Pulling double duty with the CWC and NXT is going to be tough, especially on a night like tonight. It’s difficult to watch one good show then switch to a mediocre one.
Rhyno vs Samoa Joe
I’m not sure if this has happened on the independent circuit, but I was excited to see these two compete. I expected this to be much more even than it was, because I was interested in seeing how their similar styles would clash. Samoa Joe essentially spent seven minutes squashing Rhyno, although I didn’t mind that either, because it’s still important that Joe comes across a lot more stronger. With him facing Nakamura at Takeover:Brooklyn, he needs as much momentum as he can get.
American Alpha vs The Authors of Pain
I honestly didn’t expect this match to start the way it did, but I liked it. In my opinion it created a ton of drama before the match, and set a tone. American Alpha’s tenacity translated well on screen, and it was done perfectly enough to get a pop from the crowd.
It wasn’t until this match that I realized both members of the Authors of Pain look identical. Why couldn’t they give each of them a distinct look? Since they carry the same look, I didn’t even care to learn either of their names. It was obvious that American Alpha carried this match. The Authors of Pain looked extremely green, yet they were well guided. American Alpha’s overall knowledge and psychology is what kept this match strong. While the Authors of Pain won, their opponents didn’t go down easy. At the same time, the new comers were able to win with a statement.
Patrick Clark vs Austin Aries
For those of you that forgot, Patrick Clark was a contestant on last year’s Tough Enough. He was a heavy favourite to win, but he was eliminated much sooner than some thought. Considering that he’s still a rookie, I knew he didn’t stand a chance against Aries. In fact, this match was simply done to get Aries on the show.
The biggest surprise to me was No Way Jose coming out to attack Aries after the match. I had completely forgotten that Aries attacked Jose a month ago, and even then I didn’t anticipate this turning into a feud. Well now that it is, I applaud the bookers of NXT turning Jose into a serious character. He played that part well, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out.
Nia Jax vs Bayley
I felt they could have built this match up a lot better than they did. Throughout the show, they only showed a small highlight of their last match. Why not show some highlights from their match at Takeover:London? I understand they need to make Nia look like a monster, but it would have also been neat for them to show why Bayley has a chance.
Honestly, I was completely turned off from this main event. It was no different from their last two matches, which to me felt unoriginal. They just followed the same formula of having Nia dominate, with Bayley getting in some offence when she could. Since this was their third encounter, the action was easily telegraphed. With Nia going to Raw, I truly hope she changes her style, because her working as a monster will become stale pretty quickly.
Going into this show they advertised three big matches, yet only two of them delivered. The low point of the show was the main event, while the high point was American Alpha vs Authors of Pain. Overall, I give this episode a 6/10.