By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Bayley def. Alexa Bliss
Bliss seems to be improving in the ring with every match she has and working with more established talent such as Bayley will definitely be beneficial to her progress. Bayley was excellent as usual, so nothing new there, but it was Bliss' breakout performance that really caught my attention. The ending outcome wasn't too much in doubt given Bayley's recent road to redemption, but I appreciated Bliss embarking on a winning streak as of late leading up this match. She should be a major player in NXT's women's division once Bayley is called up to the main roster and that void will need to be filled. The post-match segment between Bayley and Nia Jax was effective in setting up their eventual rematch.
The Hype Bros vs. Blake and Murphy Ended in a No Contest; Rhyno Returned
Despite breaking up a little over a month ago, Blake and Murphy are apparently back together, which is weird. Maybe they're building to a one-on-one match between them, but I honestly don't care. I wish they would just move forward with Murphy as a singles star because I think he has more potential of the two. At any rate, Rhyno's back! I marked out a little because I hadn't heard anything about him coming back beforehand, so it was a genuine surprise for me. He did some great work during his last NXT run putting over a number of up-and-comers, so I'm happy he has returned.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival def. American Alpha in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
Their previous two encounters were among my favorite matches from any promotion thus far in 2016, and they might have managed to top themselves with their final face-off. Similar to Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn in the same stipulation match from earlier in the year, I loved how the first fall wasn't blown off within a matter of minutes. Rather, the build to it, and the subsequent two falls were also very well done. The Shatter Machine to Chad Gable on the apron looked brutal and was a fantastic finish to the match and the feud. I was so engaged in the exciting action that interference from The Authors of Pain wasn't even on my mind, but I'm glad in retrospect that didn't come to fruition.
NXT has just been knocking it out of the park week after week since last month's TakeOver special and it feels like every episode has had something to offer. This was the best all-around edition of NXT yet with an entertaining opener from the women, a newsworthy return from Rhyno, and a stellar tag title main event. And Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Finn Balor is next week! If the rest of the build to Brooklyn is this enjoyable, we will be in for a fun summer.
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