Zoo enthusiast and family man Kevin Owens called out Sami Zayn for his sneak attack/Alex Riley rescue of the week before, and ended up getting the tables turned on him. General Manager William Regal granted the NXT champ's request for a match against his old rival, but it took The Likeable One parroting back some of KO's own mind games to get him to put his belt on the line.
Delusional ingrate that he is, A-Ry demanded a third shot at Owens, and settled for one at the man who saved him from an apron powerbomb. While Regal shot him down on the title match, Sami agreed to give him a chance to work out some of his rage in the ring. While that was going on, Carmella was handling her business in the lounge area - first telling her boys she could handle herself, then telling off the tag champs and finally silencing Alexa Bliss when the pixie critiqued her manners.
Perhaps because they were still thinking about supporting Bliss, or maybe it was the kiss the Australian one stopped to blow in the Princess of Staten Island's direction, but Blake & Murphy were beated fair and square by Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady in a non-title match following the coffee bar incident. Their official shot at the titles hasn't been announced yet, but the #1 contenders have got some momentum on their side after that win.
Another #1 contender, Becky Lynch, nearly snapped the arm of an indy worker in tuning up for her showdown with Women's champ Sasha Banks. Meanwhile, Bayley drifted farther away from another shot at that prize when she let Dark Emma's mind games cost her a match with newcomer Dana Brooke.
Regal made one other match official for the next live special, May 20th's TakeOver: Unstoppable, and that's a threeway dance to determine who gets the winner of Owens vs. Zayn. Hideo Itami polished off an enhancement talent en route to that match, where he'll face longtime rival Tyler Breeze and long-time colleague Finn Bálor.
Owens stole the show in the main event, first by frustrating and intimidating the announce trio at the commentary desk, and then by ruining Sami's roll against Riley. Alex gave the Syrian-Canadian what for, but Zayn was mounting his comeback when Kev clubbed him from behind. The champ then finished what he'd started on Riley from the week before by slamming him back-first into the side of the ring, and laughing maniacally to show the world what to expect at Unstoppable.
When you've got uber-talented main eventers who are ready for the next level but who haven't been called up yet, you use them, right? That's what Triple H and team are doing, as this week promises more time with Owens and Zayn. Instead of spitting fire at one another across the ring like last week, they'll individually make their case to Michael Cole tonight.
This will be an interesting bit of cross-brand, time-travelling kayfabe, too, coming after Sami's big night on Raw. Will they have to worry about figuring out an explanation for The Likeable One's bum shoulder, beyond the built in one that they already have - they can either go with it being a lingering issue in general, or specifically from the Pop-Up Powerbomb fesitival at Rival.
At least in the case of another rumored call-up this week, Charlotte has already been written out of the Women't title storyline. It would be great to build off of her outrage at Lynch for stealing the win in their Triple Threat match a couple of weeks back, and to get a protracted Bex vs. Nature Girl program, but maybe we'll see that play out on Raw someday?
(Note: I know some folks have come looking for a more definitive match listing - we strictly avoid NXT spoilers here at Cageside central. If WWE.com releases or the performers tweet more information on anything that's officially going to take place on tonight's show, that'll be updated here. If anyone wants to put a match listing in the comments, please use spoiler tags.)
Worried that those darn call-ups might mess up your 'Developmental' feuds and dream matches?
You're probably in the right place. Talk to us about what matches you want to see between current roster members before the next wave of guys and gals follow in Neville, Sami and Paige's bootsteps, or whatever else you're thinking about heading into tonight's big episode of NXT!