Stop me if this sounds familiar: following an incredible Takeover special, WWE NXT begins a run of relatively meaningless NXT episodes filmed weeks in advance.

The next three weeks of NXT episodes were filmed at WrestleMania Axcess. Let’s hope the wrestling is good, because the story advancement isn’t likely to be of note for a while.

Austin Aries def. Angelo Dawkins

It’s tough to project Austin Aries’ trajectory in WWE and NXT so far. Aries snuck past Baron Corbin at Takeover and held a pretty commanding victory against Angelo Dawkins in this match, though that’s not exactly a career-maker. Still, even with a one-sided victory, Aries made Dawkins look more relevant than Dawkins has…ever. And maybe that’s Aries’ roll in NXT. He wins his matches, maintains a certain position, but legitimizes the up and comers on the roster.

Aries won the match with a great looking roaring elbow.

Alexa Bliss def. Tessa Blanchard

Unfortunately for Tessa Blachard, this wasn’t the most newsworthy aspect of her WrestleMania weekend.

Blanchard oversold throughout the match, and completely whiffed on a forearm, but showed some fire going against an opponent who’s far closer to being ready for prime time than Blanchard is. Alexa Bliss won the short match with a moonsault knee drop.

Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano def. The Vaudevillains

The Vaudevillains are going to do some jobs on their way out of NXT and onto the main roster. Well, their way onto SmackDown, at least.

This was a straightforward victory for Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, which is fine. The two are so crisp in everything they’ve done in NXT that “going through the motions” in a TV tag match for them is remarkable compared to watching Angelo Dawkins and Tessa Blanchard. Hopefully the heavy involvement of Ciampa and Gargano in these Axcess tapings is a sign of their yet-to-be-confirmed NXT contracts.

Ciampa locked the bridging Fujiwara armbar onto Simon Gotch for the win.

Tye Dillinger cut a promo with Alex Reyes backstage after the match. He says he’s going to defeat Shinsuke Nakamura and send him back to Japan a loser. He also rates Edwards a 3 out of 10 and sticks a laminated 8×10 in Reyes’ suit jacket. Our guy Dillinger is going to run through a lot of laminated pieces of paper if that’s the new interview gimmick.

Baron Corbin def. Tucker Knight

This was just a step above Baron Corbin’s count-to-20 squashes. Tucker Knight could be something, and has some surprising straight line speed, but tonight was under three minutes. Corbin wins with the End of Days in what would be considered record time for most wrestlers.

American Alpha are back in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center reminiscing about their Takeover victory when Enzo Amore and Big Cass emerge to congratulate the newly-crowned champions. The result of their back and forth is that we’ll be getting a match between the two teams next week.

Bayley def. Liv Morgan

Well, Liv Morgan went from Carmella knock off to an even more insufferable Jersey Girl (sorry, Joe Lanza).

Bayley, wearing an uncomfortable amount of makeup during this match, gave Morgan a nice amount offense. Still, Bayley won in short order with the Bayley-to-Belly and cut a short promo after the match about refocusing herself on regaining the NXT Women’s Championship.

Shinsuke Nakamura def. Tye Dillinger

The novelty still hasn’t worn off. Shinsuke Nakamura on NXT, WWE, the WWE Network or any other WWE programming is still such an odd sight. Still, he’s getting the #BigDeal treatment and he closes the show celebrating after hitting the Kinshasa.

The match itself was a lot of fun and showed more about who Nakamura is in 13 minutes than any promo would’ve. Really, the actual match was just Nakamura hitting his spots and taking a couple of shots, namely a superkick, from Dillinger. Yet Nakamura is so dynamic and believable that you can’t take your eyes off of him, no matter what he’s doing.

Needless to say, this was as good a glorified TV squash match as you’re going to get and a fun way to close out a pretty “meh” first real episode of NXT following Takeover. Maybe one of these weeks they’ll tell us when the next Takeover is.