WWE NXT Review: Episode 490

January 30, 2019 – Phoenix, Arizona

They’re calling this episode NXT Takeover Aftermath, and the UK show earlier in the day called their post-Takeover show Takeover Plus. No thank you to both; I liked it just fine when they didn’t address why they had a TV episode in a big arena.  

Io Shirai & Kairi Sane def. Marina Shafir & Jessamyn Duke
The Sky Pirates won in 6:41 when Sane hit Shafir with the Insane Elbow. I had spent a good portion of today complaining about bad the Horsewomen are in the ring, but I’m happy that I now have to admit that they’re showing improvement. The crowd super hot and theirs to lose, and they held up their end of the bargain so that Sane and Shirai could wow us without being distracted by any bumbling. Here’s hoping that rumor about female NXT tag teams challenging for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles sometime down the line is true. ***

In a post-match interview at Takeover, Johnny Gargano says he likes the way it feels to win. Later, Bianca Belair is asked about Sam Roberts’ weird comments about her at the Takeover pre-show. After the backlash Roberts’ performance got (both for being out of place and for being really poorly executed), I’m surprised they put that part of this interview on TV. Also, the War Raiders have little of interest to say. Also, Riddle cuts a post-match promo that proves that he should be allowed to do unscripted promos because it was worlds better than the pre-written promos he’s done.

After Takeover ended, Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, and Adam Cole got in a fight with Ricochet, Velveteen Dream, and Amsterdam Black. At the Royal Rumble pre-show, Shawn Michaels announced that WWE would bring back Halftime Heat during the SuperBowl and put on a six-man tag match with the guys involved in the brawl. Fun! Michaels will be on commentary. Also fun?

Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake def. Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins
The Street Profits’ gear is an homage to Harlem Heat, but it looks just awful on them. Dawkins looks like he’s over-producing estrogen because of how unflattering it is. The Forgotten Sons have two too many bad catchphrases: “Do unto others,” and, “We will be forgotten no more.” Neither of those make sense. Are they planning on changing their names when they’re no longer forgotten? And why is the Golden Rule in their entrance music? This gimmick is bad. They win in 7:19 after hitting The Memory Remains on Dawkins. I’m especially frustrated by the bad gimmick because this match, even with limited time, built around two good stories: 1) that Ford’s agility and Dawkins’ strength had them outclassing the Sons, and 2) that Dawkins and an interfering Jaxson Ryker have unfinished business. The Sons should just ditch the gimmick and the “mantras” and be two regular dudes who have huge muscle behind them and feud with the more entertaining. And if said feud leads to Stacey Irvine debuting as backup for the Profits then all the better. ***

This was your typical “Takeover Aftermath” (barf on that name). It did a nice job of letting those who don’t follow NXT on social media know about Halftime Heat, and gave us a couple of fun if forgettable (no pun intended) tag matches.

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