NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa Confronted Johnny Gargano
This was taped right after Gargano and Ciampa made their main roster debuts, so the timing couldn't have been more perfect. I will say that it would have made more sense for this to happen beforehand to explain why they were teaming, but they had already put their differences aside for Halftime Heat, so I can't say I'm too bothered by that. This was a very good segment that saw DIY officially reunite and announce their intentions to win the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Vanessa Borne and Aliyah def. Xia Li and Taynara Conti
Borne and Aliyah formed an alliance a few weeks back and this was their debut as a tag team. I'm still not sold on either of them, but I guess they won't get much experience until they're on TV more. This was a perfectly passable match, and although it wasn't always smooth, everyone involved held their own. Borne and Aliyah would benefit from working with more established names, though they didn't look terrible here.
Dominik Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee Ended in a Double Count-out
These two were known for their stellar series of matches a few years ago. In fact, I fully believe it was their rivalry on the independent scene that got them noticed by WWE in the first place, and now they're here in NXT. Their chemistry is still as strong as ever and this was an incredibly entertaining outing from them for as long as it lasted. I didn't mind the non-finish because that leaves the door for an eventual rematch. TakeOver: New York, anyone?
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Bayley Addressed the Audience
It's been years since Banks and Bayley were last seen on NXT TV, so this was an awesome homecoming for them. The crowd (not knowing they were going to be there) lost their minds when they came out and treated them like heroes. There wasn't anything out of the ordinary about their promos, mind you, but they did reinforce what they recently said on Raw that they plan on defending their WWE Women's Tag Team Championship across all three bands, including NXT. It's too bad Io Shirai will likely be facing Shayna Baszler at TakeOver: New York, because Shirai and Kairi Sane vs. Banks and Bayley at TakeOver would have been amazing.
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler def. Mia Yim (Non-title)
Not many women have been able to go toe-to-toe with Baszler (most of have been dominated with ease), so I liked how much of a fight Yim put up before being beaten. They told a solid story with Baszler targeting Yim's knee and Yim coming close to scoring the victory on a few occasions. This was a very competitive contest and I was happy Yim looked as credible as she did. We'll find out who the new number one contender will be in two weeks when Bianca Belair and Shirai face off.
This marked the start of a fresh batch of tapings for NXT, so the build to TakeOver: New York is officially underway. The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will make for some fun matches in the coming weeks, Belair vs. Shirai will happen on the March 13 episode, Dijakovic and Lee have unfinished business, Velveteen Dream and Adam Cole teased clashing for the NXT North American Championship in a segment outside the arena, and we now know Bayley and Banks could show up to defend their titles at any time. I'm especially excited for the buildup to TakeOver because I'll be in attendance for the event and anticipate it being one of the best installments to date.
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