Billie Kay & Peyton Royce have been claiming for weeks that they run the NXT Women's division. They set out to make that the truth this week. Before NXT went on the air, the Australian duo ambushed NXT Women's Champion Asuka in the parking lot outside Full Sail University, then fought off the game duo of Sarah Bridges & Macey Evans, gouging Bridges’ eyes to gain the upper hand and earn the victory.
Kay & Royce gloated in their exploits, but The Empress of Tomorrow was determined to make them pay, fighting through WWE officials to rush the ring, only to fall victim to her rivals. Asuka seemingly found an unlikely ally in SAnitY's Nikki Cross, who chased off Kay & Royce in a rabid rage. Unfortunately, it turned out that Cross only wanted the NXT Women's Champion to herself, and laid Asuka out with a dropkick off the ropes. As Asuka's championship reign reaches new heights with every passing day, many were wondering who might be able to take out The Empress of Tomorrow. It turns out it might not be a single competitor, but a trio of NXT's most devious Superstars.
After subjecting the NXT Universe to another unplugged performance, Elias Samson drifted to the ring and battled Jonathan Cruz. Cruz tried to catch The Drifter off-guard with a series of roll-ups, only for Samson to nearly take his head off with a devastating clothesline. Samson unleashed his rage on Cruz before putting an end to the proceedings with a vicious reverse neckbreaker.
Oney Lorcan and Andrade “Cien” Almas thrilled the NXT Universe in Osaka, Japan, several weeks ago during a battle that saw Lorcan walk away victorious. The Full Sail University crowd was firmly in the Boston bruiser's corner as Almas tried to play mind games with his opponent. But Lorcan was in no mood for games, as he dropkicked Cien out of the ring and chased him down for a neckbreaker on the arena floor. But back in the ring, Almas turned the tides of the bout by creating space and targeting Lorcan's knee, allowing him to connect with a hammerlock DDT to get the victory.
After the battle, Dasha Fuentes asked Cien what can be expected from him in 2017. After berating the NXT Universe, Almas said that he had two names on his list for this year. He crossed the first off with his win over Lorcan. He made it clear in two languages who the second was, declaring, “Roderick Strong, I’m coming for you!”
After their epic battle was declared the best match of 2016, not much else needed to be done to set the stage for one of the biggest rematches in NXT history. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder held up three fingers as they were introduced, telling the world what they thought the outcome of this showdown would be, while Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa looked supremely confident, their TakeOver: Toronto title victory still fresh on their minds.
DIY came out on fire at the start of the match, sending The Revival reeling until Dash & Dawson utilized blind tags to throw Gargano off and leave him open for an attack. The challengers once again focused on Gargano's knee, slamming it into the steel ring post. A resilient Johnny Wrestling nearly rolled Wilder up, but Dawson distracted the referee to keep their chances alive.
Despite The Revival employing all of their best diversions and dirty tactics, Gargano fought through the pain and finally reached Ciampa. The hard-hitting Ciampa turned the tides of the bout in #DIY's favor. After a pair of devastating dives to the arena floor, Gargano & Ciampa turned back The Revival's last offense, leaving Dash & Dawson in the middle of the ring. #DIY clobbered both of their challengers with their patented superkick/running knee combination to earn the three-count and keep the NXT Tag Team Championship.
However, Gargano & Ciampa were quickly given a painful reminder that there is no rest when you hold a title in NXT. The Authors of Pain blindsided the champions, manhandling DIY in disturbing fashion, connecting with the Super Collider and a series of vicious powerbombs before holding up the NXT Tag Team Titles. With a championship showdown between the two teams set for TakeOver: San Antonio, has the last chapter on #DIY's title reign already been written?
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Billie Kay & Peyton Royce defeated Sarah Bridges & Macey Evans (2:09)
- Elias Samson defeated Jonathan Cruz (3:24)
- Andrade "Cien" Almas defeated Oney Lorcan (4:58)
- #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) (c) defeated The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship (15:10)
Other on-screen talent