Gutteridge’s NXT Hit List: Bobby Roode vs. Kassius Ohno for the NXT Title, Macey Estrella vs. Nikki Cross, and the Authors of Pain vs. the Ealy Brothers

By Darren Gutteridge

NXT Hits

Bobby Roode vs. Kassius Ohno for the NXT Title: My first taste of a Kassius Ohno match post-indie scene revival was a pleasant surprise. His size didn’t really take anything out of the arsenal Ohno brought to the table back in his first run, and the ending sequence was fun because his strikes were very high impact. Roode has been playing second fiddle to his NXT Title match opponents in terms of being memorable thus far, but he is two for two with entertaining title matches. I question having Ohno lose clean in his first match back, but maybe there is a story behind this, so I’ll let it unfold first before I retroactively scrutinize it.

Macey Estrella vs. Nikki Cross: I really liked this. This did more to sell Nikki’s character than anything to date, and I am more than ready for her to become a big player in the division. It isn’t inconceivable to think that she could be the first major challenger to Ember Moon should she come out of Takeover with the NXT Women’s Title.

Authors of Pain vs. The Ealy Brothers: Man, am I glad we got the pre-Takeover AOP squash out the way so soon. That may be an odd way to start off a Hit, but the match was very much secondary to the events that occurred after it. Paul Ellering still hasn’t shined on the microphone, but referring to his history as a tag team manager pioneer was smart. It gave both DIY and the Revival ammunition for their promos, before William Regal booked the match we all expected for Takeover. Simple, but effective, and to reiterate – we may not have to see another AOP squash match for a least a few weeks!

NXT Misses

None: I could perhaps level criticism at Takeover: Orlando for not feeling all that important (at least in comparison to last year), but the show took logical steps forward in everything it is setting up for the show. They don’t have the luxury of a Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura like Takeover: Dallas did, but with a roster that isn’t as stacked as it once was, they are doing the best with what they have.

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