In a way, this was the go home show for the Beast in the East special on Saturday, and it lived up to that title by the end of the night. Other than that, the rest of the show was used to create new feuds for the upcoming weeks. I actually thought the show was going to fall flat when I saw what the first match was, but I pleasantly surprised.
The Vaudevillians vs Dawson & Wilder
While I was excited to see the Vaudevillians, I really had no interest in this match. For a show like NXT, I think they should use the opening for wrestlers that are involved in feuds, just to get the crowd pumped for that particular taping. Gotch and English did do their best to give the fans a show, it was apparent through the multiple chants they received. They definitely deserved the win, and I hope they receive some more spotlight. It was obvious the two put in a solid effort.
Baron Corbin vs Tucker Knight
I didn’t mind this squash match, because it was a good way to let Corbin receive some air time on the show. The NXT Universe has been critical of his abilities, but I think when he’s finally setup for a meaningful feud, they’ll get excited for him.
Finn Balor Special
What I’ve enjoyed about these specials is how each segment has been different. I thought ending these specials with a behind the scenes look at his in ring persona was a brilliant idea. We’ve seen the multiple designs he’s used in his career, but I’ve never heard him explain his thoughts and feelings on it. It was also neat to see how Hunter was guiding Finn through his iconic entrance, because it gave fans a glimpse at how involved Hunter is with his top prospects. It did feel like this special took up most of the show though.
Emma vs Carmella
For the most part, these two women looked quite solid to start the match. Carmella, like many other women in the WWE, is criticized for her lack of skill, but this match was evidence she has improved. Most of their contest was worked at a slow and simple pace, but sometimes that can make a performer look much better. When they put Brooke and Emma together, I was worried Emma would become a sidekick, but this match proved they are willing to push her.
Tyler Breeze vs Tye Dillinger
I would have preferred some sort of rematch with Bull Dempsey and Tyler Breeze, just because the last one was so comedic. Dillinger isn’t the most captivating, but this was a way of showcasing Breeze on the show. For the most part, this was boring.
Finn Balor & Samoa Joe vs Kevin Owens & Rhyno
Seeing Balor and Joe standing next to each other was quite funny, just because of their size difference. After looking at all the competitors once the match started, I realized that Balor was the smallest one, and it was noticeable. I wish they gave Owens and Balor less ring time together, it took away the some of the excitement of seeing them compete on Saturday. This was a minor detail, but for some reason it bothered me. Finn was the stand out in this contest, as he was playing iron man by staying in the ring for most of the time. Joe also did a good job at standing out as a hot tag, especially because he created some chemistry with Rhyno, even though it was for a few seconds. I would have never guessed that Balor would get the clean pin on Owens in this particular match. It came as a huge shock to me, as I believed Rhyno would be the one to eat the pin. Is this a sign that Owens gets revenge on Saturday? Could this possibly mean that Kevin will fall into a losing streak before Batleground? For a show that wasn’t very eventful when it started, it left me asking myself many questions when it concluded.
This episode was quite average, but they did do a good job at using most of these matches to further/create story lines. Other than Breeze-Dillenger and Corbin-Knight, the rest of the show focused on creating more plot for the upcoming weeks. With that being said, the low point of the show was obviously Breeze vs Dillenger since it put me to sleep and the high point was Balor pinning Owens. Overall I give this show a 7.4/10.