By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Kevin Owens Interrupted Adrian Neville
For someone who isn't a strong mic worker, Neville cut a pretty good promo here coming off his loss to Sami Zayn at NXT Takeover. It was also encouraging to see him stay face, especially with Owens going heel. Speaking of whom, he was great here and explained his actions well without giving too much away. It was a short and sweet talking segment that nicely set the stage for the night's main event. If only the opening segments on Raw were kept this concise.
Becky Lynch def. Bayley
Both Bayley and Lynch are exceptional in-ring workers and they worked well together here. It didn't feel like the "grudge" match they were touting it as, but it was nice to see both ladies show more aggression than usual. They also have history dating back to when Lynch turned on Bayley, so the match had meaning behind it. As much as I'd like to see Bayley picking up more wins, Lynch needed the win just as much given how many losses she took before her heel turn, so I didn't have a problem with it.
Bull Dempsey def. Local Athlete
This was your typical squash match from Dempsey that lasted all of a minute. The only noteworthy aspect about it was that the crowd didn't count the seconds like they normally do (though they did it for Corbin's match). There really isn't much more to say other than that, but it's always a treat to hear Dempsey's catchy entrance theme. BULL!
Baron Corbin def. Local Athlete
Corbin's quick squash matches have become the new Ascension squash matches of NXT. Granted, it's only been a few months and not two years, but I'm more than ready for him to move on to something new. Thankfully, it appears a feud with Dempsey is on the horizon and they took the next step toward that with Dempsey shoving him afterward. They're building a real interest in this eventual match among fans, but I don't know if I can withstand another three or four more months of squash matches from these two if they hold off on their first match until the next live special.
The Ascension def. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
Well, this was a disappointment. It wasn't given much time at all and Amore looked like an idiot for getting distracted by Carmella at ringside. I understand that's Amore's gimmick, but if they're as over as they are, they shouldn't be treated like enhancement talent. Regardless, the match was an afterthought as it was all about Ascension's post-match promo. I want to see them on the main roster as soon as possible, but a rematch between them and Hideo Itami and Finn Balor won't hurt.
Adrian Neville vs. Kevin Owens Ended in a Double Count-Out
While it wasn't the blockbuster bout it could have been, I didn't expect it to be. Obviously, these two are capable of much more, but I don't blame them for not going all out. They're bound to have that show-stealing match eventually. Beside, the pace was slow early on, but the action down the stretch was great. The non-finish was smart in that it protected both guys and Owens looked like a beast afterward by demolishing Neville in the same fashion he did Zayn last week.
This was by no means as close to being as hot of a show as NXT Takeover was last week, but it didn't need to be. It was a "rest" week so to speak in that feuds were furthered and plenty was either teased or confirmed for coming weeks. The main event was solid, the Women's match was pretty good and everything else was decent. The hour fly by and I'm anxious to see what direction the program takes after all the rematches from R Evolution are out of the way.
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