Candice LeRae and Io Shirai vs. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir Ended in a No Contest
It's cool that Duke and Shafir finally have their own entrance music and aren't using Shayna Baszler's anymore for their matches. They haven't looked the greatest in the past, and while there is still plenty of room for improvement, at least it appears that they're getting better with each outing. It also helps that they're working with two experienced competitors in LeRae and Shirai. This turned into a pretty good match with a non-finish that protected the four women involved as well as furthered the feud between Shirai and Baszler. They'll be facing off in a Steel Cage rematch for the NXT Women's Championship in two weeks.
Kushida def. Drew Gulak in a Submission Match
It can be sometimes hard to make a Submission match exciting because there aren't any nearfalls, but these guys ended up producing a really fun clash. Their chemistry is so strong that they were able to keep the crowd invested throughout and tell a solid story with Kushida holding his own against (and ultimately beating) the submission expert Gulak. This was a pure wrestling exhibition and an entertaining one at that, with the win allowing Kushida to maintain momentum.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch def. Undisputed Era
I'm willing to bet Bobby Fish would have originally teamed with Kyle O'Reilly in this match had he not gotten injured at TakeOver: XXV. Hopefully it isn't too serious and he's back in the ring soon enough. At any rate, Lorcan and Burch can always be counted on for a quality contest and this was no exception. It was a fast-paced, hard-hitting affair that could have used a few more minutes but was a blast while it lasted. A distraction from Jaxson Ryker on the ramp caused Lorcan and Burch to pick up the upset victory, so perhaps they'll be next in line for a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championship.
It looks like there's going to be a few more weeks of fallout from TakeOver: XXV before the build for the next TakeOver over SummerSlam weekend begins, and I'm completely cool with that. All three matches on this show were entertaining and progressed (or settled) several storylines. At a time where Raw and SmackDown Live are worse than they've been in many years, NXT is thriving and never ceases to leave me satisfied. In other words, be sure to watch the black-and-gold brand more regularly if you aren't already.
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