There can only be ONE #1 Contender!
Even with Worlds Collide on the horizon, Rhea Ripley is a fighting champion! Who stands tall at the end of tonight’s battle royal to then challenge the new champ?
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 Opening Round: The Broserweights VS South Wales Subculture; The Broserweights win and advance to the next round.
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 Opening Round: The Time Splitters VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win and advances to the next round.
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship Qualifier: Tyler Breeze VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Lio Rush; Swerve wins and joins the Worlds Collide Fatal 4 Way.
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Battle Royal: Bianca Belair wins and will challenge Rhea Ripley for the title at TakeOver: Portland.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and NXT mourn the loss of Rocky Johnson.
As seen on their YouTube channel, a moment of silence and a ten bell salute honor the memory of the wrestling legend and father to The Rock, Dwayne Johnson.
Keep your eyes on the prize!
Toni Storm, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae and even NXT UK Women’s Champion, Kay Lee Ray, want what the Mosh Pit Kid has. But they’re not the only ones, because tonight will be a huge contender’s battle royal! Another prize everyone wants is the Dusty Cup! The Undisputed Era and Imperium advance, but we have two more opening round matches! And Adam Cole may be holding lots of Year End Awards, but Tommaso Ciampa only has eyes for “Goldie.” The Road to Royal Rumble Weekend is paved with gold, but who gets steamrolled along the way?
Keith Lee is here!
The Limitless One is just one week away from his North American Championship match with Roderick Strong! Lee picks up a mic tonight as fans sing, “Oh~ Bask in His Glory~!” Lee loves the sound of that! Please bask as much as you wish, because “Achievement unlocked!” The specimen in this ring is the new #1 contender! But don’t let him mislead you. The Undisputed Era had a great 2019. They are still holding all the titles in NXT. The end of 2019 was “arguably the greatest of anyone. Except for maybe me.” Fans sing more and Lee says “herein lies the difference.” The Undisputed Era have reached their limits, while Lee is… limitless! And next week, Lee proves that when he becomes the NEW NXT North American Champion and forever-
But the Undisputed Era interrupt! “Shut up, Lee! Have you seen what we’ve done to Imperium?! What we’ve done to the Velveteen Dream?! To Tommaso Ciampa!? Well guess what, dummy! You’re next!” The Undisputed Era flood the ring and go after Lee! But Lee explodes out! Lee rocks Strong, Fish and O’Reilly, then headbutts Cole! Lee throws out Strong, rocks reDRagon and lifts Cole! But Strong uses a chair to knock Lee down! Cole hits a Last Shot! And then the Undisputed Era mug Lee with fists and chair shorts. Strong puts the chair around a leg and STOMPS IT!! Lee writhes as he clutches his leg and fans chant “Roddy Sucks!” But here comes Ciampa!
Ciampa decks Strong and throws O’Reilly into a post! Ciampa aims for Cole but Cole bails out. The Undisputed Era retreats while fans chant “Daddy’s Home!” Lee glares as he forces himself to stand up. Will Lee be in any shape to go after Strong next week? When and where will Ciampa get his hands on Cole and “Goldie” again?
NXT Media caught up with Tegan Nox!
Even after that brutal betrayal and beat down from her former best friend, Dakota Kai, the girl with the Shiniest Wizard is going to compete in tonight’s #1 contender’s battle royal! “Just as important as that, I finally get to go face-to-face with Dakota Kai.” That WarGames attack won’t be let go. But Candice is happy to have Tegan back! Though, will that affect how they fight in the battle royal? Or will they be more worried about the other top talent in that match?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 Opening Round: The Broserweights VS South Wales Subculture!
All it took was a shrug and the Original Bro convinced the Bruiserweight to join forces! Can the makeshift team of Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne make it work against former NXT UK Tag Team Champions?
The teams sort out and Dunne starts against Mark Andrews. Andrews and Dunne tie up, Andrews headlocks but Dunne powers out. Things speed up, Dunne hurdles but Andrews leaps. Riddle tags in, Andrews huricanranas Dunne. Andrews ducks the Penalty Kick and dodges the moonsault to tag in Flash Morgan Webster! Riddle sees the Modfather’s knee coming and doges, but FMW dodges the enziguri! Dunne handsprings up and the two teams stand off as we go picture in picture.
The teams cool off and back away for Riddle and FMW to tie up. Riddle waistlock slams FMW down then floats around to get the arm. FMW gets up but ends up in Broserweight territory. Dunne tags in and wrenches FMW, and then the Broserweights torture the fingers. They both stomp the hands! FMW gets to an open corner but Dunne is on him right away. He brings FMW back and tags Riddle. Dunne whips FMW into the corner but FMW elbows back. FMW boots and then walks on Dunne to huricanrana Riddle! Things speed up. FMW arm-drags Riddle and tags to Andrews. SWSC work together, moonsault and moonsault! Cover, TWO! Andrews keeps on Riddle with a wristlock and brings Riddle up. Tag to FMW and FMW climbs. FMW leaps to dumdum stomp the arm!
FMW wrenches but Riddle forearms free. Riddle gut wrenches and throws FMW around! And again! And then Andrews runs in, but Riddle manages to back drop him while suplexing FMW! Riddle clubs FMW and brings him to the Broserweight corner. Tag to Dunne and Dunne gives Riddle a boost for the standing corkscrew! Dunne then hooks onto FMW’s legs and pulls on the arms. Dunne tortures the wrist before stomping the knees! And then he stomps the arm! FMW crawls to a corner but Dunne brings him up to wrench and wring out. Tag to Riddle, and Dunne stomps the arm again! Riddle kicks FMW while he’s down then drags him back up for a scoop and slam! Cover, TWO, and NXT returns to single picture.
Riddle yanks FMW up by his legs but FMW lands on his feet! And dropkicks Riddle away! Dunne tags in to keep FMW from Andrews, but FMW lands on his feet out of the German! FMW leaps but Dunne catches him, only for FMW to slip into a guillotine! But Dunne powers out to an X-PLEX! Tag to Riddle and Riddle drops a Broton! Cover, TWO! Riddle keeps his eyes on Andrews before going back to FMW with a sharp ax kick! Riddle CHOPS FMW then tags in Dunne. Dunne and Riddle double wrench but FMW breaks free! FMW fights back with big hands! Dunne pushes FMW, FMW goes up and over to evade, tag to Andrews! Andrews springboards, Riddle gets under, but the huricanrana gets Dunne!
Andrews goes after Riddle with forearms and CHOPS! Andrews whips, Riddle reverses, and Dunne returns. Andrews slides under both clotheslines to DOUBLE PELE! Fans fire up for Andrews as he runs at Dunne. Dunne puts him on the apron but Andrews enziguris back! And then slingshots over, to victory roll and spring up, DDT on Riddle! Riddle falls out of the ring, Andrews dumps Dunne out! Andrews tags FMW and SWSC decides to FLY! Double direct hits! SWSC get Dunne up and in fast and tag. Toast at 3AM, the standing 450! Cover, TWO!! Dunne is tougher than that, but FMW isn’t deterred. FMW brings Dunne up, underhooks, but Dunne breaks free. Dunne turns things around to go after FMW’s fingers, but FMW breaks free to KNEE TRIGGER! FMW springboards, into a BIG RIGHT! Both men are down but fans rally up, hot tag to Andrews!
Andrews grabs Dunne for a full nelson but Dunne breaks free and elbows back. Dunne goes up and over and enziguris Andrews! Then GERMAN SUPLEX! Hand stomps and buzzsaw! Tag to Riddle, Dunne drags Andrews up, X-PLEX BOMB!! FINAL FLASH BUZZSAW! Cover, but FMW breaks it! Fans are fired up as all four men are down! Dunne drags FMW up and tosses him out. Riddle drags Andrews up in a waistlock dead lift GERMAN! Cover, TWO! Andrews survives but Riddle is seething up. Riddle drags Andrews back up, suplexes, but Andrews slips out and waistlocks. Riddle standing switches to wristlock ripcord, FINAL FLASH! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Riddle drags Andrews away for a Broton! Tag to Dunne, and Dunne has the legs again. Dunne wrenches an ankle and stands on both feet, to STOMP!
Dunne goes after the legs again with an Ankle Lock! Andrews endures, flails, and rolls to throw Dunne off. Dunne comes back, into a Northern Lights and STOMPS! Both men are down again as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as Andrews gets the hot tag to FMW! Riddle and Dunne run over but FMW elbows them into each other. Then QUEBRADA! FMW hits them both and has Riddle on the apron. FMW dropkicks Riddle off then triangle dropkicks Dunne back out! Fans fire up with the Modfather as he goes up top. FMW SWANTONS onto the Broserweights! FMW puts Riddle in but Dunne follows. FMW stalks behind them both as Riddle tags back in. FMW kicks low then tags in Andrews. SWSC coordinate, but Riddle fights FMW off and catches Andrews! Fireman’s carry, but Andrews pops up! FMW is back, KNEE TRIGGER POISON-RANA! Cover, but Dunne barrels in just in time! Fans are still fired up for “Tag Team Wrestling!”
Andrews tags to FMW, then moonsaults onto Dunne for a TORNADO DDT! FMW is up top, 450 but he has to bail out! BRO SPEAR! Andrews is back, BRO SPEAR! Riddle has FMW, for the- NO! INSIDE CRADLE! TWO!! Riddle spins FMW for a Pele! Tag to Dunne, Riddle fireman’s carries FMW, Bro To Enziguri! Cover, TWO!?! FMW survived a ladder match, so he can surely survive a tag team com-bro-nation! Fans love “All These Guys!” because “This is Awesome!” Dunne and Riddle have FMW, X-Plex Bomb countered to a rana! Andrews springboards in to block Dunne! FMW with the cover, but Dunne DECKS Andrews and Andrews falls on the pin! Somehow, someway, Dunne saved the day!
Dunne goes back to the Broserweight corner as Riddle kicks FMW away. Hot tags to Andrews and Dunne! Andrews slides but Dunne BUZZSAWS! Then pump handles, but cradle counter! Dunne blocks the cradle, X-Plex STUN-DOG MILIONAIRE! FMW fakes Riddle out, HEADBUTT! FMW DIVES, but into Riddle’s BRO DEREK!! Andrews is up top, aims for Dunne, but shooting star into a FOREARM! Tag to Riddle, pump handle, BITTER FINAL FLASH!! Cover, Broserweights win!!
Winners: The Broserweights, Matt Riddle pinning; advance to the next round
Incredi-BRO! Like peanut butter and chocolate, this duo just seems to work. But will the Dusty Cup be just as sweet as Reese’s for Riddle and Dunne? Or will Imperium have something to say about that?
NXT shares footage from after NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II.
Imperium regroups after the Undisputed Era ambushed and completely wrecked them after Walter’s main event title defense. Obviously, Walter was furious about that! For the Undisputed Era to have the audacity to do that, now they are Imperium’s targets. Will Worlds Collide completely #ShockTheSystem in Houston?
Cathy Kelly waits backstage for an update on Keith Lee.
He is of course in the medical trainer’s room after what the Undisputed Era did to his leg. Will we hear what Lee’s status is for next week’s title match?
Tommaso Ciampa returns!
We already saw Blackheart come to the rescue of Keith Lee, but now he’s headed to the ring to talk about his business. Fans again chant “Daddy’s Home!” as Ciampa gets a mic. “Velveteen Dream, Imperium, Keith Lee. It’s pretty clear to me now that you Undisputed Era boys, y’all have yourselves a hit list.” Having a list is fine, because Ciampa has one, too. And Adam Cole is at the top of that list. Ciampa told us all that when Cole took Goldie, he took Ciampa’s “life.” Ciampa is not waiting, he’s not distracted. “I want my life back. I need my life back. Adam Cole, I am taking back my life.” But the Undisputed Era is back, and now Ciampa fights them 4v1! He gets Cole down but the others jump on him!
Strong and reDRagon corner Ciampa and Cole clears them out for his own, but Ciampa BOOTS him down! The brawl continues and they go around the ring but Ciampa ends up cornered again! Here comes JOHNNY GARGANO! DIY watches each other’s backs as Gargano rallies on the Era! Gargano still has beef with Cole but he gets Strong instead! Ciampa gives O’Reilly Willow’s Bell, the draping DDT! Gargano SUPERKICKS Fish! And then with Fish down in the center of the ring, fans are chanting for “DIY! DIY!” Meet in the middle! Fish is wrecked after taking the superkick and knee, but DIY is feeling pretty good. But with Gargano having to focus on Finn Balor come TakeOver: Portland, will Ciampa be able to keep safe when facing a faction as dangerous as the Undisputed Era?
Trent Seven tweets NXT.
“See Gargano and Ciampa are mates again Tyler Bate… Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could stay mates long enough to fight us? Moustache Mountain VS DIY? What do you say, Regal? Possibly Worlds Collide?” There were a bit more hashtags in there, but the message is clear! Could we get a double reunion of tag teams at the biggest crossover event of 2020?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 Opening Round: The Time Splitters VS Grizzled Young Veterans!
The opening round concludes with perhaps the biggest surprise of them all! Kushida reunites with Alex Shelley to reform their dynamic tag team! But when up against inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions Zack Gibson and James Drake, will they SOON be recognized as a one-and-done?
The bell rings and Shelley starts with Liverpool’s Number One. Fans are fired up to finally see Shelley in the WWE and Shelley is just as excited. Shelley and Gibson tie up and Gibson puts Shelly in a corner. Gibson backs off with a shove, but Shelley keeps his cool. They tie up again, and Shelley wrenches to a hammerlock. Gibson elbows out hard then whips, but Shelley reverses. Drake saves Gibson from hitting buckles and Gibson kicks Shelley back! Gibson wrenches then tags Drake, and Mr. Mayhem goes after Shelley. Shelley CHOPS Drake away, then puts some stank on his next CHOP! Shelley has Drake in the corner and tags in Kushida. But Drake fights back, knocking Kushida down and whipping Shelley to the GYV corner.
Shelley puts Drake on the apron, and fights both GYV. Kushida runs in to double handspring kick GYV down! Fans fire up for the Time Splitters as they each PESCADO out! Double direct hits and fans are fired up even more! Kushida puts Drake in and throws hands, but Drake knees low. Drake whips, Shelley tags in, and things speed up as Shelley body blows and Kushida knee lifts! Drake is down, Shelley stands on hair as he pulls on arms. Shelley lets up to bring Drake around, but Drake knees low again. Tag to Gibson and Gibson goes after Shelley. Kushida tags in, and Time Splitters drop toehold to basement dropkick! Then they Penalty Kick the arm! Kushida wrenches Gibson around and ties up his arms in a crisscross, deathlock! Gibson writhes from that one, but Shelley tags in. Double wrench and wristlock to elbows and running suplex! Cover, TWO!
Shelley keeps on Gibson but Gibson jawbreakers back! Gibson sucker punches Kushida but Shelley knees hard! Gibson wrenches and headlocks but Shelley powers out. Drake tags in, dropkicks a leg out and Gibson adds his own dropkick! Mayhem in Motion takes out Kushida! GYV are fired up as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Shelley fights off Drake’s cravat. Drake shoves him away but Shelley fights out of the GIV corner. Gibson saves Drake from falling out of the ring, and Drake keeps Shelley from Kushida! Shelley rolls Drake up, TWO! Drake keeps between Shelley and Kushida, and hits a big backbreaker! Shelley flops out of the ring and Drake tags Gibson. Gibson scoops Shelley, Drake slingshots, pescado backbreaker! Fans boo as Gibson argues with the ref. Gibson throws European Uppercuts while the Full Sail crowd borrows a chant from the UK crowds: “If you hate Gibson, shoes off!” Gibson looms over Shelley in the ring and brings him up to back suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO! Gibson is frustrated with Shelley but he clamps on with a cobra clutch.
Shelley endures and fans rally up. Shelley gets up but Drake tags in. Gibson reels Shelley out but Shelley dodges! And dodges! And hot tags to Kushida! Springboard ax handle and rallying forearms all around! Kushida whips but Gibson reverses, only to get the handspring back elbow! Drake gets the FAST BALL! But no Penalty Kick! Kushida arm-drags Drake into an armbar! Drake fights but Kushida breaks the grip! Drake makes it a cover, TWO! Kushida KICKS away on Drake’, but Drake catches one to waistlock. Kushida standing switches but Gibson tags in. Kushida runs into Gibson’s grip, enziguri! Gibson turns Kushida, SUPERKICK to neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and the GYV are frustrated.
Fans rally but Drake tags in. Gibson brings Kushida up, feeds to Drake’s scoop, but Kushida slips out. Kushida BOOTS Gibson and backs Drake down. Kushida boots again, then tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Shelley is up, knee and kick combo in the corner! Tag to Shelley and he’s up top, frog splash and moonsault combo! Cover, but Gibson breaks it! Gibson ROCKS Kushida with that right then whips Shelley. Shelley reverses, atomic drop to basement dropkick to chancery to basement dropkick! THE DREAM SEQUENCE! Kushida runs at Drake but is put on the apron. Shelley corner clotheslines then Kushida goes up. Gibson shoves Kushida down! Drake denies Sliced Bread, TICKET TO MAYHEM!! Cover, the Grizzled Young Veterans WIN!!
Winners: The Grizzled Young Veterans, Gibson pinning; advance to the next round
NXT UK has a second representative in the tournament! Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem beat the Time Splitters and will meet reDRagon in the semifinals! Will GYV SOON be recognized as tournament finalists?
The Time Splitters offer handshakes out of respect, but Gibson and Drake refuse. Gibson gets a mic to say, “Nah, nah, nah. We did not travel all this way to stand there and shake hands while a hipster Full Sail crowd pretend to know who you are.” They have derailed the reunion tour on its first stop! Shelley, Kushida, you two were a great tag team. But you are looking at the present and future! GYV conquered all of Europe, and will never stop! They are SOON to be recognized as the 2020 Dusty Cup winners. Will that all come true against even the Undisputed Era?
NXT Media catches up with Robert Stone and Chelsea Green.
Robert Stone says, “Let’s be real. NXT Women’s Division, best it’s ever been. But Chelsea Green? She’s better than the best.” That’s why she is not going to be in the Battle Royal tonight. All these other women trying to steal the spotlight, that’s not going to fly. So everyone will have to wait to see the former hottest free agent. And emphasis on hottest. The Robert Stone Brand made a business decision, but when will the Hot Mess make her NXT in-ring debut?
Finn Balor profiles his Worlds Collide opponent.
“Ilja Dragunov is the guy that likes to challenge himself. He’s talented. Reminds me a lot of myself.” Fast, smart, fearless. But what Finn also sees is belief. Belief that he belongs in the ring with someone like Finn. But some advice from The Prince: When you come at him, you better not miss. Otherwise, he puts you down.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Qualifier: Tyler Breeze VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Lio Rush!
Worlds Collide will have an incredible Fatal 4 Way Cruiserweight Championship match with representatives of both NXT and NXT UK! However, with Angel Garza being champion, that only leaves one spot open for an NXT USA contender. And in this fast, furious and now fashionable division, that spot will go to the man that can bring it all together!
Angel Garza joins commentary to keep a close eye on this match. The bell rings and all three men stare down. But fans chant “Whose house?” “Swerve’s House!” But then they shift to “Breeze is Gorgeous!” Breeze, Swerve and Lio approach. Breeze kicks Swerve then ducks Lio. Lio slips out of the back suplex but gets a mule kick! Breeze enziguris Swerve then forearms Lio! Breeze hits a pretty backbreaker then covers, ONE. Breeze chicken wings but Swerve pulls him off to bump off buckles. Swerve trips and rolls Lio to waistlock and dead lift, but no half nelson as Lio arm-drags out. Lio runs at Swerve in the corner but Swerve goes up and over. Swerve ducks Breeze to Eddy Gordo headscissors! Swerve fires off strikes on Lio, dropkick!
Fans are fired up and even Garza smirks. Swerve drags Lio up for a hard EuroUpper, then he drags Lio up for a CHOP. Swerve goes to Breeze to kick hard against ropes! And again! And again! Lio clobbers Swerve from behind then whips Breeze. Breeze reverses, Lio redirects and scrambles around, to get under and kangaroo kick! Breeze still puts Lio on the apron but both men forearm. Breeze shoulders out but Lio kicks him back! Lio sees Swerve coming, and deja vu to 205 Live as both men flip out to stare down! Fans love that! Lio bobs ‘n’ weaves with Swerve then uses the apron to huricanrana! Breeze Penalty Kicks Lio down! Prince Pretty stands tall as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as Breeze is down and Lio has Swerve in a corner. Lio brings Swerve up for hands, but Swerve throws Lio out. Swerve goes to Breeze and CHOPS him. Lio comes around the side and Swerve goes after him. Swerve suplexes but Lio blocks. Lio tries to suplex but Swerve blocks. They go back and forth, Breeze pulls Swerve back in to German Suplex Swerve’s suplex! Two for the price of one for Prince Pretty! All three men are down but Full Sail fires up. Everyone stands, Lio kicks Breeze but Swerve kicks Lio. Swerve whips, Lio redirects, Breeze clobbers Swerve! And then Lio! Breeze is rallying! Breeze clotheslines Swerve out and then builds speed. Swerve dodges so Breeze cartwheels to safety. Swerve aims at Lio and dives, but has to cartwheel when Lio dodges. Lio dives and HITS Breeze! But Swerve FLIES and hits Lio!
Swerve gets Lio in fast and builds speed again, to spin into the SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives and Lio is frustrated, but Garza smirks again. Lio heads up top but Breeze returns. Lio knocks Breeze down and then has to hit Swerve away. Lio hops down to throw haymakers and kicks. Swerve uppercuts hard! Swerve whips Lio and pops him up, for Breeze’s SUPER MODEL KICK! Swerve runs at Breeze but is put up top, tucked in, SUPERKICK! That was cheeky. Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives again! Breeze grits his teeth as he slowly stands. Swerve follows and Lio crawls. Breeze brings Swerve up but Swerve blocks the suplex. Breeze keeps trying but he still can’t. He clubs away on Swerve but Swerve blocks the lift again. Swerve throws punches, breaks free and ROCKS Breeze with a right! Lio throws Breeze out hard then boots Swerve from a corner.
Breeze anchors Lio’s feet, dodges one dropkick but not the second! Lio dodges Swerve, hops up and over and back around, POISON RANA! DIVE onto Breeze! Lio heads back up top, FINAL HOUR HITS! Cover, but Breeze breaks it! That wasn’t the final move of this match, and fans are fired up for “NXT! NXT!” All three men slowly stir, and Swerve sits up first. Everyone stands, and Lio throws hands. Lio hits Swerve then Breeze, repeat. But they both kick back! Swerve hits Breeze, Breeze hits back. Swerve and Breeze throw heavier hands, then CHOPS! Lio kicks, but Breeze blocks and hands it to Swerve. Lio enziguris but Swerve ducks, the kick hits Breeze! Swerve kicks, Lio blocks and then sends it into Breeze! Lio then bobs ‘n’ weaves and fires off strikes! Swerve fires up but gets a SUPER MODEL KICK!
Lio kicks Breeze’s legs out, to rewind heel kick! Lio heads up top again, FINAL HOUR AGAIN! But Sweve throws Lio out, only for the COME UP to get him! But Breeze rolls Lio, TWO!! Breeze has the chicken wings but Lio reverses that, only to get the Beauty Shot! HOUSE CALL! Then half nelson, DRIVER!! Cover, SWERVE wins!!
Winner: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, by pinfall; advances to the NXT Cruiserweight Championship match
That wasn’t just a swerve, that was Swerve. The JML Driver spells “W I N,” but will it also spell “N X T Cruiserweight Championship” in Houston?
Backstage interview with Rhea Ripley!
The NXT Women’s Champion has a target on her back, but is there anyone she’s hoping does win tonight? Well considering Toni Storm “cut the queue” and has a Worlds Collide title shot, it’s all fine. Rhea promises to go through her, and whoever wins here tonight. This is her division now, and the Nightmare has just begun.
Backstage interview with Johnny Gargano!
Johnny Wrestling and the Blackheart were in the same ring again, and speaking of, Ciampa walks over. Ciampa thanks Gargano for the assist, but Gargano brings up Seven’s tweet. What’s his answer? One more for old time’s sake? DIY? DIY. Yeah, sure. But then the Undisputed Era rush over to start trouble, and security immediately rushes in to stop it. But then KEITH LEE runs in, and though Strong gets clear, Lee POUNCES a security guard through the bushes! Lee’s wrath is limitless, and he throws a security guard onto a car! The front windshield CRACKS! Lee wants Strong, so he tosses another guard over spare trunks! “Within me, the prophecy ENDS!” Strong only has one week left, will he #BaskInHisGlory and suffer more than just defeat? As for DIY reuniting, will “for old time’s sake” feel like old times when Worlds Collide?
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Battle Royal!
While Chelsea Green bowed out, returning Tegan Nox and newly signed Mercedes Martinez are jumping in! They join Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, Mia Yim, Vanessa Borne, Xia Li, Deonna Purrazzo, Candice LeRae, Kayden Carter, Santana Garrett, Evolve’s Shotzi Blackheart, and the shocking return of Kacy Catanzaro! Who stands alone at the end of this star-studded match to take on Rhea Ripley?
NXT returns as we also add Catalina and MJ Jenkins, and as Io Shirai makes her entrance. Tegan is next to enter, but then what is this?! SHAYNA BASZLER RETURNS!! The Queen of Spades looked to be giving up, but the two-time champion wants to become an insane three-time! The odds have clearly shifted, does anyone stand a chance against the returning Horsewoman?
The bell rings and Shayna brawls with Xia Li! Candice goes after Shirai but Tegan helps her out, and a lot of the other women crowd around the other half of the ring. Santana brawls with Catalina while Mercedes finds a clearing. Bianca brawls with Shotzi while KC and KC work together. Vanessa goes after Deonna. Deonna fights her off and gets back in, getting help from Santana. Bianca scoops Carter while Xia and KC work on Shayna. Carter clings to ropes but KC saves KC! Shayna fights off Xia and picks on another superstar now. Wait who is that? Meanwhile Mia fights for her own safety and Mercedes elbows Catalina down. Candice clings to ropes and Shayna goes after MJ. Shayna throws MJ out, but MJ holds on. No skinning the cat when Shayna grabs the wrists and pries her off! Shayna ELIMINATES MJ Jenkins!
Shayna hits Santana and Shirai helps out. Tegan goes to throw Vanessa out while Bianca brawls with Jessie Kamea. The EST scoops and puts Jessie on the apron. Jessie fights back and gets in to ram Bianca into the corner. Bianca turns things around, chicken wings and she dumps Jessie out! Bianca ELIMINATES Jessie Kamea! Shayna goes after Catalina but Catalina boots and dropkicks her back! Catalina tilt-o-whirls and headscissors Shayna to a corner! But Shayna puts her up top, to push her down and ELIMINATE her! Mercedes tries to push Santana out and Santana ends up on the apron. Santana shoulders back in and makes her return.
Carter goes after Shayna but Shayna clubs her down. Carter goes up top but Shayna disrupts that and puts her on the apron. Shayna DECKS Carter but KC goes after Shayna! Shayna whips KC out, but KC gets help from KC, to slingshot back in! Shayna runs in, KC dodges, Shayna knocks Carter off and ELIMINATES her! But Kacy comes back for more, only for Shayna to club her down. There are a lot of women left as NXT goes picture in picture.
Tegan SHOTEIS her opponent and then throws her out, and ELIMINATES… Who was that again? KC goes after Shayna more, and Shotzi is after Mercedes while Mia fights off Deonna. Tegan and Santana go after Vanessa together but Vanessa manages to skirt back in. Xia is after Bianca and Vanessa hits Mia back. Candice kicks and scrapes at Santana on the apron, but Shayna stomps Candice down! Shayna clubs Candice then drags Santana up to throw big forearms. And kicks! And more forearms! Vanessa bumps Mia off buckles while Mercedes grinds a boot into Shotzi. Santana fights back on Shayna while Shirai works to lift Deonna. Deonna clubs Shirai down and Bianca throws Tegan! Tegan stays on the apron but Bianca stomps away on her bad leg!
Shayna scrapes at Santana, and then goes after the fingers! Santana ROCKS Shayna with a left, but Shayna BOOTS and ELIMINATES Santana Garrett! Vanessa runs but Mia dumps her out. Vanessa throws hands but gets a Code Breaker! Vanessa’s feet hook the ropes! But Mia sweeps the legs and ELIMINATES Vanessa! Deonna has Shotzi but Shotzi reverses to throw and ELIMINATE Deonna! Deonna drags Shotzi out, and then BOOTS her down! Shotzi is still in the match but she’s down on the outside. Shirai whips and flapjacks Xia! She, Bianca and Shayna stomp her down while Mercedes goes after Candice. Mia scoops Kacy while Xia fights off Shayna, Bianca and BOOTS Shirai! Xia blocks a boot to give a ROUNDHOUSE to Bianca!
Xia drags Bianca up and lifts, but Shayna clobbers Xia from behind. Shayna dumps and ELIMINATES Xia Li! Candice fires off on Mercedes while KC goes gymnastic, only for Shirai to sweep and dropkick! Shirai ELIMINATES Kacy! Bianca clubs down Mia and is the one standing tall. Bianca throws big forearms on Candice while Shirai stomps Tegan. Bianca military presses but Candice slips out! Candice runs, Bianca dodges, but Candice ends up on the apron! Bianca bumps Candice off the post and ELIMINATES her! Mia dumps Mercedes tot he apron but Mercedes drags Mia out with a suplex! And ELIMINATES her! The final five are Mercedes, Bianca, Shayna, Shirai and Tegan!
Shayna and Mercedes stare down, familiar foes from their days before NXT. The two circle and start brawling! Fans are on Mercedes’ side as she slugs it out with Shayna! Mercedes rocks Shayna but Shayna rocks Mercedes back. They just keep going! Fast and furious fists fly and fans fire up! Mercedes uppercuts Shayna! And CHOPS her! And drags her up only for Shayna to slip out to a Kirafuda Klutch! But Mercedes snapmares free and scoops Shayna! Shirai, Bianca and Tegan fight on the other end as Shayna headscissors and ELIMINATES Mercedes!! We’re down to four as Shayna rejoins Shirai, Bianca and Tegan.
Each woman takes a corner and stares down with each other. And they all go after Tegan! Tegan elbows Bianca, BOOTS Shayna and dodges Shirai! Tegan goes up top to crossbody! Tegan rallies with forearms on Bianca and Shayna, then elbows Shirai down. Tegan runs to uppercut Shayna, then Bianca, then back again. Shayna sits down, Tegan CANNONBALLS! Then CANNONBALL for Bianca! Shayan swings but gets caught, leg sweep! Tegan throws Bianca out but only to the apron. Shirai runs into a choke grip, CHOKE SLAM onto Shayna! Tegan drags Shayna up but Bianca runs in, Tegan feeds Shayna to Bianca’s SPEAR! Tegan drags Shayna up and picks her up, but Bianca goes after Tegan. Tegan HEADBUTTS Bianca but Shayna stays on the apron!
Tegan gives Bianca the SHINIEST WIZARD! Tegan forearms Shirai, but Shirai puts her on the apron! Tegan decks Shirai and climbs up top! But DAKOTA KAI appears! Dakota YANKS Tegan off and ELIMINATES her! Dakota was meant to be in this match, but chose to just screw over her former friend instead! And then Shayna goes after Shirai and Bianca! Big knees and kicks for Bianca, but Shirai runs in. KIRAFUDA! And a toss to put her on the apron! Shirai fades, but SHOTZI RETURNS! Shotzi ELIMINATES Shayna!! The Evolve upstart just shocked Shayna! But Bianca gets her off guard and ELIMINATES her! Now it’s just Shayna and Shirai! These two wanted after each other after the Six Woman Tag, and now they’ll have their chance! It’s the fiercest brawl!
Bianca puts Shirai in a corner and rams her shoulder in! Then TOSSES her across the way! Then back the other way! Bianca reels Shirai in, but Shirai headscissors. Bianca blocks so Shirai boots her away. Shirai drop toeholds Bianca and dials it up, 619! Shirai climbs up top and leaps, but into Bianca’s arms! Bianca pops Shirai up for the Fall Away Slam! Bianca drags Shirai up and reels her in, chicken wings but Shirai victory rolls Bianca into buckles! Fans are fired up for the Evil Genius as she hoists Bianca up top. Shirai climbs up after her but Bianca fights her back. The two teeter up top, but Shirai steadies herself for a SUPER- NO! No steiner! Bianca brings Shirai back up, but Shirai slips free to ROUNDHOUSE! Bianca flops to the apron, but she throws forearms on Shirai. Shirai runs in, but ends up on the apron with her!
Bianca drags Shirai up and fireman’s carries, but Shirai holds on for dear life. Shirai waistlocks and wants to German Suplex! Bianca holds on and elbows Shirai away. They’re still both on the apron, and Shirai kicks low. SHOTEI! But Bianca flops into the ring. Shirai stands on her ponytail!! Bianca YANKS to trip up Shirai! Both women end up back in the ring, and now we start again. Bianca and Shirai brawl on the mat, then up to their feet. Bianca gets an edge, runs, but Shirai back elbows! Shirai runs and basement dropkicks! Fans are thunderous but the buzzsaw misses. SPEAR! Bianca drags Shirai up and torture racks, but Shirai pulls the ponytail! Shirai uses the tail to rel Bianca in, GERMAN! Fans are thunderous as Shirai goes corner to corner for the METEORA! Shirai drags Bianca up, underhooks, but Bianca slips out to torture rack! KISS OF DEATH ELIMINATES SHIRAI!!
Winner: Bianca Belair; NEW #1 Contender to the NXT Women’s Championship
The EST is back in con *clap* ten *clap* tion! But with Worlds Collide between now and TakeOver, will it be a Riptide or a Storm that she’ll be facing in Portland?
A great episode right here, with great action and great builds towards both Worlds Collide and TakeOver: Portland. I really liked the blending of story between Undisputed Era, Keith Lee and in this case, DIY. Clearly Lee walked off the attack on his leg so that he’ll have his match with Strong next week. Lee going Incredible Hulk on the security guards was pretty great. Lee VS Strong is going to be great, and it’d be pretty great if Lee took the title. And wow, as if Worlds Collide wasn’t already a great crossover event, we’re getting DIY VS Moustache Mountain!? That’s going to be an instant classic. Finn’s promo on Ilja was pretty good, but their match will definitely be great.
Both tag team matches tonight for the Dusty Rhodes Classic were incredible, but especially SWSC VS Broserweights. For their first match together, Riddle and Dunne had come up with a lot of move combos. Some were cleaner than others, but I’m sure we all felt Riddle and Dunne being more than one-and-done. GYV VS Time Splitters was pretty good, and for a moment, I thought Time Splitters was advancing. But in the end, NXT and NXT UK keep pace in this tournament with two teams left. Both semifinals matches will be an NXT VS NXT UK match, to keep the theme with Worlds Collide. It might be a bit obvious but I feel like Imperium and reDRagon win so that not only is it Imperium VS Undisputed Era at Worlds Collide but also in the finals of the tournament, possibly to be held at TakeOver: Portland if they want to stretch this out.
Worlds Collide having a Cruiserweight Championship crossover is also great. Tonight’s Triple Threat of Lio VS Swerve VS Breeze was a lot of fun, so fast moving and with spotlight on each guy. With Breeze being too new and Lio already having a couple shouts, it was natural for Swerve to win. With SWSC not in the Dusty Rhodes Classic anymore, I could see NXT UK giving us Andrews in one match and Flash Morgan Webster in another, with maybe just one qualifying for the match. NXT UK Cruiserweights would include Jordan Devlin, Kenny Williams, Travis Banks and a few others. I would love if Devlin was the Heel Cruiserweight for NXT UK so we can get interaction between him and Garza.
The Women’s Battle Royal had a lot of great surprises, and it was smart in kayfabe and shoot for Chelsea Green to stay out. Chelsea’s in-ring debut for NXT should be a 1v1 match, not a battle royal. Kacy making her return when it sounded like she was done was great, and then Shayna returning should’ve been obvious since she wouldn’t want to just give up getting the title back before even trying. But it was pretty great for them to have Shotzi go the possum route and come back outta nowhere. But with Rhea being a Face, and even Toni being enough of a Face, a Heel was of course winning. Shayna would’ve been too easy, but I’m not really sure why it was Bianca. Worlds Collide will give us a great rematch of Rhea VS Toni but I don’t see a title change when Rhea just got that. Bianca should’ve had her time during Shayna’s reign, but apparently that wasn’t it. I don’t see this being it, either.
Now, maybe if it was Shirai, that would be cool. And also it’d be a sign that WWE wants to keep Shirai given how she’s upset not being able to spend time with real-life fiance, NJPW’s EVIL. Unless this is also a sign that Shirai is moving to Raw or SmackDown to get some bigger paychecks. I still would’ve given Shirai both: a title shot at Portland, maybe she wins, maybe she doesn’t; and in the case of the latter, she then shifts over to Raw or SmackDown to get a title there. It’s rather odd thinking that Raw or SmackDown so desperately need more women to spark their title scenes while NXT is just so jam-packed.
My Score: 9.2/10