By Chris Withers
#1 Contenders Match
Lucha Dragons vs. Enzo Amore/Colin Cassidy
Enzo and Cass were two guys that I always knew would go places. They have a very similar gimmick to The New Age Outlaws, in that they are pretty good wrestlers but make most of their fans by their comedy act. They come out and say the same lengthy intro comedy routine, which the audience is encouraged to speak along with them.
The match itself was pretty good, Enzo is a pretty talented mat wrestler and Big Cass, as he is called, works as a big hitter. The most interesting thing about the duo is how they do tag moves by having Big Cass throw Enzo at his opponents, which looks cool and fits their style. Their really isn’t much to say about the Lucha Dragons, as most believe that they are going to be moved up to Monday Night RAW after Wrestlemania, so they pretty much just went through the motions and had an okay match. Enzo and Big Cass win, making them the #1 contender to the Tag Team Titles, with a match probably on the March 25 episode as that is the week of Wrestlemania and they also have a match scheduled between Kevin Owens and Finn Balor.
Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella
Alright match, really all that can be said. This is pretty much just a return match for Alexa Bliss who has been out on a broken nose the past month or so. Overall unspectacular match, which is probably leading into a feud with Sasha whom Alexa has called out multiple times. I don’t think that this will lead anywhere, my prediction is that Sasha remains champion until Bayley takes it from her, she’ll probably have a brief spat with Alexa, more than likely Carmella if the WWE decides to bring up Enzo/Cass to RAW, then Bayley. Decent match with little meat behind it in terms of the story.
Alex Riley vs. CJ Parker
The big money match of the night, and a pretty good one at that, this was the return of Alex Riley who had spent the past few years as a commentator once it looked like his in-ring career wasn’t going anywhere. For the past two weeks Riley had been the subject of torment by Kevin Owens over comments made by Riley regarding the way that Owens had attacked Sami Zayn after Takeover:[R]Evolution. Riley has since been jockeying for a match with Owens and he gets it next week… soon as he plows through CJ Parker.
Fairly standard match, Parker dominates in the early stages, only for a reversal into a clothesline ends his momentum. This leads to a neckbreaker and several other big hits before Riley puts him out, leading to a stare-down between him and Owens while Owens promises to end his career next week.
Tyler Breeze vs. Hideo Itami
Once again not too substantial a match, at least in terms of the feud ongoing between Tyler Breeze and Hideo Itami. Feuds in wrestling tend to follow a pattern, one guy, usually the good guy, wins a match; then bad guy takes one, then another and finally the good guy puts him away on a PPV. The story itself is pretty by the book, not helped by the fact that Itami’s lack of English skills have seemingly led to the WWE not letting him cut promos or even talk much at all, so Tyler has to do most of the work hyping their matches.
Tyler wins this one, Itami misses with a dropkick leading into a Beauty Shot by Breeze for the win. They still
won’t let Itami hit the GTS, his finisher for the longest time in Japan, more than likely won’t happen until a PPV or potentially the NXT during Wrestlemania week on 3/25, as that night will also be the match with Owens and Balor.
An okay show to be sure but largely filler for most of the stories shown, killing time until the big live event on 3/18 and the Wrestlemania week show.
This week on NXT we’ll be getting what could only end as a massive beating by Kevin Owens to Alex Riley as the company cements Owens for his match during Wrestlemania week. The other big confirmed match is Alexa Bliss against Sasha Banks, both non-title matches but interesting to see to be sure. And you’ll hear my thoughts on those as well as a detailed breakdown of potential outcomes for the 3/25 episode of NXT, next week.