Renee Young opens the show backstage with the NXT Champion, Bo Dallas. She asks him about his first title defense and Leo Kruger. Dallas says it doesn’t matter who he defends against, because his Bo-Lievers know he’ll defend the title anytime, anywhere. Like his mentor Bret Hart, he strives to be the Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be. He mentions he saw Bret Hart at WrestleMania, and brags about having a match, until Young corrects him that he had a match at WrestleMania Axxess. Leo Kruger will get a shot, but not until he gives a rematch to Big E. Langston. I can’t decide if Dallas is really good at being bad, or if he’s just really bad on the mic. It doesn’t matter, because Antonio Cesaro pops in to save the day! Cesaro talks about how things have just been handed to “young punks” while real Americans like him have had to earn everything. Cesaro challenges him for the title tonight. Because there’s no handouts, no mediocrity, and No Mo’ Bo in his America. Dallas calls him an insignificant US Champion and says he’ll never forget the name Bo Dallas. This honestly ran more than a little long… and it wasn’t really that long.
ALICIA FOX vs. PAIGE
Paige shows early aggression, going for a quick rollup but it only gets a one. She takes Fox down, but Fox is able to reverse her headlock into a headscissors, but Paige kips up. Fox plays some mind games, stalling on the outside before coming in and trading some chain wrestling with Paige, until Paige uses her elbows to work her way out of it. Paige charges Fox, but she’s able to use the top rope to support her in a sunset flip for a two. Fox hits a Northern Lights Suplex, but can only get a two. Paige fights her way back, and then throws Fox by her hair across the ring. The Anti-Diva pulls her head out through the ropes and hits repeated knee strikes, but takes too much time getting into the ring and is caught with a dropkick. Paige hits her Paige Turner, and gets the win! There wasn’t anything in the match you’d need to seek out, but it was better than most of the divas stuff you’d see on an episode of the big shows.
TONIGHT – BO DALLAS vs. ANTONIO CESARO FOR THE NXT TITLE.
ANDY BAKER vs. CONNOR O’BRIAN
This is Baker’s debut. O’Brian is accompanied to the ring by his new partner, Rick Victor. Kind of an odd way to take the next step to this story, as Victor’s been making appearances at the end of O’Brian’s matches, but now it’s just like he’s always been there. O’Brian starts off by running Baker over several times, and then locks on a headlock and rolls him over a few times. Baker fights back, but he’s caught with a flapjack by O’Brian, followed by a legdrop to the back of the head for the pin. After the match, the blue lights fill the ring again, and Victor comes in to stand over O’Brian, who pins Baker for an extra few seconds.
Renee Young is backstage with Corey Graves and Adrian Neville, who mentions that Kassius Ohno was knocked out of action by the attack by the Wyatt Family last week. I’m not sure if he’s actually injured or if it’s a storyline. Graves says the injury is unfortunate, but he’s got a good partner to fight with. Neville encourages Regal to fight with them to stop the Wyatt Family, while Graves flashes his Stay Down knuckle tattoos.
SCOTT DAWSON vs. XAVIER WOODS
Sylvester Lefort is out, speaking a mixture of English and French, but the “What?” chants are overbearing and he got a little lost. He brings out Scott Dawson. Oh boy. I like Woods but I’m not super hopeful for this. Tony Dawson, a much better Dawson than Scott Dawson and Regal put over Woods’s intellect and taste in music. Dawson tries to use his strength to force Woods into the corner, but Woods gets out of the way and rolls him up for a one. Woods hits a big atomic drop. He goes for another, but Dawson counters it, sends him into the ropes, misses a pair of clotheslines, and then Woods hits a headscissors takeover! Dawson throws Woods over the top rope, but he lands on the apron, and when Woods tries to springboard into the ring, Dawson clips his legs and Woods falls to the mat. The crowd chants “Dawson sucks”. They are right. Woods makes his way back to the apron, but Dawson pulls him over the top rope by his afro. Dawson with a chilock, but Woods is able to counter with a jawbreaker. Woods hits a big front drop kick, and then hits the Honor Roll, follow by Lost in the Woods for the win! Dawson is not ready for this much TV time, but this could have been worse. Woods dances after the match. Woods is pretty great, even if his character’s not as fleshed out as it could be… but Lost in The Woods isn’t a great finisher, and in fact, his rolling lariat, the Honor Roll, looks a whole lot better and is a better finisher.
Ooh, Bray Wyatt promo! He says that people stopped being human the day they turned into the Beast. They judge people like him for the way they look, act, or feel, but they don’t understand that he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you aren’t able to see the evil in his eyes, you would not understand why the beasts around him are walking upright. He told you the end was coming, but all that will be left of them are chunks of meat. This was set in the jungle setting the last Bray promo was, and the sound wasn’t great, so I missed chunks, but c’mon, it’s Bray Goddamn Wyatt. It was still pretty awesome.
Dawson and Regal are at the announce position, where Regal announces that he will join Neville and Graves next week against the Wyatt Family. Awesome.
MASON RYAN vs. ENZO AMORE
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady are now aligned, and apparently Cassady is now “Big Cass”. Amore’s character is kind of cliche, but he’s invested in the role and has good charisma. He tells Mason Ryan he’s “sawft”. Ryan waits for Amore as he pumps himself up with Big Cass in the corner, but as Enzo turns around, he’s met with a big punch by Ryan, and the giant Welshman pins him! With a Mason Ryan match, I wasn’t expecting much, but at least it was really, really, really short. Amore gets back on the mic and says he wasn’t even ready, and sends Cass into the ring. I knew I wasn’t getting off this easy.
MASON RYAN vs. COLIN CASSADY
Ryan with a big kick, and a clothesline into the corner. Ryan sends him back into the opposite side, then meets him with a clothesline off the ropes. Ryan then hits a Cobra Clutch Slam for the second win. It’s like they’ve realized that Mason Ryan will get more exposed with more time in the ring.
ANTONIO CESARO vs. BO DALLAS – NXT TITLE MATCH
Zeb’s not with Cesaro, but Cesaro has the Gadsden Flag out and is waving it proudly. The crowd chants “No Mo’ Bo” and “We The People”. They trade some mat wrestling while the crowd alternates “No Mo’ Bo” with “Let’s Go Bo”. The Crowd is super, super loud for this, even as the match still hasn’t gotten into gear. Dallas hits a dropkick for two, then Cesaro hits a European uppercut, knocking Dallas into the corner. As Dallas comes out, Cesaro is able to dump him to the outside as we go to a commercial break.
As we come back, Leo Kruger is watching the match from the ramp, as Cesaro is controlling things in the ring. Dallas with the offense, hitting some forearms, and hitting a clothesline in the corner, followed by a bulldog coming out of that corner. Dallas is able to counter a bodyslam with a reverse DDT for a two count. Dallas goes for a springboard bulldog, but Cesaro counters by nutting him on the top rope. Cesaro climbs to the top and hits a gutwrench superplex for two! Cesaro, off the second rope, hits a big kneedrop, but can only get two. Cesaro goes back to a chinlock, that he’s worked back in most of the match, and then picks up Dallas and spins him around while in the chinlock. Dallas is able to roll up Cesaro but only gets a two. Cesaro hits a bridging fallaway slam but can’t get the pin. Cesaro hits some vicious looking elbow strikes to the head, and then climbs to the top. Dallas is able to meet him at the top, hitting his armdrag slam finisher off the top! Dallas is too far away and too out of it to take advantage of it. Leo Kruger climbs to the apron, but as Cesaro charges Dallas, Dallas ducks, Cesaro hits Kruger, and Dallas hits his finisher again, this time for the win! As Dallas celebrates his win, Kruger jumps him from behind! Cesaro comes to Dallas’s aid after the match… but then jumps the champion himself! Dallas is able to fight back, and they’re trading shot for shot until Kruger rejoins the fray! Cesaro and Kruger stare at each other, until they agree to double team Bo… but Sami Zayn rushes down to make the save! “Ole” chants FILL the arena as Zayn and Dallas stare off Kruger and Cesaro.
Overall, it wasn’t a terrible show, as the solid second half of the main event saved it. It is kind of troubling that even the NXT writing team isn’t sure how to pull the trigger on Dallas’s inevitable heel turn.