Killian Dain has returned to NXT with a vengeance, and he’s intent on cracking the code — if not breaking the bones — of Matt Riddle.
The Beast of Belfast made his brutal presence felt at the conclusion of Riddle’s duel with Arturo Ruas. Although Ruas proved to be a worthy opponent of Riddle on the mat, going hold-for-hold with the former UFC fighter in brilliant technical exchanges, Riddle closed the door on the Brazilian Superstar after lighting him up with a Final Flash knee strike and pummeling him with a ground-and-pound attack to earn a TKO decision.
Riddle’s celebration was cut short, however, when a masked man eventually revealed as Dain stormed the ring and attacked from behind. Dain ripped off the hood after his first salvo and continued flattening Riddle with one Spruce Goose-sized senton after another, before taking Riddle up the ramp. That’s where Dain unleashed the most devastating blow of all, bringing the entirety of his 320-pound frame down upon Riddle with yet another senton, this one sending both Superstars crashing through the stage floor.
On a special edition of “Street Talk,” NXT Tag Team Champions The Street Profits had one overarching message for Undisputed ERA’s Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly: Bring it on.
One week after Fish & O’Reilly gestured that they want a crack at the Profits’ hardware, Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford made clear that while Undisputed ERA can talk all they want about running the black-and-gold brand, it doesn’t change the fact that the NXT Tag Team Titles are around the Profits’ waists. According to The Curse of Greatness, if a showdown between the two teams happens, The Sultans of Swag will still be left with the titles when the dust settles, “and that is undisputed.”
If NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler didn’t take Mia Yim’s challenge for a title match seriously before, she might now.
A fan’s cell-phone video from last Saturday revealed that Yim attacked Baszler’s Four Horsewomen cohort Marina Shafir in a parking lot outside an NXT Live Event. The Head Baddie in Charge viciously slammed a car door on Shafir’s upper body, leaving her in a heap, before walking away coolly.
Does The HBIC have Baszler’s attention now?
Bronson Reed and Dexter Lumis, the final competitors to debut in the NXT Breakout Tournament, gave the NXT Universe its first look at one seriously hard-hitting mastodon (Reed) and one utterly unnerving purveyor of mind games (Lumis).
The enigmatic Lumis appeared entranced as he jammed his gloved hands into Reed’s eyes and nose, threatening to rearrange Reed’s facial features like Mr. Potato Head. The mysterious powerhouse (who hails from an undisclosed location) exhibited agility and balance in addition to cruelty, even making a midair adjustment and landing on his feet when Reed moved out of the way of a dive to the floor.
It was just that sort of high-risk maneuver, however, that was Lumis’ undoing. After enduring painful bursts of offense from the 330-pound Reed — including a Vader-like Thesz press that almost turned Lumis into a Jackson Pollock painting on the ring mat — Lumis found an opening for a top-rope senton bomb. However, Reed rolled out of the drop zone, causing the twisted Lumis to crash and burn. With the NXT Universe watching in awe, Reed rallied back and launched himself off the top rope with a canvas-cratering splash to pick up the win and advance to the next round, where “The Aus-zilla” will face Cameron Grimes.
The Forgotten Sons crashed Cathy Kelley’s backstage interview with Tyler Breeze just as Prince Pretty was commenting that he might have to adapt to the new NXT, where everyone seems to have “someone watching their back.”
The Savages of NXT denounced Breeze as a blast from the past who doesn’t fit into the current landscape of the black-and-gold brand, “where actual men are.” The irreverent Breeze pointed to his beard as evidence of his manliness and jokingly asked if Jaxson Ryker once went by the name Buddy Murphy, infuriating The Forgotten Sons’ heavy hitter and prompting Wesley Blake to warn Breeze that Ryker is a savage the likes of which Prince Pretty has never seen. Unimpressed, Breeze took his leave, but not before correcting the Forgotten Sons: “Guess what, boys. I’ve seen everything.”
Kushida once again leveled-up his world-beater status, this time by besting SmackDown LIVE’s Apollo Crews in a riveting dream match that had the NXT Universe on the edge of their seats
Crews, who was making his return to NXT TV for the first time in more than three years, appeared galvanized by the hero’s welcome he received inside Full Sail Live, and that only added to Kushida’s troubles trying to put away the boulder-shouldered Superstar from Stone Mountain, Ga.
With his unique combination of herculean strength and gymnastic elasticity, Crews thrashed Kushida with power moves and aerial feats. Unable to match his opponent’s incredible physical attributes, Kushida relied on a strategic counterattack, laying the groundwork for his signature Sakuraba Lock by targeting Crews’ left arm anytime the opportunity presented itself.
As the bout reached its final stretch, both Superstars found themselves locked in battle on the top turnbuckle. Then, in a moment that made the entire NXT Universe hold their breath, Kushida pulled Crews off the top rope with a rolling armbar. Crews desperately scrambled to break the hold, but the ring-wise Kushida stayed one step ahead and deftly maneuvered into the Sakuraba Lock for the tapout. Although he lost, Crews held his head high after the match as Kushida raised his arm in a clear show of respect for the SmackDown LIVE fan favorite.
Keith Lee is a frustrated man. While speaking to Cathy Kelley earlier in the day, The Limitless Superstar — nay, “Infinite” Superstar — vented about being overlooked for opportunities while having to watch as newcomers such as the Breakout Tournament competitors vie for a chance at an NXT championship of their choosing.
Lee then turned his attention to another NXT freshman, Damian Priest. Noting that “everyone seems to be talking about” The Archer of Infamy, Lee concluded that he needs to show the world why it’s him, and not Priest, that the world should be buzzing over.
Lee’s bold words set the stage for a truly monstrous matchup next Wednesday, when Lee will battle Priest one-on-one on WWE Network.
As Adam Cole found out, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
The NXT Champion’s planned title defense was exposed as just another attempt by The Panama City Playboy to needle Johnny Gargano, after Cole revealed that his hand-chosen challenger would be Twan Tucker, the Cleveland-area wrestler-in-training whom Gargano encouraged to follow his dreams on Target: TakeOver XXV (and whom Cole mocked on his Bay Bay Championship Tour). Cole promised the WWE hopeful a fair fight and explained that he had come alone, sans any other Undisputed ERA members.
The same could not be said for Tucker. Rather than take Cole up on his offer, Tucker revealed that he brought backup in the form of Johnny Wrestling!
A look of deep concern overtook Cole’s face as Gargano made a beeline to the ring, sparking a wild fistfight that sprawled throughout Full Sail Live. Despite Cole’s desperate attempts to get out of Dodge, Gargano stayed on the attack, rapping Cole with cathartic lefthanded haymakers as they filed up and down the bleachers and eventually onto the entrance stage, where NXT referees managed to temporarily halt the melee. The reprieve was brief, however, ending when Gargano dove off the stage and onto Cole.
The fight then carried into the ring, where Gargano blasted The Undisputed ERA leader with superkicks and cinched on the Gargano Escape. The NXT Champion frantically tapped out while NXT officials struggled to pry the irate Gargano off Cole. Gargano eventually relented, but as he left up the ramp, he held up three fingers, making it abundantly clear that he’s searching for a rubber match against his bitter rival.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Matt Riddle defeated Arturo Ruas by referee's decision (3:41)
- Bronson Reed defeated Dexter Lumis in a 2019 NXT Breakout Tournament First Round Match (5:52)
- KUSHIDA defeated Apollo Crews (10:44)
Other on-screen talent