Last night’s NXT focused much of it’s show on promoting Wrestlemania and capitalizing on 2 key feuds. This episode was a nice change of pace from what we’ve seen within the past few weeks. It carried the big show feel, and delivered 2 solid matches. After this show, I imagine next week will be a fresh start for creating new feuds.
Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks (NXT Women’s Championship)
This crowd was very quiet during the entrances, which is odd because Sasha is usually very over with the audience. I liked that they had the JoJo call the names out after the entrances, it made everything about this bout feel important. This was the second match in a row where Sasha used her double knees early in the match, but I think it looks better towards the end. The boss’ trash talk continue’s to get better in the ring, and it was featured well in this match. Bliss did a great job at selling Sasha’s early dominance, and that says a lot about how far she’s come within the past few weeks. Alexa executed some great moves, and because of that I felt it could have gone longer. Either way, I was happy with this match, and can’t wait to see who Sasha’s next challenge will be.
Bayley/Emma Backstage Segment
This was a great segment to kick start a new feud. Normally the Divas division consists of one feud that’s focused on the title, but I’m happy they’re branching out into single feuds that are about something else. Both of these women are great in ring workers, and have great personalities, we should be in for a solid feud.
Finn Balor vs Kevin Owens (NXT Championship)
This show was filled with tons of recaps and previews for this match, which I didn’t mind. The in show build made this feel like a PPV contest. Owens is great at starting the match at his own pace, it adds a lot to the psychology of the match. There is considerable size difference between these two competitors, and they did a great job at showing that. Finn was a magician with his use of dropkicks, it’s been a while since someone has used them as well and consistently as him. The slow pace of this match was beneficial for Owens, and I was surprised he was dominating the first half as much as he did. At this point in the contest I thought Neville has had the best luck against the Canadian native. The irish whip to Finn into the turnbuckle was painful to watch, he did a phenomenal job at selling this simple move. The pelay kick was a surprising spot, and probably the best use of it because it came out of nowhere. Balor did an awesome job at executing all of his signature moves, and it was smart that he got to use them. I wish they had let Finn capitalize on this momentum, because watching Owens dominate didn’t do anything for me. They did even it out slightly towards the end, which created some excitement. Owens’ suplex from the top looked beautiful, I didn’t think he’d reverse into that move. I didn’t like how Owens was able to easily recover from the coup de grace, even if he wasn’t as beaten down as Balor, he could have stayed down for a little longer. Overall the match was still entertaining and well worked, but I couldn’t get past how Balor didn’t get much momentum. I’m all for Kevin being a monster like champion, but it shouldn’t come at the price of them making their arguably biggest prospect look weaker.
I’m glad tonight focused on two key matches instead of having random matchups put together. Both matches were entertaining and showed us again why these NXT superstars are the best in the world at their craft. I didn’t like Bliss-Banks was shorter than expected, they had enough time to let them go another 3-4 minutes. Also, I feel they did some damage to Balor looking strong. Other than those two factors, I had watching this edition of NXT .Overall I give this show a 7.4/10.