The one thing I find interesting about every Takeover special is how quickly they creep up. It just dawned on me during this show that there’s only two more weeks left until they arrive in Brooklyn. With that being said, it was crucial that this episode wasn’t filler, but instead something meaningful.
Hideo Itami vs Sean Maluta
It’s been over a year since I’ve heard Itami’s theme music, and I couldn’t be more happy. His injury was truly a tragedy, but hopefully he’ll be able to pick up exactly where he left off, close to the top. To see that his first match was against Sean Maluta was quiet exciting. Maluta himself looked extremely impressive against Kota Ibushi in the opening round of the CWC. For a short match, I found this to be entertaining. It allowed for both men to look good, especially Itami. However, it wouldn’t have hurt them to go slightly longer.
Mojo Rawley vs Chris Atkins
Well this match was hardly about the participants, but it was more centred around Samoa Joe. His temper made this segment exciting, and his character’s logic was sound. He now seems set up for a small program with Rawley in the weeks to come, which isn’t something I’d mind.
Asuka vs Aliyah
After seeing Bayley’s horrendous segment with Regal last week, I can’t say I was looking forward to hearing her on commentary. In fact, it wasn’t necessary, so it only made sense for her to stand ringside and watch her Takeover opponent.
Maybe it’s because her program with Bayley has just restarted, but I feel like we haven’t seen Asuka on NXT television in quite sometime. Either way, that only made me more excited to watch her compete against Aliyah. Considering how she’s supposed to look unstoppable heading into Takeover, the flow of this contest was just right. Along with that, I enjoyed her cocky attitude towards Bayley, it adds something fresh to their feud.
Bobby Roode Debut
After all the months of speculation, we finally got to see Bobby Roode debut on NXT. He also had a pretty bad ass theme song. Apart from that, I found that the first half of his promo really dragged on. I understand he was going for the slow turn from babyface to heel, but I thought it could have been done in a more efficient way. However, once he got into heel mode, Roode was extremely charismatic and entertaining. I’m happy that he wasn’t interrupted by anybody, because the solo promo allowed for him to set the tone for his character. Also, that keeps the fans guessing as to whom he’ll be feuding with first.
TM61 vs The Revival
I’ve slowly come to enjoy the generic theme that TM61 comes out to, it’s just very catchy.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from this match in terms of the end result. TM61 is clearly poised to look strong moving forward, yet it wouldn’t exactly make sense for them to pin the champions clean. In terms of match pacing, this was incredibly boring. In my opinion, it moved too slow, and lacked any kind of direction. Half way through the match, I had completely forgotten these two teams had a confrontation in the backstage area. Usually both of these teams are fun to watch, but I can’t say that was the case for this contest.
Unlike the actual match, the post match promo was highly entertaining. I thought it was a strong way to set up the next tag feud (between the Revival and Ciampa & Gargano), and it made the challengers look like a threat. It definitely made up for a lackluster match.
There’s two more shows left until Takeover:Brooklyn, and thought this episode did a steady job at furthering all the major plot points. I don’t believe it was as strong as last week’s show, but it could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle. The low point was the main event, while the high point was Bobby Roode’s debut. Overall, I give this show a 7/10.