By Graham "GSM" Matthews
NXT Women's Champion Asuka def. Nicole Matthews (Non-title)
We've been seeing the same Asuka squash matches for the past year, so this really wasn't anything new. That said, I will never get tired of seeing Asuka absolutely decimate her opponents. Hell, there was one point of the match where Matthews simply fell down before Asuka could deliver one of her final kicks toward the end. Asuka said in an interview later in the show that there wasn't anyone left to face her, and it's hard to argue with that. Ember Moon is an obvious choice, but I'd hold off on that encounter until WrestleMania weekend. Who should she face in the meantime at TakeOver: San Antonio?
Eric Young def. No Way Jose
Of course, Young calls Canada home, so it was cool for him to make his singles debut in NXT (his match against Samoa Joe back in April notwithstanding) in his native country. While the match wasn't anything out of the ordinary, it was solid while it lasted and Jose was protected in defeat with interference from SAnitY costing him the win. Expect this to lead to SAnitY taking on Jose and Rich Swann sooner rather than later.
NXT Champion Samoa Joe def. Tye Dillinger (Non-title)
I would say Joe has been on a massive roll as of late, but truth be told, he's been killing it pretty much since arriving in NXT last year. He's exceptional in the monster heel role, and Dillinger was a fantastic babyface foil for him, especially in Canada. The crowd was very receptive toward Dillinger, and he had an excellent outing against the champion here. If this match took place a year ago, this would have been over within a matter of minutes, but he was made to look fairly credible in defeat. His teases about not knowing what was next for him were interesting. I doubt he debuts on the main roster any time soon considering he's been positioned as an enhancement talent for so long, but I suppose it's a possibility.
Although this show emanated from Canada, which is usually a very lively crowd, it was also taped prior to SmackDown Live the week following Survivor Series, so some of these fans may not have been familiar with the product. Neverthless, they weren't completely quiet, so it wasn't a problem anyway. None of the three matches were of any real consequence, but it allowed Joe to build momentum ahead of his NXT Championship defense against Shinsuke Nakamura in Japan this weekend, which I'm sure we'll be shown highlights of on next week's episode.