Io Shirai def. Candice LeRae
Shirai and LeRae had one of my favorite women's matches all year at TakeOver: Toronto II and they were able to recreate that magic here. That original encounter was slightly stronger, but this was still an excellent opener in its own right. They worked a great pace and it had a nice energy to it. What I love most about their rivalry is that you can feel the bad blood between the two and that was once again evident during this outing. LeRae's minor misstep ultimately cost her the win, which I liked it lot. It will mean that much more when LeRae ultimately beats her, whenever that may be.
Finn Balor Explained His Actions
It should be noted that Balor has never been the best talker, but I dug the intensity he had in his voice while speaking here. I also appreciated how he didn't drag this promo out and instead kept it short, sweet and straight to the point. He basically brought up how he's the "hottest thing in the business" right now before putting Johnny Gargano on notice. That match (assuming it's saved for TakeOver: WarGames III) is bound to be a banger. As epic of an entrance theme as Balor has, changing it might be smart so he isn't cheered as much (similar to Shinsuke Nakamura when he went heel last year).
Bronson Reed def. Shane Thorne
This wasn't long at all, but holy hell did they maximize their minutes. I didn't have high hopes when it started just because Thorne already owns a victory over Reed and I thought this would be a similar type of squash, but it ended up being an absolute blast for the few minutes it was given and an incredibly fun sprint. Thorne looked smooth with all of his offense as usual, but this was really designed to be a breakout performance for Reed. He's a beast of a competitor and had the crowd behind him, so fingers crossed he can capitalize off the momentum he gained from this victory.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors def. Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox
It was really refreshing to see Asuka and Kairi Sane let loose for a change. They feel a bit limited on the main roster but were allowed to go all out in their new heel roles in this match. It didn't quite reach the heights I imagined it would, but I was happy they received as much time as they did and it was wonderful on the whole. Here's hoping the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship are defended more often in NXT in the future. Afterward, chaos ensued when Kai, Nox, LeRae and Rhea Ripley began brawling with Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, Marina Shafir, Bianca Belair and Shirai, which led to the expected announcement from William Regal that we'll be getting a women's WarGames matchup next month at TakeOver. Sign me up!
Cameron Grimes def. Tyler Bate
While this wasn't as hot as Grimes' outing against Matt Riddle last week, I enjoyed it for what it was and thought both men put forth a quality effort. Working with guys like Riddle and Bate will definitely make me more interested in Grimes, especially since his character has been super flat so far. I figured Bate would win, but a distraction from Killian Dain resulting in the victory for Grimes made sense. Maybe this was Dain's way of getting back at Pete Dunne since Bate is a friend of his.
NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed era def. Matt Riddle and Keith Lee (Non-title)
When you put Kyle O'Reilly, Bobby Fish, Lee and Riddle in the same ring together, it's highly unlikely you'll get anything less than an awesome affair. There wasn't much of a story told, mind you, but all four guys had stellar showings and the crowd ate up everything they did. Per usual, interference from Adam Cole and Roderick Strong resulted in O'Reilly and Fish securing the victory. Tommaso Ciampa made the save for the babyfaces post-match and declared "war" on Undisputed Era, setting the stage for a second WarGames match next month. I assume Velveteen Dream will be the fourth man, and if he's not cleared, then Dominick Dijakovic.
Not every edition of NXT TV is going to have as hot of an ending as what was saw last week with Balor's shocking heel turn, but that'd be my only nitpick of this otherwise entertaining episode. TakeOver is less than one month away, so it was about time they starting announcing what the card is going to look like. The in-ring action was top-notch as always, several storylines were progressed, Balor made an impact during his brief promo, and the two hours flew by. Even with the ratings rapidly dwindling, NXT continues to bring their best week after week.
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