By Graham "GSM" Matthews
American Alpha def. Corey Hollis and John Skyler
Even in squash matches, American Alpha are entertaining as hell to watch in the ring. The only drawback to this match, other than going longer than it needed to, was that we weren't afforded the amazing hot tag from Jason Jordan because they were up against two no-namers that didn't stand a chance. Dallas should come unglued when they win the NXT Tag Team Championship from The Revival at TakeOver, assuming they go over. Hopefully they don't swerve us like they did with Enzo and Cass in London.
Baron Corbin def. Michael Cuellari
Typically, I complain at length about Corbin competing in short-lived squash matches, but I actually didn't mind this at all, mostly because we haven't seen him take part in one in a while. This show was filled with squash matches, and if any bout should have been a minute long, it was this one. Corbin's promo on Austin Aries later on in the evening was also excellent. For a match with little build behind it, I'm hyped for it.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival def. Tucker Knight and Steve Cutler (Non-title)
It was strange hearing the ring announcer and commentators refer to The Revival as simply Dash and Dawson because this was taped almost two months ago when they had yet to adopt that tandem name. This was equally enjoyable as the American Alpha match from earlier and the video package that highlighted their reign as tag champions was even better. As I have said time and time again, these two have come a long way in the last few months and their match with American Alpha is the most anticipated match in the history of NXT's tag team division.
Apollo Crews def. Alex Riley
I was really hoping there would be some sort of follow-up for Riley's heel turn from the UCF tapings, but apparently not. I'd much rather see him face Crews at TakeOver, but that's just me. They had a nice little match in the time they allotted and I feel the crowd would be more receptive to Riley than Elias Sampson, who the crowd couldn't have cared less about when he came out singing afterward.
Samoa Joe def. Bull Dempsey
Dempsey must have known his days in NXT were numbered when he cut his backstage promo and the way he was brutally attacked by Joe wrote him out of storylines to effectively reflect his legitimate release from the company. The match itself wasn't anything of note, but it's always great to see Joe show some extra aggression and him tossing Finn Balor into Tom Phillips near the stage was an awesome sight. A great way of closing out the evening.
If you were expecting a hot night of exhilarating in-ring action, you were probably disappointed, but go-home shows for the TakeOver specials have always featured glorified squash matches, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise to long-time viewers. The promos and video packages promoting TakeOver were what were really worth watching about this episode and the special should be sensational. The card is stacked from top to bottom and I'm wishing it would be here already.