By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Bull Dempsey def. Mojo Rawley
One of my biggest concerns going into their Takeover match was that it'd be dragged out and be brutally boring. Thankfully, it was short and sweet, but I grew fearful again when the rematch was announced. Essentially, it was exactly the same. The only difference this time was that Rawley was more aggressive in attacking Dempsey before the bell rang, which I liked. It was another complete squash and a guarantee that WWE officials have no desire of pushing Rawley any time soon, if ever again. That was especially evident when Tyler Breeze laid a beating on him afterward.
Tyler Breeze def. Justin Gabriel
Gabriel has shifted between being a face and heel on NXT and on the main roster in recent months, so I can't blame the Full Sail University crowd for feeling indifferent toward him. It hindered the dynamic of the bout, but it was still a good match for what it was worth. There were some sweet spots and it was a nice, clean win for Breeze. The big question now is what's next for him now that he doesn't appear to be in the NXT Championship picture anymore.
Bayley def. Alexa Bliss
This match had potential on paper and it ultimately lived up to expectations for this viewer. It may not be remembered as one of the best women's matches in NXT this year, but it was a very fun clash of styles and the crowd ate it all up. Bliss is still a work in progress, but this match showed that she's only going to get better in time. It's amazing how over Bayley is right now and I have no doubt she'll be NXT Women's champion before long. I enjoyed her post-match exchange with Charlotte and it set the stage for next week's title rematch nicely. I wish they would've waited a little longer before going back to it, but perhaps they have a way of working around it.
Enzo Amore def. Marcus Louis
Similar to Amore's match with Sylvester Lefort at Takeover, this was a fine match but there was hardly anything notable about it. It wasn't a bad match by any means, but the finish was never in doubt since Louis has been cast as an enhancement talent since his debut. Why reveal Louis' bald head so soon? While the match was mediocre, I continue to love the vignettes of Amore, Colin Cassady and Carmella. They're hilarious and I think the three-person act has legs.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Lucha Dragons def. The Ascension
This wasn't as exciting as their Takeover match, it was well wrestled and featured solid action. Hey, I'm just thankful The Ascension didn't face a team of local athletes for the millionth time! I also liked how it was given the main event slot this week, making it more important. Hideo Itami serving as a distraction was logical given his current feud with The Ascension, though the finish felt rushed. Even still, Itami has been handled well since his debut at Takeover and I look forward to his matches with the members of Ascension in coming weeks.
After a great Takeover event and an entertaining follow-up episode, this show wasn't as enjoyable. That said, it still had its moments as the Bayley-Bliss match was a blast and the main event was good. I'm not a fan of the five match format since it means the matches get less time, but none of them were particularly bothersome and at least they all served a purpose. It wasn't the worst edition of NXT I've seen by far, but I'd suggest waiting it out until next week if you're looking for something noteworthy too happen.