By Jay Williams
The venue had a good old time atmosphere with the ring and entrance being lit with not much else in terms of lighting. Kept the focus on the action. Enjoyable show, nothing different than most central Florida live events these days yet given a larger venue and a fresh crowd it felt special. One thing of note was Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte had been advertised for this and the Palm Beach show on Saturday for some time now and they clearly were not here, in fact Sasha’s photo is still on the NXT twitter saying tickets are still available for Palm Beach.
1 Uhaa Nation b Mike Rallis, a lot of impressive speed by Uhaa, Mike had a full nelson applied a few times which received “Masterlock” chants. At one point Mike did a Florida State Tomahawk Chop taunt that got a rise out of the University of Miami locals. Uhaa wins with his standing shooting star press.
2 Dash Wilder b Angelo Dawkins, being from Ohio, Dawkins also taunted the locals by plugging The Ohio State University, Dash put up The U and got a nice reaction. Dawkins also wore a headband similar to LeBron James which got some chants until Dash pulled it off and threw it in to the crowd for another cheer. Dash Wilder picks up the win here.
3 Eva Marie & Lina b Jessie & KC, some real heat for Eva tonight “Let’s Go Eva! / Eva Sucks!” she handled it well, seemed more poised than the Full Sail tapings. Lina is a powerhouse at 6ft 250lbs and works as she should, nothing fancy, just the basics. Eva did some chain wrestling to start, working the arm, everything she did was fine and if she can get a little more comfortable and speed it up a bit, could be a lot of fun since clearly she has the most polarizing heat of any woman in this company.
4 Tyler Breeze b Bull Dempsey, an extended and more enjoyable version of their tv comedy match. They did the criss cross running the ropes spot for a good while, Bull was really moving. At one point Bull did the big jabs and elbow which got a “Dusty” chant and applause. Tyler wins it with the beauty shot.
5 The Vaudevillains b Blake Alexa Murphy Factor ( as they are now announced #BAMF ) via DQ in a tag title match, good back and forth match, really had everyone believing we could see a title change until Alexa slid in the ring and dove on a pin attempt to cause the DQ. The Vaudevillains posed with the titles after the match.
6 Scott Dawson b Tye Dillinger, this was a show stealer. Anyone who follows NXT live events knows that these two are some of the best in ring workers here, Dawson is a rough straight forward brawler and Dillinger in his Perfect 10 persona is a flashy yet technical wrestler. This match received the night’s first “This Is Awesome” chant, great work here by two quality wrestlers.
7 Bayley b Emma, & Dana Brooke in a triple threat match, the heel duo worked as a team early until Emma tried to steal a pin from Dana, this allowed Bayley to finally fire up and take them both on. Bayley is beloved, sometimes even more so at live events than tv tapings, the people were 100% behind her. Bayley got the win with the Belly-To-Bayley suplex, then proceeded to chase the referee Drake until he finally gave her a hug.
8 Finn Balor b Samoa Joe in an NXT championship match, the crowd went wild for Samoa Joe almost like they were surprised to see him, Balor also received a great ovation during his entrance yet once the bell rang it got weird, the crowd went silent, neither man was booed yet it was so divided that any time someone would try to chant for one or the other it wasn’t joined in. For the middle of the match there were more cheers for Joe, even by people wearing Balor shirts. By the final minutes of the match everyone was reacting to all the big spots, including dives to the outside and the finish of Balor’s stomp off the top rope.