This week’s episode of NXT was the first show after NXT Takeover: New Orleans and Wrestlemania 34 to where it was mainly a recap of events that happened at both. Highlights from Takeover were shown along with the results and also segments on those who have moved on from NXT onto the main roster. We saw Aleister Black become the new NXT champion, Adam Cole winning the 6-man ladder match to become the first North American Champion, Shayna Baszler triumph over the newly departed Ember Moon to pick up the NXT Women’s title along with the Undisputed Era retaining the tag team titles and winning the Dusty Rhodes Classic Cup thanks to the heel turn by Roderick Strong. And how could one forget seeing Johnny Gargano finally getting justice by winning his unsanctioned match against his nemesis Tomasso Ciampa in one of the greatest story telling matches in NXT history. We also say goodbye to some of NXT’s favorites that have moved on, like Ember Moon, No Way Jose and Authors of Pain. It will be interesting to see where things go from here, but we will have to wait as this episode focused on the recent events with only two matches this week. The two matches were not bad, but they were not fantastic either. We got to see a new addition to the tag team roster that might be a forced to contend with, but honestly, it could have been better. There were no hits this week, only a miss, but hopefully it will be different next week.
None: There were only two matches, Kairi Sane vs. Lacey Evans and Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabatelli & Riddick Moss. Neither match was bad, just mediocre. Very sound wrestling, but coming off an exciting weekend, it was hard to live up to what was presented. In addition, there was no direction for any of the matches moving forward, nothing that was at stake, and nothing to enhance a storyline. It was only the latter match that had any type of result moving forward, but please see below for more of an explanation.
The Arrival of War Raiders: War Machine, now known as War Raiders, made their debut by attacking both competitors of the Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabatelli & Riddick Moss match, drawing a line in the sand for the NXT Tag Team Division. What was a “Miss” about this was that their debut should have come at the expense of a more notable tag team. That is not to take away from Heavy Machinery or Sabatelli & Moss, but they are not at the level to where by attacking them you are making a real statement. If this were a match featuring Sanity, Undisputed Era, the Street Profits, or even Moustache Mountain, their attack would have been more meaningful. Also, the name change is not helping. War Raiders doesn’t really sound that great, and basically the name War Machine is world-renowned that rings bells in many different promotions and connects with many audiences. More than likely there were probably name rights that may have caused WWE not to go with the original name, but War Raiders just sounds like a cheap rip off. If it was a case of not being able to get the rights to the name, they might as well have gone with a completely different name, especially if the individual names of the tag team members remained the same. Hopefully their in the ring presence and skills will make up for this and they will add some variety to the tag team division that is much needed, but with this debut it was definitely and unfortunately a stumble out the gate.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: NXT HITS & MISSES + TAKEOVER PREDICTIONS 4/4: Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Aleister Black, Moon Baezler, Gargano vs. Ciampa, Ladder Match