NXT North American Champion Adam Cole showed that he's on another level against Sean Maluta, downing the Cruiserweight Classic alum in short order thanks to his devastating final blow, the Last Shot. Cole's night, however, was far from over.
After the win, The Panama City Playboy boasted that he is the most buzzworthy Superstar in sports-entertainment, prompting Ricochet to enter the scene. The One and Only accused Cole of ducking his challenge, called Cole a “coward” and dared the Undisputed ERA front man to change his mind by agreeing to a title match against him at TakeOver: Brooklyn 4.
Cole dodged the challenge and opted for an exit, though he grew emboldened as soon as NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong arrived as backup. As the trio began to move on The One and Only, The War Raiders, their sights clearly set on O’Reilly & Strong's tag title gold, marched into Full Sail Live.
Undisputed ERA's flight response kicked in, but before they took their leave through the NXT Universe, another tandem with championship ambitions, Moustache Mountain, cut them off at the pass. Tyler Bate & Trent Seven landed a few strikes before Cole, O’Reilly & Strong finally ran for the hills. Everybody, it appears, wants a piece of Undisputed ERA.
NXT General Manager William Regal presided over a contract signing between NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane earlier in the day at the WWE Performance Center.
Ahead of their clash at TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 on Saturday, Aug. 18, The Queen of Spades was as brash as ever, declaring that The Pirate Princess not only lacked a killer instinct, but was also a “phony” who was holding onto the past (specifically, her victory over Baszler in last year's Mae Young Classic Finals). Despite the insults, Sane confidently and calmly reiterated what she, Baszler and the entire NXT Universe knows: Kairi Sane can beat Shayna Baszler.
The key question is, will she do it again?
Once again Lacey Evans displayed a total lack of manners inside the ring, and once again it resulted in a painful night for The Lady of NXT's opponent.
In this instance, Tenilla Price suffered the brunt of Evans’ hard-edged attack. After using some innovative tactics to brutalize Price (including tying her hair to the top rope), Evans thwacked her adversary with the Woman's Right as Price attempted a handspring elbow in the corner. The pinfall was academic from there.
Though she barely broke a sweat decimating Price, Evans wiped her brow with a handkerchief. Always a lady ...
Tommaso Ciampa, the scourge of NXT, defeated Aleister Black to become the new NXT Champion, and Johnny Gargano — the one man who insisted that outcome could not be allowed to happen under any circumstances — is to blame.
Gargano's involvement, which inadvertently swung the tide in his arch-rival's favor, came in the waning moments of a wild and thrilling title bout in which The Dutch Destroyer and The Blackheart battered each other with every weapon in their arsenals. Black laced Ciampa with a wide assortment of kicks, but The Blackheart endured more of The Dutch Destroyer's attack than any of Black's previous challengers, forcing Black to employ rarely used maneuvers to try to take down Ciampa.
Ciampa pushed Black to his absolute limit, too, clamping on punishing holds and resorting to extreme (and underhanded) measures. As both Superstars brawled on the floor late in the contest, Ciampa pushed Black into a member of NXT's ringside production team. While referee Drake Wuertz checked on the fallen third party, Ciampa nailed Black with his now-infamous crutch behind Wuertz's back, though Black kicked out of the ensuing pin attempt.
Wuertz was knocked off the ring apron moments later after another fiery exchange. The Dutch Destroyer then wiped out Ciampa with Black Mass and had Ciampa's shoulders pinned to the mat, but the referee was unable to administer the count.
Ciampa clawed his way back into the fight, literally, by gouging Black's eyes. With the referee still down, The Blackheart grabbed the NXT Championship, presumably to clobber Black with, at which point Gargano entered the ring. Gargano superkicked Ciampa and ripped the title out of his hands, but accidentally hit Black on the backswing. Ciampa discarded Gargano from the ring and then planted a dazed Black with a double-underhook facebuster, just in time for the newly revived Wuertz to re-enter the ring and count the fall.
You can call the victory ironic, you can call it fateful, but by any description, there's no denying that with Tommaso Ciampa as NXT Champion, the black-and-yellow brand will never be the same.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Adam Cole defeated Sean Maluta (2:15)
- Lacey Evans defeated Tenilla Price (2:00)
- Tommaso Ciampa defeated Aleister Black (c) to win the NXT Championship (22:20)
Other on-screen talent