In a cool little treat to start NXT, independent standout Mia Yim faced NXT Women's Champion Charlotte. I enjoyed Mia in SHIMMER but hated that this only got 50 seconds! They could have had a decent little match. While the match was short, the post match stuff made it worth it. Sasha Banks came out and claimed that she has more flair in her pinky than Charlotte and her dad do in their whole bodies. Bayley comes out on a crutch and tells Sasha to "SHUT HER STUPID RATCHET FACE!" Shots fired. Sasha attacks and Charlotte brings her to the ring. A distraction from the other half of Team BAE, Becky Lynch, allowed Sasha to hit the lungblower and raise the title in the air. This has a lot of backstory and I cannot wait for their match next week.
Tag team action followed as the Vaudevillains took on Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy. While they don't have much story or direction to work with yet, Blake and Murphy are quickly becoming one of my favorite teams to watch. They can straight up go in the ring and showed it again here. It wasn't enough to top the number one contenders though, who beat them in just over four minutes. The best thing would be that right before the match, we got our second Vaudevillains Pictures production, which is something that I loved.
Bull Dempsey would take on Elias Sampson next in a match that lasts twenty seconds. Bull wanted to end this as fast as possible after he came up short in beating Baron Corbin's time two weeks ago. As he was leaving, Corbin came out and won his match in just 12 seconds! While I don't like this many squash matches, I do like that it is a contest between them basically and they seem to be on a collision course. When they do meet eventually, I think that Baron has to go over. He has a much higher upside than Bull.
Our main event followed as Tyson Kidd, with Natalya, teamed with Tyler Breeze to take on Finn Balor and Hideo Itami. I love that Kidd is working with Balor and Itami because it gives them a veteran guy who can go and assist them in working the WWE style. This was the match of the night as Balor is now three for three in damn good performances. After some hard hitting action, he struck Breeze with a sick double stomp and picked up the win. I wish that Breeze had something to do at TakeOver: R Evolution though. He's too good to sit out. After the match, Balor promises to bring something to TakeOver that The Ascension has never seen. I hope to god it's his facepaint.
The final segment of the night was a "face to face" between Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn. Neville came out first and said that he is not conflicted about the match. He is not proud of how he won against Sami last time but he is the kind of guy to do whatever it takes to win, which Sami isn't. Sami will never be NXT Champion because he's too nice. This brings out Sami but before he speaks, Adrian says that he has come to terms with it and will not be responsible for ending Sami. Sami says that he's pissed at Adrian for assuming it will be over. He claims that he's not Adrian's little sister and he's done well for himself. Adrian wants a handshake but Sami declines because he's not too nice and he slaps Adrian. He shouts that Adrian doesn't get to end him and that he will end Adrian's run. Emotional end and fantastic final piece heading into the big show.
While there were three squashes, two of them made sense and the two tag team matches were both enjoyable. The key to this is that as a go home show before a big event, it did it's job perfectly. Sasha/Charlotte, Balor & Itami/Ascension, Vaudevillains/Lucha Dragons and especially Zayn/Neville all got the build they needed. I forgot to mention there was also a phenomenal Kevin Owens vignette and news that Corey Graves has a big announcement to make on the TakeOver Pre-Show. Everything has been built well and Zayn/Neville is my favorite program of the year this side of Ambrose/Rollins. 7.5/10.