Dakota Kai def. Santana Garrett
It has been a while since we last saw Garrett on NXT TV, probably since last year's Mae Young Classic. I'm honestly still stunned she hasn't been signed yet because she is one of the best women's wrestlers on the scene today. She didn't get a ton of offense in here (it was largely a showcase for Kai), but it was a nice match nonetheless with good work from both ladies. Kai was able to bounce back following her recent loss to Bianca Belair.
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler Called Out the NXT Women's Division
Baszler just continues to impress me with every one of her appearances and performances, both in the ring and on the mic. Here, she did an excellent job of putting the entire NXT Women's Champion on notice and coming across like a believable badass. I have no clue who will be next up to challenge her (it could be a number of different people), but I'm excited to find out.
The Mighty def. OTis Dozovic in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Handicap matches are a rarity in NXT, but when they do happen, they're actually much more fun than you would expect. This ended up being quite an enjoyable outing with Dozovic dominating a majority of the match due to his size advantage only to fall victim to the numbers game. The Mighty are slimy heels by this point and thus the beating they took from Dozovic fit their new characters. The win helped them a bit, too.
Velveteen Dream def. Chris Dijak
This marked Dijak's second match on NXT TV, and once again, he shined in a major way. Dream is outstanding in his own right, of course, but I was happy Dijak looked as excellent as he did before taking the pinfall loss to Dream. Furthermore, EC3 making his entrance for the main event while Dream was celebrating his victory was a nice touch because lest we forget, Dream walked out on EC3 during their tag team match on last weeks' WWE NXT U.K. Championship special. Are those two on a collision course for TakeOver: Brooklyn IV?
Johnny Gargano def. EC3
What I loved about this match was that not only was the in-ring action exciting, the storytelling was stellar with Gargano essentially doing everything he hates about Tommaso Ciampa, making it painfully apparent that Gargano's bad blood with his former tag team partner is far from over. Meanwhile, this was easily EC3's best singles showing since returning to NXT and I didn't have a problem with him suffering his first loss here. He doesn't have to be defined by an undefeated streak the same way he was in TNA for a few years.
Despite this being a holiday edition of NXT (even though you would never know that based off how it was presented), this was a strong show with everything serving a purpose and holding my attention. It amazed me that they managed to cram so much into an hour-long episode yet it was all entertaining. The next few weeks worth of shows are stacked with multiple title matches, including Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed Era for the NXT Tag Team Championship next week. Happy Independence Day, everyone!
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