Dakota Kai had her work cut out for her against fellow former Mae Young Classic competitor Santana Garrett. Yet, with Lacey Evans taunting Kai over recent losses, the Kiwi Superstar refused to be anything less than victorious tonight.
Garrett contorted and stretched Kai’s body with submission holds, including an artfully applied Muta Lock, but The Captain of Team Kick turned things around with a step-up enzuigiri. Kai then demolished Garrett with a pair of boots in the corner before putting her away with a flipping backstabber that Nigel McGuinness called the “Kai De Grâce.”
Kai continues to transform from doe-eyed to laser-focused before the NXT Universe’s eyes. But will her latest win do anything to silence The Lady of NXT?
Fresh off successful title defenses at TakeOver: Chicago II and the NXT U.K. Championship, NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler couldn’t resist the opportunity to once again declare her dominance over the Women’s division.
The Queen of Spades ran through a list of would-be title contenders that included Bianca Belair, Kairi Sane and Candice LeRae, and wrote them off one-by-one. She also claimed to be the sole reason for the second Mae Young Classic being held, saying her reign has NXT scouring the globe to find a suitable opponent. Baszler closed her royal proclamation on a chilling note, insisting that no matter her opponent, the result will always be the same: “And still your NXT Women’s Champion …”
After Tucker Knight was ambushed by unidentified attackers in the WWE Performance Center weight room earlier today, leaving Otis Dozovic without a partner for Heavy Machinery’s scheduled match against The Mighty, much of the NXT Universe fingered Shane Thorne & Nick Miller as the likely culprits. (Thorne & Miller were, after all, seen hightailing away from the scene.)
Whether or not The Mighty were to blame, Dozovic sure acted like they were. Screaming that nobody messes with his brother, the steaks-and-weights-loving big man steamrolled Thorne & Miller with clotheslines, elbow drops and a double suplex during the 2-on-1 Handicap Match. He withstood The Mighty’s double-team offense, too, though the numbers disadvantage eventually caught up to him.
A late-game Vader Bomb missed the mark when Miller pulled Thorne out of Dozovic’s path. Miller then shoved Otis into a northern lariat by Thorne, putting the Heavy Machinery member down for the count.
Even though they enjoyed a clear advantage in the 2-on-1 setting, that didn’t stop The Mighty from celebrating like it was the biggest triumph of their careers.
Competing in only his second match on WWE Network — against the incomparable Velveteen Dream, no less — newcomer Chris Dijak gave the entire NXT Universe something to feast their eyes on.
Though Dijak wound up losing the battle, the 6-foot-7 juggernaut put himself on the map with mind-blowing displays of power, such as launching Dream across the ring with a release suplex. Dream eventually tripped up Dijak, literally, by pulling his feet out from under him and causing Dijak to slam face-first onto the steel steps. Velveteen Dream then followed up with a wicked quick-pivot DDT for the win.
Dream took his time in the ring savoring his hard-fought victory, and he looked befuddled, if not annoyed when EC3 entered the arena for his main event showdown with Johnny Gargano. With tensions still running high after Dream abandoned EC3 during their tag team match in London, this latest offense is unlikely to calm matters between the two.
Johnny Gargano is a changed man. Bearing little resemblance to the cool and collected sportsman known as Johnny Wrestling, Gargano channeled the viciousness of his arch-rival, Tommaso Ciampa, to topple EC3 in a hard-hitting main event.
The Top One Percent may have been expecting a wrestling match, but what he got was a fight. Gargano threw punches and pushed the pace, while EC3 relied on his incredible strength to stop Gargano before he could gain too much momentum. Johnny Wrestling almost cinched in the Gargano Escape, but EC3 countered by deadlifting Gargano into an explosive powerbomb for a near fall.
As a fatigued EC3 sat up in a position reminiscent of Ciampa at TakeOver: Chicago II, Gargano seemingly interpreted EC3’s body language as evoking The Blackheart. Gargano snapped. He locked in the Gargano Escape twice (vindictively reapplying it near the ropes after EC3 had forced the break) and drilled EC3 with an exposed knee, a la Ciampa. Gargano was momentarily appalled by his own actions, but still hit The Top One Percent with a draping DDT (the same move that Ciampa beat Gargano with in Chicago) to claim victory.
Johnny Gargano has found a dark place in his rebel heart, and there’s no telling if he’s going to leave anytime soon.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dakota Kai defeated Santana Garrett (3:38)
- The Mighty (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne) defeated Otis Dozovic (5:54)
- The Velveteen Dream defeated Christopher Dijak (5:01)
- Johnny Gargano defeated EC3 (10:06)
Other on-screen talent