By Darren Gutteridge
Sanity vs. Tye Dillinger, No Way José and Roderick Strong: Topping off the relaunch episode for Sanity, this was a solid six-man match that really established them as a faction to be wary of. Where that leads to considering the abundance of heel champions in NXT at the moment I’m not sure, but this is better than them toiling away in the undercard.
Liv Morgan vs. Billie Kay: My reason for giving this a Hit may seem odd, and it has little to do with the match quality, which was just fine. No, this earns a Hit for being a mid-card women’s match between two established division regulars. That may sound trivial, but we went through months of Asuka on top of the pyramid, Ember Moon, Peyton Royce, and Billie Kay feeding on her scraps, and then a raft of apparent jobbers like Aliyah, Mandy Rose, Daria Berenato and so on. For the first time in a while, I was looking at two women that don’t just appear once every six weeks, who both have somewhat defined characters, and had relatively equal footing in the match. The shoots of recovery at last!
Sanity vs. The Bollywood Boyz: Killian Dane not tagging out and destroying both Sihra brothers was a smart way to showcase him in his first TV match. Sanity has needed this kind of wrecking ball since its inception, and as much as Sawyer Fulton failed in the role for several reasons, Dain is excelling, giving Sanity an edge in the process.
The Revival vs. Heavy Machinery: Having made an impression both times they have appeared on TV, I hope Heavy Machinery are featured more often from here on out, hopefully picking up some wins. But the match was secondary to setting up the Revival as apparent challengers, alongside DIY, to the NXT Tag Titles and the Authors of Pain. The Revival are getting cheered now, so setting them up as tweeners is a smart move.
Bobby Roode’s “Glorious Celebration”: The Bobby Roode era will be a tough sell. Former NXT champions usually fit into one of two categories – young stud full of potential (Seth Rollins, Big E) or an elite worker (Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Neville, Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe). And though Roode is a good wrestler, he doesn’t fit into either category. So I was hoping they would go all out for the celebration, opening or closing the show with an over the top celebration befitting his character’s ego. Instead we got a mid-show speech, which Roode delivered convincingly, but it very much felt like starting with a whimper and not a bang.