Keith Lee def. Dominik Dijakovic
This has become one of my favorite feuds in NXT in recent memory. They haven't been given any mic time on television, mind you, but their matches have been excellent. This was another exceptional installment in their ongoing rivalry and was the perfect way to open the hour. They killed it once again and did things guys their size shouldn't be able to. Lee finally picked up the big win he was looking for, but I feel their feud isn't over yet (which makes me very happy).
Dakota Kai def. Taynara
I'm really confused as to whether Taynara is supposed to be a babyface or a heel. I guess she's whatever NXT needs her to be based on who she's facing. She's coming along nicely, but obviously, this was all about Kai (as it should have been) to re-establish her as a player in the NXT women's division. She didn't win as quickly as I would have hoped, but that's merely nitpicking. The commentators made mention of how it was Shayna Baszler who put her on the shelf many months ago, so if Candice LeRae doesn't take the title next week (and I don't think she will), Kai would be a perfectly logical contender to the NXT Women's Championship.
Matt Riddle def. Killian Dain in an NXT Championship No. 1 Contender's Street Fight
I had high hopes for this following last week's insane brawl, and while it started out slow and wasn't much different than an ordinary match, they picked up the pace and took it to that next level in the second half. They made effective use of the stipulation, beat the crap out of each other and captured the crowd with the nearfalls. Of course, Riddle winning was the right outcome and now he'll face Adam Cole for the NXT Championship on next week's show.
Rhea Ripley def. Kayden Carter
Carter previously went by the name Lacey Lane and was featured in last year's Mae Young Classic. She's a skilled athlete, but there's clearly room for improvement. That said, she has potential. Meanwhile, I'm excited that Ripley is staying put in NXT for the time being and will likely continue to make appearances in NXT UK. This was a fairly standard squash win for her to get her back on track following her disqualification loss to Shayna Baszler two weeks ago.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch def. Ever-Rise
Lorcan and Burch are fresh off a victory over Drew Gulak and Tony Nese on Tuesday's 205 Live, so they're really making the rounds this week. Ever-Rise were in action on NXT in a losing effort against Breezango several weeks back and looked more impressive here. They previously wrestled as 3.0 on the Canadian wrestling scene and I've heard nothing but positive things about them. I liked how they were competitive with Lorcan and Burch before losing.
Cameron Grimes def. Raul Mendoza
Wait a second. Why is Grimes getting more television time than the guy who actually won the NXT Breakout Tournament? Don't get me wrong, Grimes is a great wrestler, but Jordan Myles is far more entertaining to me. Plus, we don't know much about Grimes at all. Grimes went over in a matter of seconds last week yet had trouble putting away Mendoza (who he's beaten before), which was weird. In all honesty, I thought Mendoza had a better showing here than Grimes did.
Kushida and Breezango def. Imperium
Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel represented Imperium here. Breezango are a fun duo, but they were a slightly underwhelming choice for Kushida's mystery partners, especially when he had 205 Live and NXT UK to choose from. Hell, even Moustache Mountain or Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster would have made more sense. Nonetheless, this was a solid six-man tag team match that focused too heavily on Breezango and not as much on Kushida. WALTER laying out Kushida to end the episode left me looking forward to those two eventually going one-on-one.
The first hour of this show kicked ass, but the second hour wasn't as strong. I enjoyed it, but it seemed to feature more enhancement matches and even the main event wasn't as special as it could have been. Nevertheless, NXT once again delivered and set up a hell of an episode for next week, which will feature three championship matches. Personally, I'll be watching AEW on TNT before NXT, but that's simply because of how historic it'll be. It'll be a toss-up from there as to which show I'll be watching first, though.
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