By Darren Gutteridge
DIY vs. Akira Tozawa and Tajiri: Well, this was awesome! It built so well, that even the respectfully silent crowd from the earlier matches was whipped into a frenzy. Anyone who worried that high quality NXT tag matches would be a thing of the past with the Revival out of the title picture can rest assured that DIY are ready to carry on the trend.
Oney Lorcan vs. Andrade Almas: The thing I appreciated most about this match is the way they tailored it to the crowd. As we know, Japanese fans watch and react to wrestling differently than Western audiences, but Lorcan and Almas approached it as more of a challenge than a problem. The result was a fine match with a surprising ending. Are we finally going to see Lorcan get some screen and mic time?
Liv Morgan and Aliyah vs. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay: A minor hit, as the only part that lost me was the slightly too long beatdown of Aliyah by the heels. Otherwise, there was some nice spots and a solid win for Kay and Royce, which is more important to a Women’s division resurgence than a Morgan and Aliyah win right now.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Samoa Joe for the NXT Title: While one of the weakest of their series of matches, no Joe vs. Nakamura match is ever going to be bad. Therefore, the match earns a Hit, but giving Nakamura a title win in his native Japan doesn’t redeem the decision to have him drop the title in the first place. He should have remained undefeated in NXT, but at least the loss has been avenged in record time and we can now correct course.
Asuka vs. Nia Jax for the NXT Women’s Title: While not the worst match by a long stretch, thanks to finally mixing up the formula by making Asuka look vulnerable, the main takeaway from this match was how green Jax still is. She whiffed a few spots, and didn’t have the wrestling IQ to realize that going for a count-out in a title match makes no sense.