Sorry to all my readers for posting this up late. I was actually at the ROH tapings in Toronto last night. By the time I got home, I realized maybe I had a few too many beers to write a proper review.
I absolutely loved how the opening was built around Balor’s return. Even though he’s already a star, this elevated his status. I thought his promo was perfect, as it properly addressed the situation.
I’m not a fan of Elias Samson, but his timing was excellent. Usually he’s not very entertaining, however he was hilarious in this segment. Along with that, Finn’s facial reaction was excellent. He managed to show how everybody felt about the drifter.
Corey Hollis & John Skyler vs American Alpha
After the great opening segment, this match was going to have a difficult time following that up. Admittedly, I was quite bored half way through this match. Thankfully the Revival came out to give this some meaning.
Alex Riley vs Shinsuke Nakamura
Ironically, this match was very fitting for Riley’s recent release. Essentially, he was beaten so bad, that he was sent packing.
Riley was obviously going to be the heel in this bout, and I loved how he actually played to that. He does deserve some credit for garnering as much heat as he did. When working a WWE schedule, performers have to keep their move set limited, and that fits Nakamura very well. Since he works such a stiff style, watching him deliver some simple knees is still exciting. Also, listening to Graves shout “KINSHASA” will never get old. Overall, this was a solid match.
Alexa Bliss vs Rachel Ellering
Wow, Rachel Ellering might have the most generic music I’ve ever heard on NXT. It was going to be difficult to follow up Nakamura, but I thought these two women did a decent job. Everything about their work rate was quite smooth. I also thought it was a brilliant way to keep Alexa Bliss relevant.
Elias Samson vs Finn Balor
Graves was right when he said Balor just didn’t look the same without the title. He carried the title for 10 months, so it’s tough to see him without it. At the same time, he’s a big enough attraction where he doesn’t need it to be a compelling character.
This turned out to be the perfect match for both competitors. Elias Samson needed someone such as Balor that could make him look like a legitimate heel and interesting at the same time. While helping Samson be entertaining, Finn also got over well as the vengeful babyface. His post match promo was like nothing we’ve seen before (from his NXT run). It was refreshing to see him convey a different type of emotion.
I didn’t think I could get excited for Balor vs Joe 3, but they found a way to hook me. These two share a type of chemistry, where it looks like they genuinely hate each other.
I didn’t know what to expect from this episode, but everything they presented was handled well. At no point did I feel like I was watching a filler show. The low point of the show was the opening tag match, while the high point was the opening promo from Balor and Samson. Overall, I give this show an 8/10.