The Velveteen Dream Interrupted Ricochet
It's amazing how much Ricochet has improved on the mic in just a few years, because I don't remember him being that skilled of a talker in Lucha Underground. However, he was cool, calm and collected here and came across like a star in the process. His back-and-forth with Dream was highly enjoyable and laid the groundwork for a future match between the two, possibly at NXT TakeOver: Chicago next month. They've been trading shots on Twitter for months, so I'm excited for when they inevitably clash.
EC3 def. Raul Mendoza
Mendoza always makes his opponents look good in defeat and that was once again the case here. EC3 isn't the most technical wrestler, but he is competent enough to have solid matches and that was exactly what this was. He hit all of his signature spots and had the crowd in the palm of his hand. His post-match promo was also short, sweet and to the point. He has a bright future ahead of him on NXT.
Dakota Kai def. Vanessa Borne
I'm a big proponent of how Kai has received more television time lately in this storyline with Shayna Baszler because she's a terrific talent. Borne is still a work in progress, but she and Kai worked a decent match with Kai winning as she should have. I love how Kai is super confident whenever she's in the ring but is afraid whenever Baszler shows up. If this is the match we're getting for the NXT Women's Championship in Chicago, then I'm all for it. It'll be a major moment when Kai eventually does stand up to Baszler.
War Raiders def. Heavy Machinery
I remember being slightly disappointed by the "hoss battle" between Heavy Machinery and The Authors of Pain last summer, but this was more along the lines of what I was hoping for. It was a very physical, hard-hitting match that never seemed to drag at any point. The explosive offense of War Raiders is such a blast to watch and this was fun while it lasted. I could certainly see War Raiders being the team to eventually dethrone Undisputed Era as NXT Tag Team Champions.
Tommaso Ciampa def. Kassius Ohno
I liked how fired up Ohno was here to exact revenge on behalf of his friend, Johnny Gargano. Granted, I never felt the outcome was in doubt, but the way they picked up the pace as the match went along and both men getting progressively more aggressive was great. This turned into a hell of a main event down the stretch and the heat for Ciampa was off the charts. Ciampa is truly NXT's most hated heel right now and the crowd will go nuts when Gargano give him his comeuppance (again).
NXT continues to pack several storylines into one hour of television time in effective fashion and this edition was no different. EC3's NXT TV in-ring debut was newsworthy and everything else was entertaining as well as successful in setting up a few possible matchups for TakeOver. I'd suggest checking out the above-average main event, but really, the whole episode is a treat and should be viewed in its entirety.