By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady and American Alpha def. NXT Tag Team Champions Dash & Dawson and Blake & Murphy
I'll start off by saying I'm fully convinced that NXT's tag team division is more stacked than the main roster's. Enzo and Cass are mega over (and are on the verge of getting called up), America Alpha are the total package, Dash and Dawson have come a long way as a tandem and Blake and Murphy are good hands in the ring. All that said, this match was extremely entertaining and everyone was able to shine at one point or another. It was a nice blend of the current tag team feuds going on right now and I expect American Alpha to solidify themselves as the No. 1 contenders some time soon.
Asuka def. Deonna Purrazzo
I actually warmed up to Purazzo through her pre-match backstage promo, so I was left wondering why she worked as the heel in her match with Asuka. I thought it was leading to a match with either Emma or Dana Brooke, and I'm sure they'll collide eventually, but it was a strange way for her to be introduced to the audience. Could her getting mic time be a sign she's officially under contract? As for the match, Asuka is always a blast to watch work and this bout was no exception.
Tye Dillinger def. Alex Riley
Riley's post-match promo a few weeks back was terrific, so I was surprised he didn't cut a promo in front of the live crowd to cement his heel turn (I'm assuming that's the direction they're going with him). The match wasn't much of note, but Dillinger winning was a pleasant surprise. I would love for that to mean he'll be more than an enhancement talent now that he has a win under his belt. I thought Riley would attack him afterward to go full-fledged heel, but no such luck. It's possible these two could be feuding going forward, but if not, this was a waste.
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe in a No. 1 Contender's Match for the NXT Championship Ended in a Draw
For a first time ever matchup, Zayn vs. Joe definitely delivered. They kept the pace consistent throughout, building to several suspenseful nearfalls and a fun finishing sequence. They were also given great time, which I wasn't expecting since a rematch seems to be in the works. Speaking of which, the double pin conclusion to this bout was well done and innovative in a way that it didn't feel like it's been done to death in the past. Their next encounter should be equally excellent if not better and I can't wait.
Most of the recent editions of NXT, albeit enjoyable, had different formats where they started and ended with electric action but the middle was filled with forgettable matches. That wasn't so much the case with this show as every match had some sort of importance or planted the seeds for something to come, even Riley vs. Dillinger and the story they might tell with them. With a month and a half to go until NXT TakeOver: Dallas, the card is starting to become more clear and all of these filler feuds should be wrapping up in the near future.
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