Dash Wilder def. Johnny Gargano and NXT Tag Team Champion Akam in a Triple Threat Match
The build to the NXT Tag Team Championship match at TakeOver: Orlando has been really well done and this was a fun final sell for the bout. The in-ring action was enjoyable and I liked how Gargano and Akam worked a majority of the match while Wilder killed time on the outside, which led to the finish with Wilder sneaking in and stealing the pinfall victory. I don't expect The Revival to regain the gold on Saturday, so it was wise to give them the win here.
Heavy Machinery def. Jonathon Ortegan and Mike Marshall
Heavy Machinery have made a pair of appearances on NXT TV before and have been hyped up via vignettes for a few weeks, so it was cool for them to finally re-debut. Not only that, but they received a hell of a showcase here that the crowd (which has been virtually dead for this entire taping) was actually hot for. It's great Heavy Machinery are impressive in the ring but what's even more important is that they can connect with the crowd. They have already won me over and I'm looking forward to them mixing it up with the rest of the division.
NXT Women's Champion Asuka and Ember Moon Signed the Contract For Their TakeOver: ORlando Match
No joke, this was the third contract signing on WWE TV this week with one happening on Raw and the second happening on SmackDown Live. Thankfully, this one took a different approach and occurred backstage and was pre-taped. It was kept short and sweet with both women delivering good mic work and adding to my anticipation for their upcoming encounter. This is the formula all contract signings should use because it worked wonderfully.
Kassius Ohno def. Elias Sampson in a Loser Leaves NXT Match
This was a weird match in that it was set up via a backstage segment from two weeks ago and this was Ohno's only second match back in NXT on TV, so to think he was leaving the brand so soon was a bit silly. That said, they did a decent job of making fans believe that Sampson could win by having him score several close pinfall attempts. I'm happy NXT will be Drifter-free going forward, but I fear he could be main roster bound. Oh no! On a side note, I'm slightly surprised Ohno isn't advertised for TakeOver, but I suppose he could show up in some capacity.
As a go-home show, I didn't expect anything exciting from this edition of NXT, but it served its purpose in building toward TakeOver and hyping up each match on the card. Additionally, Heavy Machinery made their anticipated debut, Ohno and Sampson had a better-than-expected match, the Triple Threat was a treat, and the contract signing was what it needed to be, so all things considered, this episode gets a thumbs up from me. The expected eight-person tag team match was also officially added to TakeOver with Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose, Roderick Strong and Ruby Riot taking on SAnitY.
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