By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady and The Hype Bros. def. Jason Jordan, Chad Gable and The Mechanics
I can't stress enough how over Amore and Cassady were in the arena. They were probably the most popular stars on the entire show, and that's including TakeOver. The reaction they received made me question why they weren't in the NXT Tag Team Championship match instead of The Vaudevillians, but I digress. They worked well with The Hype Bros. and had a fun little eight-man tag team match. Jordan and Gable stood out to me during this bout and I look forward to seeing them enter the title picture sooner rather than later. The babyfaces scored the big hometown win and it made for a nice opening to the show.
Eva Marie def. Carmella
As someone who was in the Barclays Center for this show, I can tell you that the reaction for Eva Marie was toned down dramatically. She was practically booed out of the building, but the reaction she received came across on television as tame in comparison. The match wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, but that's not to say it was any good. Eva is improving, I'll give her that, but she's still a work in progress and the worst of the bunch right now. I understand why she would want to do The Kendrick as an ode to her mentor, but she doesn't execute it very well, so she should go for something simpler as her finisher for now.
Bull Dempsey def. Elias Sampson
Admittedly, it was a treat to be able to chant along with the "BULL!" line in Dempsey's extremely addictive entrance music. They didn't air his entrance, but Sampson came out with a guitar, leaving others in attendance to question whether he's the second coming of The Honky Tonk Man. Hey, it's better than nothing! The match was a simple squash, but Dempsey does look a little slimmer, thought that might be just me. The Brooklyn crowd ate up the "Bull-fit" gimmick, so it will be interesting to see whether it catches on at Full Sail University and in other cities.
Emma def. Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Dana Brooke in a Fatal 4-Way Match
This was the match I was most looking forward to watching back if only for how they would handled the botched finish on TV. Oddly enough, it came off better on TV than it did live, or at least to me. In person, I was disappointed it was more of a glorified tag team match, but to their credit, it was about to heat up before the abrupt finish. From what it looked like, someone was supposed to break up the pin on Becky, but no one did, so the referee just counted to three as they're instructed to do. Everyone's facial reactions, especially Emma after she randomly won, were priceless. Hopefully the women don't get blamed too bad for that.
This was an enjoyable kick-off show before TakeOver and the Brooklyn crowd was hot for it throughout. None of the matches were particularly must-see but they didn't to be; it was cool seeing many of these competitors for the first time and the reaction to Amore and Cassady alone made this episode worth watching alone even if it didn't need to be 90 minutes long. I'm not sure if next week's show will feature any fallout from TakeOver, but the Dusty Classic (or whatever they're calling it) officially kicks off next week, so that should be entertaining.