By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Tyler Bate vs. Roderick Strong: A common theme between these two teams, Moustache Mountain and Undisputed Era, is reliability. Moustache and The Era have had a great series of “previews” to their takeover match which set the bar high but the bar looks to be easily attainable given the Takeover quality matches we got from the UK and from a regular TV episode. This match didn’t give away too much but it told all the stories well by having Bate hit all of his signature moves while Strong went for backbreakers and cheap tactics.
The Aleister Black Mystery: WWE had to scramble seemingly to rewrite this episode with new angles and completely new video packages to extricate Black from the main event of Takeover. In that they did a solid job pulling together resources. The primary angle they tried to establish in this episode is a whodunit. I liked the nice touch of having Cathy Kelley do an analytical footage analysis of the damage area. The funny thing to come out of that video is that it implicated a majority of the NXT roster. Even Candice LeRae is a suspect according to the video. My easy money is with Lars Sullivan who would make the most logical sense given how Black broke the jaw of Sullivan accidentally in their last Takeover match.
Kairi Sane vs. Aliyah: A good enhancement win for Aliyah, which also allowed Sane to connote her goals and determination against Shayna Baszler with minimal words. Sane hitting consecutive InSane elbows worked to establish Sane as focused. They are also doing a solid job building up Sane’s “Anchor” finisher.
Adam Cole and Ricochet video package: Unlike the segment I’ll mention in the Miss section, which was forgettable, this video package was simple and effective without having to do an in-ring segment. It made things clear, Cole is a cowardly yet cunning champion and Ricochet’s goal is to dethrone him due to Cole defending his championship the minimal amount.
Street Profits vs. The Mighty: A minor Hit for the match quality and return of The Profits to the ring. Montez Ford deserves a bit of credit for spending more time on offense as opposed to selling and hitting a singular finisher. With the Street Profits and Heavy Machinery looking more like complete tag teams these days, might they run a “championship tournament” to try to have a few of these teams move up to the main even tag team scene? I’m a bit worried about The Mighty because they are completely ready to move to the next level of competition, but they are always in the “gatekeeper” position in a division where they should mean so much more due to their technical skill.
NXT TV Misses
EC3 and Velveteen Dream: This wasn’t horrible, but it was basic and forgettable, which I rarely say about Velveteen Dream segments. Dream was fine, but he didn’t really do anything but gripe. This allowed EC3 to come in and make fun of Dream griping and making fun of his fanny pack. This was really basic and I expected more out of these two, especially EC3 who hasn’t been bringing it in NXT like he did in Impact.