Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to watching 90 minutes, because the beauty of NXT has always been the hour long format. Along with this, the taping seemed to have fallen flat for most of the show.
Amore, Cass, & The Hype Bros vs Dawson, Wilder, Gable, & Jordan
The highlight of this contest was simply Enzo & Cass’ entrance. That pop was arguably the biggest pop they had in that building. Hearing that entire crowd in sync with their opening bit was beautiful, and I hope it translates well onto the main roster one day. The two New York natives should have been given their own match, because they deserved it. After seeing Gable and Amore wrestle, I noticed their two personalities would clash well in a feud. Once Gable & Jordan are more established, they should consider that feud. Other than it being slightly crowded, this turned out to be a crowd pleaser. The babyfaces used in this match were perfect for getting the crowd excited.
Eva Marie vs Carmella
How many times will you ever go into a match thinking Carmella will probably carry the flow? The boos were audible for Eva, and I’m surprised they didn’t edit them out. I thought it was clever how Marie mocked “sawft”, it gave her some more personality. This match wasn’t a thing of beauty and its evident from a fans perspective that the two women are still beginners in their craft. They’ve both improved since the last time they were seen wrestling on television, but it’s fair to say they both need to stay in developmental for the foreseeable future.
Bull Dempsey vs Elias Samson
Who would have ever thought Bull would find another way to get over with the crowd? I guess he needed his previous gimmick for this one to work though. I even liked how the commentators put over “Bull Fit” as if it was some fitness movement. In a way, this would have been more effective as a squash match, because it can show that “Bull Fit” works. The spot of this match was Dempsey’s version of hulking up as it got audience hyped up. Overall decent match as it found a way to gain traction for Bull.
Emma vs Dana Brooke vs Charlotte vs Becky Lynch
It wasn’t until this point I noticed that the show was only 90 minutes because of the countless Takeover highlights and Network commercial breaks. There were still 4 matches on this card, and neither of them went extra long. Instead of turning on each other, I liked how Becky and Charlotte squared off in a more friendly competitive manner. That spot alone made them look like the more dominant women in the match. Dana may not look crisp in the ring, but her in ring trash talk is starting to make up for her lack of skill. It gives her a presence, which can arguably be just as good as skill. Was it just me, or were there at least several moments where Emma just stood there? For most of the match I was waiting to see how the Emma-Dana conflict would start, and it was done terribly. The spot where Brooke landed the enziguri looked extremely awkward and forced. That wasn’t just Dana’s fault, but also Emma’s. Clearly that finish was not planned, and because of how Becky no sold the Emmamite sandwich. The post match antics made Charlotte look like a complete idiot. A babyface shouldn’t just attack someone because they won clean. Although, the blame can’t go on Flair, because she was clearly trying to improvise and build to what the finish should have been. It’s odd how the main roster divas are given so much heat for everything, but yet fans forget the women in NXT can also make mistakes.
The entire show was hyped up to be amazing because it was taking place out of the Barclays Center, but it turned out to be a below average show. The hot crowd made it worth watching and kept the atmosphere alive. If this were a normal Full Sail taping, I’m sure the fans would have fallen asleep. The low points of the show was definitely the women’s fatal four way while the high point was the opening. Before people point out that Eva-Carmella was the worst match, I want you to know I share that same sentiment. In all fairness though, I wasn’t expecting anything from those two the same way I was expecting something from the main event. Overall, this show deserves a 4.9/10.