Tony D'Angelo def. Dexter Lumis
I'm not as sold on the D'Angelo character as most other people seem to be, but there's no denying the guy can hold his own in the ring. This was perfectly acceptable while it lasted, but it didn't have a chance to be anything more because it was so short. D'Angelo winning was slightly surprising because of how protected Lumis has been in the past, but I can understand wanting to push the new guy.
NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes Challenged Johnny Gargano and Pete Dunne to a Triple Threat Match Next Week
Hayes and Trick Williams attacked Lumis after the opener, which brought out Gargano to make the save. Dunne then brought up his win over Hayes from last week, so logically, a Triple Threat title match was made official for next week. I just didn't expect Hayes to be the one to throw down the challenge. The mic work was solid and Hayes continues to be one of the biggest stars in NXT 2.0. He's delivering on every level.
Odyssey Jones and Jacket Time def. Diamond Mine (NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong and The Creed Brothers)
Jacket Time is quickly becoming a guilty pleasure of mine and they had nice chemistry with Jones. Meanwhile, Diamond Mine are a well-oiled machine and are having quality matches week after week. This was an enjoyable six-man tag team affair with some fun moments. I have no problem with the babyfaces winning, but Jones pinning Strong was certainly interesting. Jones isn't getting a Cruiserweight title match, so why wouldn't you have Kushida or Ikemen Jiro pick up the winning fall instead?
Xyon Quinn def. Andre Chase
This was an improvement over the dumb dance stuff Quinn was involved in a week or two ago. Book the guy like a killer and I'm sure he'll get over because he fits the role well. I'm fine with him showing more personality, but that wasn't the way to do it. Plus, I'll never complain about Chase getting squashed because the dude does nothing for me. Legado del Fantasma attacked Quinn afterward for turning them down last week and Santos Escobar finally resurfaced.
Duke Hudson Attacked Cameron Grimes Following a Poker Showdown
This poker crap is peak NXT 2.0. I'm a fan of both of these guys, but I'd rather see them having matches and not playing poker in the middle of the room. Texas Hold'em confuses the hell out of me, so this felt like it dragged on forever until Hudson finally ambushed him. It is worth noting that for the second straight week, Grimes showed his serious side briefly, so maybe some good will actually come out of this feud for him.
Kyle O'Reilly and Von Wagner def. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen
With any luck, Von Wagner's appearance on last week's SmackDown (which O'Reilly acknowledged in a backstage segment) means WWE is preparing for O'Reilly potentially leaving when his contract expires at the end of the year. With the way he's been booked since the start of NXT 2.0, he'd be an absolute fool to stay. He has no future on this show. This was serviceable, but O'Reilly and Von Wagner have zero chemistry together.
Persia Pirotta def. Gabby Stephens and Jenna Levy in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Indi Hartwell was tending to Lumis in the back, so Pirotta went at it alone. I thought it would turn into a standard singles match, but she actually faced both of them at the same time and was damn impressive. She should have a bright future ahead of her if she can keep progressing. Robert Stone dressing like a character from Grease and watching Pirotta from the ramp was weird. I'd advise Pirotta to stay as far away from him as possible considering almost everyone he's managed ended up getting released.
Bron Breakker Confronted NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa
I didn't think we'd see these two interact so soon after their NXT Championship clash at Halloween Havoc, but here we are. Ciampa brought up the new crop of talent in NXT 2.0 and reminded viewers of his over Breakker. It sure looks like we're headed toward a rematch, but the question is when it will happen. Will it happen at WarGames, or will they be on opposing teams at the event? I get the sense that the men's WarGames match will pit stars from NXT 1.0 against stars from NXT 2.0, but that's just a hunch because I don't know what they do otherwise.
Raquel Gonzalez def. Dakota Kai by Disqualification
Was this always advertised for this episode? I honestly don't remember. All I know is that I wasn't happy that they gave away this TakeOver rematch on such short notice when it should have been built up a bit more. This felt like a television main event early on, but it came close to reaching the level of their TakeOver encounter by the end. Post-match, all hell broke loose with Io Shirai and Cora Jade saving Gonzalez attacking Toxic Attraction and Kai, setting the stage for WarGames.
It's been just over two months since the relaunch of NXT and I just can't get into it. There are some shining stars who can carry the brand in the future, but there's too much filler and acts that aren't working. The two hours are a chore to sit through more often than not and there aren't enough above-average matches to make the show worthwhile. NXT has really lost its way lately and I don't know if these teased WarGames matches are going to turn things around. This edition in particular was middling and uninspiring.