Ember Moon def. Aliyah
I still can't get over how much Aliyah has improved from when we first saw her on NXT a little over a year ago. She is far from being on the level of an Ember Moon, Asuka or even Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, but she's well on her way and is making good progress. Of course, having a talented opponent such as Moon never hurts, and this was a better bout than I thought it would be. Moon called out Asuka again afterward in her backstage interview, so it's pretty obvious that's the NXT Women's Championship we're getting in Orlando over WrestleMania weekend.
WWE United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate def. Oney Lorcan (Non-title)
Bate benefited from wrestling in front of a crowd that was familiar with him, so that was a plus. Lorcan is an exceptional athlete, so he was the perfect opponent for Bate here. They contested a really fun match together and for as long as it lasted, the crowd was engaged in the action the entire time. Here's hoping we see more of Bate on NXT in the future, as well as more of Lorcan for that matter.
No Way Jose def. Elias Sampson
Thank the lord this wasn't added to the NXT TakeOver: San Antonio card at the last minute. That isn't to say this was a bad match, but it would have felt out of place on such a stacked card. Meanwhile, I thoroughly enjoy Jose's act and it's cool fans are still digging him, so I hope they find a meaningful role for him soon so he isn't just spinning his wheels. I couldn't care less about Sampson, but Jose at least made this match bearable for me.
As is usually the case with these TakeOver post-shows, there wasn't too much that was newsworthy about this episode, as it was taped prior to TakeOver: San Antonio on Saturday night, other than Bate's NXT debut. The wrestling was decent enough, albeit nothing special. A majority of this edition of NXT consisted of interviews and video packages, though it was interesting to see Kassius Ohno confront Shinsuke Nakamura backstage after his loss at TakeOver. They'll be back at Full Sail University next week, so I expect the build to the next live special to begin then. All things considered, this was entertaining hour of wrestling, and that video package on Corey Graves was extremely well done. He will be missed on NXT!
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