By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Bayley def. Charlotte
While it would have been cool of the commentators to acknowledge the extensive history Bayley and Charlotte have with each other, it's still amazing to me that it was only a little over two years ago that these two got their start in NXT together. Fast forward two years later and they're producing the best match on the entire show. I love the Sami Zayn-esque story they've been telling with Bayley gaining momentum and earning a shot at the NXT Women's Championship. She and Charlotte have such awesome chemistry and that really showed in this contest. Bayley picking up the clean win put her over in a big way and I look forward to her No. 1 Contender's match next week.
Baron Corbin def. Steve Cutler
It's one thing to have Corbin still taking part in squash matches against enhancement talent 11 months removed from his NXT debut, but I don't understand the purpose in featuring him on the show every week. He's not benefiting from these victories, so who is? The crowd clearly doesn't care and even though they're very short, that time could be used for something more meaningful.
Tyler Breeze def. Aaron Solow
It'd be hypocritical of me to say that I'm not tired of Breeze constantly competing in pointless matches each week when Corbin is also. I was glad Breeze scored another win here, but he's been directionless for a while now. Thankfully, they've been building to his big match at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in recent weeks and the announcement of his opponent being Jushin Thunder Liger came off as very special as well as the video package that subsequently aired highlighting his career. It will be a real treat to see him compete in a WWE ring for the very first time.
The Hype Bros def. The Mechanics
It's finally starting to look like an actual tag team division is taking form in NXT. This wasn't that memorable of a match by any stretch, but it was progress as it was decent and both teams held their own. I just wish we heard from either duo beforehand so fans had more of a reason to care who would win. It was odd for The Mechanics to lose one week after winning a big match against Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, but at least the post-match attack helped them get their heat back.
Samoa Joe def. Rhyno
It was refreshing to see this match (although we've seen it before in TNA multiple times) advertised two weeks in advance, but like the previous bout, what purpose did it serve? Joe's feud with Kevin Owens was randomly dropped, so he's been taking on various different competitors in the last month or two. This was easily one of his better bouts in recent memory as it was very physical and fitting of the in-ring styles of both men. I assumed we'd get a non-finish of some kind to set up a rematch for TakeOver, but perhaps it will resume anyway.
The night started out hot with the exceptional women's match between Bayley and Charlotte and stayed solid through the remainder of the show. The middle three matches didn't do much for me, but the main event did enough to hold my interest. Plus, there was plenty confirmed on this episode in regards to NXT TakeOver: it's been confirmed the NXT Championship will be defended in a Ladder match, Apollo Crews (Uhaa Nation) will debut, The Vaudevillians will be going after the NXT Tag Team Championship, and so much more.
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