TM61 def. Heavy Machinery
This was perfectly positioned as the opener to the episode with the crowd hot for the entertaining action and Heavy Machinery being super over as babyfaces. TM61 have also quickly settled into their role as slimy heels and I loved that they stole a second straight victory by resorting to underhanded tactics. I'd be up for more matches between these two teams because they work well together.
Lacey Evans def. Kairi Sane
It's clear Evans is still a work in progress, but I thought she had one of her best showings to date in this match, and of course the fact Sane was her opponent helped tremendously. Sane dominated a majority of the matchup before Evans hit her finisher (which isn't the best but whatever) literally out of nowhere and picked up the huge victory. Needless to say, this feud will continue and thus it was wise to have Evans go over here.
Lars Sullivan def. Ricochet and Velveteen Dream in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
You had to know Dream was going to turn on Ricochet at some point, but I was surprised they coexisted for as long as they did. Sullivan was on offense for a majority of the match, so although it took some time for the pace to pick up, this turned into a pretty good matchup down the stretch. Dream attacking Ricochet should set up a TakeOver clash between the two, while Sullivan has his sights set on the NXT Championship and continues to build momentum.
Johnny Gargano Called Out Tommaso Ciampa
We haven't seen Gargano since he was brutally attacked by Ciampa last month, so the question coming into this segment was whether he would call it quits or not. Obviously, that didn't turn out to be the case, but there are few better babyfaces in wrestling today than Gargano and he had the crowd hanging on his every word during his promo. He and Ciampa never came in contact, but Gargano's rage toward his former friend did accidentally cause Candice LeRae to get caught in the crossfire, adding yet another layer to this already awesome feud.
I do find it strange that TakeOver: Chicago is less than one month away at this point yet nothing has been set in stone for the card as of this writing. The build has been solid, though, and this was a good show on the whole. None of the matches were must-see this week, but the opener was enjoyable, the women furthered their feuds, the Handicap match was decent, and the Gargano and Ciampa story progressed with a great angle at the end.
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