Rich Swann def. Dave Crist to Qualify for the Impact X-Division Championship Ultimate X Match at Homecoming
As I noted in my thoughts on Jake Crist vs. The Mack last week, I couldn't care less for the Crist brothers as singles competitors, but they aren't bad in the ring whatsoever. That said, Swann was largely responsible for making this as a nice little opener and I appreciated that the interference was kept to a minimum. Swann winning was clearly the right call and I would assume the post-match angle with Mack coming to Swann's aid against oVe was done to set up a Sami Callihan vs. Mack matchup for Homecoming. That would explain why Mack failed to quality for Ultimate X last week.
Impact Knockouts Champion Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie Came Face-to-Face
The story of Valkyrie vs. Blanchard has been well told thus far with Blanchard doing everything imaginable to escape their matches with her title intact, even if that includes roughing up referees. Thus, it made sense to appoint a special guest referee to their upcoming outing at Homecoming, and that person was revealed to be Gail Kim. The verbal back-and-forth between Blanchard and Valkyrie was really good and I'm looking forward to their next match on pay-per-view.
EC3 def. Bobby Fish
Undisputed Era (and specifically Fish) put EC3 on the shelf with an injury prior to TakeOver: WarGames II, so EC3 is out for vindication. I honestly don't think I've ever seen Fish in singles action on NXT TV before, but he did well and I found this to be a nice little match. It didn't last tremendously long, mind you, but I was happy that the interference from Undisputed Era was kept to a minimum and that EC3 was able to exact a measure of revenge with the win. Heavy Machinery made the save for EC3 afterward, so it looks like they might be next in line for a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championship, which is fine by me.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch def. The Mighty
These two teams originally clashed on NXT two weeks ago. Following Lorcan and Burch's victory, The Mighty ambushed them from behind, thus setting up this rematch. It was every bit as fun as their first encounter and I'll never get tired of the hard-hitting style that Lorcan and Burch work. The Mighty looked good here as well, but per usual, they lost again. I'm a fan of theirs, but it's incredibly difficult to get behind them when all they do is lose.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy def. Gran Metalik (Non-title)
Murphy was originally schedule to face Noam Dar on this show, but we were told that Dar wasn't medically cleared to compete, causing Metalik to take his place. I believe these two had a match over the summer and worked well together then, so it was no surprise that they contested another entertaining outing here. Granted, the outcome was never in doubt with Murphy defending his WWE Cruiserweight Championship on Sunday, but they still managed to keep some people guessing with the suspenseful nearfalls down the stretch. It's a shame The Lucha House Party are totally different on this show compared to how they're booked on Raw. It's almost like night and day.
Cedric Alexander def. Tony Nese
Shortly after losing the Cruiserweight Championship back in October, Alexander suffered a rare loss to Nese on 205 Live, so this was his shot at redemption. Similar to the previous match, it was obvious that Alexander was winning, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment of it whatsoever. They have strong chemistry and once again went all out. The crowd wasn't incredibly invested in the action early on, but thankfully, they came alive for the final few minutes. I loved that Alexander and Murphy offered fans a small taste of their upcoming clash at TLC with their post-match brawl and left them wanting more.
Gallus def. Ashton Smith and Ligero
It looks like Joe Coffey will be focusing on the singles ranks while the other two members of Gallus will be more of a force in the tag team division, which is smart given tag titles are being introduced soon. Similar to Kenny Williams and Amir Jordan, Smith and Ligero are a fun tandem together and hopefully they'll be permanent partners from here on out. This was a very entertaining opener that saw the right team go over.
Joseph Conners def. Jack Starz
I'm sorry, but I just can't get behind Conners whatsoever. Eddie Dennis is infinitely better in the brooding/menacing role than Conners. Rather, he simply bores me to tears. This was a perfectly fine showing from him and he looked dominant, but thankfully, it didn't last longer than it did. I can think of a bunch of people I'd prefer to see pushed over Conners, so here's hoping he isn't featured too prominently on the program going forward.
Flash Morgan Webster def. Fabian Aichner
It was two weeks ago on the show that Aichner made his NXT UK debut and beat Webster's friend Mark Andrews. Thus, Webster wanted to try his hand at avenging Andrews' loss to Aichner this week. Aichner once again proved why he is the real deal while Webster scored plenty of offense and had a solid showing as well. Aichner showed plenty of aggression down the stretch, but before he could put Webster away the same way he did Andrews, Andrews emerged at ringside and allowed Webster to pick up the victory. I'm not a fan of Aichner losing so early into his run on the brand, but at least it keeps the feud alive.
Isla Dawn def. Charlie Morgan
As I mentioned the last time she was in action, I'm still not sold on Dawn. She seems to have the crowd behind her (though I have no clue whether she's supposed to be a babyface or a heel) and she is a perfectly competent competitor in the ring, but nothing about her so far has stood out to me as special. This outing, while fine, was no different. Afterward, she called out NXT UK Women's Champion Rhea Ripley and announced her intentions to take her title.
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