By Darren Gutteridge
Cedric Alexander vs. Andrade Almas: It’s not even funny how much better heel Almas is compared to white meat babyface Almas. He was so entertaining in this match, and Cedric was a good foil. I’m actually a little disappointed for them that this wasn’t a Takeover match, but I guess they would not have had as much time on Saturday as they did here.
Takeover: Toronto hype: It was odd that the three matches on this show had nothing to do with Takeover, but perhaps the video package approach will pay dividends come the start of that show. We won’t be burnt out seeing the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe and Asuka having not seen them here, and the videos themselves did more than in-ring promos could, especially Tye Dillinger’s chronicling of his first WWE run.
Liv Morgan vs. Peyton Royce: Considering this is now something of a long term feud, this felt like a match from the opening weeks of the rivalry, not two months in. The match was short and forgettable, the ending wasn’t great with the very telegraphed DQ finish, and Morgan and Aliyah came out of the match looking weak. I know their second beatdown in recent memory was done to make Ember Moon look strong in saving them, but in such a weak division, NXT can’t afford to throw two women under the bus like that.
Elias Samson vs. Nathan Cruz: Positives – Progress Wrestling regular Nathan Cruz appeared and, at one point, the guitar seemed to gain sentience and removed itself from the ring. Negatives – that dull thud of dread that the Drifter is back in the NXT world. I’d love to be proven wrong, but his first NXT run is easily one of the worst we’ve ever seen.