By Darren Gutteridge
Oney Lorcan vs. Andrade Almas: These two have such great chemistry that I thought they might have a Dusty finish here to drag out the rubber match until Takeover. Both men needs wins, so perhaps it would be counterproductive to have one of them definitively beat the other, but considering how well they have been able to get fans on-side during their matches, I’d argue the fact one of them has to take the pin is irrelevant – both men would be more over thanks to their effort in the ring.
Asuka vs. Pricilla Domiga I was on the fence about this match. As a squash heading into Asuka vs. Ember Moon, it was very effective, and ultimately worthy of a Hit. However, Asuka’s flitting between babyface and heel annoys me a lot. The crowd obviously didn’t know what to make of the vicious heel like beatdown, as they were fairly muted throughout before cheering at the end. If she had been booked a heel consistently, I’d have no problems giving this a strong Hit, as opposed to a borderline one.
Takeover: Orlando hype: I really wasn’t feeling Takeover: Orlando prior to this show. We’ve all had our say on the state of NXT as a whole compared to where it was a year ago, but I didn’t feel my lack of excitement for this show was because of a weaker roster – NXT just appeared to have lost their knack for building matches with purpose for Takeover shows. This show addressed a lot of these problems, with the right kind of emphasis put on the NXT Title match, the NXT Tag Title match, and the NXT Women’s Title match, on top of confirmation that we’ll be seeing the debut of Aleister Black. All in all, I’m now just about where I should be in terms of excitement with only one week left to go.
Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose and Roderick Strong vs. Sanity: This multi-man feud has been up and down, but this was firmly in the “down” category. Already labored with the inescapable feeling that it was a feud put together to get everyone on the Takeover card, it now seems to have been a feud written week to week, as how else do you explain having a double DQ finish and a bungled debut for Ruby Riot (Heidi Lovelace) two weeks out from Takeover? In a well thought out storyline, Riot would have been debuted before this point, and the teams would not have been thrown together in a six or eight person tag match this close to essentially the same match at Takeover.