– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode opens on the USA Network with a video package of highlights from last week.
– We’re live from the NXT Arena at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida as Mauro Ranallo welcomes us. Mauro hypes the show and then sends us to the ring.
– Roderick Strong makes his way out and he’s all serious tonight. Fans chant for The Velveteen Dream now. Strong addresses Dream’s return last week and he wants to fight tonight.
Strong goes on and says this is about he and Dream, about how he put Strong’s wife and son on his gear. strong says that was so disrespectful and he should’ve known it wouldn’t take Dream long to cross the line and make it personal. Strong says he will hurt Dream and do something he will not regret. Strong demands an apology and fans boo. The music interrupts and out comes Bronson Reed instead. Reed says they have a problem for what happened last week, and they’re going to get it on.
Bronson Reed vs. Roderick Strong
Bronson Reed rushes the ring and here we go. Mauro is joined by Nigel McGuinness and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix. Roderick Strong fights back and they brawl around the ring to get things going. Back and forth between the two. They go into the corner. Strong with a big chop and more offense. Reed fights out with a headbutt.
Reed continues to overpower Strong around the ring. Reed with a big sideslam. Reed fights Strong back into a corner with another headbutt. Strong fights back with strikes. Strong with more chops now. Strong tries to mount Reed in the corner but Reed drops him. Reed pulls at Strong’s mouth against the ropes as the referee warns him. Fans chant for Reed as he continues to keep Strong down with big clubbing shots. Strong gets whipped hard into the corner and he goes down as fans cheer for Reed. Reed continues to focus on Strong’s back now, keeping him grounded. Reed with another big whip into the turnbuckles. Strong goes down but kicks out at 2.
Reed grounds Strong with a body lock now. Strong tries to fight back but Reed levels him again. Reed lifts Strong for a vertical suplex and holds him in the air for almost 30 seconds, turning it into a Brainbuster for a big pop. We go back to commercial with Reed in control.
Back from the break and they’re going at it. They trade shots in the middle of the ring but Reed continues to shut down Strong’s comeback attempts. Reed with a corner clothesline and a back splash in the corner for a close 2 count. More back and forth. Strong slides out of a move but Reed goes on and hits the King Kong lariat for a close 2 count.
Reed catches Strong in a big powerslam and then nails a senton. Reed drops his straps and goes to the top but Strong jumps up with a forearm to the head. Strong climbs up and they trade shots. Reed sends Strong down but he comes back with the enziguri. Strong climbs back up for the superplex and finally hits it as a “holy shit!” chant breaks out. Strong covers for a close 2 count. Reed goes out to re-group but Strong dropkicks him through the ropes.
Strong drops his knee pad and looks to go back in to put Reed away but The Velveteen Dream’s entrance looks to start up as the lights go low. The music didn’t hit but Dream’s presence is definitely there. Strong is distracted at ringside. He turns around to Reed hitting a big suicide dive on the floor. Reed brings Strong back in and goes to the top for the Frogsplash. Strong catches Reed on the way down with a big knee strike. Strong covers for the pin to win.
Winner: Roderick Strong
– After the match, Dream appears on the big screen as Strong stands tall in the ring. He brings up Strong’s wife, Marina Shafir, and shows how he has “Call Me Marina” on his tights. Dream goes on about how Strong took something from him. Strong may have lost the North American Title already, but he still has a family. Dream shows a photo of Strong’s wife and son on the big screen. Dream wonders what would happen if something happened to Strong. Dream promises that if something did happen to Strong, someone somewhere would make sure Shafir had all of her dreams fulfilled. Dream shows how he has Strong’s family painted on his tights again. Strong is furious as he storms out of the ring to the back.
– The announcers hype tonight’s show. Mauro leads us to a video of The BroserWeights, Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne, with their 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic trophy. Dunne says they can’t take the cup on a plane to get to “Takeover: Portland” and asks Riddle how they’re going to get it there. Riddle is thrilled to take a road trip, bro. We see footage from their road trip in a Ford Mustang but they end up pulled over by police. Riddle didn’t know Dunne didn’t have a driver’s license. Dunne asks how they’re going to get to Portland. Riddle says the three of them, the three best buds (Riddle, Dunne and the trophy), need to re-group and figure out how they will get there. To be continued, it says.
– Cathy Kelley is backstage with Angel Garza and he’s confident about tonight’s #1 contender’s match. Lio Rush interrupts and says he can’t stop thinking about losing his NXT Cruiserweight Title, and he’s hungrier and better now. Whether Garza likes it or not, he’s getting the title back. Rush walks off and Garza mocks him.
Candice LeRae vs. Dakota Kai
Back to the ring and out first comes Candice LeRae as Alicia Taylor does the introductions. Dakota Kai is out next. The bell rings and Kai goes right to work but it backfires as LeRae hits the Lung Blower.
More back and forth early on. LeRae sends Kai to the floor and then nails a suicide dive. Kai looks to come back but LeRae sends her back down to the floor. LeRae runs the ropes and flies out with a crossbody. Fans chant “one more time!” and LeRae delivers for a pop.
LeRae goes back in and runs the ropes for another dive, and she nails it. Fans pop for her again. LeRae brings it back in the ring and goes to the top. LeRae nails a missile dropkick for a close 2 count. Kai kicks LeRae back to the mat. Kai with a palm to the eyes to turn it back around. Kai with a knee to the nose. Kai puts a boot to LeRae in the corner now as the referee warns her. Kai continues to dominate LeRae while she’s down. They end up tangling on the top now. Kai kicks LeRae down and works her over on the apron as the referee warns again. Kai with a 2 count.
LeRae is really bleeding from her nose now as Kai works her over on the apron. Kai keeps control and yanks LeRae into the top of the ring post, shoulder-first. LeRae falls to the floor and clutches her shoulder as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and LeRae mounts offense. LeRae with a diving swinging neckbreaker. More back and forth now. LeRae with a big German suplex in the middle of the ring. LeRae applies husband Johnny Gargano’s GargaNo Escape submission in the middle of the ring. Fans pop and Kai screams out, crawling for the ropes. LeRae pulls her back away from the ropes again, but Kai pulls LeRae over out of nowhere, rolling her up for the pin to win.
Winner: Dakota Kai
– After the match, the music hits as Kai goes to the floor to celebrate and exit. LeRae is shocked. LeRae follows Kai around the ring but Kai sends h er face-first into the ring post. Kai then grabs the timekeeper’s bell and drives it into LeRae, sending her down. Tegan Nox suddenly attacks out of nowhere, dropping Kai and mounting her with strikes. Security and officials run down to break the fight up. Nox runs up the ramp and tackles Kai on the stage as they pull them apart again.
– The announcers show us footage of Johnny Gargano and Cameron Grimes arguing backstage at Sunday’s NXT live event in Riverside, CA. NXT General Manager William Regal has made that match for tonight. Back to commercial.
Johnny Gargano vs. Cameron Grimes
Back from the break and out comes Johnny Gargano to a pop, for his in-ring return at Full Sail. Cameron Grimes is out next.
The bell rings and they go back and forth to start. Fans are hot to start, doing dueling chants. They end up on the mat with a few minutes of mat wrestling. Gargano with offense while keeping Grimes grounded on the mat. Gargano goes for the GargaNo Escape now. Gargano keeps the submissions going while Grimes looks for the ropes. They get up and Grimes drops Gargano with a big knee to the gut.
Grimes keeps Gargano grounded by his arm now. Gargano comes back with a big kick and a hurricanrana. Grimes ends up on the outside. Gargano with a big boot from the apron. Gargano runs the apron and hits a big running cannonball to the floor for a big pop. Fans chant “Johnny Wrestling!” now. Gargano chops Grimes against the barrier now as fans cheer him on. Gargano with more big chops as fans “Wooo!” along with him. Gargano brings it back in but Grimes rocks him on the apron.
Gargano tries to fly in with a springboard DDT but Grimes blocks it. Grimes keeps the comeback going and levels Gargano with a big lariat. We go to commercial with Grimes in control.
Back from the break and they’re still going at it. Grimes whips Gargano hard into the corner, then catches him with a big German suplex. Gargano kicks out at 2. Gargano lands a big counter now. More back and forth as they trade shots. Gargano slams Grimes and kicks him in the head. Gargano charges and turns Grimes inside out with a clothesline. Fans pop as Grimes goes to the floor for a breather.
They bring it back in the ring and Gargano nails the slingshot Spear from the apron for a close 2 count. They trade more submissions and counters now. Grimes drives Gargano down with a tilt-a-whirl slam for another close pin attempt. They trade big strikes in the middle of the ring now. They run the ropes several times and collide in mid-air with crossbody attempts. Grimes covers for the pin attempt but he can’t get it. Fans chant “NXT!” now as we get a replay. Fans chant for Gargano as Grimes pounds on him. Gargano dodges a move and then hits a superkick. Grimes comes back with a superkick of his own. They tangle again until Gargano spikes Grimes with a big DDT. Gargano looks to put Grimes away but Grimes counters with a big kick to the head. More back and forth until Gargano counters and drops Grimes into a GargaNo Escape. Grimes quickly taps out.
Winner: Johnny Gargano
– Back from the break and Gargano’s music hits as we go to replays. Gargano speaks to the camera and has a few words for Finn Balor, hoping he was watching ahead of their “Takeover: Portland” match on Sunday.
– Cathy Kelley is backstage with NXT Champion Adam Cole. Roderick Strong is also there, pacing around because he’s upset. Cole says he will teach a lesson to Kushida tonight, and then teach one to Tommaso Ciampa at Takeover. Cole goes on and says his life is the NXT Title. He talks more about being champion and Ciampa, then dismisses Cathy.
– We get another segment with footage of Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne on a boat, with their Dusty Classic trophy. Riddle says they need to figure out how to get this thing to Portland. Dunne is a bit frustrated or maybe just disappointed. Riddle has an idea. Light bulb, bro! To be continued, it says. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see Robert Stone in a meeting room somewhere. He addresses Kayden Carter and her recent win over Chelsea Green, saying she won’t be so lucky again. Green goes on and says there will be a rematch next week, but not just a rematch, there will be a relaunch of The Robert Stone Brand. Green appears and says not just that, we will also see the resurgence of NXT’s best Superstar next week.
– Nigel confirms Roderick Strong vs. The Velveteen Dream for next Wednesday.
#1 Contender’s Match: Lio Rush vs. Angel Garza
We go to the ring and out first comes Lio Rush. The winner of this match will earn a future title shot from NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin. Angel Garza is out next. Mauro talks about how Garza has been helping Zelina Vega on RAW as of late.
The bell rings and Garza loses the pants early on. They go at it, back and forth early on. Garza blocks an early Come Up. Garza drops Rush with a big dropkick after they run the ropes on each other. More back and forth for a few minutes. Garza with more offense as Rush keeps trying. They end up on the floor as Garza dominates. Garza scoops Rush and rams him into the apron and the steel steps. Garza with a big kick to the back. Garza returns to the ring and leaves Rush out on the floor as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Rush nails a big suicide dive to Garza on the floor. Rush barely connects with a corkscrew senton from the apron to the floor. Rush brings it back in and they tangle but Garza kicks out at 2. More back and forth but Rush gets the upperhand again. Rush goes for the Come Up but it’s blocked again with a big dropkick to the back. Garza keeps control with a double underhook to drive Rush face-first into the mat.
They end up on the top and Rush unloads with headbutts. Rush goes on and hits a big super Crusher to the mat. Garza lands hard but rolls to the floor to avoid the pin. Fans chant “Lio!” as he goes to the top and nails a huge Final Hour Frogsplash on the floor. Rush hits it but Garza may have got some in the way. Fans chant “NXT!” as Rush brings it back in the ring. Rush goes for the Final Hour again but Garza gets his knees up. Rush kicks out at 2. Garza comes right back with a big superkick.
They tangle for just a second in the middle of the ring and Garza goes for the Wing Clipper but Rush rolls him up out of nowhere for the pin to win.
Winner and New #1 Contender: Lio Rush
– After the match, Rush celebrates as his music hits and we go to replays. Rush heads to the stage to pose but the music hits and out comes NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin. Devlin congratulates Rush and reveals that their title match will happen next Wednesday. They face off and Devlin says Rush will just become the next stop on the Jordan Devlin Cruiserweight Title Tour.
– The announcers announce NXT North American Champion Keith Lee for WWE Backstage on FS1 next week. Beth leads us to a video package on the “Takeover: Portland” title match between Dominik Dijakovic and Lee. The video is narrated by WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry, who previews the match and praises both big men.
– Back from the break and the announcers go over the Takeover card for Sunday in Portland.
Bianca Belair vs. Santana Garrett
We go to the ring and out first comes #1 contender Bianca Belair. Santana Garrett is out next.
The bell rings and Belair immediately runs through Garrett. Belair begins unloading with punches and stomps. Belair hits a back elbow springboard moonsault in the middle of the ring. Belair keeps control and hits a Glam Slam into the turnbuckles. Belair follows up and hits the KOD for the squash win.
Winner: Bianca Belair
– After the match, Belair stands tall as her music hits. Belair takes the mic and she’s not happy with NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley going to RAW to confront Charlotte Flair and wrestle Sarah Logan, acting like Belair doesn’t exist and like they don’t have a match at “Takeover: Portland” on Sunday. Belair issues a warning to Ripley about Sunday’s title match but the music interrupts and out comes Ripley to the ring. Ripley takes the mic and promises shes not looking past Belair, she’s looking right at her, and at Takeover on Sunday, she’s going to run right through Belair. Belair swings but Ripley dodges it. Belair continues and drops Ripley with the KOD in the middle of the ring. Belair stands over Ripley, dances and swings her hair around as her music hits. The announcers hype Belair vs. Ripley at Takeover.
– We get another look at The BruiserWeights trying to get the Dusty Classic trophy to Portland. Riddle has the bright idea of sneaking the cup onto a private jet. We see them pushing the trophy into a small luggage compartment near the back of the jet. Riddle shuts the door on them and Dunne wasn’t expecting that. The BruiserWeights are now locked in the luggage area of the jet. Dunne asks Riddle who this jet belongs to and we see Triple H walking across the runway. The BruiserWeights are headed to Portland, hiding in Triple H’s jet. Back to commercial, bro.
– Back from the break and we see an intense Tommaso Ciampa backstage. He talks about his last year and has some serious words for NXT Champion Adam Cole ahead of Sunday’s Takeover main event.
Adam Cole vs. Kushida
We go to the ring for tonight’s main event and out first comes NXT Champion Adam Cole for this non-title match. Kushida is out next, looking for revenge after The Undisputed Era dumped him into a trash can last week.
The bell rings and they lock up. Cole takes it to the ropes and slowly breaks but Kushida goes on the offensive, taking Cole down and grounding him. They tangle some and Cole rolls to the floor. Kushida with a dropkick through the ropes to send Cole back down. Mauro says Cole is on his own tonight as NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish are on the way to Portland and Roderick Strong is in no shape to help. Cole turns it around on the outside and whips Kushida into the barrier. Kushida ends up pulling Cole into an armbar on the floor as the referee counts.
Kushida brings it back in and comes off the top to deck Cole. Kushida works on the arm some more, sending Cole back down. Kushida with a big kick while Cole is on his knees. Kushida with more focus on the arm and another kick to keep Cole down. Cole blocks the same arm move and ends up on the apron. Kushida knocks Cole from the apron to the floor with a handspring. Cole counters but misses and then levels Kushida, dropping him on the floor. Cole clutches his arm as we go back to commercial with Kushida down on the floor.
Back from the break and Kushida runs over Cole with elbows in the ring. Kushida with a big handspring back elbow off the ropes. More back and forth now. Kushida with a big dropkick while fans chant his name.
Cole fights back and goes to the top again. Kushida with another handspring, this time into double knees while Cole is up top. Kushida goes to the top but Cole fights him down. Kushida runs back up but Kushida nails a big diving DDT into a cross armbreaker from the top. Fans pop big for the move. Cole goes right to the rope to break the hold. They’re both down now as the referee checks on them and fans rally.
Kushida charges and focuses on Cole’s hurt left arm again. They tangle and Kushida avoids a kick, then hits one of his own. Cole dodges the Hoverboard Lock and then nails a Shining Wizard for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. They go on and trade big strikes in the middle of the ring. Kushida with kicks. Cole rocks Kushida but runs into a forearm. Cole with a bicycle kick. Kushida with more offense. Cole comes back with the Ushigoroshi. Cole drives Kushida down again but Kushida kicks out at 2.
Cole misses the Last Shot. Cole blocks the Okada Roll with a big kick for another close 2 count. More back and forth as fans rally for both. Cole goes up for a Panama Sunrise but Kushida counters and catches him with the Hoverboard Lock. Cole looks to break the hold but Kushida re-positions and tightens up. Cole resists as the referee checks on him. More back and forth with pin attempts now. They finally get up and Kushida kicks Cole back into the ropes. Kushida with the Kawada Kicks to the head now. Kushida ends up going for one more handspring attack but Cole levels him with a kick for another close 2 count. Cole comes right back with the Last Shot for the pin to win.
Winner: Adam Cole
– After the match, the music hits as Cole takes his title and stands tall. We go to replays. Cole has his arm raised and poses with the NXT Title as Mauro marks the 256th day of this title reign. The music interrupts and out comes Tommaso Ciampa. Cole stares Ciampa down from the ring as he slowly marches down the ramp. Ciampa takes his time but finally enters the ring as Cole looks on. The music stops and some fans are chanting for Cole. Fans chant “Psycho Killer” louder for Ciampa now. Ciampa circles Cole and stares at the title on his shoulder. They face off in the middle of the ring with Cole holding the title next to their heads. Ciampa says he will take his life back at “Takeover: Portland” on Sunday. Cole says that will happen, over his dead body. The “Takeover: Portland” go-home edition of NXT goes off the air with challenger and champion facing off in the middle of the ring.