By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Antonio Cesaro def. Yoshi Tatsu
It has been quite a while since we last saw Cesaro on NXT, so it was great to have him back. Come to think of it, when was the last time Tatsu was ever on NXT, much less on WWE programming? The match was over within mere minutes and was a basic squash match for Cesaro. The most interesting thing about the match was Cesaro constantly looking over at William Regal, who he is now apparently feuding with. A match between the two was advertised for an upcoming taping (or perhaps it already happened?), so this was to be expected, but I am still very much anticipating it.
NXT Champion Bo Dallas def. CJ Parker (Non-title)
The Full Sail University crowd hates Dallas, but they don't necessarily like Parker either, so they didn't care for either competitor in this match. It was a fine match for what it was, but it was mostly forgettable and no one (myself included) seemed to care about the action. It was a nice win for Dallas, who hasn't competed on NXT in the nearly two months, but it was over an individual who doesn't mean much right now.
Tyler Breeze def. Kassius Ohno
If you can recall, it was Ohno who snapped Alexander Rusev's time in the Beat the Clock Challenge last week, so that was the reasoning behind the pre-match attack. It was a quick win for Breeze, which was good, but I would have rather seen the two have another fun match as they did last week. Ohno was protected via the pre-match attack and now has a nice feud with Rusev going for him, but is there any point in caring what Ohno is doing at this point if we all already know he has since been released from the company?
Hunico and Camacho def. NXT Tag Team Champions Konnor O'Brian and Rick Viktor (Non-title)
I could have sworn this was a title match after Hunico's promo from last week, so it should have been made clearer that it wasn't. Hunico and Camacho just turned a week ago, so the fans are slowly starting to buy into them as babyfaces, but will a tasteless stereotypical gimmick really get them over with the live crowd? The match was decent, but featured nothing out of the ordinary. Hunico and Camacho picking up the win sadly means we will be seeing more of these two teams facing each other again in the future. What ever happened to the tag team division in NXT?
Adrian Neville def. Sami Zayn in a No. 1 Contender's Match for the NXT Championship
I had high expectations for this match going in and these two terrific talents undoubtedly shattered them. The match was given great time, and it didn't even feel as long as it did due to Neville and Zayn constantly making the contest entertaining to action. The action was exciting and the live crowd was very much engaged in it all, as the "This is awesome" chants were well deserved. Bo Dallas was better than expected on commentary in that he didn't distract from the action but also got his point across. The near-falls toward the end were very suspenseful and simply proved that these two have amazing chemistry together. I expected some sort of shenanigans to be incorporated into the finish in order to set up a Triple Threat title match, but thankfully we got a clean finish instead. I would have been happy with whoever won, and Neville is certainly a fresh face in the title picture. I am certain Zayn will remain in chase mode going forward and will receive another shot at the strap at some point down the line.
Not everything on this show was perfect and not everything was worth watching, but I thought is was a good episode of NXT as a whole. It had some enjoyable moments and felt like a quick hour of television. There was effective feud progression throughout the show and a number of thing hyped for next week's show, including two title matches (potentially three if the tag titles are also up for grabs). Of course, spare the time to go back and check out the main event match, as it was absolutely fantastic and well worth the watch.
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