Every time the superstars of the WWE's still wayward U.K. division step foot in a WWE ring, a spectacular match tends to be the result -- and Wednesday's edition of NXT was no different.
One week after a TakeOver-quality match between WWE U.K. Champion Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano, the champ was confronted by his British Strong Style chums Tyler Bate and Trent Seven. The two reminded Dunne of when he left fellow U.K. combatant Wolfgang to be ambushed by the Undisputed Era and challenged him not only to a match, but to find a partner willing to team with him.
Dunne did just that, bringing in Mark Andrews to help him take on Bate and Seven; Andrews did so under the condition that he'd get a shot at the U.K. championship, should their team win. In a match taped the night before TakeOver at NXT's live show in San Antonio, there was little doubt that live crowd would get an incredible match -- and to our benefit, we got to enjoy it as well.
Bate and Seven ultimately grabbed the victory a win after another fantastic showing for the division as a whole, and Dunne added insult to injury with an attack on Andrews after the match, much to the crowd's delight. Dunne has become as popular as anyone on the NXT roster, and he's had several of the best matches across all of the WWE's brands in 2017.
While it's great to see U.K. talent featured on NXT on occasion, their abilities are so impressive that they need their own regular weekly platform. Whether that comes to fruition remains to be seen, but it's hard to envision the venture not being successful given the superstars' capabilities and the following they've acquired since the U.K. tournament in January.
The women's division continues to shine
The NXT women's division is as compelling right now as it's been in a long time, and maybe more so than ever. That seems like an odd take, perhaps, considering talents including Asuka, Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan have made the move to Raw and SmackDown, but their transition opens the door for others to step up and the division's direction has become far more unpredictable -- a welcome change of pace after one champion dominated for such a long stretch.
Will Ember Moon's championship reign come anywhere close to Asuka's historic 523-day reign? Will we see more faces from the Mae Young Classic come through, especially given the departures of the aforementioned superstars? Who will be Moon's first challenger? These questions have many potential answers, and that kind of chaos often provides a lot of opportunity.
Two superstars likely up for consideration, as it pertains to Moon's first challenger for the title she won at TakeOver War Games, are two of the women she beat in that Fatal 4-way championship match -- Kairi Sane and Peyton Royce. Both bring different, yet equally appealing characteristics to the table. Sane, the prototypical babyface with an intense in-ring approach, has been easy to get behind after her victory in the inaugural Mae Young Classic. Royce, on the other hand, plays her arrogant role perfectly. Both would provide Moon with an interesting match-up should they get the opportunity.
This week, they faced off looking to get a leg up on the other in their pursuit of the championship, and both proved why they are among the top superstars in the division in NXT. Their chemistry was evident and they put together a fine effort that eventually saw Sane come out victorious.
Sane appears to be in the best position for a title shot at this point, and why not? She's fantastic in the ring and has every audience she performs in front of is quick to support her.
But nothing is set in stone, and we haven't even mentioned the other participant in that TakeOver title match, Nikki Cross, who's almost certain to get herself involved sooner, rather than later. With several new waves of Performance Center recruits and a deep talent pool to draw from as far as Mae Young Classic competitors, the future is very bright.
The ascension of the Street Profits
While NXT's premier teams, SAnitY, the Authors of Pain and the Undisputed Era battle it out, there are some other capable tag teams waiting for the opportunity to break out. Heavy Machinery appear to be on the brink of rising to that next level, and newly formed teams such as Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch offer some intriguing possibilities of their own.
Two other teams in that up-and-coming category went head-to-head on Wednesday night as the increasingly popular Street Profits took on Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli, the latter having come a long way since his hiccups documented on WWE Network's Breaking Ground show last year. The teams have been bickering for weeks and when they clashed a few weeks ago, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins made quick work of Sabbatelli and Moss. Predictably, the Street Profits, who are dripping with charisma and potential, continued their upward trend with another win this time around.
What's on tap?
Next week will feature Andrade "Cien" Almas' championship celebration in what will be his first appearance on NXT television since winning the NXT championship from Drew McIntyre at TakeOver.
Despite being a part of the Raw and SmackDown Live rosters, respectively, Sonya Deville and Ruby Riott (two T's now) will meet in a no holds barred rematch from last week's NXT filmed in Houston. We've seen some NXT superstars hang around for a bit before making Raw and SmackDown their exclusive homes -- Sasha Banks and Tye Dillinger are two who immediately come to mind -- and it seems as though there will be some unfinished business to take care of for at least some of the five women who recently made big debuts.