By Graham "GSM" Matthews
NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension def. Buddy Murphy Elias Sampson
Are Ascension squash matches really worth analyzing at this point? Thankfully, it was kept short and sweet and didn't overstay its welcome. It was merely used to set up the promo from The Ascension as to how they have decimated the "tag team division" since the start of the reign and it set up the subsequent challenge from Kalisto and El Local nicely. I surely hope Kalisto and Local take the titles from The Ascension at Takeover, allowing the dark duo to be brought up to the main roster finally.
Charlotte def. Alexa Bliss in a Semifinals Match in the NXT Women's Championship Tournament
Charlotte is still relatively green in the ring and Bliss debuted only a week ago, so I didn't this match to be good at all. Much to my surprise, it was passable at best and at least both ladies tried hard. Charlotte has been the obvious pick to win the tournament since the beginning, so it was predictable that she would emerge victorious here. Nevertheless, Bliss looked good in defeat and I look forward to seeing more from her in coming weeks.
Mojo Rawley def. Aiden English
The match was decent enough and it was probably the longest of Rawley's career up to this point, but viewers didn't have any reason to care. They haven't feuded long enough for this match to mean anything. English's act is entertaining yet directionless at the moment while Rawley is very limited in what he can do. Both guys are stuck in limbo right now and this match didn't do much to further my interest in the feud.
Colin Cassady def. Angelo Dawkins
Wasn't Dawkins a face a few weeks ago against Tyler Breeze? I guess it doesn't matter when you're an enhancement talent. It was a standard squash for Cassady and a showcase for what he can do in the ring. He's over with the audience, but he's another guy who has nothing of note to do right now, and a feud with CJ Parker won't accomplish anything. He is in desperate need of Enzo Amore to return from his injury so they can rejoin the tag team ranks.
Tyson Kidd def. Tyler Breeze and Sami Zayn in a Triple Threat No. 1 Contender's Match for the NXT Championship
All three competitors are great workers and they worked together to have the great match I thought they would. It took some for them to find their footing, but once the pace picked up, the action was entertaining and the near-falls were suspenseful. Each of them could have been viable contenders to the NXT title, making the match that much more unpredictable. Kidd is an established guy and his match against Adrian Neville at Takeover should be awesome. Breeze is not quite championship material yet and I bet Zayn will be champion before long.
While I enjoyed last week's show more as a whole, this was still a good episode that a did a great deal of building toward Takeover in two weeks. One of the two women in the finals of the NXT Women's Championship tournament was established, a tag team title match was made official and a new No. 1 contender was crowned to the NXT Championship. The only match going out of your way to see was of course the main event, but the entire episode was solid enough to sit through for an hour as well.