Knowing that most WWE programming goes into a lull right before the holiday season, it’s great to see that NXT is doing a lot in terms of building stories. Every episode since Takeover: Toronto has meant something, and this show followed that trend.
DIY has spent a hefty amount of time chasing down the tag titles, so their celebration with the fans was fitting for them. The new champs didn’t have to say much after celebrating with the crowd, which made the interruption from the Authors and the Revival well timed.
As per the Revival, them coming out after the Authors was somewhat of a surprise. However, it adds a ton of intrigue to the tag title picture. It’s neat how there’s now three top teams, as normally there’s no more than two at any given time.
No Way Jose & Rich Swann vs Sanity
Damn, Rich Swann has been all over the place for WWE programming. This is the third time this week we’ve seen Swann, which means the company has plenty of confidence in him.
For NXT standards, it’s rare that we see the same story on three consecutive shows. Usually most feuds are told every other week. That doesn’t mean this program is boring, in fact it’s the opposite. With NXT having so many moving pieces, having one consistent story line didn’t hurt the show. Along with that, this feud has delivered some solid in ring action, much like this match.
It appears that Swayer Fulton has been taken out of Sanity. I don’t know why, but I believe we’ll eventually receive some sort of explanation. There’s a reason the announce team mentioned his absence and Young decided to discard his jacket. With that being said, I’m assuming Damo is now the replacement for Fulton, which is actually smart switch.
Ember Moon vs Kimberly
How about that Asuka-Nikki Cross stare down? I’m sure we’ll be getting Moon vs Asuka for the next Takeover, but Asuka vs Cross needs to happen before the Empress gets called up to the main roster.
I think it’s great how Ember Moon runs through opponents while the announce team always talks about Asuka’s dominance. It’s blatant foreshadowing, yet it’s still subtle. Oddly enough, this kind of storytelling isn’t used that often, but I think it should be. It would allow for many feuds to start naturally.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Samoa Joe
It’s tough to review a match that I already know the outcome to. In that case, I’m not even sure if I cared to watch the in ring action. Also, we did just see this match at Takeover:Toronto, so I’m sure I wasn’t the only fan who had a difficult time investing myself.
While this was the third match between Joe and Nakamura, it was pretty awesome to hear the excitement from the Osaka crowd. This was Shinsuke’s first televised match in Japan since signing with the WWE, so in that case it felt special. The streamers from the crowd was also a nice touch, as we never see that with American WWE shows (probably because it’s not allowed).
While we knew the outcome heading into the show, it was still useful to air it on this episode. However, do we really need to see a fourth match, which would be the third one within five weeks. I truly find that to be overkill of this program, and this Osaka match should’ve been announced as the very last one. With the number one contender tournament being announced earlier in the show, this would’ve been the perfect time to conclude the current title feud.
There was a lot that happened on this particular episode. Everything that was done, was done with a purpose in mind. Heading into next week, it appears NXT will have a ton of stuff to cover, from the women’s division to the tag division, so that means they’re giving the fans a reason to tune in. The low point of the show was hearing that there will be a NXT title rematch for next week, while the high point was the opening tag match. Overall, I give this show an 8/10.