Now that we’re only two weeks away from Takeover, that card is starting to come into place. For the most part, this episode focused purely on story, and that made it quite entertaining.
Nikki Cross vs Kennedy Louis
Based off of last week’s announcement, it only made sense to make Cross look as strong as possible. Nikki’s only been in NXT for a limited time, so it’s crucial to build her stock before her fatal four way in two weeks. Overall, it was a solid start to the show.
TM61/Revival Backstage Promo
This promo was extremely fresh, as we haven’t seen these two teams interact in the past. Their words felt genuine, and that gave the fans a reason to look forward to their eventual match.
With the Revival looking main roster bound, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Roderick Strong vs Steve Cutler
Considering how Strong is entering a feud with Andrade “Cien” Almas, this match wasn’t very captivating. Even though it was short, it went longer than it should’ve. Either way, it was simply a way to keep Roderick Strong relevant.
While the match itself wan’t entertaining, the promo from Roderick was solid. It was straight forward, and it gave his character another layer.
Tye Dillinger/Sanity Promo
Tye has come a long way, and it’s great to see that his character is being given some type of spotlight. It was especially great to see how genuine his promo was.
Before this episode, we haven’t heard Eric Young cut a promo in NXT, but this segment reminded fans that he is quite strong on the mic. Similar to Dillinger’s promo, Young’s promo felt rather real. It was a good contrast to Tye’s promo as it allowed for the babyface to be more over than the heel.
As per Big Damo joining Sanity, it didn’t feel as grand as it could’ve. For weeks he followed the heel stable, so joining them should feel like a big deal. Well, that simply wasn’t the case in this promo. Damo came across as an after thought to Young and Dillnger.
TM61 vs The Revival
This match was a solid showcase of both teams. Each team worked to their strengths, which gave the fans a taste of this feud and it wasn’t fully spoiled. I personally liked how it didn’t go that long, as they’re perfectly set up for a rematch.
While the Revival did take the L, their post match beat down on TM61 kept them looking strong. It quickly negated the loss, however it still maintained TM61’s credibility.
Bobby Roode/Shinsuke Nakamura Contract Signing
Bobby Roode was absolutely brilliant in this promo. For a man that was heavily being cheered during his entrance, he found a way to get the audience to boo him. While all of that was great, Roode topped his promo by insulting Shinsuke’s look and attitude. Yes, they were somewhat elementary, but those insults fit his character and his dislike towards the champ.
Nakamura obviously wasn’t as smooth as Roode, but he was able to hold his own during this segment. It’s incredible how much his English has improved, because it’s allowed for promos to become more effective in building a feud. Considering how this was the first time these men have come face to face, they did a magnificent job at capturing the attention of the NXT fans.
As usual, we were given a solid show close to Takeover that progressed feuds and set up matches. I believe this upcoming Takeover fell victim to lack of NXT tapings, so much of the content was jammed into one episode, but as a fan I’m not complaining. The low point of the show was Strong vs Cutler, while the high point was the contract signing. Overall, this episode deserves an 8/10.