We’re now two weeks past Takeover: Back 2 Brooklyn and we’ve officially ushered in the Era of Strong Style. Shinsuke Nakamura takes on Steve Cutler in the main event. While Women’s champion Asuka addresses her victory over Bayley. Let’s take a look!
TM61 def. Tony Nese and Ariya Davari
Here’s the formula for this one: take four athletic guys and put them in the ring together. Nine times out of 10, that’s going to work and it did here. All four are crisp workers, but it was hard for me to get invested. TM61 lack anything in the realm of character and Nese and Davari are the definition of a thrown together tag team. Solid match, they just have to make me care about who is in the ring. Oh, and it was a nice touch having the Cruiserweight Classic graphics for Nese and Davari.
Tom Phillips sits down with Asuka
Pretty basic promo here from Aska. She didn’t really say anything that groundbreaking, but it wasn’t bad. Her delivery came across as a little odd, obviously because of the language barrier. But, she really doesn’t need to be a great promo. She can get by on mystique and in-ring work alone. Decent, albeit simple, interview with Asuka. Interesting to see who steps up and challenges her next.
Steve Cutler Promo
Every wrestling fan on earth knows he’s going to lose to Nakamura. However, kudos to WWE for giving him the promo time and not allowing him to come across as some afterthought jobber. His promo wasn’t bad either, with one message: even though he will most likely lose tonight, we will respect him.
Ember Moon def. Leah Von
EMBER MOON HAS ARRIVED! It was your typical squash with Ember clearly holding back so Von could keep up with her. But it served its purpose – Moon looked strong and was able to showcase her offense. She appears to be the obvious next challenger for Aska, but I would prefer they let Moon get her feet under her first. It’s a feud wasted if they jump right into it. The problem is…who else is there?
No Way Jose Promo
Jose did a great job of really setting up the dynamic of what makes his feud with Bobby Roode a good one. Roode is the old school heel, with the fancy ropes, clean cut look and GLORIOUS entrance music. Jose is a bit rough around the edges to say the least. You put the two together and you have a formula that works. Jose is the outcast, like he said…Roode wasn’t the first person to make fun of him. And he is setting out to prove that he deserves just as much respect as The Glorious One.
Austin Aries def. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Good match with the two styles working very well together. I’m a big fan of Almas in the ring, it’s a shame they don’t seem to have plans for him. A couple of victories and some character development he could really be something. Aries was his typical great self. His heel mannerisms can be matched by few in the company, maybe someone like a Kevin Owens. He was the obvious choice to win, as they are trying to make him look strong for the eventual Itami match.
NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura def. Steve Cutler
Even more of a squash than the Ember Moon match as Cutler barely got any offense in. It didn’t matter though because Nakamura is so charismatic and skilled in-ring. Samoa Joe remaining relatively silent on commentary might have rubbed some people the wrong way, but I think it worked. It really exemplified how much the belt meant to him and it conveyed that he was still in a state of shock after losing it. This was no more evident than during Nakamura’s grand entrance, where the camera continually cut to Joe, who had a look of absolute anguish on his face. After one more big match between these two, I think it’s time for Joe to be called up – there’s really nowhere to go for him but up.
A pretty uneventful episode, but nothing was really bad. The tag match and Aries vs Almas were both solid. Ember Moon looks to be a force to be reckoned with in the women’s division and Nakamura looked dominant in his first match as champ. Not a huge amount of story significance this week, but it will be interesting to see how things fall into place as the weeks go by.
Overall Show Rating: C+
(Main Photo: WWE.com)