Goodbye Nakamura, goodbye Dillinger and goodbye The Revival. It’s times like these where if I were a parent, this is exactly how it would feel like to say goodbye to your kids after they leave home. I wish them the best for the future, but right now we have to focus on the present with this week’s episode of NXT. Coming off the heels of the last Takeover PPV, how does it hold up? Let’s take a look.

Match 1: Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay vs Aliyah

The match started off with Aliyah taking control while Peyton tried to escape, Billie Kay held on to her friend until Aliyah stomped on her fingers. This left a moment of shock for Billie but fortunately left Aliyah open to attack from Peyton as her back was turned. The dismantling of Aliyah began which meant she had to work harder to get back into the match, but a Fisherman suplex by Peyton gave her the win. This was a very short match so you couldn’t really get into it, but it was a fine match with no big issues. Perfectly serviceable.

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The majority of this episode, much like previous episodes after the big TakeOver PPV, recapped the matches that took place in Orlando. So we got to see;

Tye Dillinger, Ruby Riot, Kassius Ohno and Rodrick Strong vs Sanity
Aleister Black vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas 
DIY vs The Revival vs The Authors of Pain
Asuka vs Ember Moon

This was then followed by an Interview with reigning NXT Women’s Champion, Asuka. When she was asked who’s next for Asuka to take on, she stated;

“Who’s left? I’m still champion”

Loving her confidence right now. As stated in my NXT TakeOver: Orlando recap, we still don’t know if Asuka could kick out of the Total Eclipse as she managed to avoid it through nefarious means. If we do get a rematch between Ember and Asuka in the near future, then I’ll be excited to see what happens next.

Match 2: Heavy Machinery vs The Bollywood Boyz

As if the size and weight difference weren’t clear enough, tucker and Otis utterly dominate the Bollywood Boyz. Heavy machinery did have to defend themselves at one point when Otis was cut off from his partner, but then he just double-suplexed both the Boyz and continued to clean house until they finally got the victory with a weighty power slam. Again this was another match that seemed to fly right on by, shame that we don’t see the Bollywood Boyz more often as they seemed like nice guys. It was an okay match, plus Heavy Machinery is fun to see and grow… not literally though.

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This was then followed by an Interview with The Authors of Pain,

“Vindication and confirmation on the evolution on the authors of pain… They can’t stop destiny because we are going to be a dynasty”

We got a recap segment all on its own dedicated to the Bobby Roode vs Shinsuke Nakamura match for the NXT championship. Honestly, the segment made me think we were just going to watch the match in full just with different camera angles. This begged the question, why couldn’t you just watch the match on the network? oh right, they needed to kill time so they could make this a normal length episode. I’ll give the segment credit though as it did feel like a nice send off for Nakamura, who recently had been drafted to the Smackdown Live roster. The segment ended with the crowd chanting Nakamura as he said goodbye to  NXT. the music swelled and the words “thank you, Shinsuke” echoed and faded away. A nice touch and we’ll miss you on NXT Shinsuke.

An interview with Bobby Roode, “for the last year, Bobby Roode has taken NXT to new levels, I’ve taken it to greater heights… This is only the beginning, are you ready for a ride?”. And the last backstage interview with Drew McIntyre, he’s travelled all over the world and is now setting his sights on the NXT championship.

Match 3: Oney Lorcan vs El Vagabundo

Oney Lorcan was scheduled to take on a mystery opponent and then we finally found out it was…El Vagabundo. He walked to the ring with a guitar in hand and ignoring the mask he was wearing, looked very similar to ‘The Drifter’ Elias Samson. He started to play song telling everyone to shut their mouths, this led Oney Lorcan to grab the guitar and then addressed the shabby looking elephant in the room, calling him ‘The Drifter’. Vagabundo attacked Lorcan and threw him out of the ring. Lorcan started to fight back slowly after getting caught off guard. He gradually started to build up some steam by leaping at him in the corner which the crowd was very bored by, but when Vagabundo reversed and attacked him, the crowd actually lit up. Then we had the most startling revelation in NXT history… El Vagabundo was actually… Elias Samson, then he was then defeated with a running blockbuster. The crowd sounded disappointed that he lost, I think they were also upset that this wasn’t his new gimmick.Samson tried to be escorted off site by security until he had to be forcibly removed.

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This was an okay episode of NXT this week. Not going to be one of the memorable episodes apart from El Vagabundo, but overall just feels forgettable.  I’ve just forgotten it’s happened right now, hopefully, we get to see some good stuff next week for people looking to get their NXT fix.

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