The future of WWE returned to Full Sail University after a week on the road, and the NXT Universe was treated to a spectacular show, with two huge title matches. NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks put her title on the line against Alexa Bliss, and Finn Bálor got his long-awaited title opportunity against NXT Champion Kevin Owens.
One week after picking up a count-out victory over Sasha Banks in non-title action, Alexa Bliss had the biggest opportunity of her career, as she took on The Boss for the NXT Women’s Title. The challenger tried to end things early, catching Sasha with a series of quick rollups. That only infuriated the champion, who slowed things down with a hard kick to Alexa’s face.
Firmly in control of the bout, Sasha wasted no time mocking her challenger before attacking her midsection with a vicious double knee drop in the corner. Sasha’s rage nearly cost her another match, as Bliss evaded her attack, sending her crashing to the arena floor with a thud. The sparkly Diva saw her opening, connecting with a Glitz Flip and a sunset flip powerbomb, but could not put the champion away. Alexa went to the top rope, perhaps for the Sparkle Splash, but hesitated for a second too long. That allowed Sasha to knock her off the ropes and lock on the Bank Statement to retain her title.
After inadvertently causing Carmella to take a nasty spill from the ring apron last week, NXT Tag Team Champions Blake & Murphy seemed to be feeling a little guilty. The champs approached The Princess of Staten Island backstage, saying they had used their “championship bonus” to purchase the bombshell a gift. Much to the dismay of Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady, Carmella appeared very impressed by the luxurious jewelry that Blake & Murphy gave her.
The NXT Universe was on the edge of their seats before these two competitors even locked up. Once the bell rang, Kevin Owens began to play head games with his No. 1 Contender, retreating to the arena floor and avoiding battle. The NXT Champion took control of the bout by force, waiting until Finn Bálor let go of a tie-up to boot him in the stomach. Owens needled his challenger, asking where his inner demon was. His jaw-jacking gave Bálor time to regroup and send the champion reeling to ringside after a big dropkick.
Bálor took charge and worked over Owens’ arm before tossing him to the ring apron. However, the NXT Champion had enough about him to counter Bálor’s attack, using the top rope to his advantage. Slowing the bout down to his methodical, yet brutal pace, Owens dictated the action, even trying to powerbomb Bálor onto the ring apron, though the No. 1 Contender was able to avoid it.
The challenger showed signs of life, kicking out of Owens’s bruising offense, frustrating the champion to no end. Bálor looked to be on the verge of victory after stunning Owens with the Sling Blade lariat and a huge DDT. But when Bálor went for a dropkick in the corner, Owens moved out of the way, sending Bálor crashing into the corner leg first. Owens pounced on Bálor’s injured leg, dropping his entire weight on the limb. Owens hit two cannonballs in the corner, one to the upper body and the second to Bálor’s injured leg. The challenger somehow had enough energy to get back to his feet and hit the Coup de Grace on Owens, but Bálor’s knee injury gave Owens enough time to get back up to his feet and hit Bálor with the pop-up powerbomb to retain his title in a thrilling match.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sasha Banks (c) defeated Alexa Bliss to retain the NXT Women's Championship by submission (5:39)
- Kevin Owens (c) defeated Finn Bálor to retain the NXT Championship (21:37)