Finally, it feels like we’re on the road to Takeover:Dallas. After tonight, the show for April 1st looks stronger than the one on April 3rd.
Sami Zayn’s promo was just right. He stayed true to his character by showing his fans that he is a humble wrestler. I’m glad he didn’t make too many excuses, but instead decided to talk about what was next for him.
For those of you that hate spoilers, you were in for quite the treat. I for one decided to read ahead a few weeks ago, and I was still in complete awe when we saw the video appearance of Shinsuke Nakamura. That holy sh*t chant was well warranted by the Full Sail crowd. Graves himself did a brilliant job at putting over Nakamura as a “death sentence”. Immediately, it put over their newest recruit, which automatically puts over that match.
Hype Bros vs Kenneth Crawford & Angelo Dawkins
When was the last time we saw Dawkins on NXT television? It’s felt like ages. Mojo worked the crowd perfectly in the early parts of this match. Say what you want about his in ring ability, the man knows how to keep the fans entertained. While this was no more than an enhancement match for the Hype Bros, it made them look stronger than ever. This was a squash match that I didn’t mind.
Deonna Purrazzo vs Emma
Since Dana Brooke has been injured, I think the bookers of NXT have done well by making Emma the main focus. Dana herself also puts over her partner pretty well.
Purrazzo has received a lot of TV time within the past few weeks. To me this is a sign that the brand is starting to build confidence in her talent. When Emma started to receive a positive reaction from the crowd, Graves did a great job at justifying it. The ability to make sense of any situation is what makes the NXT announce team so effective.
Tommaso Ciampa vs Jesse Sorenson
Ciampa reminds me a lot of Cesaro. Not just because they look alike, but they carry a similar aura. Tommaso wins matches with purely with his in ring ability, and nothing else. He also over powers most of his opponents. Very similar to the Swiss Superman. This match made Ciampa look great, however, it wasn’t very note worthy.
Eva Marie & Nia Jax vs Bayley & Asuka
Based on how the plot has unfolded, this was easily the most interesting match on the card. Eva and Nia may not be the most talented women on the roster, but they have been booked perfectly. Once again, Corey Graves was able to provide great insight. As a heel commentator, he’s great at putting over every wrestler in the ring. Graves began with making Eva look good, along with making Asuka look like a threat.
Luckily for Eva, she was able to work with two competitors that could make her look strong. So the moments she looked bad were kept to a minimum. While the match didn’t last long, it was highly entertaining. The fans received what they wanted by getting the payoff to Bayley’s feud with Eva and Nia. It’s fair to say that Asuka vs Bayley was a foregone conclusion for Takeover.
Austin Aries Promo
As someone that hasn’t followed Aries entire career, I was extremely pleased with his promo ability. It was kept simple, and he got the point across for his feud with Baron Corbin.
American Alpha vs The Vaudevillians
I understand that this was match was meant to crown the number one contender for the NXT Tag Team titles, but I didn’t agree with it’s placement. In fact, I thought it should have been swapped with the previous contest. This was too predictable, from beginning to end. There was no way the Vaudevillians, who are heels, would go on to Takeover to wrestle the champs, who are also heels. Knowing this took me out of the match right away. Personally, I think this match would have been more convincing with another babyface team, such as the Hype Bros. Apart from my complaining, these two teams worked a fine match together.
NXT was awesome this week in terms of setting up for Takeover:Dallas. Apart from two matches, everything else within the hour held significance. Obviously this can’t be done for every show, but it feels special when it is. The low point of the show was the main event, while the high point was the opening segment. Overall, this show receives a 7.8/10.