NXT doubles down on the Steel Cage grudge matches!
Roderick Strong VS Velveteen Dream, Dakota Kai VS Tegan Nox. Two big grudges within NXT, and they’re both being settled inside a steel cage! Who walks out and who is left behind?
- Steel Cage: Dakota Kai VS Tegan Nox; Kai wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Qualifier: Shotzi Blackheart VS Chelsea Green w/ Robert Stone; wins and advances to the TakeOver: Tampa Ladder match.
- Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS The Undisputed Era; The Undisputed Era wins.
- Austin Theory VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Theory wins.
- Steel Cage: Roderick Strong VS Velveteen Dream; Strong wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Steel Cage: Dakota Kai VS Tegan Nox!
This started at NXT TakeOver: WarGames III, and it escalated in Portland. “Captain Kota” and the Cardiff Comeback Kid kick things up to another level! Does the carnage conclude with the cage?
Raquel Gonzalez still accompanies Dakota to the ring despite the cage keeping her out of the ring. But will she still be a factor in this rematch?
The bell rings and fans are dueling already. Most of them are on Tegan’s side but that doesn’t matter to her and Dakota as they get face to face. Tegan starts throwing forearms! Dakota shoves and gives them back! Tegan gives Dakota a SPINE BUSTER and then some ground ‘n’ pound! Dakota pushes back but Tegan throws body shots and haymakers. Tegan brings Dakota up but Dakota shoves her at the steel. Tegan stops herself, then catches Dakota’s arms. She sweeps the legs then runs but Dakota avoids the Shiniest Wizard. Dakota grabs Tegan by the hair to throw, but Tegan stops herself again! Tegan scowls as she elbows Dakota away.
Tegan goes up top and leaps for a big crossbody! And then fast hands! Dakota can barely cover up as Tegan clubs away from all sides. Cover, ONE, and Tegan scowls at Dakota as she goes to a corner. Tegan back elbows Dakota in the corner then snapmares for a European Uppercut to the back! Cover, TWO! Tegan drags Dakota up but Dakota hits back. Fans rally and duel as Dakota brings Tegan up and bumps her off buckles. Dakota grinds her boot in and pushes her to the steel. She stomps Tegan down into the corner and Raquel applauds, but fans boo. Dakota digs a knee in and chokes Tegan on the ropes. Dakota stalks Tegan and bumps her off more buckles. And again! Cover, TWO!
Dakota grows frustrated as Tegan gets back up. Fans rally again but Dakota grinds her foot into Tegan. Raquel is there to taunt Tegan through the steel. Dakota drags Tegan up but Tegan throws body shots. Tegan hits a running EuroUpper in the corner! Cover, TWO! Tegan hits another EuroUpper then another, then another! The train keeps going, and Tegan hits a fourth! Dakota sits down, Tegan CANNONBALLS! Tegan drags Dakota up but Dakota throws Tegan into the steel! Fans cheer and boo as Tegan is down, and NXT goes picture in picture.
Dakota paces as she watches Tegan writhe. Dakota grinds her boot into Tegan again, pressing her into the steel. She lets up to then drag Tegan around to throw into the other wall! And grinds her boots in again! Raquel taunts Tegan right to her face until Tegan slips away. Dakota stalks Tegan and kicks her while she’s down. Cover, TWO, and Dakota is frustrated. Dakota rains down rights on Tegan over and over, then goes for a corner. Tegan anchors Dakota’s foot but Dakota knocks her away. Dakota brings Tegan up to throw into yet another wall of the cage! Dakota stomps and grinds Tegan down, but Tegan still anchors her foot. Tegan won’t let Dakota go to the door so Dakota stomps and clubs her more.
Dakota drags Tegan up but Tegan fights back! Tegan clubs Dakota down then flounders her way to the door! The door opens but Raquel is watching. Dakota hurries up to stomp and ax kick Tegan down! Dakota covers, TWO! #KingKota is getting frustrated, and she brings Tegan back up. Tegan blocks the fourth wall hitting, so Dakota LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Tegan flounders but Dakota scuffs her face. Dakota keeps toying with Tegan but Tegan grabs the leg! Tegan rocks Dakota then scoops, but Dakota slips out to shove. Tegan drops down and Dakota sends herself flying into the steel! NXT returns as fans rally up again.
Tegan slowly stands and looms over Dakota. Now Tegan throws Dakota into steel! And again! And again! Tegan’s evened things up on that end and Raquel panics! Tegan stomps aaway on Dakota as fans cheer for “NXT! NXT!” Raquel shouts at Tegan but Tegan shots back! Tegan glares and hits Dakota into steel with a EuroUpper! Fans chant “You Deserve It!” at Dakota as Tegan comes back around. Tegan snampares and covers, TWO! Tegan drags Dakota up and scoops for a Fall Away bridge! Cover, TWO!! Dakota survives and Raquel seethes, but Tegan heads for the door. Raquel is there again, and Dakota drags Tegan back. Scorpion Kick! Then KAI-ROPRACHTOR!! Cover, TWO!!
Fans cheer, Raquel is shocked and Dakota is furious! Dakota heads for the corner but Tegan grabs the knee brace! Tegan gets Dakota in a cradle, TWO! HEADBUTT! That rocks both women, and Tegan gets herself to ropes. Tegan climbs those, to then climb the cage! Raquel shouts at Dakota to get going but Tegan’s already up top! Dakota scrambles up and catches up to club Tegan back down! Tegan choke grips to SUPER CHOKE SLAM Dakota!! Raquel is freaking out as Tegan looks down at Dakota. Tegan hesitates on what to do next, and by the time she starts to climb, Dakota is back up! Dakota YANKS Tegan down to the mat!
Dakota KICKS Tegan against ropes, and again! She brings Tegan up to put in a corner and goes corner to corner, but Tegan follows to EuroUpper! Tegan runs corner to corner but Dakota goes Around the World to BOOT!! Dakota goes again but Tegan follows with another CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO!! Dakota survives and Raquel is relieved, but Tegan climbs! Tegan reaches the top already, but Raquel dares her to join her. Tegan stands on the very top, to SUPER CROSSBODY DAKOTA!! Fans cheer for “NXT! NXT!” again as both women are down! Raquel shouts at Dakota to get up but Tegan crawls for the door. “This is Awesome!” as Raquel SLAMS the door closed! She even smothers the ref so he can’t do anything!
Tegan stares in shock at Raquel as the referees reprimand the Daughter of the Desperado. Dakota runs in but Tegan moves, the boot sends the door into Raquel!! Dakota’s leg is stuck on the rope long enough for Tegan to SHINIEST WIZARD! Cover, TWO!?! Dakota survives?! Tegan is shocked but fans say try “One More Time!” Dakota stirs and Tegan heads for the door! But Raquel is back! Raquel storms into the ring, grabs Tegan, but Tegan enziguris! The ref reprimands Raquel as she wobbles in the doorway. Tegan goes up the wall, reaches the top, and hurries down, but Dakota is climbing up! Dakota claws at Tegan’s hair to bring her back! Tegan BOOTS Dakota down!
Tegan sees Raquel is back up, and she’s dragging Dakota out! Dakota’s in the doorway so Tegan KICKS the DOOR! The door slams on Dakota’s leg!! Payback from WarGames! But then Raquel uses the door to trap Tegan!! Dakota scrambles out, Dakota wins!!
Winner: Dakota Kai, by escape
Raquel is ALWAYS a factor! Tegan would’ve won several times over if Dakota didn’t have her new sidekick. Is this feud far from over?
Finn Balor speaks.
“Chess has always been a game of actions and reactions.” Balor has always made the first move. But he thanks Imperium for last week. They’ve forced his hand. Walter is not going to like Balor’s reaction. “See you sooner than you think.”
NXT and Rhea Ripley visit Raymond James Stadium ahead of WrestleMania 36.
Home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and now the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers, this stadium will also be where the NXT Women’s Championship makes history by joining the WrestleMania card. The Aussie Nightmare feels honored to be part of such history. She takes a look around, and can’t get over the sheer size. She started wrestling in front of 50 people, maybe even less. A dream is coming true and it humbles Rhea. Rhea’s dream has been to help others, but she had to first help herself find who she was.
When Rhea first came to WWE, people were all saying that she was a lot like Charlotte Flair. So since then, she made sure she would stand out differently from Charlotte. Ric Flair would say, “To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man,” aka to be the best, you must beat the best. Charlotte is certainly one of the best, and while Rhea doesn’t know what’ll happen, she knows Tampa will erupt seeing that match. Rhea vows to beat the best to become the best, but will the Riptide fail to capsize the Queen?
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Qualifier: Shotzi Blackheart VS Chelsea Green w/ Robert Stone!
When NXT takes over Tampa, there will be a major ladder match to determine a challenger for the winner of Ripley VS Flair! But while Shotzi wants to #TCB, Take Care o’ Business, the Robert Stone Brand’s top (and only) client wants to prove she is the new face of the women’s division. Who punches their ticket for Tampa here tonight?
The bell rings and Shotzi ties up with Green. Green waistlocks but Shotzi bucks her off. Shotzi kicks but Green blocks it, only for Shotzi to use it to roll Green down, Shotzi gets the leg but Green pushes her away. Fans sing as Shotzi trips Green and grabs both legs. Shotzi shouts out Jeff Hardy with the leg splitting leg drop! Shotzi runs, Green ducks down, and things speed up. Green Japanese arm-drags Shotzi but Shotzi does a normal arm-drag. Shotzi runs and shouts out Mark Andrews with the slide under to then enziguri Green down! Green is on the ropes, Shotzi runs, but Green moves as Shotzi jumps! Shotzi ends up on the ropes and Green gives her a draping backstabber! Cover, TWO!
Green drags Shotzi up as fans rally, and Shotzi throws body shots. Green whips and back elbows then forearms Shotzi. Shotzi dodges the next shot but not the boot! Cover, TWO! Green drags Shotzi up again but Shotzi pushes out to fire off strikes! Shotzi rocks Green to a corner then hoists her up top. Shotzi climbs up but Green pushes her down! Green leaps to missile dropkick! Shotzi ends up on the apron and Green heads over to drag her through the ropes. Green brings Shotzi around, underhooks for the UNPRETTIER! Or as she calls it, the “I’M PRETTIER!” Cover, Green wins!
Winner: Chelsea Green, by pinfall (advances to the NXT TakeOver: Tampa Ladder match)
The Hot Commodity is bringing the Robert Stone Brand to Tampa! Will she make the brand a contender in the near future?
NXT receives another cryptic message.
A clock, the desert, vultures and crows. A road sign that says “THE END IS NEAR.” Explosions, an eclipse and the apocalypse. Who or what is coming to NXT?
Keith Lee is here!
The NXT North American Champion returns, with the list of contenders already filling back up just a few weeks after TakeOver: Portland. Fans sing for Keith as he gets himself a mic. “Greetings and salutations, you are now conversing with the Limitless One, Keith Lee.” And ever since he became the North American Champion, many men have invoked his name. The one that wants to fight forever, Dominik Dijakovick. The one that wants to live forever, Damien Priest. Keith gives Priest some credit for taking the initiative against Dijakovic, but- Wait, here comes Cameron Grimes! The Carolina Caveman has his own mic as he swaggers down the ramp.
“You don’t need to be talkin’ about Priest. And you don’t need to be talkin’ about Dijakovic.” Keith needs to talk about Cameron Grimes. Fans troll Grimes with chants of, “No One Likes You!” But Grimes points out how he caved in Dijakovic’s chest last week. Did Keith not see that? It took Keith 20 minutes to beat Dijakovic, didn’t it? Fans boo but Keith has them calm down so he can speak. “Well done, you’ve made the gravest mistake of your career.” Grimes speaks up about that time comparison. Fans boo more but Grimes soaks it up. Keith has the fans quiet down but Grimes just riles them up again. Keith gets what Grimes is pointing out but why is Grimes here now?
Grimes says some would say that the TakeOver match was a five-star match. But William Regal gave Grimes a shot at Keith and the North American Championship. Everyone will realize that this is Grime Time! But Keith pushes Grimes out of the ring! If Grimes wants his match, one star, five star, and everywhere in between, then it’ll be an equal opportunity ass whooping! Will Grimes be made to #BaskInHisGlory? Or can he pull off a shocking upset this close to WrestleMania Weekend?
NXT Media caught up with Austin Theory earlier today.
Austin Theory says it’s crazy to think how he’s one of the greatest in history already. At 22, he pushed a former NXT Champion to the limits. They might as well start rewriting the history books now! The North American Championship, the tag team championships, and- Isaiah “Swerve” Scott came over, laughing at how Theory thinks he’s the greatest already. “Boy, you only got about four matches in you.” But confidence is good. Swerve has confidence, too. How about Swerve and the young “GOAT” go 1v1? Theory tells Swerve to go ask Regal about that.
The Undisputed Era huddles up backstage.
Adam Cole tells reDRagon are going to “teach Oney and Danny a freakin’ lesson.” Then Roderick Strong ends the Velveteen Dream once and for all! Tonight is the Undisputed Era’s night! But will that really be the case?
Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS The Undisputed Era!
The BritAm Brawlers have had incredible encounters with Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish before, such as TakeOver: Chicago a few years ago. But will this be another barn burner on the way to Tampa and the Broserweights?
The teams sort out and Fish starts against Oney. Oney and Fish circle and tie up. Fish waistlocks but Oney pries free as fans rally and duel. Oney CHOPS but Fish throws a forearm. Oney CHOPS again, so Fish kicks. They go back and forth now, CHOP for kick. Oney throws EuroUppers and rocks Fish, but Fish back elbows Burch! Kyle shouts at Oney but gets rocked for it! Kyle and Fish regroup as Burch and Oney do the same. Fans want to see a fight! Fish forearms Burch, Oney CHOPS Fish, but Kyle blocks a kick for Fish to sweep the legs. Burch ROCKS Kyle with that right, but Kyle kicks from the mat. Fish knees Burch down, but Oney unleashes CHOPS on reDRagon!
Kyle grabs an arm, Fish body shots, but Burch saves Oney from the double suplex. Burch HEADBUTTS Kyle ad Oney EuroUppers Fish. The Undisputed Era regroups as fans duel. Oney goes out to DOUBLE BLOCKBUSTER! Full Sail is fired up with the Fury of 205 as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Fish throws forearms on Oney. Oney feeds off them to power up! Fans fire up with Oney as he CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS Fish! Fish knees back then snapmares Oney. Fish slingshots out then in but drops onto knees! Fans rally as Oney and Fish head for their corners. Fish tags Kyle and Kyle anchors Oney! Oney still makes the tag! The Governah rallies with fast hands on Kyle! And EuroUppers! Burch whips to clothesline and snapmare and cutter! Fans fire up as Kyle flounders about. Burch storms over but is sent out. Kyle tags Fish and Fish goes after Burch. Burch ROCKS Fish and enziguris Kyle. Burch gets in to throw hands on Kyle, but Fish runs Burch over with an elbow!
Fish drags Burch up and puts him in the Undisputed Corner to throw body shots. Tag to Kyle and Kyle adds his kicks and knees. Kyle snapmares to drop a knee! Cover, TWO! Burch reaches for Oney but Kyle stays between them. Burch throws body shots and jabs but Kyle fires off knees and kicks again! Kyle tags Fish and Fish drags Burch up for forearms. Fish throws hands at the ropes and then brings Burch up for kicks to the legs. Fish drags Burch up but Burch throws hands back. A knee and a sweep to the leg brings Burch down, and Fish tags Kyle. Kyle digs a knee into Burch then grounds ‘n’ pounds. He brings Burch up but Burch rocks him with a right! Fish reels Burch in and Kyle rams into Burch!
Tag to Fish and Fish mule kicks Burch. Fans duel as Fish brings Burch around for a snapmare to chinlock. Fish grinds Burch down but Burch endures. Burch fights his way up as fans rally. Burch throws body shots but fish knees low. Tag to Kyle and Kyle stomps Burch down before he reaches Oney. Kyle knees away but Burch throws forearms. Kyle gives the forearms back and they brawl! Burch rocks Kyle but Kyle trips him up! Burch can’t kick Kyle away but he heads for Oney all the same. Kyle reels Burch in for a big back suplex! Tag to Fish and Fish brings Burch up for a boot, Burch DECKS Fish on the return! Both men are down, crawling for their corners, and Fish tags Kyle.
Kyle hurries to anchor Burch, then reels him back in. Kyle tries another back suplex, but Burch makes it a crossbody! Both men flounder about, Burch ducks a boot to tag in Oney! Oney CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Then runs to EuroUpper! Fish gets in to get CHOPS and CHOPS! Kyle grabs Oney but Oney standing switches, HALF ‘N’ HALF! EuroUpper for Fish! Blockbuster for Kyle! Oney rocks Fish off the apron and then builds speed to FLY! Direct hit on reDRagon! Oney drags Fish up and in then adds Kyle. The Undisputed Era end up in opposite corners and Oney powers up. Fans rally as Oney begins the back elbow train! But he runs into TOTAL ANNIHILATION!! Cover, the Undisputed Era wins!
Winners: The Undusputed Era, by pinfall
Oney was running hot but got shut right down! The Undisputed Era get mics real quick. “Well, Bobby, I really love to win. It feels good to be back in our winning ways. But something feels weird.” Something’s wrong and Kyle can’t put his finger on it. Fish agrees, something’s missing. Where are the NXT Tag Team Championships? Fish remembers that those titles are with “some undeserving makeshift tag team, the Loserweights!” But guess what? Their patience has run thin! Adam Cole is taking care of business, Roddy Strong will shut the Dream’s mouth, and then- “Bro…!”
Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne are here! And bro, if reDRagon wants their rematch, Stallion Riddle is down. Stallion Pete is down. The stallions in the crowd are down! And the most majestic stallion of them all, William Regal, will want to see- But wait! The Grizzled Young Veterans blindside the Broserweights! Zack Gibson and James Drake throw Dunne down then mug Matt! Gibson throws Riddle into railing and then the GYV eye the titles. Gibson picks up a mic and shouts, “Listen up, dweebs! I could not care LESS about your rematch clause!” The GYV are not going to wait for Regal to chime in! As far as the NXT Tag Team Championships go, it is out with the old, and in with the GRIZZLED Young Veterans, SOON to be recognized as the world’s number one! Are Gibson and Drake making themselves the #1 contenders?
Austin Theory VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
Two men who have both evolved in their careers clash in NXT! Will Theory prove himself the greatest #AllDay? Or will he be realize that Full Sail is Swerve’s House?
The bell rings and fans are strongly behind Swerve. Swerve and Theory tie up, go around and Swerve wristlocks. Theory tries to chinbar but Swerve traps the arm and spins around to get a headlock. Theory pries out to a facelock then shifts to a headlock. Swerve powers out but Theory runs him over! Theory talks smack as Swerve gets back up. They circle and tie up again, and Swerve goes back to the wristlock. Swerve wrenches but Theory knees low and whips. Swerve reverses, Theory stops himself in the corner. Theory throws a back elbow but Swerve blocks it to waistlock and O’Conner rolls. Theory rolls through but Swerve goes Eddie Gordo to headscissor!
Fans fire up as Swerve dodges strikes to give strikes and dropkicks Theory to a corner! Theory runs back but into a lift! Swerve puts him in a corner, wrenches again, but Theory pulls hair. The ref reprimands but Theory clubs Swerve on the back. Swerve jumping sobats Theory down! Fans are fired up again as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Theory has Swerve in a clinch. Swerve throws body shots and CHOPS Theory back! Swerve runs in but misses his back elbow as Theory goes to the apron. Theory slingshots for a somersault shotgun dropkick! Theory grins as he covers, TWO! Swerve checks his chin and fans rally up but Theory kicks him while he’s down. Theory pushes Swerve around then slaps him in the corner. Theory chops Swerve then taunts Swerve in his face. Fans duel with “All Day!” “Not Today!” as Swerve pushes Theory back. Theory kicks but Swerve throws hands. The two start brawling fast and furious! Swerve ROCKS Theory then discus LARIATS!
Fans fire up as Swerve runs and uppercuts Theory! Swerve snapmares then hits the FLYING EuroUpper! Swerve gives sharp Yes Kicks to Theory and more as Theory stands! Kick after kick against the ropes then a whip, but Theory rolls. Swerve rolls to leap and COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO!! Theory survives and Swerve grows frustrated. Swerve refocuses as he drags Theory back up. Swerve full nelsons but Theory resists. Theory trips Swerve up but Swerve kangaroo kicks! The huricanrana is blocked by Theory’s strength! Theory BUCKLE BOMBS Swerve! And then reels him in, crosses the legs, RP1 BRAINBUSTER! The figure four ushigoroshi hits, Theory covers, TWO!! Swerve survives and frustrates Theory.
Theory drags Swerve up again and underhooks. He pump handles and flips Swerve but Swerve slips out of Ataxia! Swerve bobs ‘n’ weaves but Theory back elbows hard! Theory reels Swerve in, Swerve frees himself to ROCK Theory back! Theory goes to the apron, Swerve runs corner to corner, but gets ROCKED with a left! Swerve staggers and Theory slingshots, the rolling thunder gets caught into an ARMBAR! Short Arm Scissor! Theory flails, endures, moves around but now it’s a triangle. Theory dead lifts but not for long, so he gets a ropebreak. Swerve won’t let go and has Theory’s other arm trapped! Shout out to the days at the Temple, with the ARM SNAPPER! Theory flails and writhes to the apron but Swerve shows no mercy!
Swerve stalks up to Theory, drags him over to the corner and brings him up. Theory claws Swerve’s face with his good eyes then sweeps the legs! Theory fireman’s carries Swerve, ATL TKO!! Cover, Theory wins!!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
The Austin Theory Launch, the shout out to Atlanta, Georgia, brought Theory his first victory in NXT! Will this help Theory rocket into the stratosphere?
NXT shares Mauro Ranallo’s exclusive interview with Johnny Gargano.
Johnny Gargano himself requested the interview, and so he and Mauro sat in the WWE Performance Center just this afternoon. Mauro respects Gargano but wants to talk Portland and the attack on Tommaso Ciampa. Ciampa said he knows why, but the rest of the world does not. Can Gargano explain his actions?
“You want to know why, Mauro?” Does everyone remember that Gargano was the only one to show up at the red carpet premiere of Mauro’s documentary? That meant more to Mauro than Gargano will ever know. Gargano knows Mauro has a very important job in NXT. Mauro helps tell the stories. Mauro helps tell the world about everyone here. So who is Gargano? Mauro knows. “Johnny Wrestling. More heart than Valentine’s Day. Someone check that man’s DNA.” Gargano loves those lines. But is that all Gargano is? With all due respect, it isn’t about what Mauro thinks, but why Gargano did this. Why all the sneak attacks? Sneak attacks?! What sneak attacks!? “I looked that man in the eyes, okay?!” Gargano stared Ciampa in the eyes and saw what he needed to see.
Same goes for last week. That was no sneak attack when Gargano was wearing his powder blue sports coat! Mauro appreciates Gargano’s emotion, given what Gargano and Ciampa have been through. Gargano says that no one knows anything about them! No one knows what Gargano has actually been through, or what he’s seen, or what he’s felt. That’s why they’re talking. We all want to know. You want to know?! Fine, ask your questions. Mauro wants Gargano to have the opportunity to answer the very simple question: “Why?” Everyone knows why. Gargano gets in Mauro’s face about it, but calms down.
Gargano insists we all know why, but admitting to it would make Mauro a liar. Is he a liar?! No? Have they spoken since Portland? Did Mauro reach out to Gargano? NO. And it didn’t stop Mauro from calling him “Johnny Turncoat” on air, either! Mauro says it was in the moment. Oh everything’s about moments now, huh!? What about Gargano’s moment?! Mauro thinks he knows about Gargano but he doesn’t! Ciampa returns and fans chant, “Daddy’s Home!” Gargano wants Mauro to apologize for being a liar! Mauro backs out of the interview. What’s wrong?! No quips, Mauro!? Gargano takes the camera to say that if Ciampa knows why, then next week, they do things Gargano’s way. Just what more went down between the former friends for things to reach this point?
NXT brings out the gold next week!
We already know of Keith Lee VS Cameron Grimes for the NXT North American Championship, but there’s one more match made! William Regal gives reDRagon their rematch against the Broserweights! Who will end the night with the championships?
Steel Cage: Roderick Strong VS Velveteen Dream!
The Undisputed Era took things to a new level when they tried to break the Experience for good. But then the Experience escalated things when he used Strong’s wife and child as a way to toy with him. Now things have reached the point where the #StrongDreamRematch needs to be contained inside a cage! Will this be the end of the story? And who will have the happy ending?
NXT returns as Dream makes his entrance, followed by Strong’s. The moment Strong is in the ring, the brawl is on! The bell rings as Dream clubs away on Strong’s back, and then Strong trips Dream up. They brawl on the mat and end up in a corner as Dream has the ground ‘n’ pound. Strong gets up to club and CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Dream hits back and they keep brawling all around. Dream throws Strong but Strong keeps himself from hitting steel. Strong decks Dream then whips him at the cage. Dream uses that to get up and climb! Strong grabs the legs, Dream ax handles him down! Strong flounders to a corner but Dream throws haymakers.
Dream whips Strong corner to corner hard as fans rally and duel. Strong gets up but Dream fireman’s carries. Strong fights out and throws big forearms and elbows. Dream clobbers Strong back then boots him! Strong is on the ropes, Dream runs in but Strong sends Dream into steel! Dream writhes on the mat as Strong storms over. Strong rains down hands then drags Dream back up. Strong puts Dream in a corner to CHOP and CHOP again. Dream hits back with more haymakers but Strong ROCKS him! Strong back suplexes Dream high and hard then takes off the shirt to throw it at Dream. Strong drags Dream up to CHOP again! “You did this! YOU did this!” Dream leans on the ropes as Strong unleashes the endless forearms!
Strong runs side to side and back again, hitting Dream each time he passes! Dream manages to turn Strong’s momentum into the steel! Strong comes back but Dream back drops Strong into the wall! Both men are down but Marina Shafir appears! She feeds Strong a kendo stick! The ref reprimands Marina but Strong takes the weapon for his own as NXT goes picture in picture.
Strong uses the kendo stick to stand up and then he hobbles over. Dream ducks the swing to ROCK Strong with a right hand! Strong clubs Dream back but Dream pushes him away. Dream uses the stick to SMACK Strong on the back, then the front! Then the back again! Strong backs off, begging for mercy, but Dream swivels his hips at him. Strong kicks Dream low! Dream falls and Strong clubs Dream down with haymakers! Dream flounders around, Strong ROCKS him over the ropes! Strong brings Dream up to push him into the steel then punch and throw him. Strong drags Dream back up to put on the top rope. He climbs up to push Dream through the gap and then JAM him!
Dream sways up top but Strong drags Dream back. Strong clubs Dream into the Tree of Woe to then stomp away! Strong climbs up and over Dream to start climbing up! He is almost at the top, swivels at Dream, then continues up. But Dream sits up and LOW BLOWS! NXT returns to single picture as Dream moves aside for Strong to flop down. Strong crawls as Dream adjusts and stands up. Dream poses before leaping, but he catches a boot! Dream turns Strong for the Boston Crab! Strong endures, has the ropes but ropebreaks don’t work here! Dream makes Strong suffer but Strong turns and pries free. Strong gets Dream now and wants the Strong Hold! Dream holds the ropes for as long as he can but Strong stands on him to complete the turn!
Dream endures, comes so close to tapping, but he turns Strong around to sit on a cover! TWO and Dream hits ropes. Dream still lifts Strong, but Strong holds the ropes. Dream dumps Strong down to dropkick him into steel! Fans rally and duel again as Dream dropkicks Strong more! Dream fakes Strong out to then SUPERKICK Strong down! Strong sputters as Dream shouts for the door! Dream hurries over, but Strong yanks him into the steel! Strong grabs the kendo stick but walks into a mule kick! Dream has the stick but walks into a boot! And enziguri! Strong uses the stick as part of a pump handle for a BACKBREAKER!
Dream writhes as Strong staggers about. Strong climbs the steel again but Dream hurries after! Dream pantses Strong! Dream climbs up but Strong rams him into the steel! Strong and Dream wobble up top, and they start brawling! Body shots and haymakers, but Dream rakes Strong’s eyes! Dream climbs up, Strong grabs at him, and hits a SUPER OLYMPIC SLAM!! Both men land hard and fans rally up. Strong crawls over to cover, TWO!! Dream still lives and Strong is furious! Strong crawls towards the door but Dream gives chase. Dream drags Strong away and leap frogs, but Strong drags him back! Strong leaps to get to the door but Dream hurries after him! They fight at the doorway and Strong elbows Dream away. But he walks into DREAM VALLEY!
Dream gets Strong back up, ANOTHER Dream Valley Driver! Dream flounders to a corner, climbs up top, then the very top of the cage. But here comes the rest of the Undisputed era! They have weapons, Dream has to jumps back down! Dream grabs the kendo stick to SMACK Fish as he climbs up the steel! Dream hurries to stop Kyle on the corner, and smashes Kyle off the steel! SUPERKICK sends Kyle down! But Cole has gotten in, only for Dream to THROW him down! Strong heads for the door! Dream hurries after Strong, grabs his pants, but then realizes he has Adam Cole all to himself. He shoves Strong out!!
Winner: Roderick Strong, by escape
Strong wins but Dream locks himself in with the NXT Champion! He has a bigger target in mind now! Dream and Cole brawl! Dream throws Cole into the steel, sending Kyle down! Then into Fish! Strong is climbing up again but Dream SMACKS him down! Dream SMACKS Cole then SMACKS away on Strong! FLYING KENDO ATTACK on Cole! Dream takes the chair Fish brought, blocks Cole’s kick and then catapults Cole into Strong! Strong is in a Tree of Woe, DREAM VALLEY DRIVER onto the chair for Adam Cole!! Dream sacrificed the battle for a chance at winning the war! Dream picks up the NXT Championship, shows it off to strong, and then gives Cole a BELT SHOT! Will the Experience take over NXT and end the Undisputed Era’s prophecy?
This was a really good episode right here! The Steel Cages book-ending the episode was very logical, even if it kinda takes the drama away from one story by having it parallel the other. They at least did a good job of making things different enough between the two matches, though not completely. As I’ve said before, steel cage matches are very cliche by now, especially in the WWE. Raquel was of course a factor for Dakota VS Tegan, so this story is going to continue towards Tampa. Chances are someone will join Tegan’s side, and probably Candice LeRae since she’s almost always lumped into other stories. Dream VS Strong was great because it now leads us to Dream VS Cole for the NXT Championship. The build alone is going to be great for NXT this month.
Next week will also be great with the two title matches. Grimes gets his shot now because he’s definitely not winning. Tampa is definitely going to have Lee VS Priest, possibly even a Triple Threat with Dijakovic involved. The rematch of Broserweights VS reDRagon is going to be great, too, but I feel like Grizzled Young Veterans gets involved. O’Reilly & Fish got their win against Lorcan & Burch so that they can lose next week, and then we get Broserweights VS GYV for Tampa. At the same time, NXT has always done great by the Tag Team Division for the big TakeOvers, so we could easily get a Triple Threat here, too. Rhea’s promo with her visiting Raymond James Stadium was good hype for the NXT Women’s Championship, but it’s still too early to say who wins there.
Theory VS Swerve was a great “filler” match, and it was amazing for Theory to get his first NXT win here. Gargano’s interview promo was perfectly passionate and scary, it really adds something new to the DIY Civil War. Shotzi VS Green was a really good qualifier for the Tampa contender’s match. I can’t wait to see who else the put in that match, though I sense we’ll be seeing some usual suspects, such as Mia Yim or Xia Li. I hope we get the return of Io Shirai to NXT TV, it’d go a long way to assuring us she’s sticking around. At the same time, with Toni Storm no longer able to challenge for the NXT UK Women’s Championship while Kay Lee Ray is champion, I’d love to see her make a big splash in this match. Either way, that match is going to be a lot of fun.
My Score: 9.1/10