By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Vaudevillians def. Bull Dempsey and Mojo Rawley in an NXT Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinal Match
Well, the partnership between Dempsey and Rawley was short-lived, and is anyone really surprised? It's what we all expected from the start. The match itself was decent enough, but Rawley taking the clean loss for his team came out of left field. How many months did they waste trying to protect him, and now it feels like he's losing a lot more often lately. I understand they want to build up Dempsey as a threat to the NXT Championship, but Rawley has been on a downward spiral as of late and I struggle to see why. The Full Sail University crowd taking Dempsey's side during the post-match attack on Rawley shouldn't be seen as a good sign.
Bayley def. Sasha Banks in a No. 1 Contender's Match for the NXT Women's Championship
Bayley and Banks are far and away the two best women workers in NXT and this match was pure proof of that. They made every minute of their match entertaining to the point where it didn't even feel like eight minutes had passed. Bayley has always been unappreciated in the ring and given her strong connection with the crowd, I think her time is now and it's great to see her finally getting her shot at the gold. I assume it will take place at the upcoming Takeover 2 special in September.
Sin Cara and Kalisto def. Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy in an NXT Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinal Match
Sin Cara doesn't do anything for me at this point, but I've been high on Kalisto's potential for a while now and I really enjoy watching him in the ring. Blake and Murphy are hardly an established tandem, so it was no shocker that they didn't get much offense in, but this was a glorified showcase for the masked marvels. I don't see Kalisto and Sin Cara being a pairing in the long-term, but it's a nice platform for Kalisto to build off in the future.
NXT Champion Adrian Neville def. Tyler Breeze by Disqualification
I'm more than likely wrong here, but was this ever advertised in advance? I was initially down on the idea of giving away the match on this show with the Takeover 2 special only one month away, but I have since changed my mind based off what happened afterward. The action was extremely entertaining and the two developed great chemistry together. The disqualification finish was bothersome, but totally understandable in protecting both guys. The involvement of Tyson Kidd and Sami Zayn during the post-match angle sets up a potential Fatal 4-Way for the title at Takeover 2 which could be fantastic. Needless to say, I'm excited for the future of the NXT Championship picture going forward.
Taking everything into account, this was definitely the best episode of NXT in recent memory. The two tag team matches were nothing stellar, of course, but one triggered a feud and the other was very fun. Plus, the tag team tournament as a whole is a vast improvement for the tag division in NXT. The ladies match was great and the main event was even better. Much of what happened on this show set up quite a bit for Takeover 2 and it made for an entertaining hour of wrestling.