WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 22
Prior to his debut this Friday night on SmackDown, Bo Dallas fought for his NXT livelihood as he took on Big E in this week's main event.
A win would have delivered Dallas an NXT Championship match agianst either Adrian Neville or Tyson Kidd. A loss, however, would result in Bo's banishment from NXT.
After a rough three months, Dallas fell prey to the Big Ending and was booted from the brand he reigned over as champion for nearly a year.
Elsewhere on the show, Natalya advanced to the final of the Women's Championship Tournament with a win over Sasha Banks. At next week's NXT Takeover, she will meet Charlotte for the right to become the second titleholder in the brand's history.
Neville was put to the test against Curt Hawkins, a main roster Superstar who held the tag team titles, not unlike Kidd, Neville's opponent next week at Takeover.
Paige and Tamina Snuka returned to NXT as they clashed in a hard-fought, physical battle.
Finally, the much-anticipated (but not really) battle between Adam Rose and Camacho took place as the leader of the Exotic Express looked to defeat NXT's biggest lemon. Would he be successful or would Camacho once again prove himself as a party pooper?
The May 22 episode of NXT is in the bag. Relive all of the great moments and action with a look back at this week's WWE Network broadcast.
Big E vs. Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas' future in NXT was on the line as he took on Big E in the evening's opening contest, a match between two former NXT champions.
Bo cut an impassioned promo prior to the match, imploring the fans to never stop Bo-lieving.
Big E completely outclassed Bo early, taking the fight to the man that defeated him for the NXT Championship.
Bo, however, turned the tide in his favor by suckering Big E in and slamming him face-first into the ring steps. He wore Big down with a front face lock as the show headed to break.
Big E fought back, delivered a belly-to-belly and pulled the straps down in preparation for the Big Ending. Dallas escaped and caught the former Intercontinental Champion with the inverted DDT for a count of two.
Dallas tried for a bulldog, but E countered and delivered a belly-to-belly overhead suplex. Dallas recovered and delivered the double underhook DDT but was only able to keep him down for two.
Bo exposed the turnbuckle but E tossed him into the corner and delivered the Big Ending for the win.
Big E, via pinfall, following the Big Ending
Highlights and Quotes
"How can you not root for Tim Tebow? How can you not root for Bo Dallas?" —Alex Riley on the crowd's disdain for Bo
"NXT was built on Bo-Lieving." —Dallas
"I humbly accept the title 'Mr. NXT.'" —Dallas
"I can't go! This is my home!" —Dallas
This week's show kicked off with a well-wrestled match that brought to an end the NXT career of one of the brand's best in Dallas, all the while providing redemption for E, who lost the NXT title to Dallas nearly two years ago.
The turnbuckle spot played up the controversial finish of their last match and proved to be Dallas' downfall. In two previous high-profile matches, Dallas used an exposed turnbuckle to help him retain his NXT title.
Tonight, it proved to be his downfall.
Poetic justice at its best.
Paige vs. Tamina Snuka
Just weeks after competing in a ferocious battle at Extreme Rules, WWE Divas Champion Paige and Tamina returned to NXT to wage war in front of the rabid Full Sail fans.
Paige unleashed a series of hard forearms and caught Tamina with a kick early. The Divas champion tried for the knee lifts to the face, but Tamina dodged them and caught Paige with a big clothesline that knocked Paige to the ring apron.
Tamina used her strength to her advantage, wearing Paige down with a big bearhug. A stiff clothesline kept momentum on Tamina's side.
Tamina targeted the back of Paige and trapped her in the Torture Rack, eliciting a scream from the champion.
Paige mounted a comeback with a series of back elbows in the corner, then she took Tamina down with a series of clotheslines. A running knee to the face stunned Tamina, but the larger competitor dumped Paige to the arena floor.
Tamina headed up top for the Superfly Splash, but Paige got her knees up and cradled Tamina for a the win.
Paige, via pinfall, with a small package
Highlights and Quotes
"Is there ever a time when she doesn't look angry?" —Alex Riley on Tamina
"I don't think she has earned that respect from Tamina yet." —Renee Young on Paige and how Tamina sees her
This was a very hard-fought victory for Paige that was only a step below the underrated match from Extreme Rules.
Tamina looked good as she targeted the lower back of her opponent and worked over it throughout the bout.
The Divas champion showed tremendous resiliency in fighting back and great awareness by getting her feet up at the last minute, stunning a flying Tamina and rolling her up for the win.
It was a very entertaining showcase for Paige and one of her top contenders.
Adam Rose vs. Camacho
A match weeks in the making, Adam Rose attempted to cleanse NXT of its biggest lemon as he took on Camacho in singles competition.
Rose attacked from the bell, but Camacho stunted the assault. An angrier, more intense Rose took a moment to play mind games with his opponent before taking him down and pounding away.
Camacho took control of the bout and stomped away at Rose in the corner. He planted Rose with a double underhook suplex and kept him grounded with a big leg drop.
Camacho slammed Rose's head into the turnbuckles but NXT's resident party-goer "hulked up" and fought back. Rose landed the seated senton in the corner and was about to finish the second-generation star off with the Party Foul, but Camacho bailed out of the ring and walked out, bringing the bout to an indecisive conclusion.
Adam Rose via countout
Highlights and Quotes
"He's put a lot of size on and can create a lot of strength inside that ring." —Alex Riley on Camacho
"You don't make a name for yourself by beating down Captain Comic." —Renee Young on Camacho
Few would have expected a good match out of Adam Rose and Camacho, but that is exactly what fans were treated to Thursday night.
Rose showed some vulnerability as Camacho wore him down with his raw power. For the first time, Rose was forced to fight from underneath, which he proved capable of. He mounted a comeback that had the fans behind it and was preparing to score the win when Camacho bailed and got himself counted out.
The finish may not have been satisfactory but it does leave the feud open to more matches if the company chooses to keep Rose down in NXT while simultaneously appearing on Raw and SmackDown. That's not unlike what they have done with Emma.
Natalya vs. Sasha Banks
In the second semifinal match of the Women's Championship tournament, Natalya met the BFFs' Sasha.
Sasha talked trash to start then ran to the ropes for cover when Natalya approached.
Natalya took Sasha over with a side headlock, frustrating Sasha early.
Sasha positioned Natalya in the ropes and delivered knees to the midsection. With Natalya draped over the bottom rope, she stomped away on the third-generation Diva's back.
Natalya used her power advantage to fight out of a submission hold, then she took Sasha over with a butterfly suplex. Sasha responded with a bulldog.
Charlotte threw a potentially injured Sasha back into the ring, causing dissension between the BFFs. This allowed Natalya to recover, lock in the Sharpshooter and score the victory.
Natalya, via submission, with the Sharpshooter
Highlights and Quotes
"Strong, powerful women here." —Alex Riley on the NXT Divas
"They're going to fight and do whatever it takes to do that." —Renee Young on the catty remarks made by Charlotte in reference to Sasha and the NXT Divas' want to become champion
This was a solid match that did more to showcase Sasha Banks than Natalya, who won the bout and advanced to Takeover to face Charlotte for the NXT Women's title.
The more interesting aspect of the match was the subplot revolving around Charlotte and Sasha's partnership and the selfishness shown by Charlotte, both during a pre-match promo and late in the match.
Could the dissension between them lead to a feud in the post-Takeover NXT?
We will have to wait to find out.
Adrian Neville vs. Curt Hawkins
Well would you look at that...Curt Hawkins does still work for WWE.
Hawkins wore Neville down early with a sleeper but the NXT Champion fought back with hard rights to the midsection.
A series of flying forearms, a boot to the midsection and running kick to the head turned the tide in Neville's favor. A running back elbow from Neville knocked Hawkins down, and the Red Arrow finished for Neville in under three minutes.
After the match, Tyson Kidd made his way to the ring to confront the NXT Champion.
Adrian Neville, via pinfall, following the Red Arrow
Highlights and Quotes
"You can tell Curt Hawkins is from somewhere around New York or New Jersey just by looking at that outfit." —Alex Riley
"A good way to do that is to have a match with the current NXT Champion. That's one ways to get eyes on you." —Renee Young on Curt Hawkins not being seen by fans recently
"I have been on Raw. Fact. I have been on SmackDown. Fact. I am a former WWE Tag Team Champion. Fact. And I am one of very few people who has had a WrestleMania moment in front of 70,000 people. Fact. I want that feeling back and that NXT title is my launching pad to getting it back." —Kidd
"If you think you're going to use NXT as a springboard to further your career, you've got another thing coming." —Neville
"I think the only member of your family taking home the gold, as per usual, will be your wife." —Neville
The last line of the post-match promo between Neville and Kidd, in which Neville claimed that Natalya would be the only member of the Kidd clan leaving Takeover with the gold, sold the match more than anything else done to this point.
Kidd showed good intensity in his promo as he revealed how much winning the NXT title means to him and rejuvenating his career.
The match itself was nothing more than a three-minute exhibition for Neville to showcase his abilities, which was a bit surprising given how much Renee Young and Alex Riley put over Hawkins prior to the match.
Overall, this was a very good conclusion to a show that did an excellent job of putting the final touches on the hype for Takeover. With Neville vs. Kidd, Natalya vs. Charlotte, The Ascension vs. El Local and Kalisto, Tyler Breeze vs. Sami Zayn and Adam Rose vs. Camacho making up the card, it should prove to be a very fun night of action on May 29.