Finn Balor def. Fabian Aichner
It's encouraging that NXT is moving ahead with the Balor vs. WALTER feud despite not knowing when they'll be able to do the match. Assuming it was supposed to happen at TakeOver: Tampa and not TakeOver: Dublin, they'll likely do it as soon as WALTER is able to travel overseas again. This was a quality warm-up for Balor and Aichner is very talented in his own right. It was cool that he had the chance to showcase his skills against one of NXT's best.
Xia Li def. Aliyah
Aliyah "injured" Li last month and cost her an opportunity to advance to the TakeOver Ladder match. I'm glad that wasn't forgotten about it and she was able to give Aliyah her comeuppance here. Li is coming along nicely and has a good presence about her, whereas Aliyah hasn't drastically improved in the five years she's been with NXT. It was a fine match with the right result. On a side note, I'm not sure where Vanessa Borne has been lately and hopefully that doesn't mean she'll among those released soon.
Akira Tozawa def. Isiah "Swerve" Scott in an Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Match
I'm very happy Tozawa wasn't among the recent round of releases. He's been floundering since losing the Cruiserweight Championship three years ago and has done nothing of note on Raw yet, so they might as well use him in this tournament. He's not going to win, of course, but it's cool that they established that anything can happen by having him beat Scott here. It was a fun match while it lasted.
Tegan Nox def. Raquel Gonzalez
I'm confused as to why Nox's feud with Dakota Kai isn't over yet. Kai has beaten her twice and they seemed to blow it off with their interaction in last week's Ladder match. Despite that, their rivalry rages on. Gonzalez is a work in progress in the ring, but Nox carried her to a competent contest here. Shotzi Blackheart taking out Kai at ringside allowed Nox to score the victory as well as a measure of revenge, setting up a tag team matchup between the two teams for next week.
Dexter Lumis def. Tehuti Miles
I'm still not completely sold on Lumis yet, but I'm willing to give it more time. He's definitely different, I'll give him that. Plus, his offense is hard-hitting and I like the way he looks like a killer whenever he's attacking his opponents. There's a ton of stuff you can do with the character, but I'm shocked they haven't done any vignettes with him yet. This was exactly what it needed to be.
Finn Balor Interrupted Velveteen Dream
The podium that was set up near the stage reminded me of the podium that the NWA uses for the wrestlers' promos. Dream addressed Adam Cole, who cut another promo from his house and wasn't in the building. Is he quarantining at home because of his girlfriend (Britt Baker) traveling for AEW Dynamite and whatnot? Nonetheless, this was a solid segment with a strong back-and-forth between Dream and Balor. I really like the idea of Dream having to go through Balor (who was previously the longest-reigning NXT Champion of all-time before Cole broke the record) before he can face Cole for the NXT Championship.
NXT Tag Team Champions Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher def. Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong & Bobby Fish)
I honestly forgot that NXT signed Thatcher earlier this year. This was the perfect spot to debut him in and I thought he shined alongside Riddle. Of course, he benefited from having two excellent opponents in Strong and Fish as well. I don't believe Thatcher is technically one-half of the NXT Tag Team Champions, as he denied one of the belts when Riddle offered it to him afterward in a backstage interview on WWE's YouTube channel. That said, I'm all for this two continuing to team in the interim. These tandems beat the holy hell out of each other and it made for an exciting affair.
As advertised, Tommaso Ciampa admitted Johnny Gargano was the better man in the final minute of the show before being viciously attacked by Killer Kross (Scarlett Bordeaux could be seen standing beside him). That was an awesome closing visual. There were also excellent promos from Charlotte Flair and Keith Lee sprinkled throughout the show. Throw in the above-average in-ring action and you have yourself a thumbs-up edition of NXT. I thought everything served a purpose and I was entertained on the whole. The Cruiserweight tournament kicking off, Thatcher's debut, the closing angle, the tag titles being up for grabs and multiple matches being set up for next week helped the two hours fly by.
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