We’re less than a month away from Takeover:Brooklyn, and this show was used perfectly to set up a ton of angles. Honestly, I can’t recall the last episode of NXT that contained this much substance.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Wesley Blake
I know it’s only been two weeks since we’ve last seen Shinsuke, but he’s been dearly missed. Blake’s theme song through me off, because it actually has an awesome beat, but it doesn’t suit his bland personality.
I thought a quick win for Nakamura was a great way to begin this episode of NXT. It was best to get the announcement of Nakamura’s title shot out of the way, because the fans already knew it was coming. I’m glad they didn’t drag that out any longer. Now they can start building towards Takeover, which means we should be in store for some solid episodes of NXT in the upcoming weeks.
Billie Kay vs Santana Garrett
Santana is one competitor I believe the NXT women’s division can benefit from having. She’s a great in ring competitor, and has certain charisma that help rejuvenate that particular division. I’m not saying she should be front and centre, but instead just a veteran that can guide the new group of women. Plus she has a kick ass theme (which sounds a little Nakamura-esque).
Billie Kay is another competitor I’d like to see them run with. Ever since her NXT debut, she’s been strictly enhancement talent, and I wonder what kind of personality her character is supposed to have. Hopefully this win over a Garrett means we’ll be seeing some more on screen development of her.
Bayley/William Regal Segment
Oh wow, this backstage segment was terrible. Everything from the Bayley’s forced/over scripted promo to the audio. We’ve seen many segments in Regal’s office, but none of them were ever that bad.
TM61 vs Adrian Nails & Rob Rysan
Have TM61 been on NXT television since their loss to Ciampa & Gargano? If not, I’m surprised its taken them this long to get back on television. These two are a pretty big deal when it comes to tag team wrestling, and I’m sure they’re only a few months away from being in the title picture, so a quick win was necessary. The fans of NXT need to be reminded of their presence in the tag division.
No Way Jose vs Steve Cutler
Jose’s energy is to infectious to hate his character. He took a dancing gimmick and made it into something original, which isn’t something many can do. I’m glad he was able to show a mean streak in this match, because that gives him more credibility when wrestling more serious opponents.
What truly caught me off guard was the amazing promo that Jose cut after his match. His anger towards Aries felt genuine, and it automatically legitimized their feud heading towards Takeover.
Buddy Murphy vs Kota Ibushi
I had read online that Kota Ibushi was offered a WWE contract, but I didn’t anticipate him showing up one anything other than the CWC. For those that haven’t been following Ibushi’s career or his progress in the CWC, Corey Graves did an excellent job at selling who him as a wrestler. Graves spoke about him so highly, that it was a given Murphy had no chance (kayfabe).
It was wise to have this match go six minutes in length. That allowed for Kota showcase all of his signature moves, selling ability, and in ring presence. Anything less would just be depriving the fans of a strong, and new (to some WWE/NXT fans) talent.
Samoa Joe Promo
I found it hilarious how Joe showed up to the arena late, and was completely shocked about the announcement from earlier on. The surprised look on his face was priceless.
This promo needed to happen on this show. Joe’s promos have been so strong as of late, we just had to see his reaction to Regal’s announcement. The stand off was an amazing way to end the show, and officially kickoff Takeover season.
This episode was perfect in so many ways. We got the chance to see them push new talent (TM61 and Billie Kay), while furthering some of the key feuds for Takeover. I couldn’t be more happy with this show. The low point was the Bayley/Regal segment, while the high point was No Way Jose’s promo. Overall, I give this edition of NXT a 9.4/10.