Having suffered Aliyah and Vanessa Borne's insults for weeks on end, Mia Yim didn't waste her opportunity to make Aliyah pay the piper. The threat of an angry Yim was enough to make Aliyah quake in her boots, and once she got within arm's reach of The Head Baddie in Charge, she appeared all but ready to ask for forgiveness. However, a timely assist by Borne, who accompanied Aliyah to the ring, swung things in the favor of the Boujee Superstar, who was suddenly emboldened once again.
Even though NXT's self-proclaimed “Highers” took the low road, Yim remained mission focused. The HBIC torpedoed Aliyah and Borne with a two-for-one topé suicida, then flattened Aliyah with a fallaway slam before connecting with a match-ending Protect Ya Neck.
Following her triumph, Yim took a victory lap past the NXT announce desk, where she laid out a crystal-clear message to NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler, promising to not only take The Queen of Spades’ title, but to also deliver a whooping that Baszler won't soon forget.
Cathy Kelley entered NXT General Manager William Regal's office seeking an update on Candice LeRae's condition after Io Shirai's vicious attack last week, but she wound up with a scoop of a different kind.
Before Regal could delve into the details of LeRae's situation, beyond saying it was “week to week,” The Forgotten Sons barged in and demanded a title match with NXT Tag Team Champions and new Raw Superstars The Street Profits. Regal reminded the grizzled brawlers that they blew their opportunity by getting themselves disqualified against Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins last week, and informed The Forgotten Sons that they're now at the back of the line of contenders, causing The Savages of NXT to storm out of his office in a fit of rage.
Regal then revealed that the Profits will defend their titles next week against Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan, the very team that saved Ford & Dawkins from the Sons’ three-on-two ambush, in a match suggested by The Sultans of Swag.
The NXT Championship is around Adam Cole's waist, but that doesn't mean The Panama City Playboy is done antagonizing Johnny Gargano. Yet, even by Undisputed ERA's diabolical standards, Cole's latest taunts may have crossed the line.
On the second installment of Cole's Bay Bay Championship Celebration Tour, the NXT Champion visited Gargano's hometown of Cleveland. His first stop was the restaurant owned by Johnny Wrestling's father, Frank. As the elder Gargano warily eyed his son's rival, Cole picked up an order of pizzas and left a keepsake for the restaurant, tacking an autographed photo of himself onto the wall, between photos of Gargano and Candice LeRae. Cole's inscription underscored his malicious intent: “To Gargano’s, A champion you can be proud of!”
Next up, Cole went to the wrestling school where Gargano used to be a trainer. Addressing the same group of WWE hopefuls that Gargano previously encouraged to follow their dreams on Target: TakeOver XXV, Cole said Gargano was “full of crap” and that he felt pity over Gargano giving the trainees “false hope” that they could one day become champion. The reaction was hostile, and Cole was told to leave, but before he exited, he left the students with the pizzas and some parting advice: “Give up” and “Find yourselves a new hero.”
Any Superstar who wishes to test his mettle against Kushida might think twice after this week's edition of NXT. The Japanese icon — who has declared that he wants to face WWE's best, regardless of brand affiliation — meticulously dismantled Canada's Jeff Parker. Whether they were fighting for the position on the mat or exchanging strikes on their feet, Kushida dictated the pace. It wasn't long before Kushida applied the Sakuraba Lock, the painful double wristlock named after his mentor, UFC Hall of Famer Kazushi Sakuraba. Parker had no choice but to tap out, leaving Kushida's spotless win-loss record intact.
Cameron Grimes and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott made a jaw-dropping first impression in their NXT TV debuts, but only Grimes emerged with what matters most: passage into the second round of the NXT Breakout Tournament.
In a dazzling see-saw battle that featured a bevy of creative offensive bursts, the gritty North Carolinian lived up to his reputation of being an “absolute opportunist.” Whereas the fleet-footed Scott stunned Grimes and NXT fans alike with his elastic assault (including a breathtaking hurricanrana that saw Scott leap off the mat and onto the shoulders of Grimes, who was sitting on the top turnbuckle), Grimes relied on a more ground-based, hard-hitting approach. He picked his spots carefully, countering one of Swerve's highlight-reel salvos with a ferocious sit-out powerbomb for a two-count.
Despite the close call, Swerve still had surprises left up his sleeve. He popped Grimes with a blink-and-you-missed-it kick to the face and then took to the skies with a head-over-heels Fosbury Flop to the floor. Upon returning to the ring, however, Scott was turned inside-out by Grimes’ reversal of a crossbody block and then undone by a leaping double foot stomp that nearly caved in Swerve's sternum. The stomp was enough to put Scott down for the count and move Grimes to the tournament semifinals.
Determined to reverse course after going 1-2 against Mia Yim, Bianca Belair returned to the ring with a point to prove. Her opponent, Priscilla Zuniga, would have suffered the effects either way, but Zuniga's decision to pie-face Belair at the start of the match didn't help matters.
In no mood to play around, The EST of NXT responded with a thunderous forearm smash, and the drubbing that ensued was severe. Belair stomped, press-slammed and powerbombed Zuniga twice, then she launched Zuniga overhead like a medicine ball, causing the overwhelmed competitor to slam face-first into the turnbuckle. Belair finished her decimation of Zuniga with the K.O.D. to pick up the decisive win.
If you thought The EST of NXT was dangerous before, when she was still un-de-fea-ted, then Belair has some news for you.
The NXT Universe got a glimpse inside Matt Riddle's rigorous training as WWE Network cameras documented the former UFC fighter's workout inside an MMA gym.
Between visuals of Riddle pounding a heavy bag and German suplexing a dummy to high heaven, The Original Bro talked about his love of the grappling arts, stressing that he continues to train every aspect of his game, from Muay Thai and judo to jiu-jitsu and wrestling. Though Riddle was, true to form, as cool as the other side of a pillow while commenting on his pugilistic prowess, his words carried gravity, none more so than his conclusion that, as he continues to perfect his technique and get stronger, “around the world, people are intimidated” by his ability.
Who deserves credit for making NXT what it is today: The Undisputed ERA, who've run roughshod over the brand for nearly two years, or Superstars like Tyler Breeze, a veritable NXT O.G. who laid the groundwork before “TakeOver” had even entered the vernacular?
Undisputed ERA's Roderick Strong was ready to answer that question on his own, or so appeared to be the case when he arrived for his battle against Prince Pretty without any Undisputed ERA teammates in sight.
With the playing field seemingly level, Breeze and Strong threw down in a thrilling conflict. The Messiah of the Backbreaker carved out an early lead thanks to two particularly brutal variants of his pet move: First, Strong demolished Breeze's vertebrae with a catch-and-release backbreaker onto the corner of the steel ring steps, then he bent Breeze like a paperclip with a backbreaker onto the guard rail.
Everything Strong did after that point targeted Breeze's back, but Breeze stayed in the fight through it all, peppering Strong with well-timed strikes and claiming a near fall off a Supermodel Kick.
As fatigue began to set in, the battle devolved into an all-out slugfest. Breeze rattled Strong with an enzuigiri, but before he could take advantage, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish ran to the ring and jumped onto the apron, distracting the referee. Prince Pretty dispatched Fish with a kick, but by the time Breeze turned around, Strong had an enzuigiri waiting for him. The three-count was administered seconds later, after Strong splintered Breeze with the End of Heartache.
The win continues Strong's wave of momentum, which began when he pinned NXT North American Champion Velveteen Dream's shoulders to the mat two weeks ago. Whether The Messiah of the Backbreaker deserves full credit for defeating Breeze is another matter entirely.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Mia Yim defeated Aliyah (w/ Vanessa Borne) (4:49)
- Kushida defeated Jeff Parker (2:34)
- Cameron Grimes defeated Isaiah Scott in a 2019 NXT Breakout Tournament First Round Match (8:32)
- Bianca Belair defeated Priscilla Zuniga (2:11)
- Roderick Strong defeated Tyler Breeze (11:22)
Other on-screen talent