A week removed from Takeover, we were expecting some story advancement from the stars at Full Sail University. While I thought the show would be much better, they decided to take a more interesting path. Before you read my analysis, I’ll just say this show moved very fast, possibly too fast. At times I didn’t even get a chance to breath.
Due to the confusion, it was a smart idea to have William Regal clear up the confusion of last week’s championship match. At least we know that a wrestler can win a title by knock out. This might be a good gimmick for Owens in future matches. You have to love this NXT crowd, their chants are a great addition to the show. I personally liked how Owens stuck to his motivation, just for continuity’s sake. It came as surprise to me that he mentioned Finn Balor. It’s stuff like this that makes NXT unique, it’s wrestlers getting ready for their next challenge with no added drama. We all know Zayn will be back sometime soon, but it’s great for them to plant seeds early on.
Rhyno vs Elias Samson/ Finn Balor Promo
Well if you don’t read too many spoilers, Rhyno made a surprise debut to NXT. There wasn’t much to say about this match because it lasted all of 15 seconds. Based on his interaction with Finn Balor, I’m guessing they’re setting up for a feud between the two. This isn’t the worst idea, because it would be good to see Finn overcome a veteran such as Rhyno before he wins the title. Since they let Balor give his thoughts on Owens’ promo, they could be keeping themselves open creatively.
The Vaudevillians vs Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Enzo and Cass have graced our television/monitors 2 out 3 weeks, which means they must be building some kind of momentum. I’m happy they made their intentions clear, because this tag team division needs some action. The Vaudevillians were very aggressive in this match, and it was the best way showing that they’re the more experienced tag team. Their aggression didn’t last long, as they’d job to Enzo and Cass within a minute. This match could have easily gone longer, because the Vaudevillians aren’t a jobber tag team. Just about a month and a half ago, this team was challenging for the titles, how am I supposed to believe they’ve fallen off the much? Since Enzo and Cass are set for a tag team title feud, creative should work on giving Blake & Murphy some more personality, because it could be a problem in their latest program.
CJ Parker/ Solomon Crowe Promo
I know I said that NXT needed another big heel, but Parker wasn’t the person I had in mind. This was the opening for Solomon Crowe to debut, but I thought he’d come in as a heel instead of a babyface. Unless the plan was to push Parker into a major heel, I feel Crowe could have debuted against someone even better.
Sasha Banks vs Blue Pants
This was not the match I was expecting for the boss, but I guess it’s nice to see Blue Pants return. Since she’s facing Banks I’d imagine WWE has gotten her to sign some sort of short term contract. Either way, this crowd was hot for Blue Pants. So far this was the best match on the card, because it went longer than a minute, but not that much longer. I’m sure they rushed every match to give Neville and Owens a lot of time, but this formula was not working for this show. The best part of NXT is usually the quality matches they put together, but it wasn’t the recipe this week.
Kevin Owens vs Adrian Neville
Even though they started this match with 20 minutes left in the show, I initially feared it would last 2 minutes based on this show’s track record. Since Zayn had a tough time with Owens, it was only fair the Neville would go through the same struggle. For some reason, the creative team didn’t feel the same way as I did .There were two good spots from Neville, and the match didn’t build Owens as the monster heel he was last week. Once Neville put in his offense, I was surprised it lasted as long as it did. In fact, he probably got as much offense in as Zayn did. I didn’t like how Owens had to roll out of the ring twice to regain his focus, it took away from his act. If Zayn had lost to Owens in an even match, this would okay, but for story telling purposes this match wasn’t working. Take away the story, this match turned out to be great, and could be one of the better matches we’ve seen on NXT lately. I just didn’t like how Owens struggled against Neville but beat Zayn with ease.
As a standalone match, I enjoy the last 20 minutes for the in ring work. Story line wise, this show lacked quite a bit. Owens took a step back for struggling against Neville, and the rest of the roster was booked for filler matches. It was nice to see Enzo and Cass start a feud with the tag champs, but it didn’t take much, which doesn’t say a lot for the division. Rhyno was a nice surprise, but too bad the rest of the show failed to deliver. Overall I give this edition of NXT a 5.9/10 or a D+.