By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Triple H Announced NXT: Takeover
More often than not, Triple H comes to NXT as a WWE official and not as the tyranical heel he is on WWE TV, so I was fine with him coming off as a babyface here. More important, I'm excited that another live NXT special will be occurring on the WWE Network at the end of May. NXT: Arrival was phenomenal and a huge success, so I look forward to seeing what the end will end up looking like for Takeover.
Tyson Kidd def. Bo Dallas
I was saddened to see Dallas debut new entrance music to go along with his "motivational" gimmick on the main roster, as I really enjoyed his old theme. It appears Kidd is an NXT mainstay after all and I couldn't be happier. He's never on WWE TV and he's always been a perfect fit in NXT. He and Dallas worked a good match that was easily overshadowed by the hilarious chants of the live crowd. Kidd going over was the right move as he inches closer to the NXT Championship and Dallas is off to Raw and SmackDown. I expected him to cut a promo after the match announcing his departure, but the "Hey hey hey, goodbye chants" from the live crowd sufficed.
Sasha Banks def. Bayley in a Quarterfinals Match in the NXT Women's Championship Tournament
NXT must really love tournaments, don't they? This is the fourth one they've held in the last two years, where the most recent one on the main roster (the Intercontinental Championship tournament) was the first tourney they've had in years. Anyway, tournaments are always awesome and I'm glad to see one being held to determine the new NXT Women's Champion. We've basically seen it all from Banks and Bayley following their countless clashes in the past, but they found a way to make this match more interesting, especially since there was something on the line here. I liked that after losing to Bayley in their previous encounters, Banks won when it mattered most. I'm disappointed to see Bayley eliminated early, but hopefully she's in title contention before long. On a side note, her new entrance is both fantastic and adorable.
Adam Rose def. Danny Burch
The match was nothing notable since we've seen Rose take on Burch before and the ending outcome was obvious, but Rose's entrance will never get old to me. This was a nice preview for what fans should expect on Raw this coming night. I'm no fan of Camacho, but having him attack a member of Rose's "entourage" was a nice touch and it gave him an extra edge. I guess Rose is sticking around on NXT for a little longer after all to feud with Camacho. As for Burch, he was released this past week, so I'm sure if he'll be making any more appearances on future episodes since this show was the first in a series of tapings.
Natayla def. Layla in a Quarterfinals Match in the NXT Women's Championship Tournament
Surprisingly enough, I enjoyed the match between Banks and Bayley more than I did this one. It was well wrestled and there wasn't anything technically wrong with it, but seeing two main roster Divas compete for an NXT title is mind boggling to me. I realize they have limited women's wrestlers in NXT right now, but why would Natalya and Layla face each other? Natayla is far too overexposed on NXT for her appearances to matter anymore, and Layla's alliance with Fandango has made her a joke. At least she's getting more television time.
Mojo Rawley def. Oliver Grey
So, did Grey go from returning a face last week to being a heel this week with no storyline explanation for it? That has to be a new record, right? It's not like it matters anyway, as Grey too was released from his contract this past week, which is a shame. His "match" with Rawley was a complete squash, which is all Rawley is capable of right now. If nothing else, he now has a sense of direction in his feud with Aiden English, another individual who feels like he's floundering at the moment.
NXT Champion Adrian Neville def. Brodus Clay in a No Disqualification Match
I like Clay and all, but what did he do to earn a shot at the NXT title? Knocking Neville's teeth out backstage? That side, this was a fun matchup that saw strong performances from both competitors. Clay, in my opinion, doesn't get the credit he deserves for being agile in the ring and bumping for the smaller guys, and we all know what Neville is capable of. I wouldn't have minded seeing this match get a few more minutes, but it was a solid main event for what it was.
To me, this was the best all-around episode of NXT in recent memory. Everything served some sort of a purpose and featured great wrestling. Feuds were furthered, a tournament kicked off, and a championship match was held, so there was a lot to take in once it was over. Triple H's announcement kicked off the night on a high note and it was all entertaining action from there. Definitely go out of your way to watch this week's show and prepare for what should be a spectacular special in NXT: Takeover.