Welcome to the WWE NXT review here on TJRWrestling. This episode is taking place at the Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Check out my WWE NXT review archive here.
The show opened with a video recap of some highlights from last week’s show. Leon Ruff made his entrance for the opening match that was a Falls Count Anywhere Match. There were NXT fans in the building behind the barricades and cheering for Ruff as he made his way into the ring. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott made his entrance as the heel in the match. The announce team was Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett and Beth Phoenix as usual.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
Ruff charged right into a knee to the face by Scott. Ruff used his quickness to avoid a move from Scott and then Ruff went for a move off the ropes, but Scott punched Ruff to knock him down. Scott whipped Ruff into the turnbuckle and then Ruff did a hiptoss out of the ring. Ruff tried a dive, Scott caught him and Scott drove Ruff back/neck first into the ring apron. Scott whipped Ruff into the barricade two times. Scott delivered a sidewalk slam on the bottom of the ramp for two. They were back in the ring with fans chanting for Ruff as Scott delivered a kick to the ribs. Scott delivered a huge superplex off the top with a lot of height on the move for a two count. Scott went for a running kick, Ruff moved, Scott was tied up in the ropes and Ruff hit a running dropkick. Ruff went for a running attack off the steps, but Scott hit him in the ribs to knock him down. Scott tossed Ruff into the barricade. Scott tossed a toolbox at Ruff, who moved, so it hit the barricade. Ruff had this “holy shit” kind of look on his face.
(Commercial – There is picture in picture action, but it’s not shown on Sportsnet 360 here in Canada. Even if it was, I doubt I would recap it.)
They were on the stage with Scott standing, then Ruff turned a spotlight so that it went into Scott’s eyes. Ruff hit a somersault dive onto Scott on the floor for a two count. Scott went for a superplex again, but Ruff countered it into a Crucifix Bomb for a two count. Scott was on the apron, Ruff slid to the floor, then Ruff went up the steps and hit a Reverse Rana off the apron to the floor! Wow, that was so great. Scott sold it perfectly like doing a moonsault on the floor. It looked amazing. Both guys were down, so there was no cover as Scott told Ruff he will never be on his level. Scott hit a sitout slam off the shoulders on the floor and got a two count. Scott sent Ruff into the steps, Scott charged, Ruff moved and Scott’s right knee hit the steel steps. Ruff with a toolbox to the right knee. Back in the ring, Scott hit a Frog Splash off the top for a two count. Ruff applied a kneebar submission while using a wrench for added leverage, but Scott managed to fight out of it. Ruff with a springboard Cutter and then Ruff hit a Cutter off the apron on the floor! Ruff with a clothesline over the barricade. Ruff went up a ladder to a platform and tried a move, but AJ Francis, who is Scott’s buddy caught him and gave him a Death Valley Driver slam on the top of the barricade. Back in the ring, Scott hit the JML slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
Analysis: ***3/4 That was a great match with a lot of action, cool moves, some unique spots and then a cheap ending. If it had a cleaner ending I might have gone four stars or higher. Since it was Falls Count Anywhere, it wasn’t that much of a surprise that Scott got some help to win. It should lead to AJ Francis being used more on NXT and he’s a guy some fans may know from the Treasures show on A&E. Ruff is great at taking a beating, selling in a realistic way and I love how athletic he is because he can hit moves from anywhere. This was a really good rivalry for a few months. I’m glad that Swerve won even though it was cheap. That’s okay because it fits Swerve as a heel.
Scott celebrated the win with Francis and his other buddies.
Finn Balor was shown arriving at the building earlier in the day.
There was a backstage scene with NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory as they walked into William Regal’s office. Regal was talking to Scarlett, who looked amazing in a tight black outfit. Regal said he was busy, so Johnny left while Theory commented on Scarlett’s big…nails. Gargano got Theory and they left.
Cameron Grimes vs. Asher Hale
Asher Hale used to wrestle as Anthony Henry. I’m not sure about Asher as a first name, but it is unique. They battled over a headlock. Grimes with a shoulder tackle, then a rope run and Hale hit a dropkick to the leg. Hale with kicks to the leg, but then Grimes hit a clothesline. Grimes stomped away on Hale. Hale got a hold of the legs of Grimes and twisted the legs. Grimes blocked a DDT attempt. Hale came back with a missile dropkick for two. Grimes into the turnbuckle, then he delivered a knee to the stomach and Grimes hit a spinning sidewalk slam. Grimes hit the Cave In double foot stomp for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cameron Grimes
Analysis: *1/2 A shorter match to give Grimes a decisive win after he lost to Kyle O’Reilly in the main event two weeks ago.
The team of Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro were interviewed and talked about how they wanted to get a shot at the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles. Franky Monet showed up with her dog, claimed that they were Franky’s favorite tag team. Franky said it will take them a lot longer than they think to win the titles. Franky left.
Cameron Grimes was in the locker room celebrating with the Ever-Rise guys. Grimes said he liked them, but he was only going to celebrate by himself. Poor Ever-Rise…at least they rule…according to themselves.
The Grizzled Young Veterans duo of Zack Gibson and James Drake did a pre-match promo with Drake saying they are a gift to the NXT Universe. Gibson said that they should be celebrated as Grizzled Young Veterans…and here are their opponents. It’s Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher.
Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake)
Ciampa with a running shoulder tackle on Drake leading to a leg scissors around the head. Thatcher tagged in with a headbutt to the ribs into an armbar. Gibson tagged in, Thatcher with a wristlock, then Gibson into the ropes and Thatcher with a shoulder tackle. Thatcher worked over Gibson with two knee strikes to the upper back. Gibson went for an anklelock, then Thatcher applied a sleeper and Drake went into the ring, so Ciampa went after Drake. Thatcher and Ciampa each delivered repeated forearms to the chest as the show went to break.
Thatcher and Drake were in the ring, Drake tried to do a tag while on the apron and the referee didn’t allow it. After Gibson distracted the referee, Drake sent Thatcher throat first into the middle rope to take control. Gibson was back in for a double team dropkick into a slam for two. Thatcher got out of a tight headlock, then they did a double headbutt spot and Drake tagged in. Thatcher kicked himself free, so Ciampa got the hot tag with clotheslines on both guys. Ciampa hit a leaping double clothesline on both guys. Ciampa sent Drake into the turnbuckle, then Ciampa delivered repeated chops and Thatcher was back in with forearms to the face. Ciampa back in with a knee to the face, then a double team chop to Drake and Ciampa hit a running knee to the jaw for a two count. Thatcher went for a kneebar, Drake broke free and Gibson tagged in right into a belly-to-belly slam by Thatcher for two as Drake broke up the pin. Ciampa with a forearm and elbow to Drake, then a clothesline that sent Drake out of the ring. Gibson with chops, Thatcher hit him with a hard chop to the face and Thatcher hit butterfly suplex for two. Drake kicked Ciampa into the announce table. Gibson with a double thrust to the face of Thatcher. Drake hit a suicide dive on Ciampa on the floor. Gibson with a suplex into a twisting neckbreaker for two. Ciampa tripped up Drake on the apron, then Ciampa grabbed a shoe (I believe Wade Barrett said it was his shoe), Thatcher got a rollup for two and Ciampa slid the shoe into the ring. Ciampa distracted the referee, so Thatcher hit Gibson in the head with the shoe. Thatcher applied an armbar on the right arm and then Gibson tapped out. It went 15 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a classic, well-wrestled tag team match with the face team of Ciampa/Thatcher controlling early on, then Thatcher was the face in peril for a few minutes and Ciampa was tremendous after the hot tag. I don’t think the GYV team is capable of having a bad match because Gibson/Drake work so well together as a traditional heel team. The shoe thing was done because of the “shoes off if you hate Gibson” chant that was used in the UK, which they mentioned last week, so it was used as part of the finish in this match. It was Ciampa/Thatcher being crafty even though they are faces. The NXT tag team division is really strong again thanks to the depth of teams that they have and the matches are always good too.
Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory walked up to William Regal’s office. That’s when Regal showed up. Gargano said he shouldn’t have to defend the NXT North American Title against Bronson Reed. Regal informed Johnny he still has a title match while Theory has to face Karrion Kross next week.
There was a backstage scene with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and his group saying he told us that he’d beat up Leon Ruff tonight and that’s exactly what Swerve did.
A video aired showing the recent victories of Sarray and Zayda Ramier, who have a match against eachother.
Let’s Hear from Karrion Kross
The NXT Champion Karrion Kross made his entrance with the lovely Scarlett for a promo. Their “Fall and Pray” entrance remains one of the coolest entrances in NXT and all of WWE. As cool as it looks in NXT, it will be even more impressive on a bigger stage one day.
Karrion Kross said that three weeks ago, he made things crystal clear that all you had to do was step right up and roll the dice. Kross said that he isn’t afraid of anybody. Kross wondered what are they waiting for and he wants to give people what they want – he wants to give them a fight. Kross said that he doesn’t have to prove anybody wrong and said that you have to come here to prove yourself right. Kross said he won’t wait for somebody to show up to stab him in the back. Kross said next week, Austin Theory, he’s going to leave him face down unconscious.
Kyle O’Reilly was up next for an interruption. It’s “Kool Kyle” (yes with a K) with a hat and a casual look. Kyle said he gets why Kross thinks that everybody should be afraid – sheer dominance. Kyle said he was there to tell him to his face that he is not afraid of him. Kyle said that since Kross is the NXT Champion, this is the match that Kross wants and this is the match that Kross wants too.
Pete Dunne was the next man to appear with a microphone in hand. Dune said he didn’t care who wants to see this match and he didn’t care about the new Kyle O’Reilly. Dunne said he didn’t care that Kross stands there as NXT Champion. Dunne said he is the baddest man in NXT and if either of you think otherwise, try to prove him wrong, Dunne dares them.
Finn Balor was up next as the former NXT Champion, who has been off for a few weeks. Balor said that he’s beaten Dunne and O’Reilly while noting he beat Kyle twice. Balor told Kross once he’s done with Theory and Balor hit Kross with a forearm. Kross dumped Dunne over the top to the floor. Kross kicked O’Reilly, but then Balor hit a running dropkick on Kross. That led to Kross driving Balor into the turnbuckle. A security guy tried to break it up as Kross hit Balor with a clothesline. Kross nailed Balor with a forearm to knock Finn off the apron. Kross gave a security guy a Saito Suplex. The security guy was likely a trainee that we haven’t seen on TV yet. Steve Corino, who is an NXT Producer, was among the guys out there to make Balor going to the back. Kross stood tall in the ring with his title, but then Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory attacked. Kross knocked Theory out of the ring and then Kross hit an overhead suplex on Theory. Gargano with a superkick, Theory with a superkick and Gargano/Theory hit a double superkick. Gargano with a running title shot to the head of Kross that knocked the champion down. Gargano and Theory were happy about what they did.
Analysis: That was chaotic with so many guys out there trying to get at Kross, yet Kross was able to take care of all of them. Maybe they should do a triple threat match with Balor, O’Reilly and Dunne to determine the next NXT Title challenger. I think it would be smart to do a Kross vs. Balor at the next Takeover assuming it’s in June although I don’t know the date yet. Having Gargano/Theory knock down Kross like that was a bit of a surprise since Kross looks dominant so often, but it’s a way to build up to Kross vs. Theory next week. I think the NXT creative team views Kross as a tweener right now rather than a face or heel because he can be used against guys on either side.
There was a video of Austin Theory and Johnny Gargano leaving in a car with Mckenzie Mitchell wondering why they are leaving before the Candice/Indi tag team match. Gargano said that they are setting up the party for them. It’s really a case of Gargano and Theory being scared of Kross getting revenge, so they took off.
Sarray vs. Zayda Ramier
They did some mat wrestling with Sarray tripping up Zayda and then covering for a two count. Sarray hit a running dropkick. Sarray ran the ropes, Zayda tripped her up and turned it into a STF submission. Sarray got out of that leading to a rollup. Sarray with a spinebuster like slam. Sarray tied up the legs of Zayda and then a bridge back into a neck pull, but Zayda got to the ropes. Sarray with another running dropkick on Zayda, who was against the ropes. Sarray with a Fisherman’s Suplex (Perfectplex) for a two count. Sarray off the top with a missile dropkick. Sarray with another running dropkick. When Sarray went for another dropkick, Zayda moved and got a pin attempt. Zayda with running uppercut and then a Slingblade neckbreaker for a two count. Sarray with a spin kick and then a German Suplex. Sarray hit a T-Bone Suplex that sent Zayda high on the back of the neck and Sarray covered for the pinfall win after about five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sarray
Analysis: **1/4 A solid match where they made the most of their time given. Sarray was on offense for most of it and she was impressive with multiple running dropkicks. Ramier didn’t get that much offense, but she’s a good athlete that also has a bright future. I just think Sarray is the one that they want to push more, which makes sense when watching her in the ring. Sarray has a lot of talent.
There was a backstage segment with Imperium members Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner and Alexander Wolfe talking to Walter, who was on a tablet. I don’t know what he was saying. Wolfe ended up walking away.
There was a video of the Diamond Mine training session that was shown last week as well. It looks like some MMA fighting group that will be part of NXT.
This Friday it is a Throwback edition of Smackdown.
There was a backstage scene with Sarray checking on Zayda Ramier after their match and Sarray shook her hand. Toni Storm walked up to them looking for an attack, but then Zoey Stark got in Storm’s face to prevent anything from happening. Storm backed away.
LA Knight did a pre-match promo while Jake Atlas was in the ring. Knight did some trash talking and then spouted his “fact of life” catchphrase to end it.
LA Knight vs. Jake Atlas
Atlas with an armdrag, Knight charged into a boot to the face and Atlas hit a dropkick. Knight was on the floor, Atlas tried a dive, but Knight blocked that and hit a knee to the face. Knight jumped off the apron onto Atlas with a shoulder tackle. Knight went for a knee drop, Atlas moved and Barrett kept putting over Knight. Atlas with a knee, forearm and a German Suplex for two. Knight pulled the tights and drove Atlas face first into the middle turnbuckle. Atlas avoided a charge, Atlas got a kick to the chest and then Knight did a kick to the gut followed by a headlock driver in the mat for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: LA Knight
Analysis: *3/4 A dominant win for Knight, who continues his rise in NXT by beating the guys that aren’t big names, but I think the day is going to come when he is in there with the bigger names. I like Atlas as a worker, and he has a lot of potential. There just hasn’t been a storyline for him to make him really stand out, so I hope they get something for him soon.
There was a backstage scene with Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell talking about how they had to focus on their title match. There was a painting in the room drawn by Dexter Lumis, but Candice put it in a locker. Lumis was in the hallway with flowers, but Candice closed the blinds to prevent Indi from seeing it.
Analysis: The idea here is that Candice wanted Indi to focus on the match and not on Indi’s infatuation with Dexter Lumis.
Toni Storm did a backstage promo saying that Zoey Stark didn’t deserve to be in the same ring or same locker room as Storm. Toni said that she is a global superstar that is a former and future Women’s Champion while Zoey is a future nobody. Storm claimed she brought Zoey into this business and when she’s ready she will take Zoey out of it.
Let’s Hear from Legado del Fantasma
The Legado del Fantasma group of Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza were in suits in the ring for a promo. Escobar said that you have seen him become the NXT Cruiserweight Champion and the undisputed Emperor of Lucha Libre. Escobar said that last week you saw an iconic moment when he had a premonition and he will recover the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Wilde said that they haven’t forgotten about MSK while noting that MSK didn’t beat them. Wilde said that last week, they beat MSK and embarrassed them. Mendoza said that they want an NXT Tag Team Title match against MSK. Escobar said that the measure of a man is not what he can do himself, but for what he can do his brothers. Kushida, the Cruiserweight Champion, appeared on the screen. Kushida said next week he’ll defend the title against Escobar. That led to “Kushida” chants. Escobar accepted the challenge.
Analysis: That’s a great match for next week with Kushida facing Escobar for the NXT Cruiserweight Title again. They always have great matches. I like MSK vs. the Legado boys as a future match as well.
Raquel Gonzalez & Mercedes Martinez Interview
Raquel Gonzalez and Mercedes Martinez did a split-screen interview. Raquel said that her title means she is the baddest woman in this division. Raquel said she respects Mercedes’ game. Mercedes said that everybody talks about her experience, she gets it, but she is hungry and has something to prove. Mercedes said that Raquel doesn’t intimidate her and Mercedes has no fear. Raquel said that Mercedes is a woman that is about to get her ass kicked. Mercedes said that the road she travelled paved the roads for women like Raquel. Mercedes said that Raquel was molded after the blueprint that Mercedes made. Raquel said that she raised the bar and placed it so high that nobody else can reach it. Raquel said in her one year of experience, she has surpassed all of what Mercedes has done. Mercedes said in one night, she will end Raquel’s championship right. Raquel said that Mercedes will be the first challenge, but she won’t be the last.
Analysis: That was okay. They both made their points well with Mercedes talking about how her experience is a major factor while Raquel dismissed it since she feels like she has surpassed everybody and that’s a fair point.
Next week on NXT: Raquel Gonzalez defends the NXT Women’s Title against Mercedes Martinez.
Analysis: It should be a good match with Mercedes putting up a fight, but a win by Raquel seems like a lock.
The NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship duo of Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart were walking backstage. They saw the little dog that Franky Monet has and the dog was in the tank. They took the dog out, let it go and realized the dog shit in the tank. Ember: “Why is it so big?” That was funny. They opted not to ride the tank for the match.
There was a scene with Cameron Grimes at some club. Grimes said that he rented a booth at the club. The tall bouncer said that the venue has been rented out tonight. A limousine arrived with a “$” sign on the front of it. That led to WWE Hall of Famer “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase showing up to tell Grimes you shouldn’t just rent a booth when you can buy the whole place. Dibiase did his classic line: “Everybody has a price for the Million Dollar Man” line. That led to Grimes doing his freak out line: “That damn Ted Dibiase!”
Analysis: Funny stuff just like last week with the watch. Grimes makes me laugh.
Next week on NXT:
* NXT Cruiserweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls Match: Kushida (c) vs. Santos Escobar
* NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez (c) vs. Mercedes Martinez
* Karrion Kross vs. Austin Theory in a non-title match.
* Killian Dain vs. Alexander Wolfe was also announced later in the show.
Analysis: Good matches advertised for next week with two titles on the line. That’s a strong lineup.
The Way’s Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell made their entrance. Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart entered as the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions without the tank as we saw before the break. The heels attacked before the introductions took place.
NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship Street Fight: Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart vs. The Way (Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell)
It’s a Street Fight, so there are no tags in this match. All four women are legal. The four women left the ring right away with Blackheart going for a table and Hartwell sent Blackheart into the barricade. LeRae sent Moon into the barricade. Moon came back with a kick to the chest. Hartwell sent Blackheart into the side of the ring. A table was set up on the floor with Blackheart sending Hartwell into it and then Moon sent LeRae into the barricade. The champs worked together against Hartwell with a drop toe hold into a dropkick and a senton splash. Moon put the trash can on Blackheart and then a double team dropkick for two with Candice making the save. LeRae sent Moon out of the ring. Candice with a superkick that sent Blackheart out of the ring. Candice slid out of the ring with Moon and Blackheart hit Candice with a double trash can lid shot. Moon and Blackheart brought a table into the ring. Hartwell sent Moon into the barricade and Blackheart into the edge of the ring apron. Hartwell set up Moon across the barricade and Indi hit her with a boot to the face. Hart well opened up four chairs in a seated position on the floor. Moon drove Hartwell face first into the chairs. Blackheart sat Indi on another chair onto the four other chairs, but then Candice got back into it with some fire extinguisher spray onto Ember/Shotzi at the same time. Nice counter!
Moon sent LeRae into the ropes and Moon hit a dropkick. Both challengers were up against the ropes as Blackheart hit a splash on the backs while Moon kicked both women. Moon sent LeRae into the ring post. Moon with a chair to the back of Hartwell. They were past the top of hour two. Moon and Hartwell hit a double team spinning slam on LeRae for a two count. Moon kicked LeRae off the apron onto a ladder bridge. Blackheart went up top and jumped onto Candice with a senton that broke the ladder in half. Ouch. That was brutal! The ladder wasn’t completely destroyed, but you can see it was broken a bit. Moon did an Alabama Slam on Hartwell into a table that was against the turnbuckle. The table didn’t break. I think if the table broke it would have been better than not breaking. Indi got back into it with a kick into a ladder that knocked Ember and Shotzi down. LeRae was back in the ring and Candice hit a springboard moonsault onto Shotzi on a ladder for a two count. Moon with a jumping kick, but then Indi gave Moon a spinebuster onto a ladder for two. Indi left the ring with Shotzi and Indi slammed Shotzi into the barricade. Blackheart smashed a coffee mug on Hartwell’s back. Shotzi climbed up a steel structure that was a part of the set while Hartwell was on the announce table, Shotzi was about 10 feet high and she jumped off with a splash that drove Hartwell through the table. That led to “this is awesome” chants. Moon and LeRae battled in the ring with Moon hitting a sitout Powerbomb for two. Moon went up top, LeRae went after her, Blackheart was back up and LeRae shoved Blackheart into Moon to knock Moon down. LeRae set up Moon on a table on the floor. Blackheart with a superkick on LeRae, who had brass knucks on her hand. Hartwell with a springboard elbow drop on Moon through a table at ringside! Damn! That was great. LeRae punched Shotzi in the face with the brass knuckles. I don’t think the announcers saw that she had hem on her hand, but she clearly did and Shotzi sold it like it was a devastating punch to the face. LeRae with the Wicked Stepsister stomp on the back leading to Shotzi’s face hitting the steel chair and Candice covered Shotzi for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions: Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell
Analysis: ***3/4 This was a very physical tag team match with all four women taking some big bumps. They went through ladders, tables and broke a lot of objects along the way. Candice looked like the ring general in the match setting everything up well, selling the right amount and getting the win with the brass knuckles. I think the brass knuckles spot should have been emphasized more, but they did mention it on the replay. Ember and Shotzi were easy to like and support as the champions. I was impressed with Hartwell in the match because she isn’t at the same skill level or experience level as the other three women, but she more than held her own with some of the big bumps she took and that impressive springboard elbow drop that she did as well. I didn’t think Ember and Shotzi would lose here, but I guess it’s okay since one of them could step up as a title challenger against Raquel Gonzalez in the future.
There were replays of some of the biggest bumps in the match and in the replay, they did note that Candice had the brass knucks, which helped Candice get the win.
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell celebrated with their titles while Ember and Shotzi were down selling the big moves that they took.
Analysis: I’m happy for Candice winning her first title in NXT considering that she has been there a long time. The NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles were created two months ago and there have already been two title changes. That’s not a complaint. Just an observation. Every champion doesn’t need a six-month title run.
Three Stars of the Show
- Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
- Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell
- Leon Ruff/Shotzi Blackheart/Ember Moon
This week: 8 out of 10
Last week: 7.25
2021 Average: 7.47
This was a great episode of NXT from top to bottom. It was probably one of the best episodes of the year. The NXT Women’s Tag Team Title match in the main event led to a title change with Candice LeRae winning her first title in NXT after a long run there with Indi Hartwell as the partner. I liked Ember and Shotzi as champions, but I didn’t mind the title change. It was smart to make it a Street Fight because it allowed them a chance to do some big spots like table breaking, a splash through a ladder and so on.
I thought the best match was between Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and Leon Ruff with Scott picking up the cheap win thanks to an assist from AJ Francis. This story was going on for months, so it was a nice way to end it with a big match as the opener to the show. Starting the show with a near four-star level match is smart because it sets the tone for the rest of the night. I really liked the Ciampa/Thatcher tag against GYV as well. Those teams are very talented. Those three matches I mentioned were all great and then some of the others were solid too.
The NXT Title picture looks like it will be busy as Karrion Kross tries to fend off multiple challengers. I assume the next Takeover is in June at some point, so they have time to build up the contenders in the weeks ahead. If you like NXT as a show then you probably enjoyed this show a lot as I did. If you’re only a casual NXT viewer, you might have a different viewpoint, but I think it was another strong episode by the NXT crew.
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