After NXT Takeover The End, they’re calling this a new beginning for NXT. I hope this episode was just setting things up and not a sign of what we can expect in the future from NXT.
The show openes with a tag team match between the new Authors of Pain pain and two people they didn’t even bother introduce. The Authors of Pain are the team who attacked American Alpha at Takeover and are managed by WWE Hall of Famer Paul Ellering.
The match showed this new team to pretty much be straight brawlers and that took them to victory, if there was ever any doubt. I really hate this meaningless sort of match.
This annoyed me. If the Authors of Pain weren’t going to launch straight into a feud with American Alpha, there was no reason to attack them at Takeover. It would have made more sense to go after The Revival.
After that, Andrade “Cien” Almas and Tye Dillinger exchanged words in the back and the Authors of Pain ignored a request for an interview.
Up next was a women’s division match with Carmella, obnoxious as ever, against Tessa Blanchard, who is still pretty new and apparently just a jobber so far.
The match was pretty standard fare, with Tessa Blanchard showing more personality than I expected going in. Carmella showed a lot of flash in the ring and eventually won by submission, then danced in celebration probably just to annoy me, personally.
After that was a statement from Samoa Joe. It was recorded last week, after retaining the title. He was just reaffirming that he’s champion, really.
Blake and Murphy were interviewed backstage next. Apparently they’re back together. It seemed like there was some friction between the two but they tried to blame it on Alexa Bliss and move on. Their match against TM61 was up next. At least it wasn’t another pointless match.
Solid teamwork and a decent showing from TM61, while Blake and Murphy were as dull as ever. Obviously just a match to try to get TM61 over. Yawn.
After that, there was a statement from The Revival about being tag champions. My interest in this episode began to weaken even further.
Next was a recap and interview with Bayley backstage, followed by the match promised earlier between Tye Dillinger and Andrade Almas. That was a rematch from last week’s Takeover.
These two guys put on an entertaining show again, just like at Takeover. Almas dominated and,, eventually scored a pin fall for the victory.,
Up next we got to hear from Finn Balor, one week after his failure to reclaim the NXT title. The audience was behind him all through, even chanting, “please don’t go.” When he started asking what’s next for Finn Balor, he was interrupted by Shinsuke Nakamura. They got along well and Nakamura challenged Balor to a match.
– Authors of Pain defeated an unidentified tag team.
– Carmella defeated Tessa Blanchard.
– TM61 defeated Blake and Murphy.
– Andrade “Cien” Almas defeated Tye Dillinger. (Rematch from NXT Takeover The End.)
What interest I had in Authors of Pain waned with this episode as they failed to do much of anything with them. Paul Ellering makes me want to like them, if only because he’s a Hall of Famer from my home state and had a hand in the Legion of Doom back in the day.
I think the NXT women’s division is going to go through a rough patch as they start trying to elevate some of the newer talent.
The Finn Balor versus Shinsuke Nakamura match is going to be great and a suitable send off for Balor. (Balor has already been spotted at at least one main roster event, likely discussing with Creative how he’s going to come up.)
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