Even though NXT is two weeks removed from Takeover, I’m loving the direction they’re going. I’m hoping every show from here on will have this style, where there’s a story involved in every match. It’s needless to say that I enjoyed this week’s edition of NXT.
Asuka vs Billie Kay
I didn’t really notice at Takeover, but Asuka has a brilliant entrance and it just gives her that “cool” factor. Billie Kay on the other hand was given a lackluster entrance, but I’m sure with time she might be given something better. While it was a squash, I’m glad that the size difference between the two made a difference at first. It also allowed for Asuka to look crafty.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs Dash & Dawson
At the Dusty Classic, Cass & Enzo were defeated by Dash & Dawson, so the mark in me wanted to see the fan favorites get their win back. Before I could even properly review the match, it was over, as it was done to make Amore look scrappy. These two haven’t had the best luck as of late, and I’m hoping that this win will do something.
Eva Marie Vignette
She hasn’t been received very well since her debut, but these vignettes aren’t so bad. The one last week was much better, as she was talking about needing a break from her hard work. If her character is someone that doesn’t care about wrestling, it just might work for her.
James Storm vs Danny Burch
Seeing James Storm actually debut on NXT television was great, simply because of the fan reaction. It’s just too bad it was spoiled two weeks ago. The match itself wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was a good way to showcase NXT’s latest addition. With James Storm now on a WWE contract, it’s a clear sign that WWE is not afraid to hire former TNA talent. .
Alexa Bliss vs Peyton Royce
Blake & Murphy actually look better as Alexa’s managers, instead of it being the other way around. This is not a joke, they compliment her look quite well. I can’t be the only one that thinks Royce’s theme sounds exactly like Billie Kay’s theme. For a moment I thought Kay was pulling double duty. I found this formula to be similar to the one used in the first match, but it still worked. Bliss needed the big win, and making her look like a legitimate threat to Bayley is essential. Her promo was easily the best part of this segment, as she just oozed heel.
Baron Corbin vs Rhyno
When they first announced this on the show, I thought it could have been saved, but I quickly changed my mind. In the past I’ve criticized NXT for having meaningless episodes that had no story progression, and they need more main events like this one. This feud only began last week during the Battle Royal, and I couldn’t be the only one who wanted to see the aftermath. Another thing I loved was how Corbin handled his own in a match that went past a minute. It’s proof that WWE’s training system is working for many of their prospects. Baron was also finding small and subtle ways to work the crowd, which was impressive. I can’t truly remember the last time Rhyno had to sell the way he did in this match, and it goes to show why he’s in NXT. He knows what it takes to make younger performers look great, and that was seen in the finish to this match.
I absolutely adored this episode of NXT, as it cut out a lot of filler and gave us plenty of action. These matches were set in place for a reason, and gave us a sense of story. The low point of the show was Eva’s vignette (still enjoyable), while the high point was the main event. Overall, this episode deserves a big 8.7/10.