One match stood head and shoulders above the rest this week, living up to rather high expectations based on the calibre of the talent involved—although it certainly wasn't the only great match that WWE put on.
This week saw something of a return to form for NXT's weekly programming on the WWE Network, with a few good matches and some strong progress toward their Takeover live event on May 29.
The main event of the show was a 20-man Battle Royal to decide who would face NXT Champion Adrian Neville at Takeover, and a well-worked finish added some intrigue to proceedings, not to mention a real hook for next week's show.
While the Battle Royal for the United States Championship on Raw this week was also very entertaining, the NXT bout was ever so slightly better to my mind. Quite a few entrants in the NXT match managed to come out of it looking strong even in defeat, which can sometimes be a problem in putting on a multi-man match without a huge roster to sustain losses.
However, the highlight of NXT this week was the tag team match between The Legionnaires and the team of Kalisto and El Local. NXT Tag-Team Champions The Ascension have been starved of real competition for some time now, so it's great to see some new teams added to the title hunt.
In fact, either team could very well be a worthy contender for the belts before too long, but the luchadore team were particularly impressive on this occasion. Kalisto's long-awaited debut was a promising sign of things to come, and it's super to see El Local getting his chance to shine in the ring.
Last but not least, the WeeLC match between Hornswoggle and El Torito was pretty fantastic for what it was. Unexpectedly, it has to have been the most destructive pre-show match the WWE have put on to date—a good reminder that there's no reason for every match on a wrestling card to be super serious to put on a good show.
Match of the Week for May 10: The Shield vs. Evolution at Extreme Rules
This bout certainly had the capacity to steal the show at Extreme Rules, and whatever you thought of the rest of the card, it would be difficult to argue that this one didn't live up to the hype.
The Shield rarely disappoint when put into a six-man match, and this was no exception. From the off, the crowd were expecting something special, but a certain restraint to the pacing allowed the action to build to an impressive climax without ever hitting a lull.
While this was yet another star-making performance for The Shield, credit has to be given to the veterans of Evolution for very capably playing their part. Triple H in particular is having something of a career revival as of late, with his pre-match promo being really rather excellent and his in-ring work being similarly pristine.
However, now Batista has been repositioned as a heel he's having the opportunity to make the most of the crowd's response to him, and he's very good at it. Randy Orton, of course, can really get under the crowd's skin.
Here's hoping that the Evolution reunion goes on a while longer—the three of them do work very well together as an old-school trio of villains.
Seeing this great match unfold made me very glad that The Shield seem to have a few more matches as a team in them yet before their inevitable break-up. Over the past 18 months they've established themselves as some of the most reliable workers in the WWE—now's the time to savour each and every one of these wild matches that they're putting on before it's too late.
Did a different match stand out to you this week? Was it WeeLC? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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