By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Triple H Addressed the Full Sail University Crowd
I usually despite it when Triple H flip-flops back and forth between being a face and a heel when he really should be a full-fledged heel while a part of The Authority, but I sometimes think of NXT as an alternate universe from what is happening on the main roster, so I was fine with him playing to the crowd a bit here. The revamping of NXT was mostly his idea after all, so you have HHH to think for this great weekly wrestling program. It was a standard segment to kick off the show and very fitting given that this was NXT's 200th episode.
Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd def. Leo Krueger and Antonio Cesaro
After the disappointment of a match between Zayn and Krueger in last week's main event, this match more than made up for it. It consisted of exilerating action throughout and the live crowd was very much into the matchup. It was a very cool moment when Cesaro and Zayn were both tagged in and the crowd responded with a "Match of the Year" chant. They have always work well together and this bout was no exception. Kidd and Krueger also played their parts well and the finishing sequence with the babyfaces going over was excellent. Zayn needed his win back after last week and more teasing was done as far as Krueger potentially joining The Real Americans at some point.
NXT Women's Champion Paige def. Sasha Banks (Non-title)
While the match wasn't given much time, Paige and Banks made the most out of the brief time they were allotted. Banks continues to improve as a wrestler and as a character while Paige continues to have good matches. I don't think Banks accidentally kicking Summer Rae will lead to anything, or at least I hope not, as the BFFs are good together in the NXT's women division. I was surprised that nothing else was teased after the match, but it appears we will be getting Emma vs. Natalya on next week's show, which has the potential to be great.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension def. The American Pitbulls in an Open Challenge Match (Non-title)
I realize the Internet Wrestling Community is going to eat me alive for saying this, but I had never seen Davey Richards or Eddie Edwards compete prior to this show. I have never watched a single episode of Ring of Honor and have never been exposed to either guy's work. That being said, I was impressed by their performance against the tag team champs and thought they could make for an awesome addition to the tag team division in WWE. They sold very well for The Ascension and looked good in defeat. I am dreading that the feud between The Ascension and Hunico and Camacho will be continuing, as their last match together bored me and the challengers aren't compelling babyfaces at all.
NXT Champion Bo Dallas def. Adrian Neville in a Lumberjack Match
Fans were never given an incentive to think that Dallas had a chance of losing the title, but there were still plenty of suspenseful near-falls down the stretch. Was it just me or did anyone else hardly recognize any of the lumberjacks surrounding the ring except for Tyler Breeze? Speaking of such, the lumberjacks hardly came into play, but Neville jumping onto all of them at once towards the end was a cool spot. I like Breeze costing Neville the title, as it triggers a feud between those two and will give both competitors something to do for the near future. The longer Dallas holds the strap, the more it will mean (and the bigger the pop will be) when he finally drops it.
WWE definitely should have done a better job of hyping this show in advance. I know they showed graphics last week of what matches would be happening, but they should have started promoting this weeks ahead of time given the fact it was NXT's historic 200th episode. That being said, the various videos that aired throughout the night highlighting the show's greatest moments was a nice touch and made the episode feel like a special occasions. I enjoyed every match and was thoroughly entertained for the entire hour. This was an extremely enjoyable edition of NXT and one of the best shows in recent memory. I would highly suggest checking it out when you get the chance.