By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Alexander Rusev def. Travis Tyler
This was the same standard squash match we've been seeing from Rusev the last few weeks on WWE TV and the last few months for regular viewers of NXT. Contrary to popular opinion, I don't mind Rusev, but his matches obviously aren't the most exciting. He can only compete against enhancement talent for so long before it starts to get old, so I hope to see him transition into an actual feud soon.
Charlotte and Sasha Banks def. Divas Champion Paige and Emma
First off, I'm fine with the NXT Women's Championship being vacated since Paige might not be appearing on NXT much now that she's on the main roster. Having Charlotte defeat her for the belt in a one-on-one match might have been the original plan given the result of this contest, but tournaments are always fun, too. It's also cool considering Paige won the Women's title in a tournament to begin with. This match was good by Diva standards and Charlotte showed signs of improvement in the ring. Seeing her pin Paige was a pleasant surprise, so one can assume she'll be win the one to win the vacated strap. The dubbed-over commentary was painfully obvious (especially when Paige's entrance wasn't even shown), but they did the best they could with it given the circumstances.
Tyson Kidd def. Mason Ryan
It's still mind-boggling to me that Kidd isn't even on WWE TV nowadays. However, having him appear on NXT is the next best thing. He had a nice outing here and got the best match out of the extremely green Ryan that one possibly could. It was weird since they're both technically main roster performers and Ryan is a fellow face, but it didn't matter much given the crowd was heavily behind Kidd for most of the match. He also cut an impressive promo after the match, and Kidd has never really been known for his mic skills. I'm excited to see Kidd back in NXT on a regular basis and it'll be interesting if he guns for the NXT Championship, but are all main roster guys going to start coming over to NXT and going after the title?
Tyler Breeze def. Angelo Dawkins
Yes, this was much of the same from Breeze, but I'll be damned if his awesome entrance ever gets old. Did Dawkins remind anyone else of Percy Watson? Anyway, it was a typical squash match, but at least the commentators played up the fact that Breeze showed more aggression than usual. I like that he's adding more layers to his character, but like with Rusev, Breeze is indeed of a opponent to feud with.
Sami Zayn and WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos def. Corey Graves and NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension
It was very refreshing to see The Ascension face a team that wasn't enhancement talent and their performance in this match proved that they can be very good in the ring. Zayn, Graves and Usos were also excellent in this match and delivered a fun final few minutes. All the competitors had great chemistry with each other and the action was entertaining enough to keep the live crowd (as well as me) invested the entire time. To top it all off, it furthered the feud between Zayn and Graves nicely and I hope to see The Usos clash with The Ascension again down the line.
I'm usually not a fan of an hour-long show featuring five short matches, but this edition of NXT was a rare exception. Most of the matches were either enjoyable, served a purpose or both, so it was an easy show to sit through this week. The last few episodes haven't been much to rave about, but I certainly suggest going out of your way to watch this show, if only for its awesome main event matchup.