If you read my predictions, you must know I was expecting a big night, and they did not disappoint. While I was hoping to see the build for big feuds, they did a great execution on short terms programs. Last night was simply a fun episode and a great way to set us up for the big Columbus show next week.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs The Lucha Dragons
The comments towards the Lucha Dragons were very humorous, and I’m surprised that one of the writers here came up with the Geico joke. You know it was over with the crowd when they began to chant “Geico Lizard!”. This match wasn’t anything great, there were too many rest spots with not enough tag team work. It’s fair to say Kalisto and Sin Cara carried this entire match. I think it’s time the Dragons make their way up to the main roster, because they were having trouble getting over during the entire contest.
Carmella vs Alexa Bliss
I’ll admit, Carmella’s theme is a guilty pleasure. There’s just something about it that makes it sound catchy. The two featured some decent mat work early on in the match. Bliss was very agile in this contest, I’m starting think her and Sasha would create some magic in the ring. Carmella is still in need of some technical work, just so her moves look more fluid. This was a solid win for Alexa Bliss, and while she did have some rust, I’m sure she’ll come into fruition by next week when she takes on Sasha Banks.
CJ Parker vs Alex Riley
The video packages from earlier showcasing Riley’s journey back to wrestling were incredible. I was never to big on Riley, but it made me excited for his return. In fact, I popped hard for him when his music hit. Parker’s early advantage was a smart way of telling us that Riley had ring rust. It was only fitting that Riley would have to claw his way to victory. Riley’s finish was beautiful, that move caught me off guard. Owens’ post match promo was brilliant, and reminded me why this man makes such a great heel. The build for this mini angle has been phenomenal, and its working because the crowd is enjoying the babyface performer, while the heel finds ways to antagonize his opponent.
Tyler Breeze vs Hideo Itami
I was convinced they’d wait until the next Takeover special to resolve this feud, but I guess that build could get stale by then. This was probably the best way to close the show simply for the fact that these two are awesome workers. Did anybody else catch Cory Graves’ joke on Albert and the selfie stick? I got a good laugh from it. If this is the blow off match for this feud, I think it could have had a small stipulation. Early into the match these two were very fluid, and they executed each move rather well. Breeze’s ability to sell Itami’s moves made Itami look like a true threat to the NXT roster. My favorite spot of this match was the knee to the head from the top ropes delivered by Itami. My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw Tyler pick up the win. I wasn’t opposed to Breeze winning, I just thought he there to put Itami over in this feud. Either way, I was happy with this result and the match as a whole.
While I was hoping for a NXT episode filled with story line development, we were given something simple, and effective. Not all the matches on this show had large consequences, but they all meant something for the short term. For the most part, I enjoyed what these superstars put out tonight. Overall, I give this edition of NXT a 7.9/10 or a B+.