This week’s NXT saw Finn Balor take on Elias Samson and Shinsuke Nakamura face Alex Riley.
NXT opened with Finn Balor talking about his title loss to Samoa Joe. Balor wasn’t posing, he was serious and he was pissed off. He was quickly interrupted by Elias Samson who got Eva Marie level heat. He played the guitar and sang, but the crowd booed him so loudly that you could barely hear him. This was incredible. Samson has had a mixed start in NXT, but with this level of a reaction he could be onto something. Balor hit him with a Pele kick and threw his guitar out of the ring. They meet in the main event.
American Alpha defeated Corey Hollis & John Skyler
This was a pretty fun squash match. Jordan & Gable tossed both guys around with ease. Jordan came in off a hot tag and unloaded with a flurry of Taz styles suplexes. The Revival walked down the ramp to watch American Alpha finish off Hollis with Grand Amplitude. The rematch between these teams for the tag titles has been really well built to already.
Backstage Shinsuke Nakamura said he was shaking with rage. It was Nakamura as bizarre as he gets.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Alex Riley
This was Nakamura’s Full Sail debut and he got the superstar reaction you’d imagine. The atmosphere for this seemed to kick Nakamura into another gear. He was laying in the strikes and just going all out on Riley. Riley mocked a Nakamura taunt and that just set him off, as he kicked the hell out of Riley while he was in the ropes. The finish came with the reverse powerslam and the Kinshasa. Nakamura was just oozing charisma with this one. This was also Riley’s last match in WWE.
Austin Aries was interrupted by Blake & Murphy. It led to William Regal making Blake & Murphy vs Aries & a partner of his choosing next week. This was pretty funny.
Alexa Bliss defeated Rachel Ellering
Ellering is the daughter of Road Warriors manager Paul Ellering and a student of Lance Storm that he speaks highly of. This match probably went on too long considering the inexperience of Ellering. There was so sloppiness, but it was okay for what it was. Bliss won with the Sparkle Splash. Ellering will likely have a big future in wrestling. Bliss continues to be one of the best heel females in NXT.
Backstage Nia Jax went back and forth with Bayley. It led to Bayley saying she could choke her out again. They will meet next week.
Finn Balor defeated Elias Samson
More incredible heat for Samson here. As the bigger guy in the match he controlled the start of the match and looked pretty good. Balor was so intense here when he came back with all sorts of strikes. He really put across how pissed he was that he lost the title. He quickly won after he hit 1916. After the match Balor cut his best ever promo in NXT when he demanded a rematch. Joe & Regal showed up, which led to Regal making the match for Takeover on June 8th. Balor dived over the top rope and took out Joe, laying the title on his chest. This was great. Balor was pissed off and fired up. Joe showed fear and this did a hell of a job hyping their third straight Takeover meeting. Another great match between these two could easily see this as one of the best NXT feuds ever.
This was a great episode of NXT. Lots of fun matches. A mega performance from Nakamura and some excellent build to Balor vs Joe.