Johnny Gargano def. Tino sabbatelli
I thought Riddick Moss had a fine showing versus Gargano last week, but Sabbatelli is a much more polished competitor than he is and thus I wasn't surprised this was a much better bout. It was slightly slow at various points, but all things considered, Sabbtelli fared well for himself and Gargano fought from underneath nicely as he usually does. Gargano continues to build momentum on his own, but I'm curious as to whether he will eventually rekindle his rivalry with Andrade "Cien" Almas or not.
Bianca Belair def. Lacey Evans
This match tried too hard to focus on both women and suffered as a result. We were able to get a glimpse of what they're capable of in the Mae Young Classic, and while I believe Belair and Evans should be considered top prospects, they are still early on in their development. That said, this wasn't the prettiest outing, but it was crucial in giving them more experience. Belair continues to impress me considering she hasn't been wrestling long and is already better than most.
The Velveteen Dream Interrupted Aleister Black
I don't know how strong of a talker Black was on the independent scene, but his promo here was exactly what you would expect from his character. It was good and I'm glad he established his motivations for being in NXT (or at least attempted to before being interrupted), but he's better off as a silent assassin type. We haven't seen Dream on TV recently, but he played his role perfectly here and that ending shot of him getting in the face of Black was awesome. Those two should have a blast of a bout in the near future.
Lars Sullivan def. No Way Jose
This was a glorified squash match for Sullivan as it should have been. Jose has nothing to lose at this point, so while Sullivan beating him is hardly a feat, he was a logical first opponent for Sullivan as he begins to build credibility. Similar to the aforementioned ladies, Sullivan is a work in progress, but he's well on his way to becoming a big deal in NXT with how much he's come across like an unhinged monster so far.
Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish def. Tyler Bate and Trent Seven
British Strong Style vs. reDRAGON in NXT. Who ever thought we would see the day? As expected, this was an extremely fun match that I'm thankful received the time it deserved. Both tandems shined with their exciting offense and Adam Cole getting involved toward the end was well done (the crowd popped huge for him hitting the superkick). Of course, O'Reilly and Fish needed to win in their debut as a tag team, but they were chased off afterward by Drew McIntyre and SAnitY to further those feuds. On a side note, I'm not too high on the "Undisputed Era's" entrance music, but I'm sure it will changed/updated eventually.
It should be noted that along with the women's match, there was a focus on the vacant NXT Women's Championship throughout the hour with Sonya Deville and Dakota Kai staking their claim at the title. This was another solid show from NXT with an above-average main event and a few successful showcases. TakeOver: Houston isn't until November yet I feel the card for the event is already slowly starting to come together. By the way, I will be live in attendance for tomorrow's NXT house show in Lowell, MA, so I hope to have an on-site report (along with photos and video) up some time in the coming days.
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