NXT North American Champion Adam Cole def. Sean Maluta (Non-title)
I realize I say this almost every time he makes an appearance on TV, but holy hell, Cole and the rest of Undisputed Era are so damn over at the moment. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand before the bout and this turned to be a nice little match between him and Maluta, which resulted in a clean win for the North American champ. I enjoyed his post-match verbal exchange with Ricochet even more, seemingly setting that up as a championship clash for NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV.
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane Signed the Contract for Their NXT Women's Championship Match at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV
I'd argue that no promotion does contract signings better than NXT does. I liked that they mirrored the contract signing with AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown Live from last month by holding this backstage instead of in front of the live crowd. It added to the intensity of the segment and allowed both women to shine. It was also great that they played off their history with each other with Sane confident that she could beat Baszler again, this time for the NXT Women's Championship.
Lacey Evans def. Tenilla Price
Following her recent victory over Dakota Kai, this was an effective way to allow Evans to maintain momentum and get fans familiar with her signature spots. Her character still doesn't do much for me, but at least in the ring, she is making major strides and is showing more and more potential with each outing she has. I wouldn't be surprised to see her enter a rivalry with Candice LeRae eventually while both are away from the NXT Women's title picture.
Tommaso Ciampa def. Aleister Black to Win the NXT Championship
It's rare the NXT Championship is defended on NXT TV, so this felt like a big deal and was built up beautifully. The first half was very well-wrestled and led to a strong second half filled with suspenseful nearfalls and exceptional emotion and action. The story they told was also excellent, so much so that I didn't even mind all the shenanigans with the referee bump and then the interference from Johnny Gargano. Ultimately, that was what got the belt on Ciampa and protected the once-undefeated Black in defeat, so I thought this was executed perfectly. The reaction to the title change from the fans in attendance was priceless as well.
Needless to say, this show was made must-see by the main event, not just because of the newsworthy title change (the NXT Championship hasn't changed hands on an episode of NXT since 2013) but also because it was just a fantastic match. In addition to the already announced Sane vs. Baszler bout, multiple matches are now in the cards for TakeOver: Brooklyn IV (Cole vs. Ricochet, Undisputed Era vs. War Raiders, Ciampa vs. Black vs. Gargano, EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream) and therefore it is shaping up to be another outstanding event. I'd take the time to rave about how NXT is firing on all cylinders at the moment, but I'd simply be telling you something you already know.
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