The following is a recap of NXT Episode 266. You can catch NXT on Wednesdays 8pm EST and also on demand both via the WWE Network.
Hideo Itami vs. Bull Dempsey
The show kicks off with the massively popular Hideo Itami taking on Bull Dempsey. The 300 pound Dempsey gets the offense in early keeping Itami on the ground. Itami finally gets the upper hand by using well placed kicks and strikes taking down Dempsey. After the hesitation dropkick in the corner from Itami, he hits Dempsey with his running single legged dropkick and gets the victory.
Winner: Hideo Itami
After the match while Itami celebrates his victory on the entrance ramp he gets hit with a Beauty Shot superkick from one Tyler Breeze. The self proclaimed “Prince of Pretty” looks to further embarrass Itami by taking a selfie with his custom selfie stick. Breeze, too focused on getting the right shot, doesn’t realize that Itami is already back on his feet. Breeze tries to run away but Itami catches up to him and tosses Breeze back into the ring. After a series of kicks Breeze runs away escaping further damage from Hideo Itami.
A pretty sweet vignette is aired in preparation for tonight’s main event featuring The Brian Kendrick. Yes that The Brian Kendrick. I’m really enjoying NXT using guys who at one time found success in the WWE but haven’t been seen by a WWE/NXT audience in quite some time. Kendrick along with then partner Paul London always impressed the crowd with their daredevil ring style which led them to holding WWE Tag Team gold for 331 days. Tonight however he will be taking on the #1 contender for the NXT Title Finn Bálor later on in the show.
Lucha Dragons vs. Ty Dillenger and Jason Jordan
Jordan starts off the match for his team with a series of impressive power moves on both Sin Cara and Kalisto. The pace changes when Dillenger gets involved. Frequent tags and great tag team work from the Lucha Dragons keeps Dillenger isolated away from his partner. Jordan keeps asking for the tag but Dillenger keeps telling his partner to relax. This would come back to bite Dillenger as he finally goes for a tag but his partner Jason Jordan abandons him! Jordan walks away in disgust while Dillenger gets hit with Salinas del Sol from Kalisto. Sin Cara gets the tag and hits a senton to secure the win for the Lucha Dragons.
Winners: Lucha Dragons
After the match an angry Ty Dillenger calls out I guess his former partner Jason Jordan, however he gets Baron Corbin. The ref signals for the bell and it seems we have ourselves a match. By match I meant a contest that lasts all about 20 seconds and concluded with Corbin hitting the End of Days for the win.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Bayley vs. Becky Lynch
Really solid wrestling match from both women. Lynch is definitely coming into her own after that epic fatal four way she was a part of at NXT Takeover Rival. Her power game is most impressive as she throws Bayley like a rag doll with an impressive pump handle suplex. Bayley is no slouch in this match either. I’m really enjoying this more aggressive side of Bayley. She shows great ring awareness by clutching the corner post avoiding a roll up then catches Lynch with a middle rope back elbow. It seems as though Bayley was looking to hit a “Bayley to Belly” off the top rope similar to the one she hit at Rival but Lynch blocks the attempt and sends Bayley down with her arm catching the top rope. Lynch shows off her smarts by immediately capitalizing on the hurt arm and locks in a wicked arm leaving Bayley no choice but to tap out. Again, a great match from both women.
Finn Bálor vs. The Brian Kendrick
During the match NXT Champion Kevin Owens joined the rest of the commentary team. One word could describe the exchanges Owens was having specifically with Alex Riley and that is awkward. Riley was just asking the basic questions one would ask such as why Owens would turn on his friend Sami Zayn and absolutely decimate him at Rival seemingly with no remorse. The constant barrage of questioning seemed to annoy the champ as he exited the commentary position before the match was over.
As far as the match itself it was a pretty standard contest. I was happy to see Kendrick show the NXT audience and anyone who hasn’t seen his body of work why he is so respected amongst his peers. The beginning stages had a bit of a hiccup as Kendrick flipped over Bálor to re-enter the ring but tweaked his ankle on the landing. Bálor gives Kendrick time to breathe but almost pays for it as Kendrick looked to steal a victory with a small package. Most of the offense in this one came from Bálor however Kendrick showed he could hold his own especially breaking out a vicious Tiger Suplex. In the end though Bálor seized the moment when space was provided to connect with a devastating dropkick that sent Kendrick buckling in the corner. He was in prime position for Bálor as he hits an equally vile Coup de Grâce foot stomp off the top to secure a victory. Good match, hope to see more veterans from the past work with the future of the WWE.
Winner: Finn Bálor
After the match NXT Champion Kevin Owens resurfaces on the top of the entrance ramp staring a hole at the man coming for his title. Owens starts walking down the ramp seemingly headed toward the ring but instead takes a detour to the commentary position. He pauses then grabs Alex Riley and launches him over the commentary table. He continues to glare at Bálor as the show goes off the air.
Lots of things to look forward to in next week’s show. Sasha Banks defends her NXT Women’s Championship against former champion Charlotte in a NXT Takeover Rival rematch as well as an update on Sami Zayn.
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