By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net Members are listening to John Moore’s weekly audio review of this event. You can also hear last night’s Paul “Triple H” Levesque media call.
NXT TV Hits
Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong for the NXT North American Championship: The USA Network broadcast closed with a title change and the Undisputed Era taking control of all the NXT men’s gold. I like the strategy of establishing a strong heel faction right out of the gate and putting all of the babyfaces in chase mode. My only knock on the match is that NXT advertising used the “No BS” slogan should not have had a ref bump in the first main event.
Mia Yim vs. Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair in a four-way for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship: A hot opening match to kick off the new era of NXT. LeRae going over was logical. Yim and Belair had recent title matches, and Shirai winning would have set up a heel vs. heel title match. The post match angle with Shayna Baszler and her sidekicks coming out for a moment with LeRae worked in terms of getting the NXT Women’s Champion on the show and giving fans a visual preview of the forthcoming title match.
Cameron Grimes vs. Sean Maluta: An effective squash match with Grimes simply hitting his double stomp finisher and scoring the pin. Sometimes less is more.
Matt Riddle vs. Killian Dain in a street fight: The show that promoted itself as “No BS” also concluded with a match that didn’t have a finish. Even so, I enjoyed the wild brawl and I like that we’re getting a rematch next week with the added stipulation that the winner will get an NXT Championship match.
Imperium appears: NXT UK’s dominant faction appearing in regular NXT was a good surprise. Will they be regulars in NXT? Are they setting up something for WarGames? Will we see Walter vs. Kushida in NXT or in NXT UK (or both)?
Lio Rush vs. Oney Lorcan to become No. 1 contender to the WWE Cruiserweight Championship: It’s odd that Rush was thrust into a No. 1 contenders match in his first match back from a long hiatus. But the match itself was entertaining and I enjoy Rush the wrestler so much more than I enjoyed him as the mouthpiece for Bobby Lashley.
Pete Dunne vs. Arturo Ruas: A quality match with Dunne going over thanks to the finger manipulation. It’s so much better to see the finger snap used as a setup for the joint manipulation rather than something he does midway through the match and his opponent stops selling it 30 seconds later.
NXT TV Misses
Xia Li vs. Aliyah: A minor Miss for a match that just wasn’t as strong as everything else on the show. It didn’t help that Li slipped while going for a move on the ropes. One can only wonder if this match would have made the cut for television if this portion of the show had aired on USA Network and if AEW was airing in opposition.
WWE Network issues: After watching WWE Network right before the NXT show went live on USA Network, it took me 26 minutes to log back in once the second hour of NXT started on WWE Network. Some viewers were able to log right in, others had brief waits, while some readers reported waits as long as mine to get on the network. Fortunately, this is only a relevant issue for one more week given that both hours of NXT will air on USA Network beginning October 2.