Drew McIntyre def. Rob Ryzin
As I've said before, McIntyre's offense is so hard-hitting and so different than anything one's style on the roster right now. It's almost unbelievable that it was three years ago this week that McIntyre was released from WWE, though I firmly believe it was the best thing for him because it allowed him to go out, find himself, get motivated and improve. He's now one of the most fun wrestlers to watch in NXT, though it's high time he entered his first official feud since coming back.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain def. Anthony Dominguez and Wilmer Freyday (Non-title)
This wasn't your standard squash match from Authors of Pain. Well, it was, but this time around, Rezar wrestled the entire two minute matchup himself and obviously won in decisive fashion. Paul Ellering then sold the team's dominance over the last year well with his post-match promo and the crowd was into the face-to-face confrontation between Authors of Pain and Heavy Machinery. That should be a blast of a bout come TakeOver: Brooklyn.
The Velveteen Dream def. Raul Mendoza
Truth be told, I'm still not sure what to think about The Velveteen Dream. Patrick Clark of course looks and plays the part to perfection, but is it really a gimmick that's going to get beyond a certain level? I could see the faithful at Full Sail University backing it eventually, but time will tell. For those unaware, Mendoza competed in the first round of the Cruiserweight Classic last summer, losing to The Brian Kendrick. He has reportedly been signed by WWE, though it's unknown whether he will stick around in NXT or be moved to 205 Live soon.
NXT Women's Champion Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riot in a Triple Threat Elimination Match Ended in a No Contest
I actually ended up liking this match much more than their encounter at TakeOver: Chicago, which wasn't bad whatsoever, but this seemed to tell a better story and was fleshed out a bit more. They played off spots from the original Triple Threat and all three women were great here. Cross eliminated Riot in clean fashion, so that might have wrapped up their recent rivalry. The non-finish was disappointing (especially seeing as how we saw something similar on Raw this week but I'm aware this was taped in advance), but it keeps the Asuka vs. Cross feud alive before Ember Moon goes after the gold in Brooklyn. Plus, the crowd wasn't too bummed with the brawl that ensued between Asuka and Cross, culminating in that cool table spot before the show went off the air.
Despite being a third brand, NXT is still developmental, and getting talents over via squash matches is essential from time to time. That was basically the first three-fourths of this show, but at least the tag team title feud was furthered and the main event was entertaining. Next week, Sonya Deville and Ember Moon will be back in action while Kassius Ohno does battle with Aleister Black, so I'm very much looking forward to that episode.