Welcome to another episode of NXT. It was action-packed this week, as two matches had championship implications. Mercedes Martinez and Bronson Reed were hoping to earn shots at the NXT Women's and NXT North American Titles, respectively.
In the main event, the NXT Tag Team Champions MSK and NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida went to war with Legado Del Fantasma. From start to finish, it was a nonstop, high-octane six-man tag team match worthy of the main event spot. Cameron Grimes had a special night as well, as he ran into a WWE Hall of Famer.
Indi Hartwell's heart was shattered tonight in a gut-wrenching act of betrayal by Dexter Lumis...or was it? All that and more tonight on NXT.
We kicked things off with Mercedes Martinez who went one-on-one with Dakota Kai. This was step one of her two-step plan in capturing the NXT Women's Championship. Will she bring down the Captain of Team Kick?
Dakota Kai w/Raquel Gonzalez vs Mercedes Martinez on NXT
Mercedes Martinez wanted to earn a shot against the NXT Women's Champion and in order to do that she had to best Dakota Kai. Martinez slapped the taste out of Kai's mouth early on before catching her flying with a single leg takedown.
A series of clotheslines and a spinebuster left Kai hurting but she was able to kick out of the pin.
Dakota Kai recovered and spiked Mercedes with a DDT before driving her boot through her opponent's face in the corner. Kai began to work the arm of Martinez but was nearly pinned by a counter.
Another running boot in the corner missed, as Mercedes rolled to the apron. With her leg caught, Kai couldn't escape Martinez's onslaught. Mercedes went for that spider German suplex but couldn't connect. Instead, she pulled Kai off the top for a cliffhanger.
It wasn't enough to bring NXT's Captain of Team Kick down for good, and Kai knocked Martinez to the floor with another running boot. During the break, Kai went back to the arm, driving Martinez's shoulder into the ring post repeatedly.
Kai lost control when a wild spinning elbow left her dazed in the corner. A series of strikes nearly took her out, as did a trio of butterfly suplexes. An over-the-shoulder falling armbreaker left Kai in serious pain on the floor. Before Martinez could capitalize, she was stopped by the NXT Women's Champion.
Martinez rocked her with a right before rolling in to finish Kai. Raquel Gonzalez followed and hit her with a big boot.
Results: Mercedes Martinez defeated Dakota Kai via DQ on NXT.
After the match the NXT Women's Champion destroyed Martinez. Gonzalez has sent a message to everyone that she is holding on to the title for a very long time.
Backstage, Millie McKenzie was interviewing the NXT Women's Tag Team Champions when they received flowers. Franky Monet walked in and read the card. "With love, Dexter Lumis." They both vehemently denied being involved with Lumis.
Indi Hartwell's not gonna like that.
The Thousand Dollar Man of NXT was seen in a jewelry store where he was looking for something for a special someone. By that, Cameron Grimes of course meant himself. We cut away before we saw what he could get.
The Grizzled Young Veterans were in for a surprise on NXT
James Drake and Zack Gibson were upset that the NXT Tag Team Champions were ducking them tonight, competing in a six-man tag team match instead of facing the Grizzled Young Veterans.
Gibson vowed that they would soon be the most dominant and important team to hold the NXT Tag Titles in the brand's history.
Team Dad, AKA Tommaso Ciampa, and Timothy Thatcher broke up their crying fest. The Grizzled Young Veterans were in the ring, but Ciampa and Thatcher claimed to be grizzled veterans as well.
They also want to face MSK and take the NXT Tag Titles for themselves. While they lost to GYV in the Dusty Cup, Thatcher had been studying the tape.
Timothy Thatcher got a "Shoes off if you hate Gibson" chant going before Ciampa hit the Veterans with his boot.
Drake Maverick and Killian Dain were set to take on Imperium tonight. Maverick didn't trusty Dain, though, claiming that he'd seen this before. He'll be attacked by Dain and the big man will join Imperium, or he'll go for a tag and Dain will walk away. Either way, he expected betrayal.
Dain, oddly enough, quoted George Michael, reminding Maverick that he's gotta have faith.
Isaiah "Swerve" Scott had a message for Leon Ruff on NXT
NXT is Swerve's House, and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott was recently attacked by former NXT NA Champion Leon Ruff. Swerve was surprised, yet pleased, by Ruff's change in attitude. He promised that he'd make him pay in a Falls Count Anywhere Match next week.
Toni Storm vs Zayda Ramier on NXT
Ahead of this match, Toni Storm grabbed a microphone to call out Zoey Stark, who beat her on the pre-show of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night One. Storm promised that what happened tonight was all for Stark.
Toni Storm rushed Zayda Ramier with a boot to the face. A second one nearly turned Ramier inside out. Storm battered her opponent all around the ring, looking to send a message to Zoey Stark. Here comes the Storm, indeed.
A sliding clothesline nearly knocked Ramier out. Storm followed with a nasty backbreaker. Ramier pelted Storm with a short striking series, but a German suplex dumped her on her head and put an end to her momentum. A running hip attack was set up for Storm Zero, but Storm decide to try something a bit more drastic.
The former NXT UK Women's Champion brought Ramier up top for an avalanche Storm Zero. Zoey Stark rushed the ring to stop it, giving Ramier time to fight back. After knocking her to the mat, Ramier picked up the biggest win of her life with a Shooting Star Press.
Results: Zayda Ramier defeated Toni Stark via pinfall on NXT.
Backstage, the former NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar and Legado Del Fantasma sent a message to the new champion Kushida and their opponents tonight, NXT Tag Champions MSK. LDF vowed to be back on top in no time and put make MSK and Kushida pay for their insolence.
Bronson Reed vs Austin Theory w/The Way on NXT
NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano already beat Bronson Reed at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. However, if Reed beat Austin Theory tonight, he'd get another shot, thanks to The Way member himself. What a bright idea.
Indi Hartwell was rather upset during this match, surely because of the betrayal she felt when Dexter Lumis "sent" flowers to the NXT Women's Tag Champions.
Bronson Reed dropped Austin Theory with a big shoulder tackle, sending him to the floor. Theory got back in but was sent through the ropes again by Reed. Theory caught himself on the bottom rope, and Johnny Gargano attempted to help him up to the apron. Bronson Reed ran in, hitting Theory and aggravating Gargano.
Back in the ring, though, Reed was caught with a slingshot rolling dropkick by Mr. All Day. As he fell to the floor, Theory distracted the ref and let Gargano rock Reed with a superkick. Reed was launched into the steps, possibly re-injuring his ribs in the process.
Throughout the break, Theory kept the pressure on Reed, but a little gloating allowed The Colossal One to turn things around with a few big slams. A running senton crushed Theory for a two-count.
Another distraction from Gargano, though, gave Theory the opportunity to hit his rolling blockbuster. Reed kicked out at two.
A Samoan drop planted Theory for a near-fall. Austin's suplex was countered, and Reed again flattened Theory. As The Way cheered on Theory, Dexter Lumis made his way to the ring.
Indi Hartwell was too hurt to trust Lumis, and began to walk away. She rolled into the ring, but couldn't stop herself from walking back to Lumis. The Tortured Artist of NXT saved Indi from an inadvertent attack from Theory, taking the bullet for her.
Reed clobbered Theory with a clothesline and finished the job with the Tsunami Splash.
Results: Bronson Reed defeated Austin Theory via pinfall on NXT.
Backstage, The Way blamed Dexter Lumis for the loss and told Indi Hartwell to go "take care of business."
Imperium w/Alexander Wolfe vs Killian Dain and Drake Maverick on NXT
The former NXT Tag Team Champions started the bout with Killian Dain, as Drake Maverick was still wary of his partner. Fabian Aichner failed to lift Dain, and The Divide crushed him into the mat. Barthel tagged in soon, and Drake Maverick opted to do the same.
After a short fiery start against Barthel, Maverick was launched off the top with an arm drag. Imperium took over here. As the ref tried to stop Dain from interfering, Imperium hit Maverick with a series of running dropkicks. Maverick was torn to shreds during the break, and when we returned Barthel sent NXT's Beast of Belfast to the floor to stop the tag.
Aichner drove the former 205 Live General Manager into the mat with a massive slam but missed the elbow drop.
With Barthel knocked off the apron, Dain hoped to tag in. Maverick crawled to his corner but didn't see Barthel tear Dain off his corner. Maverick believed that he was betrayed, and the former NXT Tag Champs took advantage.
Dain finally had enough, running through both Barthel and AIchner. He crashed through them both like a wrecking ball, but eventually, the numbers game became too much to handle. Barthel told Alexander Wolfe to hit his former partner with a chair, but Wolfe couldn't bring himself to do it.
Maverick saved his buddy from Barthel before going back inside to take on Aichner. Unfortunately, Barthel sent Dain into the steps, and Imperium managed to send Maverick crashing to the mat with the European Bomb.
Results: Imperium defeated Drake Maverick and Killian Dain via pinfall on NXT.
Imperium stood at the top of the ramp, but Aichner and Barthel stepped forward a bit to send a message to the Axeman of NXT. Wolfe understood quite clearly.
Ted Dibiase makes a surprise appearance to spoil Grimes' day on NXT
We were back with NXT's Cameron Grimes, who had found the perfect watch. It didn't go tick tock, meaning Karrion Kross would hate it. Good enough, I guess?
As he went to purchase it, WWE Hall of Famer Ted Dibiase came into frame, insulting him for not managing to buy a million dollar watch.
The Robert Stone Brand w/Robert Stone vs Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon on NXT
The Robert Stone Brand looked to make a statement, but were never given the chance. The Way attacked the NXT Women's Tag Team Champions for trying to steal Indi Hartwelll's man.
Results: No contest.
Adam Cole opens up on NXT
Adam Cole's interview was next, as The Panama City Playboy said that whether he was at 100% or not, he was better than the entire NXT roster. As far as recent actions, he was tired of carrying The Undisputed Era on his back.
Last week, Kyle O'Reilly opened NXT and main evented the night. Was he the new face of the promotion? Cole claimed it wasn't the case, as he only got lucky at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
He knew the anxiety Kyle was feeling, but Cole was the one who knew how to handle them. As far as the NXT Championship, that division is as competitive as ever.
Karrion Kross is good. Great? Cole's not too sure. Belt or no belt, Adam Cole was the greatest on the roster, and not even KOR could prove him wrong.
Speaking of O'Reilly, he was shown at the CWC watching the interview, shaking his head at Cole's arrogance.
Legado Del Fantasma vs MSK and Kushida on NXT
The NXT Cruiserweight and Tag Team Champions dominated in the opening seconds, tagging in and out and battering Joaquin Wilde with an array of dives and kicks. Wilde found his way to his corner, though, and Raul Mendoza helped Legado Del Fantasma quickly take over, tearing apart Wes Lee with the tandem offense.
Lee escaped to Nash Carter and Kushida, and the trio of NXT Champions sent Legado Del Fantasma crashing to the floor. During the break, the match slowed down as Santos Escobar dug Nash Carter into the mat, wearing down the blinding fast high flyer.
The former NXT Cruiserweight Champion focused on the left arm and shoulder of Carter, looking to create a bullseye for his lackeys. Legado Del Fantasma stomped Nash Carter into their corner while Kushida and Lee desperately reached out for a tag.
Carter finally got to his corner, and MSK managed to hit that beautiful Hot Fire Flame on Mendoza.
Kushida held the ropes for a pair of dives, crashing into LDF. As MSK set up for the finish, Escobar drove Kushida through the announcer's desk with a powerbomb. Carter rushed to the floor but was driven into the stairs with a boot from Mendoza.
It was a three-on-one situation for Wes Lee, and the NXT Tag Champion did everything he could to keep the fight going. Wilde countered his backflipping pele kick with a dropkick mid-flip. Legado Del Fantasma held Lee in the corner as each member crashed into him with running clotheslines and flying knees.
Lee was out on his feet and his partners were still out on the floor. A brainbuster spiked Lee, and Wilde got the assist from Mendoza for a springboard moonsault.
Somehow, Wes Lee broke out of the pin and sent Mendoza and Wilde to the floor. After avoiding the dive from Escobar, Lee cracked all three members of LDF with a series of kicks. Nash Carter finally made it to his corner and screamed for the tag.
Carter tagged in and cracked Wilde and Escobar with some big boots. Unfortunately, his run was cut short with a flying single-leg dropkick from Mendoza. As Kushida rolled back in he was planted with the Phantom Driver.
Nash Carter was cracked with LDF's Russian Leg Sweep/flying roundhouse combination, putting the champions down for the count.
Results: Legado Del Fantasma defeated MSK and Kushida via pinfall on NXT.