By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Adrian Neville Confronted NXT Champion Sami Zayn
Zayn's first appearance on the program since R Evolution last month felt like a big deal and his first promo since winning the NXT title was fantastic. How often do you see a promotion's top champion take a month off to sell an injury? Sometimes it's the little things that matter most. He and Neville had an enjoyable exchange and I'm extremely excited for their championship rematch next week. I wasn't disappointed we didn't see or even hear from Kevin Owens on this show since I expect him to get involved in the title match between them.
Hideo Itami def. Curtis Axel
As great of a wrestler as Axel is, he simply doesn't have any personality. I don't know if returning to NXT will do the same wonders for Axel as it did for Tyson Kidd because at least Kidd has a character and just needed a platform to showcase it on. Axel didn't show anything new here that we haven't seen before. He and Itami had a decent match, but Axel never at any point felt like Itami's equal, only an enhancement talent. Here's hoping he doesn't become a regular going forward.
Sasha Banks def. Alexa Bliss
I'm a fan of Bliss' work and she's improved quite a bit since her debut last year. That said, I'm surprised she's not on the show more than she is. I wish they got more time to work, but they made the most of the two minutes they were allotted. Obviously, a tag team with Banks and Becky Lynch facing Charlotte and Natalya is in the works, but Banks can't possibly be getting another shot at the title, right?
Tyler Breeze def. Chad Gable
The Full Sail University crowd was behind Gable before the bout even began. I really liked how he was positioned more than just a typical "job guy" and received a lot of offense against Breeze. He got enough offense in that he looked strong in defeat, especially since Breeze hit the Beauty Shot on Gable out of nowhere. I look forward to how he progresses in the future.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Lucha Dragons def. The Vaudevillians
This wasn't a much better match than the one they had at R Evolution, but it was still pretty good and the in-ring action was solid. Both acts need some work, but it was nice to see the tag team division get some love shown to them in the main event. I like The Lucha Dragons as a tandem, but I hope to see Kalisto break out on his own before long. He has a very bright future as a singles star when this team runs its course.
This was a very well-rounded episode that had a little bit of everything. The opening talking segment was great and straight to the point, Itami and Axel had a fine outing, the women had a nice match, Gable had an impressive outing in his debut, and the show was topped up with a fun tag title match. I love the show being stacked for NXT's move to Wednesday nights starting and the matches being advertised have been eagerly anticipating next week.
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