The Io Shirai that the NXT Universe once knew and loved is gone, replaced by a menacing loner who doesn't want or need anybody's help.
In her first appearance on NXT TV since sadistically ravaging Candice LeRae with a steel chair inside a cage two weeks ago, Shirai entered Full Sail Live with new music, a new look and, most important of all, a new attitude.
As the boos of the NXT Universe finally settled down, the black-clad Shirai kept her remarks brief, only saying that she doesn't need “any friends” or “any of you.” For anyone holding out hope that Shirai was going to show remorse toward Candice for an extreme overreaction in the heat of the moment, The Genius of the Sky just dropped a reality check.
While addressing reporters at a press conference, NXT Champion Velveteen Dream made clear that he isn't ready to say who he wants to defend his coveted title against next, only that Roderick Strong, the Superstar that pinned Dream's shoulders to the mat weeks ago, isn't deserving of the opportunity.
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, the dangerous dandy dismissed Strong's victory — which came during a chaotic Six-Man Tag Team Match — as “luck” and said the Undisputed ERA's Messiah of the Backbreaker isn't ready to experience the Dream one-on-one, leaving the NXT Universe to wonder just who will get the nod as Dream's next challenger.
The Archer of Infamy, Damian Priest, continues to hit the bull's-eye.
In his second match on NXT TV, the imposing newcomer demolished Blanco Loco. Staying on the throttle the whole time, Priest slung Loco, a protégé of The Wild Samoans, through the air with a release Falcon Arrow and nearly lopped off his head with a lariat. The mysterious Man of the New Millennium then spun off a cyclone kick before decimating Loco with the Reckoning—a devastating rolling cutter—for the pin.
The anticipation for Killian Dain's NXT return reached a fever pitch this week, with The Beast of Belfast shedding light on his mission statement in the black-and-gold brand.
As images of riot squads and burning streets flashed before him, Dain reflected on his harsh upbringing in Northern Ireland, detailing the gang violence and martial law that ran amok when Dain came of age in Belfast. From having his house set ablaze to being left deaf in one ear thanks to a car bomb that exploded on his street, Dain declared that he wears those horrific memories as a “badge of honor.”
After having so much taken from him, Dain outlined his objective going forward in no uncertain terms: “to take everything and anything” that he wants. Best of luck to anyone who tries to stop him.
For a third week in a row, the NXT Breakout Tournament yielded two breakout performances from debuting Superstars. This week, speed demon Jordan Myles overcame a hard-edged onslaught by dangerous martial artist-turned-Superstar Boa to advance to the Semifinals, and, for the most part, Myles did it with a smile on his face.
The self-described “Athletic Anime Hero” kept his buoyancy at the outset of the match, while he bounced around Boa with an evasive backflip that preceded a sharp dropkick, but his sunny demeanor turned overcast once Boa started wedging knee strikes into Myles’ ribcage. The Chinese Superstar rattled his more-experienced opponent with Muay Thai techniques and an axe kick that nearly left a hole in Myles’ chest, but he began to show signs of frustration after being unable to put Myles down for the count.
That's when Myles found his next gear and a smile returned to his face. The Texas native retaliated with a rapid-fire campaign of kicks and unleashed a “Destructo Disc” spinning clothesline in the corner before scoring the pin off a dazzling 450 Splash that he calls “The Midnight Star.”
With the threat of Boa now behind him, Myles looks ahead to battling Mexico's Angel Garza in the next round.
Despite being called out by the red-hot Mia Yim last week, NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler appeared wholly unfazed by The HBIC while speaking to reporters.
The Queen of Spades concluded that although Yim's life story of overcoming hardship is compelling, it's hardly unique in the world of fighting. Declaring that it will take more than that to impress her, Baszler said that no matter how inspiring Yim's story may be, it can only end one of three ways if she winds up in the ring with the champion: tap, nap or snap.
A little more than a year removed from his arrival to NXT, Keith Lee can lay claim to one of the black-and-gold brand's most impressive win-loss records. But as an eye-opening video interview with The Limitless Superstar revealed, his success shouldn't be mistaken for satisfaction.
Despite his many triumphs, Lee believes he has fallen short of the expectations he set for himself upon joining NXT in 2018, when he first invited the entire NXT Universe to bask in his glory. “I don’t think that’s occurred — not the way I wanted, not to the level that I wanted,” Lee assessed.
Pledging to make some changes in year two, Lee concluded that “Limitless isn’t going to cut it anymore,” and to be the main-event player that he envisions himself, he must become “infinite.”
One by one, Kushida has turned back of anybody who's stepped his way, from NXT UK's Kassius Ohno to 205 Live's Drew Gulak, and he's only getting started.
As he explained last week on NXT TV, Kushida welcomes the chance to test himself against WWE's best, regardless of brand affiliation. The open call was a heavy gauntlet for Kushida to throw down, but he's not without his takers.
While addressing a press corps earlier today, NXT General Manager William Regal confirmed that Kushida's campaign will continue next week when he faces none other than SmackDown LIVE's Apollo Crews!
A show of respect toward The Street Profits helped earn Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan their title match against the NXT Tag Team Champions, but the gloves came off as soon as the opening bell to their titanic clash sounded.
Competing with the aggression and confidence befitting the kings of the mountain, Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford put the Brit-Am brawlers on their heels early on. Their hot start also seemed to get under the challengers’ skin, as Dawkins’ attempt to shake hands with Burch mid-match was not greeted in kind, but rather with a swift kick by The Guv’nor. Burch's tactics, questionable though they may be, turned the fight in his team's favor, and after Burch & Lorcan took turns wailing on The Curse of Greatness, Burch pushed Dawkins to the brink of submission with a crossface, only to have the hold broken up by an intervening King Tez.
The intensity continued to ratchet up as both squads unloaded a bevvy of big hits, and the NXT fans erupted into cries of “This is awesome!” after one especially dizzying series of strikes that culminated with Dawkins almost spearing Burch out of his boots.
Just like at TakeOver: XXV, it was the quick thinking of The Street Profits that made all the difference in the end. After Ford sky-bombed Burch with a dive onto the floor, Lorcan tried to outdo his foe's aerial feat. Yet, just as Lorcan prepared to take flight, Dawkins socked him in the jaw with a punch that would stop a rhino in its tracks. The Profits immediately capitalized on the opening and disposed of Lorcan with a spinebuster/Frog Splash comb to end the match and, for now, the Brit-Am brawlers’ championship ambitions.
Although The Street Profits turned back one set of double-tough challengers and have already begun making their presence felt on Raw, their work in NXT's Tag Team division is far from over. As Ford & Dawkins savored their victory, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly walked onto the stage, as if to call “next.” Whether Fish & O’Reilly will get their wish, putting the wheels in motion for potentially a historic third NXT Tag Team Title reign for The Undisputed ERA, only time will tell.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Damian Priest defeated Blanco Loco (1:39)
- Jordan Myles defeated Boa in a 2019 NXT Breakout Tournament First Round Match (8:21)
- Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) (c) defeated Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship (9:58)
Other on-screen talent