By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy def. The Lucha Dragons to Win the NXT Tag Team Championship
Well, that was quite the shocker. Everything up until the finish was nothing special, but the two teams work well together. Plus, it beats The Lucha Dragons facing off against The Vaudevillians yet again. The crowd came to life when Blake and Murphy got the three count since nobody saw it coming and you don't get surprises like this very often. In fact, we haven't had a title change on NXT TV (aside from the live specials) in well over a year. Blake and Murphy as champs breathes fresh air in the tag team division and if given time, the rumored rematch at the next live special could be really fun.
Adrian Neville def. Tyson Kidd in an NXT Championship Tournament Quarterfinals Match
Have Neville and Kidd ever contested anything less than a great match? Of all the matches on the show, I was glad this one got as much time as it did. The action was extremely entertaining and despite how many times they've faced each other over the last year, they still managed to pull out a few innovative spots, especially down the stretch. I'm surprised at all the babyfaces going over in this tournament, but it makes for a lot of intriguing matches.
NXT Women's Champion Charlotte and Bayley vs. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch Ended in a No Contest
We've variations of this match several times before, so it wasn't anything new, but it was very storyline driven and that's what I liked about it. The focus was on how Charlotte and Bayley and even Banks and Lynch would coexist going into their Fatal 4-Way title match at Takeover. Moreover, Bayley acting more aggressive is a great extra layer of her character that she desperately needed and it came at the perfect time.
Baron Corbin def. Bull Dempsey in an NXT Championship Tournament Championship Quarterfinals Match
I was honestly expecting this match to end in a draw or some sort of non-finish because I didn't think they would want Dempsey to get beaten twice in a row. Well, I was sadly mistaken. Not only that, but he was beaten just as quickly as he was the first time. I know if he's dead in the water just yet, but these quick losses surely aren't doing him any favors. Based on the way Dempsey looked at him after the match backstage, I'd guess Dempsey takes him out before his next tournament match with Neville.
NXT Champion Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens Signed the Contract for Their NXT Championship Match
Is it bold of me to call this one of the best contract signings in recent memory, if not of all-time? Far too often do the cliche contract signings feature too much unnecessary talking and the typical brawl, and this was anything but. William Regal, as big of a fan as I am of him, didn't take center stage, Zayn displayed his frustration nicely, and Owens was just awesome. I figured Owens would win the non-title match at Takeover and earn a shot at the strap at the following special, but putting the belt on the line in their first encounter is fine by me. Their interaction in this segment made you want to see their pending title match if you weren't pumped for it already.
I think it's safe to say this show was near perfection, as there wasn't anything about it that left me indifferent or felt like filler. All the matches/segments served a purpose, built toward the next live special and the three matches sans Corbin vs. Dempsey were all entertaining. Every episode of NXT this year has been exceptional and I really hope they can keep up the strong streak in the weeks to come. As always, the Takeover card is shaping up to be something special and I couldn't be any more excited for it.