By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly contract signing: Both men delivered outstanding promos that laid things out perfectly from their individual perspectives. O’Reilly did a really good job of establishing himself as the babyface by stating that he’s grown as a person and no longer wants to do things the Undisputed Era way. They created great intensity and this was my favorite segment of the night on all three shows.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin vs. Kushida in a non-title match: A good match with a finish that came off looking contrived. They made up for it when Shawn Michaels came out and indicated that the NXT Cruiserweight Champion unification match will be a ladder match at Takeover. As if that wasn’t fun enough, the backstage segment with Michaels having a silent staredown with Adam Cole was highly intriguing.
Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai vs. Io Shirai and Zoey Stark: A nice opening tag match. Gonzalez looked dominant by getting the win, but Stark had a good outing and gained something in defeat. The finish was cool with Gonzalez showing off her strength by holding up Stark while throwing a big boot that knocked Shirai off the apron. The chokeslam she gave Shirai onto the broadcast table that didn’t give an inch looked vicious.
LA Knight vs. Bronson Reed: I loved the way this match was laid out to start with Knight came off like he underestimated the powerhouse. They slowed the pace down and lost me for a bit, but they ended up having a good back and forth match. I was legitimately surprised that Reed went over clean. I assumed that Knight would get a cheap victory and the feud would continue. Reed is really good and I’m all for him getting a push. Is this WWE style booking where a loss in this match is actually a sign that Knight will win the gauntlet eliminator? I just hope it’s not a sign that the NXT creative forces are already down on him for some reason.
Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart vs. Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez for the NXT Women’s Tag Titles: A quick win for the champions with the right person taking the loss for the heel team.
Karrion Kross vs. Oney Lorcan: A well worked match that just felt too competitive considering that Kross is challenging for the NXT Championship. I’m all for NXT creative taking care of the talented Lorcan after his tag partner Danny Burch suffered the unfortunate injury that forced them to forfeit the tag titles, but this felt like it should have been a dominant win for Kross. Kross is a monster and monsters should look unstoppable heading into their big title matches. But it was hard to view Kross as unstoppable when he was selling his surgically repaired shoulder in such an over the top manner. I’m not sure if that was a swerve for the match or if they are foreshadowing how Balor will beat him, but it felt counterproductive in the moment.
This is why it’s nice that Vince does not give a darn about NXT. Shawn comes out, lays down a ladder and leaves. Simple, quick, visual…. Vinny would have made it a 10 minute skit on RAW.