By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Kushida and “MSK” Wes Lee and Nash Carter vs. “Legado del Fantasma” Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza: A strong six-man tag match that did a great job of putting heat on the heel trio. In doing so, they also set up a pair of title matches with Escobar going after the NXT Cruiserweight Title that he lost to Kushida, while Wilde and Mendoza presumably earned an NXT Tag Title shot by giving MSK their first loss.
Mercedes Martinez vs. Dakota Kai: I wasn’t sure whether Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai turned babyface going into this match. Gonzalez had been all smiles since winning the title, and Kai facing heel Martinez really made me wonder. But the Gonzalez attack on Martinez seemed designed to cement the duo as heels, while presumably turning Martinez babyface. Martinez is a strong heel, but fans should have no trouble rallying behind the longtime independent veteran.
Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner vs. Killian Dain and Drake Maverick: A hot tag match with some fun moving parts. They planted the seed of Maverick being concerned that Dain wouldn’t be there when he needed him and then played into that perfectly by having Dain pulled from the apron, unbeknownst to Maverick. There was also the interesting moment when Alexander Wolfe, who was in the corner of Barthel and Aichner, declined to attack Dain. More than anything, the MVP of the match was Maverick. It’s crazy to think that WWE officials were actually going to cut one of their most versatile performers last year at this time.
Cameron Grimes and Ted DiBiase: You had to know the Million Dollar Man cameo was coming sooner or later, and yet it still felt like a fun surprise when he did show up.
Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory: A good match with the fun side story of the Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis romance continuing. Reed continues to impress, and Theory did a nice job in his role as the set-up man for Johnny Gargano and the NXT North American Championship.
Toni Storm vs. Zayda Ramier: It seemed like it was going to be a quick spotlight match for Storm to show off the sadistic side of her personality. Instead, Zoey Stark caused the distraction that led to Ramier hitting a nice shooting star press and stealing the win. I assume Storm’s revenge on the Killer Z’s (my terrible nickname for the duo) will be vicious.
None: It’s not that this was an off the charts great show. Rather, it was just a good, quality episode. While the show felt a little light on star power, everything felt like it served a purpose and effectively moved the storylines forward.