Lately fans of NXT have been quite spoiled with a chain of entertaining shows. As the weeks progress, this brand is focusing a lot more on character and feud development. This was showcased again this week, and I’m happy they’re treading in this direction.
The Vaudevillians vs Hype Bros
I don’t understand why the Vaudevillians kept the exact same entrance, especially since they were given heel like vignettes. If they want this team to feel refreshing, certain aspects of their gimmick could use a change. On the other hand, we witnessed an impressive entrance from the Hype Bros. I’ll admit, I thought the fog was a nice touch. It was just a shame that they lost this match to the returning tag team. I’m curious to know how the bookers in NXT view the Vaudevillians. As a fan, I believe they’ve overstayed their welcome, yet somebody that works at the Performance Center still believes they resonate with the crowd. It’s saddening because Ryder and Rawley have done a magnificent job at making themselves relevant.
She was decent as a heel, but she’s a perfect fit as a babyface. This interview segment was a brilliant way of getting her genuine personality across to fans. The mention of “Baymella” was great for creating context for the match next week.
Carmella vs Emma
For the most part, this crowd was dead for the match, which made it tough to enjoy it as a home viewer. At the same time, these two didn’t have any natural chemistry. Neither competitor looked impressive, as they seemed to be going through the motions. I thought the backslide pin was the right way to go in this contest. It gave Carmella the momentum for her match next week, yet it didn’t make Emma look so bad. Emma hans’t caught a break since Takeover: London, and I believe it crucial to ensure she looks strong, even in defeat.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs Local Competitors
Yes, they’re still over with the crowd, but it didn’t feel the same. By keeping these two close to the tag titles without winning, I feel it’s slightly killed their momentum. I’m glad the eccentric tag team won, and hopefully they can use this momentum to prove why they deserve to hold the belts.
Asuka vs Santana Garrett
Garrett is no stranger to the squared circle, as she’s wrestled all over North America. She also did a decent job working with Asuka in this match. Even if Santana was just a Performance Center rookie, Asuka would have made the most of this match. The Japanese import has done such a marvellous job at making her matches fun to watch. Based on what we saw a couple of weeks back, she’s on a collision course with Eva Marie, and I’m highly excited to see that feud unfold.
Apollo Crews vs Finn Balor
Throughout the past two months, I’ve been enjoying Finn Balor’s Instagram account, however I was excited to see him back in the ring. I can’t believe this was his first match on NXT television since December. Just like most fans, I missed his presence on the show, but it made him feel like a special attraction. The only thing I couldn’t get out of my mind was whether Crews could handle a second straight clean loss. After pushing him quite aggressively at the end of 2015, it’s strange to see him on a small losing streak. To my surprise, they were able to maintain Apollo’s momentum in this loss. By having Finn execute the Bloody Sunday after the Coup de Grace showed how much effort he needed to keep his opponent down. Of course Balor had to win this match, because it would make no sense to have him lose while there’s two others fighting for the number one contender spot. Overall, I thought this was a good way to end the show and give fans closure on this match up.
Apart from the first half of the show, I very much enjoyed this episode of NXT. There was a great effort to get maintain the momentum for many of the promotions stars. While the in ring work didn’t exactly amaze me(this excludes the main event), the bookers in NXT ensured that time was properly allocated for the current feuds. Sometimes in pro wrestling, the promotion needs to focus more on character building than work rate. The low point of this show was the return of the Vaudevillians, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show a solid 7/10.