Tyler Breeze def. Jaxson Ryker
Like many people, I don't find Ryker or his matches terribly exciting, but Breeze managed to make this passable by selling well for Ryker's offense and making him look dominant for a majority of the match. I don't think Ryker has ever been beaten one-on-one before in NXT, so Breeze barely beating him was a pleasant surprise. As if that wasn't enough, Fandango returned for the first time in over a year afterward to save Breeze from Forgotten Sons. They'll be a great addition to NXT's tag team division if they can stay serious this time.
Cameron Grimes def. Jonah Reed in an NXT Breakout Tournament Semifinal Match
This was a significant improvement than Reed's last match in the tournament with Dexter Lumis, while Grimes continued to shine. I enjoyed the dynamic they had and it was simply a nicely paced bout. I don't think Grimes winning was ever in much doubt, but he was the right person to advance to the finals to face Jordan Myles. It'd be very cool if that matchup was held either at TakeOver: Toronto II or at the NXT TV tapings preceding the event.
WWE United Kingdom Champion WALTER vs. Tyler Bate Was Made Official for NXT TakeOver: Cardiff
Although Imperium put Bate on the shelf a few weeks ago, I honestly didn't consider Bate a potential opponent for WALTER at TakeOver. I really thought Pete Dunne would get a rematch, but I like this option a lot more simply because it's a fresher match. Plus, WALTER has already defeated Dunne and Trent Seven one-on-one and Bate is the last member of British Strong Style he needs to overcome. This was a strong segment with Bate holding his own against all of Imperium and looking like a threat to the title.
Gallus def. Pretty Deadly
Mark Coffey and Wolfgang represented Gallus here, as Joe Coffey is set to take on "Bomber" Dave Mastiff on next week's episode. Pretty Deadly consisted of Sam Stoker and Lewis Howley, who have appeared on NXT UK before as enhancement talent. They were squashed pretty quickly here. Afterward, Coffey and Wolfgang cut a promo announcing their desire to win the NXT UK Tag Team Championship. With Moustache Mountain not available due to Bate's opportunity in the main event, Gallus vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans would make sense for TakeOver.
#AskGSM is a weekly Q&A video where I, Graham "GSM" Matthews, answer fan questions from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in regards to the world of wrestling. Nothing is off limits, and this week’s edition touches upon a variety of topics including:
Silas Young def. Josh "The Goods" Woods
Woods was really starting to catch fire since returning to the ring about a month or so ago. He looked super dominant when he first came back and then had a bit of a dud of a match with Brian Johnson (but still won). Here, he looked like a complete goof by falling for Young's tricks, getting hit with a low blow, and being beaten within seconds. It was in line with what Young's character has been doing for a while now, but this did Woods no favors. The feud will obviously continue and maybe Woods will win in the end, but a longer match would have helped protect him in defeat I think.
Shinobi Shadow Squad def. Joe Keys, Brian Johnson and Dante Caballero
As seen at Mass Hysteria, I think Eli Isom has real potential on his own. He, Cheeseburger and Ryan Nova seem to be having fun together as Shinobi Shadow Squad, but even though they won here, they come across like a jobber trio to me and I can't possibly take them seriously as threats to the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship. This was a perfectly fine match with a nice pace, but Shinobi Shadow Squad continues to feel like it's holding Isom back in my opinion.