NXT makes its Albany (and New York debut) and does not disappoint at all. What a show!
Match 1: Blake/Murphy def. Enzo/Big Cass in a match for the NXT Tag Team Titles. Enzo ended up getting pinned after one of the champs (can't tell them apart, sorry!) rolls him up with two feet on the ropes.
Match 2: Solomon Crowe def. Bull Dempsey. Slow, plodding match with Crowe winning with his leg submission.
Match 3: Tye Dillinger def. Jason Jordan. Dillinger won a solid match with a knee to the back of the head.
Match 4: Sasha Banks def. Charlotte in a match for the NXT Women's Title. Charlotte was over HUUUUUGE with the crowd. Match received several "this is awesome!" and "this is wrestling!" chants. Sasha won with the submission portion of the Bank Statement.
Match 5: Baron Corbin def. Tommy Dreamer. Massive pop and ECW! chants for Dreamer. He got more offense than he probably should have, but it was a good nostalgia moment. Corbin wins with the End of Days.
Match 6: Bayley/Alexa Bliss def. Becky Lynch/Dana Brooke. Wasn't impressed with Brooke at all. Bayley was loved by the crowd, she ended up pinning Dana with the Bayley to Belly.
Match 7: Kevin Owens def. Finn Balor and Tyler Breeze in a Triple Threat match for the NXT Title. Tyler entered first and had to kill time since the sound system failed before Balor's entrance. He kept trying to win by forefit, much to the delight of the crowd. Balor ended up doing his entrance without music, which came on 30 seconds after he got in the ring..seems like he shrugged it off with a smile. Great match with a lot of comedy spots surprisingly, including Owens doing a 5-knuckle-shuffle to Balor. Owens also pulled off a sweet swanton bomb. Finish saw Breeze kick Balor off the top rope while he was going for the Coup de Grace, only to turn around into an Owens powerbomb.
Overall, this was a GREAT show. I definitely suggest anyone go check NXT out if they're nearby.
Yeah, this show was a tremendous amount of fun. I wish I'd known you were planning a write-up; I could have left my pen and paper at home. Some of my observations:
1. NXT house shows are a blast, and everyone should go to their nearest one. We met a guy who traveled from Chicago to see the show, and another guy from Montreal. It seemed like people were coming from all over the place.
2. There really wasn't a bad match on the card. Crowe/Bull wasn't awesome, but it was fun because Bull evidently had a bunch of people that knew him in the crowd and he kept playing to them. Corbin/Dreamer was also a slower match, but Tommy Fucking Dreamer, right?! And again, those were the bottom matches. Sasha/Charlotte was amazing. So was the main event, but I think Sasha/Charlotte takes match of the night. Charlotte busted out the Flair Flop, to a great crowd reaction, and the finish involved Sasha cranking tighter and tighter on her crossface until Charlotte's head was almost touching her feet. Enzo and Cass wrestled probably the best match I've ever seen from them (Corbin definitely did).
3. We got to see some new stuff from some of these guys. Blake and Murphy now both have absolutely ridiculous Jericho-level hair going on. Jason Jordan appears to be part of the amateur wrestling "faction" that NXT has kind of been sitting on, and Tye Dillinger has an entirely new gimmick. He's now "The Perfect 10." It started out as some honestly pretty lazy heel work, but he did a bit where he had a giant 10 sign that the ref took away from him, so he took out a smaller one from the back of his trunks, and the ref took that too, so he pulled out an even smaller one from his boot. After that, the crowd loved him. He instantly became a tremendously over face.
4. The crowd was hot, literally and figuratively. I don't think there was any air moving around, and while the show wasn't completely sold out, it was awful close. I could only count about 40 open seats, mostly in the low-end. So it got warm in there. The crowd cheered for everything. Power Rankings are as follows: 1. Bayley. She was by far the single most over person on the roster there. 2. Enzo and Cass. In New York? No way. 3. Sasha and Charlotte. I feel like Sasha might have actually gotten a slightly better reaction, but not by much. Albany's close enough to Boston that there wasn't nobody booing her, though. Charlotte got a warrior's response from the crowd even in defeat. 4. Kevin Owens. He actually didn't draw a lot of cheers, but the 5-Knuckle Shuffle got the biggest single pop of the night. For the record, among the things I never knew I wanted is now a comedy tag-team of Kevin Owens and Tyler Breeze. They had an incredible routine going on during the main event. "You do stuff!"
5. Extras! We were there way early, and we got to see the entire women's roster setting up barricades. Evidently, the crew is whoever has two hands and doesn't look busy. I heard that the guys were inside setting up the ring. Afterwards, we wanted to wait around and hassle wrestlers as they were leaving, but it was already pretty late and my wife had to work the next morning, so once it started to rain we decided to leave. I did manage to score a picture with Tommy Dreamer, who was exhausted but was being a tremendously good sport letting people take pictures with him, and he was the only person to comment on my awesome vintage Mikey Whipwreck dragon shirt.
It was a great, great show, and while me and my wife were pretty sad that Sami Zayn wasn't there, we did get to talk with one of the production guys who confirmed that he is okay, but they decided to give him the week off to rest up before Unstoppable. Other than that, and the minor hitch with Balor's entrance, there was nothing to complain about.
I had planted to do a chant counter, like I had when I saw the CHIKARA show, but I gave up before they even opened the doors to the venue. I just couldn't keep up. The biggest while waiting for the show was for a person delivering pizzas to the crew. He came up and got a tremendous "PIZZA GUY! PIZZA GUY!" chant. He had the biggest, happiest grin on his face. You best he's going to be telling his buddies for weeks about the couple hundred folks chanting for him.
Overall, the show was a ton of fun as mentioned. The women were over HUUUUUUUUUUGE. At the end of the show Balor thanked everyone coming out to see "the best damn women's wrestling in the world" and the roof of the place just about tore off. Although, Dana Brooke continues to unimpress. She got the most legitimate boos of the night. Alexa Bliss looked like a million bucks and is totally one to watch. She just keeps getting tighter and crisper.
The show was really fun and seems a lot more relaxed than the taped program. Guys were hamming it up, lots of comedy and pandering to the crowd. Perfect for the way a more intimate show should be.