Tonight was WWE NXT’s go-home show for Takeover: London. Expect a segment-heavy show and not much in the way of snowflakes doled out this week.

Enzo and Cass vs. Corey Hollis and John Skylar

Enzo, in wild-even-for-Enzo ring gear, and Big Cass, looking exceptionally orange, open the show considerably more serious than they have taken their matches in the past. I don’t know what Enzo is wearing, but it doesn’t look like wrestling gear.

Enzo’s gear is so weird, I thought this was going to be a Big Cass singles match when they were coming to the ring.

Wrestling gear or not, he’s unlikely to be needed much against the likes of Corey Hollis and John Skylar.

When Enzo gets the tag, however, he did, like, wrestling moves. I don’t remember seeing much of an Enzo offensive. Enzo puts in a little offense and tags Cass back in to set up the Air Enzo for the win in under 5 minutes.

Enzo cuts a *serious promo* after the match. It’s a little late to be completing the transition, but they’ve done an OK job of presenting Enzo and Big Cass as contenders over the past month. This NXT tag division, however, has been incredible since the Dusty Rhodes Classic. Enzo and Big Cass haven’t kept up with the pace as far as in-ring action goes.

Dana Brooke and Emma have a conversation with Tom Phillips backstage. Dana Brooke, for all she’s done to improve in the ring, is insufferable on the microphone still. The #Tomspiracy folks will love this one though as Brooke makes Phillips crouch to her level so she can pat his head.

Asuka vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Asuka is well established as the bee’s knees, and Deonna Purrazzo is best remembered (in NXT, at least) as the woman with the knock-off Ferrari gimmick. Not looking good, Deonna!

Predictably, Asuka controlled Purrazzo absolutely.

Just a couple of minutes into the match, however, Dana Brooke and Emma come to the top of the ramp to distract Asuka. Purrazzo, attempting to capitalize on the distraction, turned Asuka around and received a boot to the head for her troubles. The referee stops the match following Asuka’s kick – Brooke and Emma slink backstage with fear in their eyes.

Following a Hype Bros promo, Alexa Bliss cuts a promo thrashes the efforts of Blake and Murphy and their mounting losses lately. They were all in Freddy Krueger costumes of varying degrees of subtelty, which was kind of weird.

Before we get to the next match, Elias Sampson drifts us all to sleep with another short ditty. I have no idea what they’re going to do with Sampson here, but after three weeks wouldn’t someone on the commentary team notice these mini music videos?

The Hype Bros vs. Blake and Murphy

The Freddy Krueger business looks better on the way to the ring than it does during promos, but on a more positive note, Blake and Murphy are wearing red and green striped gear. They’re decidedly festive and provided for the highlight of this match.

I don’t know what Mojo Rawley does at the Performance Center, but he’s improved so, so little over the past two years. No growth and almost no noticeable development. He’s the epitome of a one trick pony so far.

The territorial influence on NXT programming is so clear now that WWE has put hundreds of hours of 1980s WCW, WCCW, Stampede (briefly), and Mid-South episodes on the WWE Network. Those hour-long programs all had a series of matches that were better described as segments capped off with (maybe) one match that was of note.

Blake and Murphy continue their spiral when the Hype Bros win with what Rich Brennan called the Knight Ryder – basically a lift-assisted Rough Ryder from the second rope.

Samoa Joe, who has been cutting great promos in NXT, drops another gem with Baron Corbin leading into their tag team match against Apollo Crews and Finn Balor tonight. Corbin, for his part, is playing the role Roman Reigns needs to fit into. And Corbin has excelled in it. Perhaps Reigns would do the same.

Bayley vs. Peyton Royce

Don’t tell Jim Ross, but the NXT Women’s Champion came out to the ring first tonight. Peyton Royce introduced this really awkward gait into her entrance and brought it into the match itself. Corey Graves called it a “slither,” but it looks like her hips don’t work properly when she walks.

Walking or not, Royce put in some good offense against Bayley, including a corner foot-choke that lifted Bayley up to the first rope. It was a great use of Royce’s gimmick which, to this point, has been “legs.”

Once Bayley took control, however, the end came quickly following a Bayley-to-Belly.

The story so far is that Bayley is going into the match already beat up, but after the match Nia Jax and Eva Marie come out to talk trash to the champ.

Eva Marie has incredible heat and, somewhat surprisingly, it’s rubbing off onto Jax. There weren’t even reactions to what either Jax or Eva Marie were saying, just a constant chorus of boos.

Finn Balor, warming up backstage, is asked about his lack of availability all week by his partner tonight, Apollo Crews. Balor says that Crews should only concern himself with his own role in tonight’s match. This slow-burn heel turn is great for Balor. He’s becoming more distant and aloof. Someday he’s going to turn into a brooding, aggrieved bully, and it will be great. In the mean time, it adds a much-needed edge to his character.

Apollo Crews and Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin and Samoa Joe

This is the type of lazy matchup that we chastise WWE for putting on RAW. The difference? NXT doesn’t do this every week, AND the characters all have shared history and at least some level of grudge against each other. Cohesive storytelling and narrative continuity. What a novel goddamn concept.

Our first mid-match commercial of the night, the kinda-weird Jack the Ripper spot, comes less than 3 minutes into the match. Pointing it out is really just an opportunity to talk about how odd and uncalled for using Jack the Ripper as a promotional tool is for a pro wrestling show. Offensive? No. A little concerning given WWE’s treatment of female characters? Sure.

The match itself isn’t going to knock your socks off, but it’s the pinnacle of what a segment-as-a-match can be. These are three of the best talents in NXT and it shows compared to the rest of the matches on tonight’s episode, all of which played a role in their respective stories similar to the main event. And that isn’t even a knock on Corbin, the fact that he’s in this match and isn’t limited or out of place shows the gigantic lengths he’s come in 2015. Corbin has had a great year and should be on the shortlist for most improved in WWE this year.

Speaking of Corbin, he pushes Balor off the top rope as the champ was going for the Coup de Grace and Joe choked him out with the Coquina Clutch as Crews and Corbin brawl into the crowd.

Final Thoughts

NXT played it safe, as expected leading into the Takeover: London special next week. Oddly enough, if you had to skip an episode of NXT, the one before Takeover is normally your best bet. Tonight was no exception.