Gutteridge’s NXT Hit List: Bobby Roode debuts, The Revival vs. TM61, NXT Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Alliyah, and the return of Hideo Itami

Logo_NXT_dn_crop600By Darren Gutteridge

NXT Hits

Asuka vs. Alliyah: I am all about heel Asuka. I pointed out a few weeks ago that her lack of character and vicious ring work make her a somewhat hard sell as a top babyface champion, so this transition is welcome. Her turn was immaculate from the first moment of placing the chair on the ramp and telling Bayley to sit in it, to her toying with Alliyah. Bayley will be the big sacrifice to her at Takeover: Brooklyn, and then it will be up to the booking committee to find a babyface worthy of toppling such a strong champion.

Hideo Itami vs. Sean Maluta: It’s great to see Itami back, and looking no worse for wear after over a year on the shelf. Unless he is the next challenger for the NXT Title immediately after Takeover: Brooklyn, then I suspect he’ll be on the main roster before the next PPV. Having already missed so much time, why hold him in NXT any longer consider how good he already is?

Bobby Roode: I was a little disappointed when Roode went on the attack, turning on the “losers” in the NXT crowd, as I was liking his oblivious, “I will lift you all up” promo. It was like a Corporate America slant on the Bo Dallas motivational speaker gimmick. Still, it was a nice landing on NXT TV for Roode, and that music is truly F’N glorious.

Samoa Joe destroys Mojo Rawley: I liked the intensity. I liked Mojo’s little comeback before Joe attacked him on the sage. But I really love the way they are pushing Joe as a monster without a real downside. He is a true monster heel, but unlike so many others down through the years, he is a monster because of his skill not size.

NXT Misses

The Revival vs. TM61: A slight Miss, which may be down to my lofty expectations. This didn’t feel special considering it was the first meeting of the two teams. The match also had an odd flow to it, with an extended beat down from the champions, followed by a minuscule comeback for Nick Miller, and an out of nowhere finish with a snap DDT. It wasn’t bad, just not as good as it could and perhaps should have been. The post match stuff with Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa was enjoyable though.

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