NXT put on another good show last night from Toronto. Here’s what I thought of it all.
Bobby Roode vs Ty Dellinger
Good opener. There was some storyline buildup over the last few weeks with Roode dumping Dellinger in the middle of their match in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Tournament. Roode’s entrance in Brooklyn was topped by adding in a full choir. No crazy stuff as far as the match but good back and forth with both guys playing to the crowd and showing emotion from their simmering beef.
Roode wins it and will no doubt be heading towards a title opportunity soon in 2017. Dellinger’s post match reaction and the love he got from the crowd suggest that this may be it for him in NXT and the call up may be coming soon. if so he’s more than earned it. He’s gone from being just a guy to a legit good performer.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Tournament Final: Authors of Pain vs TM 61
TM 61 are good workers and very talented guys but have got to win the crowd over before they can do more. They still get little reaction beyond when they hit some crazy move like this one:
Authors of Pain are you basic big, strong brawlers. Having Paul Ellering as a manager definitely helps them. They were clearly gassed after the match, which they won as expected. This year the tournament was a vehicle to get them over and I think it worked. The match was ok for what it was. Not bad by any means but nothing to remember.
NXT Tag Team Title Match: The Revival vs Team DIY
Match of the Night, and a Match of the Year contender. The Revival are such joy to watch at work, from the teamwork to the cheating tactics to the selling. Team DIY was able to match them move for move throughout, resulting in an awesome effort all around and the best tag team match of the year by far. Seriously if you want a modern day clinic on good tag team wrestling, watch this match. It will give you all you need.
Team DIY are your new champs. I imagine the Revival will be getting their call up soon; there’s no reason for them to hang around to try for a third title beyond giving us some more awesomeness. Hopefully they can at least stay to have one more great match in NXT at the next Takeover show.
NXT Women’s Title Match: Asuka vs Mickie James
James was brought back because right now there aren’t any women on the roster ready to be in a big match with Asuka. She did her part and put up a good figbt before losing. This was definitely more interesting than if it had been one of the other NXT regulars even though we all knew James wasn’t winning the title. Her mere presence added a gravitas to the match that Peyton Royce or Billie Kay would not have.
The real question after this is what’s the future for the Women’s Division? James would be good to keep around to work with the other girls and get them ready to face Asuka, who just looks head and shoulders above her competition. Priority one is getting the other ladies looking like real contenders both to challenge Asuka and for after she gets called up to the main roster.
NXT Title Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Samoa Joe
Much better than their match from Brooklyn. That one felt really lackluster all the way through. Here they beat the crap out of each other in very entertaining fashion. This was Nakamura’s best match in NXT since his debut against Sami Zayn; he got in more offense than usual and did deviate a little from the kicks and knee strikes. Joe brought out all his power/brawling stuff that he does so well.
The end result was a bit of a surprise to me, as I was not expecting this:
I figured this would be Joe’s last NXT hurrah before going on to the main roster. Boy was I wrong. I imagine we’re going to get a third and final encounter between the two before Joe moves on. I hope they let then go long and let it all hang out. The result afters after working together were so much better that I imagine a third big match could be really awesome. Let’s make it happen, Hunter!
NXT does what it does best. They get to the point, do the matches and play it straight. It’s the perfect match of show to audience whereas tonight the WWE main roster will have to be all things to all people and will get crushed by some section of the fans regardless what happens. NXT is and always will be the easier watch because of how it’s comstructed and that really showed last night.