Based on how NXT was last week, I can’t say I was enthused to see how this show played out. Well, my gut feeling couldn’t have been more wrong, as everything about this show clicked.
Sami Zayn vs Adam Rose
Seeing Adam Rose on NXT is always pleasant, because it’s a nice way to keep competition fresh. Zayn’s win was obvious, but credible to a degree considering that Rose is still a recognizable name from the main roster. There was nothing special about this contest, but it was the right one to kick off the show, as the sight of Zayn made the fans excited. Also, it was a wise decision to not make this a one minute squash, because this way the fans were given enough time to watch Sami Zayn, who is a top star for the brand.
Tye Dillinger vs Apollo Crews
Even though Crews lost his chance at the NXT Championship, along with a big match against Corbin, I’m extremely excited to see where he goes from here. An easy win for Apollo was necessary, as it’s a great way to build his momentum. His late 2015 push was an awesome way to make him a top player, but I think it’s time for them to work on his personality before his next big feud. I thought his post match promo was excellent and added to my point.
Baron Corbin vs Rich Swann
I thought this match was a ton of fun to watch, as Corbin was actually given the chance to wrestle known indy talent. I’m glad Corbin didn’t completely destroy him right away, because it told a small story of his frustrations with competitors that compete in the indies. Also, I loved how Corbin was able to use a different move (Deep 6) to win, as it will only make the End of Days look stronger.
Emma & Alexa Bliss vs Bayley & Carmella
I don’t know how I missed this, but it wasn’t until today that I realized Brooke has an ankle injury. I truly hope they don’t tease any sort of Carmella heel turn, because the NXT women’s division is in dire need of another strong babyface. Carmella has done a brilliant job as a babyface, and the finish did nothing but prove that. I’m glad she was the one to win the match for her team, because it builds her as a serious contender for Bayley’s title.
Samoa Joe vs Johnny Gargano
I wish these two had more than six minutes, as they’re both capable of putting on a clinic. Instead, they gave us a prolonged squash match, which made me feel bad for Gargano. When they had initially announced this match, I was expecting something similar to Joe vs Ciampa. However, Joe did look very strong leaving this match, and is hands down the favourite (from a kayfabe perspective).
This was a huge upgrade from last week’s episode, as it accomplished quite a bit. The triple threat match for next week was properly built on this show, and so was Bayley vs Carmella. Just about everybody competing in important upcoming matches was booked to look strong. There was no point to this show, but the high point was the women’s tag match. Overall, this episode deserves a 9.5/10.