Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of WWE NXT. Please keep refreshing throughout the show for constant updates once it kicks off at 8:00 PM EST.
Tonight’s episode of NXT may be the most highly anticipated edition of the empty arena era for the black and gold brand. Not only are two titles going to be defended tonight, but we will also see the in-ring debut of a highly anticipated new NXT star. Let’s look at the card.
First up, in Charlotte Flair’s second NXT television match since becoming NXT Women’s Champion, she will defend her championship against the #1 contender to her title, Io Shirai. Shirai became #1 contender after winning a ladder match last month and she will finally get her hands on The Queen in an NXT ring tonight.
The other title match on the cards for tonight is Adam Cole defending his NXT Championship against Velveteen Dream. Cole has run from Dream for weeks, making him run through test after test, and after overcoming every challenge put in front of him, Dream will finally get his title match. Will Adam Cole’s reign continue, or will it finally be Dream Over for the leader of The Undisputed Era?
Also on the card tonight, Dominik Dijakovic took umbrage with Johnny Gargano’s statement from a few weeks ago, and he called out Johnny Wrestling for this week’s edition of NXT. In his first match since defeating Tommaso Ciampa, will the Rebel Heart fall to Dijakovic, or will Dijakovic learn about The Johnny Gargano Way?
Moving from in-ring action to other events on the card, The Prince returns to NXT tonight and he will announce his future plans following the surprise attack from two weeks ago that took him out of his match with Velveteen Dream. With Imperium seemingly occupied with Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher, who could have taken out Balor? Finn Balor will be on NXT tonight to seek vengeance against his attacker.
Perhaps his attacker is a new star that fans haven’t seen yet. A new star like Karrion Kross, who, along with his manager Scarlett, is set to debut tonight. We do not know what form his in-ring debut will make, but Kross is scheduled for his first NXT in-ring competition tonight, and maybe his debut is linked to the disappearance of Finn Balor? We will find out tonight.
With all of these matches set for NXT television, this feels like a lineup for an NXT TakeOver event, making tonight’s episode a must-see. We will begin coverage when NXT goes live tonight at 8:00 PM, EST!
We get two video packages hyping up the two title matches on the card for tonight. Also, there’s a small nod towards Karrion Kross’s debut tonight.
Mauro Ranallo and Beth Phoenix are on commentary tonight, and we go right into a match.
Johnny Gargano vs. Dominik Dijakovic
Gargano has new music and a new motto: “All heart. No soul.” Candice LeRae is conspicuous by her absence. Will she come out and be involved later in the match tonight?
The match begins with Gargano trash talking and using devious tactics to get the upperhand on Dijakovic. Gargano kicks at Dijakovic’s legs, but Dijakovic catches a kick and grounds Gargano with a punch to the chest.
Dijakovic chases Gargano around the ring, pinning him in a corner with a series of strikes. Dijakovic kicks away at Gargano, then hits a knee to the midsection before tossing him aside, covering him for two.
Dijakovic remains in control of Gargano, whipping him around the ring. Gargano gets a bit of an upperhand, hitting a chop block on Dijakovic, then goes in with a series of punches to the head. Gargano kicks at Dijakovic’s head and arms until the ref forces him to back up.
Gargano hits Dijakovic with elbows to the head, then forearm strikes to the face. Gargano goes for a discuss forearm, but Dijakovic lands a discuss clothesline of his own, getting the advantage back. Dijakovic picks up Gargano for a suplex and tosses him across the ring, then covers him for two.
Dijakovic brings Gargano to his feet, then strikes away at him, tossing him around the ring. Dijakovic gets Gargano in the corner and strikes away. Candice LeRae comes down to the ring during Dijakovic’s onslaught. Dijakovic tells Candice that this match is none of her business.
During the distraction, Gargano tips Dijakovic over the top rope and sends him to the ground. Then, he follows up with a tope dive onto Dijakovic on the outside. Candice rushes to his side to check on him as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, Gargano has a headlock in on Dijakovic in the ring. Dijakovic fights him off, then strikes away at Dijakovic’s midsection. Dijakovic comes back with forearm strikes. Gargano catches a kick from Dijakovic and runs the ropes, but Dijakovic lands a Cyclone Kick on Gargano, covering him for two.
Candice grabs Gargano’s hands to try and stop Dijakovic from dragging Gargano to the middle of the ring. Dijakovic is able to pull Gargano and slam him down. Gargano rolls up Dijakovic for two, then goes for a superkick. Dijakovic catches the kick and goes for a Feast Your Eyes. Gargano blocks and kicks Dijakovic’s injured knee, then covers him for two.
Candice gets on the apron and distracts the ref. Gargano tries to remove the turnbuckle padding. The ref puts it back, and Dijakovic catches Gargano and hits a chokeslam bomb, covering Gargano for two.
Dijakovic goes to climb the top rope, but Gargano stops him and goes for a sunset flip on Dijakovic. Dijakovic blocks it and flips from the top rope, but he lands on his bad knee. Gargano runs at him, but Dijakovic catches him with a superkick. Dijakovic gets Gargano in the corner. Dijakovic goes for a Feast Your Eyes from the corner. Gargano takes the turnbuckle pad from the turnbuckle while Dijakovic is trying to get Gargano out of the corner.
Dijakovic sets up Gargano for a powerbomb, but Gargano punches at Dijakovic’s head and sends Dijakovic face first into the exposed corner. Gargano hits a dazed Dijakovic with his slingshot DDT, which is now called One Final Beat. Gargano covers Dijakovic for three.
Winner: Johnny Gargano
Gargano and Candice celebrate in the ring.
We get a recap of Imperium attacking Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher from last week.
We see a backstage promo from Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner where they talk about why they are coming for Riddle and Thatcher, officially challenging Riddle and Thatcher for the NXT Tag Team Titles.
We are told that Jack Gallagher will take on Akira Tozawa in the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament after this commercial break.
Back from commercial, Io Shirai is shown backstage getting prepared for her NXT Women’s Championship match against Charlotte Flair later tonight.
Akira Tozawa vs. Jack Gallagher
Gallagher stares down Tozawa. Gallagher and Tozawa both try to outspeed each other, with Gallagher hitting a Samoan Drop on Tozawa, and Tozawa hitting a German suplex on Gallagher.
Tozawa goes to the top rope early and signals for his 450. Gallagher rolls out of the ring, so Tozawa drops to the mat and goes to hit a dive on Gallagher on the outside. Gallagher catches Tozawa with a forearm to the face when Tozawa goes to dive, stopping Tozawa cold.
Back in the ring, Gallgher manipulates Tozawa’s wrist, but Tozawa gets to his feet and hits a frankensteiner on Gallagher. They both get back to their feet, with Gallagher locking in a headlock. Tozawa forces both men over the top rope and to the outside.
Gallagher and Tozawa fight on the apron. Gallagher tries to hit a power slam on Tozawa on the apron, but TOzawa reverses into a DDT on the apron on Gallagher. Back in the ring, Tozawa hits a senton from the top rope on Gallagher for the three count.
Winner: Akira Tozawa
We are reminded about Finn Balor being in the arena tonight to address his attacker and the title match between Velveteen Dream and Adam Cole. Then, we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, we see how WWE and other sports organizations are are participating in The Real Heroes Project.
Charlotte is shown backstage, getting ready for her NXT Women’s Championship match.
Xia Li vs. Chelsea Green (w/ Robert Stone)
Chelsea Green uses her decorative skirt to throw at Le and try to get the advantage. It doesn’t work, as Li is able to take the upper hand with a snapmare and a clotheline. Li grounds Green with a series of kicks.
Suddenly Aliyah is outside the ring, trying to interfere against Li. Aliyah goes to get in the ring, but Li attacks her and sends her back to the outside. Green takes advantage of the distraction, hits the Imprettier, then covers her or three.
Winner: Xia Li
After the match, a grounded Aliyah is offered a hand by Robert Stone. Aliyah accepts and gets to her feet, with the implication that Robert Stone may be trying to recruit Aliyah into the Robert Stone brand.
Velveteen Dram is backstage, saying that the time is coming for the two of them to clash. Dream tells Cole that it is dream over for Cole.
Karrion Kross and Scarlett will have their in-ring debut right after this commercial break.
Back from commcerial, and we head right into Karrion Kross’s debut.
Karrion Kross (w/ Scarlett) vs. Leon Ruff
Kross hits two Doomsday Saitos, dropping Ruff on his head with them. He locks in the Kross Jacket, and Ruff taps out immediately.
Winner: Karrion Kross
We see a hype package for the NXT Women’s Championship match between Charlotte Flair and Io Shirai for later tonight.
Backstage, Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher are interviewed backstage about Imperium attacking them last week and asking for an NXT Tag Team Championship match. Riddle and Thatcher agree that they are ready to take Imperium on.
NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Io Shirai for the NXT Women’s Championship
Shirai and Flair stalk each other, then lock up. Flair gets Io in a headlock, getting her to her knees. Shirai fights out, but Charlotte takes Shirai down with a shoulder tackle. Shirai uses her speed to get the upper hand on Flair and Flair mockingly applauds her.
Charlotte gets in a Figure Four headscissors on Io, but eventually releases the hold. Charlotte lays into Shirai with chops, and Charlotte doesn’t let up, continuing to lay into her. Shirai goes for a sunset flip, but Flair blocks it.
Shirai chases Charlotte with a series of punches and kicks to Charlotte. Charlotte takes down Shirai with a kick and a clothesline. Shirai rolls out of the ring and Charlotte is in the ring as we go to commercial break.
Back from commercial and Io hits a springboard dropkick on Charlotte from the apron. Io runs at Charlotte in the corner, but Charlotte takes out Shirai with an elbow. Charlotte goes to the middle rope, but Shirai stops her and hits a hurricanrana on Charlotte from the top rope, then covers Charlotte for two.
Both women are back to their feet, and Charlotte hits a backbreaker on Shirai, then sends her face first into the middle turnbuckle. Charlotte goes to the top rope and goes for a moonsault, but Shirai rolls out of the way. Shirai hits Charlotte with a Tiger Kick, then knees to the face in the corner. Shirai covers Charlotte for two.
Shirai goes for a moonsault, but Charlotte gets her knees up. Charlotte follows it up almost immediately with a Big Boot, then uses a matchbook cover on Shirai, but Shirai still kicks out at two.
Charlotte picks up Shirai for a powerbomb, but Shirai is able to hit another hurricanrana, sending Charlotte face first into the corner. Charlotte rolls to the outside. Shirai goes for a moonsault from the top rope to Charlotte on the outside. Charlotte moves out of the way, grabs a kendo stick and attacks Shirai with it, causinga disqualificaiton.
Winner: Io Shirai
Charlotte continues the assault on Shirai, attacking Io’s surgically repaired knee. Charlotte tries to use the steel steps on Shirai, but Rhea Ripley comes from the back and saves her. Rhea Ripley chases Charlotte off, with Charlotte escaping with her title.
Io berates Rhea in Japanese, seeming to be not very thankful to Rhea for saving her. Rhea tells her to shut up and exits the ring. Shirai follows her, continuing to yell at her as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial and Rhea Ripley is interviewed backstage about how she wants a rematch with Charlotte. Io Shirai attacks her from behind and the two have a pull-apart brawl outside.
Adam Cole is shown getting ready backstage without the rest of the Undisputed Era.
Kushida vs. Jake Atlas
Kushida hits a body lock on Atlas and goes for a test of strength, but quickly avoids it when he thinks Atlas has the strength advantage. Atlas runs the ropes and hits a handstand, but Kushdia kicks Atlas’s arm out from under him. Atlas goes to the outside, and Kushida hits a senton from the top rope to Atlas on the outside.
Kushida gets Atlas back in the ring, then takes him down with a hip toss/basement dropkick combo. Atlas goes to the corner, and Kushida hits Atlas with a huge palm strike. Atlas hits Kushdia with a pump kick, then a German suplex and a step-up enziguri, covering Kushida for two.
Kushida goes for a clothesline, but Atlas hits a backflip avoiding it, then hits a neckbreaker on Kushida. Kushdia goes to the outside and Atlas hits a dive onto Kushdia on the outside. Atlas rolls Kushdia into the ring and goes for a springboard maneuver, but Kushida catches Atlas with an armbar in midair, making Atlas tap out almost immediately.
Up next, Finn Balor will speak about his next move following his attack from two weeks ago, right after this commercial break.
Back from commercial, and Finn Balor’s music hits. Balor steps up to a podium at the top of the entrance ramp. Balor says that he used to think the biggest snakes in the business were the ones in the office. He says that the way to get pushed in the business is by attacking “The Guy.”
Balor says that, once you’re in the ring with The Prince, there is nowhere to hide. Balor says that he is patient, but the person who attacked him won’t get pushed, they’ll get squashed.
We are told that Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher will defend the NXT Tag Team Championships against Imperium next week.
Cameron Grimes vs. Denzel Dejournette
Grimes goes for a Cave In immediately, but Denzel avoids it and hits a German suplex on Grimes. Dejournette stands across from him and taunts him, but Grimes goes for a Cave In the second time and connects, covering him for the victory.
Winner: Cameron Grimes
Grimes gets on the mic after the match, saying that he deserves more than what he is getting. He calls out Finn Balor and says the things that he would do to Finn Balor if he was the one that attacked him.
Balor comes out and challenges Grimes to act on his words. Grimes starts to walk away, but Balor grabs his arm and pulls him back in the ring. Grimes tries to attack Balor, but Balor hits a double foot stomp on Grimes and then a slingblade. Grimes rolls out of the ring.
Balor stares down the camera and says, “There is a snake hiding in the tall grass back there. And the best way to kill a snake? Chop off its head.” Balor leaves the ring and walks to the back.
We get a video package hyping up the match between Velveteen Dream and Adam Cole for the NXT Championship.
Back from commercial, and we are told that Cameron Grimes and Finn Balor will face off against each other next week.
NXT Champion Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream for the NXT Championship
Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong are notable by their absence, just as Candice LeRae was for Johnny Gargano at the start of the show.
Dream and Cole size each other up, with Velveteen Dream trying to play mind games, but Dream quickly slaps Cole hard and brings the match to the outside. Dream tosses Cole into the steel steps, then tosses Cole back in the ring, but Cole catches Dream with two superkicks. Cole goes for the Last Shot, but Dream catches Cole and hits a spinebuster, covering Cole for two.
Cole goes to the middle rope, but Dream follows, looking for a Dream Valley Drive from the top rope. Cole falls to the apron, and Dream drops Cole on the top rope face first back to the apron. Cole gets to the second turn buckle and goes for Panama Sunrise. Dream catches him and hits a reverse STO into a DreamDT, covering Cole for two. Then, we go to commercial.
Back from commercial and Dream is striking away at Cole in the corner. Cole kicks at Dream’s legs, dropping him to the mat. Cole trash talks Dream from across the ring, but Dram hits Cole with a series of lariats. Dream goes back to striking at Cole, then hits a diving crossbody, covering Cole for two.
Dream gets Cole in position for a Dream Valley Driver, but Cole escapes. Dream hits a superkick on Cole, covering him for two. Dream goes to the top rope and dives, but Cole evades. Cole catches Dream with a big boot and a backstabber, covering Dream for two.
Cole gets Dream in a fireman’s carry, but Dram escapes and hits Cole with an uppercut. Cole hits a step-up enziguri on Dream, then an Ushigoroshi, covering Dream for two. Cole continues to talk smack to Dream, but Dream fights back. Cole sends Dream out of the ring to the outside. Dream goes to the top turnbuckle and dives, but Cole hits Dream with a superkick.
Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong come down the ramp to potentially help Cole, but Dexter Lumis appears from under the ring and stops them from interfering. Lumis tosses Strong into the referee. Dream hits the Purple Rainmaker on Cole, then covers Cole, but the ref is not aware enough to count the pin.
Dream dives onto Fish and Strong on the outside, then he gets back in the ring. Cole catches Dream with a superkick and then a Last Shot, covering Dream for the three count.
Winner: Adam Cole
Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Roderick Strong stand at the top of the ramp, posing, as Dream stares on from inside the ring, and NXT goes off the air.