I’m filled with joy that NXT is finally back at Full Sail. Those three weeks in Dallas seemed to last forever, with no end in sight. Also, one thing is certain, we’ll be seeing a lot more story line progression now that they’re back home.
Other than the one Youtube clip that was posted online, we haven’t properly heard from Joe since he won the title. In that sense, I believe this promo’s placement was perfect. Along with that, Joe’s promo was excellent as it was simple, and to the point.
I had read the spoilers for the tapings, however I completely forgot that Eric Young was set to debut. So I was still somewhat surprised when he made his way out. His promo countered Joe’s quite well. Hopefully this mean we’ll be receiving a new and fresh program for Joe . I enjoyed his feud with Balor, but they’re going to have a rough time keeping the program interesting if that’s still their main focus.
One a side note, last year at this time I’d have never thought that the NXT roster would have as many former TNA headliners as they do. It’s quite ironic, considering how once upon a time the WWE would shy away from free agents that came from TNA.
Tessa Blanchard vs Nia Jax
While Graves did his best to build credibility for Tessa, this was nothing more than an enhancement match. Since Nia needs to look unstoppable for her next feud with Asuka, I believe these types of matches are important for her.
Tye Dillinger vs Austin Aries
I feel like Austin Aries was given the short end of the stick when it came to theme songs. Just about every other big name free agent they signed was given a great entrance song, except him.
For some reason, I was expecting Aries to run through Dillinger within two minutes. Instead the two actually put on a solid match. While Aries looked like the superior competitor, Dillinger was still able to look competent. The spot of the match and the show was the corkscrew plancha from Aries. I was quite surprised Austin executed a spot like that in a throwaway match.
I was glad to hear Graves and Phillips discuss where this win would rank Aries. It’s important that even throwaway matches help wrestlers move up the card, from a kayfabe perspective.
The Revival vs The Hype Bros
This mini feud was never going to last until the next Takeover, so it was great that it was addressed right away. These two teams are polar opposites in terms of characters, so the dynamic between them was interesting. The finish to this match was underwhelming. At no point did Hype Bros look like they could have pulled out the upset, which would have given this match much more personality. Based on how they built it from last week, I don’t believe it delivered.
No Way Jose vs Noah Potjes
I’ll admit it, No Way Jose’s theme is extremely catchy. Even after I was done typing this post, I kept humming it. The match was short, but it was worked very smoothly.
Samoa Joe vs Eric Young
I was taken by surprise when this match was booked for the same show they had their promo. With a decent amount of build, this could have at least been a solid TV program.
For his first match on the NXT roster, Young put forth an amazing effort. I haven’t watched many of EY’s matches from TNA, so I was highly impressed with his ability to sell. There were moments were it looked like Joe was actually trying to hurt him. Everything I’ve read on Young indicates that he usually plays an underdog, so it was neat to see him stick to his character. I’m sure that’s why his ability to sell is amazing. The commentators also did well by reassuring the viewer that EY was a resilient competitor. With that being said, I think he should have just passed out when put in the coquina clutch. That would have been a great way to showcase the toughness of NXT’s newest superstar. I actually didn’t mind the clean loss though. In my opinion, that’s another way of showing that not just anybody can beat the champ .However, it was still a good match, and it left me curious as to what is next for EY.
Since Takeover, this has easily been the best episode of NXT, without a doubt. We were given character and story development, which we haven’t seen in over a month. I can’t recall the last time I’ve written this much for my NXT review. I’m sure that’s in direct correlation with the lack of substance we’ve been watching. The low point of the show was the Revival vs the Hype Bros, while the high points were the opening promo and main event. Overall, I give this episode a 7/10.