A week removed from NXT Takeover: REvolution the stars of NXT took their never ending fight to the UADC Gymnasium in Tampa Fl. Fans anxiously piled into the building to personally witness the aftermath of last week and find out where exactly we go from here. The athletes of NXT looked to answer these questions and propose new ones the best way they know how, in the squared circle.
* The action kicks off with Wesley Blake taking on Kalisto in singles action. The match starts with a little showboating from Blake before the two get down to the business at hand. The action quickly swings in the favor of Blake who wisely looks to keep the high flying Kalisto grounded. It wouldn't be long though before the luchadore found the opening he needed to mount a flurry of innovative offense which led to a Salida Del Sol for the win. Wesley Blake is a versatile worker who proves he is just as good in singles action as he is in tag. Kalisto is much better as a singles wrestler, which I suppose is good seeing how his partner is never around.
* Next up was tag team action as Cal Bishop and Mike Rawlis took on Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins of Shoot Nation. Dawkins and the debuting Rawlis started things up, with Dawkins demonstrating some nice takedowns on the young rookie. After a little back and forth, Shoot Nation took definitive control keeping Rawlis cut off from his corner while making frequent tags. Eventually, Rawlis made the hot tag to Bishop who began to clean house until running into a spear from Dawkins, followed by a tag to Fulton and a double team fireman's carry slam for the win. Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton are sizable athletes who make an intimidating team. These are two talented guys who have struggled to find a gimmick that fit, Shoot Nation is a good fit and a concept I'm very keen on watching develop. It was a good debut for Mike Rawlis who seems to have the look and the skills to succeed, he spent much of the match selling his opponents so his offensive style is still unclear. Cal Bishop, the more explosive of the two, looked good in his return making sure that Shoot Nations task would not be an easy one.
* Next up, Kevin Owens makes his way to the ring with a huge pop from the crowd. He recounts his actions from NXT Takeover: REvolution, before deciding he doesn't owe us any explanation for his actions and leaves. Anyone familiar with the wrestler formerly known as Kevin Steen knows he's comfortable with a microphone, and they also know the feud that is coming our way will be some of the best stuff that we have ever seen in NXT.
* Solomon Crowe is out next to take on Hideo Itami in a match that was short but stiff and very good. Although we saw a little back and forth it was largely one-sided match accentuated by Itamis world famous kicks. It would be one of those stiff kicks to the head that would give him the win over his opponent. Hideo seems to be more comfortable with every match, not just with his offense, but also with playing off the crowd. Crowe is explosive when he needs to be and punishing when he wants to be, hopefully that starts translating to some wins. I still believe Crowe can be a top player in NXT.
* Next, Ty Dillinger is out minus his scarf and burlesque, and back to his old music. Unfortunately for him his opponent is Baron Corbin. Determined to not be another casualty (again) Dillinger managed to take the advantage early on focusing on working Corbins arm. He would find out though that getting the upper hand on Corbin is possible, but keeping the upper hand is the hard part. Corbin came back with a flurry of brutal offense culminating in The End Of Days for the win. After, Bull Dempsey looks on from down the ramp staring down Corbin who welcomed the challenge before Dempsey retreated. Dillinger is a criminally underrated wrestler who has struggled to find the right gimmick, and he may not need one if he keeps delivering performances like these. Baron Corbin is proving that he is just as capable at selling offense in longer matches as he is in squash matches. It seems the alpha of NXT is moving up the food chain rather quickly.
* The action continues with a womens triple threat match of Dana Brooke vs Carmella vs Alexa Bliss in a match that was a highlight of the evening. Early on Dana and Carmella joined forces in attacking Bliss, but as it often goes in triple threat matches that union was short lived. After that it was every women for themselves in a match that could have went several different ways but eventually the advantage went to Alexa. In the final moments Bliss ejected Carmella out of the ring and laid out Brooke, finishing her off with her Sparkle Splash. I can never say enough nice things about the NXT womens division. It is noteworthy to mention that with the more seasoned women away, these three athletes more than represented NXT the way the fans expect and put on a great match. All three of these ladies have come so far this year.
* We follow that with another high energy match as The Mechanics face Chad Gable and Jason Jordan of Shoot Nation. Gable and Jordan start off strong and in control till the resident roughnecks take over via a little distraction. With Gable cut off from his stable mate the Mechanics take turns punishing him. For all of their fists and fighting bravado, Dawson and Wilder are excellent wrestlers and show it off with tag team precision. Even when Gable made the hot tag to Jordan and began to mount offense, Dawson hit him with a clothesline that turned him inside out. He follows with a tag, flapjacking Jordan onto Wilders knees, giving Dash the pin. I'm a big fan of both teams and no doubt Gable is a star in the making, but here The Mechanics prove why they are one of the most solidified tag teams in NXT.
* Heat magnet CJ Parker is out next with a live mic to berate the audience like no one else can. He begins his tirade against Christmas and tells all the little children that there is no Santa. Luckily he is cut short by the music of Bull Dempsey, and like usual the big man is not in a big mood. Parker would not be the victim of a squash match though and managed to present a challenge. In fact, like Corbin before him, this resident monster proved he could sell as well. Eventually though, much to the delight of the crowd the hippy would be run over by Dempsey and finished off with a flying headbutt. This time it is Corbin staring him down from the ramp, however he storms the ring and Bull makes a hasty retreat.
* Next, the uber-charismatic Big Cass and Enzo Amore make their way to the ring to the delight of the rowdy crowd. After Enzo finished his spiel, Cass lets everyone know that CJ Parker is a liar, that Santa is not only real, but he is also a certified "G" and a bonafide stud. Their very unamused opponents The Vaudevillians make their way to the ring and the fight is on. It is a heated back and forth contest until Gotch and English isolate Amore and take control. Amore is at his best when playing the role of underdog, which he does absorbing much punishment before making the hot tag to Cass who clears the ring and lays out English with a swinging side slam for the win. The two celebrated in the ring and the boisterous packed house went home happy.