Well how odd were my predictions in comparison to what happened last night? They would’ve been correct, if I switched around some wrestlers in certain matches. This edition of NXT was meant to set the tone for the upcoming special on February 11. It would have been nice if they announced the name for this special, and I hope they don’t call this one Takeover. The show was dedicated to showcasing the brands top guys, and it certainly delivered on that vibe.
I felt indifferent to the opening montage, I guess watching Sami Zayn getting destroyed by Kevin Owens can get old. How great was the opening segment though? There was no better way to express Zayn’s anger than by having him assault Tye Dillinger and requesting for Owens to make his was out. My guess is that he was supposed to face Dillenger .This segment was brilliant, but I didn’t like how Owens got a non-title match as opposed to a title match. I’m a firm believer that the NXT title should be defended at the specials. Regal’s call on having a tournament for the number one contender was good news. The writers are already setting up for Zayn’s next feud, that’s what I call smart booking .Other than that, I was drawn into this segment because it was simple and to the point. It delivered the message it needed to, which was Zayn wanting Owens.
This was a great opening segment, watch what Sami had to say.
Finn Balor vs Curtis Axel- Tournament Match
-Opposite to my predictions, Finn Balor was starting off the show as opposed to ending it. I also found it ironic that Balor was facing Axel and Itami was facing Breeze. I still believe this match could have gone last, because I thought Finn was just as over as Zayn was in the opening segment. Either way though, as a Balor mark, I’m happy he’s advancing in this tournament. Him and Axel put on a solid but simple match. The writing is on the wall, he’ll win this tournament. Another outcome that had me thinking was Axel’s loss. I know the plan for Axel was for him to gain momentum in NXT, but it doesn’t help when they put him up against up comers that are crowd favorites. What I thought was a fresh start for the Axe-man is just turning into another version of his main roster run.
Sasha Banks vs Charlotte
-Before I review this match I must let my readers know, I absolutely love Sasha Banks’ theme song, it suits her well. Anyways, this was going to be a tough match to call, because how many times can the Boss job to Charlotte? Well, I guess the writers were thinking the same thing, so that’s why the match ended in a DQ win for Charlotte. The DQ finish was the best way to go, there was no way Charlotte was losing, but it would be foolish to have Banks lose for the third time. When Bayley came out to initially to save Charlotte, I feared this was setting up for a tag team program. It then looked as if they were teasing a heel turn for Bayley, but I’m happy they decided not to. This segment could have gotten away with not having Bayley attack Charlotte, but it will be good for adding drama leading up in the fatal 4 way match Regal announced minutes later. It was a refreshing decision for the GM of NXT to schedule a fatal 4 way for the NXT special, but consider this the day Charlotte loses her title. I foresee a roster call up in her near future.
Buddy Murphy & Wesley Blake vs The Vaudevillians
-Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake beat the Vaudevillians, which I believe was nothing less than a shock. In the end, it was the smart decision, especially if Murphy and Blake are in line to take on the Lucha Dragons. These two don’t have any kind of gimmick, so their upcoming feud with the Luchas should be interesting to say the least. I’ve heard rumors that Kalisto may get called up to the main roster sometime soon, and if this is the case, I hope they don’t lose the titles to these two.
Tyler Breeze vs Hideo Itami – Tournament Match
-Tyler Breeze reminds me so much of Dolph Ziggler when he was a heel. A gimmick that can potentially come off as goofy is being pulled off by this man. He knows how to get the crowd to believe in him as a competitor. Needless to say, this match deserved to go on last, doesn’t matter how much I like Balor. The contest was very back and forth, and had some believable near falls. Eventually Itami laced Breeze with a beautiful set of kicks which lead to the knee giving Itami win. This match definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. These two left me wanting more, and I honestly hope they get a chance to properly feud in the near future. I can rave about this match for hours, but the outcome meant even more, because when round 2 of this tournament begins, we’ll start with Balor vs Itami. Just a few weeks ago these two were part of a tag team demolishing the Ascension, so this story writes itself.
I highly recommend watching the highlights, check them out right here.
I loved this edition of NXT, it had a perfect amount of everything. Short but effective promos, good matches, and solid build for the special. This tournament that will determine the number one contender will only give the fans some great matches in the weeks to come. Overall I give this show a 8/10 or an A-.
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