Who Got NeXT: Developmental Hits Columbus

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What’s up NXT faithful! Welcome to another edition of Who Got NeXT.

If you didn’t already know, for the first time outside of Full Sail University, the NXT roster and some main roster talents were in Columbus a couple of weeks ago at the annual Arnold Classic. There were autographs signed, shows performed and all kinds of fun things happened.

But here, I talk about the show itself so lets get to it!

Wednesday’s show kicked off with a bang as Tyler Breeze and Kalisto battled in a singles match. Overall, this would be the best match of the show in my opinion. The luchador formerly known as Samuray Del Sol can hold his own in the ring by himself, and I would like to see him in singles action more away from Sin Cara. My highlight of the match was when he hit Tyler Breeze with a beautiful 450 splash that almost put Prince Pretty away. The bout went back and forth, but in the end Breeze hit his beauty shot to pin Kalisto for the three count.

After showing a clip from the convention, the NXT Tag Team Champions Blake & Murphy came out to the ring. But the real fun was when Enzo Amore’s music hit. The crowd popped the loudest that it did until that point (yeah, they’re REALLY over). Heck, every crowd knows the promo word-for-word and chants along with them, something I haven’t seen since the New Age Outlaws for god’s sake!

Anyways, Amore and Big Cass came out on the stage and did their usual awesome promo schtick, except they personalized it a bit for the champs. Enzo went to the mic and cut a hilarious bit.

“And as for ah, the Australian kid (Buddy Murphy). Why don’t you didgeridoo yourself a favor while you still have that NXT Tag title? Kick rocks in flip flops, break a toe and skidaddle sweet boy!”

Pure awesomeness that is Enzo Amore. But as for the match, it was a decent one that ended with a rollup by Buddy Murphy grabbing the tights and beating Colin Cassady after he was distracted by Carmella being accidentally hurt on the outside of the ring.

We then get to the women’s bout between Alexa Bliss and NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks, and unsurprisingly it was awesome. Alexa Bliss, a Columbus native and former cheerleader at the University of Akron, has a unique set of tools in her arsenal. She’s small, but she’s quick and agile which works to her advantage. Bliss is great in the way that she goes from a happy-go-lucky tinkerbell with glitter in her entrance to a fiery aggressor in the ring.

Banks and Bliss started off with “The Boss” dominating, but things eventually turned when Bliss hit a flipping knee on Banks and the two made their way to the outside. Bliss would eventually shove Banks into the turnbuckle pole and make it into the ring before the 10-count to defeat the women’s champ. This earned her a rematch and an NXT Women’s title shot next week.

Then we finally get to the moment Alex Riley was waiting for: his match with NXT Champion and resident bad man Kevin Owens. The match began with Owens absolutely decimating the former commentator. He picked him apart like he said he would, using brutal punches, senton splashes and a sleeper hold as the crowd chanted “Kill Owens Kill!” Riley looked like mincemeat to start, but eventually the man with “RAGE” gained a little momentum when he knocked Owens square in the face with a forearm and a huge spinebuster.

But this only enraged the champion, and he took it personally. After a few more beatings, Owens put Riley away with a pop-up powerbomb. When the match was over, Owens was set on making Riley his next victim and started attacking him on the outside. Once he set Riley up for another powerbomb on the apron, Finn Bálor’s music hit, and he jumped from the stage and started attacking the champion. The brawl would move to the ring where Bálor would set up for the Coup de Grace, but Owens escaped and the two stared each other down separated by the ring and the stage.

Next week’s WrestleMania edition of NXT should be epic. With all three championships on the line, it is sure to deliver a masterful show as WWE approaches closer and closer to the “Grandaddy of Them All.”



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