By Graham "GSM" Matthews
NXT Women's Champion Sasha Banks and Bayley Signed the Contract for their TakeOver Match
This was a primary example of how WWE should be handling the Divas division on the main roster: by giving them more promo time and a reason to care about the characters. Longer, better matches are a great step in the right direction, but stuff like this where we as fans are given the chance to relate to the women and know their motivation is what is going to change the perception of women's wrestling. Bayley and Banks both did a really good job here and it was a strong final sell for their upcoming Women's title match that I'm very much looking forward to.
Tyler Breeze def. Local Athlete
There's not much they can to do to build toward the bout between Breeze and Jushin Thunder Liger when Liger won't be appearing until TakeOver, but this sufficed. It was a standard squash for Breeze, but it might have been more effective had we not already seen months of meaningless matches from him. That said, Breeze putting the Liger mask over his fallen opponent afterward was a nice touch.
Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady and The Hype Bros. def. Local Athletes
I realize not everyone is high on the duo of Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley, but I think it's a perfect fit for both guys at the moment and they gelled really well with the high energy team of Amore and Cassady. Thankfully, this stood out from all the other squashes on this show because it was fun while it lasted and showcased some of the current talent in the tag team division.
NXT Tag Team Champions Blake and Murphy def. Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton
Blake and Murphy have come a long way as a team these last few months. Their character development still needs a bit of work, but Alexa Bliss has certainly added a lot to their act since joining them. Speaking of whom, I'm interested to see who The Vaudevillians end up bringing in for their match to counterpart Bliss at ringside. While they have come across as pansies for not fighting back against Bliss, it's in line with their "chivalry" characters so I have no problem with it because it makes sense from a storyline standpoint.
Samoa Joe def. Steve Cutler
Similar to Breeze, Joe has been competing in squash matches more often than not in recent months, so this wasn't exactly anything new that lit the world on fire. If nothing else, it was kept relatively brief and the focus was on the post-match attack on Joe from Baron Corbin. It was logical to give Corbin the upper-hand this week after the events of last week and it sets up a Samoa Joe win on Saturday.
NXT Champion Finn Balor Interrupted Kevin Owens
First and foremost, can we all take a moment to appreciate just how great Owens' bashing of the Full Sail University crowd was? Don't get me wrong, I love their enthusiasm and I've always been partial to them as a wrestling audience, but you have to admit they are a bit jaded for booing Brooklyn whenever it's brought up because they're not going to be seeing the show in person. Owens was also the perfect person to be pointing that out and garnering heat for heat. Balor played his part well with his short and sweet promo and their brawl was a pleasant teaser for their upcoming Ladder match.
Although there were four matches on this show, it was a night light on in-ring action because they were all glorified squash matches. However, it's understandable considering this was a go-home show and they were building to NXT TakeOver this weekend. Besides, the bookend segments were strong and only enhanced my excitement for the event. I may or may not have live coverage here on the site this Saturday as I might be at a wrestling show that night (hint hint), but if not, my review should be up by Sunday. Enjoy the rest of SummerSlam week!
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