NXT Episode 287 was all about one match: Sasha Banks vs Charlotte for the NXT Women’s Championship. These women have proved they are main event worthy, and it was great to see them main event. Although not a classic match, it was still a very good one. The other matches were short and mostly inconsequential, but some important storylines were developed. And Sami Zayn returned!
Steve Cutler and Elias Sampson vs Chad Gable and Jason Jordan
Chad Gable has been desirous of partnering with Jason Jordan for a couple of months, and finally they teamed together! Of course, their victory was obvious and easy. However, even during his short time in the ring, Gable showed tonnes of potential in the ring. I’m sure the comparisons between him and Kurt Angle are many. We will just have to wait and see how he develops! Jordan is always reliable, so I can see their tag team ascending to the higher ranks of the tag team division. Their tag team finisher looks devastating as well!
WINNERS: Gable and Jordan
VERDICT: 5/10. Short and sweet, with potential oozing from Gable’s pores. Jordan and Gable will be a tag team to watch in the future!
Samoa Joe vs Axel Tischer
What has happened to Samoa Joe? He debuted to defend Sami Zayn from Kevin Owens. It was mostly downhill from there. Joe and Owens had a lethargic match that ended in a non-finish. And what has Joe done since then? His feud with Owens faded away. Now that Finn Balor has the NXT Championship, where does that leave Joe? He’s been wasted! Joe easily defeated Tischer in a meaningless bout. Joe is set to face Rhyno next…
WINNER: Samoa Joe
VERDICT: 3/10. Short and pointless. A squash match!
SEGMENT: A bigger look at Baron Corbin. Well, it wasn’t an in-depth look. All Corbin did was show us some rings he had earned during his football career. These were proof, according to Corbin, that he’s better than Balor, Owens and Joe. Hold on: they’re rings for achievements in football! Not wrestling! So they are meaningless in the realm of wrestling! Balor, Owens and Joe have won titles in the actual wrestling world. Corbin still lacks a personality, so he’s obviously been given the ‘I’m better than everyone’ personality. Let’s see if he can cope with that.
PROMO: Eva Marie came out to solid boos. She robotically said that she was going to take over the NXT Women’s division. Let’s hope she doesn’t! Between her and Dana Brooke, the future doesn’t look bright for the division.
Blake and Murphy vs Dawkins and Fulton
Another short match. Blake and Murphy cheated to win, and afterwards Alexa Bliss told them to beat up the jobbers. They lifted her up for the Sparkle Splash onto either Dawkins or Fulton. Boring!
WINNERS: Blake and Murphy
VERDICT: 3/10. Another short and boring match.
PROMO: Sami Zayn returned to a hefty ovation. He won’t be fit to wrestle until next year at the earliest, which is a bit of a downer. But will he return to NXT? Or does the main roster beckon? Either way, this was a solid promo from a very likeable talent. Let’s hope he returns sooner rather than later.
Sasha Banks (c) vs Charlotte (NXT Women’s Championship)
The two great women wrestlers didn’t wrestle an instant classic, but it was a very good match. It was expertly paced and wrestled, building up to a crescendo at the end. Banks piled on the submissions at the beginning, but Charlotte hit back with a massive power bomb and a spear. Banks halted Charlotte’s Figure $ leglock with a rope break, but Charlotte kept hold of it and hung over the apron in an excruciating-looking twist on the submission. Both women looked undefeatable; it would take one error from either woman to lose the match. Charlotte eventually tapped out to the Bank Statement after valiantly fighting against it. Charlotte and Banks hugged it out afterwards. Make no mistake about it, these two women will rule the main roster if allowed to. They competed in one of the best main events in NXT for a while.
WINNER: Sasha Banks
VERDICT: 8/10. A few notches below perfection, but the NXT women have set the bar so high that they themselves find it difficult to overshoot it. A very, very good bout.
OVERALL VERDICT: 7/10. An event made memorable by Sami Zayn’s return promo and a very, very good main event between Sasha Banks and Charlotte. It also introduced the promising tag team of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable.
(Click here for my review of WWE NXT Episode 286)