Usually when a wrestling promotion is nearing a big show, they tend to put out more intriguing episodes for the fans, and that’s what NXT did last night. I can’t recall the last time a full NXT show was used to promote a special (probably before the last one). The story lines were presented well in last night’s show, and left me wanting more. It’s fair to say I’m just as excited for Takeover, if not more, as I am with Summerslam.
Solomon Crowe vs Ty Dillinger
Dillinger was in desperate need of a new gimmick. The perfect 10 may not be the most original idea, but if he can make it work, then why not keep it? It can also evolve over time, like most gimmicks do. I just feel some context was needed behind this gimmick change, like a backstage interview. Since there was no context, I didn’t care for Dillinger’s win. Once they give him some more to work with, maybe then he’ll start to attract attention from the audience.
Baron Corbin vs Axel Tischer
I was annoyed with Corbin’s last squash match, but I felt this entire segment was very well done. We haven’t seen him cut a promo in quite some time, but he did a great job at sounding like heel. Along with this, his on screen chemistry with Samoa Joe was noticeable, and it has me psyched for their match at Takeover. Having Joe put Baron to sleep was done effectively, it gives the audience something to look forward to when they clash .This was arguably the best Corbin segment I’ve ever seen.
Marcus Louis vs Finn Balor
Louis resembled a zombie during his entrance, and I’m not sure if that’s what he’s going for. What I enjoy about Balor is that he doesn’t crush opponents like they’re nothing, even jobbers. This match was slightly more realistic, because he didn’t have the size advantage. It obviously wasn’t long, but I liked how Finn sold Louis in part of this contest.
Most of the segments between Balor and Owens haven’t felt intense, apart from the contract signing, but their post match brawl accomplished that. It allowed both characters to gain more hatred for one another, and that’s something they’ll need heading into a ladder match.
Bayley vs Becky Lynch
When watching NXT, our TV/computer screens are graced with the presence of Balor, Owens, Joe, Itami, etc. As of now though, nobody is hotter than Bayley. Her journey to NXT Takeover has been superbly done, and she’s gained a ton of fan support on the way. I didn’t think it was possible for her to be more likeable, but she has somehow accomplished that. Along with all of this, Bayley managed to put on two amazing matches in back-to-back weeks (last week and this week). While I can’t spend enough time commending the in ring work, I must say the commentating team was on a roll. Those three men just know when to fire up the jokes. I noticed that Lynch and Bayley truly had natural chemistry, which made everything look much more real. Every move in the match was done in a hard hitting fashion. The spot of the match was Bayley’s flying elbow because of how they lead up to it. The maneuver came across as something Bayley needed to move this match to the next level. I would have preferred the win to come after a Bayley-to-belly suplex, but after seeing how hard the crowd popped, I don’t think it really mattered. It was simply a feel good moment that didn’t need any nitpicking.
It’s been a while, but the majority of this show carried significance. Not only did it deliver in terms of substance, but the show was well paced with every segment being done at the right time. I would have actually been okay if this was the go home show for Takeover. The low point of the episode was the opening match, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this edition of NXT an 8/10.