Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano Went Face-to-Face
NXT didn't have much time to give this bout the build it deserves heading into TakeOver: New York, but this was an excellent way of heating up their encounter and establishing bad blood between them. Cole noted how he has been Mr. TakeOver since arriving in NXT, while Gargano cut a passionate promo about how his road to the NXT Championship over the past four years has made him that much hungrier to win it in Brooklyn. This was a really strong segment that left me looking forward to their 2-out-of-3 Falls match.
Vanessa Borne and Aliyah vs. Lacey Lane and Kacy Catanzaro Ended in a No Contest
This has been happening for weeks where a match featuring a few women's wrestlers who aren't established yet is interrupted by Shayna Baszler and her cronies. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, the matches aren't that great anyway and the attacks put more heat on Baszler and her crew. On the other hand, how is anyone else able to get over when all the focus is constantly on Baszler? I'm hopeful this will continue only through TakeOver and then we can finally move on after that.
Matt Riddle def. Kona Reeves
I honestly forgot Reeves was still on the roster. I remember when he was pushed for a brief period last year upon his re-debut before losing to EC3. He's been barely been used on the show since then. At least he's able to make his opponents look good, which was the case here with Riddle. They had a nice little outing, but the focus was almost completely on Velveteen Dream hanging out on the stage and the mind games he was attempting to play on Riddle. Similar to Cole vs. Gargano, Riddle vs. Dream doesn't have a ton of build either, but NXT has done a solid job of getting me excited for it in such a short span of time.
Aleister Black and Ricochet def. Forgotten Sons to Win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
Forgotten Sons have never done a ton for me, but to their credit, they have really been bringing the goods throughout the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Granted, a lot of that could be attributed to their opponents, but it wouldn't be fair to say that they've been carried to quality matches this entire time. They held their own here while Black and Ricochet once again had phenomenal performances. The final stretch in particular was fantastic with the crowd super into the action and giving this an awesome atmosphere. War Raiders haven't made too many appearances on NXT TV since becoming NXT Tag Team Champions, but their TakeOver: New York clash with Black and Ricochet should be killer.
The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic was a ton of fun this year and felt like a real priority for the first time in a few years, so I was happy that the finals took place in the main event of this week's episode, and boy, did it deliver. Meanwhile, the Riddle vs. Dream and Gargano vs. Cole feuds were furthered effectively. I wasn't a fan of what was done with the women, but it wasn't terribly offensive, either. On the whole, the build to TakeOver: New York has been terrific and I have high hopes for the event next Friday. When all is said and done, it could very well go down as one of the best TakeOver specials to date.