With the Dusty Classic, NXT is looking promising for the next few weeks. From the looks of it, we’ll receive fun but random tag team pairings. I just hope they can build a story which originates from this Classic, because it will make it much more significant.
The Ascension vs Rhyno & Baron Corbin
The Ascension has been a complete joke on the main roster, but their return to NXT was awesome. This was an environment where the tag team was taken seriously, and because of this I didn’t see them as a joke. They even looked more comfortable during this match. For some reason, I just didn’t buy into Corbin as a tag team player. I understand some of the teams are randomly put together, but his addition into a tag team match didn’t feel natural. Since the odd pairing didn’t feel organic, I felt as if they shouldn’t have won this match. At this point I’d rather see the Ascension advance in the Dusty Classic, because Corbin should be advancing his feud with Samoa Joe.
Alexa Bliss vs Blue Pants
Believe it or not, I thought they could have built this match to be slightly bigger. I think this matchup has potential for a larger feud. The actual match wasn’t very smooth, but the commentators made it work. Graves’ dislike of Blue Pants sold it for me. His work as a heel announcer is amazing enough for me to feel sympathy for the babyface wrestler. I thought this contest ended with an anticlimactic way. Knowing that Blake & Murphy will get another shot at the Vaudevillians, this could have ended in a DQ or some other variation of a no contest.
Apollo Crews vs Martin Stone
Crews exudes charisma, and it was more evident here than at Takeover. Even though this was a glorified squash match, it brought the best out of Apollo. For some reason I just had a blast watching him in this match. I think a few more matches like this will greatly help his character.
Eva Marie vs Billie Kay
Going into this match, I wasn’t ready for two weeks of Eva Marie. This being said, Eva genuinely impressed me in this match with her offense. Her intensity was much better and it showed. While her offense looked much better, the rest of her in ring awareness was terrible. How did she forget to kick out at two? The fact that the ref took the fall for her made it look much worse. Like I’ve said in the past, Marie needs much more time to develop.
Chad Gable & Jason Jordan vs Neville & Soloman Crowe
Although Crowe and Neville are an odd pairing, I was looking forward to seeing how they’d work as a team. What made Neville’s appearance in this match special was the reaction from the crowd. This Full Sail crowd hasn’t seen him since March of this year, so it’s understandable that they’d pop for him. The more I get to watch Gable and Jordan, the more I realize their natural chemistry is growing. Similar to the New Day, both men look like they’re just having fun. Even their use of isolating one man didn’t feel formulaic. The spot of the match was clearly Neville’s hot tag. I loved how this match ended, because it left one tag team looking strong, while the other didn’t look weak. To me, this seemed like a case of bad tag team chemistry between Neville and Crowe. Yes both men are solid wrestlers, but that doesn’t mean they make great tag partners.
For the most part, this episode was very bland, but it was a step up from last week’s horror show. What made this editon of NXT enjoyable was the idea of the Dusty Classic, because it sets up the story for the next few weeks, something most average episodes of NXT lack. The low point of this show was obviously Eva Marie’s performance (even though she improved) while the the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show a 5.9/10.