NXT has been pushing stories at a great pace, and this episode was no exception. However, it certainly moved slow at times, and was mainly used to build towards the upcoming episodes in the new year.
Billie Kay vs Daria Beranatto
I found Daria’s entrance to be a bit much. In order to stay true to her MMA gimmick, she should drop the over the top shadow boxing. Apart from that one complaint, this match was well booked. Daria still came across as a threat, as Kay needed Royce’s help to win.
It appears that Kay and Royce are headed into a mini feud with Asuka, and that should be an entertaining program. With the heel duo playing delusional characters, it’ll be interesting to see how they match up against the current women’s champ.
Authors of Pain vs Anthony Bowens & John Ortagun
There’s not much to say about the actual match. It was simply done to remind the fans that the Authors of Pain will be wrestling at Takeover: San Antonio.
Bobby Roode vs Andrade “Cien” Almas vs Tye Dillinger vs Roderick Strong
Tye Dillinger has been something else within the past few weeks, and it was easy to get behind him for this number one contender’s fatal four way. In fact, he was arguably as over as Roode.
While I was cheering for Dillinger, it was far too obvious that neither him or Strong would come out victorious. As of now, the current champ is a babyface, so the number one contender needs to be a heel. Sure, they can do babyface vs babyface, but none of the good guys in this match have been built as top card material. With that being said, out of the two heels Roode has been the only one to be developed as a strong character on NXT television. Andrade is definitely not ready to be main eventing the next Takeover.
This fatal four way only reminded me how weak NXT is on the main event scene. It’s also an indication on why the Nakamura vs Joe feud went for as long as it did.
Aside from my complaining, this was still an entertaining match. Tye’s story was certainly the highlight, and seeing him come close to winning must have been a real treat for the fans in attendance. Hopefully this was the last time we see Dillinger on the losing end of things, as he truly deserves a big win of some sort in the near future.
This wasn’t a bad show, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. However, it’s great to see that every story has been consistently progressed since Takeover: Toronto, and this episode still followed that trend. Of the past few episodes, this certainly moved the slowest, and that can be attributed to a 20+ minute main event. The low point of the show was the tag match, while the high point was the main event (action wise). Overall, I give this episode a 5.5/10.