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NXT’s struggles won’t stop it from putting on another great TakeOver

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There’s been much talk about NXT’s struggles since TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, and especially as several stars of the brand have been moving to Raw and SmackDown.

Triple H’s show has gone through these transition periods before, but this one feels different. Whatever the reason or reasons for that, one thing that the most recent episode made clear is that they’re not going to stop NXT from presenting a great-looking card for Aug. 22’s TakeOver 36.

We’ve never really had a bad TakeOver, and the post-SummerSlam edition doesn’t look like it will be the first. It helps when you’re spotted WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov, of course. But amidst the call-up rumors, NXT’s managed to set-up hot feuds for both its main singles titles. Last night also got us closer to an Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly trilogy match. That gives us four big bouts, and TakeOver’s typically don’t have more than five or six.

Lots of options for the last couple spots, too. The Hit Row/Legado del Fantasma war continues, and may involve Imperium. Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter are being positioned for a Women’s Tag title shot. Roderick Strong vs. Kushida for the Cruiserweight belt, the payoff to Cameron Grimes & LA Knight’s story, the Breakout Tournament final, whatever the plan if for Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan & the just returned Ridge Holland.

It’s a show in flux, but even if personnel moves have caused plans to change, and the talent pipeline isn’t full of big name indie stars any longer, its roster is so deep TakeOver 36 will still be must see... even if we’ve seen many of the wrestlers featured on it in NXT for years.

Here are all the highlights from NXT TV this week:

  • Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher vs. Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan
  • Hit Row drop rhymes in message for Legado del Fantasma and Imperium
  • Samoa Joe strikes TakeOver bargain to face Karrion Kross
  • Carmelo Hayes vs. Josh Briggs – NXT Breakout Tournament
  • Cameron Grimes hits the links with LA Knight
  • Dakota Kai shatters friendship with Raquel Gonzalez
  • Zoey Stark tries to get on same page with Io Shirai
  • Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs. Franky Monet & Jessi Kamea
  • Roderick Strong and Malcolm Bivens discuss origins of The Diamond Mine
  • Hit Row vs. Imperium
  • Indi Hartwell sets a date for Johnny Gargano and Dexter Lumis
  • Bronson Reed vs. Adam Cole
  • Kyle O’Reilly snaps on Adam Cole with steel chair
  • Cole helped from ringside following brutal attack by O’Reilly
  • Legado del Fantasma will take matters into their own hands
  • Carmelo Hayes happy to be moving on
  • Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter ready to enter title picture

For complete results and the live blog for NXT this week click here. To read a recap & review of all the night’s events click here.