While I enjoyed this episode for it’s simplicity, I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of substance.
Blake & Murphy vs Austin Aries & Shinsuke Nakamura
For this show, I decided to not look at the spoilers, simply because I didn’t want to see who Aries would pick. Considering how Bobby Roode was at Takover:Dallas, I genuinely thought he show up as Austin’s partner. Nakamura & Aries is beyond stacked for a tag team, so it was only right that it ended quickly. While it was a squash match, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Carmella vs Peyton Royce
I completely forgot that Peyton Royce was even a member of the NXT roster. Carmella has also been somewhat missing since Enzo and Cass were moved up to the main roster. With that being said, it was easy to get behind Carmella because of the vignette. It was brilliant for reminding the audience what her character is about. The match was mediocre, but a decent way to remind the fans of the other competitors in the women’s division.
Cage Match Announcement
I loved how they continue to use clips from NXT house shows. That huge brawl did an awesome job at furthering their feud. However, I believe that contract signing could have been worked on the actual show instead of Facebook.
Danny Burch Ryzan vs Tomasso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano
I’m aware of how good Ciampa & Gargano are in the ring, but I just didn’t feel invested in them as much as the crowd was. Corey Graves deserves an applause for doing his best to put over all competitors, mainly because they haven’t been seen in a while. The Ciampa & Gargano aren’t signed to exclusive NXT deals, so that’s why their appearances are more sporadic, but I find that hurts their image as on screen characters. However, I’ll admit that the two did look pretty good during this match.
Bayley vs Nia Jax
Once again, Graves and Phillips deserve credit for giving this match context to the home viewer. While I’m sure most people that watch NXT are aware of their match at NXT:London, it’s just nice to hear them refer back to that. It makes this feel more like a UFC fight/sporting event. I’m sure this would be refreshing to see on the main roster, but it wouldn’t make much sense based on how often we see rematches.
A lot of moments in this match mirrored their first encounter. Initially, I was scarred that they would just deliver the same result. Sure, they could have booked Bayley to win by using her veteran knowledge, but having her beaten down benefits Nia. At the same time, I don’t believe it weakens Bayley’s either. The multiple guillotine attempts by Bayley were excellent in terms of story telling. Which made those spots even better were Jax’s counters. In a kayfabe sense, that perfectly shows how mature Nia has become as a competitor.
Overall, I thought this delivered in a huge way as the main event. With Nia being able to pull out a win, we’ve officially got another top contender in the division.
Apart from the main event, there wasn’t much story telling on this show. With Takeover three weeks away, I was hoping for more feuds to be built on this show. I still enjoyed it, but there’s no denying that 75% of the show was filler. The low point of the show was Carmella vs Royce, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show a 6.5/10.