By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger Went to a No Contest
Good for Dillinger for getting an entrance and avoiding a squash against Corbin. In all seriousness, this was simple and effective booking. This was the first time to my knowledge that Crews has shown any sort of aggression, so the new layer to his character was encouraging and all but confirmed a match between the two at the next live special. What I also liked about it was how it was refreshing to kick off the show with an angle rather than a match or a promo for a change.
NXT Women's Champion Bayley and The Hype Bros def. Alexa, Blake and Murphy
Full Sail University was, pardon the pun, hyped for Bayley and it made for a very fun matchup. The Hype Bros are a unique tandem, that much is for sure, but they gelled well with Bayley and their opponents can always be counted on for a quality contest. Taking the feud one step further with Bayley and Bliss afterward was well done, but I can't say I'm excited about Nia Jax getting involved in the title picture so soon. And keep Eva Marie as far away from the belt as possible. Please.
Nia Jax def. Deonna
Jax seems to be improving with each of her outings, which is good, but it's not her in-ring work that is throwing me off at this point; it's her lack of character development. I still have zero idea whether she's supposed to be a babyface or not. She has babyface-esque music and the fans cheer her, yet she has heel tendencies in the ring and she was seen taking to Eva Marie backstage. If they can establish her identity, it will be easier for viewers to invest in her and care about her.
Dash and Dawson def. The Vaudevillians to Win the NXT Tag Team Championship
I wish there was more of a feud leading up to this match, but I appreciated how they showed a brief clip of The Mechanics (are they going by that name anymore?) beating The Vaudevillians early on in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, explaining why this match was happening to begin with. Dash and Dawson worked over Aiden English's knee most of the match, but it was solid storytelling and put heel heat on them. I can't say I saw the title change coming, but it's for the better I feel. The Vaudevillians have hardly been on TV since they won the belts and Dash and Dawson have come a long way. That said, it shouldn't be long before Jason Jordan and Chad Gable have a run with the twin titles.
Samoa Joe Explained His Actions
As I mentioned last week, Joe's heel turn was pretty predictable, but it was executed in such excellent fashion and it made perfect sense. Joe cut a good promo about being entitled to a title match and drew nice heat for it. The attack on Balor was another wise way of furthering his momentum and their match at NXT TakeOver: London is sure to steal the show.
Once again, NXT was a pleasant viewing this week. While I'm still not sold on Nia Jax, her match was kept relatively short and sweet. Plus, there was storyline progression with various feuds including Crews and Corbin, Joe and Balor, and Bayley and Bliss, so I'm really liking how the card is already starting to take shape for TakeOver and we're still a little over a month away. The hour flies by, making NXT the best (and easiest) wrestling show to watch each week.