Johnny Gargano continued to prove to the NXT Universe that he is here to stay as a singles competitor, overcoming the bigger and stronger Tino Sabbatelli.
After defeating Sabbatelli's tag team partner, Riddick Moss, in a head-to-head contest last week, Gargano once again had his hands full against a chiseled opponent. Sabbatelli had doubled down on his criticism of Gargano's singles wrestling career, calling his win over Moss last week a “fluke,” but Gargano proved his cocky foes wrong.
For the second week in a row, Gargano had trouble maneuvering around his adversary's superior size, but found a way to prevail, delivering a superkick to the jaw of his trash-talking Superstar before locking in the Gargano Escape for the submission victory.
Bianca Belair overcame Lacey Evans in an impressive, hard-hitting battle of rising young Superstars.
The Mae Young Classic competitors put on strong showing in the historic 32-woman tournament and displayed their immense potential in this ultra-physical head-to-head showdown. With Asuka relinquishing the NXT Women's Championship, both Belair and Evans were clearly out to make their case for an opportunity to challenge for the coveted title.
Being a former U.S. Marine, there aren’t many fights Evans finds herself in where she gives up some speed and strength, but this appeared to be the case against the superbly athletic Belair.
“The Lady of NXT” showed off an innovative offense, but in the end, Belair's brutal hair whip followed by a reverse powerbomb was enough to pull off the win.
Aleister Black's first time speaking in front of the NXT Universe didn't disappoint as he recalled his 15-year journey to NXT and the “scars” that tell his story.
Black's first words in front of the NXT fans at Full Sail University were clear and concise, but before he could finish his message, he was interrupted by The Velveteen Dream.
The Dream proceeded to break down the dark and shadowy Superstar, going as far as to call Black “afraid.” Before the flamboyant Superstar's critique could continue, Black kicked the microphone right out of The Dream's hand.
Black immediately dropped to the mat in his signature seated pose, but The Dream was not intimidated. Instead, the sensual Superstar got on his knees and leaned in close to Black before effortlessly sliding out of the ring, without as much as a flinch from Black.
The tense encounter had the NXT Universe on the edge of their seats as they wondered what's next for these two vastly different personalities.
No Way Jose was out to topple Lars Sullivan, but the bearded behemoth proved to be just too much to handle for the dancing Superstar.
Jose came out of the gate firing, but Sullivan's size and power could not be stopped. Despite Jose's barrage of strikes, Sullivan powered his way past the spirited Superstar. Sullivan even showed some aerial skills, climbing to the top rope to deliver a diving headbutt, followed by vicious one-armed slam for the three-count.
After watching Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish unleash a callous attack on their fellow United Kingdom competitors Pete Dunne (who eventually ran for the hills) and Wolfgang last week on NXT, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate were out to get a fair fight this week against the rebel Superstars inside the squared circle.
Both Seven and Bate and O’Reilly and Fish are well known for their tag team success before NXT and they showed why, battling in a spectacular main-event showdown. In the end, Cole's presence at ringside didn't go unnoticed as he superkicked Bate into oblivion outside the ring, allowing Fish and O’Reilly to neutralize Seven inside the squared circle and pick up the victory.
Following the match, NXT Champion Drew McIntyre came to the ring as Cole, O’Reilly and Fish left through the crowd. In a chaotic turn of events, SAnitY appeared from behind the devious trio, leveling an attack that eventually included McIntyre as Cole, Fish and O’Reilly were sent scrambling.
At least for one night, it seems the NXT Titleholder and NXT Tag Team Champions were able to unite to give Cole, O’Reilly and Fish some payback.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Johnny Gargano defeated Tino Sabbatelli (with Riddick Moss) by submission (3:27)
- Bianca Belair defeated Lacey Evans (4:19)
- Lars Sullivan defeated No Way Jose (3:11)
- Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish (with Adam Cole) defeated Trent Seven and Tyler Bate (10:23)
Other on-screen talent