By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Karrion Kross, Adam Cole, Pete Dunne, Kyle O’Reilly, Johnny Gargano closing segment: A solid final segment that left Cole standing tall after Kross had his stretch of domination over his other challengers and NXT security. Cole is the only challenger who feels like any type of a threat to take the title at the moment, so spotlighting him was the right call.
Ember Moon vs. Dakota Kai: A good match involving a pair of wrestlers who consistently deliver in the ring. I was surprised that Moon didn’t go over clean given that she needed a boost heading into what feels like a rushed title match with Raquel Gonzalez at Takeover. Ultimately, though, Moon was able to lay out Gonzalez with the Eclipse in the post match angle, so they accomplished what they needed to do without having Kai take another clean loss.
Austin Theory vs. Oney Lorcan: A good opening match. Lorcan always delivers in the ring, and Theory has future star potential. It was the right move to put over Lorcan to build him up for his feud with Bobby Fish. By the way, the ongoing star-crossed lovers saga involving Dexter Lumis and Indi Hartwell continues to be good fun.
Dok Hendrix: While the In Your House theme was perfect last year while the world was on lockdown, it’s not so great this year given that the last place many of us want to be is in our homes after being locked up for so long. But this was a fun throwback. Will get the Maury Povich appearance to confirm that Doc is the storyline father of Cameron Grimes?
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Killian Dain: A nice win for Scott with some help from his Hit Row crew. It’s amazing that how quickly Scott went from feeling underutilized to becoming the face of a hot new faction.
Zack Gibson and James Drake vs. August Grey and Ikeman Jiro: A spotlight win for Gibson and Drake over the 205 Live duo. Jiro is a talented wrestler, but count me out on the idea that it’s cute or humorous for him to wrestle while wearing his jacket. The post match angle with Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher effectively set up next week’s tornado tag match with the Grizzled Young Vets.
Mercedes Martinez squash: A quick brawl with Xia Li to give their Takeover match a needed push, followed by a dominant win for Martinez over the enhancement wrestler.
Takeover In Your House build: I agree with John Moore, who wrote in last night’s live review that most of the Takeover matches had short builds and seem to have stipulations designed to make up for the lack of storytelling in some cases. NXT is still batting a thousand with Takeover events so I assume that this will be another good show. I’m just surprised by the underwhelming build.
Bronson Reed and MSK agree to defend the NXT North American Championship and the NXT Tag Titles against Legado del Fantasma: There’s a fine line between babyface characters having confidence and being just plain foolish. While the six-man tag looks like a hot match on paper, I don’t like that the heels didn’t have to give up anything to make the babyfaces to agree to put their titles on the line. The fact that they didn’t add a stipulation that would result in the Legado trio being forced out of NXT if they lose or something to that effect is probably an indication that the babyface trio will retain their respective titles.
Cameron Grimes, LA Knight, and Ted DiBiase: DiBiase walked off when both men looked like goofs last week, yet now he suddenly thinks they are worthy of fighting over the Million Dollar Championship? I get a kick out Grimes and I enjoy Knight’s work, but I felt like I missed a week of storytelling. By the way, when does IRS show up to strip Grimes of his newfound wealth?