1) Tag Team Madness – For the second week in a row, the Ealy Brothers are here and they've already done better than last time by making it to the ring without issue. They decided to call out the Authors of Pain, because they aren't going to get jumped and not do something about it. The brothers have great size (slightly taller than both members of AoP) and I'm sure over time they will get some tweaks to their fairly generic attire. Hopefully, WWE will learn from The Usos and try to differentiate Gabriel and Uriel a bit. When it came to the match, well, the Ealy Brothers got in a few shots early, but were quickly put down by Akam and Rezar.
Post-match, Paul Ellering got on the mic: "Revival, you are the next name in my book of destruction. Revival, you claim to be the best tag team in the world. Well, I got news for you. I created the algorithm in greatness in tag team wrestling. And my Authors of Pain are my team of destiny, soon to be dynasty."
DIY came out and Ciampa did his best Ellering impression, and also apparently didn't know what "algorithm" meant. They demanded a "fair" championship rematch with AoP, since The Revival got involved and "saved" AoP from losing their titles. This quickly brought out Dash and Dawson, who were not going to sit on the sidelines and wanted everyone to know they are "The greatest tag team of all time!" Out comes Mr. Regal, who goes with the logical booking of putting together a Triple Threat NXT Tag Team Championship Elimination Match at NXT TakeOver: Orlando. We already know what DIY and Revival can bring to the table, so it will be interesting to see how the chemistry is changed with AoP's involvement.
2) Caution – A lot of tag division work early on as we see a promo for Heavy Machinery (Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic), who will be "coming soon." With the likelihood of Dash and Dawson moving to the main roster in the near future, it's smart of NXT to start refilling right now. I dig these two for if nothing else, their unique physiques.
3) Macey Estrella – A former USMC Veteran, Macey has a really interesting gimmick as a throwback to the 1950s, mixing the fashion of the time with some of her military background. If you've seen house show photos of her, sometimes she'll be all dolled up and other times she looks like Sonya from Street Fighter. Macey's got great size and the look to have a nice run as a babyface down the road. Didn't get to see a whole lot against Nikki in the ring, but I'm looking forward to how she progresses.
4) The Numbers Game – After Nikki Cross' impressive win, No Way Jose and Tye Dillinger jumped in the ring and went after the other members of Sanity, again. While Jose and Tye initially got the best of the group, Nikki got involved with an eye gouge on Dillinger to help turn the tide. Eric Young made Dillinger watch as he finished off Jose and then Tye then got picked apart as Eric Young yelled like a wild banshee. This group is obviously headed towards a match at TakeOver, but will it be 2-on-3? Will Joe and Tye be allowed to pick a partner?
5) NXT Title Match – Really liked the quick interviews from both wrestlers right before they came out to the ring, Kassius Ohno has such a great presence as a good guy, looking for some redemption in his return to NXT. Roode is solid, as always, he's fully committed to this gimmick and it shows whenever he speaks. Ohno out with the original USA Dream Team jersey, I guess we can see what kind of future merchandise WWE can bring out for him. As a reminder to how big this match is, we got a few cuts to the back with Shinsuke Nakamura looking on.
Right up until the first commercial, Ohno had a solid start, frustrating Roode at every turn before dumping him to the outside. The first half started out fairly slowly, but things picked up as Ohno began to show off that sneaky agility that most 270lbs. guys don't have. Crowd was very much split during this encounter, maybe 60/40 for Roode. Big moment came when Ohno landed a KO (discus elbow smash) that sent Roode right out of the ring. Ohno got him back in and landed a sick running senton somehow only getting a two-count. Roode recovered and took advantage of Ohno's throat getting draped across the top rope, landed the Glorious DDT to get the victory and go on to face Nakamura.
Nikki Cross – She's so good with the details, right when she gets in the ring, she starts beating up her jacket, just to remind everyone of her level of insanity. Even though she was the much smaller competitor compared to Macey, Cross got in her face immediately, keeping her opponent on the ground as much as possible. The crowd didn't seem too engaged until she told them to "Shut up" which got the boo birds out. She continued to utilize the neckbreaker (I believe a total of five times) over and over, looking just to hurt her opponent, before finally getting the pin. Assuming Asuka defeats Ember Moon, Nikki Cross should be up next to challenge for the NXT Women's Title.
Ho Ho Lun – After losing last week, now he's got other wrestlers standing up for him. Not a good look for Lun, but it's a good way to bring Oney Lorcan into a feud with Almas. Lorcan's promo about disliking bullies was solid; have to say I'm more interested in him now than I was ever before.
This Week's MVP
Kassius Ohno – Bobby Roode doesn't have the flashiest moveset, so a lot of times it requires his opponent to really kick the match up to that next level. Despite coming up short, Ohno really got going about halfway into the NXT Championship match by taking bigger bumps/moves as things moves along. If fans were still not sure why he was back in NXT, hopefully this match opened their eyes to what he can do, and frankly, it was just the tip of the iceberg of his capabilities.
Auska taking selfies by the pool is something I didn't think I'd ever see, but that was a quality video package to push her undefeated streak and upcoming match against Ember Moon. Main event is worth checking out, the rest you can catch up on pretty quickly. This show pushed out a few newer faces too, if you like seeing some of the next wrestlers who will be on TV a bit more often. Aleister Black continues to look like he will be amazing. Just as a reminder, I go a little easier on grading these shows (development and all) and even if certain things don't work, the show tends to move quickly from segment to segment.
Grade (out of 10): 6.5 (Last Week: 7)