Submitted by Ryan Dunch w/additional notes from Joe Kazmer
Stage AE was sompletely sold out, with a substantial amount of a standing room tickets sold.
- The night started with a pre-taped intro from Triple H thanking the fans for making NXT.
NXT Tag Champions Dawson & Wilder def. Big Cass and Enzo Amore
People were really excited and chanted along with the whole Enzo/Cass intro. Lots of How You Doin and other chants. Wilder and Dawson won after hitting their finisher on Enzo. Enzo and Cass got a standing ovation after they were left alone in the ring. This was a theme for the night anytime someone the crowd liked lost a match.
Nia Jax pinned Carmella after the big leg drop
Wasn't very good but not as bad as I was expecting. Poor Nia was cat called early on when the crowd was otherwise pretty silent.
Elias Sampson def. Tye Dillinger
Sampson, who is from Pittsburgh, claimed that he wrote a special song about returning to Pittsburgh which was comically bad:
"Back in my hometown of Pittsburgh for the sold out show tonight
and I'd say it's nice to be here but that would be a lie,
You can all tip me money for playing my guitar
cuz I'll never turn it down,
In fact I should get a lot of money for even coming back to this crappy town!"
Met with boos and an inaudible chant, and actually was worse than it looks on paper. Dillinger was cheered, mostly just people having fun with the 10 chants. Sampson defeated Tye Dillinger after raking Tye's eyes while the ref was distracted, and pinned him following a swinging neckbreaker. Then he kissed his guitar and carried it over his shoulder as he exited.
Baron Corbin pinned Apollo Crews after the End of Days
Baron out to good heel reaction, Apollo got a decent pop. "Boring Corbin" chants. Mostly an anti-Corbin crowd as opposed to a pro-Crews crowd. Corbin looked strong for a lot of the match and Crews got a lukewarm response for his comeback. People were into some of his athletic spots and did react to those - including a plancha to the floor. Crowd got into the last bit with trading shots and some near falls.
Sami Zayn pinned Johnny Gargano
They had a lively match, and both men were over with the crowd. A lot of singing for Zayn, and "Johnny Wrestling" chants for Gargano. Really a great final few minutes which led to Sami pinning Johnny with a Heluva Kick. After the match was over, Sami helped Johnny up and embraced him and raised his hand. The crowd gave Gargano a really nice standing ovation after the match while Zayn hopped out of the ring and applauded him on the outside. Really loud sustained "Johnny Wrestling" chant here as well.
Women's Champion Bayley pinned Alexa Bliss with the Bayley to Belly suplex
Bayley is very beloved by this audience. Little girls with Bayley shirts in attendance, Bayley made sure to give them hugs. There was a lot of stalling at the beginning with lots of people in the crowd screaming for hugs and Bayley hopping out to give some. There was a fun spot where she popped out and hugged a guy in the front row for a big pop and as she ran back in Alexa gave her a cheap shot. They did some mat wrestling and traded near falls in the final sequence which ended with Bayley catching Alexa with a sudden Bayley-to-Belly for the pin.
American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable) def. The Vaudevillians
Gable pinned English with their back suplex finisher. Jordan and especially Gable were over huge. Good technical stuff here early on. Both teams looked sharp, all of the stuff was tight. Jordan and Gable are really impressive to see live, lots of spots I've never seen anyone do, and it all looked great. Big this is Wrestling chant for the earlier mat wrestling.
NXT Champion Finn Balor def. Samoa Joe
They had a good match. It was quiet early. When the match went on, the show had been on for a solid 2 hours 30 minutes if you include the intermission. But they pulled the crowd in after some mat wrestling when Joe bailed to the outside. This led to brawling on the floor. Joe got some solid heel heat. He made a comeback and hit his flying kick thing in the corner. Crowd started with a "Joe Joe Joe" chant after all the boos and Joe just looked at the crowd and shook his head.
Finn threw Joe back outside and his a baseball slide. He hit the footstomp to Joe while Joe was still standing and hunched over for a nearfall. This is Awesome chants. Joe hit a bad ass clothesline for a 2 count. Dueling punches, Joe catches Balor in a rear naked, Balor escapes, misses a corner kick. Joe went for the Buster and Balor countered it into a sunset flip pin for another near fall. Final sequence was really good. Balor ended up hitting his kick to the corner and the Coup de Grace for the win.