Fanny Packs And Popcorn (WWE NXT Review)  

What a strong TakeOver NXT had on Sunday and I was looking forward to what would come in the aftermath of it. This week we had the trophy presentation for the Dusty Classic winners to look forward to and also Kyle O’Reilly addressing the events that happened at the end of TakeOver. Let us jump right in to see what the black and gold brand had for us this week. 

 

Kyle O’Reily In-Ring 

It is clear to me that they are positioning Kyle to be the top face in NXT and this really helped to hammer that home. He came out looking for an explanation from Adam Cole over what he did and he just needs to know why he did what he did. Kyle was good here and he would be interrupted by Roderick Strong. Strong was pretty much on Cole’s side here and I loved how Kyle didn’t want to hear it from him and wanted to hear it from Cole instead. Finn Balor would end up coming out and said he wants answers too. Dunne, Lorcan and Burch would end up coming out to attack all the men and we would have a bit of a fight here. Kyle still didn’t get the answers he was looking for and this was a nice opening segment. 

 

William Regal Backstage 

This was a nice segment here as Regal would say he received a video from Santos Escobar regarding his match against Karrion Kross that was set to happen this week. The video would be played and Santos would say he had no plans of taking on Kross this week. He was going to go home and there was nothing Regal could do about it. I loved this because Santos isn’t acting like he is scared of Kross while also running from the match because he clearly doesn’t want to take him on. Regal would end up saying that if Santos does not take him on next week, he will be stripped of the Cruiserweight title and will be suspended. Regal would also make the main event for the evening be a six-man tag match with Balor, O’Reilly and Strong on one side and Dunne, Lorcan and Burch on the other.  

 

The Way vs Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon 

What a fun tag match this was but I will say it does disappoint me a bit to see this be a rematch from last week. I am not one to usually like rematches that don’t have a reason for them and this felt like it fell in that category. I did love that the Way were handing out flyers because Austin Theory is missing and the Way continue to be my favorite thing going right now. The match was a fun back and forth match and at a white van would appear in the parking lot during the match. Johnny would end up going to see what it was about and would end up finding Austin Theory in there. He would bring him out to the stage and Candice would join him. This would allow Shotzi and Ember to get the upper hand though and they would pick up the win. Seems like the Way weren’t too bothered by that though as they got Austin back in some awkward clothing.  

 

Pat McAfee Promo 

Pat McAfee was actually right about Adam Cole and I love that he cut a promo in his jet all about how he was right. He had no issue at all in saying that he was right about Adam Cole and I love how he always makes fun of the IWC in his promos. He has the gift of gab and it is a joy to see. I do wonder if this means we will be seeing more of Pat in the near future.  

 

KUSHIDA Backstage 

Solid work here from KUSHIDA as he said he may have lost to Johnny in an amazing match but that doesn’t mean that he is done with him. Bronson Reed would show up and tell him that he is glad he is okay but that he wants his turn to take on Johnny. They wished each other well and Bronson would take off. Malcolm Bivens would then appear and I loved how he wants Tyler Rust to take on KUSHIDA because he sees that KUSHIDA went through a war and could be vulnerable. Nice segment all the way around. 

 

Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs Leon Ruff 

Nice little match here as Swerve continues to dive further into being a heel. Ruff is a good foil for a heel and he did well here. I do love that Swerve is more aggressive as a heel and that he talks a bit more trash too. Solid back and forth and Ruff would end up picking up the shock win on Swerve. I will say that I did not like them saying this was Ruff’s biggest win when he is the former champion while Swerve has yet to taste gold. Swerve would end up beating down Ruff after the match and I am liking Swerve as a heel. He just needs to win more so he doesn’t look like an ineffective heel. 

 

Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro vs Jessi Kamea & Aliyah 

Nice match here but some of the timing was a bit off between Jessi and the smaller Kayden and Kacy. It may be due to her not being used to working with people that small or just not having the reps with them. The match was solid though and I like how NXT is continuing to build a tag division for the women in NXT and it makes me believe that the tag titles might actually be making their way to NXT. Nice back and forth in the match and Kacy and Kayden would end up picking up the win. Boa would show up during the match and then Xia Li would appear after. Kacy and Kayden would confront her and Xia would place a mark on Kacy and tell her that she needs to purge her next week. Sounds like we are getting a match between them next week and I am all for it. 

 

Malcolm Bivens & Tyler Rust Backstage 

I really do dig this pairing of Bivens and Rust and I do wonder if we will ever see him expand on his clientele. Bivens does a great job in hyping up Rust and he seems rather confident he will be able to beat KUSHIDA this week. 

 

Dusty Classic Trophy Presentation 

This was just an awesome segment that got better the longer it went. Beth was in the ring to present the Dusty Cup to the winners and I love the joy MSK had in coming out. They are primed to have a bright future in NXT and they are certainly a joy. I think they could have the potential of reaching the level of DIY as far as a face team and I know that is saying a lot. They are ready to take the tag titles from Lorcan and Burch and I sure hope they do. Raquel and Dakota would be out next and I love how MSK help the ropes for them. Dakota and Raquel bragged about their win and how they will win the tag titles. That would bring out Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler and I love how Dakota’s body language changed a bit when she saw Shayna. We all know Shayna terrorized her in NXT and I like that Dakota hasn’t forgotten that.  

I love that MSK held the ropes for Shayna and Nia as well and they are showing what nice boys they are. Dakota would introduce Raquel to Nia and Shayna and I love how Shayna had a smile on her face. She knows she ran the women’s division in NXT so she knows she needs little introduction. I love how Dakota would also tell Shayna that she isn’t the same person anymore and how Raquel feels like she is the baddest in NXT despite what Dusty may have told Nia when she was in NXT. The best part though was MSK and Beth eating popcorn in the corner throughout this and that bumped the grade up with their reactions to everything that was being said.  

 

Cameron Grimes Vignette 

Rich Cameron Grimes is amazing and I am loving every minute of it. I love how he crashed his Lamborghini and doesn’t even care because he is rich enough to buy another one. This is amazing and I hope we get to the point where he ends up blowing all of his money because he didn’t keep track of his spending. 

 

Io Shirai Photoshoot 

This was great and it furthers that Toni is not done with Io. Toni is really the first person I can recall that Io is openly saying she doesn’t like and I like that. Toni is under her skin and that makes for good stuff. Toni attacked her during her photoshoot and she clearly wants another go at her.  

 

KUSHIDA vs Tyler Rust 

Solid match here and I like how KUSHIDA sold the damage from his match with Gargano as a reason why he may not have been at the top of game here. Rust is someone that has really impressed me with his ring work and he worked well with KUSHIDA here. Bivens was ringside and I enjoyed how he was always trying to give Rust some advice on what to do next. Solid work from both men here but KUSHIDA would end up coming out on top here. I did like how Bivens tried to throw in the towel for Rust when he was in the Hoverboard Lock so he can keep his investment healthy. Good stuff and I wouldn’t mind them revisiting this somewhere down the line. 

 

LA Knight Promo 

I am excited to see Knight in NXT. I know he spent time there before he left and became Eli Drake. He is great on the mic and I do like how we have no clear idea what he is doing other than trying to take NXT over. He is great on the mic and got to show it here in front of his home. I am intrigued and I wonder when we will see him do a proper debut in NXT. 

 

Zoey Stark vs Valentina Feroz 

Pretty standard squash match here but I am excited for Stark. I liked what I saw from her in a losing effort in the Dusty Classic and I think she could be someone to watch in NXT. It was pretty one-sided and Feroz did do a good job in making Stark look excellent in there. Not that Stark needs help to look really good but that Feroz did her job as a jobber in this one. I will say that Stark’s finisher is rather impressive and I hope it is given a good name to go along with how good it looks. 

 

Karrion Kross & Scarlett Promo 

I am really digging with what they are doing with Kross right now and Scarlett. They are letting them shine in the promo game which is where they really excel at. Kross and Scarlette are making it known that Santos Escobar’s time is running out and they will be coming for him next week. I like this from Kross because he looking like he is only this huge monster, they are adding wrinkles to him and that is always a good thing. 

 

Dunne, Lorcan & Burch vs Balor, Strong & O’Reilly 

Solid main event here and I like how Kyle does not trust Strong and actually has more trust in Balor at this point. Dunne, Lorcan and Burch have no trust issues and they worked well as a team here. There was plenty of back and forth in this match and I really liked how Kyle would always tag in Balor rather than Strong because he doesn’t trust him anymore even though they have tagged in countless matches. The match would breakdown towards the end and that would see Adam Cole appear and give Kyle a brainbuster on the steps on the outside. Balor would end up kicking Strong in the ring even though Strong was trying to help him by clearing the heels. This would lead to Dunne hitting Balor with the Bitter End to pick up the win. Cole would then enter the ring and hit Balor with another superkick and would pose with the NXT Championship as NXT came to a close. Cole has made his intentions clear and he wants the title back.  

 

Tick Tock. Tick Tock. 

Well, I had to find a new title for this as the Undisputed Era are no more so I figure let us go with this for now. Overall, this was a solid episode of NXT with some fun segments. I totally loved the Dusty Cup trophy presentation and MSK and Beth stole that segment with the popcorn and reactions. You can just tell how much fun MSK will be and I think they will become one of the top acts in NXT in record time. The matches were fun as well and I am liking the return of the heel Adam Cole. I am liking the tweak in Kross right now and I think he is becoming a bit more interesting. All in all, solid stuff from NXT this week and I look forward to what they give us next week.