This was the show that was taped right before Takeover started, and I surprised to see that the crowd was that loud all night long. It wasn’t a special episode, but it was an entertaining one.
The Vaudevillians vs The Hypes Bros vs Chad Gable & Jason Jordan vs Blake and Murphy
Of the four teams in this match, I only cared to see two of them in action. Personally, I wish they would have setup Hype Bros vs Gable & Jordan, but I guess they needed to include everybody in this show. Honestly, I was actually shocked that the Hype Bros were jeered, but at the end of the day, every crowd has different tastes. Gable & Jordan were extremely over with this crowd, and they also took advantage of it by putting on a strong performance. Due to them being the only tag team that the audience cared about, the felt like they were the focal point. This match was fun to watch, but their popularity made it even more entertaining.
Elias Samson vs Bull Dempsey
After watching 10 minutes of recaps, it was tough to focus in on this contest. We’ve seen Samson as a jobber before, but I thought the announce team did a great job at selling him as a new character. Along with this, I’m a fan of his finisher, as it’s simple. I know it may be too early to give him a prominent story, but I’d love to see him feud with James Storm.
Tye Dillinger vs Sami Zayn
I’m glad they left Zayn’s return for this episode of NXT. Had it been on Takeover, it may have been buried underneath all of the other action that occurred on that show. Also, this episode was based around his return, and he deserved it. I thought having Dillinger as his first opponent was a smart booking decision, because his presence doesn’t take away from the return or give the fans an idea of something bigger. I expected this match to be a showcase of Zayn’s signature moves, but instead the two competitors still gave the fans a show. Obviously Dillinger wasn’t going to beat Sami in his return match, but I’m glad they at least delivered a competitive contest. His post match promo was heartfelt, and it was an amazing way to cap of NXT’s year.
I wasn’t swept away by the brilliance of this show, but I was pleasantly entertained. Instead creating new storylines, they took this opportunity to showcase wrestlers. The low point of the show was the many recaps of last week, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show a 7/10.