After enduring a few episodes that didn’t exactly mean a lot, it was great to see NXT get back on track by pushing some new stories. Along with that, I was quite excited to see them return to Full Sail.
Asuka Beat Down
This beat down must have been the dumbest thing I’ve seen on NXT programming. Sure, it makes sense for Kay and Royce to attack Asuka, but why didn’t the many bystanders do anything about it? What made matters worse was how these several bystanders then came over to Asuka’s unconscious body and said somebody needs to call an ambulance. I can’t recall the last time the writing in NXT had been this bad and senseless.
Peyton Royce & Billie Kay vs Macy Evans & Sarah Bridges
Apart from the ridiculous angle that was shown before this match, it only made sense for Royce & Kay open the show. It was important to keep them fresh in the mind of fans, especially after they laid out the champ. Giving them the quick win was also a great way of showing how dangerous the two can be in a tag team setting.
Initially I didn’t like the idea of Cross helping Asuka in the post match brawl, but once everything played out it was a rather fun moment. That brawl was brilliant as it accomplished that there are several new women coming for the champ. This is the freshest the women’s division has felt since Asuka first feuded with Bayley.
Elias Samson vs Johnathon Cruise
As a squash match, this definitely worked. Elias looked like an absolute monster, which is something we haven’t seen much of in the past. While Cruise’s selling helped, I’d say this was the most entertaining the Drifter has been. Now if he can receive some character development over promos, I’m sure he’ll gain some more heat with the Full Sail crowd.
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs Oney Lorcan
Oney Lorcan showed in this match that he certainly has the work rate to keep up with some like Almas, but he lacks any kind of character. As the home viewer, I’m sure there were many fans who didn’t really care to see this guy. This alone leads me to wonder why he’s been receiving so much screen time as of late. I applaud the decision to push newer talent, but it shouldn’t be done for the sake of doing it.
It was great to see Andrade pick up win and keep his momentum going. His heel character becomes more compelling as the week’s move on, and hopefully he’s rewarded with a solid feud for Takeover.
The Revival vs #DIY
The NXT tag titles are easily the best booked tag titles within WWE. It was easily proven with how well this match was promoted throughout the show.
If it were any other feud, I’d complain about how 20 minutes is too long for a television match, but that wasn’t the case here. These four have proven more than once that they know how to keep the fans hooked for long periods of time. It’s a testament to their chemistry and skill. All of this allows for them to showcase the tag titles as main event worthy.
From start to finish, these four delivered an entertaining match. Even when the pace became slow, they would find a way to keep the intensity going. Whether it was Gargano selling his injured knee, or the Revival continuously finding ways to cheat, there was always something going on. Also, between the two teams, they know how to utilize the right amount of near falls and submission teases.
With the Authors of Pain being next in line, it only made sense for DIY to successfully defend their titles. It makes the current champs heavy fan favourites while keeping them in the underdog role that they play so well. This is exactly why the post match beat down from the Authors worked for closing this episode.
A lot happened on this particular episode of NXT. While there were two squash matches, they were utilized properly to build momentum for the winners. Also, two of the title programs were given the right amount of time to start their respective programs. This show felt like the official kick off to Takeover: San Antonio, and fans should be excited for the weeks to come.
The low point was the opening segment, while the high point was obviously the main event. Overall, this episode of NXT deserves a solid 8/10.