Lacey Evans def. Dakota Kai
As I've said several times in the past, Evans is slowly but surely coming into her own as a complete performer in the ring. She is getting her character down as well, but her work inside the squared circle has especially impressed me lately. Sure, Kai is an excellent competitor in her own right, but Evans certainly held her own here and I was fine with her picking up the victory since Kai can always bounce back being the ultimate underdog that she is. This was a strong showing from the ladies.
Kassius Ohno def. Rick Ramirez
I believe the last time we saw Ohno on NXT TV was when he lost to EC3 several weeks back, and he looked dejected after that loss. Thus, it was only logical for him to not only score a much-needed victory here but also do so in dominant fashion. He beat his unknown opponent in under a minute and came across like a badass in the process. I'm curious if this will lead to a more aggressive Ohno or a full-fledged heel turn eventually.
Kairi Sane def. Candice LeRae and Nikki Cross in an NXT women's Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match
Bianca Belair was apparently pulled from this match due to injury, but I'm not sure if that was a work or if it was legitimate. Even without her, this was a terrific Triple Threat where all three women had their chance to shine. It helped that the outcome was genuinely unpredictable and the crowd was engaged in the action. Cross already had her shot at the strap in Chicago and LeRae will get her opportunity down the road, so I was happy Sane emerged as the new No. 1 contender to the NXT Women's Championship. She and Shayna Baszler have plenty of history and I'm looking forward to seeing them play off of that in the weeks ahead.
In addition to everything mentioned above, there were also some stellar video packages that aired on Velveteen Dream and War Raiders during this episode that are well worth checking out. I really loved the show's focus on the women's division as both bouts were above-average. Even the Ohno squash served a purpose, so all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this edition of NXT. Next week, Aleister Black will defend the NXT Championship against Tommaso Ciampa in what is sure to be something special.
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