WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 15
The final NXT on the road to TakeOver: WarGames in Houston featured the final confrontation between NXT champion Drew McIntyre and No. 1 contender Andrade "Cien" Almas, a strong match between Ember Moon and Mercedes Martinez, another squash from Lars Sullivan and tag team action featuring The Street Profits.
On a night when the brand put the final touches on its card for Saturday's big live-event special, the emphasis was put on the matches and feuds that will play second fiddle to the marquee WarGames bout.
Who emerged victorious, what effects may they have on the brand heading into TakeOver and in what state will the Superstars be?
Find out with this recap of Wednesday's broadcast.
The Street Profits vs. Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss
The Street Profits sought to continue their winning ways this week, facing their toughest opponents to date, the overly arrogant team of Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss.
Angelo Dawkins took Sabbatelli down, and the babyfaces frustrated the heels in the opening seconds of the match with a double-team maneuver.
The heels isolated Montez Ford, but a hot tag to Dawkins led to the energetic comeback and another victory for the popular duo.
The Street Profits defeated Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss.
Despite name opposition in Sabbatelli and Moss, Dawkins and Ford dominated the match and earned a relatively uncontested victory.
Hopefully, this is a sign of advancement up the roster. As it is now, the squash matches are risking becoming stale, something an energetic and exciting, though young, team like The Street Profits cannot afford.
Lars Sullivan vs. Raul Mendoza
The seemingly unstoppable Lars Sullivan was in action once again Wednesday night, squaring off with the speedy Raul Mendoza.
Mendoza's speed and agility helped him dodge Sullivan's fury early, but the big man unleashed several corner splashes before obliterating him with a powerslam and finishing him off for another impressive victory.
After the match, Sullivan looked to continue his assault on Mendoza until Kassius Ohno hit the ring, staring his TakeOver: WarGames opponent down. Sullivan laughed the threat of Ohno off before heading to the locker room.
Lars Sullivan defeated Raul Mendoza.
Sullivan is one of the more interesting Superstars on the NXT roster, and his complete dismantling of Mendoza was another fun watch.
The brief interaction between him and Ohno built some hype for a match on Saturday's card that probably has not been built to its fullest potential.
Ember Moon vs. Mercedes Martinez
Just three days from the opportunity to capture the NXT Women's Championship that has eluded her for the entirety of her NXT career, Ember Moon squared off with the great Mercedes Martinez in singles competition.
Martinez was a step ahead of Moon early, wrestling her to the ground and applying a side headlock.
Moon recovered and fought her way back into the match, delivering a low dropkick that netted her a two-count. A quick roll-up and a series of quick strikes had Moon rolling until a chop stunned the top contender.
Martinez attempted a fisherman buster, but Moon countered and delivered a step-up enzuigiri.
A suicide dive through the middle and bottom ropes put Martinez out at ringside. As Moon scaled the ropes for the Eclipse, Martinez caught her with a big boot, stunning her.
Martinez again tried for the fisherman buster, but Moon countered into a small package. A kick to the spine and a stomp to the midsection rendered the veteran helpless, and Moon finished with the Eclipse for the win.
Ember Moon defeated Mercedes Martinez.
Moon and Martinez worked each other numerous times in SHIMMER and have very obvious in-ring chemistry.
Their match here allowed Moon to show what she is capable of when she has to fend off adversity rather than simply rolling in a squash. It was a solid booking decision that helped establish Moon as a favorite to leave Houston with the vacant title.
Drew McIntyre and Andrade "Cien" Almas Face-to-Face
NXT champion Drew McIntyre hit the ring for the final promo ahead of TakeOver: WarGames.
McIntyre implored Almas to come to the ring and face him like a man—not for the fans or Zelina Vega but for himself. The champion insinuated Almas was on a leash and that his new valet would not let him off.
The No. 1 contender's music played, and Vega appeared on the stage, followed by a furious Almas.
The Superstars engaged in a brawl before a gutsy Vega soared through the air, into the waiting arms of McIntyre. The distraction allowed Almas to take the upper hand, attack the leg of his opponent and deliver a hammerlock DDT to leave McIntyre lying.
The heel Almas and Vega stood tall to close out the segment, creating doubt that McIntyre can successfully retain his title Saturday.
The NXT Championship feud may not be the best-built match on the TakeOver card, but given the wealth of talent involved, it could wind up the best of the night when all is said and done.
Almas has taken the level of his performance up a notch since his push began, starting with a superb match against Johnny Gargano in Brooklyn. Another strong showing Saturday night may earn him another opportunity to score the win.
McIntyre, on the other hand, is a character in need of more depth. Right now, he is the least interesting of any of the main event guys, and that is a problem given the title around his waist.