Roderick Strong Confronted NXT Champion Drew McIntyre
McIntyre has come a long way as a talker since we last saw him in WWE years ago and thus he should be a great champion for NXT going forward. This was a straightforward promo from him and Strong also held his own on the mic when he staked his claim at the championship. Their verbal exchange was kept short and sweet and successfully planted the seeds for a future face-off between them.
Peyton Royce def. Ruby Riot
I didn't particularly like Riot's match against Billie Kay two weeks ago on NXT TV, but this was a vast improvement over that. I don't know, it might be because Royce is more of a complete package than Kay, but this was a very good match from them and they made the most of the time they were allotted. Kay's interference wasn't ideal, of course, but it was meant to further Royce's recent momentum and establish that the odds are stacked against Riot.
Heavy Machinery def. Damien Aweel and Edwin Negron
Heavy Machinery has been off programming since they lost their shot at the NXT Tag Team Championship against The Authors of Pain last month, so it was nice to see them resurface. They're a very fun tag team and their explosive offense is always a blast to watch. This bout helped get them back on track and cement them as eventual challengers to the twin titles now that they're in the possession of SAnitY.
Roderick Strong def. Bobby Roode
I feared that we wouldn't get the conclusion to this heated rivalry once Roode was called up to the main roster last week, but I appreciated that they were able to blow it off on this show in a terrific main event. Not only was the in-ring action excellent, the story they told with Strong hell-bent on redemption was stellar. The emotion both men showed was spectacular, and I can't stress enough how fantastic of a farewell this was for Roode from NXT as he prepares to transition to SmackDown Live. Strong came across like a star with this win. Afterward, McIntyre was ambushed by Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish, so I'm very curious where Strong will fit into all of this given his Ring of Honor background.
Last week's show hardly counted because it was taped the same night as TakeOver: Brooklyn III, so this was a strong follow-up show to the event with an awesome main event, an above-average women's match, a solid showing from Heavy Machinery, and an intriguing first night for McIntyre as champion. Next week's show is stacked with Andrade "Cien" Almas taking on Cezar Bononi, Lars Sullivan competing in a 3-on-1 Handicap match, Asuka appearing, and Kassius Ohno battling Hideo Itami in a No Disqualification match.
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