With only one more episode left until Takeover, this show was kept pretty simple but it was effective. Many aspects of Takeover were touched upon, yet it the show never felt too busy. Sometimes wrestling shows can’t go wrong with simple formulas.
DIY vs Authors of Pain
We knew this match up was coming, and I found it quite interesting. On one hand there was the undefeated Authors of Pain, and on the other hand we had the most over tag team in NXT with DIY.
Paul Ellering has been rather quiet for his team, so it was neat to see him get involved at one point. Similar to last week’s match that included the Authors, this one heavily relied on them being carried. More than Jose & Swann, Ciampa & Gargano looked amazing while taking on the greener monsters. Along with that, this was the first time the Authors were ever challenged this way. It’s great to see that this contest almost ended in an upset, and that kept DIY strong. Having the Revival interfere only made sense, and it completely worked for the tag title narrative.
Sanity vs TM61
Once again, were given another match where the fan favourites wrestled the undefeated monsters. Luckily for us, the two matches weren’t identical. This contest very much had its own pacing and story. In this contest, we were able to see TM61 battle the numbers game early on, which gave the fans a reason to care.
Since it was two on one for the majority of the match, it moved pretty slow. With that being said, it didn’t pick up until Miller was able to get involved. In all honesty, I thought Sanity was a shoe in, but I was happy to see that TM61 was able to gain the victory. They’re a loveable team and they’re also talented, so there’s no reason to hold them back.
Rachel Evers vs Ember Moon
The different mat transitions from Moon were extremely smooth. It showcased her athleticism, and that’s just the surface of her talent. Apart from that and her finisher, this was just a reason to give her some exposure on this episode of NXT and keep her strong. My guess is that Ember will be Asuka’s next opponent after Takeover, so it’s important to keep her relevant.
Samoa Joe/Shinsuke Nakamura Contract Signing
Initially this segment felt somewhat redundant, but they found a way to make it fresh. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a wrestler bring his own table out for a contract signing. Not only was that creative, but it actually showed that Joe wanted to hold back from fighting. The chemistry between Joe and Regal has been brilliant. They have such a solid back and forth, which has created a strong hate between the two. In fact, their interaction was actually the highlight of this promo. Not only did Joe play the perfect jerk, but Regal was able to play the perfect pissed of GM.
Once the segment was over, I’m glad we didn’t have to see another Joe/Nakamura brawl. Having them keep their distance only makes their upcoming match more enticing.
Just like last week’s show, this was also set in two different venues, but it flowed better. The two Dusty Classic matches were exciting to watch, and they carried more intensity than the ones last week. There wasn’t a low point, but the high point was the opening match. Overall, I give this episode an 8.5/10.