Last week’s episode of WWE NXT set up all of the big matches for NXT TakeOver: Dallas on April 1. Finn Bálor defends the NXT Championship against Samoa Joe while Bayley defends the NXT Women’s Championship against Asuka. The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) defend the NXT Tag Team Championship against American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable) and Shinsuke Nakamura makes his NXT debut against “proud papa” Sami Zayn. And of course, Austin Aries makes his NXT in-ring debut against Baron Corbin.
On this week’s NXT, Asuka will try to prove that she deserves to be the No. 1 contender for the NXT Women’s Championship by facing rival Emma in singles competition. It also appears that Finn Bálor will have a non-title match, and Bull Dempsey competes in what will turn out to be one of his final bouts for the company.
While such lists have proven to be less than completely accurate by the time Full Sail University’s editing department is finished and the final product is streamed on the WWE Network, the following spoiler-free preview was compiled using the match list provided by Ringside News (that includes spoilers).
All of the matches from this episode of WWE NXT were taped at Full Sail University outside of Orlando, Florida, on January 27.
- Elias Samson vs. Johnny Gargano — Both of these NXT Superstars are trying to establish themselves as serious players. NXT is the hottest ticket for up-and-coming talent, and the high turnover ratio is evidence that those who don’t cut it won’t get to stick around. Samson has been given the full package in terms of air-time and pre-recorded promos. On the other hand, Gargano represents what the Internet Wrestling Community has come to love about NXT: a chance to see the top indy talent compete under the WWE umbrella.
- NXT Champion Finn Bálor vs. Rich Swann — While it’s not advertised by WWE, spoiler sites are showing this non-title match as having been recorded for the episode airing on March 23. It would give them a great opportunity to plug the champ’s title match at TakeOver: Dallas in less than two weeks.
- Alexa Bliss vs. Mary Dobson — Alexa Bliss continues to establish herself as a legitimate competitor in the NXT Women’s Division. Much the same way Sunny did so many times before her, she’s proven she can be an invaluable asset to a duo that needs guidance to the tag titles. Now she wants to prove she’s capable of winning a title for herself.
- Bull Dempsey vs. Danny Burch — For the members of the NXT Universe that are fans of the “Bull-Fit” movement, this is one of the last matches they’ll get to enjoy seeing Dempsey in an NXT ring.
- Asuka vs. Emma — While Emma continues to re-brand herself as a mean girl alongside Dana Brooke, Asuka will use this match as a final warm-up for her NXT Championship opportunity at TakeOver: Dallas. Emma has been Asuka’s rival since she first showed up in Florida, and there’s every reason to believe that this match could steal the show.
— ASUKA / 明日華 (@WWEAsuka) March 15, 2016
While it rarely happens on RAW or SmackDown, NXT programming doesn’t shy away from using their women’s division to close out a big show.
Where To Watch
New episodes of WWE NXT air on the WWE Network on Wednesday evenings beginning at 8/7c and are immediately available to stream on-demand. Beginning Thursday, replays of WWE NXT are also available to stream on-demand with a Hulu Plus subscription.
[Image via WWE]