Karrion Kross def. Danny Burch; Kross vs. Keith Lee for the NXT Championship at TakeOver XXX Was Made Official
I was surprised Burch lasted as long as he did against Kross, but I say that as a positive thing. Based on how he's been booked up to this point, this probably should have been over within a minute, but he definitely gained something from scoring some offense against the unstoppable Kross before losing. As for the fireball spot afterward, I actually didn't mind it at all. Stuff like that can be hokey in wrestling (always has been, always will be), but this was a good use of it and I thought it went well. It puts heat on Kross and will make Lee want to get his hands on him that much more.
Drake Maverick vs. Killian Dain Ended in a No Contest
Well, this was random, especially since Maverick had been wrestling Cruiserweights up until this point. With Santos Escobar moving onto Isiah "Swerve" Scott, it's safe to say Maverick's feud with Legado del Fantasma is over for now and that's a bummer. This bout barely got started before being interrupted by Undisputed Era. Adam Cole was clearly pissed (in storyline) after being embarrassed by Pat McAfee last week, and although I have my reservations about their TakeOver XXX match, I applaud them for trying to generate interest in it.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar def. Tyler Breeze (Non-Title)
Escobar is the complete package and you can't convince me otherwise. Legado del Fantasma laid out Breezango last week, so this was a logical match to do. Breeze never stood a chance, of course, but it was refreshing to see him in serious mode for a change after going back to being goofy with Fandango. It was a nice win for Escobar ahead of his eventual championship clash with Scott. I really hope that's saved for TakeOver XXX, as it would mark the first time that the NXT Cruiserweight Championship is defended on a TakeOver special.
Mia Yim def. Indi Hartwell
As I've said before, Hartwell will be one to watch going forward. You can tell officials also see big things in her. I mean, why else would she be getting so many opportunities lately? Granted, she came up short here, but she had a solid showing. This was more about furthering the Keith Lee story with Yim acting like she was off her game due to being distracted by her injured boyfriend. At least she still managed to secure the win.
Bronson Reed def. Damian Priest
Reed has been on a roll recently from winning at The Great American Bash to qualifying for the NXT North American Championship Ladder match at TakeOver XXX to beating Shane Thorne just last week. Priest needs wins as well, but of the two, he's more established and thus Reed picking up the victory here was the right call. They had a fun little match that I assume would have been even better with more time, but they made the most of what they had. Reed getting more opportunities to shine has been super cool and I hope he leaves a lasting impression at TakeOver.
Mercedes Martinez and Aliyah def. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter
Catanzaro and Carter are fine in the "sacrificial lamb" roles for right now, but I'd like to see the uber-athletic Catanzaro get her own spotlight at some point as she has a lot of untapped potential. However, this was solely designed to get Martinez over as a monster and it succeeded. I couldn't care less about Aliyah, but at least her role was limited and the focus was kept on Martinez as it should have been. Martinez vs. Rhea Ripley when it happens should be fire, but Shotzi Blackheart teaming with Ripley against The Robert Stone Brand in the meantime because of her established issues with the group.
Cameron Grimes def. Kushida and Velveteen Dream in a Triple Threat Match to Qualify for the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match at TakeOver XXX
Grimes and Kushida worked well together during their feud last year, so I knew they were going to make this main event enjoyable regardless of who the third man was. To be honest, I had no idea it would be Dream, even though he's been off TV for about two months. In fact, that's exactly why I thought it wouldn't be him, just because he was never proven innocent (as far as I know) from the Speaking Out allegations. I'm glad Grimes picked up the win instead of Dream, but Kushida continuing to lose bothers me because he could and should be doing so much more. Dream will get another chance to qualify for TakeOver when he faces Finn Balor next week and I sure as hell hope Balor emerges victorious.
It's crazy to think that TakeOver XXX is next Saturday as TakeOver: In Your House feels like it was just yesterday. It's shaping up to be a loaded card and I can't wait. The build in the meantime has been excellent and this was another above-average edition of NXT. Dream's return was noteworthy (albeit polarizing), several storylines progressed, and the matches delivered as always. These two hours were a terrific piece of business.