Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish) def. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch in an NXT Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
Strong and Burch previously teamed up to beat the duo of Raul Mendoza and Fabian Aichner to make this match official. That was so long ago that I completely forgot that Undisputed Era and Lorcan and Burch had to fight for a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championship. Undisputed Era have had a handful of matches against Lorcan and Burch over the last two years, but they never cease to work well together and thus it was no surprise that this was an enjoyable opener. How many more title shots can Undisputed Era get before they move on? I feel like they've unsuccessfully challenged for the belts at least three times since losing them in February.
Jake Atlas def. Ashante "Thee" Adonis
Adonis made enemies out of Legado del Fantasma at TakeOver 31 when he interfered in the NXT Cruiserweight Championship match between Santos Escobar and Isiah "Swerve" Scott on Scott's behalf. That was why they distracted him from ringside here and cost him the victory. The match was way too brief to be anything out of the ordinary, but the bigger story was that Adonis and Atlas joined forces with Scott afterward to combat Legado del Fantasma. Expect a six-man tag team match with those guys before long.
Johnny Gargano def. Austin Theory
Apparently this match came about after Theory asked William Regal because Gargano complained about Theory not softening up Damian Priest before Gargano faced him at TakeOver 31. That felt like a stretch in order to make sense of why this was happening. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun little match and Theory continues to impress, but the heel vs. heel dynamic was strange. Theory may not be in NXT for much longer if he continues to lose to everyone on the roster. On the bright side, Gargano gave him a nod of respect afterward as he walked up the ramp, making me wonder if he and Candice LeRae are looking to recruit him similar to Indi Hartwell like we saw last week.
Candice LeRae def. Shotzi Blackheart in an NXT Women's Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
I was surprised Toni Storm, Ember Moon and even Rhea Ripley weren't involved in this number one contender's match considering they're all hot on the heels of Io Shiari at the moment, especially since LeRae and Blackheart already lost their respective matches to Shirai. That said, this was a very good matchup and Blackheart continues to impress against everyone she steps in the ring with. LeRae won with the help of Hartwell at ringside, so it will be interesting to see if Hartwell will play a factor in her potentially winning the NXT Women's Championship at Halloween Havoc.
Toni Storm def. Aliyah
NXT has done a superb job of reintroducing Storm to the NXT audience so far. She had the unannounced return at TakeOver 31, she got the video package treatment last week, and here she had a short and sweet showcase for herself. Aliyah plays the "jobber to the stars" role well and thus this was exactly what it needed to be. Storm is an excellent addition to NXT's already-stacked women's division and her eventual clash with Io Shirai is going to be great.
Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) def. Drake Maverick and Killian Dain
As I said last week, the tandem of Maverick and Dain has grown on me and it's a smart use of both guys at the moment, especially Dain who has been a glorified stepping stone since coming back to NXT. They had a fun little match with Imperium here and I'm glad the former NXT Tag Team Champions didn't lose. Maverick and Dain should have to work their way up the tag team ladder and I like that NXT is taking their time with them.
NXT North American Champion Damian Priest def. Dexter Lumis
It can absolutely be argued that Lumis' gimmick won't get him beyond a certain level in NXT, but he's proven this year that he can more than hold his own against the likes of Adam Cole, Roderick Strong and now Priest. I wasn't expecting much from this match, yet they went out there and produced a super fun main event. Priest has been firing on all cylinders these past few months and this was another excellent performance from him. Cameron Grimes attacked Lumis when the referee wasn't looking, so Lumis was protected in defeat. Gargano then laid out Priest on the stage with William Regal announcing that it will Priest vs. Gargano for the NXT North American Championship again at Halloween Havoc. What did he do to deserve it other than beating Theory? Blackheart's evil impersonation was a little goofy, but it's nice that both title matches at Halloween Havoc will have stipulations and bringing back what's essentially the Raw Roulette wheel is a unique way of determining what the stipulations will be.
In addition to the two title matches mentioned above, Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez was also announced for Halloween Havoc in two weeks. I'm thrilled WWE is making it out to be a big show because it absolutely should be. As for this episode, the two hours were enjoyable with everything serving a purpose and the wrestling being top-notch on the whole. It's a shame Finn Balor is out injured with a broken jaw in two places and his status is up in the air right now, but the rest of the roster has thankfully been holding it down in the meantime.