1. It’s NXT time and we kick off with a recap of Takeover Chicago including the excellent U.K. Championship match and the shocking heel turn of Tommaso Ciampa after a brutal ladder match against the Authors of Pain.
2. Our first match of the night is Aleister Black vs Curt Hawkins, who is only employed by WWE to get his ass kicked. Hawkins gets in a couple of shots before Black begins to dismantle him with a series of stiff kicks and a sweet springboard moonsault. Brief hope spot for Curt before he almost gets decapitated by the Black Mass. Decent match but still basically a squash for the Dutch assassin.
3. Now we get a recap of the Takeover ladder match where DIY did their best to carry the Authors to a decent match and only succeeded by taking some insane, career shortening bumps. While I’m sad to see the end of DIY, if this leads to a singles push for Ciampa I’m all for it.
4. Interview with Ember Moon, sitting on the sidelines in a sling. She wanted Asuka to retain the championship, and she got her wish. This show is going to be about 80% Takeover recaps, isn’t it?
5. Interview with Asuka, who apparently doesn’t go anywhere without that line drawn across the middle of her face. And then a recap of Roddy Strong’s heroic victory over Eric Young and Sanity, followed by an interview.
6. Now it’s time for the highly anticipated (not really) debut of the Velveteen Dream, and he is facing jobber Robert Anthony. Dream runs around a lot but still pretty much sucks in the ring, with his big moves looking like they lack any significant impact. Dream wins with an elbow drop half way across the ring. Meh.
7. More recaps! This time it’s the U.K. Championship match, and Pete Dunne is angrily smug about his win. Man, Dunne has some truly horrible skin.
8. Now it’s a recap of the Roode/Itami rivalry and Takeover match, followed by an interview with Bobby Roode. The champ is as cocky as ever, casually burying Itami and outlines his plan to lay by the pool for a while. Sounds nice.
9. Our main event of the night is Drew McIntyre vs Wesley Blake, and the crowd do not care for the former Dubstep Cowboy. Blake never looks like a legitimate threat and McIntyre picks up the win with with running Yakuza kick.
10. Despite the presence of two NXT rising stars (Black and McIntyre) this was a filler episode of NXT, great if you missed Takeover Chicago but a little thin otherwise.
Tags: Aleister Black, JT on NXT, Velveteen Dream