Good evening everyone! Happy Wednesday to all, and to all our readers who are observing, or are about to observe, a holiday, we wish you the happiest and healthiest of holidays possible. With that pleasantry out of the way, it’s time for our weekly ritual on Wednesdays, which is our hour of NXT-perhaps the single best hour WWE produces (though this week, with the Superstar Shakeup, RAW in particular, but both shows in general, had good weeks). Enough of the idle banter, however. We have the return of Drew McIntyre tonight, so let’s see how he fits back in. All that and more, so let’s dive right in!

Best Match of the night:

McIntyre/Lorcan. Oney is someone I love to watch, and he’s a throwback, and these two worked what sure looked to me to be a very stiff match. If you doubt me, look at Oney’s red mask,or at least partial one. It was a very entertaining match for what it was.

Worst match of the night:

Tough call tonight, but I did expect a bit more out of Ruby Riot. I wouldn’t say she looked tentative…maybe it was nerves, being her first televised NXT singles match. It wasn’t really bad, but it was the least good one of the evening, I think. Unless you want to ding Aleister Black because it was over in less time than a Goldberg/Lesnar match.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

NXT! NXT! NXT!

Black is gonna kill you

DIY! DIY!

Psycho Killer

Johnny Wrestling

Delete! Delete! Delete!

Let’s go Ruby

Drew

Welcome back

Chosen one

Nakamura

Thank you Shinsuke

Star of the Night

Tonight was mostly all about Drew McIntyre coming back, so in that vein, I give him the nod. I can safely say that this is the first time I’ve ever given him such an honor. Depending on how his return goes, I suspect he may garner a few more of these.

Honorable mention to Shinsuke for his farewell. Saw some tears in the crowd (don’t know why, he’s not retiring or dead, he’s just going to a bigger stage). And, really nice touch having basically the entire locker room on the stage to praise him. That was a really nice touch, I think. Heels and faces alike, which is kind of rare in a neat show of support, made all the more cool when none other than Finn Balor showed up on stage to congratulate Shinsuke.

Spot of the Night:

Aleister Black’s one kick knockout with the Black Mass.

McInytre, hung upside down in the corner, flipped Lorcan off the top turnbuckle. It was an impressive move.

Drew laid him out with a single leg dropkick, but also managed to bust him open the hard way (I suspect with an elbow mid-match).

Jobber of the Night:

Cory Hollis. Or however you spell it. He was literally done in one move. He hopped around while Black just stood there. Hollis charged in and ate Black Mass and just like that, it was night over.

Upset of the Night:

Nada.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Dare I say, seeing Dillinger still in NXT, for one more match next week, wins it? Sure, why not. Because next week, it’s a steel cage match between he and Eric Young, so that Tye can finish some business. That ought to be a good one.

Botch of the night:

I am going to say there was either an errant strike (I think an elbow), or some other botch that I missed, but I am willing to bet money that Oney Lorcan was not scripted to bleed like that. It was a stiff match between Lorcan and McIntyre, though, so in the grand scheme the blood did work, I guess.

Commentary of the night:

Michael who?

Michael Blaze.

Is that Alundra’s brother?

That man does not play well with others.

LOL Moment of the night:

The show tends to be light on the comedic moments, and tonight was no different. The moment that made me laugh would be the lines above, during the tag match, with Percy asking if it was Alundra’s brother.

OK, I take it back. After that, we saw Liv Morgan push one of Royce or Kaye (sorry, I couldn’t tell them apart) into the therapeutic whirlpool. It was funny. So funny that when NXT came back, Tom Phillips was still chuckling.

Noteworthy Moment:

NXT wasn’t kidding about a new era. Entered the show and had new music and a new montage. Or, it was new last week and I missed it? But I don’t think so….

Dylan Miley, even though he lost as part of a tag team against DIY…looked like he could be something down the road. That size and power is certainly worth watching. Especially after he came in after the match and flipped out on his partner.

We got some recaps, even though it’s two weeks removed from TakeOver. First was a recap of Dillinger’s debut on SmackDown. Then a recap of the Asuka/Ember Moon affair, showing Ember reflecting on things post-TakeOver. Clearly, she’s likely the one to knock off Asuka. They just want to build her up more (and they want to make Asuka more heelish, which of course started with how she retained the title).

And we also got the nicely done Nakamura Farewell. Like, really awesome. I expected a video package showing how he left TakeOver. Was not expecting him in the flesh, with basically the entire locker room emptying. Not for nothing, I get how awesome this guy has been for a year here…but apparently he’s exceptionally well liked. Some guys have been there longer, and would not get a similar send off. He’s special, and I hope the main roster does not mess that up.

Overall lowlights:

It’s NXT. These just don’t happen very often.

Overall highlights:

The Ember Moon segment.

Drew McIntyre’s return. I mostly remember him as a heel, and I did not watch him in TNA, but he sure seemed to be liked by the fans, so it will be interesting seeing this unfold (though, Bobby Roode, clearly a heel, is also much adored too, so what do I know).

Nakamura and his NXT farewell. Nicely done. Incredibly nicely done.

After the final bell:

Well, they weren’t kidding with a new beginning. We got new titles at TakeOver, now a new entrance and also some new faces. It’s change we all knew was coming, but they do it so well. They turn over the roster with regularity, and they rarely miss a beat.

Results:

Aleister Black takes out Cory Hollis in like a blink of an eye.

DIY defeat Miley and Blaze, with Miley destroying Blaze post-match.

Ruby Riot dispatches Kimberly Frankele

Drew McIntyre bloodies Oney Lorcan on his way to victory.

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