The last few weeks of NXT have been extremely meaningful, and it’s been some of the best NXT television that’s been produced in a while. That means the bar was set quite high for this episode.
Tye Dillinger vs Eric Young
If the Dillinger-Sanity feud has come this far, they might as well build it towards Takeover. In that sense, I was happy this segment was used to further the program. I thought it was done perfectly to create sympathy for the babyface team of Dillinger, Jose, and Strong.
Even though this isn’t a main event program, it worked perfectly as the show opener, as it pertained to an on going story.
Ho Ho Lun vs Andrade “Cien” Almas
I know Lun was universally panned by WWE fans, but I didn’t mind him, even though he hasn’t wrestled (on WWE television) since the CWC.
Unfortunately for Ho Ho, in no way was this match about him. Instead, it was a way to bring Almas back onto NXT television. I thought worked, because we haven’t seen Almas in a while. Hopefully this is a sign that he’ll be receiving some kind of program for Takeover.
Billie Kay vs Ember Moon
The neat thing about the current NXT women’s division is how intertwined it is. Ember may be set to feud with Asuka, but she still has history with Kay & Royce, which made this fun to watch.
I honestly thought these two should’ve went longer. They had amazing chemistry with each other, and their pacing was much smoother than I anticipated. We already know Ember is a great competitor, but I thought this was more of sign of how much Kay has improved.
It’s unfortunate that Kay suffered a neck injury in this contest. Initially I thought it was a work, but the longer it took for her to get up, the more I realized it was very much real. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious, because she’s been gaining a ton of momentum as of late.
The Revival vs Ealy Brothers/AoP Beat down
Quite honestly, I didn’t care to see the Revival wrestle two unknowns from the performance center. Thankfully, we weren’t subject to that, as this match was used as a way to further the three way tag program. It wasn’t anything significant, but the AoP beating down an unknown tag team was a great way for them to send a message.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs TJ Perkins
Considering how Nakamura was injured by Roode back in January, wouldn’t it make more sense for him to show up next week after Roode’s match? It was cool seeing him back in action, but the match itself didn’t feel important.
While the match didn’t exactly accomplish anything, it turned out to be fairly entertaining. Both men wrestle completely different styles, and they meshed perfectly here. Along with that, these two did a great job at creating intensity.
There were a few good wrestling spots here, but the highlight was definitely Nakamura’s dab. Obviously it’s a way of him mocking Perkins, but it was also done to get a crowd reaction, which it did.
Overall, this was a strong way to cap off this edition of NXT.
Last week, Ohno vs Roode was heavily promoted for next week’s episode, and this lead me to believe that this would be a throwaway show. It wasn’t as strong as some of the previous ones, but it progressed a majority of the Takeover programs. Sometimes not every show has to be overly action packed.
The low point of the show was Almas vs Lun, while the high point was the opening segment and the main event. Overall, I give this episode a 7/10.