NXT Champion Bobby Roode went from euphoric to asleep in a matter of seconds thanks to a powerful message delivered by Hideo Itami.
With his chin held high and the newly redesigned NXT Title strapped around his waist, Roode entered Full Sail University eager to brag about how he had “embarrassed” Shinsuke Nakamura at TakeOver: Orlando. But when The Glorious One declared that nobody deserves to be in “his” NXT, Itami — now fully recovered from a neck injury he suffered in October — charged the ring and smacked Roode across the face.
Roode removed his jacket and rolled up his sleeves before gunning toward Itami, but it didn’t matter: Itami still racked Roode onto his shoulders and knocked him out with the Go-To-Sleep. The internationally feared Superstar then picked up the NXT Title for a closer look, as NXT officials struggled for several minutes to peel an unconscious Roode off the mat.
If nightlife truly has become a distraction for Andrade “Cien” Almas, it wasn’t apparent in his performance against Danny Burch.
Amid growing speculation that too many of his waking hours are spent partying, Almas endured Burch’s rugged brand of combat and returned fire in kind. Burch splayed Cien’s fingers and slugged him viciously, but the ring veteran made the mistake of turning his back to Almas. The luchador pounced on this tactical error, striking Burch in the back of the skull before landing the double knees in the corner and a Hammerlock DDT for the victory.
Now, where’s the after-party?
After standing up to their bullies in an altercation last week at the WWE Performance Center, Liv Morgan & Aliyah hit Peyton Royce & Billie Kay where it really hurt: inside the ring.
Momentum shifted throughout the fast-paced tag team match. As NXT’s self-proclaimed “Iconic Duo” tried to cheat their way out of a pinning predicament via an illegal assist from Kay, Morgan zoomed across the ring and dropkicked Kay off the apron, allowing Aliyah to roll up Royce for the three-count. Shocked and outraged by their loss, Royce & Kay proceeded to throw a massive tantrum.
In his final match in NXT, Tye Dillinger risked it all — his NXT legacy, his body and, in turn, his future on SmackDown LIVE — to settle the score with Eric Young, one-on-one, inside a steel cage.
The lawless confines brought out a rarely seen aggression in the normally even-keeled Dillinger, but it also fit right in with Young’s reckless abandon, which the unhinged SAnitY member displayed when he launched himself off the top of the cage with an elbow drop. Young savored his upper hand for too long, however, and soon ate a Tye-Breaker from The Perfect 10.
Dillinger’s path to victory, an exit through the door, was seemingly clear until Young’s SAnitY cohorts, Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe and Nikki Cross, stormed the arena. Cross jumped on the back of a referee outside of the ring, freeing Dain to lock the door and prevent Dillinger’s escape. Their interference prompted Roderick Strong, Kassius Ohno and Ruby Riot to enter the scene and even the odds, sparking a huge brawl among the six Superstars.
Dain eventually broke into the cage, but Dillinger had an answer for his intrusion, soaring off the top of the structure with a crossbody block onto both the big Irishman and Young. Just as Wolfe scrambled over the top of the cage in a last-ditch effort to stop The Perfect 10, Dillinger lunged through the door to snare the win.
As one last parting shot, Dillinger locked SAnitY inside the cage before being hoisted onto the shoulders of Ohno and Strong, looking out over the NXT Universe as it showed its appreciation with chants of “Thank you, Tye.”
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Andrade Almas defeated Danny Burch (2:55)
- Aliyah & Liv Morgan defeated Billie Kay & Peyton Royce (3:13)
- Tye Dillinger defeated Eric Young in a Steel Cage Match (12:54)
Other on-screen talent