Velveteen Dream Interrupted Johnny Gargano
Gargano's conflicted character has been one of the best parts of NXT programming and this was a great promo from him following his latest loss to NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV. I was just beginning to wonder what was next for him, but before William Regal could accuse him of attacking Aleister Black (I don't think it was him, anyway), Dream interrupted and attempted to make a statement at Gargano's expense. They'll face off one-on-one next week, and if their last match earlier this year was any indication, it should be an excellent encounter.
Dakota Kai def. Aliyah
As I've said before, Aliyah has improved leaps and bounds in the ring since her arrival on the scene several years ago. She's just lacking a character fans can get invested in. For now, she's playing her role well as an enhancement talent making others look good. Kai is an awesome underdog and she had a nice showing here working from underneath. I'm glad she's maintaining momentum for now even though she likely won't be re-entering title contention any time soon.
Lars Sullivan Attacked Raul Mendoza
EC3 and Mendoza were originally scheduled to do battle, but a backstage ambush on EC3 at the hands of the returning Sullivan prevented that from coming to fruition. Instead, Sullivan emerged and laid out Mendoza in dominant fashion. We haven't seen Sullivan since he had his jaw "broken" back at TakeOver: Chicago II in June, so this was a good reintroduction for him. I assume he and EC3 are slated to feud going forward coming out of this.
Keith Lee def. Luke Menzies
I was impressed with Lee in his debut match, but knowing what he's capable of, I was aware that he could have done more. Thus, this was a much better showing from him where he was able to showcase his skills and have the crowd behind him every step of the way. I was still slightly surprised that his opponent scored a measure of offense, because Lee really should be squashing people in a matter of minutes and not going 50/50 with unknowns.
Undisputed Era def. WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and NXT North American Champion Ricochet
Adam Cole replaced Kyle O'Reilly for Undisputed Era because he wanted to get his hands on Ricochet after he lost his NXT North American Championship to him in Brooklyn. The story here was whether Dunne and Ricochet would coexist, and I was actually shocked Dunne didn't turn on Ricochet at any point. Instead, Ricochet accidentally took out Dunne toward the end, which cost them the win. Undisputed Era bounced back a bit by reigning supreme, but stood tall only briefly before War Raiders fended them off afterward. Let the road to WarGames begin.
This was the first real post-TakeOver edition of NXT TV (last week's was filmed prior to the event and hardly counts), and while I wouldn't say it was a hot show, it was certainly solid and set forth several storylines that should take us through the next few weeks if not months. The main event ended the evening on a high note, but the episode also featured Gargano and Dream building up their bout for next week, Sullivan resurfacing, and Kai and Lee picking up key victories. In addition to Gargano vs. Dream, The Forgotten Sons (a new tag team) will be in action next week and Kairi Sane will make her first televised appearance as NXT Women's Champion.
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