By Graham "GSM" Matthews
NXT Women's Champion Sasha Banks def. Alexa Bliss
Perhaps it was because they were back home in front of Full Sail University, but I enjoyed this encounter between the two more than I did their initial one last week. They might have been holding back last week to save their very best for this match, and if so, that was wise. Bliss still has a ways to go in the ring, but she's coming along nicely and she's a very likable character, so the crowd is behind her during her matches 100 percent. Furthermore, Banks is the perfect person for her to work with and get better. It was far too soon for Banks to be dropping her title, but Bliss definitely showed potential in her impressive outing here.
NXT Champion Kevin Owens def. Finn Balor
I figured they would have saved this for a little later down the line since it's such a big match, but don't take that as a compliant; this was every bit as awesome as you'd expect. It was a bit slow early on, but it built the match to a great climax down the stretch and both guys put forth a strong effort. They pulled out some sweet spots (Owens slamming Balor from the top rope) and told a solid story with Balor's knee injury, which ultimately played perfectly into him hitting his finisher only to come up short. Balor looked strong in defeat and left the door open for a rematch if they choose to go that route.
I'm a huge fan of the two match format, and while I realize they can't do it every week, it feels special whenever they do. Not only were both matches championship bouts, but they were given great time and plenty of storyline support. In between the awesome matchups we got several excellent interviews, one of which setting up what should be a stellar 2-out-of-3 Falls match between Hideo Itami and Tyler Breeze next week. Just an extremely entertaining episode all around this week, serving as a very fun lead-in to WrestleMania on Sunday.
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