By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Finn Balor def. Tyson Kidd
I enjoyed this match a lot more than their previous encounter from a few months ago. It felt like they were able to go all-out and both men gave it a strong effort. The action was very entertaining and it was an excellent way of kicking off the show. Balor comes off like a star every time he's in the ring and this performance only showcased his talents even more. As for Kidd, he was awesome per usual and continues to be one of the best things going in NXT at the moment. A great way of opening the night.
Baron Corbin def. Bull Dempsey
I expected something a little more... okay, a lot more from these two to justify the long build to it. What we saw while we lasted wasn't great. In fact, it was pretty lackluster, so it might have been for the best that it wasn't given more time. They're obviously more keen on pushing Corbin than Dempsey at the moment, but I don't expect Dempsey's momentum to halt as long as they continue to push him accordingly. I don't know how they can continue this feud with out doing more damage to Dempsey since making him win and giving Corbin his first loss would make this whole feud pointless.
Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch def. NXT Women's Champion Charlotte and Natalya
All four ladies had nice showings and made this a very good match. Moreover, they told a solid story which is what's nonexistent from the Divas on the main roster right now. It's what makes these matches so good: fans actually have a reason to care. As much as I'd like to see Charlotte move on to new challengers, I assume Banks pinning her here is leading to one more match between the two over the title. Their last few matches were great, so their next encounter should be equally awesome. Can it be third time's the charm for Banks?
NXT Champion Sami Zayn def. Adrian Neville
Their clash at R Evolution in December earned the award for Match of the Year for me, so it was near impossible for them to match that masterpiece. Of course, this wasn't even on the same level due to everything that went into their last match, but this was still amazing and Zayn and Neville continue to prove how extraordinarily well they work together. The crowd was invested in the action the entire time and they pulled out a number of new spots we haven't seen before, making it feel fresh in the process. The best part about the match was Zayn winning clean. I was sure Kevin Owens was going to interfere, and even though we saw him afterward, it was a pleasant surprise to have the main event end with a clean finish and not taking the predictable route.
The first few editions of NXT in the new year have been very good, but this was easily the best yet. It was a stacked show from start to finish and almost all the matches lived up to the hype. Balor vs. Kidd was very entertaining, Dempsey vs. Corbin was fine for what it was, the women's match was solid and the main event was exceptional. That said, there is no reason for you to go back and watch this show, as it really kicked off their move to Wednesdays on a high note (even though it's all on demand content). Next week's show should be a dawning of new feuds and storylines as we move forward to the next live special and I'm highly anticipating it.
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