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Monday, April 17, 2017

The Rundown Slam: NXT TakeOver: Orlando

04/14/2017 08:21:25 PM

The second of the five-night WrestleMania week saw the emergence of the NXT talents that has possibly overshadow the wrestling's grandest stage. And why not, since NXT Take Over Orlando emanated from the Amway center, the venue wherein the action happened for all the shows that had the connection to the The Ultimate Thrill Ride.

The first match saw SanitY victorious in the NXT TakeOver's biggest match (and probably the opening match as well) to date – an eight-person mixed tag team match. Short (within just 12 minutes) but totally chaotic to say the least with all the action spilled at ringside in perfect and sloppiest forms they can get. Still, an entertaining one to dig, especially with Kassius Ohno's sudden addition in place of the injured No Way Jose.

Be careful what you asked for, a riot has just began. And with the new era coming, it's not that hard to see why.

The next match featured the debut of Aleister Black against Andrade “Cien” Almas; and we mean debut with a bang, similar to how people like Finn Balor, Ember Moon, and Bobby Roode entered the scene with such grace and formality that has wowed a lot inside the Orlando Magic's arena and the world. I'll call Black's entrance the best for the night; and his skillset somewhat very impressive.

That said, though, we wonder what is next for Almas who's been stuck on being a gatekeeper of the midcard division? 

Near midway through the program we have seen the triple threat elimination match to in which the NXT Tag Team Championship was on the line. And apparently, that served like a graduation contest for The Revival, who went up to the main roster two days later. Certainly, they proved to be the badass in the ring despite being the tweener among the other two (as much as I want to call them the faces during their highlight, the character distinction clearly goes to #DIY).

However, how will you stop the Authors of Pain? They survived a lot in this grueling 23:50 battle and that include the double submission attempts by Tomaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano and a series of unlikely alliance between #DIY and the duo of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. It was really like a 4-on-2 scuffle at some point en route to finish what they started since summer last year.

With The Revival's promotion/demotion/whatever, we have seen one of the best NXT stories aside from The Four Horsewomen and Sami Zayn's route to Promised Land.

Again, the question: how will you stop Authors of Pain? How do you put the last page in their last chapter? Probably not this time, even if Triple H's brand has gone to their new era.

Asuka successfully defended her NXT Championship against Ember Moon, but this is just the start of The Empress of Tomorrow's fall. Sure, her reign already made it past a year as of this writing, but we have seen who will be taking over the women's division sooner or later, especially with Moon's finisher being protected during the contest. And Asuka's loss will be her gain as the efforts were good enough to being called by Vince to the main roster (we wish, on SmackDown, though).

However, the fifth match might have been one of the longest championship matches in TakeOver's history. Imagine the NXT Championship segment filled barely 45 minutes of the originally 2.5-hour  scheduled program. That's really a lot. And that might also be the reason why this has gone less spectacular among any others that took place during the evening. 

While we all know it was Nakamura's graduation match, it appeared their contrast of styles with champion Bobby Roode has put its chemistry on question. They were effective in their own ways for selling their characters but couldn't seem to get along. I guess that's why the saying “opposites attract” isn't true.

But all in all, NXT Orlando has been great in kicking off the action-filled Mania 33 season – at least, on their televised side. We have seen most of their storytelling on point, and the third match of the evening as the best they have offered. The program just fared a bit well than that seven-hour long thrill ride known as WrestleMania 33.

The Verdict: 8.5/10

Author: slickmaster | © 2017 september twenty-eight productions

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