NXT – The Illustrious Future: Best NXT TV Match This Year?

This week’s show opened with what I called a highly-anticipated three-way dance featuring Liv Morgan, Peyton Royce, and Nikki Cross. I really like that NXT is holding a number of qualifying matches to fill the three spots at TakeOver. It shows that the title challengers truly had to earn their spot, and eventually the prize. This particular bout presented interesting dynamics from the competitors, which is what had me hyped since last week. We saw some fun action from bell to bell, and the match picked up with The Undisputed Era sent Taynara Conti to do their dirty work. How creative! At first she failed her job, but ultimately Cross was unable to win. Peyton Royce goes to TakeOver (good for her), and the divide continues to grow between Cole’s faction and Sanity. Great work here.

Lio Rush made his official in-ring debut, in losing fashion to The Velveteen Dream. I can’t complain too much as Dream needed to keep his momentum going. Additionally, this was quite an intense bout packed into a short time span, so it worked. I think Rush could really be something once he pays his dues in this jobber stage.

Lars Sullivan continued his dominance over UK star Danny Burch. It was nice to see Burch show off his own strength right off the bat. The result was just as it should be, however, I’m anticipating more from the beast. As I discussed with Botch this week, we want to see more character from him… like why he’s doing what he does. Hopefully we see more development from both his persona and ring work, because I want to see him go toe-to-toe with Braun Strowman one day.

The Street Profits continue to impress! The Full Sail crowd really loves them, and I hope that love continues on the road for live events, and eventually onto the main roster. They have a unique set of double-team moves to match their energy and charisma. Hopefully they move past unknown jobbers soon.

Next week’s show will be must-see with two huge matches that I had the privilege of seeing in person: Ember Moon vs. Ruby Riot vs. Sonya Deville AND Undisputed Era vs. Sanity.

This week’s main event between Johnny Gargano and Andrade “Cien” Almas without a doubt stole the show. In fact, I thought it was one of the best NXT TV matches yet this year. Zelina Vega continues to play her part to a tee, especially by keeping the painful memory of DIY alive for Johnny. I was a little surprised Almas won the rematch, but knowing what I know about future storylines, I can understand why. Major props to these two!

This was another really good episode to continue the trend since Brooklyn. As they say, the future is now.