Nikki Cross Attacked NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler
Baszler is such a believable badass and has a great presence about her, which is why Cross is such a fantastic foil. Being as unhinged as she is, Cross couldn't care less about what Baszler had to say and took the fight to her, anyway. It's amazing that this feud came together on a whim one week ago yet it already has my interest. I have hope they'll deliver in the ring at TakeOver, too.
The Mighty def. Mike Hughley and Robbie Grand
I'm really digging this new aggressive side of TM61. While I think they make for better babyfaces, you can't deny that they've finally been building momentum for themselves and have settled into the heel role nicely. This was a successful squash for them and I enjoyed their post-match promo even more. Here's hoping they are gunning for the NXT Tag Team Championship coming out of TakeOver: Chicago.
NXT Tag Team Champion Roderick Strong def. Danny Burch
The Undisputed Era have had a stellar string of matches with Burch, Oney Lorcan and Pete Dunne over the past month or so and this continued that strong streak. Granted, Burch and Strong weren't given a ton of time, but they maximized their minutes by contesting a fun, hard-hitting match with the interference from Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly protecting Burch in defeat and furthering that feud.
Kairi Sane def. Lacey Evans
Evans wasn't doing a ton for me earlier this year, but she has improved leaps and bounds in this mini-feud with Sane. They've worked well together throughout this program and this was their best bout to date. I appreciated the intensity, urgency and effort both women put forth here and this was the perfect way to culminate their rivalry. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sane be Baszler's next NXT Women's Championship challenger post-TakeOver. As for Evans, she has plenty of potential.
Johnny Gargano and TomMaso Ciampa Brawled
I know this goes without saying, but Ciampa is hands-down the greatest heel in all of WWE at the moment. He never ceases to get an audience to boo him out the building and his promo taunting Gargano was tremendous. The subsequent brawl was equally exceptional and ended the evening on a hot note. They've been able to maintain momentum with this feud and not lose any steam whatsoever following what many believed to be the blow-off in New Orleans. It feels like it has surpassed the NXT Championship picture, which is unfortunate, but that's merely nitpicking. I can't wait for their Chicago Street Fight.
I was skeptical recently about NXT putting together a cohesive card ahead of TakeOver: Chicago because it was coming up quick, but they've done just that. The entire lineup looks fantastic on paper and the build has been superb with this edition of NXT being a prime example. There were a handful of entertaining matches and effective progression of certain storylines, as well as video packages focusing on Aleister Black vs. Lars Sullivan and Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream. This was everything you could ask for out of a show.
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