Chris King is here with his takeaways for the final WWE NXT before the US and UK brands collide!
As we get closer to Worlds Collide, what will The Undisputed Era have to say about Imperium ahead of their colossal clash? Who will advance to the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and last but certainly not least, will the prophecy remain intact or will Keith Lee become the new North American Champion? Let’s get right into the action!
The Undisputed Era vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans
Second Round Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
The first thing I want to point out is this was tag team wrestling at it’s best. Everything was perfectly-timed and so deliberate. Each maneuver was hard-hitting and it was everything you’d expect from two of the best tag teams in NXT today.
With that said, UE lost to a perfectly-timed distraction from Imperium that will only add more fuel to the fire of an already red-hot brand warfare collision!
Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm
As an avid viewer of AEW, it always brings a smile to my face while watching the NXT women’s division. All of their matches are must-see and keep you on the edge of your seat. AEW just doesn’t have that yet but I’m hoping that changes really really soon.
Shirai and Storm were on the cusp of having a fantastic match until Bianca Belair interfered out of nowhere to cause a disqualification. The EST of NXT hit her finisher on Storm and the chaos continued as Rhea Ripley appeared.
The NXT Women’s Champion and her challenger for TakeOver: Portland waged war. The Genius Of The Sky took out everyone with a stunning moonsault. Storm stood tall with the Women’s Title to close the segment.
Finn Balor vs. Joaquin Wilde
The Prinxe made an example out of the young up-and-comer by unleashing a relentless attack. Balor’s strikes were vicious and relentless. Wilde never stood a chance as the 1916 DDT was all she wrote for a decisive victory.
Shayna Baszler vs. Shotzi Blackheart
Say what you want about Baszler, but one thing that The Queen of Spades excels at is selling for her opponents. Blackheart was given a tremendous amount of time to show the Full Sail Arena what we can hope to see from her in the future.
Baszler took advantage of an ill-timed top rope senton splash to lock in the Kirifuda Clutch. I was shocked to see the young up-and-comer almost break the hold but all it did was give The Queen of Spades to choke her out!
Damn! I am loving this build between the former friends turned rivals Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox who are set to clash next week. We all know this is heading to Portland in a chaotic and violent match and I can’t wait!
Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle vs. Imperium
Second Round Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
Holy freaking crap! It’s hard to believe that less than an hour ago I saying that UE vs. Grizzled Young Veterans was amazing and yet this one blew it out of the water! It’s astonishing to think that Riddle and Dunne have only wrestled one match together as a tag team. The Broserweights gelled together so nicely.
Bartel and Aichner though, are on a whole other level with their impeccable in-ring chemistry and timing. Each time you felt like things couldn’t get any more vicious they turned it up a notch. Imperium had the match in the bag but Dunne made the tag and they executed a GTS/Stiff kick combo for the hard-fought victory! What a match!
Keith Lee vs. Roderick Strong
NXT North American Championship
Stong was getting his ass handed to him and tossed around like dirty laundry until UE provided the typical distraction. The North American Champion manipulated Lee’s ankle and trapped it in the steel steps. The big man was unable to put weight on his foot which Strong took full advantage of.
Strong hit an Avalanche Olympic Slam for only a one-count as Lee power lifted him back up! Absolutely insane. Strong utilized the Ankle Lock to wear the big man down but he refused to give up.
UE went for the last attempt to keep the prophecy alive but to no avail. Lee picked up Strong and delivered the Big Bang Catastrophe to become the brand-new North American Champion!!! After the match, Imperium came back to get their comeuppance against UE from their blindsided attack at TakeOver: Blackpool II to close the show!
I watched both Dynamite and NXT this week and while the ratings show that AEW won this week, I can tell you 100% that NXT was a much better show. I felt like it had more explosive matches and a dramatic finish that made you excited for Worlds Collide!