Candice LeRae def. Ember Moon
Moon has been killing it since returning to NXT last month and this was another top-notch match from her. LeRae is obviously super talented as well and thus this was a superb opening match. LeRae needed the victory more and Moon doesn't lose much in defeat. Afterward, Toni Storm seemed to come to Moon's aid against the heels, only to attack her instead and turn heel. Although I didn't see it coming, it actually makes perfect sense because she can say she's felt Moon's return overshadowed her own. It's also the right call because she needed some sort of a spark and this could be it.
Undisputed Era Addressed Pat McAfee, Pete Dunne and NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
Needless to say, Undisputed Era should have been called up to the main roster forever ago, but they feel fresh again now that they're back together as babyfaces. They showed excellent intensity here and I liked how Kyle O'Reilly volunteered to face Dunne in the main event after what Dunne did to him at Halloween Havoc. This served as solid setup for that match and it was nice to hear from all of Undisputed Era for the first time in a while.
Kushida def. Timothy Thatcher
I want Thatcher to have a consistent string of wins, but if that isn't possible, at least he won last week before losing here. Plus, it was a well-wrestled, competitive contest that was given the time it deserved. Tommaso Ciampa distracted Thatcher from ringside, so Thatcher now has a reason to want to face him. I expect that clash to go down at TakeOver and it should be terrific given the level of talent.
Johnny Gargano and Damian Priest Interrupted NXT North American Champion Leon Ruff on The KO Show with Kevin Owens
Owens being on commentary was one of the things I looking forward to most on this show, yet it wasn't nearly as special as I hoped it would be. Maybe it's for the better than he wasn't over-the-top, but he blended in too much to the point that it felt like he didn't care. He came off that way in this segment as well, though I found it entertaining on the whole. Everyone played their roles well, including William Regal whose "playa" line was genuinely hilarious. I can certainly see Ruff escaping TakeOver with the NXT North American Championship so Gargano and Priest can settle their feud some other time without the title involved.
Cameron Grimes def. Jake Atlas
Atlas took Santos Escobar when they fought for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship recently, but this was all about Grimes. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice little match, but Atlas never stood a chance. Dexter Lumis emerged afterward and challenged Grimes to a Strap matchup at TakeOver, which was later made official by Regal. Lumis vs. Roderick Strong in the Strap match exceeded my expectations back at The Great American Bash, so maybe they too will make the stipulation work.
Candice LeRae, Toni Storm, Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez Attacked Rhea Ripley
Ripley addressed the speculation regarding her future and admitted she has respect for Io Shiari, but I like how her time in NXT isn't over yet and how she'll have a role in this women's WarGames match coming up. She's actually a logical addition to the bout given her recent history with Shirai and Gonzalez, not to mention that she was the standard in WarGames last year. This was very well done and I was left with way more optimism regarding the matchup than I was a week ago when I felt it was thrown together. And yes, Ripley is still main roster bound, but it may be best for WWE to wait to call her up until the beginning of the new year.
Grizzed Young Veterans Attacked Ever-Rise
Finally! Grizzled Young Veterans appeared to be on the verge of becoming regulars on NXT earlier this year before the pandemic hit. I've been anxiously awaiting their return and I'm so glad they've returned. NXT's tag team division could desperately use them and I'm looking forward to them being back in the NXT Tag Team Championship mix before long. This was exactly what it needed to be with Grizzled Young Veterans laying out Ever-Rise and, more importantly, Zack Gibson cutting a short-and-sweet promo.
Pete Dunne def. Kyle O'Reilly in a Ladder Match to Earn the WarGames Advantage
When Adam Cole mentioned earlier that Undisputed Era had always gained the WarGames advantage in the past, you had to know O'Reilly wasn't winning here. After all, it makes more sense for heels to have the advantage going in, and Undisputed Era are babyfaces now. Much like last year, the Ladder match stipulation wasn't necessary at all, but it did make for a fantastic match with plenty of crazy spots. The masked man was presumably Pat McAfee (who wasn't able to appear this week), but it could also possibly turn out to be Cole or another member of Undisputed Era if they split at or after WarGames. I hope that isn't the case and they just used someone random under the mask because it was supposed to be McAfee but he wasn't available.
I still think the build to TakeOver: WarGames IV next weekend has been rushed and that NXT could have held off on doing the show until later in December or in the new year, but they've done a decent job of putting together two WarGames matches that make sense. This was an above-average episode thanks to the Ladder match main event, Grizzled Young Veterans' return, the progression with the women's division, and Owens sitting in on commentary, even though he was mildly disappointing. There was little to no filler and the two hours were jam-packed, efficient and enjoyable.