By Darren Gutteridge
TM61 vs. The Revival: On a show devoid of almost anything interesting, I’ll take the injury angle with Shane Thorne. The Revival need something substantial to get them through their remaining time on NXT (which I believe to be short), and working with TM61 on the way out the door is a smart move. This creates something for their expected match at Takeover: San Antonio, which is more than a number of other matches on the card have been given.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode Contract Signing: He’s trying, no doubt about it, but I would just keep Shinsuke away from the microphone unless it is really called for. It simply isn’t playing to his strengths, and Roode wasn’t doing good enough during his promo time to make up for it. This is ultimately a Miss because it didn’t do anything memorable, nor did it get me excited for their Takeover: San Antonio match.
Tye Dillinger and Sanity: I don’t think anybody had a bad showing here. Dillinger laid it on a tad thick and cliché, but he had conviction. Young, too, did a solid job. But I can’t help but feel that we have been here before with both acts. Dillinger has been down on his look and contemplative before. And the Sanity angle smacked of not one but two Wyatt storylines – trying to induct Daniel Bryan, and Braun Strowman joining.
Nikki Cross vs. Kennedy Lewis: This felt like too little, too late to really sell Cross as a threat to Asuka at Takeover: San Antonio. Yes she was dominant, but she squashed a jobber. Why not feed someone like Aliyah or Mandy Rose to her? Neither of them have anything going on right now, plus it’s the type of loss that can be used to spark something for them.
Roderick Strong vs. Steve Cutler: I keep forgetting that Strong is working for NXT. If that isn’t a damning statement, I don’t know what is. He’s actually a good personification of NXT as a whole at the moment – a talent who could be worth a damn if they just put the effort in.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...