NXT put forth its final hour of television Wednesday night before its live special Dec. 16 titled NXT Takeover: London.
Unlike WWE, which did nothing toward building some final hype before Tables, Ladders and Chairs, NXT actually accomplished this feat by furthering the main storylines without giving away too much before the big event.
The main storyline in NXT is the rivalry between Finn Balor and Samoa Joe over the NXT championship.
NXT actually pulled a couple of plays out of WWE's playbook to put some more heat into this feud, but simply executed those plays better.
The main event of Wednesday's program was a tag-team match pitting Balor and Samoa Joe on opposite teams, as they teamed with Apollo Crews and Baron Corbin, respectively. The latter two will also face each other at NXT Takeover: London.
This is a play that WWE has run numerous times. The thing about NXT is that it doesn't use this tactic very often, making a match of this magnitude feel special.
With WWE, we get these types of matches every single week.
In the end, Samoa Joe choked out Balor for the third time, winning the match for his team. If you read my recap of Monday Night Raw, you know I have a disdain for having a champion being pinned, or in this case choked out, by his or her next challenger, but in this case, NXT gets a bit of a pass because it does fit within the narrative of the story NXT is trying to tell.
While I'd rather not see a champion get choked out by the challenger multiple times, it actually works in NXT because it's not only making Samoa Joe a credible threat for Balor, but it's also getting him over as dominant wrestler whom no one can mess with.
WWE tries this tactic a lot, but it never quite seems to work quite well, as said challenger could very well lose a meaningless match the very next week.
Speaking of getting serious, that's what Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady did when they opened the show against two men named Corey Hollis and John Skyler.
After Amore and Cassady made quick work of the relative unknowns, the usually boisterous team cut a serious promo that was one of the best they've done together.
They were so serious they didn't even do their usual pre-match shtick on the microphone. They went to the ring, handled business, and told Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, whom they will face at NXT Takeover: London for the NXT Tag Team titles, that they were going to get revenge for trying to end Cassady's career.
Asuka sent another frightening message to Emma and Dana Brooke after they tried to distract her during her match against Deonna Purazzo.
Emma and Brooke stood on the stage and attempted to distract Asuka, which worked momentarily until Asuka quickly turned around and delivered a roundhouse kick to Purazzo.
Purazzo hit the mat in a heap and was out cold, forcing the referee to stop the contest and name Asuka the winner. Emma and Brooke looked petrified and quickly squirmed backstage.
Bayley got a final tune-up for an NXT Women's title match against Nia Jax by defeating Peyton Royce. After the match, Jax and Eva Marie got on the microphone and attempted to talk, but were drowned out by the ruthless heckling by fans at Full Sail University. Even Jax fell victim to the noise.
- Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady def. Corey Hollis & John Skyler
- Asuka def. Deonna Purazzo via knockout
- The Hype Brose def. Blake & Murphy
- Bayley def. Peyton Royce
- Samoa Joe & Baron Corbin def. Finn Balor & Apollo Crews