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With TakeOver just a couple of days away, the black and yellow brand of WWE had a lot work to do to tie up loose ends heading into Saturday night. With two spots left to fill in the vacant North American Championship ladder match, some story left to tell in the NXT Women's championship picture, and some heat to build up for Adam Cole and Pat McAfee; its no wonder why Keith Lee and Karrion Kross were absent from the show, save for a brilliantly done promo package. But this was another strong showing for NXT, a strong showing despite the airing of the "other brand" on Wednesday nights, so let's hop right into what happened on Wednesday night!

With such a packed show, we welcome back this week, the honorable mention...

Honorable Mention: The Robert Stone Brand Brutally gets its Blackheart ripped out!

In what this writer felt should have been saved for TakeOver, Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart took on the Robert Stone team of Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez. This is a story that has flown under the radar for months with how this has culminated into this match, but here we've reached its natural conclusion. Robert Stone has faithfully attacked Shotzi Blackheart and Rhea Ripley since acquiring the services of Mercedes Martinez for past offenses, but the duo of Ripley and Blackheart refused to stay down and banded together last week to push back the Stone duo and it resulted in this match. This was a fun skirmish, that felt like it was building up towards a match between Ripley and Martinez down the line, and featured little interaction between the two. This match featured a lot of Shotzi and Aliyah, who has improved a lot recently, and Rhea was mostly preserved for hot tags and energetic bursts. Ripley would get her hands on Martinez, power bombing her where the Plexiglas used to be on the outside and depositing her onto the floor.

Rhea and Mercedes is where the money is here, they need to get their quickly because Shotzi's role in this is over and Aliyah, despite her improvements, isn't needed in this story anymore save for interference. The power bomb spot was nice and a measure of revenge for the Mosh Pit Kid, but I'm not happy with the win for her and Blackheart, unless it was directly at TakeOver because it's too soon for Martinez to lose in any capacity, but despite being protected still, I'm still looking forward to the future.

Is there anything I missed? Any thoughts on the go home show before NXT TakeOver XXX? Comment below or talk to me on Facebook (JBVersusTheWorld), Twitter (@JBvTheWorld) or for my nerdy insights check me out on YouTube (JBVersusTheWorld)! And as always, be sure to stay with and (@WNWNews) on Twitter for all of your Pro Wrestling news and needs! Thank you all so much for reading!

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