The smoldering ember left behind after Io Shirai and Shayna Baszler's explosive NXT Women's Title clash at NXT TakeOver: XXV sparked a new flame that ultimately torched The Genius of the Sky's tag-team tangle against The Horsewomen.
Before lighting another fuse against The Queen of Spades, though, Shirai and her new pal Candice LeRae dealt retribution to Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir. After weeks of testy exchanges between the two sides, The Genius of the Sky and Tenacious C were all action against the treacherous duo. LeRae dialed things up early, plastering Shafir & Duke with running strikes and aerial attacks. When Duke found a way to reverse the momentum, lacing her opponent with a bevy of strikes – all while Baszler proudly watched from the stage – a tag to Shirai soon turned the tables.
As if tattooing the Horsewomen with a series of high-impact moves, including a flawlessly executed Tiger Feint Kick, wasn't enough, The Genius of the Sky pulled a page from Baszler's book and dropped a merciless stomp to Duke's left elbow. When Baszler irately made a beeline to the ring to scoop her partner-in-crime out of harm's way, Shirai flattened the NXT Women's Champion with a moonsault, prompting an all-out brawl among all parties. As LeRae dove between the ropes and leveled Duke & Shafir on the outside, Baszler and Shirai duked it out through the crowd – throwing this heated matchup into a no contest, while the NXT Universe implored officials to “let them fight.”
If Drew Gulak believed a pinfall victory to be the “easy way out” in his last battle with Kushida, then being forced into submission this week had to have been the toughest.
In a clash of venerable mat technicians that could only be won by one Superstar making the other tap out, The Philadelphia Stretcher found himself thwarting the Japanese Sensation's exhaustive cache of submission holds early. But after evading a cross arm breaker, Gulak went on an innovative offense jaunt. After launching his opponent to the canvas with back-to-back reverse body slams, the Houdini of submission holds stretched out Kushida's body like elastic with a deltoid-punishing Gory Special.
When a few roundhouse kicks allowed him to break free from the 205 Live staple's side wristlock, Kushida rocketed around the ring with a flurry of lightning-quick offense. Putting his aerial agility on full display, the former Japanese champion layered Gulak with a step-up enziguri before dropping him with a tornado DDT. From there, the taxing battle turned into a game of one-upmanship as both Superstars traded limb-twisting holds like a hockey puck, including back-to-back ankle lock exchanges.
With a combination of desperation and calculation, Kushida eventually found his opening and seized the moment of opportunity by taking down a battle-weary Gulak and latching onto his left arm with the Hoverboard Lock to score the tap-out victory. Afterward, with no bitterness present, both Superstars extended their hands in a sign of respect, underscoring the valiant effort they put forth in this gridlock throwdown.
The hunger left after the gritty NXT Tag Team Title Ladder Match at TakeOver: XXV was almost palpable during Undisputed ERA's tag-team tussle with the Brit-Am brawlers.
Kyle O’Reilly and Oney Lorcan steered this contest into a smashmouth affair from the get-go, exchanging aggressive submission holds and blistering strikes to dictate the course of the bout. When their ground-and-pound showdown turned into good ol’ fashioned fisticuffs, Roderick Strong and Danny Burch took it as an invitation to jump in and turn their tag-team contest into an uncontrollable brawl. Once O’Reilly & Strong were knocked out of the ring, Lorcan exploded over the rope with a dive that knocked them down further.
Lorcan & Burch continued to lay into Undisputed ERA with hard-hitting tandem offense, including a reverse suplex by Lorcan onto O’Reilly that concluded with a running knee by Burch. Ever the calculated pair, O’Reilly & Strong eventually found an opening after avoiding a double-team attack and turned things into their own Undisputed playing field. The devious pair used a barrage of offense on Lorcan, pouncing and stretching out the Boston brawler. When Lorcan ultimately tagged in Burch, the pace of the match shifted once again as he laid a canvas-rattling powerbomb on O’Reilly that was complemented by a crossface. As the action carried on, an unforgotten guest arrived to join the melee: Jaxson Ryker.
After being ousted from the ring by both teams at TakeOver: XXV, Ryker emerged to return the favor – but dealt his frustration on the security guards that were holding him back from entering the ring. Using the distraction to his team's advantage, Burch pushed Strong out of the ring and rolled up O’Reilly for the three-count. The shocking conclusion left the Undisputed ERA tandem seething, as Ryker maintained his focus on the pair while referees and WWE personnel directed him to the back.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Kushida defeated Drew Gulak in a Submission Match
- Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan defeated The Undisputed ERA (Kyle O'Reilly & Roderick Strong)
- Candice LeRae & Io Shirai vs. Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir ended in a No Contest
Other on-screen talent