Kudos WWE, this is the third week straight where NXT has felt like a big deal, and remained entertaining for the full hour.
Ember Moon vs Peyton Royce vs Liv Morgan
Was it explained why Royce was chosen over Kay? It’s a small detail, but considering how in sync the two have been an explanation would’ve been great for storytelling purposes.
With this show being action packed, this was the perfect match to kick off the show. It’s significant to the women’s division, which means it was an easy way to get the fans pumped early on.
In terms of the in ring pacing, this turned out to be a smooth match. At times it did exhibit typical triple threat tropes, but that didn’t take away from this. We must keep in mind, these women are still learning the WWE style, so certain formulas should be expected. Even though that pacing kept Moon out for most of the match, it didn’t hinder her presence once she got involved.
Peyton Royce picking up the victory was a huge swerve, at least for me it was. Obviously Kay was going to get involved, but I’m sure most people assumed the two babyfaces would some how overcome the numbers game. This wasn’t a bad thing though, as it now elevates Royce and Kay, while giving the fans an extra story for Asuka before heading into Takeover.
Pete Dunne vs Mark Andrews
After hearing him referred to as “Mandrews” for so long, it’s strange to hear his full name. Does anybody else feel this way?
In the UK tournament, Dunne made a big name for himself, and it’s clearly stood based on this crowds reaction. I’d consider him one of the most natural heels that the company has and he did a magnificent job at showcasing that. The slow pacing that he thrives with was great in terms of building to the finish. In my opinion, that allowed for Andrews to look like a legitimate underdog as well.
Cheers to Nigel McGuiness for consistently bringing up how the winner may receive a title show against Bate. That truly gave this contest some more purpose and made Dunne’s win more significant.
Bobby Roode vs No Way Jose
Heading into this show, this was the one match that was a head scratcher for me. The two have never interacted, so the booking behind it felt strange. Well, my initial questions towards this were answered fairly quickly. This was simply done to set up a Roode-Ohno interaction.
While many fans knew that Ohno was signed to NXT, his appearance here was definitely surprise. This was a brilliant way to reintroduce him to the NXT crowd, and it generated a strong response. Roode is already in a feud with Nakamura, but after this I think I’d rather see Roode vs Ohno at the next Takeover because they demonstrated instant chemistry. Overall, this was an amazing way to cap off a strong episode.
From start to finish, this was an incredible episode of NXT. There were only three matches, yet they all felt important and kept me glued to the screen. I’m not sure what’s happened to the writing staff, but they’re clearly doing their best to make every show “must see” television. There were no low points, as the entire show was a high point. Overall, I give this edition of NXT a 9.5/10.