Michael McGillicutty def. Justin Gabriel in an NXT Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match
Fans have given McGillicutty (a.k.a. Curtis Axel) a lot of flack over the years for not having any personality, but his in-ring work speaks for itself, and when given the time to shine, he can really impress like he did here. Gabriel had an equally good showing and I liked the dynamic they had. Gabriel made one mistake and it cost him the match, so I liked that aspect of the finish a lot.
Kassius Ohno def. CJ Parker
It's interesting. When I first started watching NXT back in 2012, nothing about Ohno intrigued me at all and I can't say I was a fan of his slow-paced style. Knowing now how great the guy is, I understand what he was going for with this character in NXT. It wasn't the flashiest, but he was a hard-hitter and came across as ruthless here. Parker also deserves props selling Ohno's offense incredibly well.
Paige and Tamina Snuka def. Caylee Turner and Kaitlyn
If you couldn't already tell, Turner is the real-life sister of Alicia Fox (they look a lot alike, so that should come as no surprise). She actually shared quite a bit of her sister's offense, but she didn't do much to leave a lasting impression on me. Kaitlyn (once again playing the heel) and Tamina were their normal selves, but I thought the super skilled Paige once again stood out in a major way.
Jinder Mahal def. Bo Dallas in an NXT Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match
Every Mahal match I've ever seen is virtually the same and this was no different with a very boring beginning and a mediocre middle. They picked up the pace a bit down the stretch, but it failed to hold my attention. Dallas looked credible in defeat, but as a main event, this was pretty bland. That said, building the hated Mahal up only to lose to a fresh face in the finals was a smart booking decision.
This wasn't as strong of a show as the week prior, but it was once again newsworthy for the two NXT Championship Tournament semifinal matches that took place. I appreciated the layout of this edition of NXT with each of the four matches receiving more time than usual and some of NXT's top prospects (Dallas, Paige and Ohno) being showcased. From an in-ring standpoint, though, only the opener is worth watching.
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