After his transformative 2017 turned into a rough start in 2018, Tyler Bate got his wish and an opportunity to regain lost traction, as he faced Velveteen Dream one-on-one. The U.K. prodigy used his classic British grappling style to frustrate Dream in the early goings until the controversial champion of “entertainer empowerment” turned the tide with a targeted attack on Bate's lower back.
The match devolved into a slugfest, with both Superstars knocking heads in a tight-quarter collision in the corner. Bate then tried to prevent Dream from moving the action to the high-rent district, but Dream shook him off before driving his Purple Rainmaker elbow drop into Bate's chest for the win.
The NXT Universe clearly sees big things ahead for Cezar Bononi, having voted him the Future Star of NXT in the 2017 Year-End Awards. Adam Cole and Undisputed ERA not so respectfully disagree with that assessment.
With help from NXT Tag Team Champions Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly, Cole faked out Bononi with a faux invitation to join their ranks. They threw Bononi an Undisputed ERA T-shirt, but it proved to be just a diversion that allowed Cole to sucker-punch the Brazilian Superstar at the start of the match.
The brawny Bononi quickly made Cole pay, drilling him with a boot and a Michinoku Driver. Sensing their stablemate was in danger, Fish & O’Reilly again distracted Bononi, enabling The Panama City Playboy to strike again, this time with a superkick. Cole then clobbered Bononi with a Shining Wizard to the back of the neck to claim the pinfall victory.
Fish & O’Reilly joined Cole in stomping Bononi after the bell. Adding insult to injury, Cole crouched over the up-and-coming Superstar and informed him that Undisputed ERA represent “only the best.”
Kairi Sane had Shayna Baszler's number last September when they met in the finals of the inaugural Mae Young Classic. The Pirate Princess also caused The Queen of Spades to stumble two weeks ago when she thwarted Baszler's beyond-the-pale assault on NXT Women's Champion Ember Moon.
Tonight, however, belonged to The Submission Magician. Baszler absorbed Sane's Sliding D forearm strike, Interceptor and spinning backfist before returning fire with a roundhouse kick. Baszler then snared the spirited Superstar with the Kirifuda Driver into the Kirifuda Clutch, forcing Sane to tap out.
Afterward, Baszler let it be known that she still considers Moon a coward, barking at the NXT announce team that the next time Baszler gets in the ring with the NXT Women's Champion, she's leaving with either the title or one of Moon's limbs.
Aleister Black's attempt to get the attention of NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas was stopped dead in its tracks by the monstrous Killian Dain on the Feb. 28, 2018, edition of WWE NXT.
NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega were flying high after Almas’ triumph over Johnny Gargano last week, a seismic win that led to Johnny Wrestling's heart-wrenching termination from NXT. Vega bragged about Almas going 4-0 against the beloved Gargano, while Almas joked that Johnny Wrestling should now be called “Johnny Jobless.”
As the powerful pair wrapped up their gloating and headed for the locker room, Aleister Black emerged from the darkness, seemingly to remind El Idolo of his intention to challenge for the NXT Title. Before The Dutch Destroyer could address the champion, however, SAnitY's Killian Dain stomped to the ring. Having already told Black once before that the path to the NXT Title goes through him, The Beast of Belfast went after the acclaimed striker. Black landed a few blows on the super-heavyweight but missed Black Mass, leaving himself vulnerable as Dain charged off the ropes and crashed down on him with the Divide.
Yet again, The Beast of Belfast stood tall at the close of NXT, while Black was left down and out. Has Dain critically stalled Black's pursuit of the NXT Title?
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Velveteen Dream defeated Tyler Bate (8:39)
- Adam Cole defeated Cezar Bononi (2:50)
- Shayna Baszler defeated Kairi Sane (6:55)
Other on-screen talent