By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Hideo Itami def. Mustafa Ali
Ali was one of the few unknown competitors in the first round of the Cruiserweight Classic that impressed me immensely even in defeat, so I'm glad it looks like he might be sticking around (or maybe this was a one-off, who knows). He had a good showing here, as did Itami, who has shown very little ring rust since returning two weeks ago. While I'm slightly surprised he won't be a part of TakeOver: Brooklyn, it might be best not to rush him into a feud for the show, and I imagine he will wrestle in front of the crowd prior to TakeOver for the television taping.
Carmella, Liv Morgan and Nikki Glenncross def. Alexa Bliss, Daria Berenato and Mandy Rose
It was long overdue that we had an influx of new talent in NXT's women's division, especially with all the call-ups to the main roster. The match was hardly a classic from an in-ring standpoint and the pacing was rather slow, but I can't say I expected anything less from the newcomers. That said, I did appreciate how each of them were able to showcase their skills at one point or another, and I'm sure Daria and Mandy will improve over time. Glencross is already very much polished and shined brighter than the rest of the rookies.
Byron Saxton Sat Down with NXT Champion Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura
Perhaps it's just me, but I always prefer these type of sit-down interviews over the contract signings. Granted, I enjoyed Joe's sit-down interview with Finn Balor prior to the previous TakeOver slightly more, but this was still very fun while it lasted, and I loved how Nakamura's personality was the perfect foil for Joe's seriousness. These two should have a hell of a match in Brooklyn and this was a strong final sell for the championship clash.
I could not be any more hyped for TakeOver: Brooklyn, and no, I'm not just saying that because I will be there live and in person. Every match on the card has something to offer, and this is the formula every go-home for WWE's main roster programs should follow by building up each bout in a meaningful manner. The episode was obviously light on wrestling, but the six-women tag team match was notable for the debuts of several new women, Itami and Maluta had a nice little match, the video packages were wonderful and the ending interview was excellent. Bring on Brooklyn, baby!
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