A huge episode of NXT this week featured Drew McIntyre defending his NXT Championship against Roderick Strong, as well as the NXT Debut of Mae Young Classic Winner Kairi Sane and (kind of) Lio Rush.
Ruby Riot & Nikki Cross defeat Peyton Royce & Billie Kay. Grade: C+ Ruby Riot started the match by herself and soon found herself a victim of the numbers game; Nikki Cross again made the save and tagged in and allowed their team to fight back and get the win. This was almost the exact same as a few weeks ago, therefore not sure what the purpose of this was. Unless there is something to be told with Ruby Riot not being able to get it done herself, as she this time had to forced herself to make the decision to tag Nikki Cross, unlike the few weeks ago.
Velveteen Dream attacks the debuting Lio Rush before his match against Aleister Black. Grade: B- The incredible 22-year-old Lio Rush made his NXT debut scheduled to take on Aleister Black in what would have been an incredible match before the Velveteen Dream attacked Rush hitting him with the Purple Rainmaker meaning the match never got started. Black went to make the save but Velveteen Dream retreated demanding that Black acknowledge him and say his name (to which the crowd brilliant responded by singing the song). Not the best debut for Lio Rush but he has an incredible future ahead of him no doubt, and a great way to push forward the Velveteen Dream Aleister Black feud.
Kairi Sane defeated Aliyah. B- For those who haven’t followed Kairi Sane through Japan and didn’t watch the Mae Young Classic, this was many peoples first look at Kairi Sane. A nice NXT debut for Sane here over Aliyah who has been featured on NXT before. Kairi Sane is just so good, I’d be happy for her to go straight to the main roster very quickly; undoubtedly one of the very best in the world.
Drew McIntyre retains the NXT Championship defeating Roderick Strong. Grade: A- An incredible first title defence for McIntyre here with both men giving it their absolute all in this match! A fantastic match with several incredible spots and great near falls. Roderick Strong looks great in defeat here putting in such a good performance and this can further play into his ultimate underdog status. Drew McIntyre leaves this match looking like an incredibly dominant, unstoppable champion. A great show of respect after the match as well. An incredible match. After the match Adam Cole & The Undisputed Era came out and Adam Cole spoke to Strong, leaving us all wondering what was said and what is to come; a Roderick Strong heel turn to join the Ring of Honor faction would be amazing.