By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Asuka def. Billie Kay
Although I wasn't exposed to any of Asuka's work prior to her coming to NXT, she is quickly growing on me. Not only is she an excellent wrestler as she demonstrated here, but she's also a hell of a character. She connects with the crowd so easy, and I can't remember the last time that was the case with a woman in WWE (obviously, Sasha Banks and Bayley and others are over like crazy, but they weren't when they first started). For whatever reason, Japanese competitors rarely get above a certain level in WWE because they're often booked so badly, but I feel Asuka as well as Hideo Itami can be the exceptions to that. As for Kay, she looked competent in this match and I hope to see more of her in the ring going forward.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady def. The Mechanics
Finally! A story in the tag team division! The best part is that it's not over the titles, because not everything has to have a championship at stake. However, that just means The Vaudevillians are afterthoughts at the moment, but that's a rant for another day. The match wasn't much of note; in fact, it was a more of an angle than it was a match with the babyfaces winning in "fluky" fashion only for the heels to attack them afterward. I'm not sure if this was taped before or after Cassady was injured, but if it was taped before, this could work out very well considering Cassady might be out for a while and Amore will have to fly solo. The Mechanics have the potential to be a strong heel tandem in NXT and they should be a solid set of challengers for The Vaudevillians when the time comes.
James Storm def. Danny Burch
Well, sorry about your damn luck! We all knew about this as far back as two weeks ago, but it was still surreal seeing The Cowboy in a WWE ring for the first time ever. The reaction he received from the faithful at Full Sail University was incredible and is a sign that WWE must sign him to a full-time deal if they haven't done so already. It was a standard squash, but it was so cool seeing Storm in action and hopefully it's not the last we see of him in NXT. He's basically who he was in TNA, which is awesome.
Alexa Bliss def. Peyton Royce
Bliss has improved leaps and bounds since coming on the scene a year and a half ago. I liked her when she first debuted and I love her even more now for her exceptional heel work. She proved last week she's one of the best mic workers on the NXT roster (and not just of the women) right now and she's significantly better in the ring, too. This was a nice, little match and I look forward to the Bliss-Bayley title match that could be coming sooner rather than later if not at the TakeOver special in December.
Baron Corbin def. Rhyno
I'm well-aware this wasn't most people's favorite match of the night, and it wasn't for me either, but I certainly didn't mind it. It was a logical story to tell after Corbin eliminated Rhyno from the Battle Royal last week, and it beat the hell out of having them feud again. I have my fingers crossed this was a one-and-done type deal and they won't continue feuding after this. It was a decent match, but nothing I would want to see again. If nothing else, the video packages building up both guys that aired throughout the night were well done.
NXT usually has a long string of passable shows before the next special comes up, but everything since TakeOver: Respect has been fantastic in my opinion. This was easily the best and most well-rounded show in months (and that's saying something given the recent high quality of NXT). The main event was all right, but it was the two women's matches, the tag team angle, and especially Storm's debut that I enjoyed the most. That's not even including the superb vignette building up Apollo Crews and the two good promos from Samoa Joe and Tyler Breeze hyping next week's main event, so I have zero complains. I'm just excited for what's in store in the weeks to come.