One week ago, wrestling changed forever. After an explosive week of premieres including NXT’s 2-hour debut on the USA Network, what will be next for the black and gold brand?
After a week which saw the return of former NXT Champions Tommaso Ciampa and Finn Balor, who will be the next to challenge current NXT Champion Adam Cole?
Lio Rush v. Drew Gulak: WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Two weeks ago, Lio Rush made his return to the ring and instantly made an impact. The Man of the Hour lights up the crowd every time he enters the ring with his lightning-fast athleticism and high flying capabilities.
However, he has to defeat the tough as nails and dominant Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak. Can the 24 year old steal the show one more time and become Cruiserweight Champion?
The match started in the favor of Rush as he hit a quick running Spanish fly and then a massive moonsault to the outside on Gulak, looking to catch him off guard and steal the Championship.
However, a massive risk taken by Rush cost him, as Drew was able to launch him from the top and sent him crashing to the outside. But, Rush’s message since coming back is conquering his personal demons.
Drew locked in the Gulock and Rush seemed to start fading, however, Lio was able to break through and started to gain momentum. He hit a Frog Splash (a tribute to Eddie Guerrero on what would have been his 52nd birthday), then a third rope stunner and then hit Gulak with a Final Hour Splash for the win, becoming the new Cruiserweight Champion.
After the match, NXT General Manager William Regal came down to award the Cruiserweight Championship to Lio Rush; however, Drew interrupted and seemed to steal Lio’s moment. But, he was the one who awarded the Cruiserweight Championship to Lio out of respect for winning the Championship fair and square.
Rhea Ripley v. Aliyah
Rhea Ripley since making her way to NXT from the NXT UK brand has made a destructive path and it all leads to NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler.
However, her challenge tonight was up and coming women’s wrestler Aliyah. However, Rhea made quick work of Aliya making her tap out with a reverse Figure-4 Leg Lock after ragdolling her around the ring leading to a slam, and finally finishing with the submission.
After the match, Rhea was short with her words and she simply stated that she is gunning for Shayna Baszler and the NXT Women’s Championship. What road is in store for Shayna Baszler and is the dominant reign soon coming to an end?
Breezango v. The Forgotten Sons
When NXT came back from commercial, the crowd was introduced to the sounds and visuals of construction, only to be introduced to Breezango.
However, their scheduled opponents were attacked and dragged out by the Forgotten Sons’ Jaxon Ryker. Then, the other two Forgotten Sons: Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler came out and stepped in to challenge Breezango.
Breezango stepped up to the challenge, but the numbers game became too much to handle. Jaxson was able to drag out and attack Tyler which led to Steve and Wesley to hit a massive double team for the pin and the win. The Forgotten Sons are attempting to send a message that they are not forgotten in the NXT Tag Team Championship scene.
Boa v. Cameron Grimes
Cameron Grimes since not winning the NXT Breakout Tournament has been making a massive impact, picking up very quick wins. This night was no different, as Cameron was able to use a distraction from Killian Dain which led to Cameron to hit the Double Stomp for the quick pin and win.
Cameron quickly ran out of dodge as Killian Dain went on the attack of Boa and left him lying on the announce table. What was the meaning of Dain’s attack?
Roderick Strong v. Isiah “Swerve” Scott
The new NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong returned to the ring for the first time since becoming Champion against the impressive up and coming Isiah “Swerve” Scott.
The veteran, Roderick seemed to look past the young, “Swerve,” as Isiah continued to outsmart Roderick and seemed to be closing in on an upset over the NXT North American Champion. However, the Messiah of the Backbreaker began to show his experience targeting the back and landing the high flyer.
The two went back and forth in a hard-hitting battle. Isiah showcased massive talent, looking to be closing in on a massive upset on Roderick Strong, but thanks to the Undisputed Era, Roderick was able to hit the End of Heartache and then lock in the Strong Hold for the win.
After the match, NXT Champion Adam Cole addressed Tommaso Ciampa and Finn Balor and stated that neither one of them will dethrone him as the NXT Champion.
However, Velveteen Dream came out and interrupted the Undisputed Era’s declaration and stated that in two weeks time, he is going to take back his NXT North American Championship and prove to the world that Roderick doesn’t measure up to the Dream.
Then, out came Tommaso Ciampa as he stated to “Goldie” that daddy is home. Is the NXT Championship soon returning to the hands that never lost it? Also, is Velveteen going to be the one that takes away the Undisputed Era’s Golden Prophecy?
Dakota Kai v. Bianca Belair
Dakota Kai recently made her triumphant return after a gruesome MCL tear. She has set out to kick down everything in her path to making her dreams come true. However, with no #1 contender for the NXT Women’s Championship, the doors are wide open to make a statement.
If Dakota wants to make a statement, she has to beat Bianca Belair, someone who has come close at defeating and dethroning Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship. Can the captain of #TeamKick take down the EST of NXT?
Both women wanted to send a massive message to Shayna, and both did not stop at nothing to pick up the win because they know that a win would be massive in gaining momentum.
Dakota seemed to be closing in on the win, but Bianca was able to hit the KOD on Dakota for the 1,2,3. The EST after the match called out both Rhea and Shayna because she states that she has unfinished business with Shayna Baszler.
WALTER V. KUSHIDA
The WWE United Kingdom Champion WALTER made his presence well known in NXT. However, the Time Shifter KUSHIDA looks to protect the NXT brand over WALTER’s Imperium. Two weeks ago, KUSHIDA pulled an upset on Imperium, but now it was time to step up to the goliath, WALTER.
KUSHIDA has faced men larger than him all over the world, but not a lot of guys have the size, strength and power like WALTER. However, the speed and athleticism kept WALTER grounded on multiple occasions throughout the match.
The NXT crowd stood in amazement by the action that the two magnificent wrestlers stole the show in the main event. KUSHIDA looked to be closing in on an upset victory locking in the Hoverboard Lock on WALTER. However, WALTER was able to escape and hit a massive powerbomb and then a brutal Lariat for the pin and the win.
Yet another week of unbelievable action from NXT. From today’s veterans and future stars of NXT, the future is bright for the black and gold brand. The roster is the greatest it has ever been and it will continue to get better. Wednesday nights will never be the same.