Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot def. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce
So, let me get this straight. Riot challenged The Iconic Duo to a Handicap match a few weeks ago, only to be joined by Cross and win that match. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that was exactly what happened here, too. Basically what I'm asking is, what was the point? The match itself was fine while it lasted, but I just didn't feel like anything was accomplished other than giving Cross and Riot a boost of momentum heading into the NXT Women's Championship Fatal 4-Way qualifying matches.
Aleister Black vs. Lio Rush Went to a No Contest
Rush was one of the hottest (and youngest) stars on the independent scene prior to signing with NXT, so he's a hell of a pickup and I look forward to what he'll bring to the brand. This match sounded like it would be amazing on paper, but unfortunately, it never came to fruition due to The Velveteen Dream spoiling his debut and attacking Rush (who is his former tag team partner from a few years ago, interestingly enough). Although I was disappointed we didn't get the match, it put heat on Dream and furthered his feud with Black without ever making contact with him.
Kairi Sane def. Aliyah
Not only was this Sane's debut on NXT TV, it was also her premiere televised appearance since winning the Mae Young Classic last month. She obviously has star written all over her and I was happy the crowd was solidly behind her here. She has already been announced for the NXT Women's Championship Fatal 4-Way at NXT TakeOver: Houston, so this was a simple showcase for her to allow fans to get familiar with her offense (and her fantastic finish) if they weren't previously.
NXT Champion Drew McIntyre def. Roderick Strong
These two did battle prior to TakeOver: Brooklyn III, but it wasn't as strong (no pun intended) as it could have been due to being cut short for time. Thankfully, they had their time to shine here and it turned into an above-average championship clash. Both men put forth phenomenal performances and I thoroughly enjoyed the hard-hitting action as much as the crowd seemed to. Will this loss lead to Strong snapping and joining The Undisputed Era? Only time will tell.
The undercard was enjoyable, especially with Sane making her NXT TV debut as well as Rush (technically), but this was truly a one match show. The main event was excellent and well worth going out of your way to see, and the rest of this episode did a solid job of building up the next several weeks of programming. On a related note (and this isn't much of a spoiler because WWE and Triple H themselves tweeted about it), it was revealed at tonight's tapings that War Games will be returning at TakeOver next month, which is incredibly exciting. The whole card looks promising on paper as well, so I'm really looking forward to seeing it all come together in the weeks ahead.
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