NXT opened up with a video promo from Velveteen Dream. He asked for ambience and atmosphere and the lights went out and pink fog surrounded him. Dream stated that he dreamt about becoming NXT Champion one day and that life allows us to experience different paths. Dream added that he doesn’t doubt that Gargano will become NXT Champion one day, but not yet.

Dream said that Gargano’s rise was tainted in doubt, but the Dream’s experience was pure. Dream added that no matter how the pieces fall, a dream will be over. Dream will face Gargano tonight to determine who will face Andrade “Cien” Almas at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia this Saturday for the NXT Championship.

No Way Jose vs. Cezar Bononi

Jose locked in a Headlock for a second but Bononi broke free and leveled Jose with a shoulder tackle. Jose responded with a shoulder tackle of his on and followed it up with an Atomic Drop and then transitioned into an Arm Bar. A couple of goobers started chanting “CM Punk!” and the rest of the crowd drowned them out in boos.

Bononi broke out of the Arm Bar and slammed Jose to the canvas by his hair. Cezar beatdown Jose in the corner and then connected with a Powerslam for a two count. Bononi applied a Headlock and wrestled Jose down to the mat. The crowd cheered Jose on as he slowly battled back to his feet. No Way Jose planted Bononi with a swinging Neckbreaker but Cezar quickly got back up.

Jose knocked Bononi to the mat a couple of times and then connected with a Powerslam of his on. Jose took off an arm band, popped Bononi up in the air and punched him in the face for the pinfall victory.

Winner: No Way Jose

Bianca Belair vs. Latoya

Belair dominated early as the crowd chanted “lets go jobber!”. Belair leveled Latoya with a shoulder tackle and then stomped on her in the corner. Belair connected with a Backbreaker. Latoya leaped off the top rope but got a hair whip for her troubles. Belair followed up with a reverse Powerbomb for the easy pinfall victory.

Winner: Bianca Belair 

Percy Watson sat down with Shayna Baszler and Ember Moon backstage. Watson asked why Moon called out Baszler and Ember stated that Shayna is nothing more than a bully that attacks people from behind. Baszler said “you have to stir up waters to catch fish and Ember Moon is the big fish in this pond”.

Moon said she was the big fish for a reason and that being NXT Women’s Champion means that you have responsibilities not only to yourself, but to your division. Moon promised Baszler that she will not become NXT Women’s Champion at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia. Shayna mocking complimented Moon on achieving her dreams. Baszler said that she worked just as hard as Moon to get here.

Shayna added that when Moon wakes up at NXT TakeOver and sees her walking away with the title, Moon is going to know that Shayna is walking away with her dreams. Baszler added that she doesn’t care what the NXT Universe thinks about her and that they are going to have to get used to it.

The follow up video for last week’s TM61 video was shown.

Authors of Pain vs. Two Unlucky Gentlemen 

Rezar and Akam planted the two jobbers with rolling Death Valley Drivers into opposite turnbuckles and then grabbed a microphone. AOP cut a promo after and vowed to take the titles from Undisputed Era. AOP then planted the two jobbers with a Super Collider and marched out of the ring with Paul Ellering.

#1 Contender’s Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream

Velveteen Dream came down to the ring in a Johnny Gargano half-shirt. Gargano smirked in the corner as Dream posed in the ring. Dueling “Johnny Wrestling!” and “Velveteen!” chants echoed throughout the arena as the bell rang.

The two Superstars locked up in the middle of the ring. Dream applied a Wrist Lock but Gargano escaped and applied a Headlock. Dream squirmed around the ring but couldn’t break free as the dueling chants continued.

Dream broke free and threw Gargano to the mat. Dream posed and then pointed at Gargano and said “you are not ready for TakeOver!”. Gargano quickly locked in the Gargano Escape but Dream was able to get out of it and rolled out of the ring as NXT went to a break.

When NXT returned, Dream connected with an elbow to Gargano’s jaw. Gargano threw Dream towards the rope and Dream flipped over them and onto the ring apron. Dream took his eyes off the prize and decided to pose on the apron. Gargano Dropkicked him in the back and Velveteen fell and bounced his head off the announce table. Gargano connected with a cannonball Senton off the apron.

Back in the ring, Gargano went for the slingshot Spear through the ropes but Dream caught him and connected with a swinging Neckbreaker. Dream continued to talk Gargano and shouted that he took his spot and that he doesn’t deserve it. Dream stood on Gargano’s back and Johnny’s neck pressed into the bottom rope.

Dream went for a Neckbreaker but Gargano reversed into a backslide pin for a two count. Dream tossed Gargano out of the ring and Johnny hit his back on the apron before falling to the ground. Dream climbed to the top rope and casually jumped back down to the mat instead of leaping onto Gargano.

Velveteen walked into a chop from Gargano outside the ring. Dream responded with a knee to the midsection and then dropped Gargano’s back onto the ring apron as NXT went to a break. When NXT returned, the action was back in the ring and Gargano was in control. Johnny connected with an Enziguri that knocked Dream to the corner.

Johnny hit another kick and followed it up by leaping off the middle turnbuckle and hitting a Flatliner for a two count. Gargano yanked Dream’s arm and Velveteen fell to the mat face-first. Dream connected with a Superkick that sent Gargano into the ropes but Johnny bounced off and leveled Dream with a Clothesline. Gargano draped his arm across Dream’s chest for a cover but Dream kicked out as the crowd chanted “fight forever!”.

Dream lifted Gargano up in a Fireman’s Carry but Gargano broke free. Dream connected with an awesome looking DDT for a two count. Velveteen made his way towards the top rope but Gargano knocked him to the canvas. Dream bounced off the mat and fell to the floor outside the ring. Gargano sprinted across the ring and leaped through the ropes and connected with a Suicide Dive.

Gargano brought Dream back into the ring and then made his way to the top rope. Dream leaped to the ropes and they shook and Gargano fell crotch-first onto the top turnbuckle. Dream lifted Gargano up in a Fireman’s Carry and planted Johnny with a Death Valley Driver for a two count.

Dream climbed back to the top rope and went for the Purple Rainmaker Elbow Drop but Gargano got his knees up. Dream’s left elbow was injured and he hesitated to leap off the top. Dream decided to switch to the right arm for the Elbow Drop but his hesitation cost him.

Gargano then Superkicked Dream in the face and locked in the Gargano Escape in the middle of the ring. Dream had no choice but to submit and Gargano moves on to face Andrade “Cien” Almas Saturday night at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia. This match was very good.

After the match, Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega came down to the entrance ramp with smiles on their faces. The two circled the ring as Gargano stood in it. They entered the ring and Almas raised the title in Gargano’s face. Almas gave the title to Vega and knocked Gargano to the mat. Almas kneed Gargano in the midsection and threw him out of the ring. Almas pointed at the title and shouted “this is mine!” before raising the NXT Championship one more time.

Gargano climbed back up to the ring apron and Almas tried to hit him with the title. Gargano avoided it and planted Almas with a slingshot DDT. Vega shouted at Gargano not to touch the title as the crowd chanted “touch it!”. Gargano grabbed the title and raised it over Almas as NXT went off the air.

Winner & #1 Contender: Johnny Gargano