We’re still a few a month and a half away from Takeover, so we’re bound to see some episodes of NXT that aren’t home runs. This show in particular wasn’t bad, but it just started and ended with dullness.
DIY vs Tian Bing & Hoho Lun
Damn, when was the last time we saw Ciampa and Gargano on WWE programming? It had to have been a few weeks ago when the Revival beat down Ciampa.
During the CWC a lot of fans weren’t too high on Hoho, but I actually like him. In my opinion, he comes across as likeable. I get it, he’s not the best worker but part of his appeal is that he’s somewhat goofy. Aside from that, there wasn’t much to get excited about. Essentially, this was nothing more than an enhancement match under the Dusty Classic name.
TJ Perkins/Kota Ibushi Interview
This is only a small note, but I feel as if TJP sounded more natural in this interview than he does on Raw. At the same time, this was taped, so who knows how many chances he had. Also, his rating joke was probably the best video game based joke he’s made.
Aliyah vs Billie Kay
Before this contest started, Corey Graves delivered the line of the night, which was “The Toronto Maple Leafs wanted to trade Auston Matthews for Bobby Roode”. As a hockey fan, it’s awesome to hear jokes like that. For those of you that didn’t get it, Auston Matthews was the first overall draft pick in the 2016 NHL draft and he’s become the top star of the team. That goes to show how much Graves thinks of Roode.
For a match that didn’t look like it would be that interesting, it actually accomplished quite a bit. The in ring action itself wasn’t anything special, but the finish was done well. It allowed for Liv Morgan to get some revenge on Kay and Royce, while also giving Aliyah the chance to pick up her first television win. I thought it was a smart way to progress this feud, as it’s finally given Morgan a partner to even the odds.
Noah Potjes vs Tye Dilinger
In my eyes, this was slightly more than a squash match. It gave Dillinger a much needed win, and he’ll need as many as he can get to build his credibility. Even though Roode has been on the roster for a short time, he’s still the bigger star, so Dillinger needs to get close to his level.
Thea Trinidad vs Asuka/Mickie James Announcement
Once again, I thought we were in for another pointless enhancement match, but I was wrong. Sure, the match didn’t mean anything but the announcement that followed it was huge. Until the bookers of NXT can build up a worthy contender (Ember Moon), it doesn’t hurt to have a veteran like Mickie James come in. It gives the fan a fresh but familiar face to watch. Also, assuming Asuka wins, it gives her another notch on her belt.
Mustafa Ali & Lince Dorado vs Kota Ibushi & TJ Perkins
With the Hideo Itami suffering an injury, this match felt like a showcase for Kota Ibushi. It wasn’t a bad match by any means, but it simply relied on one superstar. Even though it included TJ Perkins, he didn’t stand out as much as his partner.
Similar to Lun & Bing from earlier, it wasn’t very believable that Dorado & Ali could pull of the win. I know there’s no reason for them to win, but after seeing so many matches like this it just becomes boring. Oddly enough, this main event was easily the most dull part about this show.
Now that this episode is finally over, the fans can look forward to the second round of the Dusty Classic, which should be a lot more entertaining. Some of the first round matches have been fine, but like I mentioned, there’s been too many squashes. Those enhancement based contests are actually what dragged this show down. The low point was the opening match and the main event, while the high point was seeing Asuka’s new challenger. Overall, I give this episode a 5.9/10.