Aleister Black def. Cezar Bononi ★★1/2
Another squash match for the impressive Aleister Black. He shows it off with a cool rope flip into the sitting position to avoid crashing and burning on a dive attempt. That was the most interesting part of the match as Black really didnt add much that his other squash matches didnt already showcase. It is time to see Black expand a little more during these if they are to continue. Really I think it is just time to give him a name opponent.
Backstage Interview w/ Nikki Cross ★★
This was just weird. Typically I like the weird that Cross has brought to her persona but this might have been too much spotlight for too long as it just started to crank the cringe factor a little too far. I think the girl has potential, but there is room for improvement.
Drew McIntyre interrupted backstage by Wesley Blake ★
Thats right, Wesley Blake, of Blake and Murphy fame. You remember them, they held the NXT tag titles for a while. They hung out with Alexa Bliss before her call up. Ah yes, now you remember. Ok so he interupted…. Drew… um. Yea I don’t care. Moving on.
#DIY def Moss and Sabbatelli ★★1/2
This match was better than I thought. I wasn’t sure how much rope they were going to give Moss and his main main Sabby but kudos for letting the guys work. The two sides complemented each other well but the match didnt have the time to really get a good thing going. Moss and Sabbetelli may have a future as a tag team in NXT. Once DIY notches the win, Regal comes out to announce them as the challengers at Takeover: Chicago but before he gets there, AOP come out with Ellering. Paul cuts a decent promo clearly rooted in old school wrestler before Regal gives us the best news, the title match will be a ladder match! While I am concerned about how AOP will handle it, I do think DIY can work and carry them to a solid effort with really good spots.
Hideo Itami def. Rodderick Strong ★★★★
This match was already at Takeover levels of good. Strong has made quite the showing in a short time on NXT TV and has really proven himself as a strong worker who can deliver memorable moments between the ropes. Itami is officially back from two devastating injuries and his strikes are still on point. The contrasting styles worked well together and the match was given the time it needed to be really fleshed out. I felt like the outcome was inevitable, however, given the moments shared by Hideo and Roode already. I wish there were more frequent and convincing close 2 counts before the end to really make me rethink what I thought was inevitable. Otherwise. a very good match.
Hideo and Strong make the show worth watching, but you can feel free to just skip ahead to their match.