At NXT TakeOver: Houston, the NXT Women's Championship will be competed for in a Fatal Four Way. We already know that Kairi Sane will be in that match, and this week's broadcast of NXT saw a qualification match pitting Liv Morgan, Peyton Royce and Nikki Cross against each other with the winner joining that match at TakeOver.
Elsewhere, Johnny Gargano sought vengeance for TakeOver: Brooklyn III when he got his rematch against Andrade Cien Almas in the night's main event.
On top of that, we saw another Lars Sullivan squash, a star-making showing from Lio Rush, and The Street Profits turning on the style.
Peyton Royce going to Houston and The Undisputed Era adds a member
The opening match of the night pitted Peyton Royce, Liv Morgan and Nikki Cross in a triple threat qualifier match for the NXT Women's Championship match at NXT TakeOver: Houston.
The match itself was a competent if unremarkable affair. Peyton Royce would take a nasty-looking bump on the outside after Nikki Cross broke up a submission hold Royce had on Morgan in the ropes. Later in the match there was a Tower of Doom spot with Cross powerbombing Royce who suplexed Morgan.
The match ended when Taynara Conti, who competed in the Mae Young Classic, emerged flanked by The Undisputed Era. She would go on to drag Cross out of the ring. The Scot would chase Conti around and into the ring, when Royce nailed her with a spinning heel kick and a fisherman's suplex for the win.
Not only do we now know that Royce will be joining Kairi Sane in the Fatal 4-Way at TakeOver, but it appears as if The Undisputed Era have recruited another member in Taynara Conti, which will be an interesting development to watch going forward.
Lio Rush shines in defeat to The Velveteen Dream
After The Velveteen Dream attacked Lio Rush last week before the latter's match against Aleister Black could even take place, Dream and Rush went to war this week on NXT.
While The Velveteen Dream predictably picked up the win to further his feud with Aleister Black, it was Lio Rush that came out of the match looking like a star in the making.
The crowd were already hot for Rush before he responded to Dream telling him to say his name with a slap in the face. From there, Rush flew around the ring at a dizzying pace. It was this pace, and a beautiful enzuigiri, that saw the Full Sail crowd chant the newbie's name.
His dazzling offence and lightning quick pace had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hands.
The Velveteen Dream would win after following a Dreamer Bomb with a Purple Rainmaker elbowfor the pin, before posing Aleister Black-style in the middle of the ring.
Overall, it was a match that achieved everything it had to. It made Dream look good as his feud with Black continues, while Rush becomes an instant fan favorite in defeat.
#DIY T-Shirt 2, Johnny Wrestling 0
The main event of tonight's NXT broadcast saw Johnny Gargano get his rematch against Andrade Cien Almas from TakeOver: Brooklyn III and, boy oh boy, was it good.
The action was as back-and-forth as you are likely to see. The match started with some chain mat wrestling between the two as Almas and Gargano sought a way to establish control.
As the match carried on, the pace quickened. Almas countered a Gargano kick on the apron with a kick of his own, followed by a backbreaker and reverse DDT on the apron. The match continued to intensify as both men continued to counter every move the other tried to use.
Gargano followed up a stiff chop to the chest from Almas with a superkick for a near fall, while Almas flipped out of a sunset flip powerbomb, only to be cracked with a clothesline from Gargano. Johnny Wrestling then tossed Almas head first into the turnbuckle before trapping him in the Gargano Escape.
It was at this point that the match would turn on its head when Zelina Vega showed off a #DIY shirt which she was wearing to get into the head of Gargano. This momentary distraction allowed Almas to escape the Gargano Escape. A drop toe hold into the turnbuckle, several double knees into the back of the head and a hammer lock DDT later and Almas had his second win over Johnny Gargano.
It is an intriguing story that they are telling with Gargano being unable to get over what Tomasso Ciampa did to him. The idea that the betrayal is haunting him and costing him matches is quite interesting and will be fun to see unfold as the weeks go on.
The Street Profits are quickly becoming one of my favorite acts in WWE. The two guys are clearly reveling their new gimmicks and that comes out every time they compete. Their match against Damien Smith and Marcos Espada was a straightforward but it was the antics of Montez Ford from The Street Profits which were the highlights. Whether it was his little dance in the ring to antagonize Smith that popped the crowd, or his running around the ring laughing when his partner laid out Espada, Ford was absolutely hilarious. It helps that The Street Profits ooze charisma and make an effort to connect with the crowd whenever they can, which will go some way towards making them a top tag team on NXT in no time at all
- Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay) def Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross
- The Velveteen Dream def. Lio Rush
- Lars Sullivan def. Danny Burch
- The Street Profits def. Damien Smith and Marcos Espada
- Andrade Cien Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) def. Johnny Gargano
What did you think about NXT this week? Let us know in the comments below!