Tomasso Ciampa Explained His Actions
Apparently Ciampa's logic for turning on Johnny Gargano at TakeOver: Chicago was that he thought the fans felt he was replaceable coming off his injuries prior to and at the event itself. I figured they would go a different route after the many times it was teased he would turn on him late last year, but this was fine, too. Perhaps it's because I haven't heard Ciampa talk too much before, but I didn't love his delivery of this promo, but I'm sure he'll come into his own as a heel eventually. It looks like he'll out on the shelf for a while, but at least he went out on a good note by ripping into the fans.
WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne def. Danny Burch (Non-title)
Dunne simply radiates super stardom and as I said in an article last week, he could arrive on the main roster tomorrow and thrive. From his badass look to his exceptional in-ring ability to his remarkable mic skills, he has the complete package. Burch is a hell of a hand in the ring as well and I really wish NXT would re-sign him to a deal because he has a lot to offer. These two had a very hard-hitting, entertaining affair and Dunne's post-match promo was also excellent.
Czear Bononi def. Andrade "Cien" Almas
I could just tell from the way the commentators were discussing how Almas has been too busy partying lately that I assumed he would lose here in "shocking" fashion, and that's exactly what happened. That isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as this is going somewhere and Almas isn't losing for no reason. The guy is an incredible athlete and I'd hate to see that go to waste. This was a pretty standard squash match otherwise up until Bononi's upset victory.
Roderick Strong and Kassius Ohno def. SAnitY
Strong and Ohno have great chemistry as partners and it made sense from a storyline standpoint for Ohno to team up with Strong against SAnitY given his own history with the group from TakeOver: Orlando. It was a very solid tag team matchup and the finishing sequence was fun, especially with the return of No Way Jose. SAnitY took another loss, but they weren't too damaged by this, and it obviously sets up a six-man tag team match for down the line. Personally, I'm ready to see everyone involved move on from this feud (Tye Dillinger certainly did), but we'll see where it goes.
The road to TakeOver: Brooklyn 3 is officially underway and I'm looking forward to seeing what the buildup to the always-anticipated event will consist of. Bobby Roode didn't exactly appear on this episode as advertised (he showed up in a pre-taped vignette), but he will return to Full Sail University next week and we should get a better idea of who will be a part of the title picture then. That aside, this was an enjoyable edition of NXT, highlighted by the above-average Dunne vs. Burch match. Also next week, Hideo Itami takes on Oney Lorcan while an NXT Women's Championship Triple Threat Elimination match is on tap for two weeks from now, so there's plenty to be excited about in NXT at the moment.