Advantage: Keith Lee — at least in the latest edition of what has blossomed into one of NXT’s best rivalries.
On the latest episode of NXT, Lee and Dominik Dijakovic met for a third time — the first since Dijakovic’s impressive win in last month’s back-and-forth affair. What transpired this time around was yet another seesaw battle.
The match's opening moments featured both Superstars anticipating each other's moves and trading counters, demonstrating the keen familiarity they've developed. Lee gained an initial advantage before Dijakovic’s devastating chokeslam flattened him on the ring apron.
Lee used his overwhelming strength to battle back and electrified Full Sail Live with a spectacular corkscrew plancha to the outside, later followed by a jaw-dropping moonsault. Dijakovic answered with stunning maneuvers, including a top-rope Canadian Destroyer and a moonsault of his own. Lee kicked out after both, however, eventually muscling Dijakovic into a thunderous Limit Breaker for the pinfall win.
Following a double count-out back in February and both men each claiming a victory since, the NXT Universe has to hope this is far from the last installment in this scintillating series.
Dakota Kai’s return to NXT action was a resounding success after sitting on the shelf for nine months.
Kai, who hadn't competed on NXT TV since undergoing surgical repair for a torn ACL last December, shook off some early ring rust to weather an initial flurry from Taynara Conti. The Captain of Team Kick showcased a new, seemingly more aggressive edge that served her well in a winning effort against Conti and was showered with "Welcome Back" chants from Full Sail Live.
Last year, Kai built momentum as one of the NXT Women’s division’s fastest-rising stars, and she appears poised to pick up right where she left off.
NXT General Manager William Regal may have found the one way to add more fuel to the already supercharged conflict between Matt Riddle and Killian Dain — hang a chance at NXT’s richest prize in the balance.
After sending Full Sail University into sheer chaos last week with a fierce brawl that entangled numerous other NXT combatants, Regal pit Riddle and Dain in another Street Fight to settle the score and determine the next challenger for Adam Cole’s NXT Championship.
The bitter foes’ unleashed physicality was heightened by Regal’s stakes, with both men trading control at various points in the match. They wasted little time before moving outside of the ring and employing the Full Sail Live environment as a weapon — most notably with Dain putting Riddle through a wall and Riddle answering by smashing Dain through a table.
The action eventually found its way back into the ring, and Riddle dug deep to escape a pin attempt following three destructive Vader Bombs from Dain. The Beast of Belfast was equally defiant, kicking out after Riddle sent a chair into his face with a knee strike.
It was Riddle who ultimately emerged victorious, submitting Dain after wrangling him into a Fujiwara Armbar.
Riddle’s night wasn’t over just yet, however. Cole immediately took to the ring afterward to confront his seemingly weakened opponent — only for Riddle to lock The Panama City Playboy in the Fujiwara Armbar.
The rest of The Undisputed ERA wasn’t far behind with backup for Cole, and Riddle wisely got out of dodge after realizing he was on the wrong side of the numbers game. But ahead of next week's encounter, The Original Bro already put the NXT Champion on notice. Even more importantly, he may have gained a physical advantage with Cole showing signs of damage from Riddle’s devastating hold.
Rhea Ripley wasted no time making her presence felt in NXT. She went straight to the top and confronted NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler.
Though her encounter earlier this month with The Queen of Spades ended in a disqualification, Ripley got back to work and showed why she is a force to be reckoned with. The ultra-athletic Kayden Carter used her acrobatic offense to give Ripley a brief scare, but The Mosh Pit Kid delivered an impressive win following the Riptide.
Ripley will surely be keeping a close eye on the action next week as Baszler defends her title against Candice LeRae.
Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch have repeatedly proven themselves to be one of NXT’s toughest teams, and they took to the ring against Chase Parker & Matt Martel, the duo known as Ever-Rise, to remind the entire tag-team division of that fact.
Lorcan & Burch showcased their unrivaled intensity and sealed a win over the veteran pairing following a high-impact tandem DDT.
After coming up short in an impressive run to the finals in NXT’s Breakout Tournament, Cameron Grimes has torn through his competition.
In a hard-fought battle with Raul Mendoza, he resumed his winning ways this week. The bout featured contrasting styles between Grimes’ technical savagery and Mendoza’s aerial artistry. With a leaping double stomp attempt from the get-go, Grimes tried to repeat his quick-strike victory from a week ago, but Mendoza scouted it all too well.
Mendoza dazzled the NXT Universe and overwhelmed Grimes with a variety of spectacular offense, and temporarily put Grimes on dream street with several step-up enziguris. He even almost stole a victory following a Frankensteiner.
Grimes managed to shake off the cobwebs before uncorking his patented leaping double stomp out of nowhere to clinch the win.
If Imperium thought it could single out Kushida as an easy target after arriving on NXT, that idea was flipped on its head.
After standing up to WALTER and his teammates last week when Imperium pre-empted his scheduled match, Kushida faced the difficult task of recruiting two teammates to help him answer Imperium’s challenge.
Luckily for Kushida, he located help that was equal parts formidable and fashionable in Breezango.
The recently reunited team of Tyler Breeze & Fandango joined forces with Kushida to take on, and ultimately defeat, the Imperium triumvirate of Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. Imperium looked like a well-oiled machine for much of the encounter, slowing the pace and isolating Tyler Breeze in their corner.
Breeze was eventually able to tag in Fandango, who stunned Imperium with blistering offense, including a physics-defying tope con giro. Moments later, Kushida snatching the victory from thin air with a crafty bridge pinfall on Barthel.
Though Imperium came up short, its leader did not. WALTER appeared on the ramp to blindside the celebrating Kushida, nearly taking off his head with a devastating big boot. Though they suffered a defeat in the latest battle, The Ring General and his Imperium comrades stood tall in the latest chapter of a war with Kushida that seems to be just beginning.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Keith Lee defeated Dominik Dijakovic (9:09)
- Dakota Kai defeated Taynara Conti (2:42)
- Matt Riddle defeated Killian Dain in a Street Fight to become #1 Contender for the NXT Championship (12:52)
- Rhea Ripley defeated Kayden Carter (2:36)
- Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan defeated Ever-Rise (Chase Parker & Matt Martel) (6:24)
- Cameron Grimes defeated Raul Mendoza (7:27)
- Kushida & Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze) defeated Imperium (Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) in a Six Man Tag Team Match (11:06)
Other on-screen talent