What’s next for NXT after Portland?
After everything that happened in Portland, the NXT Champion is STILL Adam Cole Baybay! And Johnny Gargano has some explaining to do!
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Jordan Devlin VS Lio Rush; Devlin wins and retains the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
- Austin Theory VS ???; No Contest.
- Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win.
- The Broserweights VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch; The Broserweights win.
- Keith Lee VS Kona Reeves; Lee wins.
- Chelsea Green VS Kayden Carter; Green wins.
- Velveteen Dream VS Roderick Strong; Dream wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT, you can be anyone you want to be.
But the Queen makes sure Rhea Ripley is ready to fill the crown. The Broserweights now reign, Captain Kai has a new teammate, and the Blackheart fought for his life, only to be betrayed! But tonight, the Experience is back and looks to have a takeover of his own! Will Roderick Strong make Velveteen Dream wish he’d never returned?
The Undisputed Era open NXT!
But only one belt remains around the waist of Adam Cole BAYBAY! And Cole says “I told you~!” Obsession will never defeat destiny, and Cole showed Ciampa that the hard way. Just like anyone else will learn when they step into the ring with “the greatest NXT Champion there has ever been.” But what is that thing Ciampa kept asking? If he could ever be a champion like Cole? “That dummy” got his answer, and it’s Undisputed. Because the fact is, the title is going nowhere! The Undisputed Era are the measuring stick of the brand. They are going to set examples like Strong will against “the charade” that is The Velveteen Dream.
But speaking of, The Dream is here already! “Roddy, tonight, you have a chance.” A chance to prove something. Strong should leave his boys at home and prove he is a man. “Do it for Marina. Because when we do it tonight, let’s make it a night just for us.” Strong shouts at Dream that as everything he is as a man, he will make Dream wish he’d never come back!
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Jordan Devlin VS Lio Rush!
The Irish Ace has been on a world tour with the title ever since Worlds Collide, but now the time has come. The Man of the Hour wants the title back, but will he be able to collect off the Devlinside?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised and this high-stakes first-time-ever match-up begins!
Devlin and Lio circle as fans rally up. They tie up, Devlin powers Lio to a corner but lets up at the ref’s count. Lio shoves Devlin but then ducks the punch to headlock. Devlin powers out, Lio jumps over, then leaps over, and Devlin avoids the roundhouse! Devlin bails out as fans fire up, and NXT goes picture in picture. Lio keeps his eyes on Devlin as he paces. Devlin gets up on the apron and back in the ring. The two tie up with knuckle locks, but Devlin kicks low. Devlin throws haymakers and puts Lio n a corner again. He wrenches and whips corner to corner, but Lio goes up and over. Lio keeps moving, redirects and fakes Devlin out to BOOT him! Lio slides and handsprings under a clothesline to mule kick and PELE! Cover, ONE!
Lio keeps his cool as he watches Devlin. He KICKS Devlin in the back but Devlin hits back. Lio hits Devlin again and Devlin flounders to a corner. Lio stomps but Devlin shoves, so Lio throws forearms. Snap suplex and cover, TWO! Lio keeps his focus and brings Devlin up. Devlin pushes Lio away so Lio boots him down. Lio bumps Devlin off buckles and throws forearms into the back. He stomps Devlin more then brings him up for a snapmare, and a basement uppercut! Cover, TWO! Lio grows annoyed with the counts but he clamps onto Devlin with a facelock. Devlin reaches back with his legs but Lio keeps him from ropes. They stand and Devlin throws hands to get free. Delvin ROCKS Lio with a jab but runs into a calf kick!
Lio stands over Devlin and gives him a kick to the chest. Lio mounts to grab at arms and bring Devlin down to the mat. He wraps on a chinlock and grinds Devlin, but Devlin powers up. Lio is a backpack as Devlin fights out and arm-drags. Devlin runs in but Lio jumps up and Devlin tumbles out! Lio handspring kicks Devlin back down! Lio builds speed as NXT returns to single picture, but he runs into Devlin’s arm for an urenage! Devlin Arabian Press! Cover, TWO! Devlin grits his teeth while massaging his own ribs. Fans rally up and Lio sits up. Devlin brings Lio up for a double knee strike! Devlin drags Lio up to KICK back down! Fans boo as Devlin grins. Devlin springboard sits on Lio! And adds crossface forearms! The ref reprimands Devlin and Lio flounders away.
Devlin is on Lio in a corner with European Uppercuts, but Lio throws body shots. Devlin throws a heavy right but Lio gives one of his own. Lio throws more forearms, but Devlin catches him again, another Urenage! But Lio counters the moonsault with knees! Lio fires off palm strikes and a forearm! Devlin flounders, Lio whips but Devlin reverses. Lio wheelbarrows, but into a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Cover, TWO! Devlin is seething as he looms over Lio. Devlin drags Lio up, wrenches an arm and whips Lio to ropes, to hit the kitchen sink knee! Cover, ONE! Lio survives but Devlin stomps him down. Devlin grinds his foot into the ribs as fans rally up.
Devlin drags Lio up, underhooks and hits a butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! Lio still lives but Devlin keeps on him. Devlin hooks Lio up into a camel clutch! Lio endures being bent back and fans rally up again. Devlin uses more crossface forearms then sits down on Lio again. Fans rally and duel as Devlin puts Lio on the ropes to choke! Devlin lets up at 4 and Lio gasps for air. Lio throws body shots but Devlin clubs him back down. Devlin has Lio in a corner for a CHOP! Devlin drags Lio out for a BIG EuroUpper! Lio flounders and falls, but Devlin gives him toying kicks. Fans boo as Devlin laughs at Lio, but Lio ROCKS Devlin with rights! Devlin KICKS Lio right back in the face! Ripcord, but Lio lands out on his feet!
Lio dodges and springboards, but no Come Up as he gets the elevator backbreaker! Fans rally as both men are down. Devlin crawls to a cover, TWO! Lio shakes out the cobwebs but Devlin drives in an elbow. Lio gets up to CHOP Devlin! Devlin walks into another CHOP! Lio CHOPS Devlin in the corner, Devlin turns things around, but Lio dodges Devlin’s chop to CHOP again! Fans fire up with Lio but he walks into a jawbreaker! Both men are down again as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as both men are down again after a “malfunction at the junction,” as Mauro puts it. Devlin and Lio slowly rise on opposite ends of the ring. Lio runs in, slides under and then uses ropes to scoot back. Devlin turns around to get Lio’s kangaroo kick, and he goes flying out of the ring! Lio builds speed to LOWPE! Direct hit and they end up by the ramp! Lio puts Devlin in and climbs up top. Deviln is up, Lio hits a crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Devlin survives but Lio grits his teeth. Lio drags Devlin up but Devlin shoves him away. Devlin runs in but is put on the apron. Devlin comes back with a slingshot CUTTER! Lio bails out but Devlin pursues. Devlin apron Penalty Kicks!
Lio is in a daze but Devlin goes to the corner, MOONSAULT! But Lio gets clear, Devlin rolls through, only to get a CORKSCREW SENTON! Lio puts Devlin in as fans fire up. Lio climbs up again, Devlin stands again, but Devlin gets under this time. Devlin turns around, into Lio’s heel kick! But Devlin heel kicks back! Devlin stalks up behind Lio to wheelbarrow, but Lio slips around to matchbook cover, TWO! SUPERKICK! Lio fires up, runs, but into the SPANISH FLY!! Cover, but into a KOJI KLUTCH!! Devlin endures, flails, reaches, gets around, and gets a ropebreak with his leg! The ref counts and Lio reluctantly lets go at 4. Both men are down but fans rally up again.
Lio drags Devlin to a drop zone and tries once again. He goes up top, but Devlin trips him up with the ropes! Devlin climbs up to join Lio now, stands him up, but Lio fights back. Lio clubs Devlin down and adjusts, to SUPER POISON-RANA!! The COME UP!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Devlin survives but Lio hops up, FINAL HOUR FLOPS! Headbutt from Devlin! And Devlin grabs the wrist, to ripcord DEVLINSIDE!! Cover, Devlin wins!!
Winner: Jordan Devlin, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
The Man of the Hour could not trump the Ace! How much greater will the Jordan Devlin Cruiserweight Championship Tour become on the Road to WrestleMania?
Backstage interview with Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzales.
The record books will say #CapKota defeated Tegan Nox in Portland, we all know it was thanks to the Daughter of the Desperado. What is the reason for this new alliance? “Tegan Nox has gotten every opportunity, and pushed Dakota aside.” Raquel knows what that feels like, watching others get opportunities first. Dakota was overlooked by her so-called friends, yet is an outcast for standing up for herself. Portland proved Raquel has Dakota’s back way more than anyone else ever has. Dakota will return the favor, and together they will be untouchable.
NXT GM William Regal walks over and congratulates Dakota on her win. And yes, this duo is untouchable. Except Raquel will be banned from ringside when Dakota and Tegan have their rematch in two weeks, in a Steel Cage! Did Captain Kick just step in it?
NXT shares backstage interview footage of Rhea Ripley after TakeOver: Portland.
The Aussie Nightmare retained her NXT Women’s Championship, but the celebration was cut short by Charlotte Flair “deciding” to accept the WrestleMania challenge. Rhea says the joke’s on Charlotte, because Rhea got what she wanted. At Mania, even the Queen will have a nightmare. Will this historic move prove to be Charlotte’s greatest achievement or worst decision yet?
Austin Theory VS ???
Evolution’s Theory is back again, ready to prove himself, but Tommaso Ciampa is storming down the ramp. Ciampa isn’t Theory’s opponent and he grabs a mic while ignoring the young gun in the ring. Fans chant “Daddy’s Home!” as Ciampa goes up the steps and into the ring. “NXT TakeOver: Portland…” Theory steps up to Ciampa, and Ciampa is in no mood. He warns Theory, “Not tonight.” Theory gives Ciampa his space and Ciampa continues. “A part of me feels like maybe I should’ve seen this all coming.” Ciampa was so focused on Goldie and getting his “life” back that he stopped paying attention to his surroundings. There were subtle signs, like the odd timing of a tag team reunion. Ciampa stopped listening to his instincts. “But if one thing goes hand in hand with Tommaso Ciampa and the NXT Championship, it is and always has been Johnny Gargano.”
Fans chant and duel, “Johnny Sucks!” “No!” Ciampa isn’t doing the cliche “Why Johnny Why?” but he knows why. Gargano knows why. And if there’s one thing Ciampa knows- Theory grows impatient and steps to Ciampa again! Ciampa DECKS Theory immediately! “If one thing is very clear, in order to get my life back, there can be no Johnny Gargano in NXT.” The DIY frenemies are at odds again, will Ciampa and Gargano finally settle things? Theory gets up and goes after Ciampa as he leaves, only to get a BOOT! Ciampa’s bad mood boils over and he PSYCHO KNEES Theory down! And then throws him into railing! And more railing! Now back the other way! Then the other way! Ciampa isn’t stopping! Theory gets about ten tosses total, and then 11!
Ciampa finally lets up, but it is clear his Blackheart is even darker than normal. Will Gargano regret ever returning the favor from 2017?
Chelsea Green has an NXT photo shoot.
Robert Stone has his top client (and only client) look her absolute best. But will she be looking like a winner in her “relaunch” rematch with Kayden Carter?
Prince Finn Balor speaks.
“All the questions, all the debate, all the hype. They all fall short when they come at Finn.” Johnny TakeOver was a pawn on the Prince’s chessboard. And next week, watch out for his next move. Who will be the next piece to be played with by the rrrreeeal Prince of NXT?
Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde VS Grizzled Young Veterans!
The man who rides the Mendoza Line teams with his wild 205 Live rival to see if they can be an impressive combination. But will Mendoza & Wilde be tamed by Mr. Mayhem and Liverpool’s Number One?
The teams sort out and Zack Gibson starts with Wilde. The two tie up, and Gibson has a chinbar. He uses that to wrangle Wilde down but Wilde handsprings and dropkicks back! BEW BEW BEW BEW! They tie up again, Gibson waistlocks but Wilde standing switches. Gibson whips out, Wilde reverses but James Drake uses his body to save Gibson from buckles. Gibson knees Wilde in return, then tags in Drake. GYV complete the hand-off, but Wilde powers out. Drake runs Wilde over, then things speed up. Wilde leaps over, keeps moving, Drake leaps over, but Wilde rolls under. Wilde huricanranas Drake! Drop toehold and a hook to the ghost pin! TWO, but Wilde keeps on Drake with a wristlock.
Drake slips out to a headlock, Gibson tags in as Wilde powers out. Everyone leap frogs and Gibson clobbers Wilde! Gibson throws heavy forearms and stomps away. Gibson throws more forearms and stomps some more before dragging Wilde up. Straitjacket stretch, tag to Drake, Wilde is fed to Drake’s BIG forearm! Drake drags Wilde up for a facelock then a scoop and backbreaker! Wilde flops out, Gibson tags in and drags Wilde up. Drake slingshots, pescado sidewalk slam! Fans boo GYV but they tune it out. Gibson puts Wilde back in and scoop slams him hard. Tag to Drake and Gibson scoop splashes Drake on Wilde! Cover, TWO!
Drake keeps on Wilde with knees and puts Wilde back in the GYV corner. Wilde fights back with elbows and forearms! Drake whips Wilde away but Wilde QUEBRADA! Hot tags to Gibson and Mendoza! Mendoza ducks Gibson to hit Drake and fire off on Gibson! Mendoza whips, Gibson reverses but Mendoza gives clotheslines to everyone! He dropkicks Gibson down then fires off hands on Drake! Gibson waistlocks but Mendoza boots Drake out of the ring! Mendoza lands on his feet out of the German Suplex, whips Gibson but Gibson reverses. Mendoza goes around the corner and enziguris to then springboard missile dropkick! Fans fire up as Mendoza brings Gibson up. Gibson fights out then throat chops! Single leg suplex!
Drake returns and tags in. He uses Mendoza as the step stool for Mayhem in Motion to Wilde! Drake drags Mendoza up and around but Mendoza fires off elbows. Mendoza whips but Gibson tags in. Drake reverses, gut wrenches, TICKET TO MAYHEM! Cover, GYV wins!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall
The fans take off their shoes to troll Gibson, but he and Drake still won. Gibson grabs a mic to shout, “The land of the free and the home of the brave! Nah. The land of the neckbeards, and the home of the ignorant Yanks!” The Grizzled Young Veterans are here to takeover NXT, and are SOON to be recognized as the World’s Number One! Will GYV punch their own ticket to a rematch with the Broserweights?
The Broserweights VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch!
Speaking of, bro… Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne smoked the Undisputed Era and took the titles for their own! They being a duo that came together from seemingly nowhere take on a duo whose origins are very much alike. Which team of well-blended singles wrestlers has the right stuff tonight?
Before the match, Riddle and Dunne gets mics as fans cheer. “Bro… Where’s our golf cart?” Riddle got it impounded, too! Oh. But what matters is that the Broserweights are the brand new NXT Tag Team Champions! Fans say, “You Deserve It!” “And bro, the celebration continues.” Riddle and Dunne partied hard in Portland. Stallion Pete is a machine. “Just look at him, bro.” But Stallion Cup partied too hard, and unfortunately failed the WWE’s wellness policy and has been suspended 30 days. It’s a thing, guys. But that news aside, Lorcan & Burch hit the ring and it’s time to throw down!
The teams sort out and Burch starts with Dunne. The two tie up and Dunne wrenches to a wristlock. Dunne wrenches more, but Burch reverses to a wristlock, hammerlock and then headlock. Dunne brings Burch down to then float to a grounded hammerlock. He stands on Burch’s head to lace up the legs in a figure four! Dunne bends and pulls Burch around to a modified bow ‘n’ arrow, then smashes the knees. Burch kicks Dunne away and fans cheer the technical and gritty exchange. Dunne and Burch tie up again and go shoulder to shoulder in a test of strength. Burch kicks, spins Dunne around but Dunne avoids the stomp to get an armbar! Burch moves around, and gets a crossface! Dunne rolls to a cover, TWO! Fans cheer as the two stare down.
Tag to Riddle and Lorcan! Lorcan and Riddle tie up. Lorcan lunges but Riddle blocks. Riddle gets a gut wrench and he throws Lorcan! But he holds on to drag Lorcan back up. Dunne intercepts Burch, stereo gut wrench suplexes! Tag and the Broserweights work together, corkscrew senton and a basement dropkick for Lorcan! Fans cheer as the One Two regroup and NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as Burch has Riddle in a Half Crab. Fans rally up as Lorcan tags in. Burch drags Riddle up and the One Two combine for an assisted powerbomb! Cover, TWO and now Lorcan has the Half Crab on Riddle! The Boston Brawler reaches back and shifts right to an STF! Riddle endures and gets his leg free. Fans rally up again as Riddle fireman’s carries Lorcan for a BRO TO SLEEP! Lorcan flounders and tags Burch, and Burch turns Riddle. Riddle boots Burch then tags Dunne! Dunne rallies on Burch, rebound German! Dunne hops up, and STOMPS the hands! BUZZSAW! X-PLEX to the AMRBAR! Burch resists with a monkey grip but Dunne breaks it! And has the fingers! Burch endures, moves around to a cover, TWO!
Dunne ducks Burch but Burch standing switches. Riddle tags and Dunne elbows Burch. Burch gets under the moonsault, but ends up in the enziguri sandwich! Dunne drags Burch up to powerbomb into the enziguri! Cover, but Lorcan breaks it! Fans fire up as all four men slowly rise. Lorcan throws Dunne out, but Riddle gives Lorcan FINAL FLASH! Burch turns Riddle around but gets a strike fest! Riddle whips, Burch reverses to corner clothesline and enziguri! German Suplex, but Riddle is up, to get a LARIAT! Cover, TWO, into the crossface! Fans rally as Riddle endures, and Lorcan intercepts Dunne! Dunne resists but Lorcan throws him with a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Dunne lands on his feet to BUZZSAW Lorcan! Then he BUZZSAWS Burch!
Fans fire up again as all four men are down. The teams return to their corners, but Burch keeps Riddle from tagging. Burch throws EuroUpper after upper, but gets a knee! So he HEADBUTTS! Burch whips, pops up, but gets a SUPER BRO PUNCH! Riddle POWERBOMBS and flips Burch, but Burch ROCKS Riddle! Dunne tags in to enziguri Burch! Lorcan tags in to CHOP Dunne! And CHOP! And CHOP! Lorcan runs to EuroUpper! BLOCKBUSTER! Fans fire up with the Fury as he runs corner to corner, only to leap into Dunne’s arms! Dunne bends the fingers! And SNAPS! Tag to Riddle, pump handle, BITTER FINAL FLASH! Cover, Broserweights win!
Winners: The Broserweights, by pinfall
An incredible match and only just days after Portland! Will the reign of Riddle and Dunne run all the way through WrestleMania?
The Undisputed Era huddle up backstage.
Strong says he is going to do this by himself. He knows the Undisputed Era can destroy Dream, but Strong has to do this for himself! The #StrongDreamRematch will be 1v1, man to man, but does that play right into Dream’s plan?
The Forgotten Sons put out a tweet.
“Grizzled Young Veterans… You want to put us on notice. Message received.” And in an accompanying video, Steve Cutler, Wesley Blake and Jaxson Ryker “let that sink in.” Gibson and Drake call themselves “Grizzled Young Veterans” but they don’t even have an idea what a “veteran” is! And using insults like “neckbeard” and “ignorant Yanks,” Blake takes those personally! Ryker says this IS the land of the free because of the brave. And they promise to beat that into GYV. Will Gibson and Drake wish they’d stayed in the UK?
Keith Lee is here!
And he is still NXT North American Champion after that newest instant classic with Dominik Dijakovic! WWE Backstage also basked in his glory, and spoke to the huge moments Lee has had. Lee is touched to know that those he has studied now respect what he’s capable of. Lee wants to be a leader by example, not by ordering people around. Fans cheer as Lee holds the title up high in the ring. They sing for Lee as he grabs a mic. But before he can speak, he is interrupted by The Finest! Kona Reeves returns from a short time in NXT UK, and he does not look happy. Reeves gets himself a mic, but then gets a POUNCE! “You can ring the bell.”
Keith Lee VS Kona Reeves!
The bell does ring and Reeves runs into Lee’s knees! Lee fireman’s carries for the BIG BANG CATASTROPHE! Cover, Lee wins!
Winner: Keith Lee, by pinfall
Lee is Limitless, and he proved The Finest isn’t anywhere on his level! But wait, here comes Dijakovic! The Colossus joins Lee in the ring and tells Keith that he’s not ready to move on. They both know that Dijakovic almost beat Lee. That top rope move, that almost finished Lee but it did finish Dijakovic’s back. That’s why there was no Feast Your Eyes. Because if Dijakovic hit that move- “If! If!” That’s all Lee hears from Dijakovic right now. Excuses, excuses. You can say “if” all you want, but the fact is: Lee won! But Lee does admit, everywhere Lee VS Dijakovic has gone, it’s always the same thing. Fans say “Fight Forever!” So while Dijakovic didn’t win that last time, Lee and the fans are up for it. If Regal approves, then they really can fight forever. Are we getting yet another epic rematch?!
Chelsea Green w/ Robert Stone VS Kayden Carter!
“If I could have your attention, please.” Robert Stone introduces “the face of the women’s division,” and the “relaunch” is here. But will Green silence the doubters when she finally gets a win?
The bell rings and Green circles with KC. Green kicks low then scoops KC, but KC cradle counters! TWO, and KC grabs an arm. Green grabs hair but the ref reprimands. KC spins out and CHOPS Green! KC ducks a kick to club and LARIAT Green down! Fans fire up and KC takes off all the armbands! Green reverses the whip, KC wheelbarrows and MULE KICKS! Cover, TWO! Green checks her jaw but KC drags her up. KC clubs and wrenches to CHOP and springboard, but Green trips her up! Green hits a draping backbreaker across her knee! Cover, TWO! Green drags KC up and throws in big knees to the ribs! And then one into the head! Cover as Stone is liking what he sees, TWO! Stone doesn’t like that.
Green goes after KC with a camel clutch and has it in deep! KC endures and fans rally up, but Green adds a neck wrench before she knocks KC down. KC gets to ropes but Green drags her up. Green has her between ropes for a guillotine! Cover, TWO! Green goes after KC and grabs her hair. Green whips KC corner to corner but KC goes up, under and tries to roll her. But Green holds ropes and stands on KC’s hair! Green starts stomping but Bianca Belair rolls in!? “Uh-uh, uh-uh!” Bianca says she’s happy for Green, and she’ll let her finish, but Bianca has something to say.
“Now girl, I done told you, you don’t even go here.” But if Charlotte wants to put her hands on Bianca, Bianca wants Charlotte. Here, there, when or where, Belair promises Flair, “I’ma whoop dat ass.” Add “boldest” to the list as Bianca calls Charlotte out! Bianca takes her leave, and Green rolls KC up! Cover, TWO! Green drags KC up, backslides, TWO! Now Green tries La Magistrol, TWO! KC ducks and SUPERKICKS! Green gets out of the ring to regroup with Stone but KC pursues. KC puts Green in, but Stone trips her up! Green gives KC an inverted Unprettier! Cover, Green wins!
Winner: Chelsea Green, by pinfall
THE Robert Stone makes sure his brand finally succeeds by any means necessary! Will the brand be bigger and better now that it’s off the ground? And when will we see Queen VS EST? Will it be part of NXT or WWE?
BREAKING NEWS for next week’s NXT!
After the encounter from earlier tonight, Tommaso Ciampa will take on Austin Theory! And as promised, The Prince makes his next move as he returns to Full Sail!
Velveteen Dream VS Roderick Strong!
The Experience returned and made things very personal with the Savior of the Backbreaker. Will Strong make Dream strongly regret that?
The tension mounts and the bell rings. Dream bails out to keep Strong at bay for a moment. Dream returns, mocks the UE hand sign and then the two tie up. Strong gets a leg but Dream sprawls and moves around. Strong keeps going after the legs and they end up on the ropes. Dream avoids Strong’s sucker punch but Strong narrowly avoids Dream’s right hand! Strong bails out but Dream keeps close. Dream beckons Strong to return as Strong paces. Dream swivels the hips but Strong tells him to stay back. The weight belt comes off and Dream assures the ref he will play fair. But then he spins and swings on Strong! Strong avoids the lashing and the ref keeps Dream back. The ref takes the belt away and Strong returns.
Dream lunges but Strong is ready. Strong gets the legs, Dream scrambles around to get Strong’s legs, too. Both men fight over leg lock control but Strong gets Dream down. Dream gets to ropes but Strong is right on him. The ref calls for the break and Dream backs off, to duck the punch. Dream slithers out and Strong grows frustrated. Strong goes out to pursue Dream around the way. They go back in and Dream dropkicks Strong! Strong throws big slapping hands and whips Strong corner to corner hard. And then SLAPS Strong while he’s down! Dream puts Strong in the corner to CHOP. And then he clubs and CHOPS Strong in the other corner. Dream works to suplex but Strong grabs ropes. The ref counts, Dream lets go, but wants after Strong. Strong thumbs Dream in the eye to then clobber and CHOP him back!
Strong clubs and CHOPS Dream more! Dream staggers and falls but Strong stomps him down. Strong brings Dream up for a backbreaker! Dream writhes, his back still recovering from what the Undisputed Era did to him months ago. Dream gets up and Strong goes out to fetch Dream, only for Dream to LARIAT him down! A ring count begins but Dream brings Strong up. Strong RAMS Dream into the apron then bounce him off it. Strong refreshes the count to drag Dream up and bump him again. Dream bumps Strong off the steel steps! The grudge match continues as NXT goes picture in picture.
The referee checks on both men but they’re both somehow okay to continue. Dream gets up and drags Strong up to throw him into railing! And then club him around the way! Dream takes a fan’s sign to smash it in Strong’s face! Dream snake eyes drops Strong on railing! The ref reprimands Dream as he gets back in the ring. Dream climbs up and leaps to double ax handle Strong down! Strong crawls away but Dream pursues. Dream refreshes the count but Strong hash is leg. Strong yanks Dream off the apron to DROP on the railing! Strong goes back into the ring to leave Dream writhing in pain. The ring count begins again but Dream is up at 3. Strong drags Dream up by his hair, to suplex into the ring!
Strong keeps on Dream with CHOPS! Dream flounders about but Strong puts him in a corner. Strong rains down rights, but Dream stops him before 5. Strong still DECKS Dream with one more big haymaker! Dream reaches but Strong covers, TWO! Strong keeps on Dream with a facelock, and then KNEES Dream down. Cover, TWO! Strong keeps on Dream with a chinlock as NXT returns to single picture. Dream endures and fans rally up. Dream fights to his feet and pries out to throw body shots. Strong knees hard again, then underhooks. But Dream back drops out! Both men are down but Strong gets up first. Strong brings Dream around but Dream throws more hands. It’s a gritty brawl and Strong rocks Dream. But Dream fireman’s carries, but Strong slips out!
Strong shoves but Dream dodges, only for both men to smack heads! Fans rally up as both men are in a stinging daze. Strong uses the ropes to get up first, and he brings Dream up for a CHOP! Dream CHOPS and it’s a CHOP fight! And a brawl! This is furious as Dream DECKS Strong again and again! Dream whips and LARIATS! Dream wrenches Strong to bump him hard off buckles! Fans cheer as Dream scoops to give Strong a backbreaker! Strong tastes some of his own medicine! Dream drags Strong up, scoops for another backbreaker! Strong crawls away but Dream stalks up behind him. Dream whips, Strong reverses, but Dream leaps up and underhooks.
Strong slips out, ROCKS Dream with a forearm, and then drags Dream up to get a haymaker! And DDT! Dream has to push Strong over to a cover, TWO! Both men are exhausted but still moving. Dream heads to the top rope and fans rally up again. Double ax handles! Haymakers and CHOPS! Dream whips, Strong reverses, but Dream knees the back drop away. Dream fireman’s carries but Strong slips out to club hard. But Dream elbows back! Dream hops up, Strong shoves and Dream hits hard on the post! Strong climbs up behind Dream but Dream throws elbows. Strong clubs Dream then climbs up again. He CHOPS Dream and brings him up, but Dream fireman’s carries! Strong fights his way off and scoops Dream, TOP ROPE BACKBREAKER!! Cover, TWO!!
Fans rally up as Dream and Strong slowly rise. Strong stalks over and brings Dream in. Suplex but Dream knees out! Dream throws body shots but Strong tries again. Dream still resists, but Strong spins him around, TIGER BOMB! Matchbook, TWO! STRONG HOLD! Dream endures the stretch, flails and reaches, then powers through the pain! Fans rally as Dream crawls towards the ropes, for the ropebreak! Strong lets go at 4, and Dream coughs and sputters for air. Strong drags Dream around by the legs but Dream boots him out of the ring! Dream crawls away as the ring count begins. Strong drags himself up but Dream is there to meet him. Strong shoulders in then slingshots for a sunset flip! But Dream rolls through to basement forearm!
Strong and Dream brawl on the mat, fast and furious with haymakers! Fans cheer as Dream boots Strong again. Dream is up, but Strnog boots and enziguris! Strong drags Dream up, throws big elbows from all sides, and then leaps, into a SUPERKICK! Fireman’s carry, DREAM VALLEY DRIVER! Strong is in the drop zone and fans fire up as Dream takes off the Animal Crossing jumpsuit to reveal… Marina Shafir airbrushed all over the tights! Her face is in a particularly telling place… Dream climbs up top, but has to LEAP onto the Undisputed Era! The boys refused to honor the deal and pay for it! Dream springboards in, into the STRONG KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Dream still lives but Strong drags him up. Only to get a DREAM VALLEY! Cover, Dream wins!!
Winner: Velveteen Dream, by pinfall
But the Undisputed Era pounce! They stomp Dream down 3v1! Kyle and Fish drag Dream up for TOTAL ANNIHILATION!! Strong drags Dream up to give him END OF HEARTACHE!! But this may only be the beginning of the end for The Experience! Will Dream learn to leave Marina out of this?
A really great episode for NXT tonight! Post-TakeOver episodes have definitely changed for the better now that NXT TV is 100% live. We didn’t get as much aftermath interview promos this week, but honestly, the rest of the night took care of a lot of that. The one we got of Rhea Ripley was a really good one, helping set up her match with Charlotte at Mania. But as we’d hoped, Bianca Belair had her own response to what Charlotte did. It was also pretty hilarious that she interrupted Green VS Carter for a moment. It was also clever that Green gets a win not because of Bianca but because of what we all expected: Robert Stone interferes. I’m thinking we’ll need a Green VS Carter tiebreaker, and Belair VS Flair could easily happen on either Raw or NXT, or even both because we can’t have just one of those.
The opener of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship match was great stuff, but that was obvious given the two men involved. Devlin wins and I would think he defends the title against a top NXT UK contender for TakeOver: Dublin. And I would think because it’ll be Dublin, Ireland, Devlin would get a Face reaction, so he could even face a fellow Heel in that match. Ciampa interrupting Austin Theory’s match was a good move, though it makes Belair’s move look like she was copying him. Ciampa VS Theory next week will be a great match for sure, though I wonder if Gargano will interfere to propel their story for TakeOver: Tampa. Lee squashing Reeves was perfect, and man, if we’re getting another Lee VS Dijakovic, that could really set the bar high for Mania weekend.
We got some great tag team matches out of GYV VS Mendoza & Wilde and Broserweights VS Lorcan & Burch. Naturally GYV and the Broserweights won because it feels like those two teams are going to have a rematch down the line. And I think we’re about to see The Forgotten Sons try a Face turn similar to Lacey Evans’, where they finally play up the patriotism angle. Their match with GYV will be a good one, but I don’t know if the Full Sail fans will accept the Sons going Face so easily as the Raw audience accepted Lacey. Strong VS Dream was a great match, though a bit sloppy at times. Maybe it was meant to be sloppy, especially since this was Dream’s first match back. In the end, Dream wins only to get beat down for it, so I suspect a bigger match coming down the line.
My Score: 9.3/10