WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne def. Roderick Strong
We don't see much of Dunne in NXT (we should), so when we do, it's a treat because the guy is so damn good. Strong is an exceptional performer himself, so as expected, this was an extremely entertaining matchup. Per usual, Dunne focused in on a body part, this time targeting Strong's arm and hand. They told a wonderful story as a result, and needless to say, they kicked off the evening on a high note. I'm stunned Dunne isn't already under a more exclusive deal with the company because he is total money.
Killian Dane Interrupted Aleister Black
It's been evident for months that the NXT Championship was the ultimate destination for Black, so I'm glad he finally made his intentions clear to chase the title. TakeOver: New Orleans isn't for another two months, and Andrade "Cien" Almas still has Johnny Gargano to deal with, so giving Black a roadblock in Dane to overcome in the meantime makes sense. It's rare we hear from either one of them on the mic, but I thought they did well with their promos here. They left me looking forward to an eventual one-on-one outing between them.
TM61 def. Andrew Duckworth and Jon Skyler
Similar to their return match in Philadelphia, this was a perfect way of showcasing TM61 in a short and sweet fashion. Their opponents were unknown local athletes, but TM61 hit their signature spots and looked impressive with their win. I assume this will continue on a little while longer before they officially enter the NXT Tag Team Championship picture, but I hope they go up against more established tandems at some point in the near future. Either way, I'm happy to see them building momentum.
Shayna Baszler def. NXT Women's Champion Ember Moon by Disqualification
Despite being an angle more than a match, this was solid all-around. I appreciated the intensity both women brought to the table and they made the most of the time they were allotted. Kairi Sane has not been seen since being ambushed by Baszler in her debut for NXT late last year, so it was logical for Sane to target her here (protecting her in the process). Will we get a Triple Threat matchup with these three women for the title at TakeOver: New Orleans?
You can't go wrong with an excellent opening match, a nicely executed main event angle, a successful showcase for TM61, Black and Dane planting the seeds for a future face-off, and a well-produced video package for next week's NXT Championship match between Almas and Gargano. All in all, this was a great edition of NXT TV. In addition to Almas vs. Gargano next week, The Velveteen Dream will take on No Way Jose. I'm thrilled that TakeOver isn't for another two months yet the black-and-yellow brand isn't wasting any time in building toward the event.
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