Since we did not actually do predictions for this event we will simply make some general comments about what we saw.
Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) def. Authors Of Pain
Greg: On paper it looked like AOP should have been able to manhandle the smaller tag champs but it turned out to be the other way around. Fish and O’Reilly used sound tag team strategy to ground the bigger men and keep them away from each other.
The end result was a more even contest than expected. It was a good opener, but I would have prefered to see AOP beat the living hell out of Fish and O’Reilly a bit more before moving on to the finish. Fun opener though.
Allen: I did like seeing ReDragon fight from below to try to take down AOP. Seeing them work the leg and it actually come into play in the final spot of the match during the Super Collider. I really liked this as the first match.
Velveteen Dream def. Kassius Ohno
Greg: I did not watch this match so no comment.
Allen: I’m on Team Dream, he made everything such a great show. I will always watch a Velveteen Dream match. The 30 second promise, the mouthpiece, such great added touches to his character. It wasn’t a perfect match, a few botches, maybe next time Dream doesn’t try to do too much especially with the huge Kassius Ohno.
Ember Moon def. Shayna Baszler
Greg: I wasn’t sure what to make of this matchup. Baszler was made to look like a killing machine in the Mae Young Classic so seeing her against Moon for the belt seemed intriguing. The match ended up being pretty decent with Baszler working Moon’s arm as much as possible before looking in the submission hold.
I did like the finish and the aftermath. I suspect we will see Baszler and Moon go at it for the foreseeable future.
Allen: The armbar spot may have gone on longer than it should have. It’s hard to believe someone who was in MMA couldn’t rip little Ember’s arm out with that much time. I did like how Ember sold the arm the next night during the Royal Rumble.
Aleister Black def. Adam Cole
Greg: A fun brawl that had some intense spots. I’m not sure it was good for Adom Cole’s spine to land on those 2 chairs like that. I did find that sometimes there wasn’t enough emphasizing of vicious moves involving a weapon, but otherwise this was rather enjoyable.
Allen: They were killing each other. Would have been fine with either of them winning. As much as I loved the 2 chair spot on the spine, I never want to see it again! There is no give and I felt the pain watching it happen! I did like seeing Adam Cole all wrapped up teh next night in the Royal Rumble.
Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Johnny Gargano
Greg: Almas coming out with mariachi and his luchador mask was pretty cool. Gargano probably has the most unmanly theme music of the NXT roster members. It’s not a detriment to him but just pointing that out.
The match itself started out as a slow burn with the action getting more intense as both men kicked out of big finishing type maneuvers. The end came with Gargano getting his head crushed against the ring post thanks to Almas’ double knees to the face.
I would say this was match of the night. These guys have great chemistry and what they did shows that either one is worthy of being champ. Hopefully Gargano is given another shot at the title somewhere down the road once he’s done with Ciampa.
Allen: I love Almas’ music! It starts cool, gets hyped, then tranquilo. I like that they treat the NXT champs with elaborate musical entrances. Did not like that he came out before the challenger.
Very glad that they gave them 30+ minutes for the match. Their previous matches were very good and I knew it was going to be a great match coming into the show. Did not expect it to be a 5 star Match of the Year contender. I was very much into the match from start to finish.
Gargano has the “blank stare” down perfect, makes selling his head injuries all night seem very real. A small detail when they get upclose to check out his face, you can see his bloody lips dry up and turn black through the match. I was also anticipating a Zelina/Candace La Rae fight and I’m glad we got it.
Almas has been putting in great quality matches and him and Zelina are a great pair. I hope they can continue his run for a while longer. Gargano can hopefully feud with that bald MFer Ciampa for the rest of the year and pull out some more 5 star matches. I’m looking forward to it.