Dominik Dijakovic def. Shane Thorne
Dijakovic hasn't been featured too prominently on NXT TV in recent months, but he has been impressive every time he's appeared. This was no exception and it was arguably his best showing since re-debuting for the brand. To his credit, though, Thorne is a talented competitor as well and I hope he can get a look soon now that he's on his own. Dijakovic should enter his first real rivalry sooner rather than later to avoid running the risk of getting lost in the shuffle.
The Street Profits def. Humberto Carrillo and Stacey Erwin JR.
All right, so a lot happened here. Before the bout, Kassius Ohno walked down the ramp and declared he was leaving NXT, only to be laid out by Keith Lee. I don't know if that was meant to build toward a rematch between the two, but either way, I'm glad Lee was able to give Ohno his comeuppance after Ohno cheated to beat him last month. During the tag team match that followed, Street Profits continued to show more aggression and intensity than usual, and although it wasn't the smoothest encounter on the whole, the crowd was behind them throughout. Then, a massive brawl broke out afterward between all of NXT's tag teams, so it's still unclear who will be getting the next shot at War Raiders' NXT Tag Team Championship.
Aliyah def. Taynara Conti
I remember first seeing Aliyah on the one and only season of Breaking Ground on the WWE Network... in the fall of 2015. She has largely been utilized in an enhancement role on NXT TV since then, and for good reason. From what I've seen, she is pretty bland, and honestly, I thought Conti had a better performance here than she did. It was just a flat match, and I'm not sure Aliyah being paired off with Vanessa Borne will make much of a difference. Worse yet, they were quickly demolished by Shayna Baszler and her cronies afterward, so I have no clue what purpose any of this served.
Ricochet def. Adam Cole
This was billed as the battle between the two former NXT North American Champions, so I'm assuming that as a result of his victory, Ricochet has earned himself another opportunity at the North American title. I loved their original encounter back at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, and even though they set the bar fairly high last August, this was a damn great main event. It was cool that they switched things up this time around with Cole targeting Ricochet's leg (preventing him from hitting his signature aerial maneuvers) and the clean finish was appreciated. Undisputed Era laid out Ricochet afterward and Aleister Black made the save, setting up Roderick Strong vs. Black for next week's show.
Save for Aliyah vs. Conti (I'm still struggling to figure out what that was about), this was an entertaining edition of NXT. Ricochet vs. Cole is worth going out of your way to check out, Dijakovic continued his winning ways, Ohno announced his intentions to leave (I'm intrigued to see where that's going), and the tag team division was showcased. Plus, two big matches were confirmed for next week (Black vs. Strong and Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream for the NXT North American Championship), so the black-and-gold brand is rocking and roll as TakeOver: New York slowly approaches.
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