C.M. Punk starts the show off with a monologue about how he hasn’t gotten the respect he thinks he deserves. He says that he is here to watch Seth Rollins defend the championship in a main event, the way a championship should, and that they are lucky he is there.
Byron Saxton starts off hyping the NXT championship match. Bo Dallas is coming out to have the first match of the night. He’s facing Johnny Curtis.
BO DALLAS vs. JOHNNY CURTIS
Curtis gets the worst in an early feeling out process, but Curtis turns it around. There’s a “Bo’s a Diva” chant. Dallas tries to make a comeback, but Curtis back body drops him halfway to the moon and follows with a knee drop from the ropes. Dallas fires up and beats Curtis silly. Dallas with a spear for the win.
WINNER: Bo Dallas in 4:10. Like many of Dallas’s matches, he spent most of it doing a good job making his opponent look good. Dallas is very good at that, but we still haven’t seen much of him on the attack. His enthusiasm is contagious.
Incredibly, Paige gets a bigger pop than Alicia Fox or Kaitlyn, and the crowd is chanting her name. Audrey Marie and Paige is an odd pairing.
KAITLYN & ALICIA FOX vs. PAGE & AUDREY MARIE – Tag Team match
Kaitlyn and Paige to start. Byron Saxton calls Kaitlyn “more experienced,” which is pretty funny if you know their histories. Kaitlyn sends Paige to the mat with her strength. Another lock-up and Paige uses her technical acumen to retaliate. Marie comes in and keeps Kaitlyn grounded. Marie with some clever headlocks to wristlocks to headlocks transitions.
Kaitlyn finally escapes and brings Maries into the corner. “We Want Paige” chant. Marie with a “Winnick Throw,” which impresses Regal quite a bit. Marie is still cornered. Marie is desperate for a tag. Marie with a jawbreaker to get Paige in against Fox. Paige just wrecks Fox, but Fox slips out of the lift-up DDT. Kaitlyn needs to make the save, and the action breaks down. Fox and Paige fly across the ring and bump Kaitlyn from the apron, then Paige rolls up Fox on the rebound for the win.
WINNERS: Paige & Audrey Marie in 6:15. Now, I know that the FSU setting is officially “Bizarro Land,” but Paige is super-over with the crowd. She’s like the female C.M. Punk. Well done match, and it was good to see a bit more of Audrey Marie. She has a lot of potential. It really feels like WWE is slowly winding down the “fashion model era” and trying to develop a real women’s wrestling division, albeit one no one ever actually sees on TV.
Backstage, Jake Carter does a bad job at putting the moves on some random woman. Trent Barreta comes in and calls him out on it. Carter acts like he turned her down, then challenges Barreta to a match. Baretta accepts for next week.
Backstage, Briley Pierce interviews Seth Rollins, who says that he’s been looking forward to his first title defense, and that he is excited, not nervous. C.M. Punk enters the picture just as Rollins says that McGillicutty “disrespected” him. Pierce runs away. Punk tells Rollins that holding the title won’t guarantee him respect. He gives Rollins a speech about how you can’t earn respect in the WWE, and Rollins needs to not respect MbGillicutty, not earn his respect, but to beat it out of him. Rollins takes it all in without saying a word.
DANTE DASH vs. LEO KRUGER
Kruger sits in the corner stroking his hair as Dash asks him to stand up. Kruger suddenly jumps out of the corner and beats Dash hard. Kruger keeps stroking and yanking on his hair, then he smashes his own face into the mat. He hits his odd finisher and the match is over.
WINNER: Leo Kruger in 2:30. Kruger has slowed it down, but he fills the space in the match with this thing with his hair that just doesn’t make sense.
Post-match, Kruger cuts a promo that combines his South African accent with a demented was of talking.
Outside, Briley Pierce interviews Michael McGillicutty. McGillicutty says he doesn’t care about respect, he cares about the title, and will go after Punk’s title after he beats Rollins.
There’s a big-match feel as the main event is introduced. The booth is William Regal, Jim Ross, and C.M. Punk. It is hard to imagine a better trio to be calling a match based on who WWE has under contract. Rollins is finally wearing his belt during his entrance. C.M. Punk comes in after Rollins to say that he will be taking a closer look tonight.
SETH ROLLINS vs. MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY – NXT Title match
Lots of crowd support for Rollins after the bell. Punk lets Regal touch his WWE Title belt, and Regal says, “Thank you, that’s the closest I’ll ever get to it.” Rollins uses both speed and power to keep McGillicutty on his toes, and barely misses a Blackout attempt.
McGillicutty is controlling the match out of the break, but Rollins makes a comeback. Regal brings up the common comparisons between Rollins and Punk, and Punk says that Rollins needs to make his own way, not be the second C.M. Punk. Rollins almost teases McGillicutty as he sets up kicks, but McGillicutty sends him to the outside. McGillicutty makes the mistake of jawing at Rollins, letting Rollins get some traction, but McGillicutty crotches Rollins who ends up in a Tree of Woe. McGillicutty was a nasty chinlock from outside the ring while Rollins is hung up.
McGillicutty has Rollins grounded again. Rollins sends McGillicutty into the turnbuckle with a Russian Legsweep to start a comeback. Rollins sends McGillicutty to the outside and follows up with a suicide dive. Rollins rolls McGillicutty into the ring and looks for a springboard move, but McGillicutty counters with a dropkick. Camera shots of Punk shows that he is too invested in the match to talk. Enziguri puts McGillicutty down, but he misses the Blackout and then a followup roundhouse misses too. McGillicutty comes right back with a Saito Suplex for a pair of nearfalls.
McGillicutty can’t believe that he hasn’t won yet. McGillicutty looks for another suplex, but Rollins counts with an inside cradle for a nearfall. rollins gets flipped around on a clothesline for another nearfall. Punk doesn’t fault McGillicutty for getting frustrated since Rollins is absorbing so much offense. Rollins slips out of the Turning Heads neckbreaker, then responds with a unique move, something like a running springboard DDT that has to be seen to be believed. None of the announcers even try to name it. It’s good for the win.
WINNER: Seth Rollins in 13:10. Another outstanding, lengthy title match with Seth Rollins playing the underdog who can take a beating and survive to win. The announcing team was superb; Punk showed Rollins immense respect and support, while not taking anything away from McGillicutty. Regal and Punk had a lot of great banter, but they always closed their mouths at the perfect moment for J.R. to call the match.
Post-match, C.M. Punk stands up at the booth to clap for Rollins and look on in respect. Rollins stands on the turnbuckle and says that Full Sail is his house.