Lio Rush’s last three weeks have been as good as anyone’s. He returned from sabbatical, earned a title opportunity and now can call himself the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion.
He dethroned Drew Gulak in a hotly contested encounter Wednesday, dazzling yet again since his comeback last month. Starting the match at a blistering pace, including a Spanish Fly that nearly ended the match in immediate fashion, Rush eventually was grounded by Gulak's more tactical style.
With nifty reversals and escapes, Rush found his way back into the fight, even slipping out of The Philadelphia Stretcher's dreaded Gulock at one point. Later countering an apparent superplex attempt, The Man of The Hour set himself up for a springboard stunner and The Final Hour to secure victory.
After impressive victories over Oney Lorcan and now Gulak to put championship gold around his waist, who can slow down the red-hot Rush?
Shayna Baszler’s continued dominance as NXT Women’s Champion has left fans wondering who could possibly unseat her; Rhea Ripley’s thoughts on the matter are loud and clear.
After taking care of Aliyah in singles competition, Ripley staked her claim to Baszler’s title. "The Nightmare" issued a confident warning for The Queen of Spades, putting Baszler — and her reign — on notice.
Ripley appears unafraid of Baszler, taking a steel chair to her back when fellow MMA Four Horsewomen Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir got involved in their non-title bout last month. How will Baszler respond to her newest challenge?
The Forgotten Sons are done being an afterthought in NXT, and they don’t care who they have to hurt to make their presence known.
Pre-empting what was supposed to be a match between Breezango — who sported a new construction-themed look and entrance — and Ever-Rise by taking out Matt Martel and Chase Parker backstage, The Forgotten Sons took liberties to insert themselves instead in the bout opposite Tyler Breeze and Fandango.
That forcible adjustment was also a fruitful one. The Forgotten Sons' duo of Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake picked up a pinfall victory following some help from Jaxson Ryker on the outside.
Breezango has been successful since reuniting in NXT, but The Forgotten Sons have re-announced themselves as a threat in the tag team division — especially after showing they’re not shy about using the numbers game to their advantage.
Killian Dain doesn’t appear to have gotten over narrowly missing out on an opportunity at the NXT Championship two weeks ago.
Unfortunately for Boa, he was the target of Dain’s rage on Wednesday.
Left lying on the mat after becoming the latest victim to a lightning-quick Cameron Grimes victory, Boa was brutalized seconds later by the unannounced Dain. The Beast of Belfast continued his beating through the crowd, punctuating it by tossing Boa across the the announce table in ruthless fashion.
The scene reminded us that there may be nothing scarier in NXT than an angry Dain, who told the commentary team, "This is just the beginning."
If The Undisputed ERA has learned anything since fulfilling the golden prophecy last month, it’s that heavy is the head that wears the crown.
NXT’s most dominant group is seeing challengers emerge from all directions for their respective titles. After Roderick Strong defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott in a match that seemed to give the NXT North American Champion far more than he bargained for, The Velveteen Dream appeared with a message for Strong — that he plans on recapturing the title in two weeks.
Dream declared his intentions by embarrassing Strong with some — we’ll call it “creative artistry” — on the video screen at Full Sail Live. But that wasn’t all The Undisputed ERA had to deal with.
Tommaso Ciampa also arrived on the scene to confront NXT Champion Adam Cole for the second straight week, clearing the ring of The Undisputed ERA when he arrived with a steel chair and his patented crutch in tow. Ciampa wasn’t done there, taking out Angel Garza with a vicious strike backstage moments later in a seemingly wrong place, wrong time situation.
The Undisputed ERA may have turned NXT into its own Camelot, but it’s clearly now under siege.
Bianca Belair will not sit idly while Rhea Ripley claims the front of the line for an opportunity at the NXT Women’s Title.
Overcoming the recently returned Dakota Kai after the K.O.D. in a spirited battle, The EST of NXT didn’t merely let the win speak for itself. Belair rebutted Ripley, announcing herself as a roadblock in Ripley’s path to a potential opportunity at Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship.
Belair and Ripley both represent an opponent unlike any the other has seen, and one can only imagine a one-on-one encounter would produce fireworks — and perhaps a definitive next challenger for Baszler.
If WALTER and Imperium are to be outmatched in NXT, it’s not going to come at the hands of one man.
Fighting valiantly, Kushida perhaps pushed WALTER beyond his limits. However, The Ring General was simply too much for the time-traveling high-flyer, wearing him down with punishing chops and slaps throughout their encounter.
Kushida's fighting spirit reared itself in a fiery rally. Despite a significant size and strength disadvantage, he out-maneuvered WALTER late in the match with a series of masterful counters, highlighted by a powerbomb reversed into a DDT. The breakneck pace eventually ceased and spelled the end for Kushida with WALTER connecting on a truck-like running dropkick and a powerbomb — successful this time — for the pin.
Afterward, WALTER stood tall in victory with his Imperium teammates. The Japanese Superstar was the first to step to the imposing group after its bullyish arrival on NXT, but given Kushida’s fate, one has to wonder if anyone else in the locker room will try the same.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Lio Rush defeated Drew Gulak (c) to win the NXT Cruiserweight Championship
- Rhea Ripley defeated Aliyah (w/ Vanessa Borne)
- The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake) (w/ Jaxson Ryker) defeated Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze)
- Cameron Grimes defeated Boa
- Roderick Strong defeated Isaiah Scott
- Bianca Belair defeated Dakota Kai
- WALTER defeated Kushida
Other on-screen talent