NXT has developed something of a bad - and ominous - habit in recent weeks.
There's a creeping feeling that it's becoming the main roster in a more ironic way than the Survivor Series hype had intended. Just last week, in the course of about five minutes, NXT borrowed two rotten tropes: Cameron Grimes, because he apparently can, blindsided Raul Mendoza and forced himself into a match with KUSHIDA. But KUSHIDA exacted vengeance by stealing one! with a roll-up. On the same show, the advertised Rhea Ripley Vs. Dakota Kai match didn't happen, and it's all well and good to say that it shouldn't have, that it was too early. You, I, we are in the bubble. We're not going anywhere. The more casual fans tuning in just might. Impromptu, very convenient main event match set-ups, opening promos...NXT is significantly less "BS" than the main roster, but it's no alternative to it.
NXT also has a huge show coming up next week.
Shayna Baszler is set to defend the Women's Championship against Rhea Ripley in what is surely an event not merely worthy of a TakeOver; TakeOver is worthy of a match of that magnitude.
This episode mostly served as a go-home show for NXT TakeOver: Don't Watch AEW After The Christmas Break, Lads, Here's Where The Action Is.
Was it effectively promoted?
And bear in mind, not all Ups and Downs were created equal...