NXT Takeover: Thumbs Up

Best Match: Nakamura vs. Aries
Worst Match: Asuka vs. Nia Jax (by default as nothing was bad)

Another very good NXT show and they keep doing what WWE main roster can’t do which is to be consistent.  Granted NXT isn’t over exposed and the same guys don’t wrestle each other a hundred times a week on TV before they meet on the ppv events.  NXT just does things in a way that really works well. 

Andrade Almas vs. Tye Dillinger kicks the show off and it was a fun match and a nice debut for Cien.  Dillinger has a lot of crowd support for a guy who they don’t do anything with, but he has something and they should try to make him more than what he is.  Crowd was more into Dillinger than Almas.

Tag Title match was very good.  I really enjoyed this and again they way they put it together makes me feel like I am really watching a tag team match and not what WWE does on Raw and Smackdown.  These guys take me back to what I used to watch as far as tag teams go when you felt like it was actually different from a singles match.  Really surprised at the finish of having the Revival regain the titles since American Alpha barely had them.  Maybe they be on the main roster sooner than later especially with the brand split coming.  Those big guys seemed a little green, but those are the kind of big guys that Vince likes to push.  Surprised to see Paul Ellering too. 

Shinsuke Nakumara vs. Austin Aries was another great match.  Nakumara just has it. Hope when he gets to the main roster they just go with it and don’t try to change things.  He needs to be pushed to the top.  His entire presentation is great and the music really works.

Women’s Championship was good, but having to judge it against the rest of the show it would come in last.  Jax will probably be a monster on the main roster at some point, but right now I’m glad that Asuka retained.  Maybe Bayley gets her rematch now.

Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor was great as well.  Again NXT doesn’t overuse the gimmicks and the cage match felt important and not just a gimmick because it was a certain time of the year that called for it.  Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar really should be a WrestleMania main event. 

Just a an enjoyable show from beginning to end.

– Robb Block

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NJPW

I would give the show a Thumbs Up overall.

The matches they slated were really good loved how the feud between Elgin and Omega is heating up. Should make a great match at Dominion especially after the match they had at the house show NJPW had not too long ago. 

Best bout was the Taguchi vs. Ospreay hands down. I went in there with high hopes low expectations for Taguchi at least and he blew that out of the water really enjoyed his performance. Though I have issues with Ospreay’s over verbal selling he does a wonderful job modifying maneuvers to accomidate his match injuries. Ospreay was really good in the match The sky is the limit for him. 

Worst was the second bout Capt. NJ and Yoshi Tatsu v. Chase and Yujiro. Just didn’t do anything for me was hoping for more out of Chase and Yoshi and didn’t get it. 

NXT

I would give this show a thumbs middle overall.

It blew me away on paper and didn’t deliver the quality I would have hoped for but wasn’t by any means bad. 

Best bout was Tag Team match loved how it was crafted. Great Tandem moves by AA from the onset was really nice to see. I had been saying among my inner circle for weeks the best move for The Revival was to put the straps back on them to give them a little more time in NXT give them and heal heat. I think AA is main roster ready. 

Worst bout was Cien debut. He didn’t wow me. I would have like to see some form of a showcase. The finish wasn’t great either. 

– R.Ryan Sterling

**********

Thumbs in the middle

Best bout goes to Nakamura/Aries
Worst goes to Asuka/Jax

This Tye Dillinger guy really does nothing for me so far.  Tag match was good but nothing new.  Nakamura/Aries was as good of a match as you would think but it felt like they were working the same level they would at a house show.  The Nia Jax matches are such a step down from what was previously taking place in this division that I can’t help but resent her for it.  The Joe/Balor feud is getting long in the tooth.  Even after watching the match (or maybe especially after) I can’t see why a cage match was where they went here.  The amount of hype on social media for this takeover seemed to be a lot higher than usual.  The increased advertising combined with the weak card makes me wonder about the future of NXT going into the brand split.  I realize now what a big part of these shows the women’s matches were towards making me enjoy NXT so much.  The advertising seemed to imply this show would consist of feud ending matches which was misleading and added to much of my disappointment.

– Jeff Caldwell

**********

THUMBS –  DEFINITELY UP

A very strong show from top to bottom.  As I found myself enjoying this show, and not really caring about Raw at all, it occurs to me this exemplifies the problem with WWE right now: too much content.  Less than monthly special events, which are very good, and a 1 hour per week TV show that you can miss is just about right.  Not to mention the simple booking that you can relate to.  But I think the problem has already been diagnosed, with no solution in sight.

BEST MATCH: Revival v. Gable & Jordan.  An excellent match, with I believe the right result.  The opening video package seems to indicate that call-ups are coming, and Jordan & Gable deserve a call-up.  Actually, I’m not sure the Revival doesn’t as well.  Their matches are routinely better than any matches on Raw.

WORST MATCH:  The Andrade match didn’t feel very special, but hopefully this guy will grow into something.  Dillinger did a nice job making the match look competitive, but the finishing sequence was pretty flat.

I’m not a fan of cage matches, but if you are going to have them in the modern world, you cannot have escaping out the door be an option.  It is just too ridiculous to have Finn Balor standing by the door with his opponent down, but choosing to do a move instead.  A great effort by both guys, and the result indicates that Balor might get called up.

The Shinsuke-Aries match was surely good, and had some good sequences, but not as good as Shinsuke-Zayn.  I was surprised to see Shinsuke taking that big bump on the apron.

I think Shinsuke & Finn Balor deserve to be called up as well, but there doesn’t seem to be long term integrated planning on the big stage. Even the Nia Jax match was decent.  A great effort by everyone on the card.

– Richard Orloski

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New Japan Super J Cup Finals

Thumbs Up

Finals match told a tremendous story. Thought Ospreay sold much better and overall just came across as such a huge deal and a revolutionary talent. 

 
NXT

Thumbs Up
 
Awesome show. 
 
Cien vs. Dillinger. Good opener. Did what it was suppose to.
 
NXT Tag Title Match American Alpha vs. The Revival. Tremendous. Not sure there is a more complete team in the world then American Alpha. They have the big guy/small guy thing, amazing moves, energy and realness to them. Understand The Revival winning and they don’t get the credit they deserve. After the match was a terrific angle and surprise to see Paul Ellering. Authors of Pain have a very solid look to them. 
 
Nakamura vs. Aries. Great match. Really showcased both men. Loved the story that Aries had an answer for almost everything while at the same time showing how hard it is to defeat Nakamura. Nakamura’s charisma is just off the charts. 
 
Asuka vs. Jax Women’s Title. Much better then I hoped. Jax has improved. 
 
NXT Title Cage Match Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor. Very good. I actually enjoyed the camera angles. Thought it was a fresh take on it and made it seem more brutal. Great last few minutes. Both guys deserve to be on the Main Roster but may be holding off on Joe to do him vs. Nakamura at Takeover Brooklyn. 
 
Excellent show top to bottom. Match of the night I would go with Alpha vs. Revival but it is tough.
 
– Mike Flyn

******

I gotta say the show tonight definitely lived up to the hype so I got to give it a thumbs up. The best bout of the night to me was the main event, both guys told a great story and the super muscle buster off the ropes was pulled off flawlessly, I guess if I had to pick the “worst” match by default was the opening contest with La Sombra and Tye Dillinger, only because ever other match on the card delivered in a major way.

– Michael Thomas