Enzo Amore and Big Cass def. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Excluding WrestleMania 33, this is the third pay-per-view match these two teams have had since October, so this was probably the best bout to be relegated to the Kickoff show. From an in-ring standpoint, it was a pretty formulaic tag team affair with Gallows and Anderson on offense throughout and the babyfaces battling back at the end, but it served its purpose and the crowd was into the action by and large. Enzo and Cass have lost more often than not as of late, so them winning here was logical.
The Miz and Maryse Hosted Miz TV with Finn Balor
Miz is so exceptional in his role that he can play well off of anyone, and thus he and Balor had tremendous chemistry together. Balor has never been the strongest talker, but it was nice to hear him on the mic for the first time since his return to the ring. Miz's comments about Balor being "too small" were interesting considering Miz recently called out Dean Ambrose for being "lazy and complacent," making me think those comments were straight from Vince McMahon. At any rate, Balor finally announced his intentions to get back the Universal Championship he never lost, so perhaps we will see him vs. Brock Lesnar at some point down the line.
Sofia Cortez def. Paige
It was weird yet interesting to see this match positioned as an exhibition for both girls given that this would be a championship-level contest five years later. It was also interesting that Cortez received the spotlight over Paige here considering Paige wound up being the inaugural NXT Women's Champion the following year. This was a very fun opening match and a successful showcase for Cortez as well as Paige.
Seth Rollins def. Camacho
I said way back when that Rollins was the second coming of CM Punk early on in his NXT career, so Jim Ross making that comparison as well on commentary was a major endorsement, as it should have been since he was one of the brand's top prospects. Camacho has never done much for me, but Rollins sold nicely for his offense and battled back at the end with the crowd behind him to score the victory. Bo Dallas coming to Rollins' aid afterward to fend off Hunico set up the six-man tag team match for later in the night.
Josh Mathews Had Jeremy Borash Removed From Commentary
As expected, Borash striking Mathews at the end of last week's episode led to JB being "suspended" indefinitely, and only after two weeks, Mathews is officially back on commentary. That's terrible. I know this might be a part of something Slammiversary-related, but the fact we have to suffer through Mathews' commentary even longer is unbearably bad, not to mention it makes that main event from a few weeks ago completely pointless. This whole angle reeks of Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler from 2011.
Matt Sydal def. Trevor Lee
Sydal was advertised by Impact Wrestling ahead of time on their social media accounts, but I still would have treated his debut like a bigger deal. The commentators didn't exhibit any excitement when he came out, which is a shame because Sydal is a hell of a pick-up for them if he's under contract now. However, I don't think that's the case considering he will be challenging Marty Scurll for the ROH World Television Championship at an event soon. At any rate, this was a fun little match, but it was weird Lee didn't show any signs of wanting to get his X-Division Championship back after losing it last week.
Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot Brawled
This was a refreshing change of pace from what we usually see open NXT (i.e. a match or a talking segment) and that's why I loved it. Cross already in the ring when the show started was a nice touch and the brawl she had with Riot was well done. It's great that there's a secondary feud in NXT's women's division that isn't over the title, not to mention that it's a logical next step following the feud between SAnitY and Tye Dillinger and company.
Drew McIntyre def. Andrade "Cien" Almas
McIntyre has fantastic fire for a face that makes all of his matches (or at least those he's had since leaving WWE the first time) so awesome, and I'm happy he's brought that with him to NXT. Meanwhile, although Almas doesn't have the best win-loss record, the guy is an excellent athlete and he had a solid showing here. It didn't live up to its full potential because of its brevity, but I enjoyed it while it lasted and it kept McIntyre's momentum rolling. As for Almas, it's cool that his recent string of losses are being explained in storyline with how he's too distracted with partying.
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