By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Tyler Breeze def. Mojo Rawley
It's unfortunate to see that Breeze went from being involved in the NXT Championship picture to competing in meaningless matches in only a matter of weeks. While this wasn't much more than a squash match for Breeze, I liked how he showed more aggression than usual. It's an interesting extra layer to his character that he might need to get to the next level. Hopefully they can find something else for him to do in the near future. And as for Rawley? Oh, how they mighty have fallen.
Hideo Itami def. Viktor
Wow, the crowd couldn't have been more quiet for this match. I don't know what it was, but at least the commentators tried to explain it away by saying they were in awe of Viktor annihilating Itami. The match was fine for what it was, but it was secondary to Konnor's attack on Funaki atop the ramp. The finish was weak, but at least The Ascension taking out Itami and Funaki afterward was well done. It'll make the fans want to see Itami get the better of the duo that much more when it eventually happens.
The Vaudevillians def. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
I figured Carmella would make an appearance here at least as a valet, but I guess they're waiting to debut her on NXT TV after her "training" is done at the Performance Center. Amore and Cassady are a very entertaining act, but it doesn't translate well to their matches. This was a decent enough match, but I can't say it particularly peaked my interest. Then again, I'll take it over an Ascension tag squash any day of the week! I was puzzled to see Amore and Cassady lose clean, but it seems as if they're building The Vaudevillians up as the next contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Sasha Banks def. Becky Lynch
In her short time in NXT, Lynch has shown a lot of potential as a breakout Diva in the division. It's not her time just yet, but I wish they'd utilize her better as more than an enhancement talent to Charlotte and Sasha Banks. That said, it's great to see her develop own image while staying true to her Irish roots. Banks is also improving at a rapid pace and I'm enjoying the change in entrance theme and finisher (you can't say the Bank Statement isn't a sweet name for a finisher). She had a good showing here and I look forward to her battles with Bayley and former friend Charlotte over the women's title.
Titus O'Neil def. Sami Zayn
The biggest problem with this match was that O'Neil was never seen as a threat. Despite his intimidating size and immense amount of offense, Zayn and the commentators stressed how he was fresh off feuding with a bunny on the main roster, so he was seen as a joke in the eyes of fans. Zayn had some hope spots, but otherwise it was a dominant showcase for O'Neil. I was surprised to see him get the clean win if only because Zayn is being groomed to be next in line for an NXT title match. Here's hoping NXT serves as the platform that can get O'Neil's singles career back on track.
While I wouldn't call this a bad edition of NXT (is there even such a thing?), it was most certainly flat. Most if not all the matches featured ranged from decent to good, but there was hardly anything to get excited about it. I assume this took place at the end of the tapings since the Full Sail University crowd was absolutely drained and it definitely felt like a filler show. I expect things to be back to normal next week as the build to the next live special continues.
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