With Eric Young’s main event against Adam Cole slated for later in the hour, SAnitY overtook the ring at the start of NXT so that its maestro could deliver a message to Cole and his band of opportunistic outsiders.
Young belted out an intimidating, if inscrutable, address, emphasizing that what matters most is “the chaos.” He capped it off with an unmistakable warning to Cole: “Tonight, I’m going to take you to the edge of sanity.”
Before his match against Lars Sullivan, Oney Lorcan made clear in an interview with Christy St. Cloud that he objects to the way Sullivan brutalizes other Superstars, citing Sullivan’s recent run-ins with No Way Jose specifically. Fired up, Lorcan went right at Sullivan with vicious strikes at the start of the match, but was unable to fell the big man. Instead, Sullivan absorbed the hard hits before turning Lorcan inside-out with a brutal clothesline. The behemoth then dropped Lorcan with a bone-rattling single-arm slam for the pin.
Sullivan threatened to continue his attack on Lorcan after the bell, but U.K. Superstar Danny Burch, who was recently observed practicing tag team moves with Lorcan at the WWE Performance Center, managed to pull Lorcan to safety, ending Sullivan’s warpath for now.
Sometimes, size simply does matter.
Take the case of NXT’s largest tag team, Heavy Machinery, running roughshod over the duo of Patrick Scott and former NFL player Demitrius Bronson. Though Scott & Bronson attempted to mount an offense against Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic, they could not overcome Machinery’s immense size advantage.
Knight & Dozovic put Scott & Bronson out of their misery by demolishing them both with a variation of their Compactor finishing move. After that, the pinfall was a foregone conclusion.
Coming off General Manager William Regal’s explosive announcement that qualifying matches will soon be held to determine who joins Kairi Sane in a Fatal 4-Way Match for the vacant NXT Women’s Title at TakeOver: Houston, Liv Morgan and Vanessa Borne were both out to make a case for why they deserve consideration.
The brazen Borne tore into Morgan with cruel intentions, pounding Morgan with forearm strikes, slamming her head into the canvas and standing on her fingers. Ever spunky and full of fight, Morgan endured the attack and kicked it into high gear. The youthful Morgan nailed an enzuigiri followed by a bulldog before driving her knees into Borne’s face to claim the three-count.
Making his NXT debut as a heavyweight, former WWE Cruiserweight Classic competitor Fabian Aichner hoped to steal the show in his outing against the red-hot Kassius Ohno. Looking even more muscular than the NXT Universe might remember from his appearance in last year’s global tournament, the Italian Superstar powered Ohno into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then demonstrated unbelievable agility and daring by leaping (hands free!) to the top rope and splashing Ohno on the floor.
Though his high-risk moves left NXT fans breathless, they also proved to be Aichner’s undoing. An attempted double-springboard moonsault missed the target, allowing Ohno to regain his composure and stun Aichner with wicked strikes before putting him away with a cyclone kick for the win.
With a confident smirk on his face and Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish by his side, Adam Cole set the stage for his long-awaited NXT in-ring debut by making a pre-match declaration: He, O’Reilly & Fish represent a “shock to the system” of NXT, Cole said, before calling his trio “undisputed” and stating that this is their era.
Cole was every bit as bold once the bell rang for his match against Eric Young, screaming for the high priest of chaos to fight him. Young obliged and flustered Cole with a furious opening salvo, but Cole slyly found enough of an opening to kick Young to the floor, leading to a tense standoff between Fish & O’Reilly and the rest of SAnitY at ringside.
Young regained the advantage and eventually prepared to take flight off the top rope, but Fish & O’Reilly stalled him with a momentary distraction. Their interference set off a major brawl with SAnitY’s Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain outside the ring. As he stood atop the turnbuckle, Young seemed to change his plan of attack and, instead of splashing the supine Cole, dove onto the mass of humanity on the floor.
Upon reentering the ring, however, Young was nearly taken out of his boots by a devastating Shining Wizard. Cole then scrambled to make the cover and scored the pinfall to reign victorious in his NXT debut. As Young’s SAnitY teammates swarmed the ring to check on their captain, Cole, O’Reilly & Fish quickly retreated, ensuring The Undisputed ERA lives to fight another day.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Lars Sullivan defeated Oney Lorcan (2:55)
- Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight) defeated Demitrius Bronson & Leon Scott (3:11)
- Liv Morgan defeated Vanessa Borne (3:43)
- Kassius Ohno defeated Fabian Aichner (4:53)
- Adam Cole (w/ Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) defeated Eric Young (w/ Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain) (5:36)
Other on-screen talent