After Takeover, I wasn’t expecting much from this show. However, this episode was filled with substance.
Authors of Pain vs Local Talent
Bringing out the Authors of Pain to open the show was a smart idea. The duo debuted on last week, and it’s best to familiarize the crowd with them right away. Competitors such as these two always benefit from squash matches, and it worked well here. At the same time, I can’t say I cared much about them.
Dillinger stole the show by calling the Cathy Kelley a “six”.
Tessa Blanchard vs Carmella
The promotion of this match made Carmella look a lot more important. In terms of keeping talent relevant, I liked it.
It was great to see Blanchard back in a NXT ring, as she truly knows how to put on a show. She was much more impressive in this match than her last one. Based on what we saw, she knows how to embrace a heel role, although I can picture her making a great babyface as well. Obviously Carmella was going to win, but the match was worked well enough to not be a squash.
TM61 vs Blake & Murphy
In hindsight, I thought TM61’s match against Ciampa & Gargano worked in their benefit. Since they put forth such brilliant work in their debut, they were heavy favourites against the former tag champs. Along with that, I absolutely loved the Blake & Murphy storyline heading into this match. Overall, both teams had some sort of motive.
Initially I suspected this would turn into another squash match, but the two teams delivered a solid tag team match. There was no way Blake & Murphy were going to win, although they looked quite strong in defeat. I enjoyed this match a lot more than I thought I would. It worked out well for the Blake & Murphy break up, along with making TM61 look strong.
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs Tye Dillinger
Since the backstage promo was so solid, I didn’t mind seeing the rematch between these two. I do believe the brass of NXT have some work to do with Alams, because the audience was pretty lukewarm during his entrance. To my surprise, he was even getting booed. This crowd seemed more in favour for Dillinger. With that being said, it’s awesome that Tye is finding a way to garner reactions from the fans. While he loses the majority of his matches, it’s easy to appreciate the hard work he puts into his character and work rate.
While the crowd reaction wasn’t exactly what Almas wanted, the match was quite entertaining.
Finn Balor/Shinsuke Nakamura Promo
The opening part of this promo was such a feel good moment, it was tough to not smile. It put into perspective how much Balor has done for the NXT brand.
I hadn’t looked at the spoilers for the NXT tapings, so I was surprised that Nakamura interrupted Finn. Also, to say that I was marking out would be a complete understatement. Obviously Shinsuke’s first language isn’t English, but he did a superb job at cutting his promo. At the end of the day, charisma will always shine through.
For a post-Takoever show, I thought we were given quite a bit of content. Usually these kinds of shows are just throwaways. The low point of the show was the opening match, while the high point was the closing segment. Overall, I give this episode an 8/10.