Killian Dain def. Pete Dunne
A rumored rib injury kept Damian Priest out of action on this show and thus Dain faced Dunne instead, playing off the issues they've had over the past two months. I'm surprised they never went one-on-one prior to this point, but it ended up being a very well wrestled and enjoyable opening match. Dain scores a big victory over a notable name (who had an out for losing due to his knee injury) and I hope he can capitalize off it going forward. I liked how it was similar to the finish from their Triple Threat at TakeOver: WarGames III where Dunne pained Dain.
Keith Lee and Tommaso Ciampa Confronted Undisputed Era
Undisputed Era addressed their bad luck from last week, including Bobby Fish getting injured. He wasn't on this show, so I'm not sure what this status is. Adam Cole demanded answers from Finn Balor for what he did last week but got Lee instead, who is fresh off his breakout Survivor Series weekend. He teased targeting one of their titles, and before Undisputed Era could lay him out, Ciampa made the save. This was a solid setup for the night's main event.
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler def. Xia Li (Non-Title)
Li has been built up nicely since NXT debuted on USA Network, so while I didn't at all expect her to win here (and she shouldn't have), I was glad she scored as much offense as she did. This was a decent little match with Li pushing Baszler to her limit and telling a good story as Baszler went after her arm. Li can always recover from this, so I don't think the loss harms her much.
The Forgotten Sons def. Adrian Alanis and Leon Ruff
Oh, NXT is still trying to make Forgotten Sons a thing? Bummer. In all seriousness, I struggle to think of the positives of them getting as much television time as they do. It's basically an invitation for viewers to change the channel to AEW Dynamite. This was a fine showcase for them, but I honestly couldn't bring myself to care. If nothing else, it was cool to see some EVOLVE guys get exposure and that chokeslam from Jaxson Ryker on the apron afterward was nasty-looking.
Mia Yim and Dakota Kai Brawled
Kai vs. Rhea Ripley was advertised for this episode, but before Ripley could make her way to the ring, she told Kai that it was all a ploy so Yim could get her hands on her. This came after Kai officially revealed in a backstage segment that she was the one who attacked Yim at WarGames III (as if it wasn't already obvious enough), so this was a well executed angle. They will do battle next week. We also found out here that Baszler will defend her NXT Women's Championship against Ripley on the December 18th episode.
Matt Riddle def. Kassius Ohno
We haven't seen Ohno on NXT TV in many months, specially since he lost to Kushida in the spring. I wish he would have gotten a bigger reaction from the Full Sail crowd for his return, but I guess they're used to seeing him at local house shows. At any rate, he and Riddle of course have history from late 2018/earlier this year and their chemistry has always been strong. This was another quality contest from them and it allowed Riddle to bounce back after falling short against Balor at TakeOver.
Kushida def. Cameron Grimes
I loved the video package that played earlier in the evening promoting Kushida's return to the ring after two months. It's great to have him back. He was supposed to take on Raul Mendoza (which would have been a banger), but Grimes ambushed Mendoza before the bell and faced Kushida instead. They weren't given a ton of time at all, but it was fun for what it was and Kushida winning was the right call. Grimes bores me as a character, but there's no denying that the guy can go in the ring.
Keith Lee, Tommaso Ciampa and Dominik Dijakovic def. Undisputed Era
This was easily the best bout on the entire show as everyone put forth an excellent effort and the action was consistently exciting. There never seemed to be a dull moment and the crowd ate it all up. Lee pinning Cole was huge for him, especially when you consider Cole hasn't been pinned many times since he won the NXT Championship. Post-match, William Regal surfaced to announce a Triple Threat for next week between Balor, Ciampa and Lee where the winner will face Cole for the NXT title in two weeks. Any one of those guys could realistically reign supreme, so I'm very much looking forward to that.
While this was a slight step down from other editions of NXT we've seen in recent weeks, this was still an enjoyable episode. There wasn't much in the way of must-see wrestling outside of the main event, but this show did successfully build toward matches for next week (including the number one contender's Triple Threat, Kai vs. Yim and Lio Rush vs. Angel Garza for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship) as well as the week after (Cole's NXT title defense and Baszler vs. Ripley for the NXT Women's title). The video packages that aired throughout the evening were a treat and Kushida returning was newsworthy.
All #AskGSM Cruiserweight Classic Halftime Heat Hidden Gems Lists/Rankings Mae Young Classic Mixed Match Challenge News Opinion Previews Retro Reviews Reviews RJ's Two Cents Satire SummerSlam Recall Tribute To The Troops Worlds Collide WrestleMania Recall WWE Starrcade