By Graham "GSM" Matthews
NXT General Manager William Regal Revealed Sami Zayn's NXT TakeOver: Dallas Opponent
All right, so anyone who doesn't live under a rock has known about Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver: Dallas for the past month and a half, but I still lost my mind along with the audience when Nakamura showed up on the big screen. That match should be absolutely amazing and the perfect swan song for Zayn now that he is officially a part of the main roster. This segment was short and sweet yet packed one hell of a punch that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The Hype Bros def. Sawyer Fulton and Kenneth Crawford
Based off the reaction they received during this bout, it seems like the Full Sail University hasn't soured on The Hype Bros as much as the rest of the Internet has, or perhaps it's a case of absence causing the heart to grow fonder and they'll be sick of them again in no time. I personally don't mind them, and if nothing else, they're a solid addition to NXT's stacked tag team division. This was a standard squash by and large and nothing out of the ordinary.
Emma def. Deonna Purrazzo
I'm glad they didn't forget about this feud that was teased during the tapings at UCF. Purrazzo hasn't shown much in her brief in-ring outings, but I don't know, there's just something about her that stands out to me. I wanted more of match between these two, but instead Emma dominated Purrazzo and made short work of her. Hopefully this isn't the last we've seen of Purrazzo against Emma and Dana Brooke and the program is only just beginning.
Tomasso Ciampa def. Jesse Sorensen
Ciampa showed incredible aggression here, more so than he has before. I've always preferred Johnny Gargano over Ciampa, but Ciampa is a very solid worker in his own right and can have a nice run for himself in NXT if he can continue to build momentum. Although he apparently suffered an injury at a recent live event, this was taped back in late January and I haven't heard anything about him being cleared to compete as of this writing.
NXT Women's Champion Bayley and Asuka def. Eva Marie and Nia Jax
Say what you will about Eva and Nia being super green in the ring, but they've improved immensely over the last few months. Granted, that's not saying much considering how deplorable they were when they started, but working with two excellent competitors in Bayley and Asuka never hurts. Bayley and Asuka carried the duo to a decent tag match that led to the announcement of their NXT Women's Championship match in Dallas. I'm surprised Asuka didn't have to win a No. 1 contender's match first against Eva and/or Nia, but I can't complain. Bayley vs. Asuka has the potential to be phenomenal and I can't wait for it.
American Alpha def. The Vaudevillians in a No. 1 Contender's Match For the NXT Tag Team Championship
I figured it would be American Alpha and Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady battling for the No. 1 contender's spot, but the timing of this match couldn't have been better with Enzo and Cass failing to win the the tag titles from The Revival at WWE Roadblock last Saturday. The Vaudevillians don't do much for me, but they held their own here while American Alpha shined like the stars they are. Gable's German suplex looked fantastic and the final few minutes of this matchup were especially entertaining. I'm definitely feeling new tag champs in Dallas.
Anyone who is constantly on the "dirt sheets" likely heard about the full card for TakeOver when it was leaked last month, but it's great that most of the matches are now official coming out of this episode. The squash matches were forgettable, but this edition of NXT was made newsworthy by the three new matches confirmed for the upcoming event, and if you aren't excited for it, I'm sorry to say you aren't a real wrestling fan. Can April 1 just be here now?