This was an eventful episode of NXT, although it lead to nothing. We’re not too far from Takeover, and this show didn’t help build any hype.
Elias Samson vs Johnny Gargano
I don’t think this was the best match to open the show. Most fans are not keen on Samson, so why have him open? I’d also like to think that Gargano is much more talented, so it was great to see him win. I didn’t care for the drifter’s post match beat down, as it meant nothing. Apollo Crews is too good to be in a feud with Samson. However, Crews needs a program.
Rich Swan vs Finn Balor
I like Rich Swan, but I knew he had no chance against Balor. The announce team did a brilliant job at putting over Balor. He truly felt like an attraction on this show. This felt like an extended enhancement match. It’s fair to say that this was the most skillful squash match we’ve seen as of late. I thought it worked well, because Finn needs to look strong heading into Takeover.
Alexa Bliss vs Sarah Dobson
It was about time that Alexa Bliss have a convincing win. Normally she has to manage Blake & Murphy, although she’s much more of an attraction than them. Much like the matches prior, this was a squash match, but it was effective. Even though Alexa doesn’t have much going on, it’s essential to keep her strong.
Bull Dempsey Ambushed by Samoa Joe
I didn’t expect to see Bull. By this point, I thought that the WWE had released him. It was awesome to see Samoa Joe interfere. It truly made him look like a threat. Also, it showed the difference between a main eventer and a jobber.
Gable & Jordan Video Package
I thought this was an excellent video package. The fans already love Gable & Jordan, and this was an awesome way to get them over.
Emma vs Asuka
I’m glad that this was the main event. They had a lot to live up to, because their match at Takeover:London was next to perfect. The commentators did well by creating context. At this point their feud was forgotten, however Graves made sure to inform the fans that it was important. With Emma not being in a feud for Takeover, she was a perfect opponent for Asuka. Thankfully this wasn’t a squash match, because it allowed for Asuka to look like a true competitor.
If this were an episode in January, it would be excellent. However, we’re a week and a half away from Takeover and it didn’t feel special, whatsoever. While the card for Takeover is stronger than Mania, it didn’t feel like it on this show. The weak point was the opening match, while the strong point was the main event. Overall, I give this show a 5/10.