About Us  |   Contact

NXT Lowell, MA, live results: Samoa Joe wins NXT title to cap incredible night

Samoa Joe

Images by @JoshNason

In front of a sold-out Auditorium crowd in Lowell, MA, Thursday night, Samoa Joe surprised everyone in attendance by pinning Finn Balor clean in the middle of the ring to win the NXT title, capping a euphoric night featuring fan favorites like Shinsuke Nakamura and American Alpha, plus an incredible match between Chris Girard and Tommaso Ciampa.

The final turn of the rollercoaster match began when action spilled to the outside. Balor ran the full length of the floor into Joe who was propped up on the barricade, but looked to hurt himself in the process. The referee made the dreaded X symbol bringing medical personnel from the back. Joe rolled back into the ring and after about 30 seconds or so, Balor got back into the ring and action returned to normal. 

Joe vs. Balor

The latter half of the match was built around Joe going for the Muscle Buster and Balor escaping, and Balor going for the Coup de Grace finish but Joe preventing it. Balor ran up to the top rope one final time, but Joe finally caught him, hit the Muscle Buster, and got the three count. The fans went ballistic as it was completely unexpected. 

To say it was a moment to remember is an understatement.

Finn Balor

Post-match, Balor was attended to by medical personnel, favoring/selling a bum left ankle with his boot unlaced. He eventually made it to his feet and as fans chanted "Thank You Balor", he made the "Too Sweet" sign. Based on what I'm seeing now, there was some clues earlier today that this was going to happen, but I'm pretty glad I had no idea. Ignorance can truly be bliss sometimes.

The Rest Of The Card --

This was my first NXT show and while I'll save most of my roses for a column this weekend, I have to say that title change aside, this was as fun a night of wrestling as I've been to since going to my dad took me to see Hulk Hogan's first appearance ever in Maine back in the late 80s. Seriously, just find a way to get to an NXT show. You won't regret it.

Before the show opened, fans booed a WWE Network video promo and announcer/host Tom Phillips said at one point, "This isn't WWE. It's NXT!" There were shots of a kid holding up pro-NXT signs as well as a "Roman Sucks" signs. They are not hiding the fact that they are the rebel group. It's quite incredible, isn't it? 

Mojo Rawley pinned Riddick Moss

This was the show opener and showed Rawley's ability to turn a hostile crowd. Then again, the disdain for Moss was big ("Who are you?" chants) so perhaps he simply got the benefit of the doubt. In a fairly straightforward wrestling match you could see on any night in any venue with wrestling, Rawley hit a big forearm for the pin and win. 

Bayley | NXT Lowell

Bayley & Carmella beat Peyton Royce & Dana Brooke

My god, do people love Bayley. I know, that's a duh statement. But I read all the reports sent in for shows and while the admiration for the former NXT Women's Champion is a common theme, you don't fully grasp it until you're there experiencing this rush of joy people have for her. It's incredible. I'm going to say "incredible" a lot here, so prepare accordingly.

Brooke, returning for the first time after an injury layoff, got some "Shut up, Dana" chants. As you might expect, this was a lively crowd that was chanting stuff all night including all of the famous songs with Bayley inserted into the lyrics. The finish came when Bayley hit the Bayley-to-Belly on Royce for the win after Royce scored a near fall. 

Even in the smaller venue, they had two of Bayley's inflatables which was a cool touch. 

Ciampa vs. Girard

Chris Girard pinned Tommaso Ciampa

The former Biff Busick and Ciampa are no strangers to each other and that comfortability (is that a word?) shone through here in what was a Match of the Night candidate. It started out slowly with lots of headlocks and chinlocks, but by the end, people were into this match something fierce.

We got hard-hitting & loud chops and impactful knee strikes, great near falls, and just a back and forth battle that went 100 mph in the end without being a crash-and-burn spotfest. Girard eventually won with a running forearm lift for the pin and win. If I could watch this match again, I'd gladly do it again and again. Wow.

Austin Aries submitted Manny Andrade

This was a fun surprise that got overshadowed with so much attention on Nakamura being on the show. Following along with much of the action that preceded it, it was slow going early but picked up at the end. Even with a very smart crowd, you could tell that Andrade is still a bit of an unknown. However, he acclimated himself pretty quickly and got them into his offense. Aries eventually submitted Andrade in a solid bout. 

And then, God arrived.

Nakamura | NXT Lowell

Shinsuke Nakamura pinned Elias Samson

Boy, did people HATE Samson. Again, I see it all the time from the reports people sent in, but the amount of disdain and hate he gets is something else to behold. He tried to do his song, but you couldn't hear it. People just wanted to bathe in the red glow of Nakamura and this was delaying it.

Really, this match was all about the entrance, seeing a few Nakamura moves, and checking it off the wrestling bucket list. The match wasn't anything special as Samson did a lot of rest holds before we got to the closing sequence. But Nakamura made it special by just being himself. I'm sure this is the same match he does with Samson every night, but it felt special here. 

He hit the Kinshasa knee (slightly off kilter) for the pin and win. Again, this was essentially a personal appearance with Samson as an irritant.

American Alpha

NXT Tag Team Champions American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) beat The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) to retain

This was the post-intermission match and, big surprise, it was fun. Nearly all of the chants were toward Gable who the fans just adored. They harassed Wilder and Dawson in not knowing which is which. They really played up being heels which is a trait nearly all the talents on the roster have: they are either faces or heels with few in between. Considering WWE's stance on that these days, it was refreshing to have that dynamic as it added to the experience.

As nearly all the talents are, Jordan is massive. The end came when Gable won with a roll-up which felt anti-climactic. We did get plenty of double team spots (double belly-to-back suplexes, for example), so this didn't disappoint. 

NXT Women's Champion Asuka submitted Alexa Bliss to retain

Then, there was this match. 

While the fans were excited to see Asuka, the action made them hit the wall. They wanted to see a squash but Bliss just kept dominated Asuka for what felt like an hour. Restholds, punches that (I think) were supposed to be to Asuka's head but were hitting Bliss' own arm, and more restholds just made this feel off. No one was buying Bliss as on Asuka's level which really hurt this.

Asuka submitted Bliss after the two clumsily attempted to roll into it. I hate to say it, but this match wasn't good, especially compared with everything else on the show. Had it been a Brock Lesnar-esque five minute squash, people would have loved it and it would have completely fit.

And then, there was the main event -- the capper to a night of wrestling yours truly will never forget.