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On the last stop to NXT TakeOver: Portland, we will set the card in stone and see who can gain momentum ahead of some of the biggest matches in NXT history this Saturday.
First up on the docket, former NXT Cruiserweight Champions Lio Rush and Angel Garza will renew hostilities tonight as they go one-on-one to determine the #1 contender for Jordan Devlin’s NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
Dakota Kai will look to gain momentum heading into her street fight with Tegan Nox when she takes on another former friend Candice LeRae. LeRae is looking to punish Kai for her misdeeds, but will Kai’s underhanded tactics allow her to get the better or LeRae?
Japanese sensation Kushida will look for retribution against NXT Champion Adam Cole tonight. Kushdia was just one of the many NXT superstars humiliated by Undisputed Era last week when they went on tear backstage looking for Tommaso Ciampa. Kushida will look to get some revenge on the NXT Champion tonight.
Johnny Gargano has reportedly requested a match against Cameron Grimes, and William Regal has granted the match. Gargano is looking to return to his winning ways before one of the biggest matches of his life, a match against The Prince Finn Balor.
Also on the show tonight, we will see the fallout of Velveteen Dream’s surprise return last week and the wrench that his presence has thrown into things. How will his return affect the card for NXT TakeOver: Portland? We will see tonight.
All of this and more will happen tonight as we head into NXT TakeOver: Portland, and we will cover all of the action on the last stop tonight when NXT goes live at 8:00 PM EST!
Mauro Ranallo tells us about Kushida vs. Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano versus Cameron Grimes both on the card for tonight.
Roderick Strong storms down to the ring and wastes no time getting on the mic. Strong says that he isn’t talking about Undisputed Era or the North American Championship, but he is talking about Velveteen Dream. He says that Dream made it personal and he demands an apology.
Instead of Velveteen Dream, Bronson Reed comes down and storms the ring, saying that he wants to fight Strong, and the match is on.
Roderick Strong vs. Bronson Reed
Reed is a house of fire, taking down strong with power slams, strikes, and elbows. Strong is able to catch Reed with a kick and a series of strikes, but Reed won’t go down. Strong chops at Reed in the corner, but Reed takes down Strong with a headbutt.
Reed chops at Strong, but Strong returns chops of his own until Reed gets the upper hand again, hitting a sidewalk slam on Roderick Strong. Bronson Reed wraps Strong’s shirt over his head and wrenches on Reed’s head. Strong is blind but gets to the corner and gets a moment of respite to completely remove his shirt and get the advantage on Reed.
Strong corners Reed, but Reed hits Strong with a headbutt again, gaining some room to move out of the corner. Reed throws down Strong and clubs his back before whipping him hard into the corners. Reed covers Strong, but Strong kicks out at 2.
Reed locks in a bear hug on Strong’s midsection as both men sit on the mat. Strong is able to break the hold, but Reed takes Strong down with an elbow again. Reed hits Strong with a delayed vertical suplex. Strong retreats into the corner and Reed runs at Strong but Strong escapes to the outside. Reed stops himself and goes to the outside, diving onto Strong, and we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, and Reed hits a back suplex on Roderick Strong. Reed strikes Strong and hits him with an atomic drop, Strong retreats to a corner again, and Reed splashes into him in the corner. Strong goes down and Reed pins him for 2.
Reed goes for a suplex, but Strong escapes and strikes Reed in the back. Reed catches Strong with a lariat and turns him inside out, covering him for 2 again. Strong hits a mule kick on Reed, but Reed hits a power slam on Strong, then a senton. Reed goes to the top turnbuckle, but Strong cuts him off at the top and follows him to the top rope.
Strong goes for a superplex, but Reed throws him down. Strong hits Reed with a step-up enziguri, then hits the superplex on Reed, covering him for a 2 count. Reed escapes the ring and Strong hits a wrecking ball dropkick on Reed and goes to the outside. Strong tosses Reed back in the ring, but the lights turn purple and Strong is distracted.
Reed capitalizes on the distraction and hits a tope on Strong, then tosses him back in the ring. Reed goes to the top turnbuckle and goes to dive on Strong, but Strong catches Reed with a knee to the face and pins him for the three count.
Winner: Roderick Strong
While Roderick Strong celebrates in-ring, Velveteen Dream appears on the screen and talks about how Undisputed Era tried to take his career from him and asks how Strong would like it if something happened to Strong’s family. Dream then shows a picture of Strong’s wife and child with Velveteen Dream on his tights, and Strong is furious. Dream’s video cuts out and we move on.
Mauro Ranallo tosses to a video package of The BroserWeights, and we get a comedy sketch of Dunne and Riddle going on a road trip to Portland so that they can take the trophy with them instead of having to bring it on a flight. This is presumably the first part in a series of sketches about them getting to Portland, as this video ends with their car getting towed and Dunne asks Riddle, “How are we getting to Portland?” Then, we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, and Cathy Kelley is interviewing Angel Garza backstage about his match with Rush and Rush interrupts the interview, saying that he is not the same guy that Garza beat for the championship, but Garza seems unconcerned.
Candice LeRae vs. Dakota Kai
Kai immediately goes for a bicycle kick, but Candice dodges. Candice tries to splash into Kai in the corner, but Kai moves and hits a kick to Candice’s face. Candice returns with a kick of her own. Kai escapes to the outside, and Candice hits a series of topes on Kai on the outside, throwing Kai’s back into the barricade.
Candice gets Kai back in the ring and hits a missile dropkick from the top rope, covering Kai for two. Kai throws Candice into the middle rope, then gets on the apron and kicks Candice in the face. Kai gets Candice in a corner and pushes her boot into Candice’s face and head.
The refer forces Kai to back up and give Candice space in the corner, and Candice hits Kai, giving herself some space. Candice goes to the top rope, but Kai follows and tries to superplex LeRae to the outside of the ring. Instead, Kai falls to the apron and kicks LeRae off of the top turnbuckle, covering LeRae for 2.Kai once again goes for a kick to Candice’s face from the apron, but LeRae dodges. Instead, Kai grabs Candice’s arm and pulls her shoulder-first into the ring post. Candice falls to the outside of the ring and we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, and LeRae gets Kai to the middle rope and hits a swinging neckbreaker on Kai. LeRae goes for a moonsault, but Kai evades. Kai tries to kick Candice, but Candice hits a german suplex on Kai and locks in the Gargano escape on Kai, but Kai turns it into a pinfall rollup, getting the three count surprise pinfall victory.
Winner: Dakota Kai
After the match, Candice chases down Kai, but Kai throw’s LeRae’s face into the ring bell, then grabs the bell and hits LeRae in the midsection.
Kai stalks LeRae and looks like she will hit her again, but Tegan Nox comes from nowhere and ambushes Kai. Nox continues to strike away at Kai until security separates them.
We see a video backstage of Johnny Gargano and Cameron Grimes getting in each other’s faces at the performance center, and we are told that Grimes vs. Gargano is up next. But first, a commercial.
Back from commercial, and we head straight into the next match.
Johnny Gargano vs. Cameron Grimes
Grimes hits Gargano with a waistlock takedown early, but Gargano hits a snapmare and creates separation. Gargano goes straight for Grimes legs and goes for a submission hold. Grimes gets to the ropes and forces a break.
Grimes takes down Gargano again, but Gargano again locks in a front chancery and gets the upper hand. Grimes and Gargano get to a vertical base, but Gargano keeps the upper hand with a fast pace, locking in a Gargano Escape. Grimes tries to roll the Gargano Escape into a pinfall, but Gargano rolls through and locks it in again.
Grimes escapes and Gargano runs the ropes until Grimes catches him with a knee to the midsection. Grimes wrenches on Gargano’s arm and forces him to the mat. Gargano gets to his feet and sends Grimes to the outside. Gargano gets to the apron and hits Grimes with a kick to the face, then a cannonball senton from the apron onto Grimes.
Gargano chops away at Grimes’s chest on the outside, then tosses Grimes into the ring. Gargano goes for his slingshot DDT, but Grimes blocks it and takes Gargano down, and we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, and Grimes hits Gargano with a german suplex, bridging into a pinfall attempt for two. Gargano escapes to the apron and tries for his slingshot spear, but Grimes blocks him. Gargano strikes away at Grimes, sending him down to the mat and kicks him in the face.
Gargano catches Grimes with a lariat, turning him inside out and Grimes escapes the ring. Grimes walks around the ring and gets back in, but Gargano hits the slingshot spear, pinning him for two. Gargano goes for a roundhouse kick, but Grimes avoids and goes for a powerbomb. Gargano reverses into a rollup, but Grimes kicks out and hits another powerslam of his own, pinning Gargano for two.
Gargano catches Grimes with an enziguri and runs the ropes, but Grimes catches Gargano and hits him with a Spanish fly for a very close two count. Grimes strikes away at Gargano’s face, but Gargano gets to his feet, catching Grimes with a superkick. Grimes delivers his own superkick and goes for a powerslam, but Gargano reverses it into a DDT.
Gargano goes to his corner and goes for his #DIY superkick, but Grimes blocks it. Grimes goes for the Cave In, but Gargano avoids it and catches Grimes in a Gargano Escape. Grimes submits almost immediately, and Gargano picks up the victory.
Winner: Johnny Gargano
Gargano stares into the camera and calls out Finn Balor: “I hope you’re watching. This Sunday, in Portland, I’ll show you exactly why I am what they say I am. Johnny Wrestling.”
Backstage, Cathy Kelley is interviewing Adam Cole about his match with Kushida later tonight, but Cole wants to talk about Tommaso Ciampa. Cole says that, while Ciampa is willing to do a lot to win the championship, but Cole says that he will do anything that it takes to keep the championship.
We get another BroserWeights skit about them trying to get to Portland, then we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, and Robert Stone and Chelsea Greene cut a promo, saying that they will be on NXT next week. Also next week, Roderick Strong and Velveteen Dream will face off.
Lio Rush vs. Angel Garza for the #1 Contendership for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship
Garza wastes not time in removing his pants early, but Rush is not phased and goes for a Come Up early. Garza avoids it and both men run the ropes until Garza catches Rush with a dropkick to the face.
In the corner, Garza lays a chop into Rush, then hits a pop up knee strike on Garza puts Rush in the Tree of Woe and hits a knee to the midsection, then covers Lio Rush for a 1 count.
Garza and Rush end up on the apron. Garza kicks at Rush’s face, sending him to the ground, then clubs away at his back. Garza goes for a piledriver or powerbomb on the apron, but Rush blocks and kicks Garza off the apron. Rush tries to run at Garza, but Garza catches him and sends him back-first into the apron and the steel steps, then we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, and Rush hits a tope on Angel Garza. Rush hits a corkscrew senton on Garza to the outside and then toss Garza back in the ring. Rush kicks Garza in the head and goes for a pin, but only gets a 2 count.
Rush kicks away at Garza’s chest, but Garza blocks them. Garza and Rush trade kicks and knees. Rush goes for the Come Up, but Garza hits Rush with knees to the back, blocking it. Garza hits Rush with a double underhook powerbomb into a two count.
Rush and Garza are on the middle rope and Garza goes for an avalanche Wingclipper, but Rush blocks and hits an avalanche crusher on Angel Garza, but Garza rolls out of the ring before Rush can cover him. Rush goes to the top rope and hits a Final Hour Frogsplash to the outside.
Rush gets Garza back in the ring and goes to the top rope again. Rush tries to hit a Final Hour Frogsplash again, but Garza gets the knees up and then catches Rush with a superkick. Garza picks up Lio Rush and tries to hit a Wingclipper, but Rush blocks it and rolls up Angel Garza for a pinfall win.
Winner: Lio Rush
As Lio Rush celebrates at the top of the ramp, Jordan Devlin comes out and confronts Rush. Devlin congratulates Rush on his victory but says that Rush doesn’t stand a chance. The match between Rush and Devlin is set for next week on NXT television.
We get a video package narrated by Mark Henry about big men, hyping up the match between Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic. After this video package, we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, and Ranallo, McGuiness, and Phoenix go over the card for NXT TakeOver: Portland.
Bianca Belair vs. Santana Garrett
Belair takes down Garrett immediately, kicking and stomping away at her. Belair picks up Garrett and drops her facefirst on the top turnbuckle and then hits the K.O.D., pinning Garrett for the quick victory.
Winner: Bianca Belair
Belair gets a mic and is upset about how Rhea Ripley is acting like Belair isn’t a threat. Belair says that she will walk out of Portland as the new champion, but Rhea Ripley’s music hits and she comes down to the ring, looking severely unimpressed.
Ripley says that she is not looking past Belair, and she is telling her that she is going to go through Belair in Portland. They briefly brawl, but Belair hits Ripley with a K.O.D., and celebrates over her in the ring.
Up next, Kushida will take on NXT Champion Adam Cole in a non-title match.
Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle are once again shown transporting their Dusty Cup via plane ride, and then we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, and Tommaso Ciampa is backstage watching a video of himself having to surrender the NXT Championship. Ciampa ruminates on his missed opportunities and how the NXT Championship is nearly in his grasp. Ciampa asks what if Adam Cole wins, but also asks what if Ciampa just wants the belt a little bit more. Ciampa says that a man is most dangerous when he has nothing to lose and says, “If you look into my eyes, you’ll know exactly how true that is.”
NXT Champion Adam Cole vs. Kushida (Non-Title Match)
Cole and Kushida wrap up early on, but Cole has the upper hand clearly. Kushida gets the opportunity to toss Cole to the ground and tries to kick Cole in the head, but Cole evades and goes outside the ring. Kushida follows, but Cole tosses him into the steps.
Cole gets back in the ring and breaks the ring count, then tries to dive on Kushida from the apron. Kushdia catches Adam Cole, though, and locks in the armbar, but Kushida is forced to release the hold due to the impending count-out.
Back in the ring, Kushida sends Cole to the outside again and goes for a sliding dropkick, but Cole sidesteps it and then delivers a kick of his own and we go to commercial.
Back from commercial and Kushida hits a handspring back elbow on Adam Cole, then a dropkick. Cole gets to the apron and Kushida tries to slam his face into a turnbuckle, but Cole blocks it and slams Kushida’s face first instead. Cole goes to the top turnbuckle, but Kushida jumps up and hits a leaping DDT on Cole from the top rope. Kushida goes for the armbar, but Cole reaches the bottom rope, forcing a break.
Kushida kicks away at Adam Cole’s arm and goes for the armbar once again, but Cole evades and hits a shining wizard on Kushida for a 2 count. Cole and Kushida trade strikes and kicks. Cole runs the ropes, but Kushida grounds his momentum to a halt. Cole hits two ushigoroshis on Kushida and pins him for two.
Cole sets up for the Last Shot, but Kushida does not let it happen. Instead, Cole hits Kushida with a superkick on Kushida, pinning him for two once again. Cole goes for Panama Sunrise, but Kushida blocks it and locks in the Hoverboard Lock. Cole rolls up Kushida into a pinfall attempt while in the Hoverboard Lock, forcing a break.
Kushida hits a Pele kick on Cole. Kushida kicks away at Cole’s head and goes for a back handspring again, but Cole kicks Kushida in the body and pins him, getting a two count. Cole immediately follows this up with a Last Shot, pinning Kushida for the pinfall victory.
Winner: Adam Cole
Adam Cole celebrates in the ring, but Tommaso Ciampa’s music hits and Ciampa stares down Cole as Ciampa comes down to the ring. Ciampa slowly walks around the ring before entering. Ciampa’s eyes never leave Cole and Goldie, but mostly Goldie. Ciampa stares down Cole and says, “At TakeOver: Portland, I take my life back.” Cole responds with, “Over my dead body.” Then, NXT goes off the air.