Undisputed Era Addressed DExter Lumis
It's hard to argue against Cole's claim of him being the most dominant NXT Champion of all-time given the reign he's had over the last year. With Velveteen Dream in his rear view mirror, this segment addressed Undisputed Era's recent run-ins with Lumis (who showed up in the crowd here when Cole wasn't looking) and built toward Cole vs. Lumis in the main event. I was entertained.
Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae def. NXT North American Champion Keith Lee and Mia Yim
I'm glad these four got another chance to have this tag team match since it was so short last week. It was very well-wrestled and I loved the chemistry the two couples had with each other. The intergender stuff was well done because it didn't feel forced. The Garganos have been a blast so far as heels and it made sense for them to win here so Gargano could earn himself another shot at Lee's NXT North American Championship. My guess is that Gargano takes that title and Lee transitions into the NXT Championship picture from there.
Indus Sher def. Mikey Delbrey and Mike Reed
It's been a while since we last saw Indus Sher in the ring, so this was necessary in reestablishing them as a force to be reckoned with. It was smart to have them destroy these two losers as quickly and as decisively as possible. They still come across like AOP 2.0 to me, and while that isn't technically a bad thing, they need to create an identity for themselves. Having Malcom Bivens as their mouthpiece helps, but he obviously needs to talk more in order for it to matter.
Finn Balor def. Cameron Grimes
Balor and Grimes worked well together the first time they went one-on-one about a month ago and I'm happy they went back to it here. Grimes looked like an equal to Balor throughout and definitely gained something even in defeat. The action was enjoyable and Balor was able to get his win back over Grimes in the end. He teased targeting the NXT North American Championship afterward. Balor vs. Lee vs. Gargano for the gold? Sign me up!
Dakota Kai def. Kacy Catanzaro
We don't see nearly enough of Catanzaro in the ring on NXT. She's been with NXT for a few years now and has shown tremendous promise, but she isn't going to improve if she isn't given more chances to shine. Working with experienced competitors such as Kai will only help her cause, though. This was a decent little match that allowed Kai to bounce back from the loss she suffered at TakeOver: In Your House. Kai and Raquel Gonzalez laid out Catanzaro and Kayden Carter afterward and showed no signs of dissension despite what we saw on Sunday.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde Attacked Drake MAverick
There was talk among fans last week that Maverick being granted a new NXT contract by Triple H overshadowed El Hijo del Fantasma's title victory, so it was cool how they acknowledged that here. Many of us have figured for weeks that Fantasma would ultimately be revealed as the leader of the masked men, and sure enough, we got that reveal here and it was excellently executed. Not only that, but he also unmasked along with Wilde and Mendoza. He declared himself Santos Escobar and spoke in really good English. That gives me hope for his championship reign and I think this faction has a ton of potential.
NXT Champion Adam cole def. Dexter Lumis (Non-Title)
The idea of Lumis competing in a TV main event didn't intrigue me much going in, but if anyone could get a quality contest out of him, it'd be Cole. Sure enough, he did just that. I don't know if many viewers bought into the possibility of Lumis defeating Cole, but he was made to look competitive and only lost after interference from Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish. Those two then brawled to the back with Lumis and Velveteen Dream while Cole was confronted by Scarlett with an hourglass. If Karrion Kross is indeed next in line for a shot at the strap, then Cole may as well kiss his precious title goodbye now.
As far as post-TakeOver shows are concerned, this wasn't the hottest or most newsworthy edition of NXT, but it was solid on the whole as the brand begins the process of resetting the deck and starting new stories. The reveal of Escobar's new stable was the highlight of the night for me, but the rest of the two hours still flew by and I'm intrigued by the direction they're headed in. I'm curious if some of these projected matches will be taking place between now and the next TakeOver (whenever that may be) or if they'll be saved for TakeOver. Either way, we have Imperium vs. Breezango for the NXT Tag Team Championship (that Breezango video package on this show was terrific) and Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart vying for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship to look forward to next week.
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