By Graham "GSM" Matthews
NXT Women's Champion Asuka def. Eva Marie (Non-title)
I feared they would go back to Eva challenging for the title after Bayely received her rematch, but I assume that won't be the case since they gave the match away here. And that's a good thing. Rather, it looks like Nia Jax will be in line for a title shot sooner rather than later. She's not much better, but still a step up. I commend Eva for her improvement over the past year, but she remains barely passable in the ring. At the very least, Asuka carried her to a competent contest, though it lasted longer than I would have liked. Hopefully they keep Asuka vs. Jax on the back burner long enough so they can fully focus on Asuka vs. Bayley II at the next special.
The Revival def. Jeff Parker and Matt Lee
This was a squash match done right: short, sweet and effective. They're great old school heels and it's such a treat to watch. To their credit, the two local athletes sold their offense very well and were more animated than most jobbers. The match was kept brief as it should have been. I'll never get tired of seeing The Shatter Machine, either. I enjoyed Scott Dawson's post-match promo even more and I love how they'll be going on a tear until they get their title rematch with American Alpha.
The Hype Bros def. Blake and Murphy
It's crazy to think Zack Ryder won the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania one day after this was taped, only to lose it the following day on Raw. And nothing has changed! He's back to being a nobody on the main roster, which is a shame, but Mojo Rawley must be thrilled The Hype Bros are sticking together as a result. This was a pretty formulaic match and Blake and Murphy are solid in the ring, but per usual, their characters do nothing for me. For what it's worth, the commentators mentioned they haven't been on the same page as Alexa Bliss (who was nowhere to be seen at ringside) as of late, so perhaps that's a tease for their inevitable split. Also, The Revival wasted no time in staying true to their promise by attacking The Hype Bros afterward.
Carmella def. Aliyah
Anyone who watched the first season of "Breaking Ground" on WWE Network should be familiar with Aliyah, and personally, she never appealed to me on the show. She seemed like a hell of a whiner for someone who thought they were ready to debut on NXT TV a lot sooner than she actually was. She was involved in a women's Battle Royal a few months ago, but this was her first singles match on the program. Carmella isn't the greatest in-ring worker herself, but this was decent. Hopefully Carmella can hone her craft and build credibility as a singles star now that Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady have moved up to the main roster without her.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Elias Sampson
I saw this match at the NXT Lowell live event last Thursday and this was essentially the same thing with Nakamura taking the center spotlight. I've discussed time and time again how Sampson's gimmick doesn't do anything for me, so I won't bore you with that here, but let's just say I liked seeing Nakamura making quick work of him here. It was a showcase for Shinsuke and not much else, but a fun showcase at that. Nakamura's entrance will never not give me goosebumps.
I thought they would be showing the full NXT Championship match between Finn Balor and Samoa Joe in full and not just the highlights, so that was slightly disappointing. But hey, who am I to complain? I was there live! You can read my review of the show here by the way. As for the rest of this episode, it was mediocre by NXT standards. None of the matches stood out in a major way, but on the bright side, The Revival made a statement and Nakamura was in action, so it wasn't a complete waste of an hour.
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