By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Alexa Bliss Interrupted NXT Women's Champion Bayley
Bayley's promo was a logical follow-up to the classic she and Banks contested last week at TakeOver: Respect and Bliss coming out was an effective way of establishing her as Bayley's next rival. I don't know if she's ready in-ring wise, but if there's any one who can carry her to a great women's match, it's Bayley. I like the use of Blake and Murphy as Bliss' "heavies," but it leaves me wondering whether that's all they'll be good for going forward. By the way, can we all take a second to appreciate how naturally gorgeous Bliss is? Bayley is adorable and all, but good lord, Bliss is something else!
NXT Tag Team Champions The Vaudevillians def. Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton (Non-title)
Dawkins and Fulton are NXT's resident job guys, so I was surprised to see them get an entrance. This is NXT after all and not Raw, so they can do whatever they want. They scored some offense against the champs, but this was mostly a showcase for The Vaudevillians. They're good workers and have deserved this run as champions, but I get the feeling they're only keeping those straps warm for Jason Jordan and Chad Gable.
Nia Jax def. Evie
Well, Jax has been "coming" for a while now and she finally came on this show (feel free to insert your own sex joke here). She has a unique look, that much is for sure, but I couldn't get a reading on her in-ring ability because this wasn't anything more than a glorified squash match. Evie bumped around for her well, which was good, but Jax didn't show me enough in the ring to determine whether she was ready for the call-up. Of course, the commentators wasted no time in mentioning she's related to The Rock and they'll probably ride on that for a while, but that will only get her so far. Again, though, I'll reserve judgement until we see more of her, but this wasn't a bad debut by any means because the crowd was solidly behind her.
Apollo Crews Won a No. 1 Contender's Battle Royal for the NXT Championship
As I always say, battle royals in wrestling are usually hit or miss, but this one definitely fell in the former category for me. There was obviously some predictability surrounding a Joe win (which ultimately didn't come to fruition) and that made things more exciting once he was eliminated, but even before that, everyone played their role well and it was a ton of fun. Other than the enhancement talent (Steve Cutler, etc), Full Sail gave every participant a warm reception, whether it was good or bad. Breeze deserves so much more in NXT, and while a feud with Joe is fresh and could be promising, I fear he'll be on the losing end of that program, too. As for Crews winning, I love it. It can be argued he's being pushed too soon, but I feel as if he's already at a "star" level and title contention will only help boost his stock. We'll see where things go in the weeks to come with him, Balor and a potentially jealous Joe.
The editions of NXT after the TakeOver specials tend to be a letdown, but this was a strong show on the whole. It's possible they do rematches from Respect, but it's smart to move forward with new storylines. We had a new feud develop in the women's division, another new feud teased in the tag team division, the debut of Nia Jax, and the crowning of a new No. 1 contender to the NXT Championship, so it was quite the entertaining hour. I'm glad to see the build to the December special already kicking off, which should be a sign that it will a blockbuster card.