Kassius Ohno refuses to take a back seat any longer.
The Knockout Artist, who has been decrying the lack of big opportunities to come his way in recent months, defeated one of his toughest challenges of late, “The Finest” Kona Reeves, in a supremely hard-hitting duel. Though Reeves talked plenty of trash throughout the match, even taunting Ohno with claims that “no one cares about you,” Ohno was dangerously focused. The Finest found that out after Ohno escaped Reeves’ Hawaiian Drop and hammered him with the Rolling Elbow to pick up the three-count.
Afterward, Ohno cleared the air about his mounting frustration, particularly as it relates to NXT newcomers he feels have jumped him in the pecking order of the black-and-yellow brand. The Knockout Artist declared that he is ready to welcome — and “knock to the back of the line” — the next buzzworthy free-agent signing who looks to make his mark in NXT.
Do The Forgotten Sons have your attention now?
After demanding that NXT General Manager William Regal finally grant them a match on WWE NXT, Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler, collectively known as The Forgotten Sons, made their long-awaited WWE Network debut against The Street Profits. The roughneck duo (who were accompanied by their heavy hitter, Jaxson Ryker) came out of the gates swinging, and The Sultans of Swag—who were still riding high after their win against The Mighty weeks ago — were all too happy to oblige, setting the stage for a fiery battle.
Both squads used explosive double-team maneuvers to gain control as the momentum swung back and forth. Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins scored early on with slick stereo dropkicks, but The Forgotten Sons returned fire moments later with a sinister double neckbreaker.
A late-match DDT from Ford to Blake seemed to put The Street Profits on the brink of victory until two masked men ran to ringside and stole Ford & Dawkins’ signature black cup. Ford gave chase and tore off one of the interloper's hoods, revealing The Mighty's Shane Thorne underneath. Ryker took advantage of the distraction, clobbering Ford with a clothesline on the floor behind the referee's back. He then rolled Ford's limp body into the ring, where Blake & Cutler finished him off with an inverted DDT/knee drop combination for the pin.
With such an impactful debut, The Forgotten Sons ensured they won't be forgotten anytime soon. As for The Mighty's meddling in The Street Profits’ business, don't expect Ford & Dawkins to forget about that, either.
Competing for the first time since she won the NXT Women's Title from Shayna Baszler at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, Kairi Sane revealed her newly obtained booty in a manner that would make any Pirate Princess proud, by pulling the championship gold out of a treasure chest located on the entrance stage.
Sane's opponent, Trish Adora, seemed to care little for the champion's theatrics. Adora, who enjoyed a distinct size advantage over Sane, tried to muscle the beloved Superstar around the ring as soon as the bell rang. Adora's flurry couldn't be sustained, however, as Sane strung together a dazzling series of moves, capped off by the InSane Elbow, to triumph convincingly.
The Pirate Princess didn't have much time to celebrate, though, as Baszler stomped to the ring and said that she plans to invoke her rematch clause soon. The words quickly escalated to fisticuffs, with Sane and Baszler trading haymakers, but Sane scored the last laugh when she drove The Queen of Spades from the ring with the Interceptor spear.
Given his many grievous missteps these last several months, Johnny Gargano was a man in search of answers even before he stepped in the ring with the white-hot Velveteen Dream. However, following his epic encounter with The Experience, things have gone from bad to worse for the hard-luck Superstar once known as Johnny Wrestling.
Gargano got off to a ferocious start, aggressively firing away at Dream (who provoked Gargano by wearing a “Johnny Failure” T-shirt for his pre-match introductions). As the match progressed, Gargano even started to look like the Johnny Wrestling of old, connecting with several of his signature moves as the NXT Universe roared in approval. Dream tried to stall Gargano's momentum whenever possible, first by battering him with an Irish whip that shook the entire ring, then by ruthlessly targeting Gargano's recently injured leg. Even as the momentum shifted back and forth, the action never slowed, and after one particularly intense exchange, NXT fans burst into chants of “This is awesome!”
Gargano showed a glimpse of his dark side when he threatened to hit Dream with a draping DDT on the floor (a move right out of NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa's playbook), but he stopped short when the referee warned him not to. Back inside the ring, Gargano prepared to drill Dream with a running knee (another favorite move of Ciampa's), but turned visibly distraught upon realizing the depths he was willing to go.
From the mat Dream groggily mocked Gargano and called him a failure, which seemed to cause Gargano to snap. Gargano pulled down his kneepad and charged full steam, but in doing so, he played right into Velveteen Dream's hands. The Experience scooped him up for a Death Valley Bomb to snare the win, arguably the biggest victory of Dream's entire NXT career.
The NXT Universe showered Gargano with love and appreciation after the match, but it was to no avail. Inconsolable after this latest setback, Gargano staggered away from the ring and humbly exited through the crowd. Before leaving, he looked at his legion of supporters and could only muster one response: “I’m sorry.”
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Kassius Ohno defeated Kona Reeves (1:44)
- The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake) (w/ Jaxson Ryker) defeated Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) (6:33)
- Kairi Sane defeated Trish Adora (2:24)
- Sane was the NXT Women's Champion at the time of this match.
- The Velveteen Dream defeated Johnny Gargano (15:53)
Other on-screen talent