Io Shirai and Kairi Sane Take On Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke
How it went down: This match started with Shirai and Shafir in the ring and the two displayed some technical wrestling before Sane and Duke tagged in and it turned into a display of strength.
Soon the action spilled out of the ring and the heels started double-teaming on the faces. Shirai would be overpowered in the end but was able to make the hot tag allowing a much fresher Sane to capitalize and win by clearing the ring first and then hitting the insane elbow on Shafir.
Winners: Kairi Sane and Io Shirai
Our take from it: This was standard NXT tag team fare. The back and forth was awesome. The ending did seem a bit abrupt but that can be put to the time constraints on NXT. There is the bigger arc of this turning into something involving the four horsewoman of UFC somewhere down the line.
As far as the team up of Shirai and Sane are concerned, it is ok for the time being but they do need something more solid to work with. They did get a positive response on the main roster at the Royal Rumble and perhaps a team like the New Day with Asuka also in the mix could be fun. A pretty standard start to NXT.
A Slew Of Highlight Segments Take Up Most Of The Time
How it went down: This part of the show started with the highlights of Gargano’s victory at Takeover. Some bits involving the Takeover theme by Poppy X followed and then there was an entertaining segment featuring Shayna Baszler being a total badass.
Highlights are shown of the tag matches and Matt Riddle’s match followed by Kathy Kelly’s interviews. The three on three tag match brawl between Ricochet, Velveteen Dream and Aleister Black on one side and Gargano, Ciampa and Adam Cole on the other side is built up.
Our take from it: This was a story of opposites. Some of the segments were entertaining but most of the interviews came across as fake, though they are scripted. It also took too much time leaving only time for one more match which is unforgivable on a platform like NXT.
The Forgotten Sons Triumph Over The Street Profits
How it went down: Dawkins hit a vicious spear on Culter to set the tone for this match. A double flapjack followed after a period of lull. Some heel tactics were employed and a few near falls followed. Dawkins tries to go big towards the end but got hit by a tope from Blake leading to a double finish by Culter and Blake on Dawkins for the win.
Winners: The Forgotten Sons
Our take from it: This was again standard tag team fare but a bit more brutal and unrefined but enjoyable nonetheless. Still, it didn’t have the build-up or the story behind it to close the show. Also, the highlights before this match seemed to go on forever and somewhat ruined the enjoyment out of this match.
Overall Review: All the fallout from Takeover was shown through highlights which came across as a huge bummer. For all intents and purposes there were only two matches and they too were quite lackluster by NXT standards.
This was one of those shows that can be given a miss. Rarely does NXT make such a blunder but it seemed like everyone was enjoying an off-day at work.
Moment of the Night: Shayna Baszler’s fiery interview
Overall Rating: 3.1/5