Angel Garza def. Gentleman Jack Gallagher
Garza actually beat Gallagher on NXT a few weeks ago. This was significantly longer, yet was also significantly more boring. You can definitely tell the difference between matches held in front of WWE crowds and matches held at Full Sail University. It's like night and day. That isn't to say there was anything technically wrong with this, but it was just sort of there. It was perfectly fine for what it was and it allowed Garza to bounce back from Wednesday's loss, but the crowd couldn't have cared less. The post-match angle with Gallagher getting frustrated at Aiden English on commentary was interesting, though. Is he already on the verge of going heel again?
The Singh Brothers def. Tim Gange in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Samir Singh is the official 24/7 Champion right now (I had to look that up because I honestly had no idea), but I guess they can defend the title in 2-on-1 Handicap matches because... reasons. I thought what they did with R-Truth on Raw was bad, this was even worse! This barely lasted two minutes and was still met with "This is awful" chants from the crowd, and rightfully so because it was indeed awful. Samir will be the longest-reigning 24/7 Champion to date as of Saturday, for whatever the hell that's worth. The title has finally jumped the shark in my opinion.
Mustafa Ali and Shorty G def. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
The segment that preceded this with King Corbin mocking Roman Reigns with someone wearing a dog costume was painful to watch. It was as atrocious as the promo he cut on Reigns on last week's SmackDown, and that's saying something. The tag team match itself was actually well wrestled and enjoyable, except that the shenanigans at ringside with Reigns, Corbin and the stupid mascot were horrible and distracting. If this supposed to be building to the rumored Dog Collar matchup between them at TLC next month, then no thanks.
Braun Strowman Attacked Drew Gulak and The B-Team
Gulak is apparently obsessed with getting beat up by Strowman every week, which is a shame considering the great work he was doing on 205 Live just a few months ago. WWE shouldn't have drafted him to SmackDown if they had zero plans for him. The only thing that would have made this worse would have been if the 3-on-1 Handicap match actually happened. I realize this was designed to re-establish Strowman as a dominant force, but it did Gulak no favors.
NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray def. Xia Brookside (Non-Title)
Ray is fresh off her Full Sail University debut on this week's NXT (even though this was taped weeks ago). She hasn't had a ton of matches so far as champion, but this served as a nice reminder as to how great she truly is. Meanwhile, Brookside can be one of the biggest babyfaces in WWE if she continues to grow as a performer at the rate she's going. She had a strong showing in defeat here and held her own against Ray. This was a very good opening match that left me wondering who will ultimately be the one to dethrone Ray as champ.
Travis Banks def. Ligero
The first match these two had on NXT UK a few weeks ago was excellent, so it should have come as no surprise that this was equally entertaining. Both of these guys are incredible athletes and seem to bring the best out of each other in the ring. Sadly, the finishes to their matches have been lame with this continuing that trend. Joseph Conners interfering was such a letdown, and he attacked Banks afterward as well. He said he's going to make life hell for everyone on the roster because of how he didn't become the first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion. Am I supposed to care?
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush def. Angel Garza
You had to know these guys were going to rip it up (especially in the opener) and they did not disappoint. I don't think it's a stretch to say that this was one of the best Cruiserweight title matches I've seen at least in the last year. They kicked out of each other's finisher (which isn't always necessary but it worked here), went all out, and had the crowd hanging on their every move. I'd argue Garza didn't do enough to turn the fans in attendance against him, but that might have been by design based off how Rush apparently took Garza's foot off the bottom rope at the last second (though I may have been seeing things). I'd be fully in favor of a match at TakeOver: WarGames III to help fill out the card.
Xia Li def. Aliyah
Aliyah has never done anything for me and I honestly don't see her making it much farther than this, but at least she held her own here. That said, Li was clearly the star, as they appear to have big plans for her in NXT's women's division. They tried with the two minutes they had, but it wasn't too good. It felt like it ended a bit abruptly, possibly because Aliyah was legitimately injured.
Jon Moxley def. Michael Nakazawa
Nakazawa was shown in the locker room with Omega when Omega got checked up on by the doctor before the show, so Moxley facing Nakazawa was a nice touch. He's a comedy character, so I had no problem with Moxley putting him away in a matter of minutes. In fact, his post-match promo lasted longer than the match itself. He was unhinged as always and put the entire roster on notice. This was a great way of kicking the night off and planting the seeds for Moxley's next opponent.
The Dark Order def. Jurassic Express
I've said this many times before, but as talented as Dark Order are in the ring, their gimmick does nothing for me. Thankfully, they had quality chemistry with Jurassic Express as this was a fun match. Jurassic Express desperately need wins, but it would have made no sense for them to beat the once-undefeated Dark Order. We finally got to hear from Evil Uno afterward with Dark Order offering Marko Stunt a spot in their group. Before Stunt could accept/decline, Jungle Boy stepped in and got beat up for his troubles. That was when Luchasaurus returned to a huge ovation. Stunt filled in for him just fine for the month he was gone, but it's awesome to have Luchasaurus back. Him and Jungle Boy are one of my favorite tandems in all of wrestling.
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