Ever since the announcement of the next Takeover special, I’ve noticed a shift in urgency. That particular urgency is being shown in larger feuds, something this product has lacked in the past few weeks. This episode was a great start for Takeover special, and it truly got the momentum moving.
Kevin Owens kept his words simple, but at the same time I could tell how his promo skills have gotten much better. Considering how intense this moment became once Regal and Zayn made their way out, I couldn’t believe the fans in attendance were more concerned with their chants than the promo itself. At first I found Zayn’s promo slightly stale, but once he pulled out the punch line of “the prize”, I grinned. This entire segment was beautifully done because we saw the role reversal for both men.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs Blake & Murphy
Once they got to this match, I realized we were in for a story heavy edition of NXT, but that’s okay, we were in need for that type of episode. If Amore and Cass were number one contenders for the titles, why were they wrestling the champs in a non-title match? This made absolutely no sense; I thought it would have been better to see one member of each team compete one on one. The match picked up steam very quickly, and the spots became very intense. I was most impressed with Big Cass in this match, as he made his rush of momentum look great. While I wasn’t a fan of this match happening, I thought it was a good opening contest.
Bayley vs Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke is rather green to the wrestling scene, and is still finding her footing, but I must say that her theme song suits her very well. Brooke needs some more experience, and I don’t think there is anybody better than Bayley to help show her the ropes (literally). Since her last match 2 weeks ago, it was easy to notice how much Dana has improved, and she looked like a natural athlete. I couldn’t think of a better way for them to end the match, because it didn’t leave Bayley looking weak. Also I was glad the hugger still hit her elbow from the top rope, as it didn’t look like a typical distraction finish. Overall I enjoyed this match, and I’m excited to see how watch Dana’s progress in the upcoming weeks.
Hideo Itami vs Adam Rose
I’m glad they let Adam Rose put up a fight, because we saw enough squash matches on last week’s card. It wasn’t until this moment I remembered that Rose can actually wrestle. We all knew Hideo was going to be the victor in this contest, but watching Adam wrestle a man his size made this feel more believable than his matches on the main roster. This turned out to be a decent match, and made both men look good.
Becky Lynch vs Sara Dawson
This match was here only for Becky Lynch to look strong. I’m glad they’re doing their best to push Becky as a babyface, I think she’s an easy wrestler to get behind. I figured Sara Dawson is someone from the Performance Center, because she didn’t look so polished. The match wasn’t anything special, but I thought it was a good way to showcase the number 1 contender.
Sami Zayn vs Alex Riley
I didn’t think Owens would be that great on commentary, but his comments on Riley were funny. I didn’t mind hearing the champ on commentary, but it got annoying when they kept putting the camera on him during the actual match. I felt Riley looked much better here then he did in his last two previous contests. He was able to compete properly without getting thrown around like a rag doll. With Owens sitting so close by, it was no surprise that he interfered. I didn’t think this match stood out, but it was great in terms of furthering the feud between Sami and Kevin. Since the match was going very smoothly I did feel like they could have let it go on a bit longer.
This week’s edition of NXT was simple, and it was able to further many sotry lines. The past few episodes have been based around mini feuds and stand alone matches, but it was great to see important story lines built for the next Takeover special. Overall I give this show a 7.9/10.