Johnny Wrestling is back! After triumphing against Tommaso Ciampa in a barbaric Unsanctioned Match at TakeOver: New Orleans, the newly reinstated Johnny Gargano, accompanied by wife Candice LeRae, returned to Full Sail University, where he received a hero’s welcome. Gargano thanked the NXT Universe for their continued support, as well as Candice, noting that he couldn’t have endured the rollercoaster events of the past few months without her by his side.
Candice Wrestling said that one last bit of unsettled business remained: Getting even with NXT-turned-SmackDown Superstars Zelina Vega & Andrade “Cien” Almas. Candice said she would take care of that later in the night when she battled Vega one-on-one, and Gargano added that he’d stand ready to wipe out El Idolo if the former NXT Champion involved himself in the match.
Before NXT’s first couple left, Gargano had one final message to deliver, making clear that he intended to be the first challenger to new NXT Champion Aleister Black. By the end of the night, Gargano would get his answer from The Dutch Destroyer.
Coming off an unforgettable performance at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, Ricochet made his long-awaited debut at Full Sail University, taking on the endlessly athletic Fabian Aichner. The NXT LVL tried to rain on Ricochet’s parade, as he used his incredible strength to toss Ricochet around the ring before clamping on a ferocious bearhug.
Aichner’s forceful attack, however, couldn’t ground the preeminent high-flyer for long. Ricochet soared through the air with a springboard uppercut and flattened the Italian Superstar with a standing shooting star press before putting Aichner away with a breathtaking 630 Splash. Afterward, Ricochet told Kayla Braxton that it felt great to compete in the same venue where Superstars like Sami Zayn and Bayley made a name for themselves and indicated that he plans to do just the same for himself now that he's in NXT.
In their official NXT debut, The War Raiders underscored the vicious impression they made last week when they tore Heavy Machinery and Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli to shreds. The War Raiders demolished The Metro Brothers with ease and in spectacular fashion. Hanson nearly decapitated Chris Metro with a clothesline and then paired with Rowe to trounce Chris with a pop-up powerslam. The War Raiders then downed JC Metro with the Fallout — a suplex/avalanche leg drop combo — to score the pin in this one-sided contest. The takeaway was clear: #JoinTheRaid or deal with the consequences.
Cameras caught Shayna Baszler interrupting WWE Performance Center Coach Serena Deeb’s meeting with the NXT Women’s roster earlier this week in the WWE PC locker room. The emboldened NXT Women’s Champion ripped Ember Moon’s name off her former locker, replacing it with a queen of spades playing card, and told her fellow Superstars to “get in line” behind her or “get out.” Dakota Kai, who was once injured at Baszler’s hands, exited, but only after The Submission Magician stopped bullying her and allowed her to pass.
What’s to come for the NXT Women’s division now that Baszler’s reign of terror has only just begun?
Full Sail University is lucky to still be standing following the lawless showdown between hard-hitting hosses Lars Sullivan and SAnitY’s Killian Dain. Taking full advantage of the No Disqualification format, Sullivan and Dain quickly took their brawl outside the ring, with The Freak suplexing Dain on the floor. Sullivan then dove from the top rope onto Dain on the floor, causing blood to trickle down Dain’s bearded scowl.
Soon after, steel chairs were brought into the mix, and the thwack of the ensuing chair strikes ripped through the building. Dain smothered Sullivan with a senton and Vader Bomb before breaking out a table. An initial attempt to smash The Freak through the table with the Divide was countered with an unfathomable powerslam, garnering just a one-count for Sullivan. The Beast of Belfast tried the Divide again moments later, this time successfully, shattering the table and leaving Sullivan in a heap of splintered wood.
Dain’s undoing, however, came when he set up the Rocky Mountain monster for a coast-to-coast dropkick. Sullivan prevented Dain's plan from unfolding and caught SAnitY's beast coming off the turnbuckles with a chair to the midsection. Sullivan then drove Dain onto chairs with the Freak Accident to cement his spot as the top mastodon in NXT.
For months, Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega tormented Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae, but tonight, Mr. & Mrs. Johnny Wrestling got the last laugh.
LeRae ripped in to Vega at the start of their one-on-one encounter, but a distraction by Almas allowed Zelina to turn the tide. It also prompted Gargano to come to the ring to even the odds. Borrowing from Almas’ arsenal, Vega hit Candice with the Meteora running knees, but LeRae countered Vega’s attempted Hammerlock DDT into an inside cradle for a near fall. Candice, in an ode to her husband, dropped Vega with a flying headscissors into the Gargano Escape. Almas tried to break the hold but was stopped by Gargano, who hit El Idolo with his own headscissors into the Gargano Escape. In a scene of true bliss, LeRae then forced Vega to submit, humbling the nefarious duo as they leave NXT for SmackDown LIVE.
LeRae soaked in the victory, and Gargano reminded everyone of his challenge to NXT Champion Aleister Black. With his name invoked, The Dutch Destroyer entered the arena and said Gargano shall receive his opportunity next week, seemingly setting the stage for a massive NXT Title showdown on WWE Network.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Lio Rush (w/ Babatunde Aiyegbusi) defeated Chico Adams
- Ricochet defeated Fabian Aichner (4:38)
- War Raiders (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) defeated The Metro Brothers (Chris Metro & JC Metro) (1:50)
- Lars Sullivan defeated Killian Dain in a No Disqualification Match (10:42)
- Candice LeRae (w/ Johnny Gargano) defeated Zelina Vega (w/ Andrade Almas) (3:26)
Other on-screen talent