Tommaso Ciampa def. Angel Garza
If it wasn't already evident, Garza is a star in the making. He didn't score a ton of offense against Ciampa, but he looked good in defeat, nonetheless. This was shorter than I thought it would be, but it was fun while it lasted. I liked the cliffhanger afterward with Undisputed Era surrounding the ring and Kyle O'Reilly handing Mauro Ranallo a flash drive, which was revealed after the break to be a video of the group attacking Velveteen Dream backstage.
Imperium def. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
As I've said before, Lorcan and Burch have been all over the place lately. I can't complain because I always find their matches fun, including this encounter with Imperium. It was all action and both tandems delivered. Everyone in Imperium (except for WALTER) lost to Kushida and Breezango a few weeks ago, so this win allowed them to bounce back. It's cool that they're continuing to appear on NXT TV even though WALTER's short-lived program with Kushida is over.
Io Shirai def.Kayden Carter
Carter is still relatively green, but she has potential and fared well for herself here. Meanwhile, I can't say enough good things about Shirai, who is the complete package. This was kept short and sweet and served as a showcase for Shirai. Post-match, Rhea Ripley emerged and put Shirai on notice, teasing that they'll go one-on-one if Ripley can beat Bianca Belair in their match next week.
Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic in an NXT North American Championship No. 1 Contender's Match Ended in a No Contest
Lee and Dijakovic never cease to go all out in their matches and this was another awesome encounter from them. It was less of a spot-fest this time as they focused more on the storytelling. The audience ate up all the big moves, but I felt like this didn't reach that next gear like the other installments in their rivalry did. Roderick Strong interfering to set up the Triple Threat title match for next week was something you'd see on the main roster, but at least it was in line with what Undisputed Era would do. Plus, that three-way should be tremendous.
Matt Riddle def. Bronson reed
I don't think I've seen Reed win a single match aside from his debut in the NXT Breakout Tournament a few months ago. He's really impressive for a dude his size, but it doesn't help that we know nothing about him. If nothing else, he had a solid showing against Riddle and I liked how they never slowed things down. Riddle going over was never in doubt, but it was an enjoyable outing, nonetheless.
Tegan Nox def. Taynara Conti
Interestingly enough, I believe this was the first match Nox has ever wrestled on NXT TV. She was obviously in last year's Mae Young Classic (which is where she got injured) and has had a few matches on NXT UK in recent months, but this might have been her in-ring debut for NXT. She looked excellent as expected and the crowd was behind her from start to finish. Before she could be interviewed at ringside, Shayna Baszler and her cronies interrupted her and brought up how she was the one who took out Nox's best friend Dakota Kai. In my opinion, Nox should be the one to ultimately dethrone Baszler as NXT Women's Champion.
Killian Dain def. Boa
Grimes beat Boa in a matter of seconds last week, yet it took Dain almost four minutes? How is that supposed to make any sense? Boa hasn't anything for me in the few appearances he's made so far, but this was largely designed to be a destructive squash for Dain. I thought he'd be feuding with Grimes, but it actually looks like he'll be entering a program with Pete Dunne based off what happened afterward by the stage.
Damian Priest def. Pete Dunne
Priest hasn't had too many competitive matches since signing with NXT, but Dunne really brought the best out of him here and I was happy that Priest had a chance to show off his skills for a change. They picked up the pace down the stretch and constantly kept things entertaining. I assumed Dain would interfere or distract Dunne long enough to give Priest the victory, but Priest ended up winning with a low blow instead. The feud will continue, but this was a big win for Priest considering Dunne has never been beaten one-on-one in NXT to my knowledge.
NXT loaded this show up with the in-ring returns of Ciampa and Nox, Lee vs. Dijakovic Part 4, and Dunne vs. Priest. All of those things met my expectations, but the two hours weren't the most exciting on the whole. The shows on USA Network have been super solid so far and this is probably the format it's going to have each week. I appreciated that they spent a bit more time than usual on vignettes and promos, which will help fans get familiar with certain stars. The filler on these shows haven't been the greatest, but at least they've held my interest and the promotion for the following week's episode is always well done.
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