For a go home show, this episode of NXT hit every note. As a fan I wanted to see them showcase every feud heading into Takeover, and they did.
Initially I was concerned on whether the Revival could cut a decent opening promo. We’ve only heard them cut backstage promos, so I wasn’t too sure how they’d perform here. The two actually put forth a solid promo. I enjoyed their interaction with Ciampa and Gargano, and I loved how they used it to set a match later on in the show. We don’t normally see that in NXT, so it was pretty refreshing.
Tye Dillinger vs Buddy Murphy
I don’t think I ever saw Dillinger as the favourite to win any of his matches, but this was the first time I did. Seeing him as the favourite allowed for me to appreciate his skills much more than I normally do. Usually when someone becomes a jobber to the top guys, it’s tough to notice how talented they truly are. Murphy also deserves some credit for looking good in his first singles match. I never noticed how good he is at selling. This match was a pleasant surprise, and I wasn’t expecting to be as entertained as I was.
Finn Balor/Samoa Joe Interview
Originally I didn’t know how these two could have a sit down interview without it becoming violent, but they knew exactly what words to use to convey their hatred for one another. Along with that, their back and forth felt so real. None of it felt scripted, and I applaud both Balor and Joe for making it that way.
Austin Aries vs Elias Samson
I’ve come to dislike the Drifter so much, that I actually don’t mind seeing him anymore. He’s worked as a solid jobber to top stars, and he’s done a brilliant job at embracing all the negative reactions. The match itself was decent, and nothing special. The most important part was actually his post match promo. I was already excited for his Takeover match, but his passion for being the greatest was perfect for adding that bit of extra drama.
Gargano & Ciampa vs The Revival
Gargano & Ciampa have been on a bit of a hot streak. This was their third consecutive match on NXT television, so they had a lot of momentum. In fact, I was actually routing for them to win. Since both teams have been doing well lately, it was difficult to predict a winner. The two teams put forth an awesome match. From start to finish, they maintained a great level of intensity. They all worked very fluidly together. Once Gargano picked up the win for his team, I legitimately marked out. For the most part, I was expecting the Revival to win, because they’re still the number one contenders.
Nia Jax/Asuka Contract Signing
My only complaint about this was Nia spoke for too long. She’s not the greatest mic worker, but she’s not the worst. Her promo was a tad bit generic, and she would have across more threatening if she said a recited a fraction of it. Other than that, I enjoyed this. This was the only week they had to build this program, and they made sure it was effective. I especially loved the very finish of the promo. It allowed for Asuka to look fearless, while showcasing Jax as a threat.
I can confidently say I’m pumped for Takeover next week. This show had some great flow, and was done in a very simple way. I can’t say there was a low point to this show, because there wasn’t really anything I disliked, although the high point was the tag match. Overall, I give this show an 8.5/10.