Authors of Pain get redemption, Baszler gets a title shot as NXT Takeover's focus gets clearer
This week’s NXT was not as entertaining match-wise as the first week at Centre Stage, but it pushed forward the storylines to Takeover: Philadelphia. NXT’s tag team division was the main highlight of the night as we also saw Johnny’s confident promo, two matches booked for Takeover & a bold challenge to Lars Sullivan.
Authors of Pain final redemption
AOP battled the Street Profits for the right to become the #1 contender for the NXT Tag Team Championship. Going into the match, viewers should have guessed that AOP was going to win; the crowd was definitely on the side of Montez & Angelo though. Street Profits had their first real challenge since going on a winning streak since their debut.
All in all, the match’s purpose was to remind us how terrifying AOP is. Street Profits barely got any offense in (Montez sold everything like he was Dolph Ziggler) and when they got a hot-tag, AOP put a stop to their momentum. Montez & Angelo still have some time to continue building their persona, but this puts them in a position to become a little more serious and show out. I believe this will be AOP’s final Takeover; their call-up is long overdue.
Shayna Bazler Gets Her Way
Remember last week when I said that Shayna is a monster that the NXT Women’s Division needed? She continued that dominance this week.
While Shayna did not have a match this week, she came to the ring after Lacey Evans defeated Aliyah in a short affair. Shayna came into the ring to choke the life out of Aliyah. Ember Moon came out again to make the save before challenging Shayna to a title match at Takeover. Bazler baited Ember to a match at Takeover and that’s what we need, not only a dominant heel but cunning as well.
Johnny FREAKIN Wrestling
During an Interview segment, Zelina Vega told William Regal that Johnny Gargano must have a match with Velveteen Dream to prove he’s the next contender for Andrade's NXT title. Johnny caught wind of this and headed to the ring to give one of his most passionate speeches yet. The crowd ate every word as he asked for the match against Velveteen to prove to Zelina and the wrestling world that he is ready to be on top. “I am Johnny Gargano. I am Johnny Freaking Wrestling!!"
Undisputed Era is NXT’s NWO, from their theme music to their intricate promos. Adam Cole commands a presence as he talks to the camera, confirming the strength of Undisputed Era.
Nice to see TM-61 again, their re-introduction video package tells a good story for new viewers who are not familiar with them. Hopefully they get into a quick feud to attract more fans to their wrestling style.
After his quick match, Roderick Strong called out Lars Sullivan for a match at Takeover. This may turn into a triple threat match as Sullivan called out Killian Dain a week before. That type of match could open the show and start it with a bang.
(All photos courtesy of WWE)