Actually caught all of NXT this week with its 8 pm Thursday airing on the Score here in Canada. Some thoughts:
* MVP's delivery of the explanation to the rookies for last week's beatdown was quite strong. Sometimes, I forget how good MVP is on the mic and, then, he's given a chance to speak. Not as bombastic or jokey as he usually does, this was just straight talk. The beatdown was a lesson/warning/initiation/challenge.
* The Kaval/Alex Riley match was alright, but lacking. Considering Kaval's skill level and Riley being FCW champion, I expected a lot from this one. Kaval wasn't moving too quick, while Riley never got past the most basic of 'I'm bigger than my opponent so I'll just hit him a lot' moves. LayCool on commentary was funny. Not sure about the decision to give Riley the win. Like Danielson last 'season,' Kaval has been paired with pros that make us wonder what the fuck is going on and he's made to lose despite his obvious accomplishments in the ring. There's a theory that since he's so good/respected, he can put others over -- but I'd rather just see a guy who is built up as great in the ring just be great in the ring and win. Kaval's personality isn't as likable as Danielson's -- it lends itself better to the violent heel that dominates his opponents. Plus, this match had the awful finish of Guy A beats the shit out of Guy B until Guy B hits finishing move out of nowhere for the win. I'd rather just a fluke roll-up or small package. Guys just hitting finishers out of nowhere makes you wonder why they waited so long.
* The pros comments after that first match where awful. Morrison seems to be losing his mic skills as he goes, while Ryder was... meh. I don't get the love for him.
* The mixed pro/rookie tag match was alright, but the difference between "Lucky" Cannon and Joe Hennig in the ring is so obvious that it made this hard to take too seriously. Cody Rhodes's tear down of Cannon after the match was spot-on. Though, I did like Mark Henry sticking up for his rookie even if he did use the word 'lucky' about two hundred times.
I like the format of the show, especially with the pros watching matches and taking notes. Kaval and Riley underwhelmed a bit, but the stuff with LayCool was funny. Joe Hennig looked strong, while Cannon was forgettable. A solid show.