WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 8
The November 8 episode of NXT continued the long march to the TakeOver: War Games, live from Houston on November 18.
Roderick Strong and Adam Cole headlined the show, but by night's end, all nine Superstars involved in the titular match of the event made their presences felt.
Also on deck Wednesday night was Velveteen Dream's return to the squared circle as he battled Cezar Bononi, determined to send a message to Aleister Black.
Kairi Sane and Billie Kay squared off in singles competition, while Heavy Machinery squashed two more victims to round out the broadcast.
Heavy Machinery vs. Sean Maluta and Kris Payne
Heavy Machinery returned to the NXT Arena Wednesday night for another energetic squash match. The team's opponents, Sean Maluta and Kris Payne, never stood a chance.
Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight tossed their opponents around the ring, and at one point, the former executed the Worm to perfection and added in an elbow drop for good measure.
Together, the duo finished off its demolition of Maluta and Payne with The Compactor.
Heavy Machinery defeated Sean Maluta and Tucker Knight
Never underestimate the quality of a fun squash match.
With that said, we have seen this out of Heavy Machinery so often that, at some point, it must move on to something more significant. We saw this out of Baron Corbin years ago where fans grew tired of watching the same thing happen for weeks on end, and ultimately, they turned on the ass-kicker.
A lack of depth in the tag team division creates questions about where the team goes from here, but NXT Creative must figure it out before the team suffers from unnecessary backlash.
Kairi Sane vs. Billie Kay
Kairi Sane looked to score a big win before she heads to Houston for TakeOver: War Games and an opportunity to become the new NXT women's champion. To do so, she would have to defeat Billie Kay, who was accompanied by one of Sane's opponents at TakeOver, Peyton Royce.
Sane frustrated Kay early, but a well-timed bit of interference from Royce turned the tide in the favor of the Aussie.
She trapped Sane in the torture rack at one point but was unable to capitalize. Sane fought back into the match, leveled Royce to prevent her from interfering again and delivered her In-Sane Elbow for the pinfall victory.
Kairi Sane defeated Billie Kay
The match was nothing special, but as a story, it gave fans a taste of what Sane and the rest of Royce's opponents at TakeOver will have to deal with. In that case, it will be Kay who interferes on behalf of her partner, but in any case, it is still a numbers disadvantage for everyone else in the match.
That will be the narrative of the match come November 18 and key to the outcome.
Either the new champion overcomes the odds or Royce cheats her way to the first title of her young career.
Cezar Bononi vs. Velveteen Dream
Cezar Bononi has previously scored an upset win over Andrade Almas but has failed to replicate that success. Wednesday, he squared off with Velveteen Dream just weeks before the eccentric star's showdown with Aleister Black.
Dream, determined to send a message to Black, was aggressive and wasted little time taking the fight to an outmatched Bononi.
A Death Valley Driver and the diving elbow drop earned Dream the victory.
Dream cut a post-match promo in which he vowed Black will say his name after TakeOver.
Velveteen Dream defeated Cezar Bononi
This was exactly what it had to be.
Dream was aggressive. He was mean and nasty, proving that behind the facade there is a wrestler unafraid to go toe-to-toe with the intimidating Black.
His demolition of Bononi was impressive, and his post-match did enough to put an exclamation point on this segment.
Roderick Strong vs. Adam Cole
The initial tie-up in Wednesday's main event was intense and demonstrated the raw emotion between Roderick Strong and Adam Cole. A well-timed distraction, in which Cole pulled the official between him and Strong, allowed him to deliver a kick that turned the tide in his favor heading into the final break of the night.
Cole cut Strong off at every turn, preventing a sustained comeback for the majority of the match.
As Strong rolled late, utilizing a devastating jumping knee and backbreaker, Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish hit the ring to draw the disqualification.
After the match, The Authors of Pain and Sanity hit the ring, instigating a huge brawl that ended with Strong delivering a superplex from the top rope on Cole, into a mass of bodies at ringside.
Roderick Strong defeated Adam Cole via disqualification
The match itself was but a taste of the superb in-ring work the Superstars are capable of.
Never once, though, did it feel like the classic it could be. Instead, it felt like a match designed to set up the finish and everything after it.
That brawl was electrifying, the dive by Alexander Wolfe was the latest in a growing string of performances by the German that have helped him stand out in recent months and the superplex spot was the perfect exclamation point.
A great way to cap off another strong episode of NXT.