By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Jason Jordan and Chad Gable def. The Hype Bros, The Vaudevillians, and Blake & Murphy in a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match
It's incredible to realize just how far the tag team division has come this year. Granted, it's not yet perfect, but we had four solid tandems in this match in addition to Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady and Dash and Dawson who were at TakeOver. They're all exciting to watch in their own way, which is what made this match such a treat. As entertaining as the in-ring action was, this match was worth watching alone for the reactions Jordan and Gable received. It's ridiculous how over they are right now and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that they're destined for greatness on NXT and beyond. That said, it was smart to have them go over here and hopefully a program with Dash and Dawson over the NXT Tag Team Championship isn't far off.
Elias Sampson def. Bull Dempsey
For his first appearance, I wasn't exactly blown away by Sampson. He has a great look, but the "drifter" gimmick with the guitar may have very limited potential. It's not even that it's been done to death but I'm not sure how it's going to get over. Dempsey was on offense for most of the match before Sampson pulled out the win, so I can't say how well he can wrestle, but at least we know he can hit a beautiful-looking elbow drop.
Sami Zayn def. Tye Dillinger
With this being Zayn's first televised match back from injury, I expected him to compete in a quick squash against Dillinger, but the match we got instead was awesome. I find hilarious that despite being NXT's resident jobber, Dillinger is immensely over with the audience, more than what can be said for most of WWE's current roster. Nevertheless, it was a very fun match with Dillinger getting an ample amount of offense against Zayn only for Zayn to battle back and hit all of his signature spots with the crowd solidly behind him throughout. How can squash matches can you remember watching that you heard a "This is wrestling!" chant?
There wasn't much in the way of storyline progression on this show since these matches were taped the same night as TakeOver, but it was still an extremely enjoyable episode featuring an excellent opener, a fine albeit underwhelming debut for Sampson, and a great return match from Zayn. With a hot London crowd to boot, you can't go wrong with this edition of NXT during the holiday week. Next week's episode will apparently be a Best of 2015 episode, and if no original matches are airing, then I'll be back with more reviews of NXT in 2016. Until then, happy holidays!