Another Takeover recap before the theme song, with an emphasis on Tyson Kidd's journey throughout. It's such a classic set-up for a heel turn...
- NXT female mega-powers unite to take on the reconstituted BFFs, who can't even make it down the ramp without bickering.
- Bayley gets a pin on the Women's Champ after Charlotte spends too much time dealing with her partner Summer Rae in the corner.
- General Manager JBL signs "Mr. NXT" to a contract. The masked man has to catch himself to say the word "believe" properly.
- The BFFs bickering continues to the locker room, where Alexa Bliss interjects to ask for a match against Sasha Banks.
- Kind of surprised that we just got the six of the best female workers in the company facing off without any fanfare. I figured it was going to happen after Paige and Emma ran in to save Bayley last week, but thought we'd get a backstage set-up this week leading to it being hyped for a future episode.
- Like that the Beautiful Fierce Females entered to Charlotte's music - she and Summer Rae may each have a legitimate claim to being the stable leader, but The Nature Girl is the champ. Disappointed that that music is just a remix of Sprach Zarathustra and no longer includes the Spider Rockets jam.
- Renee Young, and the "B" announce team featuring her, Alex Riley and Rich Brennan continues to improve on commentary, but working women's matches still brings out the worst in Renee. Or maybe it's just having to talk about the BFF gimmick. Regardless, I could go a long time without hearing her talk about stuff like how two tall blonde women can't co-exist.
- Fun match, but its purpose was to advance the heels' story and, as a result, it kind of wasted the talents of the three women in the other corner. Emma played face-in-peril for nearly the entire match, Bayley looked crisp as ever with the hot tag, and the Divas champ was never legally tagged into the match (and I think got chumped by Sasha Banks the only time she got involved by going for retribution after The Boss broke up a cover).
- Worth noting that Paige did bring the butterfly belt with her. Another reminder that WWE continuity is addressed on NXT, but not vice versa.
- I alternately have so much and nothing to say about the Mr. NXT angle. Nearly everything about it was perfect, and that includes the initial tease with Layfield.
- I've missed the NXT version of Summer Rae. Watching her own her character in the ring was wonderful. Hearing her ask "how old is she?" after Bliss walked away from the BFFs was phenomenal.
- CJ Parker is still protesting the NXT Zone.
- Big Cass makes short work of Sylvester Lefort, still working his French pride gimmick with Marcus Louis.
- Natalya is excited to be cornering Tyson in the main event; Kidd emphasizes that he'll be focused soley on winning the NXT title.
- Aiden English's spiritual was interupted by the debut of Simon Gotch, who remained mute but did cheer up The Artiste by lifting part of the set in a show of good, old-fashioned strength.
- Sami Zayn unmasks Mr. NXT to reveal Bo Dallas and pins him, kicking off one of the greatest segments in the history of the show.
- I like Parker's eco-douche character. Hopefully the never-ending ten seconds glimpses of him protesting in the crowd are to kill time him re-inventing himself in the ring, too. He should get whoever makes Zeb Colter's signs to write his slogans for him, though.
- Not much to say about Cassady vs. Lefort. Colin continues to add muscle and look smoother in the ring. There's certainly room for La Resistance 2.0 in the barren tag division. I find Lefort much more palatable when he's not doing the Eurotrash Ted DiBiase schtick.
- But I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was totally bummed that it didn't end with a certain cruiseweight from Jersey returning to save Big Cass from a beatdown by Sylvestor and Marcus Louis.
- Seriously, do they think that watching Natalya and Tyson demonstrate poor communication skills is something anyone wants to see? The only way I want to see these two try to interact is if Dr. Phil comes out to yell at both of them. They do fit the mold of almost every "high school sweethearts" couple I've ever known who got married despite the fact that they really don't get along any more, simply because it was easier than breaking up.
- Gotch and English is a logical pairing, but Aiden is finally getting real heat, and I think Simon will be cheered - especially initially - by Full Sail Live.
- The greatness of Mr. NXT, Part II - A list about the match: he comes out to the show's theme song, Sami's incredulous look, incorporating more of the main show Dallas character by celebrating an early takedown, the crowd's dueling chant of "You can't fool us/"Yes he can", Riley trying to sell us on his not making any connections between Mr. NXT and Bo and Young's exasperation at him, Mr. NXT screaming "I'm not Bo Dallas" at the fans, the mask toss set-up for the Helluva Kick.
- Really, the big missed opportunity for me was that Zayn should have grabbed a microphone and said that he called campus security as a throwback to Dallas' post-match meltdown following his loss to Big E last month. It also would have better set-up one of Bo's best lines as the segment continued.
Segment Three / Main Event
- Bo's attempts to evade, overpower and cajole the security guards into not kicking him off NXT continue.
- Adrian Neville retains his championship despite a game effort from Kidd, winning following an erroneous three count in favor of the challenger and Natalya stopping her husband from using a steel chair.
- Oh my star and garters, the end of the Mr. NXT segment. They could have milked this for a few shows leading up to this big finish, but perhaps they have a variety of "Bo tries to sneak back onto the show" bits lined up.
- Another list, because I don't know how else to describe it other than "man, I loved it": the chase being choreographed like a streaker evading stadium security at a baseball or football game, the way Bo's voice changes when he's in these situations - his wail is somehow just as whiney but totally different from his cheesey motivational voice, "one of them touched my bum", being forced into the security cart, "I'll call the real police", and my favorite, "let me go quietly".
- Blinkocracy hit the nail on the head regarding the booking of Neville as champ. They recognize that, despite his improvements, he's not going to become a fan favorite on his character or personality, so they are working his ass off showcasing him in matches against a wide variety of opponents.
- Not entirely sure it's working, though, at least for me. It's quite possible that it's the lackluster charisma of a lot of those opponents - outside of Bo, we've gotten feuds with Brodus Clay and face vs. face with Kidd and a one of match with Justin Gabriel. The program with Tyler Breeze can't come soon enough. If that doesn't get me more excited about the Jumpin' Geordie, I'm not sure anything will.
- For the first half of this rematch, I wasn't that into it. Then it hit a point where Neville landed the standing shooting star press and Kidd mounted a comeback but could never quite finish the job and I think I actually liked that five minute stretch more than any of their work together, including the Takeover affair. Tyson is simply a great wrestler and they were telling an interesting story. Good stuff. But...
- Nitpick #1: the green announce team was a bit of a buzzkill, especially as those final five minutes were rolling. You don't have to call every move in a match, but when big spots like the standing SSP are busted out, you need to identify that instead of talking about the angle for the nine hundredth time.
- Nitpick #2: seriously, WTF is up with the Tyson Kidd heel turn? It's been set-up perfectly. I'm all for a slow burn and messing with expectations, but it's in both men's best interests to get the challenger into a more overtly villainous role. It's a much better idea for revitalizing the Canadian's career than that rumor he'll be getting repackaged under a mask. While they could go either way with her, I think it would also help Natty a great deal to turn with him as a manager/enforcer figure. The past month-plus worth of shows has felt like it's leading to that moment, and I find it frustrating that they're witholding it.
Any gripes I had about this hour of pro wrestling are minor, though. At no point was I bored, and I'll be talking about the Mr. NXT stuff for the rest of smarky life.