Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Riddle and Keith Lee Interrupted The O.C.
The entire O.C. in Full Sail University is a sight I never thought I'd see and it was quite awesome. They were shown ambushing Undisputed Era before the show and I loved how this felt like a true invasion. Ciampa laid down the challenge for a six-man tag team main event and The O.C. accepted. This wasn't much different than any other opening segment you'd normally see on a WWE show, but the crowd ate it up and it succeeded in what it set out to do.
Pete Dunne def. Damian Priest
The first match these two had a few weeks ago was terrific and they managed to produce an equally affair here. Priest has really impressed in these matches with Dunne and I didn't think the two commercial breaks hindered it, either. I like they story they're telling that they can outdo each other by resorting to underhanded tactics and based off what the commentators said, it looks like this feud will continue. Killain Dain laid waste to both men afterward, so it's possible a Triple Threat at TakeOver is in their future.
Taynara Conti def. Santana Garrett
Conti has been the designated jobber in the NXT women's division for as long as I can remember, so her beating newcomer Santana Garrett was certainly surprising. Then again, I guess they had to have her win eventually so she could begin building credibility, and I don't think Garrett lost much in defeat with the solid showing she had. This was a decent little match between the two with the story being that Conti could be scouted by Baszler to be the fourth member of her team in WarGames.
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler def. Dakota Kai (Non-Title)
Kai brought up beforehand in a backstage interview that although she has history with Baszler, she's no longer scared of her and that she's been more aggressive since her return. She put up a hell of a fight, showed excellent fire and sold beautifully for Baszler's offense. Meanwhile, Baszler was a fantastic foil for her and the crowd was hot for this from start to finish. Post-match, Mia Yim came to the babyfaces' aid before being officially announced for Team Ripley in WarGames. Kai's rejection will be a very intriguing story to follow.
Angel Garza def. Tony Nese in an NXT Cruiserweight Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
If 205 Live is going to emanate live from Full Sail University anyway, I'm not sure why the show continues to exist. It would make more sense to fold it entirely into NXT, but maybe they want more time for the Cruiserweights. Nonetheless, this was a very good match with Garza continuing to shine and Nese putting in one of his better performances in recent memory. I figured Garza vs. Lio Rush for the NXT Crusierweight Championship would be saved for TakeOver, but they'll be doing it on next week's show instead.
Dominick Dijakovic def. Isiah "Swerve" Scott
While there was no reason for this match to happen from a storyline standpoint, it ended up being an absolute blast. The size dynamic was perfect and Scott was able to score a ton of offense before eating defeat. It could have lasted longer and I wouldn't have complained, but they made the most of the time they had. Dijakovic hasn't won in a while (to my knowledge), so this was a solid rebound win for him.
The O.C. vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee and Matt Riddle Ended in a No Contest
Again, seeing The O.C. (specifically AJ Styles) compete in Full Sail for the first time was a real treat. This was an exciting and entertaining main event that was perfectly paced and was all action. There was no reason to have either trio win decisively, but I hated how there was no official announcement as to what the finish was. It just ended without the bell ever ringing. Finn Balor coming out and teasing alliances with Styles and Adam Cole was super cool and served as a nice hook for next week's show.
Of all the people from Raw and SmackDown who could have invaded NXT, I'm glad it was The O.C. because they have zero ties to the black-and-gold brand. This entire episode was built around them and it paid off wonderfully with that main event. Garrett vs. Conti could have been better, but other than that, this edition of NXT was filled with effective build for TakeOver: WarGames III and Survivor Series as well as some strong matchups, making for a superb show on the whole.
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