The August 22, 2018 Edition of NXT is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE, which took place at the Barclays Center in New York City, New York on August 18, 2018 before NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV.
Before gearing up for this year’s Mae Young Classic, new NXT Superstar Deonna Purrazzo sought to make an unforgettable impression in her first match on the black-and-yellow brand. Unfortunately for the highly touted Virtuosa, she had to face one of the winningest Superstars in NXT, the returning (and still un-de-feat-ed) Bianca Belair.
Purrazzo showed tremendous poise in the face of such adversity, even curtsying after getting the best of Belair in one early exchange on the mat. Not to be outdone in her return from injury, The EST of NXT used her world-class power to counter Purrazzo’s attack, and she demanded the newcomer show her respect as she pummeled Purrazzo's core and lower back.
The Virtuosa withstood the punishment and mounted a spectacular comeback, including an attempt at her specialty, the Fujiwara Armbar, but the freaky-strong Belair shoved her off into the ring post. Belair then torched Purrazzo with a Torture Rack into a facebuster to continue her streak of victories. Purrazzo’s debut might not have been a winning one, but her performance surely opened plenty of eyes. As for The EST of NXT, she’ll just continue doing what she does best, being un-de-feat-ed.
With the excitement for NXT UK growing by the day, the mean-mugging face of the brand, WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne, shows no signs of loosening his grip on the division’s top crown.
In a belter of a title rematch from June’s NXT UK Championship special at London’s Royal Albert Hall, The BruiserWeight topped Zack Gibson, the winner of the 2018 U.K. Championship Tournament. Just like their first championship duel, the return bout brimmed with hard hits and limb-twisting, digit-damaging submission holds, as well as enough near falls to establish Gibson as a perennial threat to whoever holds the WWE U.K. Title.
Also like in their first match, Gibson appeared to be on the brink of winning the championship, only to take his eye off the ball during a critical moment.
This time, Gibson’s mistake came after Dunne forced a rope break to escape the Shankly Gates wristlock, the same move that carried Liverpool’s No. 1 to victory in this year’s U.K. Championship Tournament. (Dunne did so in compelling fashion, resorting to biting the bottom rope after Gibson prevented him from reaching it with his hands).
Gibson stomped Dunne mercilessly and blasted him with a nasty lariat. Then, noticing that Dunne’s mouthguard had become dislodged during the fracas, Gibson grabbed the gum shield and nearly tossed it into the NXT Universe until Dunne cut him off. Dunne got hold of Gibson’s hand, splayed his fingers like a wishbone and sent him crashing to the mat with the Bitter End to secure the hard-fought win.
With the victory, Dunne’s WWE United Kingdom Championship reign, the longest of any title reign in WWE, lives on to see day 459 and beyond.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Bianca Belair defeated Deonna Purrazzo (5:38)
- Pete Dunne (c) defeated Zack Gibson to retain the WWE United Kingdom Championship (13:34)
Other on-screen talent