By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Finn Balor def. Tye Dillinger
Dillinger had a fine showing, but this was a total showcase for Balor and as always, he shined. I don't care how short his match lasts: as long as I get to see his awesome entrance, that's all that matters. In all seriousness, it would've been cool if the match went a little longer than it did, especially for Dillinger's sake. I've said this countless times before, but the kid's got potential. He's been grossly overlooked since he arrived in NXT and an impressive outing against an established star such as Balor would have done wonders for him. A missed opportunity.
Becky Lynch def. Charlotte and Bayley in a No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match for the NXT Women's Championship
It wasn't the show stealing match the Fatal 4-Way was at NXT: Rival back in February, but it was still better than anything we see from the main roster ladies these days (though that can be said for almost every women's match in NXT). Each of them got in their signature maneuvers, and while it slightly suffered from crowd interest (due to a long night of tapings), they brought the crowd to life down the stretch. The finish was fantastic in that it gave Lynch a huge win while also protecting Charlotte and Bayley. Furthermore, Lynch vs. Sasha Banks is a fresh match I'm looking forward to seeing over the title.
Hideo Itami def. CJ Parker
Just when you think you've seen the last of Parker, he just keeps coming back! It really makes these tapings feel dated since Parker left the company three weeks ago. Oh well, given that this show aired on Earth Day, this had to be his final match, right? No better way to go out than that. This was also his match to date, which wasn't any surprise given who his opponent was. After being spotlighted in that WrestleMania special a few weeks back, I hope they have someone in mind for Itami's next rival.
Rhyno def. Local Athlete
Similar to most other matches Rhyno has had since returning (other than his match against Sami Zayn last week), this was a total squash, as it should have been. You can say you're growing sick of him competing in 30 second matches, but I'm sure not, and the crowd seems to be eating it up as well. I have no idea what's next for him, but a feud with a heel Baron Corbin would be an effective way of getting him over and getting the most out of Rhyno.
NXT Champion Kevin Owens def. Alex Riley (Non-title)
I enjoyed this bout more than their last encounter from a few weeks ago, but only by a bit. It was by no means great, but Riley remains very over with the audience and their backing of him made this match more entertaining than it probably should have been. He looked strong in defeat, but with another decisive loss to Owens, I question why they bothered to do a rematch to begin with. Meanwhile, the post-match brawl between Owens and Sami Zayn was excellent, especially Zayn's dive off the top rope and onto Owens on the outside. Their pending title rematch should be nothing short of spectacular.
This was a significant improvement over last week in every way as most matches served and were quite good. The Itami and Rhyno matches didn't give us any indication what's next for them, but it was still an enjoyable hour of NXT on the whole. The biggest issue NXT continues to face right now, however, is the dead crowd. This show took place at the very end of the tapings, which is why the crowd wasn't as lively as they usually are. If this wasn't the end of the taping, hopefully it's on its way as we're in need of a fresh set of shows.
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