By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Asuka def. Cameron
Asuka's just so much fun to watch in the ring that she makes anyone she faces look good as a result. That was definitely the case with Cameron, who didn't appear to have improved much in her time away from the squared circle. Then again, she didn't get in much offense and this was mostly a showcase for Asuka, so I'll reserve further judgement until we see more of her in action. As for Asuka, she picked up where Sasha Banks left off in being the "star" of NXT's women division. Her apparent match against Emma at the next TakeOver special should be stellar.
Bull Dempsey def. Angelo Dawkins
I loved Dempsey's old entrance music and it was catchier than the new one he has, so I was sad to see him enter to a new theme. The crowd was completely quiet for the match, but they liked Dempsey and he looked happy to be there, so it wasn't a total lost cause. I just don't think anyone cares about the dissension between Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton. Before that video of them went on WWE's YouTube channel a few weeks ago, I didn't even know they were a team! I don't know how they'll fare on their own, but so far no one cares about their split because they were never established to begin with.
Eva Marie def. Marley
Marley has gone by the name Gionna Daddio on the NXT house show loop for a while, but I'm not certain whether she's officially a part of the NXT women's roster or not. She served as an enhancement talent for Eva here, which is a shame considering she's probably much more advanced in the ring than she is at this point. Eva looks like a billion bucks, but she's been wrestling for a few months now and she has hardly improved. She's better, sure, but that's not saying much given how awful she was when she came into the company two years ago. There were a handful of sloppy spots in this match and the crowd ate her for lunch over it. It looks like she still wants the NXT Women's Championship, but I really hope officials saw this match and nixed that idea because I don't think even Bayley could get a competent match out of her.
Apollo Crews def. NXT Champion Finn Balor by Disqualification
I figured this match wouldn't be anything but average since it was a TV main event and they'd be saving their best work for a future special, and while it was basic stuff early on, they really picked up the pace down the stretch and delivered a hell of a match. The crowd loved every second of the back-and-forth matchup and they proved they have awesome chemistry together. What's scary is that I believe they're capable of even more than what we saw here, so as I noted, I hope to see it again down the line. The non-finish was logical and Baron Corbin looked like a monster in destroying both Balor and Crews. A feud with Crews going into the London special keeps both guys busy and makes sense from a storyline standpoint. We all saw the Samoa Joe heel turn coming weeks ago, but it was nice they finally went through with it. It wouldn't have mattered if it was babyface vs. babyface for the title in London, but NXT is deprived of heels right now, so Joe takes that top spot instead of being behind Crews and Balor.
On the whole, this wasn't as strong of a show as past weeks, but it was still an enjoyable hour headlined by a great main event and a very newsworthy heel turn. More importantly, we have a better idea of what we're getting in London: Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe, Apollo Crews vs. Baron Corbin, Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss, Asuka vs. Emma, and possibly a few other matches. As for this episode, Eva's match was awful and Dempsey's match was forgettable, but Asuka's match was fun while it lasted and the main event is worth going out of your way to see.
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