By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Street Profits vs. Undisputed Era: Shorter than their Takeover match, but I felt like this match told a better story than their Takeover match in a compact amount of time. When Jason Powell and I did our members’ exclusive audio review of Takeover, I mentioned how I missed that frantic madness that the Street Profits and War Raiders series had. This match had the return of the frantic pace with a nice story built around the Undisputed Era trying to injure Montez Ford. The title change was anticipated and expected due to the Profits appearing as WWE Raw regulars. That said, there’s a chance the Profits end up staying on NXT given the move to USA and two hours. That and how depleted the NXT tag division got after all the main roster call-ups.
Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic: This match felt like a year in the making, at least around ten months. They had a match that ended in a double countout many months ago. This match was supposed to be followed up on about two weeks later. An injury to Keith Lee, an injury to Dominik Dijakovic, and what Paul Levesque labeled as creative changes during a conference call, all led to this match constantly being rebooked and delayed. Finally we got the match and it was stellar. It was around 10 minutes, but definitely Takeover/PPV worthy. It involved a lot of “big man flipping” but also told a good story of one-upmanship.
Mia Yim and William Regal: A nice segment to show that Regal is a neutral figure and that he doesn’t favor babyfaces but rather fairness.
Rhea Ripley: A simple introduction, but a welcome one. They allowed for some minor swearing and that was simple and cheap enough to get Rhea a pop. Rhea is a huge get for NXT and she always shows vast improvement every time she gets TV time. Next to Velveteen Dream, she might be one of the fastest rising stars in WWE; and Dream had prior indy experience.
Io Shirai vs. Cami Fields: Io Shirai’s entrance alone is a perpetual Hit. Shirai may be my favorite act in NXT and one of my favorites in all of wrestling with her new “disturbed” character. Shirai is just sooooooo good and I’m happy her feud with Candice is continuing because we know they can improve off of their last stellar Takeover match given their reliability and talent level.
NXT TV Misses
None: This is common for the one hour show, but I wonder if this would stick given that two hours allows more room for simple error/filler. Anyway, this was a strong episode with two Takeover worthy matches and Io Shirai. Any show is made more perfect with “dark” Io Shirai.