Kickoff Show: Blair Davenport def. Kelani Jordan
Both of these women had their stories interrupted as Dana Brooke (Kelani's mentor who was in the midst of a heel turn) was released and Gigi Dolin (who Davenport was supposed to face this past Tuesday on NXT) got hurt. Dolin must not be too hurt if she showed up after this was over and attacked Davenport. At any rate, Davenport and Jordan had a decent pre-show match. The experienced Davenport was able to carry Jordan for a majority of it, but Jordan impressed when she was on offense. She isn't ready to be on a live special and there's plenty of room for improvement, but it's clear Shawn Michaels is high on her and her potential.
Baron Corbin def. Bron Breakker
This match could have easily gone either way, not only in terms of who was winning also its quality, especially with both guys being heels. Despite that dynamic, they successfully got the crowd into the action with their explosive offense and by not wasting any time in taking the fight to each other. I assumed Von Wagner would get involved and cost Breakker the win, but it was actually Robert Stone. Either way, it was the outcome I expected. I don't mind Corbin going over, but Breakker's lost a lot since dropping the NXT Championship back in April and should have been called up to the main roster months ago.
Trick Williams def. "Dirty" Dominik Mysterio to Win the NXT North American Championship (Dragon Lee Served as Special Guest Referee)
Williams was a last-minute replacement for the now-fired Mustafa Ali, so does that mean Ali would've won the title if he wasn't released? I maintain that it should have been Lee following his two losses to Mysterio, but Williams isn't a bad choice either based on how much he's improved on his own and how over he's gotten with the audience. Silly ref bumps aside, this was a good match with a surprising result. I thought Mysterio's reign would've lasted a little longer, but Williams becoming champ is not a negative.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Family def. OTM, The Creed Brothers, and Los Lotharios in a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match
Of the five live specials NXT has done this year, four of them have featured multi-team matches for the NXT Tag Team Championship. It's excessive and proves that NXT puts minimal effort into their tag team division. That said, this was an absolute blast. They worked a great pace and there was never a dull moment. I don't know if Tony D'Angelo's injury was legitimate or not, but he certainly sold it like it was. On a side note, OTM are still quite green and should not have been in this spot. A Triple Threat tag team match would have sufficed.
NXT Heritage Cup Champion Noam Dar def. Butch
I still don't love the Heritage Cup-style matches, but to their credit, they made the most of it and had a very well-wrestled match. They went the full six rounds and, shockingly, the crowd wasn't completely quiet throughout. Gallus cost Butch the win (Butch beat Joe Coffey to earn the title shot), setting up the Butch and Tyler Bate vs. Gallus tag team match for Tuesday's NXT. It would have been silly for Butch to take the title to SmackDown (yet not totally unheard of seeing as how Mysterio, Solo Sikoa, Becky Lynch and The New Day have all done it within the last year).
Ilja Dragunov def. Carmelo Hayes to Win the NXT Championship
I loved the first match these two had at The Great American Bash and they managed to have an equally exceptional outing here. Their chemistry is just so stellar as they again beat the hell out of each other and held nothing back. The crowd was hot for all of this and the nearfalls down the stretch were excellent. Hayes has killed it during this reign, but Dragunov taking the title was the right call as he's been on another level lately. This also adds to the story they're telling with Williams and Hayes because Hayes was caught looking at Williams' title backstage when the show went off the air.
NXT Women's Champion Becky Lynch def. Tiffany Stratton in an Extreme Rules
I wasn't originally sold on this being the main event when WWE made the announcement earlier in the day on social media because I figured Dragunov vs. Hayes would be better (it was) and the championship wasn't changing hands, but I understood the decision because Lynch is such a big star. It ended up being worthy of the main event spot as they put forth a fantastic effort and had a hell of a brawl. Lynch followed up her strong Steel Cage match with Trish Stratus with another outstanding performance here, and Stratton once again held her own and shined in defeat. They made wonderful use of the stipulation and got a bit more extreme than your average WWE hardcore matchup. The belt stays with Lynch (as it should for the foreseeable future), but Stratton loses nothing. The question now is where she goes from here, because it might still be a tad too soon for her to be on the main roster right now.
First and foremost, the intro video for this show was one of the best this company has ever done. Having grown up on WWF No Mercy myself, that was an awesome nod to an all-time game. The event itself was on par with the other live specials NXT has done this year in that it was above average and had a lot to like about it. There were no bad matches on the main card, the two title changes were notable, and the last two matches in particular were terrific. In my opinion, this is the best the brand has been since the relaunch two years ago.