Nothing binds a group quite like a common enemy.
After several tumultuous encounters with The Forgotten Sons in recent weeks, Humberto Carrillo, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch funneled all their frustration against the treacherous trio in a high-octane Six-Man Tag Team Match. Lorcan swung the pendulum of bedlam out of the gate, forcing Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake to the outside with one heavy-handed strike after another. Burch and Carrillo also followed suit with punch-and-kick combos and a few aerial surprises, and Carrillo's incredible springboard arm drag sent Cutler flying out of the ring. Yet, the temper of Jaxson Ryker would see no bounds.
After Burch cinched Cutler with a crossface submission, The Forgotten Sons’ walking powerhouse clobbered the British brawler with an avalanche of punches, only to be intercepted by Carrillo's missile dropkick off the top rope. Ryker returned the favor shortly after, pushing Blake out of Carrillo's way as he dove through the ropes, causing Carrillo to inadvertently crash into Lorcan. The shrewd diversion left Burch exposed to an all-out assault by the ruthless trio, as they wasted no time blasting him with a powerbomb straight into the knees of Cutler. Soon after, Ryker placed Burch and Carrillo into the inverted DDT position, which welcomed a stomp combo from Cutler and Blake to draw the three-count and drop an emphasis on the following three words: Do unto others.
“Keep my name out your mouth” was exactly how Bianca Belair greeted Mia Yim this week at the WWE Performance Center.
After Yim questioned Belair's failed attempts at dethroning Shayna Baszler as NXT Women's Champion during an interview with Cathy Kelley last week, footage was uncovered of The EST of NXT making a beeline for The Head Baddie in Charge and demanding that Yim never invoke her name again. Refusing to back down, Yim charged back, proposing they deal with their issue in the ring. Although Belair didn't reply directly, it was confirmed later in the evening that Belair and Yim will battle one on one next week on NXT.
With his eyes fixated on Velveteen Dream's NXT North American Title, Dominik Dijakovic nearly saw his championship desire get the best of him in singles competition against Mansoor.
As the machine-tooled fighter attempted to pull off a three-second defeat like his last bout, he was caught by surprise when the quick-footed Mansoor dodged his cyclone kick and forced him into defense. Mansoor pulled out all stops to keep the hulking Superstar down, leveling him with an onslaught of hard strikes while thwarting his opponent's attacks with swift counters. Mansoor's unrelenting endurance wowed the NXT Universe, as he withstood a downpour of offense by Dijakovic with his innovative defense, drawing “Man-soor” chants throughout Full Sail Live. The momentum shifted midair, however, after a diving crossbody attempt resulted in Mansoor absorbing a brutal right kick from Dijakovic. Dijakovic then pummeled the scrappy underdog with a combination of hard-hitting strikes and folded him with the devastating Feast Your Eyes to snag to pinfall.
Before Dijakovic could catch his breath, NXT North American Champion Velveteen Dream rolled to the stage on a purple couch, promising to deliver “words so true, you could say that they’re red, white and blue.”
In response to Dijakovic proposing a challenge for his crown on the April 17 edition of NXT, The Dream performed a special rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Dripping in His Highness’ excellence, the revamped ballad highlighted the champion's star-spangled year and delivered Dijakovic a telling reminder that this was “The Dream’s NXT” and, well, “Dream over.”
Have The Undisputed ERA experienced a shock to their own system? That's the message that stalks quartet after the blunder during Roderick Strong's bout with NXT Champion Johnny Gargano last week. Although Adam Cole was partly to blame for the mishap that led to Strong's defeat, The Panama City Playboy saw it differently this week while discussing his upcoming match against Matt Riddle in seven days.
Deeming the foursome as “stronger” than they've ever been, Cole indicated that the team is focused on the future. However, “stronger” quickly turned to bitter when Cole made a slick comment about Strong “dropping the ball” in last week's matchup. Despite Cole calling the remark a joke, the jab didn't sit well with Strong, who walked away while Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish questioned the de facto leader for the timing of his quip.
Making his much-anticipated NXT TV debut, Kushida dispatched a serious statement onto resident “shiny new toy inspector” Kassius Ohno.
As chants of “Kushida” filled Full Sail Live, NXT's highly touted Superstar embarked on an epic course to fortify the “hottest free agent” and “blockbuster signing” talks that trailed him inside the ropes. For Ohno, who methodically sported all black, the goal was simple and plain: turn out the lights on the acclaimed newcomer. Once the bell rang, the two explosive grapplers went for broke.
After dismissing Kushida's handshake with a crude kick, Ohno went tit-for-tat, keeping pace and exchanging holds with the 12-year veteran in an evenly matched contest. After Kushida attempted a hip toss, Ohno countered with a leg drop that was dashed into a standing shooting star press, locking both Superstars into an incredible stalemate. After getting a feel of his opponent's venerable in-ring IQ, Ohno offered a reconciliatory handshake to the former Japanese champion, but that was only so that he could find an opening to launch a vicious big boot right onto the nose of Kushida.
While the decorated MMA fighter-turned-Superstar did his best to fend off his The Knockout Artist's mean streak, cutting him down with an enzuigiri and a beautiful springboard tomahawk, Ohno eventually unloaded a sit-out facebuster that left a battle scar on the nose of the formidable grappler. Ever the warrior, however, Kushida withstood the punishment, fought back and even downed his foe with an amazing springboard hurricanrana before mockingly grabbing his handshake from a dazed Ohno. He misstepped moments later when his hand-spring back elbow collided with a hammering forearm by Ohno. Though The Wrestling Genius appeared to have matters firmly in control when he revved up his engine for a big boot, Kushida met Ohno with a wind-up punch – a tribute to New York Yankees pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka. Seconds later, he disarmed his foe with a running kick to the left arm before clamping the Hoverboard Lock onto Ohno's limb to draw a tapout.
Kushida's hard-fought win marked a telling message to not only Kassius Ohno, but the rest of the locker room: The future is here and now.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Forgotten Sons (Jaxson Ryker, Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake) defeated Danny Burch, Humberto Carrillo & Oney Lorcan (7:32)
- Dominik Dijakovic defeated Mansoor (5:11)
- Kushida defeated Kassius Ohno (8:05)
Other on-screen talent