By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Ascension Won a Tag Team Turmoil Match to Become the No. 1 Contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championships
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady are crazy over as a tag team, so it was nice to see them get as far as they did before being ultimately eliminated. The makeshift pairing of CJ Parker and Tyler Breeze was short lived, but it helped further the feud between the two. The match pitting Amore and Cassady against Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev was good and a vast improvement over their last encounter. Amore scoring the roll-up win helped protect Dawson and Rusev and the post-match attack on Amore gave them an out for losing against The Ascension. The Ascension's act may have fizzled out a bit over the last year, but they are still one of my favorite teams in NXT right now and deserve to be tag team champs.
Sasha Banks def. Bayley
This was your typical Divas match by NXT standards, as there wasn't anything necessarily wrong with it but it could have been longer. Bayler is a solid in-ring worker and her gimmick of being clumsy and ditsy appears to be getting over with the Full Sail University crowd. This helped established the alliance of Banks and Summer Rae while also building towards the inevitable tag team match of Rae and Ranks against Emma and Paige.
Aiden English def. Bull Dempsey
Similar to last week, Full Sail University absolutely adored English, and understandably so. He has a great gimmick (albeit showing shades of Damien Sandow) and go in the ring. We haven't seen much of his in-ring skills since adopting this new persona, but I must admit that I love his new finisher, as it looks extremely aggressive. Hopefully it won't be long before English is engaged in a one-on-one program with someone on the roster.
Sami Zayn def. El Local
I have been watching NXT on a regular basis only since this past June, so I had yet to see El Local in action. Of course, for those unfamiliar, Local is Ricardo Rodriguez under a mask. His in-ring skills were better than I initially expected and he seemed to work well with Zayn. However, the match was cut way too short and was never really able to reach the next gear before it came to an abrupt end. That being said, the bout paled in comparison to some of Zayn's past matches with Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger and Curt Hawkins in recent weeks. Bo Dallas' post-match promo was fine for what it was, but it is good to see him finally garnering actual heat as opposed to go away heat. His open invitational next week should be interesting, and I assume Zayn's exclusion means officials want to continue to build towards their eventual meeting in singles competition.
Triple H Appointed a New NXT General Manager
I completely forget Dusty Rhodes was even the general manager of this show, merely because he is rarely ever shown. However, the move for HHH to give him some "time off" made sense in storyline given the current issues between the Rhodes family and the McMahons on the main roster. JBL being appointed as the new general manager was a pleasant surprise and should be a lot of fun. He is a heel commentator anyway on the main roster, so don't take this as a sudden heel turn.
I figured it was going to be difficult to top last week's gem of a show, so I didn't get my hopes up too high for this edition. Most of the matches were decent, but none of them were given enough time to feel truly memorable. Regardless, new contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championships were crowned and a new general manager was appointed, so it wasn't a completely forgettable show. The hype for Fandango and the Bo Dallas invitational should give viewers enough incentive to tune in next week as well.