into the ring but eats a supermodel kick for a near fall. Breeze uses a springboard dropkick and goes to the top. He leaps but is caught in a powerslam for two. Crews then nails the gorilla press and goes for the moonsault, but Breeze holds his foot. Crews fights off and does the moonsault but Breeze gets his knees up and pulls him into a small package for two. He hits some forearms in the corner, but Crews avoids the third with a massive kick. He hoists Tyler up for an atomic drop but turns it into a powerbomb for three.
Winner: Apollo Crews in 9:45
Really solid match here. A lot of people expected something closer to a squash but Tyler looked great. The man can have a good match with just about anyone. I like that Tyler scouted the finisher and Crews had to use something new. ***1/4
Hideo Itami and Funaki are in the crowd.
More recaps of Finn Balor and his bad leg.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Baron Corbin and Rhyno vs. Finn Balor and Samoa Joe
Eden was brought in to be the ring announcer for the final. Finn Balor is selling the leg, but chooses to start the match. Rhyno starts with him and they get into a shoving match. Corbin gets the tag and goes for a test of strength but Corbin kicks the leg. Finn then hits a dropkick and in comes Joe, who just lights up Corbin. Snapmare, chop, kick and knee drop from Joe. Joe bounces off the ropes and is caught with a slam for two. Corbin now lights him up with right hands. Rhyno gets tagged, sends Joe into the corner and hits a shoulder thrust. Joe fights out of a chinlock but Rhyno is ready with a right hand. Corbin gets tagged and gets some shots in on Joe. Corbin pounds away in the corner adn kicks Joe for two. Joe finally gets something with a corner enziguri. Balor gets the hot tag and leaps off Corbin to dropkick Rhyno. He then goes in with chops on Corbin but a leap frog causes him to have leg issues again. He then still kicks Baron, who was on the top rope. He goes to the apron and Rhyno chop blocks the bad knee. Corbin goes after the leg, pummeling it. Finn tries to fight out but runs into a Bossman slam for two. Finn busts out the slingblade and has a shot at the tag. He makes it and Joe comes in hot against Rhyno, hitting an inverted atomic drop, kick and senton. Both guys get hit with STJoes, but Rhyno nails the Gore. He covers Joe but Finn makes the save. Finn then hits Corbin with a float over DDT and then kicks him from the apron. Rhyno levels him to knock him down and calls for the Gore. Joe kicks him to block it ad hits the Muscle Buster. Finn tags and hits the Coup de Grace to win.
Winners: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe in 11:08
Not as good as the earlier tags. Finn Balor didn’t sell the leg enough. I appreciated him holding it throughout, but still hitting most of his leg based offense wasn’t good. It felt like it was missing something that the earlier matches had. **3/4
The Rhodes Family enters the ring to present Finn Balor and Samoa Joe with the trophy. Cody Rhodes cuts a promo about respecting and remembering Dusty. He says that tonight, we are all Rhodes.
Stephanie McMahon, Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Lita are all in the front row.
NXT Women’s Championship Iron Man Match: Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks
Sasha Bank’s attire tonight is inspired by her days as Mercedes KV. Bayley’s is inspired by Iron Man. “Main event”, “you deserve it”, “this is awesome” and “women’s wrestling” chants. They stare each other down for about a minute and you can see them smiling. When they finally lock up, Sasha works a headlock and shoulder blocks Bayley down. She then goes for multiple quick pins, trying to get an early decision. Bayley comes back with the same thing, shoulder block and multiple pin attempts. They both go into more pin attempts. It would be cool if one of those actually worked. Sasha uses a dropkick to send Bayley into the corner. Bayley comes back with some Japanese arm drags. Sasha lands on her head on the second one, but Bayley gets two. Sasha comes back with a headscissors but ends up on the apron. She grabs Bayley, climbs to the top and comes off with an arm drag. She pulls Bayley into the second buckle but Bayley blocks the Bank Statement. Bayley goes for the Bayley to Belly but that is blocked as well. They shake hands, but Sasha, ever the heel, slams Bayley by her hair. Bayley sprinboards off the second rope with an arm drag and then hits two back elbows and a dropkick that sends Sasha reeling. Bayley follows with her corner baseball slide, twice in different corners. Bayley trips up Sasha and hits a bulldog for two. Sasha rolls her up with her feet on the ropes but the referee catches her. Both girls nearly run into the referee. Sasha blocks his view, pokes Bayley in the eye and rolls her up to take a 1-0 lead with 21:28 left. Corey Graves does a goo job in selling how tough it is to now beat Sasha twice. Bayley rams Sasha’s head into the corner multiple times, but she then crashes into the bottom buckle. Sasha goes for her double knees in the corner, but Bayley knew it was coming and blocked it, slamming Sasha into the buckle. She goes to pick Sasha up, but Sasha delivers a big forearm. Bayley pulls her down from the top and into the Bayley to Belly to tie the score with about 19 minutes left. Bayley goes for the corner baseball slide again, but Sasha is ready and catches her feet. She then swings Bayley into the steel steps. Sasha covers for two. Sasha sends Bayley outside and sends her into the steps again, multiple times right in front of her family and Izzy. Sasha even talks smack to them at ringside. Bayley still kicks out. Sasha dumps Bayley outside again and Bayley seemed to tweak her knee. Sasha takes her up the stage and throws her into the LE board, causing it to mess up. She then takes Izzy’s headband and wears it around the ring. Sasha goes up 2-1 with a countout at 15:48. Bayley beats a second countout and kicks out of a pin attempt. Sasha pulls Bayley into a backbreaker but Bayley again kicks out. Bayley locks in a Lion Tamer, stomping on Bayley’s hand with it. Bayley gets the ropes, but Sasha stomps on her head. Sasha goes for the submission again but Bayley counters into a rollup to tie it up with 12:33 left. Bayley is still out of it, but avoids Sasha’s double knees. Bayley goes into her comeback, hitting some axe handles. She then seems to botch a slingblade like move for two. Bayley hits the back elbows in the corner and hits the one off of the second rope for two. Bayley suplexes Sasha into the corner to set her up in the tree of woe. She does a springboard elbow but seems to land on Sasha with her ass more than her elbow. They fight up top. Sasha slips out and gets Bayley in the tree of woe, where she hits the double knees. She covers but only gets two. She sets Bayley up in the tree of woe again but Bayley sits up and Sasha runs into the ring post. Sasha falls outside and Bayley dropkicks her. She now slams Sasha’s hand into the steps, calling back to Brooklyn. She continues to go after the arm as we reach seven minutes remaining, she slams Sasha’s arm into the second rope. Bayley now moves the steel steps and the girls exchange shots until Bayley slams her hand onto it. Bayley runs up the steps and launches herself off with a clothesline. She goes to pick Sasha up, but is kicked off into the steps. Sasha tries to get another countout win but as Bayley gets up, Sasha goes for a suicide dive. Bayley catches her and nails the Bayley to Belly on the floor. She rolls Sasha in and covers but only gets two somehow. Bayley goes to pick Sasha up, but Sasha is limp. Bayley sits her on the top but Sasha kicks her away. Bayley comes back but gets shoved off. Bayley leaps up and hits the secon rope Bayley to Belly but Sasha’s foot gets on the bottom rope! Less than three minutes left. Bayley puts Sasha on the second rope, looking for the reverse rana from Brooklyn. Sasha lans on her feet and catches Bayley with a Bayley to Belly for a very close near fall. Bayley’s kick out is pulled right into a Bank Statement! Sasha applied it with about two minutes left and at 1:14, Bayley gets close to the ropes. Bayley nearly rolls out, but Sasha puts it back on, though she doesn’t have the best grip. Bayley goes after Sasha’s hand, spiking her fingers into the mat, to break it. Sasha picks her up and goes for the Bank Statement again but Bayley counters into her own submission move with 15 seconds left! She pulls back on Sasha’s already injured fingers and stomps on Sasha’s hand. Sasha gives up with about 2 seconds remaining.
Winner: Bayley 3-2 in 30:00
It didn’t quite top Brooklyn, but this was awesome. The early pin attempts were wise, Sasha heeling it up with Izzy was splendid, Bayley’ desperation was expertly played, the huge spots were well done and it was probably the most brutal women’s match in WWE history. The finishing sequence was spectacular. ****1/2
The NXT roster, including William Regal, Triple H, Sara Amato and Stephanie crowd the entrance to congratulate the girls. Sasha is handed flowers from Regal and breaks down completely. Triple H brings flowers in and hugs Bayley in the ring.