With the news that broke out today in regards to the upcoming brand split, I wasn’t sure if I could properly focus on this show. All day Wednesday, the only thing I could think about was the brand split and draft. With that being said, the folks at NXT deserve some credit, as they put on a show that took my mind away from everything else.
Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs TM61
I remember hearing that the WWE had signed TMDK, but I had completely forgotten about them. With the amount of names WWE hasn’t changed within the past year, I was initially surprised that they had their team name changed to TM61.
Considering it was their debut, I was surprised that Thorne and Miller weren’t given enhancement talent to go over. While NXT is sometimes criticized for its high amount of squash matches, I thought it would have been appropriate here. Instead I’d love to see these two compete in a match with some sort of meaning. Something such as a number one contender’s match. I don’t understand why TM61 would lose their debut match. That seemed counter productive, but one could say the same if Gargano and Ciampa lost based on how strong they were booked last week. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the match was well worked, I just thought they booked themselves into a corner with this one.
Austin Aries/Shinsuke Nakamura Promo
For the past few weeks, I have been loving the Aries narrative. Every character wants to move up the ladder, but Aries especially has done a masterful job at showcasing his desire to progress up the food chain. He perfectly described that in this promo.
I had a pretty good feeling Nakamura was going to interrupt Aries, although I still marked out like a 10 year old kid when his music hit. Both men have been booked well, and the idea of them being on a collision is exciting. Watching them stand toe to toe reminded me why I love wrestling as much as I do.
No Way Jose vs Johnathan Ortagun
No Way Jose is clearly over. The man has become viral, and it’s been fun to participate in the hype. I love how NXT announce team has been able to call his matches. They put him over as a decent competitor, and still manage to crack jokes about his odd personality. This match wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was simply fun to watch. I thought his post match celebration was one of the top highlights of the show.
Alexa Bliss vs Carmella vs Nia Jax
I didn’t understand the purpose of this match. Nia Jax defeated Bayley, who was set to compete in a rematch against Asuka. Why did Jax need to prove herself once again? From a logic stand point, this didn’t add up. At the same time, I really couldn’t think of anything else that would be able to fill this main event while pushing the women’s title feud.
The idea behind this might have made zero sense, but I was happy that it allowed Alexa and Carmella to showcase their skills. It was obvious that each competitor was comfortable playing their respective roles in the ring. Also, at no point did Bliss and Carmella get treated like enhancement talent. These two were able to demonstrate how much they’ve improved over the past few months. It was nothing but impressive.
There was no way Nia was going to lose (she just beat the former champ last week), but that type of predicability didn’t bother me. All I wanted to see was each competitor look good, and that was well accomplished. From here, I’d be all for a Bliss-Carmella feud.
With so much going on with the main roster, I believe this episode was able to stand out and remind fans that Takeover is around the corner. With only two weeks away, the card is shaping out to be strong. The low point of the show was the idea of booking the opening tag match, while the high point was the Aries-Nakamura promo. Overall, I give this show a well earned 7/10.