NXT Tag Team Champions Authors of Pain def. The Ealy Brothers (Non-title)
It's always encouraging to see fresh blood in NXT's thin tag team division, but The Ealy Brothers weren't given much of a chance to showcase their skills here before being quickly squashed by Authors of Pain. It was a fine follow-up to Authors of Pain ambushing them last week and another dominant win for the tag champs. As expected, Authors of Pain will defend their NXT Tag Team Championship against #DIY and The Revival in a Triple Threat match at TakeOver: Orlando, though I didn't know it would be an Elimination match, so that was a pleasant surprise.
Nikki Cross def. Macey Estrella
I don't know if I had seen Estrella prior to this point, and I'm pretty sure I would have remembered her if I did. Hot damn! She is a lovely looking lady, to say the least. Similar to The Ealy Brothers, it was hard to tell whether she is competent in the ring or not because she barely scored any offense, but if she can, she will be a star, trust me. Anyway, all eyes were on Cross and the rest of SAnitY here as Cross made short work of Estrella before SAnitY decimated Tye Dillinger and No Way Jose.
NXT Champion Bobby Roode def. Kassius Ohno
Yes, Ohno has put on a considerable amount of weight since we last saw him in NXT over three years ago, but the guy can still go in the ring. The first half of this match was decent, but they didn't capture my attention until the final stretch. The quiet crowd didn't do them any favors, either, but at least they put forth a solid effort and produced a good match. I didn't think they would have Ohno be beat clean in his first match back, as I assumed it would be a Triple Threat match for the title match in Orlando. This was not the smartest booking decision in my opinion, but I guess it all depends on where they go from here with Ohno.
From an in-ring standpoint, the main event was the only match worth watching from this show, which wasn't shocking because this entire edition of NXT was built around it. The first two matches were completely inconsequential and the crowd was absolutely awful, but at least there was build to the tag title match at TakeOver, a nice video package on Asuka vs. Ember Moon and another cool vignette for the debuting Aleister Black. Plus, Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Oney Lorcan and a six-man tag team match were set up for next week's episode. The TakeOver hype has been lackluster thus far in my opinion, but considering I will be there in attendance, I am excited for the event, nevertheless.
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