By Graham "GSM" Matthews
NXT Women's Champion Charlotte def. Mia Yim (Non-title)
I've been exposed to Yim's work on the indies (and more recently in TNA on their One Night Only show) and she's one of the best workers on the independents. That said, I was hoping for a lot longer of a match between these two. You know, one that exceeded a minute. Sasha Banks' post-match promo was great and probably the best I've ever heard from her on the mic. She, along with Charlotte for that matter, has improved leaps and bounds since this time last year. Speaking of Charlotte, she has yet to be established as a true babyface. Sure, she's come to the aid of Bayley a few times, but she's no different than from when she was a heel.
The Vaudevillians def. Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy
On a site note, I really like the vignettes with The Vaudevillians. They're an old school tandem and while it remains to be seen whether they'll get over on the main roster, I'm enjoying their act for right now. This was a simple enhancement talent to give them some momentum going into their tag title match next week where I assume they'll lose against The Lucha Dragons. It's hard for the fans to boo them when they'd rather cheer them instead.
Bull Dempsey def. Elias Sampson
How much is there to be said about a 15 second squash match? Dempsey has a lot of potential and he's connected with the crowd on some level since his debut. His flying headbutt is extremely impressive for a guy his size and his pending clash with Baron Corbin should surely be interesting.
Baron Corbin def. Local Athlete
Copy and paste what I said above here. Corbin has gotten over rather quickly in his short time in NXT and his awesome finisher never ceases to amaze me. The crowd counting the length of his matches is hilarious. That was really all that was notable about this match. As noted, I look forward to his (apparent) match with Dempsey at next week's live special.
Hideo Itami and Finn Balor def. Tyson Kidd and Tyler Breeze
It blows my mind just how great of a team Itami and Balor are. In all honesty, this should have been at the live special instead since I'm sure the quality of this bout was far better than anything they'll produce with The Ascension next week. The action was entertaining and the final few minutes were very fun. Balor's post-match promo was kept short and sweet and his comment about "bringing something next week that we've never seen before" will definitely spark debate about whether he was talking about the debuting Kevin Owens.
Sami Zayn Interrupted NXT Champion Adrian Neville
The building tension between these two gets stronger and stronger by the week. Neville cut one of his better promos in recent memory and this had to be Zayn's best showing on the mic to date. He was so convincing and the aggression he showed in his words toward Neville were unlike anything we've seen before from him. Seriously, nothing I write will do this segment justice. I've been pumped for this match (and the rest of the upcoming live special at that) since September and I figure there was no way they could get me any more excited than I already was, but they managed to do just that with this promo.
As noted in the previous paragraph, I've been highly anticipating this upcoming special for some time now and there wasn't much they could do to get me even more excited for it. It was more the promos than the matches that accomplished that for this viewer as both Banks and especially Zayn had strong nights on the mic. The second tag match was also excellent and made this a show worth watching. If you're not already watching NXT (and you should be), start with NXT Takeover: R Evolution next week. It's shaping up to be the strongest live special yet.