The NXT North American Championship race continues!
Roderick Strong wants to bring more gold to the Undisputed Era, but he’ll have to get past Tyler Breeze if he wants at Velveteen Dream’s title! Plus, the NXT Breakout Tournament continues!
- Mia Yim VS Aliyah w/ Vanessa Borne; Yim wins.
- KUSHIDA VS Jeff Parker; KUSHIDA wins.
- NXT Breakout Tournament Opening Round: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Cameron Grimes; Grimes wins and advances to the next round.
- Bianca Belair VS Zuniga; Belair wins.
- Roderick Strong VS Tyler Breeze; Strong wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Mia Yim VS Aliyah w/ Vanessa Borne!
The Head Baddie in Charge shared her life story, but the #BorneBougie duo belittled her for it. Can Mia knock the “highers” off their high horse?
The bell rings and fans are strongly behind Mia. Mia and Aliyah circle but Aliyah side steps Mia and mocks her style. They go again and Mia waistlocks to a throw! Mia facelocks but Aliyah slips out to rear mount. Aliyah pulls hair and shouts “You don’t deserve anything!” She lets up at 4 as she throws Mia down. Aliyah floats all over Mia then clubs away. Aliyah pie faces, but things speed up and Mia runs Aliyah over. Mia pie faces Aliyah now, then scares her with a step! Aliya tries to crawl away but Mia drags her back in. Mia easily ducks the enziguri to let Aliyah fall on the mat. Mia then dropkicks Aliyah to a corner! Vanessa saves Aliyah from the cannonball! Aliyah drags Mia into the corner to swing her into the post! Aliyah gets in and covers, TWO!
Vanessa coaches Aliyah to keep going and Aliyah throws boots into Mia’s face. Mia blocks one to push Aliyah, but Aliyah comes back to grab hair for a takedown! Cover, TWO! Aliyah drags Mia around to kick sharp in the back. Aliyah runs for a knee drop and handsprings through. Fans boo but Aliyah soaks up the heat as she runs in at Mia. Mia boots her away then goes up to get her in the Tarantula! Mia lets up at 4 to whip Aliyah corner to corner. Aliyah slides to a stop to enziguri back! Cover, TWO! Aliyah grows frustrated but she keeps on Mia and her hair. Aliyah thrashes Mia around in a chinlock but fans rally up. But Aliyah pulls Mia back against her knees! Mia endures and pries free, but Aliyah kicks her down. Aliyah runs but misses the knee drop this time!
Mia drop toeholds Aliyah into buckles, then hits a short-range cannonball! Vanessa shouts at Aliyah to get up, and Aliyah does, only for Mia to fire off on her! Mia kicks then overhead suplexes Aliyah! Aliyah rolls out of the ring and regroups with Vanessa. Mia builds speed to DIVE! Mia takes out both #BorneBougie! And then she puts Aliyah in, and catches the crossbody to a Fall Away Slam! Mia hits Protect Ya Neck! High stack, Mia wins!
Winner: Mia Yim, by pinfall
And the HBIC rolls on! Mia makes sure Vanessa gets the message, too, by throwing her into steel steps! Will Borne and Aliyah leave her alone now? Or will The Vision take things into her own hands?
Mia even goes to the commentary table to do what Shayna does and send a message. Shayna has something Mia wants, and Mia isn’t going away until she gets it. The Queen of Spades’ days are numbered. Mia isn’t just coming for the title, she’s coming to whoop dat ass! What will Shayna’s response be to this declaration of war?
Backstage interview with NXT General Manager, William Regal.
After seeing what Io Shirai did to Candice LeRae after the NXT Women’s Championship Cage Match, what is Candice’s condition? And what consequences will there be for Shirai? Shirai did dreadful things to Candice, so it is a week to week thing for her. As for Shirai, the Forgotten Sons barge in before Regal can speak on that. They’re upset over the Street Profits making matches and all that. The superstars can’t make title matches, that’s Regal’s job! So maybe Regal should do his job and give them the opportunity they deserve.
Well, as Regal sees it, they were given that opportunity, and failed because they got themselves disqualified. So they’re at the back of the line. Back of the line, huh? Well Regal will regret that. “We won’t forget this.” The Forgotten Sons storm out, but what will they do to force his hand? Cathy Kelly now asks Regal if he does have another team in mind to challenge the Street Profits. Regal was just talking to the Profits, and they suggested a wonderful idea: Oney Lorcan & Danny Bruch. We will see that match, next week! Will Lorcan & Burch finally punch their golden ticket and become NXT Tag Team Champions? Or will Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins continue to bring the swag?
NXT checks in with the Adam Cole BAYBAY Championship Celebration Tour.
As we saw last week, Cole returned from the Download Festival, to go to Gargano’s. Cole walked into the diner to meet Johnny Gargano’s parents. He is here to pick up the pizzas. Mr. and Mrs. Gargano clearly know who Cole is. Cole says they’re going to make a lot of people happy with these. And while they’re out of the room, Cole pins a picture of himself to their wall, right next to Johnny. And on it, Cole wrote in red, “To Gargano’s, A champion you can be proud of!” The pizzas are presented and Cole lets them keep the change. It was a pleasure to meet you. And by the way, love the Wall of Fame. That’s when Frank Gargano notices what Cole pinned to it. Frank pulls Cole’s picture off and throws it away.
Cole visits a Cleveland indie wrestling gym. He knows everyone here loves and respects Gargano. And what’s not to love? Hard work, sacrifice, success. Gargano gave them a peptalk about working hard and succeeding like him. But Cole is here to say Gargano is “full of crap.” But hear him out. Facts are facts: Gargano got lucky. Anyone gets lucky once. Cole watched back to the TakeOver build and Gargano’s visit here. Cole felt such pity for each of them. Mostly because Gargano let each of them touch the title, giving them all false hope that they’d make it their own one day. That’s just mean. Just look at yourselves! Like, does anyone think any of them can ever be NXT Champion? Yes, they do! Don’t kid yourself. But there’s pizza. Have a slice, go home and give up.
The manager tells Cole to leave. Cole does, but gives some last advice. Get out of the school, out of this city, and find a new hero to look up to. Where else is Cole headed on his championship celebration tour? Whose dream will he trample and spit on next?
KUSHIDA VS Jeff Parker!
The Time Splitter welcomes all comers to challenge him! But after defeating The Finest of NXT and the submission specialist of 205 Live, will Kushida keep the roll going?
The bell rings and Kushida circles with Parker. They feel it out and Kushida gets a leg. Kushida twists the ankle then turns Parker over for a facelock. Parker rolls but Kushida keeps on him. They roll again and again, and then Kushida floats all over Parker. Kushida drives elbows in then pulls back with a chinlock. Parker turns but is stuck in the lock. Kushida shifts to a headlock but Parker powers out. Kushida handsprings and back elbows Parker down! Then drop toeholds to an armlock. Kushida hammerlocks that arm with his leg to grab the other. He digs elbows into Parker’s ribs, then steps through to hammerlock the other arm. Kushida falls back for a hammerlock snap!
Fans cheer as Kushida goes for the Hoverboard! Parker scrambles and gets a ropebreak! Kushida holds on but Parker forearms! Parker runs but into a hip toss! Cartwheel to basement dropkick, then Kushida kicks out the arm! Fastball special! Hoverboard kimura, aka the Sakuraba! Parker taps, Kushida wins!
Winner: Kushida, by submission
The Time Splitter makes quick work of Parker with a tribute to his mentor, Kazushi Sakuraba. Will Kushida find himself competing for gold in the near future?
Backstage interview with Tyler Breeze.
What does Prince Pretty say to how newer NXT superstars claim the current state of the brand is because of them, such as Roderick Strong, his opponent tonight? Well, Breeze is thinking about the Undisputed Era. And that whenever any of those guys talk, they all say the same thing: power, titles, and credit for the brand’s popularity. Breeze thinks he needs to give everyone a refresher course that this was #NXBreeze long before Undisputed Era ever came around.
Killian Dain speaks to NXT.
“I want you to know who and what I am. I want you to know why I’m doing the things I do.” Dain had nothing. Everything he had was taken from him. And now he will take anything and everything he wants for his own! The Beast of Belfast is on his way back, who will be first to face his wrath?
NXT Breakout Tournament Opening Round: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Cameron Grimes!
Angel Garza was the first Breakout star to advance in this inaugural tournament. He and Joaquin Wilde set a high bar, can Swerve and Grimes match it? And who overcomes the other to move on to the next round?
The bell rings and the two tie up right away. Grimes gets Swerve down with a waistlock while fans duel. Swerve gets up and pries at the hold to then hook Grimes to a takedown. Grimes finds his way up and slips out to an armlock. Swerve moves around but Grimes wrenches. Grimes brings Swerve to the mat but Swerve spins to knuckle lock and kip-up. Swerve drags Grimes down to a wristlock then armlock. Grimes powers up and out but Swerve arm-drags Grimes down, back to the armlock! Fans cheer this technical exchange, but Grimes gets up to whip Swerve away. Swerve reverses and jumps over but Grimes reels him in for a forearm to the back! Grimes clobbers Swerve to a corner, then whips him corner to corner.
Grimes runs in but Swerve goes up and over to roll and Capoeira to headscissors! Swerve adds a sharp dropkick on top! Grimes staggers to a corner and fans rally up for Swerve. Swerve throws BIG haymakers in the corner then rolls Grimes. Swerve hops up and hits a falling uppercut to the back! Cover, ONE! Swerve keeps on Grimes with an armlock and grinds in his forearm. Grimes endures and works his way up. Swerve keeps him from ropes but Grimes keeps going. Grimes throws Swerve down by his hair, then rams his knee into ribs! Grimes is on Swerve at the ropes and yanks him into them! Cover, ONE! Grimes drives a knee in and grinds an elbow in. Swerve reaches for ropes but Grimes stands on his face! The ref reprimands Grimes but fans cheer his aggression.
Grimes puts on a chinbar but Swerve endures. Fans rally up as Swerve fights his way up. Swerve goes around but Grimes whips him for a BIG lariat! Grimes covers, TWO! Grimes keeps on that arm, digging his knee in and pulling back. Fans echo the grunts and growls of Grimes while Swerve endures again. Fans rally up and Swerve works up again. Grimes clubs Swerve on the back and keeps on that arm. Grimes chinbars Swerve but Swerve refuses to quit. Swerve fights up once again and throws haymakers! Swerve runs but into a boot. Grimes hops up but gets a leaping steiner! Fans fire up as Swerve gets his arms working. Swerve boots Grimes then clotheslines him. Swerve starts rallying and whips, but Grimes reverses! Grimes sends Swerve tumbling out but Swerve lands on his feet!
Grimes thinks Swerve crashed and burned, so he is shocked to see Swerve standing! He goes out to rush Swerve but Swerve gets in. Swerve sees Grimes slide in, and catches him with a swinging splash! Grimes falls back out, Swerve gives him an apron boot! Swerve puts Grimes in then slingshots and somersaults for a leaping complete shot! Cover, TWO! Grimes survives and Swerve is shocked. Fans rally up again, and Swerve takes aim at Grimes. Swerve runs in but is put on the apron. Swerve haymakers Grimes hard then climbs up. He leaps but Grimes gets under. Grimes backslides Swerve to a deadlift powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives and shocks Grimes!
Swerve crawls to ropes and Grimes is on him. Grimes reels Swerve but Swerve arm-drags! Grimes come back with a Superman Forearm! But Swerve hits back with a stiff elbow! Grimes grabs Swerve’s tights but Swerve frees himself to then kick out the legs. Calf kick kicks Grimes out, Swerve FLIES! Swerve takes Grimes down and fans fire up! Swerve puts Grimes in but Grimes roundhouses! Grimes walks into a knee! Swerve runs, dodges, SPANISH FLY! Grimes drags Swerve up again to whip and DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, Grimes wins!
Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall; advances to the second round
Gritty Grimes shows he has good reason to be #CountryConfident. Will Grimes make it all the way to the end? Who does he meet along the way?
Bianca Belair VS Zuniga!
The EST returns to NXT! She may have fallen off of a truly Un-De-Fea-Ted streak, but can she still rise up to be the greatest in the NXT Women’s Division?
Bianca doesn’t respect Zuniga and pie faces her over and over. Zuniga gives it back! Zuniga wants Bianca to hit her, so Bianca does! That forearm decks Zuniga down! It was so strong, Bianca’s own earring comes off! Bianca takes off the other and now it’s serious! She drags Zuniga up to club away fast and furious, but mostly furious! The ref counts and Bianca lets up to throw Zuniga to a corner. Then Bianca throws her across the way! Zuniga stands only for Bianca to tackle her into the corner! Bianca grinds in until 4, then drags Zuniga out for a trophy lift! And some squats! Bianca grins as she drops Zuniga on her face. Fans are thunderous for the EST as she does her spin.
Bianca runs back in but into a boot. Zuniga climbs and leaps for headscissors, but Bianca blocks to a POWERBOMB! Cover, but Bianca deadlifts for a second! Cover, but another deadlift, and the alley oop into buckles! Zuniga staggers into the torture rack, Kiss of Death! Cover, Bianca wins!
Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall
Add angriest to the list, because Bianca ain’t playing around. Will Bianca make the biggest comeback from her recent cold streak?
NXT shares Matt Riddle’s workout.
The Bro doesn’t just wrestle, he does Mixed Martial Arts. Muay thai, jujitsu, judo. Riddle has always loved fighting and wrestling. His whole family always said, “Matt, you’re too pretty. You’re gonna get beat up. You’re not made for this.” But Riddle won national titles, fought in UFC, and is now here in NXT. He intimidates a lot of guys because he just keeps training and getting better. Riddle is ready to take over, when and where will he get another chance at some NXT gold?
Roderick Strong VS Tyler Breeze!
The Velveteen Dream holds gold that the Undisputed Era wants. With Adam Cole as THE NXT Champion and reDRagon seeking the tag titles, that leaves the Savior of the Backbreaker to take that North American Championship from him. However, the #OG, Original Gorgeous, wants another shot. Who takes the other out of the running to head for The Experience?
The bell rings and fans chant, “Breeze is Gorgeous!” Breeze and Strong approach and tie up. They go around and Strong gets a leg to a takedown. Breeze denies a cover but Strong is on his back. Strong has the arm and turns Breeze, but Breeze spins to wrench. Strong rolls and trips Breeze to get the legs. Breeze resists the turn and throws Strong away. Breeze trips Strong now to get a headlock but Strong slips out to a facelock. Strong grins as he hammerlocks Breeze on the mat. Breeze fights his way up and grabs for a leg. Strong shifts to a headlock first, and fans rally as Breeze pops out. Breeze has the arms but Strong denies Unprettier. Things speed up, Breeze spins Strong around for a neckbreaker! Breeze puts Strong in a corner and stomps away.
The ref reprimands Breeze but Breeze doesn’t want to be touched. Strong touches Breeze with a boot! Strong drags Breeze up to CHOP him! Then he clubs Breeze, only to run into a dropkick! Strong goes to the bottom rope to bait Breeze in and throw Breeze out. Breeze staggers up and Strong runs, but Breeze dodges the wrecking ball dropkick. Breeze decks Strong with a strong right! He clubs Strong hard on the back then bumps him off the apron. Strong goes to the steps but Breeze follows to shove him down. Strong yanks Breeze off to throw him onto the steps! Breeze crumples to the floor while Strong catches his breath. Strong comes back to Breeze to back suplex him onto the railing!
Strong puts Breeze in the ring and stomps away on the back. Breeze writhes as Strong taunts him. Strong drags Breeze up and throws big forearms. Strong taunts the “pretty boy” as he stomps him to a corner. The ref reprimands Strong and Strong backs off. Strong comes back to hoist Breeze up, but Breeze fights back. Breeze throws hands and backs Strong down. Breeze whips but Strong reverses to dropkick Breeze! Cover, TWO! Strong grows frustrated but he keeps on Breeze with a surfboard. He gets the arms and pulls Breeze into a chinlock variation. Strong even digs his own head into the back of Breeze’s neck. But fans rally and Breeze fights out, to then throw elbows! Breeze is free but Strong comes back to power Breeze into buckles.
Strong walks into a boot, then misses the splash! Breeze jawbreakers back! Strong blocks the boot but gets a forearm! Breeze dumps Strong out and Strong hits railing. Strong hurries in but gets an enziguri! Breeze sees Strong stagger about and goes to the apron. Breeze leaps for a flying forearm! Fans fire up with Breeze as he stalks a crawling Strong. Breeze puts Strong in and Strong flounders to a corner. Breeze runs in for another forearm smash. He reels Strong into a knee, then gives him a sideways backstabber! Cover, TWO! Breeze keeps his cool while clutching his back. Fans rally up as Strong and Breeze stand. Breeze facelocks and suplexes, but Strong slips out. Strong shoves Breeze but gets a boot in the corner.
Breeze hops up and denies the yank, only to get an enziguri! Strong CHOPS Breeze then climbs up to join him. Breeze fights back and the two brawl up top. Fans duel but Breeze gets the edge, only to get another enziguri! Strong is up fast, SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Breeze still lives and Strong grits his teeth. Strong staggers up and grabs at Breeze’s legs. Breeze resists and kicks Strong again and again. Strong still holds on so Breeze gets the ropes. Strong yanks him off the ropes but gets BOOTS! Breeze crawls to the apron while Strong staggers over. Breeze enziguris Strong now, then slingshots, but into Strong’s fireman’s carry. But Breeze fights out and shoves to SUPER MODEL KICK Strong down! Cover, TWO!! Strong still lives and Breeze is beside himself.
Fans cheer for both men as Breeze and Strong slowly stand. Breeze waits for Strong, and grabs the arms. He turns Strong but Strong pushes Breeze into buckles. Strong forearms but Breeze returns it. They brawl back and forth on wobbly legs, enziguri outta nowhere from Breeze! Breeze is up first and goes to the corner. He climbs up top but here come Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish! The ref stops O’Reilly but Breeze SUPER MODEL KICKS Fish! Breeze dumps Strong out to join them, but runs into an enziguri! Strong drags Breeze up, End of Heartache!! Cover, Strong wins!
Winner: Roderick Strong, by pinfall
An Undisputed Assist gives Strong the victory! But one way or another, a win is a win, which means Strong rises up. Is Strong going to be the next one to challenge Velveteen Dream for his title? Or is there still time in the race to the North American Championship?
A jam-packed episode of NXT tonight! No time wasted getting to Mia VS Aliyah, which was better than expected, in that Mia didn’t squash Aliyah. Mia still wins, and clean, and even gets to give some to Vanessa Borne. Mia’s calling her shot, which is great to see out of her. She can definitely be the Face with attitude needed to take the fight to Shayna on the road to TakeOver: Toronto. The only thing is, who can she get as back-up when we all know the Horsewomen will get involved? Will we see new women show up on NXT TV? Will Regal finally ban those two from ringside at penalty of Shayna losing the belt by default?
I’m starting to think this is another repercussion of Vince screwing up the Women’s Tag Division. If #LegitHuggable was still going, they and the Horsewomen could be in a program to keep Jessamyn and Marina too busy to help Shayna all the time. And at this point in time, what better combo than the HBIC, Legit Boss and a toughened up Bayley? Meanwhile, we didn’t get much on Candice or Shirai but there’s still plenty of time for #EvilGenius Io to appear, and Candice needs to “heal” anyway. Bianca beat Zuniga down so bad, Bianca almost went Face by default. Seeing Bianca become the fiercest woman in NXT could be a spark for her to finally make her true rise to the title, since Bianca as she was apparently wasn’t enough.
This week’s Breakout match was pretty great. Not quite what Garza VS Wilde was but still really solid. Swerve and Grimes were very even and I almost thought Swerve was going to get it, but Grimes turns it around. The first round is only half over but I just have this feeling that we could be seeing Garza and Grimes in the finals. Next week’s NXT Tag Championship match is going to be great, too, as Lorcan & Burch have always been solid. But with it not being a special, and Forgotten Sons very upset, I expect shenanigans. Honestly, another Fatal 4 Way Tag would be amazing for Toronto, but perhaps in something like Elimination, where the last team standing is truly the winner.
Part two of Cole’s “tour” was pretty great. We should’ve all expected something like what he did for the Gargano’s family diner, but him talking down to the Cleveland indie scene was a nice touch. All of this has to mean that, for whatever reason, we’re getting a third match of Cole VS Gargano somewhere between now and TakeOver: Toronto. That wouldn’t be so bad, but I feel like with so many more Faces right now, Cole should retain. We get a good Riddle promo, he’s obviously next on the list. Kushida has a good showing, and I like that he changed his hold’s name to honor his mentor. Kushida should also be next up for the North American Champion once it goes to a Heel.
And speaking of, Strong VS Breeze was incredible, even with the interference. It isn’t a given, but Dream VS Strong looks like a front runner for the title match, and a good one. Then Dream can be another of the Faces to face Cole, or he could move up to the main roster. I’d prefer the former, because I still can’t be sure even in a Heyman and Bischoff form of the main roster that Dream would be used right. After all, Vince is still in the mix.
My Score: 8.6/10