By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Vaudevillians def. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady in an NXT Tag Tam Tournament Semifinal Match
While there wasn't anything overtly special about the match, I'll take it over any Ascension squash match. It's a step up for NXT's tag team division from what it was before, though that's not saying much. Amore and Cassady are far and away the most over team NXT has at the moment, so the decision to have them clean here was mind-boggling. As much as I don't care for their feud, having Sylvester Lefort and Simon Gotch cost them the victory would have at least made sense from a storyline standpoint. I like The Vaudevillians, but they don't have as much potential as Amore and Cassady in my opinion.
Triple H Addressed the NXT Universe
Though it's been known for weeks, it was great for the Takeover 2 event to finally be made official by Triple H on this show. The three championship matches lined up for the show make it must-see and the current (unconfirmed) card looks awesome. The contrast between Triple H on the main roster and on NXT is amazing. It'd be interesting to see him bring this babyface ambassador to TV at some point, although I will admit I love his current heel persona.
Tyson Kidd def. Tyler Breeze by Count-out
Kidd and Breeze are capable of having a great match together, but the fact they're both heels disallowed that from happening. I'm not complaining, though. It was logical for Breeze to (attempt to) get a score of revenge over Kidd after the events of last week, but the match was so short that almost felt pointless. With that said, I'm glad it ended as quick as it did since the heel vs. heel dynamic in matches is awkward more often than not.
NXT Women's Champion Charlotte def. Becky Lynch (Non-title)
Lynch is still relatively new to NXT, so it'd be wise to protect her a bit more. She had an impressive outing against Charlotte the first time around, but this was too short for it to benefit either woman. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice match, but they needed more time for it in order for it to be memorable. If nothing else, it helped Charlotte build momentum going into her title defense against Bayley.
Enzo Amore Challenged Sylvester Lefort to a Hair vs. Hair Match at NXT Takeover 2
How often is it that we see someone appear in two segments (excluding backstage interviews) in the same night on NXT? That said, this would have been better saved for next week, but it was a decent promo. Amore kept it short and sweet by getting straight to the point and challenging Lefort. Aside from Lefort shaving Amore's beard earlier on in this show, their hair hasn't played a part in this feud, so the stipulation feels premature, but it's a nice addition to the Takeover 2 card.
Mojo Rawley def. Steve Cutler
This was nothing more than a squash match, but it was necessary for Rawley to pick up a win after losing a lot recently. It hid his weaknesses by being brief like most matches Rawley has contested in his NXT career so far. He isn't the strongest mic worker (or in-ring worker for that matter), but he got his point across well in furthering his feud with Bull Dempsey.
Sin Cara and Kalisto def. Sami Zayn and Adam Rose in an NXT Tag Team Tournament Semifinal Match
It was a solid match from start to finish, but the crowd didn't have any incentive to cheer for either team since they're both fan favorites. Despite that, everyone involved worked hard and there were several sweet spots. That one Kalisto spot (I'm not even going to try to describe it) was great and a small preview of what he's capable of in the ring. Cara and Kalisto were the logical tandem to advance, but why were Zayn and Rose in the semifinals to begin with? Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel are a more stable pairing and it's not like they even attempted to interfere. Rose taking the pinfall should have felt like a bigger deal than it did because I believe it's the first loss he's taken as the Rose character, but he's comic relief anyway so I guess it doesn't matter much.
What I loved about last week's episode was that there were so few matches but each of them received an ample amount of time and meant something. This week's show felt like the complete opposite as none of the featured matches were all that good or memorable. They all could have used more time, so it was a common case of too much being crammed into one hour. The main event was enjoyable, but it was not worth going out of your way to see. Triple H's official announcement of Takeover 2 was the only thing that made this edition of NXT newsworthy.