By Graham "GSM" Matthews
American Alpha def. Blake and Murphy
By this point, I couldn't care less about Blake and Murphy, but that would mean I cared about them to begin with. At the very least, they're solid hands in the ring and that definitely showed here, but the stars of this match were undoubtedly Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. As Next Era Wrestling contributor RJ Marceau said in his latest column earlier today, these guys are the hottest act going in WWE right now (yes, I'm talking about the entire company). They're just so much fun to watch in action and this matchup was no exception. They're slowly building momentum to the NXT Tag Team Championship picture and I imagine a No. 1 Contender's match against Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady will happen in the near future.
Apollo Crews def. Christopher Girard
I'm not exactly sure who Girard is, but I was surprised to see him get an entrance, which is more than what can be said for some people on the roster sometimes. It was a glorified squash match at best, but it was another opportunity for Crews to showcase his skills and he is making good progress. Hopefully NXT has a credible opponent in mind for him at TakeOver: Dallas because I don't know where he fits into the card right now.
Tommaso Ciampa def. Bull Dempsey
Wait, did NXT rehire Dempsey in the last few weeks? Okay, okay, I'm joking, but it's always strange to see released talent continue to make appearances on NXT TV, though I know it's difficult to manage with how many shows they tape in advance. At any rate, they played for comedy in the beginning and the rest of the match was fairly mediocre. This is the second singles win Ciampa has scored in the last month, which again leads me to believe he's officially been signed. I guess we won't know more just yet, but if he is a part of the roster, I'm all for it. Fingers crossed Johnny Gargano isn't far behind.
Eva Marie and Nia Jax def. NXT Women's Champion Bayley and Carmella
As much as Eva, Nia and Carmella have improved in the ring as of late, they still can't be counted on by themselves to carry a contest. Don't get me wrong, this was a decent tag team match, but Bayley was expected to do the heavy lifting and Carmella did most of the in-ring work for her team instead. I like the idea of the heels going over because it establishes them as threats to the title, which will make their inevitable loss to Asuka mean that much more.
This was a step back from last week's relatively hot show as none of the matches this week stood out in a major way, but even a less-than-stellar edition of NXT is still somewhat enjoyable. That said, outside of American Alpha's performance, it's not an hour I would suggest going out of your way to watch if you missed it. If anything, wait until next week for what should be an excellent main event between Finn Balor and Neville and the debut of a new star in NXT.
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