By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Alexander Rusev def. Sin Cara
I see massive potential in Rusev as a monster heel on the main roster, but he hasn't been getting much of reaction from the Full Sail University crowd. So, if not even they give him a reaction, why would anyone else? The match was fine for what it was, but it was more of an extended squash match than anything else. Sin Cara scored some offense, but not enough to qualify this as a competitive contest. Rusev's reign of terror continues, whereas Sin Cara continues to fall further down the ladder of irrelevance.
Emma def. Alicia Fox
Let's just say that Emma has had better matches in the past. There were quite a few clunky spots and the match was slow at times. It was nice for Emma to pick up a win over another former Divas champion, but it was a step down from her matches with Natalya and others in recent months. Speaking of Natalya, her making the save to fend off the BFFs didn't pack much of a punch since she's been overexposed on NXT for the last two months, and it appears her feud with the "Mean Girls"-like stable is not yet over. At least Emma will finally be receiving her title opportunity later this month.
Mason Ryan def. Sylvester LeFort
I had a hunch going into this match that LeFort would win somehow just to be able to manage Ryan going forward, but apparently not. The match was over before it even started, and therefore was meaningless. Seriously, what was the point? Nothing was accomplished at all from this match and simply served as filler. I am actually a fan of Ryan, but his lack of improvement as of late probably prevents him from ever getting pushed.
Tyson Kidd def. Aiden English
For the life of me I will never understand why Kidd isn't on the main roster. He had two matches on Raw when he initially returned to action in November and then disappeared off the face of the earth. Thankfully, we are treated with his presence on NXT from time to time and he had a nice contest with English here. The interference from Colin Cassady was only logical, but it protected English in defeat and furthers the feud between the two.
Adrian Neville def. Corey Graves
After Graves' ominous promo last week, I expected him to attack Neville at some point down the line to reignite their feud. Or, at the very least build toward a match between the two, but it was given away on this show with hardly any hype behind it. It was a solid match and easily the best of the show, but why haves Graves lose clean one week after returning? I understand this win was used to boost Neville's momentum going into his upcoming NXT Championship match, but Graves should have been protected in defeat as well. The post-match announcement of the NXT title match in a few weeks being a Ladder match came as no surprise as the news broke a month ago, but at least the live crowd was receptive to it. I very much look forward to that match and am glad to see NXT: Arrival receive so much hype. Here's hoping it lives up to the lofty expectations.
The last few episodes of NXT haven't featured any noteworthy or memorable, and this show was much of the same for the most part, but least it was a bit better. Most of the matches served a purpose, were well wrestled and had some sort of story going into it. Nothing was worth going out of way to see, but it was a fun hour of wrestling for what it was. It was all about NXT: Arrival and building it up as the monumental event that it should be.
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