Gutteridge’s NXT Hit List: Finn Bálor vs. Elias Samson, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Alex Riley, and Alexa Bliss vs. Rachael Ellering

Logo_NXT_dn_crop600By Darren Gutteridge

NXT Hits

Finn Bálor vs. Elias Samson: Thankfully, this match served the function it was supposed to in having Bálor dominate Samson. This Hit gets stronger however thanks to the post match verbiage. Finn cut what was quite possibly his best promo to date, and the intensity between him and Samoa Joe at the end felt earned after their extended feud.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Alex Riley: The guttural, frenzied reaction to Nakamura from the Full Sail crowd would have been enough to make this a Hit. Factor in Swagsuke doing Swagsuke things to Alex Riley and this becomes a mega Hit. It’s just good for the soul.

American Alpha vs. Corey Hollis and John Skylar: American Alpha squash matches get a pass because they still feel like an exhibition. The reason they go long is because Gable and Jordan want to entertain and show off. That said, even that appeal will wane at some point. I’m glad to see they are sticking with The Revival vs. Alpha in the short term, given that no other tag teams are really ready to take on AA right now.

NXT Misses

Finn Bálor and Elias Samson opening segment: I was enjoying where Bálor was going until the buzz killer Samson wandered out. Though the match later on saved things, this segment didn’t pull Samson up to Bálor’s level, it actually cheapened Bálor by association.

Alexa Bliss vs Rachael Ellering: It turns out that I can get enough of heel Bliss. This match was quite bad, and Ellering, in particular, looked slow and clunky.

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