By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Oney Lorcan def. Andrade "Cien" Almas
As I've said before, Almas has really settled nicely into his new role and he is definitely much more comfortable as a heel. Him coming out in a mask was a cool touch and I wish he would do that on television if he isn't going to wear it during his matches. Lorcan has always been an excellent worker, so it didn't surprise me in the slightest that this was an awesome match, especially down the stretch. Lorcan tends to win on live events it seems, and I would love to see that same success translate on TV. He deserves more than enhancement talent status.
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce def. Liv Morgan and Aliyah
I had a feeling this match would be medicore based off who was involved, but it actually wasn't that bad. All four women are still works in progress, but thankfully this didn't drag on and didn't go past the ten minute mark. Morgan continues to rack up losses, but it's obvious they're building up Kay and Royce to be threats to the NXT Women's Championship in the near future.
NXT Tag Team Champions #DIY def. Akira Tozawa and Tajiri
I had high hopes coming into this contest and it definitely did not disappoint. #DIY haven't had anything less than a great match since arriving in NXT, Tajiri kicks ass even at the age of 46, and Tozawa is tremendous as well. The nearfalls weren't suspenseful considering you knew the titles weren't changing hands, but the match itself was extremely entertaining and all four men worked wonderfully together. Tozawa and Tajiri were a fun tandem for one night and I'm looking forward to see Tajiri returning full-time on 205 Live starting next week. By the way, when the hell is Tozawa going to debut on that program?
NXT Women's Champion Asuka def. Nia Jax
Jax would not have been my first pick of someone from the main roster to bring back to NXT to wrestle Asuka in her native Japan. She's been on NXT/Raw for over a year now and she has yet to improve as much as she probably should. She has the size, sure, but other than that, she isn't anything out of the ordinary in the ring. Asuka attempted to get a good match out of her, but it was largely boring and lasted longer than it needed to. I preferred their TakeOver: The End match from June over this encounter.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Samoa Joe to Win the NXT Championship
I gave my thoughts on this match when it originally aired, which you can read here. This was a longer version of the match, but seeing this didn't change my thoughts on it. It was a relatively solid match and I enjoyed it the first time, but it wasn't amazing enough to the point where I wanted to see it again. They should have shown it in its entirety the first time instead of cutting some spots out.
Apparentely more matches took place at this event, but these were the only ones that made it to television. And I'm not even sure this had to be two hours long. They could have not replayed Joe vs. Nakamura match since that already aired a few weeks ago. All that said, this beat the hell out of the annual "Year in Review" shows, so I appreciate that and the change in setting. Next week's episode will also feature taped matches from the Melbourne, Australia event before we're back with original content in the new year. Until then, Happy New Year!
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