By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano to face Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship at NXT Takeover In Your House: A hot opening match with seemingly high stakes. Normally, I’d be bothered by the outside interference and a no-contest finish in a match doesn’t allow disqualifications, but I can’t say that I was overly excited about the idea of any of the three challenging Kross for the title in a singles match at Takeover. As such, Adam Cole’s interference was a welcome development. My lack of enthusiasm for those potential challengers has nothing to do with their talent, but rather that they just don’t feel like strong individual threats to Kross.
Karrion Kross and Adam Cole verbal confrontation: This was terrific. Cole used the criticisms that fans have made regarding Kross, which gave this angle an edgy, realistic feel. I’m normally not a fan of five-way matches over singles matches, but it’s a logical move in this case and hopefully we’ll get Kross vs. Cole at a future next Takeover.
MSK vs. Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde for the NXT Tag Titles: A fun tag title main event. Mendoza and Wilde have worked well together and one can only hope that they won’t go back to being booked little more than henchmen for Santos Escobar. Bronson Reed roughing up Escobar adds heat to their feud, which I assume will play out with an NXT North American Title match at Takeover.
Kushida vs. Carmelo Hayes for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship: A well worked match between Kushida and the wrestler formerly known as Christian Casanova. It doesn’t happen often, but I disagree with John Moore’s take from his live review that the NXT Cruiserweight Championship should not be defended on 205 Live due to credibility issues. It would be a welcome move for those who watch the show and could bring in some new viewers. Meanwhile, those who don’t watch the show may never even know that he defended the title on the Friday night show. In other words, what harm could actually come from the cruiserweight title being defended on the cruiserweight show? If anything, the title being defended on 205 Live might give the show more credibility.
NXT Women’s Tag Champions Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell vs. Zoey Stark and Zayda Ramier in a non-title match: A solid showcase win for the new champions over a pair of promising newcomers. Stark was protected in the loss and continues to impress with each outing. And I’m still getting a kick out of the Hartwell and Dexter Lumis romance drama.
Xia Li and Mercedes Martinez: I like the callback to Li being upset by Martinez beating her in the Mae Young Classic. It gave some depth to their current program heading into their match at Takeover. Martinez just worked with Raquel Gonzalez and now she’s working with Li. Does this mean Martinez is officially a babyface?
LA Knight vs. Jake Atlas: The Atlas cartwheel DDT finisher is great and I enjoyed the actual match. While the Ted DiBiase segments have been fun, it feels like it’s reached a point where they are making Knight and Cameron Grimes look bad. And that’s fine for the comedic Grimes character, but I don’t care for the way that the arrogant Knight character is now desperately seeking DiBiase’s endorsement.