By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa def. TM61
For those who missed it, TM61 are among the latest signees to NXT and were a pretty established tag team on the Australian independent scene. Even if you weren't aware of them before, you should have taken notice of them after their impressive outing against Gargano and Ciamapa here. I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn't a standard squash match and was actually given a decent amount of time. They definitely made the most of the time they were allotted and contested a very fun tag match. I look forward to seeing more of TM61 in the future. Also, right now is easily the best tag team division in NXT has ever been.
NXT General Manager William Regal Made Austin Aries vs. Shinsuke Nakamura Official For NXT TakeOver: The End
Aries has always been an excellent talker, and while he's had a number of backstage interviews since arriving in NXT, I believe this marked his first ever in-ring promo. He cut a great promo about his NXT Championship aspirations, and Nakamura did the same. His English still needs work, of course, but at least he's easy to understand. I figured a TakeOver match between them was likely and that should be one epic encounter. On a side note, I was waiting for it to be made a No. 1 Contender's match given all the talk about the title.
No Way Jose def. Jonathan Ortagun
I feel like you're either going to despise No Way Jose or love him to death, and I'm definitely in the latter category. Granted, his gimmick may never get above a certain level on the main roster or even in NXT, but it's been a blast so far. His in-ring ability is nothing special, so I don't know how he'll thrive against opponents in serious situations, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, just shut up and dance! That entrance theme is too damn catchy! If his energy wasn't infectious to you, consider yourself not human.
Nia Jax def. Carmella and Alexa Bliss in a No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match For the NXT Women's Championship
You had to know going in that Jax was winning here based off her shocking victory versus Bayley last week, but I liked how Carmella and Bliss were at least considered for contendership given their recent respective winning streaks. They put together a pretty nice Triple Threat match with all women having their moment to shine. Jax went over in dominant as she should have and the post-match staredown with Asuka was a cool visual. I figured Asuka vs. Bayley II was a lock for TakeOver, but apparently not. Are they saving that for later down the line, or is Bayley main roster bound sooner rather than later?
NXT waited a little longer than usual to confirm the card for the next TakeOver special, but I can't complain because it has shaped up very nicely. Four matches are set for the special as of now. Could we see another added next week on the go-home show? As for this edition of NXT, it was another enjoyable episode that did an effective job of building toward TakeOver and had a healthy amount of entertaining in-ring action as well.