After last week’s snooze-fest, I was hoping NXT would give the fans something to be excited over. I was expecting a duplicate episode, but instead they delivered big. This wasn’t the best show they’ve ever put out, but it was meaningful, and because of that it was entertaining.
Carmella vs Peyton Royce
Well, we’ve seen her before on NXT as KC, but that didn’t amount to much. We don’t see this much, but I liked how the two continued to show sportsmanship throughout this bout. The highlight of this match wasn’t in the ring, but instead Cory Graves stating how the moonwalk was invented by Michael PS Hayes. What I mainly took away from this was how much Carmella has improved. At one point she was just seen as another fitness model, but her athleticism in the ring is starting to show. Not the prettiest match, but a sign of solid development from the performance center.
Tyler Breeze & Bull Dempsey vs Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa
Based on their personalities, I highly believe Dempsey and Breeze could have a long and successful run as a tag team. The two would be amazing in fitness type vignettes. At first I wasn’t sure if Gargano & Ciampa should have been wrestling Breeze & Dempsey (being two of NXT’s hottest acts), but it made their debut match interesting. I liked how they booked the two veterans to lose this contest because of their inability to work as a team. It’s not something that’s shown often, but this tournament is allowing us to see that putting stars together doesn’t mean they’ll equal a good team. I believe the Dusty Classic is showing us that there is an art behind wrestling as a tag team.
Billie Kay vs Dana Brooke
Wrestling skills aside, Dana’s mic skills are truly impressing me. She hits all the right keys when cutting a heel promo. The match itself was quite boring. I’m not sure if it was just me, but there seemed to be too many headlocks. I for one can’t stand Brooke’s enzigiri, as it’s not quick enough to look natural. Although, there were a few other moves of hers that looked visually appealing.
Finn Balor & Samoa Joe vs The Lucha Dragons
I for one was not expecting them to switch over to another venue for this match. While it was taped last week with the main roster, it felt as if they cut to a live feed. It was definitely odd to hear the announce team switch though. Since both commentators were babyface, I thought Phillips and Uso did a great job at selling at selling both teams as legitimate competition. I was highly impressed with the match quality here. Balor worked excellently with both members of the Lucha Dragons. Since all three men are more agile wrestlers, they capitalized on creating visually appealing spots. Nothing can be taken away from Joe’s ability to work with smaller opponents, as he’s just as quick. In fact, I thought he was the stand out in this contest. Balor and Joe made a tremendous team, and it would have been a shame if they didn’t hope. I hope the two continue to work as allies in the future, because their chemistry was amazing.
Everything in this show was given meaning, and that’s not normal for a NXT show two weeks after a special. Of course the tag team matches had implications, but even the women’s matches were done to give the audience a sense of who can challenge Bayley for her title. They weren’t the best matches, but having a subtle story tied in makes it much more intriguing. The low spot of the show was Dana’s enzigiri, while the high point was Finn’s and Joe’s team chemistry. This show receives a solid 7.8/10.