By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Samoa Joe Attacked NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but there is little doubt that Joe is the absolute best mic worker in all of NXT right now, and he might be among the best in the entire company. Based off what he said, it sounds like his impending rematch with Nakamura could be happening before TakeOver: Toronto, which I'd be all in favor of. He needs to be on the main roster as soon as possible, anyway. This was a strong segment and an awesome attack from Joe that made him look as vicious as ever. We had never seen Nakamura look so vulnerable up to this point.
Liv Morgan def. Rachel Fazio
Fazio is Paul Ellering's daughter, but I suppose they don't want her to use that last name as long as her dad is on NXT TV managing The Authors of Pain. Morgan continues to improve and I liked how she adopted a new submission finisher. What I liked even more was how she was able to talk for a few minutes afterward and announce her intentions for wanting the NXT Women's Championship. It wasn't the greatest promo, but at least she was given the chance, and she is the only person not named Ember Moon that could be considered a threat to Asuka right now.
Hideo Itami def. Drew Gulak
Itami definitely seems to have adopted more personality since he's been back, and it feels like he has more momentum now than he did prior to when he was sidelined with the shoulder injury. This was a very well-wrestled match and Gulak was able to shine here as well. I'm not sure if he was one of the people who ended up with a contract from the Cruiserweight Classic, but I'd hope so. I look forward to seeing Itami and Austin Aries interact more on TV in the future.
The Authors of Pain def. Chris Payne and Doug Sessa
How has it been three months since their debut in NXT and we still have yet to hear anything from Paul Ellering? That's rather disappointing. Their squash matches are always effective in showcasing their dominance, but I'm ready for what's next for them. They have the potential to be more than a second coming of The Ascension, but they can't be booked the same way by having nothing but meaningless matches all the time.
Bobby Roode def. No Way Jose
This was along the same lines as Roode's TakeOver: Brooklyn match with Andrade "Cien" Almas in that it was good for what it was but ultimately nothing too special. Jose continues to be an enjoyable act, but Roode is the true star and Full Sail University took to him in a major way during his epic entrance as expected. He should be built up as a contender to the NXT Championship in the months ahead and challenge for the title in his native Canada at TakeOver.
Coming off of last week's extremely entertaining edition of NXT, this was an equally solid show with a healthy mix of enhancement matches and actual competitive contests. The segment with Joe and Nakamura was the highlight of the night, but everything else served a purpose, so I have no complaints. I already have a decent idea of what to expect at TakeOver in two months, so it's great they're starting to plant the seeds for several matches so early.