The main event segment of this show went to a Banks and Bayley promo, the purpose of which was for the pair to agree to a rematch at the next Takeover event. And not just any rematch, it's to be an Iron (Wo)man match headlining the show. It's a slot that 'The Boss' and Bayley, not to mention the division they represent, fully deserve. They have a long-running feud, they're wrestling for a championship that means something to them and fans, and they outperformed everyone else at the last Takeover in August.
All of which is great but slightly surprising. The booking of the post-match at Takeover: Brooklyn seemed as though it was a goodbye from Charlotte, Becky and Sasha to the NXT audience, and a see-you-on-the-main-roster-soon to 'The Hugster'. The announcement of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Classic on the same night made it seem as though tag teams would become a bigger focus for NXT. Like competitive women's wrestling it's something that's not on offer with WWE's main roster product and it seemed like the obvious thing to fill the void left by the departing trio, rather than expecting Bayley to carry the remnants of a division.
While the Dusty Classic has seen a greater focus on the NXT doubles ranks it's actually come at the expense of time dedicated to the men's main event scene (handily disguising the fact that it's a little thin there once you're past Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor). Dana Brooke and Eva Marie have continued to receive strong booking with Nia Jax's debut also being tightly hyped up. This week's episode showed us that Asuka (formerly Kana) will debut next week. While it's a little surprising that her introduction is not being held off until after Nia Jax has arrived it demonstrates that the NXT writing team (which I'm convinced can't just consist of Triple H and Jimmy Jacobs) are keen not to let the women's division they've worked hard to establish suffer with the departures.
Tweet 1: NXT is rated TV PG. Because it includes violence. NXT is rated TV PG. Because it includes violence.Tweet 2: If only WWE could get rid of the pesky violent overtones to their wrestling shows they could get the U rating they dream of.
Tyler Breeze, Adam Rose and Bull Dempsey segment
Tweet 3: Such a fan of the Breeze entrance. Such a non-fan of Byron Saxton's return to NXT commentary.Tweet 4: Adam Rose, sans party people.
Tweet 5: This new party pooper gimmick is my kinda thing. Mid-card in its purest form.
Tweet 6: Not going to get into Bull Fit until Simon Dean returns to manage him.
Tweet 7: Imagine if they'd given Adam Rose a multiple personality gimmick, featuring the much anticipated return of Leo Kruger.
|Best facial expression in this picture? The referee.|
Tweet 8: "Tubby". Crying.
Tweet 9: What even is this opening segment?
Tweet 10: Hyped for that Rose-Breeze-Bull three-way at the next Takeover. That'll definitely get Breeze prepped for his match with Doug Williams.
Tweet 11: Doug Williams: LEGEND.
Tweet 12: Interesting to Adrian Neville in that UK tour ad.
Tye Dillinger v Danny Burch
Tweet 13: We are witnessing the height of Tye Dillinger's career with this 'Perfect 10' thing. #justsayingTweet 14: Dillinger facing one half of the Stixx and Stone tag team, Martin Stone. He's back under the Danny Burch name because why not?
|Sticking with the good facial expressions theme...|
Tweet 15: I want Dillinger to start cutting pun laden promos. Tendency. Tenacity. Tenable. Tenure. Tenant... Get on this, writers.
Rhyno and Baron Corbin discuss Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa
Tweet 16: Rhyno and Barry respect each other. That makes them a solid tag team, apparently.Tweet 17: To clarify neither Rhyno nor Barry Corbin are worried by Johnny Gargano or Tommaso Ciampa.
Tweet 18: So Kana signs, becomes Asuka, and debuts before Nia Jax? What's the rush? Debut Jax then bring in Asuka. Excite us, Trips.
Solomon Crowe v Apollo Crews
Tweet 19: So tired by Solomon Crowe. I hope he loses and goes nuts after the match.Tweet 20: Then he can turn up in a few weeks in the suit he should have been wearing all along.
Tweet 21: Kicking away a handshake. Mate, that's SO bad guy behaviour.
|Luger could do that too.|
Tweet 22: 'The Total Package' Apollo Luger.
Tweet 23: I want the Uhaa Combination renamed the Luger Combination as a nod to Apollo's mentor Lex Luger.
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa discuss Rhyno and Baron Corbin
Tweet 24: "You get one life and you get one chance" - Johnny Gargano
Dana Brooke and Emma announce they're tired of being overlooked
Tweet 25: Big fan of Dana Brooke doing the Bellas' grizzled vet gimmick.
Sasha Banks arrives at Full Sail
Tweet 26: Shot of Sasha Banks getting out of a car there. Apparently Russo's taken over the booking.Tweet 27: Actually, had Russo booked that we wouldn't have found out who was in the car until after a break. He's convinced car contents is a hook.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano v Rhyno and Baron Corbin
Tweet 28: The four spotlights aren't lined up properly. I bet Barry's well annoyed at that.Tweet 29: Tasty bit of matching gear on Ciampa and Gargano. They're winning. #sarcasm
Tweet 30: Ciampa knows WWE aren't keen on signing overly stiff guys, right?
Tweet 31: "Tommaso Ciampa is my favourite wrestler" - Nobody
Tweet 32: Please note that Barry Corbin is wearing some basic tights from No Mercy on the N64.
Tweet 33: Barry was signed because he's good at life. Credit to Corey Graves for that belter.
Tweet 34: I want a feud based around use of the tag rope.
|Naff tights on Corbin here. Shameful.|
Tweet 35: Barry pins Gargano, putting himself into contention for the Open the Freedom Gate and EVOLVE championships.
Tweet 36: I hope Jody Kristofferson is one of the EVOLVE lads to get brought in for job duty. That lad is money.
The Vaudevillains discuss their rematch with BAMF next week, then BAMF show up
Tweet 37: #VaudevillainspopTweet 38: Heel Alexa Bliss. Good. Lord.
Bayley v Sarah Dobson
Tweet 39: That Bayley entrance got me.Tweet 40: The Izzy heel turn is going to get nuclear heat when it comes...
Tweet 41: Didn't even hear Sarah Dobson announced. That's got to make her crazy.
Tweet 42: Imagine not enjoying Bayley.
Tweet 43: Banks versus Bayley was really good but match of the year is a bit strong.
Tweet 44: Not sure I'd stretch to "best women's match in WWE history" either tbh.
|A pair of great characters here.|
Tweet 45: Liking Banks and Bayley making this about being the best and winning.
Tweet 46: "I am the best female wrestler in this company" - Sasha Banks, who was doing so well
Tweet 47: #Regalpop
Tweet 48: Eff this crowd for booing Regal's music.
Tweet 49: That segment was flawless.